ESPN put together a list of ‘The 100 Most Famous Athletes in the World.’ They looked at stuff like salaries, endorsements, social media following, and Google search popularity.
Since it’s an international list, there are a lot of soccer players that might not be household names in the U.S., which isn’t surprising.
In fact, the Top 100 is packed with 38 soccer players . . . while there are NO baseball or hockey players, and the highest ranking football player is Tom Brady at #21.
There are two gymnasts, Simone Biles at #48 and Aly Raisman at #99.
There’s also a table tennis player . . . a badminton player . . . two boxers . . . two swimmers . . . three MMA fighters . . . and four cricket players.
It’s worth noting that there are 13 NBA players, including Steph Curry at #11 and Kyrie Irving at #34. So, that seems to be the North American sport that is doing the best job marketing itself worldwide.
Anyway, here are the Top 10:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer
2. LeBron James, basketball
3. Lionel Messi, soccer
4. Roger Federer, tennis
5. Phil Mickelson, golf
6. Neymar, soccer
7. Usain Bolt, track and field
8. Kevin Durant, basketball
9. Rafael Nadal, tennis
10. Tiger Woods, golf
(ESPN.com has the whole list, which can be sorted at the top by sport, country, and gender. For what it’s worth, there are 92 men and just eight women. You can read more about their methodology, here.)