BRISTOL: This year’s ESPN World Fame 100 list, an annual list of the most famous athletes on the planet, placed the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo at the top spot, followed by basketball player LeBron James and FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were among eight Indian cricketers who found a place in the list.
Kohli bagged the seventh position and is the only Indian athlete in the top 10, whereas Dhoni is placed in the 13th spot.
Interestingly, all Indian men mentioned in this list were from the cricketing fraternity, including Yuvraj Singh (18), Suresh Raina (22), R Ashwin (42), Rohit Sharma (46), Harbhajan Singh (74) and Shikhar Dhawan (94).
This list was prepared by looking at three aspects, namely- Search Score, Endorsements and Social Following. No athlete was able to sway the top three contenders, Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, and Lionel Messi, as their rank has not changed from the previous year's rankings. However, this time Kohli made it into the top 10 as he jumped from last year’s 11th position to 7th position.
There were only three women in the list- Serena Williams (17), Maria Sharapova (37) and Sania Mirza (93), making the latter the only Indian woman athlete to feature in the list.
Top 10 athletes:
Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Conor McGregor, Roger Federer, Virat Kohli, Rafael Nadal, Stephen Curry, Tiger Woods.