The 100 Most Famous Athletes on the Planet


Golf is a worldwide game, eclipsing even Alabama football (I know, right?) on the scale of big time sports across the globe. So it should come as no surprise that golfers are plentiful in ESPN's World Fame 100 list. These are the 100 most famous athletes on the planet, as measured by their endorsements, social media following and internet searches.

The only golfer to make the Top 10 was the recently arrested Tiger Woods, but Pensacola's own Bubba Watson made the list of most famous at #94. Here's what they had to say about Bubba:

Watson is a putting paradox -- extremely popular with fans but something of a pariah to many of his peers on the PGA Tour. The two-time Masters champion is known for his colorful public personality and willingness to speak candidly. He also was listed as the player least likely to receive help in a fight in an anonymous poll of PGA Tour members in 2015. On the course, Watson has won nine PGA Tour events over the course of his career and climbed as high as #2 in the world rankings.

The #1 spot on this list goes to Portuguese soccer player Christiano Ronaldo. And American football was also well-represented: Saints QB Drew Brees (#52) and Giants (and former SEC) QB Eli Manning (#60) are among the names that have some regional importance.

Women were vastly underrepresented; I counted just seven: 

  • Hope Solo, embattled (former) goalkeeper for the US Women's National soccer team
  • Ronda Rousey, UFC fighter
  • Serena Williams, tennis
  • Maria Sharapova, tennis
  • Simone Byles, US Olympic gymnast
  • Caroline Wozniacki, tennis
  • Aly Raisman, US Olympic gymnast


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