Cristiano Ronaldo named most famous athlete ahead of Lionel Messi

Written by: Aveek Chakraborty
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Bengaluru, May 31: Another feather added to Cristiano Ronaldo's cap as the Real Madrid striker has been named the most popular athlete on ESPN’s World Fame 100.

Ahead of this weekend’s Champions League final, the Portuguese tops ESPN’s World Fame 100 for the second straight year, ahead of LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer and Phil Mickelson.

File photo: Cristiano Ronaldo

Four Indian cricketers Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh(90) and Suresh Raina (95) also made it to ESPN’s list of top 100 most famous athletes in the world.

It was Kohli's second inclusion on the list. Although, his rank dropped from 8 to 13. Dhoni also dropped one rank from 14 to 15. However, another Indian ace Sania Mirza who was ranked 41 in 2016 could not make it to this year's list.

While making the analysis, ESPN director of analytics Ben Alamar arranged a formula which is predicated on the list, with earnings, social media influence and Google search popularity.

Ronaldo is the most widespread athlete on the list with advertisements of worth $32 million and a total of 261.5 million supporters on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

LeBron James trailed behind Ronaldo for the No. 1 positioning, settling for second best in back to back years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers hotshot is one of just two competitors in the Top 10 out of the four popular games.

James has an endorsement of $55 million while he has 22.6 on Facebook, 28.5 million supporters on Instagram and 34.4 million on Twitter.

The list has 38 players from the Football, the most among all the sports, followed by basketball (13), golf (11), tennis (10), and American football (8). The list does not include any baseball or hockey players.

On the other hand, American Ronda Rousey is been listed as the most popular female athlete at No. 16 only ahead of Serena Williams at No. 19.


Here is ESPN's top 10 list:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

2. LeBron James

3. Lionel Messi

4. Roger Federer

5. Phil Mickelson

6. Neymar

7. Usain Bolt

8. Kevin Durant

9. Rafael Nadal

10. Tiger Woods

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