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Ronaldo Tops The List As ESPN Name The 100 Most Famous Athletes In The World

David Clarke
By David Clarke
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ESPN have released their list of the 100 most famous athletes on the planet, and to be fair it's hard to argue with most of them.

The US-based television channel constructed a unique algorithm which "combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity" to determine who finished on this list.

Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo tops the lavish list, as he does most lists. His resume already boasts just about any footballing award you can think of, so to be named top is not going to do his ego harm.


Ronaldo is joined by LeBron James and rival Lionel Messi who complete the top 3 respectively. 'King' James' legacy will be complete if he can take the NBA title back to Cleveland. While Messi has got the better of Ronaldo for most of his career, he won't be too disheartened with this position on the list.

While the remainder of the top 10 is made up of superstars of their respective sports such as Neymar, Rodger Federer, and Tiger Woods - a few eyebrows were certainly raised after Real Madrid's bench warmer, James Rodriguez, made the upper echelons of the list.

The Colombian sits at number 9, making him more famous than the likes of Usain Bolt, Ronda Rousey, Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather Jr. It would leave you scratching your head trying to figure out how James managed to finish higher than some of these superstars.


Ireland are represented on the list with Rory McIlroy (#20) and UFC Featherweight champion, Conor McGregor perhaps sitting lower than he would have anticipated at number 37.

Top 10 Most Famous Athletes in the World:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. LeBron James
  3.  Lionel Messi
  4.  Neymar
  5.  Roger Federer
  6.  Kevin Durant
  7.  Tiger Woods
  8.  Virat Kohli
  9.  James Rodriguez
  10.  Rafael Nadal

You can check out the full list as well as the methodology over at ESPN.

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