Cape Town – Portuguese and Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo topped the ESPN World Fame 100 list for a third straight year, beating out basketball superstar LeBron James and rival Leo Messi.
The 33-year-old was named as the most popular athlete in the world based on his social media following, endorsement deals and search score.
Brazil’s Neymar who became the world’s most expensive footballer after his record-breaking €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain clinched the fourth spot.
Swiss, Roger Federer the most decorated tennis player in history rounded off the top five on the list ahead of Kevin Durant and Spanish rival Rafael Nadal.
Top Ten ESPN World Fame 100 list:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Football)
2. LeBron James (Basketball)
3. Lionel Messi (Football)
4. Neymar (Football)
5. Roger Federer (Tennis)
6. Tiger Woods (Golf)
7. Kevin Durant (Basketball)
8. Rafael Nadal (Tennis)
9. Stephen Curry (Basketball)
10. Phil Mickelson (Golf)