3.6k voters

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

Updated May 3, 2021 47.5k votes 3.6k voters 33.5k views80 items

List RulesVote 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 in 2021, 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 in 2021. 

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

  • 1
    Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese...  more

    More Cristiano Ronaldo 

    #81 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked#301 of 489 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are

  • 2
    Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] (listen); born...  more

    More Lionel Messi 

    #2 of 1,299 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#128 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • 3
    Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American...  more

    More Michael Jordan 

    Wild Stories And Rumors About Michael Jordan#598 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • 4

    Usain Bolt

    Age: 34
    Usain St Leo Bolt (; born 21 August 1986) is a retired Jamaican sprinter. He is a world...  more

    More Usain Bolt 

    #1113 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time#3 of 1,424 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 5
    ← Roger Federer (German pronunciation: [ˈrɔdʒər ˈfeːdərər]; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss...  more

    More Roger Federer 

    #6 of 216 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time#2 of 97 The Best Men's Tennis Players in the World Right Now

  • 6
    LeBron Raymone James Sr. (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball...  more

    More LeBron James 

    The Best LeBron 16 Colorways, Ranked#234 of 244 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 7
    Conor Anthony McGregor (born July 14, 1988) is an Irish former professional mixed martial...  more
  • 8


    Age: 28
    Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born...  more

    More Neymar 

    #26 of 138 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time#30 of 114 The Best FC Barcelona Players Of All Time, Ranked

  • 9
    Virat Kohli (pronunciation ; born 5 November 1988) is an Indian cricketer who currently...  more
  • 10
    Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (Catalan: [rəf(ə)ˈɛl nəˈðal pəˈɾeɾə], Spanish: [rafaˈel naˈðal...  more

    More Rafael Nadal 

    #36 of 116 The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time#2 of 33 Best Current Men's Tennis Serves

  • 11

    John Cena

    Age: 43
    John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. (; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler,...  more

    More John Cena 

    13 Things You Didn't Know About John Cena#255 of 264 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

  • 12
    Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова, IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ˈjʉrʲjɪvnə...  more

    More Maria Sharapova 

    #59 of 88 The Best Female Celebrity Role Models#10 of 77 The Best Athletes Who Have Used Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • 13
    Novak Djokovic (Serbian: Новак Ђоковић, romanized: Novak Đoković, pronounced [nôʋaːk...  more

    More Novak Djokovic 

    #69 of 163 The Smartest Professional Athletes#2 of 17 The Most Clutch Athletes in Sports Today

  • 14
    Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player and...  more

    More Serena Williams 

    #139 of 360 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2021, Ranked#2 of 49 The Most Influential Women Of 2021

  • 15

    Tom Brady

    Age: 43
    Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for...  more

    More Tom Brady 

    The Funniest Tom Brady Memes For Football Fans#3 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

  • 16
    Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ, -ɛl -]; born 27 March 1986) is a...  more

    More Manuel Neuer 

    #6 of 189 The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time#5 of 32 The Best Goalies In The World Right Now

  • 17
    Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II ( STEF-ən; born March 14, 1988) is an American professional...  more

    More Stephen Curry 

    #45 of 264 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today#313 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time

  • 18
    Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer. He...  more

    More Tiger Woods 

    All Of Tiger Woods' Major Championship Victories#2 of 164 The Best Golfers Of All Time

  • 19
    Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov is an Avar-Russian mixed martial artist. He is a multiple...  more

    More Khabib Nurmagomedov 

    #4 of 146 The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time#2 of 44 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon

  • 20
    Andrés Iniesta Luján (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈdɾes iˈnjesta luˈxan]; born 11 May 1984) is a...  more

    More Andrés Iniesta 

    #36 of 238 The Best Current Soccer Players#22 of 103 Coolest Soccer Players

  • 21
    Lindsey Caroline Vonn (née Kildow ; born October 18, 1984) is an American former World Cup...  more

    More Lindsey Vonn 

    #182 of 1,267 Test 7- The Most Beautiful Women in the World#16 of 62 The Greatest Alpine Skiers of All Time

  • 22
    Rory McIlroy (born 4 May 1989) is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is a member...  more

    More Rory McIlroy 

    #3 of 81 The Best Pro Golfers Right Now, Ranked#1 of 14 The Best Irish Golfers of All Time

  • 23
    Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva (Russian: Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева, IPA: [jɪˈlʲɛnə gɐˈdʐɨjɪvnə...  more

    More Yelena Isinbayeva 

    #14 of 47 Overhyped Athletes Who Still Performed#93 of 152 The Most Influential Athletes Of All Time

  • 24

    Mikaela Shiffrin

    Age: 25
    Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin is an American World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team,...  more


    #101 of 670 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes#21 of 96 The All-Around Best Athletes of 2019

  • 25

    Mohamed Salah

    Age: 28
    Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly (born 15 June 1992) is an Egyptian professional footballer...  more


    #71 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes#3 of 165 Who's the Best Player in the Premier League?