Erling Haaland trailing five rivals as agent dealt awkward blow on ‘billion dollar’ claim

Erling Haaland does not make it into the top five for potential Instagram earnings – a matter of days after his agent tipped him to become the first billion-pound player.


Rafaela Pimenta, who took over from super agent Mino Raiola following his passing, claimed that Haaland could generate unseen revenue through his work on and off the pitch. The Norwegian’s five-year contract at Manchester City is worth around £97.5million in salary alone, with sponsorship and other deals set to bump up his pay packet.

Another way Haaland could gain further cash is through social media, but the 23-year-old hotshot is not even in the top five out of Champions League players for potential Instagram earnings. According to a study released by Japan-101, who analysed the follower counts and engagement rates, Haaland is sixth on the list of how much he could pocket after each post at £11,333.26.

This is behind Toni Kroos (£27,480.55), Antoine Griezmann (£31,730.83), Sergio Ramos (£48,208.35), Paul Pogba (£51,040.23) and the runaway leader Kylian Mbappe (£76,465.70). As they are not currently playing in Europe’s elite club competition, there is no place for Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Neymar.


Haaland’s omission from the top five of potential Instagram earnings comes a blow to agent Pimenta, who believes the former Borussia Dortmund man can reach the £1bn mark one day. Haaland has been sensational since his move to City in 2022 and he finished second at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony after scoring 52 times in 53 matches last season. He has added a further 17 to his tally in 18 games this term.


Speaking to the Guardian on Tuesday, Pimenta said: “I am not saying a transfer fee would reach this amount. I mean the whole package you generate throughout your career. Today you can play until 35. Think of the salary, transfer fees, broadcasting revenues, sponsors, ticket sales, and shirts. With a player like Erling it gets to one billion.

The multiples in the gaming industry are huge. In the metaverse, maybe I sell a digital Erling Haaland for €2,000 to 100m people in India, China, Brazil, and Mexico. Maybe we will get to a point where I experience a football game with goggles, which triggers the same emotions as if I were there. You’re really going 3D with the virtual experience.


“So maybe we’ll sell the football game experience, not only to broadcasters but to individual people who can never afford or find the ticket to the Bernabeu or the Etihad. They can experience the game [on the metaverse] as if they are there. So when I say one billion I am using multiplicators beyond the physical.”

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