21/02/2018 16:38 SAST | Updated 22/02/2018 06:18 SAST

These Astonishing Numbers Are What Make Football The Beautiful Game ⚽️

Think it's just about kicking a ball around? Think again...

Tony O'Brien / Reuters

Football is the world's biggest sport. Its viewership is unparalleled, its digital social-media fraternity is growing by the millions, and the power it has to impact the lives of people demonstrates why it's known as the beautiful game.

Here is the story of modern-day football, told in numbers:

4-billion spectators

The number of football followers worldwide. It is the world's most famous sport, and is able to reach this massive audience – around two-thirds of the global population – with its blockbuster competitions like the Fifa World Cup, Uefa Champions League, English Premier League, LaLiga and South Africa's very own Premier Soccer League.

£197-million (~R3.5-billion) the highest transfer price

The stupendous fee of £197-million (R3.5-billion) was the price Paris Saint-German paid to make Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior officially the world's most expensive football star ever. All that money, for just one player.

Benoit Tessier / Reuters

4 of the richest events

Of the top five competitions in sports with the highest prize money, four of them are football events – the Uefa Champions League, Fifa World Cup, Europa League and the Uefa Euros.

50 leagues

Football has more than 50 professional leagues throughout the world.

212 regions watching

The English Premier League is the world's most-watched sports league, with a global audience derived from 212 regions around the world.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

150-million social media followers for one player

Cristiano Ronaldo is football's most followed player on social media, with 150-million followers on Facebook and Twitter.

100-million social media followers for one club

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona compete on the field and in cyberspace. The two sides both have more than 100-million followers on Facebook and Twitter.

92 goals in a year

This is the record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year. The honour belongs to Lionel Messi

Andrew Boyers / Reuters

49-game winning streak

The number of games Arsenal FC went unbeaten in the English Premier League – the longest unbeaten run in history, seeing them crowned as "the invincibles", capped by an undefeated EPL season win.

1 game

There's only one beautiful game...