Entertainment Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?  

Celebrity Lists
15.2k votes 952 voters 3.5k 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
582 101
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 34
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
298 143
Roger Federer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 37
Tennis player Roger Federer (born August 8, 1981) is a Swiss tennis professional, currently ranked World No. 1. Many experts and many of his own tennis peers believe that Federer may be the ...more

3
280 163
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 27
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
251 137
Conor McGregor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30
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

5
247 138
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 32
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

6
238 135
Novak Djokovic is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 31
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

7
232 130
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 34
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
238 138
Maria Sharapova is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 31
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

9
231 144
Virat Kohli is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30
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
201 127
Rory McIlroy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 29
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
111 26
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
bigcraig added age 32
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

12
181 157
Sun Yang is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 27
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

13
207 258
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 31
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
147 240
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 34
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
103 259
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
32 32
Yelena Isinbayeva is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
Hormony added age 36
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
73 196
John Cena is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
KittyBusiness added age 41
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

18
78 242
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 37
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
79 249
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 41
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

20
77 242
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 43
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

21
22 31
Lindsey Vonn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
Hormony added age 34
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
46 250
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 30
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

23
41 242
Venus Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 38
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

24
35 231
Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
35 231
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?
age 40
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