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

Updated September 10, 2020 43.2k votes 3.1k voters 27.8k views77 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, 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. 

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  • Cristiano Ronaldo1
    1,636
    800

    BirthplaceSanto António, Portugal

    Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese... more on Wikipedia
  • Lionel Messi2
    1,064
    716

    BirthplaceRosario, Argentina

    Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] (listen); born... more on Wikipedia
  • Usain Bolt3
    684
    482

    Usain Bolt

    Age: 34

    BirthplaceSherwood Content, Jamaica

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

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    #3 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#986 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Michael Jordan4
    165
    87

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

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

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  • Roger Federer5
    863
    677

    BirthplaceBasel, Switzerland

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

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    #6 of 216 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time#20 of 83 The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era

  • Conor McGregor6
    802
    673

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Conor Anthony McGregor (born July 14, 1988) is an Irish former professional mixed martial... more on Wikipedia
  • LeBron James7
    727
    646

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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  • John Cena8
    543
    489

    John Cena

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

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  • Rafael Nadal9
    617
    580

    BirthplaceManacor, Spain

    Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (Catalan: [rəf(ə)ˈɛl nəˈðal pəˈɾeɾə], Spanish: [rafaˈel naˈðal... more on Wikipedia
  • Neymar10
    739
    722

    Neymar

    Age: 28

    BirthplaceMogi das Cruzes, Brazil

    Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born... more on Wikipedia
  • Virat Kohli11
    743
    730

    BirthplaceDelhi, India

    Virat Kohli (pronunciation ; born 5 November 1988) is an Indian cricketer who currently... more on Wikipedia
  • Maria Sharapova12
    627
    613

    BirthplaceNyagan, Russia

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

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    #71 of 87 The Best Female Celebrity Role Models#230 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • Novak Djokovic13
    532
    553

    BirthplaceBelgrade, Serbia

    Novak Djokovic (Serbian: Новак Ђоковић, romanized: Novak Đoković, pronounced [nôʋaːk... more on Wikipedia
  • Manuel Neuer14
    289
    307

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ, -ɛl -]; born 27 March 1986) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • Tom Brady15
    446
    494

    Tom Brady

    Age: 43

    BirthplaceUSA, California, San Mateo

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

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  • Serena Williams16
    363
    432

    BirthplaceSaginaw, Michigan, United States of America

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

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  • Lindsey Vonn17
    286
    346

    BirthplaceSaint Paul, Minnesota, United States of America

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

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    #14 of 62 The Greatest Alpine Skiers of All Time#21 of 82 Celebrities You Think Are The Most Humble

  • Yelena Isinbayeva18
    257
    321

    BirthplaceVolgograd, Russia

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

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    #223 of 670 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes#15 of 47 Overhyped Athletes Who Still Performed

  • Stephen Curry19
    351
    446

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II ( STEF-ən; born March 14, 1988) is an American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Mikaela Shiffrin20
    192
    251

    Mikaela Shiffrin

    Age: 25

    BirthplaceVail, Colorado

    Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin is an American World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team,... more on Wikipedia
  • Andrés Iniesta21
    400
    546

    BirthplaceFuentealbilla, Spain

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

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    #9 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#28 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players

  • Rory McIlroy22
    317
    432

    BirthplaceHolywood, Bangor, United Kingdom

    Rory McIlroy (born 4 May 1989) is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is a member... more on Wikipedia
  • Katie Ledecky23
    167
    239

    BirthplaceBethesda, Maryland

    Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky is an American competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and... more on Wikipedia
  • Laura Dahlmeier24
    156
    225

    BirthplaceGarmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

    Laura Dahlmeier is a German biathlete. Dahlmeier started in her first world cup races in the... more on Wikipedia
  • Marcel Hirscher25
    157
    233

    BirthplaceAnnaberg-Lungötz, Austria

    Marcel Hirscher (born 2 March 1989) is an Austrian World Cup alpine ski racer. Hirscher made... more on Wikipedia