This is according to a study, released by YouGov, of the most admired people in the world, topped by former US president Barack Obama.
The study also determined which player was more admired across countries or territories, with Cristiano Ronaldo emerging ahead of Lionel Messi in 32 of the surveyed 42 countries.
Cristiano Ronaldo kick starts Serie A campaign
Cristiano Ronaldo has kept his fine form in 2020 going with three goals in Juventus' first two Serie A matches.
Ever since he missed out on his sixth Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo has been in scintillating goal-scoring form, notching up 24 league goals in the calendar year - more than any other player in the planet.
He scored a penalty and a trademark gravity-defying header in Juventus' 2-2 draw against Roma over the weekend, keeping his fine goal-scoring run going.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has also managed to begin the La Liga season with Barcelona on an auspicious note, scoring in his team's 4-0 win over Villarreal.
However, it could have all been so different for the 33-year-old player from Argentina after he had publicly stated his desire to leave the club over the summer.
Following Barcelona's 8-2 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, Lionel Messi outlined his intention to seek pastures anew.
He accused the Barcelona board of running the club in a reactionary way, plugging holes as and when they appeared instead of implementing a long-term footballing project.
Messi had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave Barcelona on a free a year before its expiration as long as he conveys his intention to the club.
However, Barcelona and La Liga ruled that due to the offset the Covid-19 crisis caused the transfer window and league schedule, the player missed out on his opportunity to avail that clause.
Resigned to either stay at the club or take it to court to get a favourable decision, Messi ended up opting for the former.Published 28 Sep 2020, 12:10 IST