The 20 most famous athletes in the world


Cristiano Ronaldo

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The list of the most famous athletes in the world is dominated by footballers, and no athlete is more famous than Cristiano Ronaldo.


In the most recent issue of ESPN the Magazine, Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, came up with a way to measure every top athlete's fame. The formula uses earnings on and off the field, social media popularity, and Google search popularity.

Below we take a closer look at the 20 most famous athletes, which includes eight soccer players, four tennis players, three basketball stars, and three golfers. You can see the entire list in ESPN the Magazine.