The Best of 2018 Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?  

Celebrity Lists
13.7k votes 778 voters 2.8k views 62 items

List Rules Vote up the most famous athletes in the world right now and those who currently dominate their sport.

When it comes to the most famous athletes in the world right now, a select few names easily top the list. Not only that, but many of these popular players are also some of the best athletes in their respective sport. However, while skill and statistics are surely major factors in ranking athletes by fame, the most famous athlete out doesn't have to be the very best—especially not on this list. In short, it's up to you fans to decide just who takes the title for the most famous athlete, as well as those who follow close behind. 

For starters, we all know famous male athletes like Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Roger Federer will find themselves high on the list. Then you have top female athletes like Serena Williams and Hope Solo. Keep in mind, though, the sport isn't necessarily a factor here. Whether you consider natural talent or straight statistics in determining who's the most famous, that's your choice. Perhaps it's who you see on TV the most, or those with the most endorsements. Whatever it is, give your input as to who makes the list of best athletes today with the most fame. 

Cast your votes for the most famous athletes below, and feel free to add any athletes missing from the list. 

list ordered by

1
502 77
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 33 Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH, known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid C.F. and the Portugal national team. He is a ...more

2
266 115
Roger Federer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 36 Tennis player Roger Federer (IPA pronunciation: [ˈɹɑ.dʒər ˈfɛ.dər.ər]) (born August 8, 1981) is a Swiss tennis professional, currently ranked World No. 1. Many experts and many of his own tennis ...more

3
253 129
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 26 Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and is the captain for the Brazil ...more

4
230 111
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 31 Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked world No. 5. He is widely regarded as one of the finest clay court players in history and has been ...more

5
229 113
Conor McGregor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 29 Conor Anthony McGregor is an Irish mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the former Cage Warriors Featherweight and ...more

6
222 113
Maria Sharapova is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 28 Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player, who as of October 6, 2014 is ranked world No. 2 by the Women's Tennis Association. A United States resident since 1994, ...more

7
214 105
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 33 Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team as a central midfielder. Iniesta came through La Masia, the ...more

8
219 113
Novak Djokovic is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30 Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players ...more

9
211 115
Virat Kohli is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 29 Virat Kohli is an Indian cricketer. A right-handed middle-order batsman, he is the captain of the Indian Test team. He captained the victorious Indian team at the 2008 U/19 Cricket World Cup ...more

10
193 105
Rory McIlroy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 28 Rory McIlroy, MBE is a Northern Irish professional golfer from Holywood in County Down who is a member of both the European and PGA Tours. He is the current World Number One and a four-time ...more

11
176 132
Sun Yang is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 26 Sun Yang is a Chinese Olympic and world-record-holding distance swimmer. He swam for China at the 2008 Olympics. At the 2010 Asian Games, he won the men's 1500m freestyle in an Asian Record; ...more

12
79 16
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
bigcraig added age 31 Usain St. Leo Bolt, OJ, CD, is a Jamaican sprinter. Widely regarded as the fastest person ever, he is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic ...more

13
151 240
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30 Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He is a forward and serves ...more

14
112 230
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 33 LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lbs., he has started ...more

15
84 245
Stephen Curry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30 Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. Listed at 6 ft 3 in tall ...more

16
22 16
Yelena Isinbayeva is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
Hormony added age 35 Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva is a Russian pole vaulter. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a three-time World Champion, the current world record holder in the event, who is widely ...more

17
67 234
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 40 Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom" Brady, Jr., nicknamed Tom Terrific, is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. After playing college ...more

18
65 231
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 36 Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on ...more

19
62 231
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 42 Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for ...more

20
48 186
John Cena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added age 40 John Felix Anthony Cena is an American professional wrestler, rapper and actor signed to WWE, where he is the current WWE United States Champion in his fourth reign. Cena is the public face of ...more

21
10 18
Lindsey Vonn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
Hormony added age 33 Lindsey Caroline Vonn is an American World Cup alpine ski racer on the United States Ski Team. She has won four World Cup championships—one of two female skiers to do so, along with Annemarie ...more

