UPDATE: Cristiano Ronaldo was just named as ESPN’s most famous athlete. Therefore, it’s not too surprising that he landed on the cover of FIFA 18. The video game is possibly the most popular soccer game out there, and this marks the first time a Real Madrid player lands on the cover.
“It is a real pleasure to be on the cover of FIFA 18,” the soccer star said. “It’s a great feeling and I am grateful to have been chosen.”
These days, athletes are pretty much celebrities. Athletic prowess earns them a spot on the A-list, but usually it’s their big personalities that help them work their way to the top of the fame game. ESPN just released their second annual list of the most famous athletes in the world, and Cristiano Ronaldo has landed at number one.
You’ve most likely heard of him (he is the number one most famous athlete in the world, after all), but here’s the rundown: He plays soccer for Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He’s considered to be one of the greatest soccer players ever to exist. Not only that, but he’s also the world’s best paid athlete. Oh, and he had this weird statue dedicated to him at an airport.
The 32-year-old has several other accolades under his belt. In 2015, he scored his 500th career goal. Recently, he passed up Jimmy Greaves to become the all-time top scorer in the European leagues. He’s won four Ballon d’Or awards, the most of any European player in history.
In addition to his skill on the field, Ronaldo has a BIG personality. He sometimes gets some flack for being cocky, but, hey, at this point he kind of deserves to be. His social status reflects his popularity. He’s got 93 million Instagram followers, 118.1 million Facebook followers and over $32 million in endorsement deals.
The Top 10
Rounding out the top five on ESPN’s most famous athletes list are LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer and Phil Mickelson. After that, we’ve got Neymar, Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods.
No women appear on the list until Ronda Rousey shows up at number sixteen. Serena Williams follows at spot number nineteen.
Take a look at the full list here.