Ronaldo earns DOUBLE of Messi does on Instagram as he scooped £38m last year

They have been vying for the honour of best footballer on the planet for over a decade, but Cristiano Ronaldo finally has the edge over Lionel Messi – at least when it comes to Instagram earnings.

The Juventus superstar raked in £38.2million on Instagram last year alone, double that of Barcelona talisman Messi and making him the biggest earner on the platform.

Messi could only muster £18.7m from his posts, and even the influential David Beckham still trails the Portuguese ace with just £8.6m.

While the former Real Madrid star is entering his twilight years at 34, it seems he is still able to make an impact both on and off the pitch.

A study by Buzz Bingo looked at the number posts by stars on Instagram and their subsequent earnings, with Ronaldo trumping social media icons such as Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez.

Ronaldo made 34 sponsored Instagram posts over the last 12 months, earning £780,000 for each one – landing him a huge £38.2m sum.

Argentina captain Messi sent out more with 36, but made £518,000 for every post, while ex-England skipper David Beckham’s posts only netted him £286,000 each.

Ronaldo and Messi headed up the list of top earners on Instagram, with Beckham in fourth place behind Kendall Jenner.

Other footballers to make the list were Neymar Jr, who earned £5.8m over the last year, working out at £578,000 per post, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who raked in £3.2m and £160,000 per post.

Ronaldo and Messi have maintained a competitive rivalry on the pitch ever since emerging as the top talents in football and both have five Ballon D’or wins apiece.