Cristiano Ronaldo named most famous athlete in the world, Virat Kohli eighth
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni also feature in the top 20 most famous athletes.
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid win their 12th Champions League title last season, has been named the most famous athlete in the world in the list of 100 most famous athletes, released by sporting giant ESPN. The list was researched by ESPN’s director of sports analytics and released on 31 May.
The list features a host of familiar names of the sporting world and was researched using a formula which combined salary and endorsements along with social media following and Google search engine popularity, the results of which were calculated to figure out who the 100 most famous athletes on the planet were.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was one of the star performers in Real Madrid’s historic 11th Champions League win, was proclaimed to be the most famous sportsperson on the planet, followed by NBA star LeBron James and footballing rival Lionel Messi. Messi’s Barcelona teammate Neymar found himself in the 4th spot with Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer rounding off the top five.
Ronaldo leads a list of 17 footballers who star in the top 100 list. The top five footballers on the list ply their trade in La Liga, with James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale placed at 9th and 12th. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney who is 6th on the most famous footballer’s list comes in only at 17th in the overall standings.
Also read: Top 10 highest paid athletes in the world
There are three Indian cricketers who make the cut in the list. Virat Kohli fueled by his IPL performances and skyrocketing endorsements, is the highest ranked cricketer and Indian on the list with him being the 8th most famous athlete in the world. The second highest ranked Indian is World Cup winning captain, MS Dhoni, who is the 14th most famous athlete in the world. Wimbledon and Australian Open winning doubles tennis player Sania Mirza is the third Indian on the list, finishing in 41st position.
Here is the list of the ten most famous athletes in the world: