'Up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo': Virat Kohli likened to football GOATs | Crickit

'Up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo': Virat Kohli likened to football GOATs

May 29, 2024 07:49 AM IST

Virat Kohli has emerged as one of the biggest sporting icons across the globe in the past decade as he enjoys a massive fan following on social media.

Former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor has likened Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli to football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in terms of social media popularity. The Indian cricketer has become a sporting icon across the globe in the last decade and one of the most prominent personalities in the country in terms of brand value, and social media has played a massive role in that.

Virat Kohli likened to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Virat Kohli likened to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Kohli has around 269 million followers on Instagram - most as an Indian and third most among sports personalities after Ronaldo (630 million) and Messi (503 million). The batting star charged a whopping sum for posting paid advertisements on his social media.

Taylor, who played in past alongside Kohli for RCB in IPL, asserted the emergence of social media is massive as now the cricketing icon is up there with the football GOATs Messi and Ronaldo.

“Players are putting outposts endorsing products and things like that. Who would have thought of that in 2008? Someone like Kohli, who is a superstar in the world of cricket, but is also a global superstar in the world of sports. In terms of Instagram and social media, he’s up there with Ronaldo and Messi!”

"Yeah, I think you are more accessible, I don’t think sportsmen are just as critiqued. I think movie stars, Bollywood stars, politicians are all under the microscope now because of social media but I don’t think that is a bad thing," Taylor told Raman Raheja, a media professional, and creator who put together this Podcast “180 Not Out”.

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After an incredible IPL season with bat, Kohli will be next seen in the T20 World Cup which will begin next month in the USA and West Indies. The batting star will look to give his best shot to help India win the coveted title for the second time.

Meanwhile, according to a report, Kohli will travel to New York on May 30 as the BCCI scheduled his visa appointment for a later date. He had a brilliant IPL 2024 with the bat as he clinched the Orange Cap tally with 741 runs in 15 matches but his team suffered exit in the playoffs. A report on Indian Express suggested that the 35-year-old is hence likely to miss India's T20 World Cup warm-up game on June 1 in New York against Bangladesh.

“Kohli had informed us way beforehand that he will be joining the team late and that is why the BCCI has kept his visa appointment for a later date. He is expected to fly out to New York in the early morning of May 30th. The BCCI has agreed to his request,” a BCCI official told the newspaper.

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