ESPN has finally released its list of the World’s most famous athletes.
Their director of sports analytics developed a formula that combines salary, endorsements, social media following and Google search popularity to find out who’s the best of the best.
Surprising no one (well maybe Americans,) Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked as number one. Ronaldo raked in nearly $80 million last year and his hefty following on social media also adds to his popularity. Coming in at number 2 is none other than the King, LeBron James. Bron Bron’s been a premiere player in the NBA for over 10 years and his ability to dominate the floor is the reason why. His decision to return to the Cavaliers has helped his brand as he looks to finally get a ring for the ‘Land. His endorsements are staggering as well, which scored him $44 million last year. The Cavs are paying him half of that for his actually salary.
The top 5 is rounded out by soccer players Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammate Neymar and tennis great Roger Federer. Kevin Durant somehow scored a spot as number 6 on the list and despite Tiger Woods‘ recent play on the green, he’s number 7. Elsewhere on the roundup are Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt—and the first woman isn’t mentioned until Maria Sharapova at 18, who surprisingly beat out Serena Williams.
Despite Steph Curry having a record-breaking season, it seems his popularity only ranked him as 34, right behind Cam Newton and Dwyane Wade.Check out the entire list here, and see if some of you favorite athletes made the list.
SOURCE: ESPN | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty, Twitter
The World's Highest-Paid Athletes
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.Source:Getty 1 of 20
2. Manny PacquiaoSource:Getty 2 of 20
3. Cristiano RonaldoSource:Getty 3 of 20
4. Lionel MessiSource:Getty 4 of 20
5. Roger FedererSource:Getty 5 of 20
6. LeBron JamesSource:Getty 6 of 20
7. Kevin DurantSource:Getty 7 of 20
8. Phil MickelsonSource:Getty 8 of 20
9. Tiger WoodsSource:Getty 9 of 20
10. Kobe BryantSource:Splash News 10 of 20
11. Ben RoethlisbergerSource:Getty 11 of 20
12. Rory McIlroySource:Getty 12 of 20
13. Novak DjokovicSource:Getty 13 of 20
14. Zlatan IbrahimovicSource:Getty 14 of 20
15. Lewis HamiltonSource:Splash 15 of 20
16. Ndamukong SuhSource:Getty 16 of 20
17. Fernando AlonsoSource:Getty 17 of 20
18. Gareth BaleSource:Getty 18 of 20
19. Jon LesterSource:Getty 19 of 20
20. Derrick RoseSource:Getty 20 of 20
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