The 18 most famous athletes in the world in 2018

Who is the most famous athlete on the planet?

It's a question sports fans have often asked themselves, and after analysing 600 of the biggest sportsmen and women in the world, ESPN believes it has an answer.

In order to produce its World Fame 100 list, the media giant used three metrics to determine popularity:

  1. Search score (how frequently is a player's name typed into search engines on the internet?)

  2. Endorsements (how much money has the athlete generated from his or her own brand value?)

  3. Social media followers (how many millions of followers does the athlete have on his or her biggest social media channel?)

Once all of these factors were taken into acccount, ESPN was able to whittle the 600 strong list down to a top 100.

Scroll down to see the 18 most famous athletes in the world, ranked in ascending order:

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