The 10 most popular athletes in the World in 2014


According to a study published earlier this week by a Swedish company called Cision, Real Madrid‘s star player Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular athlete in the world. In his way to the top of the podium, the Portuguese star has beaten his rival from FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi, as well as several other top figures from other sports like LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Roger Fereder or Floyd Mayweather.

All the names showing up in this top 10 list, are actually coming out from a previous ranking already published by Forbes and which reported the ten highest paid athletes in sport.

On that list, Floyd Mayweather came ahead of the pack with an estimated $105 annual paycheck, leaving Ronaldo behind on 2nd place on $80m dollars and Lebron James in third with $72.3m. However and when the ranking factors shifts from revenues into a popularity index, this top list suffers a few noticeable changes.

The only criteria used to determine the rankings in this sort of popularity contest was the amount of mentions/references each athlete has collected on the web from January 2014 until September 2014.

Ranking – The top 10 most popular athletes in the World, in 2014

# Player Sport # of mentions
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Football/Soccer 741.969
2 Lionel Messi Football/Soccer 599.115
3 Lebron James Basketball 462.825
4 Roger Federer Tennis 421.411
5 Rafael Nadal Tennis 375.482
6 Tiger Woods Golf 343.609
7 Phil Mickelson Golf 203.846
8 Kobe Bryant Basketball 121.797
9 Floyd Mayweather Boxing 110.228
10 Matt Ryan American Football 33.104

Sources: /

Cristiano Ronaldo - Football

Cristiano Ronaldo – Football

Lionel Messi - Football

Lionel Messi – Football

Lebron James - Basketball

Lebron James – Basketball

Tiger Woods - Golf

Tiger Woods – Golf

Phil Mickelson - Golf

Phil Mickelson – Golf

Kobe Bryant - Basketball

Kobe Bryant – Basketball

Roger Federer - Tennis

Roger Federer – Tennis

Rafael Nadal - Tennis

Rafael Nadal – Tennis

Floyd Mayweather - Boxing

Floyd Mayweather – Boxing

Matt Ryan - American Football

Matt Ryan – American Football