All eyes will be on Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday 26th May 2018. This is because the two stars will be expected to fight tooth and nail to deliver UEFA Champions League crown to Liverpool and Real Madrid respectively. The showdown will kickoff less than 72hrs from now but before then, we want to see who between them is more popular in the World according to ESPN latest report. We want to focus on five most popular sportsmen in 2018.
5. Roger Federer- Tennis
Roger Federer is the most recognizable figure in Tennis globally today. No matter where you go, there is always someone around the corner who knows something about the Switzerland legendary sportsman. The 36-year-old has seen it all and conquered all since 2003 when he lifted his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. He has so far won 20 Grand Slam titles and he is not about to drop his racket any time soon. He holds 29 Tennis Guinness World Records. Based on Social media following, endorsements deals and search score, he is the fifth most popular athlete in the World today.
4. Neymar- Football (PSG)
World most expensive player Neymar takes position four on the 2018 list of most popular athletes in the World today. The Brazilian shocked the football World when he agreed to make a €222 million switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Catalan fans and indeed everybody in the sport could not believe such a transfer was possible until it happened. However, the 25-year-old is still behind his former teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to popularity. According to ESPN research, based on social media following, endorsements deals and search score, he is the fourth most popular sportsman globally and third in soccer.
3. Lionel Messi- Football (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi is currently the highest paid footballer after signing a new four-year deal in 2017 that will keep him at Barcelona until 2021. The five times World Player of the year helped his club lift La Liga and Copa Del Rey in the just concluded season but he failed to produce in UEFA Champions League once again.
The Argentina magician will hope luck is in his side this summer when he leads his nation in Russia World Cup 2018. The South American nation reached the final in 2014 but Germany was too good for his team. When it comes to popularity, Cristiano Ronaldo is still ahead of him. ESPN research has ranked the Portuguese ahead of him in terms of popularity based on social media following, endorsements deals and search score. Le Bron James is also ahead of him if we consider other sports.