22
34 229
Venus Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 37 Venus Ebony Starr Williams is an American professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1 and is ranked World No. 11 in singles as of February 1, 2015. She has been ranked World No. 1 in ...more

23
33 239
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 29 Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player who plays with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 9 in and weighing 240 pounds, ...more

24
28 221
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 39 Drew Christopher Brees is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. After a prolific college football career at Purdue University, he was ...more

25
28 232
Wayne Rooney is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 32 Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team. He has played much of his career as a forward, but he has ...more

26
25 222
Russell Westbrook is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 29 Russell Westbrook Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. Westbrook played college basketball ...more

27
24 223
Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 26 Kyrie Andrew Irving is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in West ...more

28
14 135
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 34 Aaron Charles Rodgers is an American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Rodgers played college football for California, where he set several career ...more

29
22 217
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30 Sidney Patrick Crosby, ONS is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who serves as captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. Crosby was drafted first overall by the ...more

30
18 177
Russell Wilson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added age 29 Russell Carrington Wilson is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the 12th pick in the third round ...more

31
22 224
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 28 James Edward Harden, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. Harden played college basketball for ...more

32
13 133
Odell Beckham Jr. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 25 Odell Cornelious Beckham Jr., is an American football wide receiver for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2014 ...more

33
20 217
Alexander Ovechkin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
Dave_7672 added age 32 Alexander Mikhailovich "Alex" Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. Prior to playing in the NHL, ...more

34
19 214
Jordan Spieth is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 24 Jordan Alexander Spieth is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour, currently ranked second in the world rankings. Spieth won his first major at the Masters in 2015 with a score of 270, ...more

35
19 219
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 47 Philip Alfred Mickelson is an American professional golfer. He has won 42 events on the PGA Tour, including five major championships: three Masters titles, a PGA Championship, and an Open ...more

36
10 126
Matt Ryan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 30 Matthew Thomas "Matt" Ryan is an American football quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was drafted in the first round as the third overall pick in ...more

37
10 133
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 34 Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Pittsburgh, and ...more

38
16 217
Mike Trout is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 26 Michael Nelson "Mike" Trout is an American professional baseball center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Major League Baseball. Trout is an American League Most ...more

39
16 226
Aaron Judge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 25 Aaron Judge is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). Judge played college baseball at Fresno State. A right-handed batter and ...more

40
15 223
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 36 Hope Amelia Solo is an American soccer goalkeeper and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She has been goalkeeping for the United States women's national soccer team since 2000. After playing at ...more

41
11 163
Chloe Kim is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added Chloe Kim (born April 23, 2000) is an American snowboarder. She is a 2018 Winter Olympics gold medalist, four-time X Games gold medalist and the first woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding ...more

42
11 165
Shohei Otani is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added Shohei Otani age 23 Shohei Ohtani is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham ...more

43
8 129
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 26 Quintorris Lopez "Julio" Jones is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Falcons with the sixth overall pick ...more

44
8 130
Julian Edelman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 31 Julian Edelman is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the New England Patriots. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Patriots. He played college ...more

45
7 124
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 26 Justin James "J. J." Watt is an American football defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Wisconsin and ...more

46
11 212
Shaun White is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 31 Shaun Roger White is an American professional snowboarder and skateboarder. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He holds the X-Games records for gold medals and highest overall medal count, ...more

47
6 129
Rob Gronkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 26 Robert James "Rob" Gronkowski, nicknamed "Gronk", is a tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He played college football for the University ...more

48
6 131
Le'Veon Bell is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
LuckyDarth123 added age 23 Le'Veon Bell is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played ...more

49
9 215
Giancarlo Stanton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 28 Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his major league debut on June 8, 2010, as a ...more

50
7 165
Manny Machado is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added age 25 Manuel Arturo Machado is a Dominican-American professional short stop for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. He attended Brito High School in Miami. Machado was drafted by the ...more