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Top 10 Most Famous Athletes In the World 2023

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  • Reading time:15 mins read
  • Post last modified:May 6, 2023

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In this post, we will check out the top 10 most famous athletes in the world in 2023.

Sports and athleticism have always been a source of inspiration and admiration for people worldwide. The world of sports has produced some of the most exceptional athletes who have broken records, created history, and captured hearts with their incredible performances.

These athletes not only excel in their respective fields but also become global icons and role models for aspiring athletes and fans alike.

As we step into the year 2023, let’s take a look at the top 10 most famous athletes in the world.

These athletes have not only gained popularity through their incredible performances but also through their off-field charisma and personalities, making them household names worldwide.

From football to basketball, tennis to golf, and beyond, these athletes have become legends in their own right, inspiring generations and captivating audiences with their exceptional talent and skills.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the most famous athletes in the world in 2023.

Top 10 Most Famous Athletes In the World 2023

1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Image Credit- TVP Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for the English club Manchester United and the Portugal national team.

He is often considered the best player in the world and regarded by some players, managers, and experts to be one of the greatest players of all time.

Cristiano Ronaldo has more than 700 million followers on social media. He is a prolific goalscorer and has scored 818 senior career goals for club and country.

He has won 32 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship.

With more than 100 goals at the international level, he is also the nation’s all-time top goalscorer. He guided Portugal to their first major tournament title at Euro 2016 and accepted the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament. 

He is the first footballer and the third sportsman in history to earn US$1 billion in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list of the best 10 widely recognized athletes worldwide in 2023.

2 Lionel Messi

Image Credit- FootballTransfers

Lionel Messi is one of the most famous athletes in the world. He is a football player who plays for PSG and is also considered to be the best footballer of all time.

He was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina. Lionel Messi has won many awards including Seven Ballon d’Or awards and 6 European Golden Shoes.

He had spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he won a club-record 35 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions Leagues. 

Messi holds the national record for appearances and is also the country’s all-time leading goalscorer. He is followed by more than 500 million people on various social media platforms.

According to France Football, he was the world’s highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014 and was ranked the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019 and 2022.

3 Neymar Jr

Image Credit- PSG

Neymar Jr is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 and the Brazil national team.

Neymar has scored at least 100 goals for three different clubs, making him one of three players to accomplish this.

 As part of Barcelona’s attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, he won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. 

Neymar is the second-highest goalscorer for his national team, following Pelé. ESPN cited him as the world’s fourth-most famous athlete in 2016. 

He has more than 300 million fans on social media. Neymar Jr is number 3 in our list of the top 10 most famous athletes in the world.

4 LeBron James

Image Credit- Fox5 Vegas

LeBron James is a basketball player who plays for the  Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He is nicknamed “King James“, and is widely considered one of the greatest players ever and is often compared to Michael Jordan in discussions over the greatest basketball player of all time.

He has been selected an NBA All-Star 18 times, to the All-NBA Team a record 18 times, and to the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times. Lebron is followed by more than 250 million people on social media.

In 2022 he became the first and only player in NBA history to collect over 10,000 career points, rebounds, and assists.

James is also the first player in NBA history to accumulate $1 billion in earnings as an active player. Lebron James is number 4 on our list of globally renowned athletes.

5 Virat Kohli

Image Credit- CNBC

Virat Kohli is an Indian cricketer who has made a name for himself as a player of the Indian cricket team. He is also currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team.

Virat won Man of the Tournament twice at the ICC World Twenty20 in 2014 and 2016. He also holds the world record of being the fastest to score 23,000 international career runs.

He is also one of the most famous athletes in India and across other countries like Australia, England, and South Africa where he plays international matches with his teammates against other teams from different countries around Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

In 2016, he was ranked as one of the world’s most famous athletes by ESPN and one of the most valuable athlete brands by Forbes. Virat Kohli is number 5 on our list of highly acclaimed athletes worldwide.

6 Conor McGregor

Image Credit- CBS Sports

Conor McGregor is an Irish professional mixed martial artist and boxer. He currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Conor is the first UFC fighter to hold UFC championships in two weight classes simultaneously.

He is ranked 13 in the UFC lightweight rankings. His bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 lured 2.4 million PPV buys, the most ever for an MMA event.

His boxing match with Mayweather drew 4.3 million PPV buys in North America, the second most in combat sports history. McGregor was ranked as the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2021.

7 Roger Federer

top 10 most famous athletes in the world
Image Credit- Tennis World

Roger Federer is a Swiss former professional tennis player. He was rated world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.

He won 103 ATP singles titles, the second most of all time, including 20 Grand Slam singles titles, and a record eight men’s singles Wimbledon titles.

Between 2003 and 2009 Federer played in 21 out of 28 major singles finals. He has won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times.

He is routinely one of the top ten highest-paid athletes in any sport. Roger Federer is followed by more than 45 million fans on social media.

8 Rafael Nadal

top 10 most famous athletes in the world
Image Credit- El Colombiano

Rafael Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, including 14 French Open titles and four US Open titles.

He was ranked world number one for over 209 weeks and he is regarded as the greatest clay-court player of all time.

His 81 consecutive wins on clay are the longest single-surface win streak in the Open Era.

He also won an Olympic singles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Rafael Nadal is the eighth most famous athlete in the world with more than 40 million social media fans across the world.

9 John Cena

top 10 most famous athletes in the world
Image Credit- InsideSport

John Cena has been a professional wrestler and is currently signed to WWE. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

He won his first singles title, the United States Championship, in 2004, and the following year, he won the WWE Championship.

Cena has won the WWE Championship 13 times, a record for the title. He is also a five-time WWE United States Champion and a four-time world tag team champion.

With more than 36 million social media followers on diverse platforms. John Cena is number 9 in our list of the top 10 most famous athletes in the world in 2023.

10 Tiger Woods

top 10 most famous athletes in the world
Image Credit- PGA Tour

Tiger Woods is a professional golfer and tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men’s major championships, and holds multiple golf records.

Woods is widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time and is one of the most famous athletes in modern history.

He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 and again from June 2005 to October 2010. During this time, he won 13 of golf’s major championships.

He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times. He has won 15 professional major golf championships trailing only Jack Nicklaus, and 82 PGA Tour events.


As you can see, there are many famous athletes in the world and it can be difficult to decide who is the best. That’s why we put together this list of some of our favorites.

There are many factors that go into determining greatness including skill level and career accomplishments.

However, it is important not to forget about charisma which also plays a role in how famous one becomes as well as being able to connect with fans through social media channels like Twitter or Instagram.

Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart. Be will not go anywhere... That's how we create content for you!

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