The 5 most famous athletes in the world

In times of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, fame is the name of the game. The popular you are the bigger your brand is and more money you stand to make.

To find out who are the most famous athletes in the world of sports, ESPN’s director of analytics Ben Alamar has devised a ranking which incorporates an athlete’s social media clout, endorsements and search engine popularity.

Named the World Fame 100, the list is an accurate guide of who the most famous athletes of our world. Here are the top five of the ESPN’s assortment:
1- Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo may trail Lionel Messi in the list of honours won, but he trails no one on the Fame 100 list.

With endorsements of $32m, 118.1m Facebook followers, 93m Instagram followers and 50.4m Twitter followers, the Portuguese occupies top spot.

2- LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers talisman LeBron James may not have the scariest team in NBA anymore (read: Golden State Warriors), but his presence on social media is outright frightening.

With endorsements of a whopping $55m, 22.6m Facebook followers, 28.5m Instagram followers and 34.4m Twitter followers, the American is second only to Ronaldo.

3- Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s soft-spoken Lionel Messi is more an introvert, which is why he only makes it to the third place on the Fame 100 list, despite being arguably the best active footballer on the planet.

The Argentine has endorsements worth $28m, 86.6m Facebook followers, 65.1m Instagram followers, while he doesn’t have a Twitter account — which may have cost him points in the list.

4- Roger Federer

Tennis maestro Roger Federer has jumped up from fifth place to fourth in this year’s ranking, thanks to his Australian Open triumph at the turn of the year.

He has endorsements worth $60m, 14.2m Facebook followers, 2.8m Instagram followers and 6.7m Twitter fans.

5- Phil Mickelson

It seems no one has benefitted more from Tiger Woods’ fall from grace than his famous left-handed compatriot Phil Mickelson.

The golfer nicknamed Lefty has accounts on neither of the top three social media platforms, yet he has jumped from 13th to round off the top five of the current year’s list, thanks in large parts to his eye-watering $50m endorsement deals.

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