Switzerland’s footballer Alisha Lehmann became the top-ranked influencer heading to the Women’s World Cup 2023, surpassing America’s Alex Morgan with 13.6 million followers on Instagram.
According to Nielsen Sports, Lehmann’s Instagram followers have risen up to 75% in the past year.
The striker, who has posted on behalf of many big brands like Coca-Cola and EA Sports, goes past Roger Federer as the most famous Swiss sportsperson on Twitter.
“The soccer players participating at World Cup 2023 are not only exceptional sportswomen but also social media powerhouses, capable of driving impactful conversations and fostering genuine connections with their followers,” Jon Stainer, Nielsen’s global managing director, said in a statement.
The 24-year-old has very actively talked about the culture of “online bullying” and “trolls” that football players have to face, and she even appeared in UEFA’s 2022 “Respect” campaign related to online bullying.
“Some people just see Instagram and social media and don’t even know I actually play football … When I don’t post a football picture for a week, people say, ‘Oh she doesn’t even play.’,” Lehmann told talkSPORT.
The Swiss is ahead Alexia Putellas, who in 2021 was the first player to win the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, Ballon d’Or Feminin, and The Best FIFA Women’s Player award in the same year, who only has 2.9 million Instagram followers.
The rankings are based on Nielsen’s measurement tool InfluenceScope. It assesses followers and follower growth, engagement rate, audience reachability and average brand value per post on Instagram to determine which players deliver the most social media value to their sponsors.
On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, is the most followed person, man, and sportsperson on Instagram, with over 593 million followers.
The World Cup, which New Zealand and Australia will co-host, features 32 teams, starts on July 20, and the tournament’s final will be played on August 20 in Sydney.
The last Women’s Fifa World Cup in 2019 was won by Team USA, who defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in the final to win their second consecutive and fourth overall title.