The heartthrob of football who stole “World’s most famous athlete” beating Messi and LeBron James.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned world’s most famous athlete by broadcaster ESPN.

The Real Madrid striker was honored of yet another title. Being regarded as one of the best soccer player and having a whooping 261 million follows on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook combined, ESPN titled Ronaldo to be the world’s most famous athlete.


ESPN for their estimation criteria combined the athlete’s brand endorsements, social media following and online search popularity to create the rankings.

Ronaldo’s nemesis Lionel Messi made the cut at number three in the rankings. There were no baseball or hockey players in the list. Soccer players dominated the list. Four NBA players – James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Dwyane Wade made it in the top 25 of the list. Women athletes also weren’t very visible until Ronda Rousey, who checked in at number 16, followed by Serena Williams at number 19. The list does not take into account “retired” players.

Joining Ronaldo, James and Messi in the top 10 are tennis star Roger Federer, golfer Phil Mickelson, footballer Neymar, world-record sprinter Usain Bolt, NBA star Kevin Durant, tennis player again Rafael Nadal and in at the tenth spot the infamous golfer Tiger Woods.

Cricket has four entries in total, basketball has thirteen, golf has eleven and tennis has ten.

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