Cristiano Ronaldo Named Most Famous Athlete in the World

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VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Cristiano Ronaldo during La Liga soccer match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Valencia, Spain
VALENCIA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 22: Cristiano Ronaldo during La Liga soccer match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Valencia, Spain

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the most famous athlete in the world, according to ESPN.

The sports network’s World Fame 100 list puts the footballer in the top spot, beating out basketball star LeBron James, soccer player Lionel Messi, tennis champion Roger Federer and golfer Phil Mickelson.

Usain Bolt, the record-setting sprinter, came in at number eight.

The list was compiled by ESPN director of analytics Ben Alamar, and uses a formula that combines social media following with endorsements and internet search popularity.

The soccer star boasts $32 million in endorsements, 50.4 million Twitter followers, 93 million Instagram followers and 118.1 million Facebook followers.

In total, there are eight British athletes that made the top 100 list, including Lewis Hamilton (84th place) and Theo Walcott (79th place).

The list includes sports stars from nearly all games, including cricket, tennis, golf, football and the NFL. No players from baseball or hockey made it onto the list.

The World Fame 100 list includes 38 soccer players, but four NBA players made it into the top 25, making it the most prominent sport in North America.

Ronda Rousey, who took the 16th slot, is the first woman to appear on the list. Serena Williams followers her at number 19.

Golfer Tiger Woods took tenth place on the list, boasting $45 million in endorsements and a much smaller social media following. The athlete has just 754,000 followers on Instagram, 2.9 million Facebook followers and 6.2 million Twitter followers.

Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Salah took the last place on the list, with just $5 million in endorsements, 2.2 million Twitter followers, 3.9 million Instagram followers and 6.7 Facebook followers. The footballer may be far behind Tiger Woods in endorsements, but he surpasses the golfer on the social media front.

NFL quarterback Tom Brady took the 21st slot on the list, with just $8 million in endorsements, no Twitter followers, 2 million Instagram followers and 4.3 million Facebook fans.

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