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Messi, Ronaldo, McGregor: ESPN announce 2019’s top 20 most famous athletes

CRISTIANO RONALDO, Lionel Messi and Neymar all feature in ESPN's top 20 most famous athletes of 2019.

The US-based TV outlet has devised their own formula where they combine three major factors to decide who comes out on top.

According to ESPN, the list is based on three major factors - endorsement, search score and social media followers.

The figures obtained for the endorsements range from both ESPN and Forbes, with the search score measured on how often their name was searched into Google and taking an average of their peak score.

While the social following they claim is taken from their most popular social media account.

20 - Novak Djokovic - endorsements: £16.6m - search score: 21 - social media following: 8.5m

The 31-year-old tennis star is the current No 1 in the world, with the Serbian winning 15 Grand Slams. One of the best players of all time, he is the reigning Australian Open champion.

19 - Mesut Ozil - endorsements: £4.9m - search score: 15 - social media following: 30.9m

The Arsenal ace has won three FA Cups, one La Liga title and the World Cup with Germany in 2014.

18 - Yuvraj Singh - endorsements: £23.3m - search score: 1 - social media following: 14.5m

The cricket legend is still playing at the age of 37 for Punjab, and was part of the Indian squad that won the Cricket World Cup in 2011 where he was named as the player of the tournament.

17- Serena Williams - endorsements: £13.6m - search score: 37 - social media following: 10.8m

American star will go down as the best female tennis player when she retires having won 23 Grand Slam's and four Olympic gold medals.

16 - Antoine Griezmann - endorsements: £17.3m - search score: 20 - social media following: 22.6m

Griezmann starred for France as they won the World Cup in Russia last summer, while he also fired Atletico Madrid to Europa League glory.

15 - Khabib - endorsements: £2.93m - search score: 100 - social media following: 13.4m

The Russian has amassed a record of 27-0 in MMA - notably defending his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor in October.

14 - Kylian Mbappe - endorsements: £14.2m - search score: 32 - social media following: 23.5m

Another member of Les Bleus' World Cup winning-side, the 20-year-old is regarded as one of the best forwards in world football after bursting on the scene with Monaco.

Now at Paris Saint-Germain, the youngster has continued to go from strength to strength.

13 - MS Dhoni - endorsements: £21m - search score: 5 - social media following: 20.5m

The Indian cricketer captained his country between 2007-2016, and will go down as one of the best wicket-keepers in history.

12 - Paul Pogba - endorsements: £24m - search score: 15 - social media following: 30.7m

Manchester United's record signing at £89m, the World Cup winner has chipped in with 14 goals and 11 assists in 36 games this season.

11 - Kevin Durant - endorsements: £24m - search score: 9 - social media following: 17.4m

The two-time Olympic gold medallist has won two NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

10 - Tiger Woods - endorsements: £31.6m - search score: 20 - social media following: 6.4m

Though injuries have dogged him in recent years, the golfer won his 80th PGA Tour title in September - his first in five years.

9 - Stephen Curry - endorsements: £31.6m - search score: 12 - social media following: 23m

Another Golden State Warriors star, the 31-year-old has won three NBA titles and has been named as the most valuable player twice.

8 - Rafael Nadal - endorsements: £22m - search score: 40 - social media following: 15.6m

The Spaniard has won 17 Grand Slam titles, including a whopping 11 French Open's.

7 - Virat Kohli - endorsements: £15m - search score: 25 - social media following: 37.1m

Another Indian cricket superstar, the 30-year-old is believed to be the current world's best batsmen, and will be hoping to shine at the World Cup this year.

6- Roger Federer - endorsements: £31.2m - search score: 23 - social media following: 14.5m

The Swiss legend is continuing to turn heads at 37, and will be hoping to win his 9th Wimbledon later this year. No male player has won more Grand Slam's than Federer.

5 - Conor McGregor - endorsements: £11.2m - search score: 100 - social media following: 29.7m

The former UFC two-weight world champion is nearing a return to the Octagon once his six-month ban comes to an end. While he has also vowed to return to the boxing ring.

4 - Neymar - endorsements: £14.2m - search score: 55 - social media following: 107.2m

Brazilian trickster joined PSG for a world-record £198m in 2017 from Barcelona. The 27-year-old is currently out with an ankle injury.

3 - Lionel Messi - endorsements: £21m - search score: 54 - social media following: 103.1m

Barca's five-time Ballon d'Or winner has netted 36 goals in as many games this campaign, but an international trophy with Argentina continues to allude him.

2 - LeBron James - endorsements: £39.1m - search score: 47 - social media following: 45.3m

James signed for LA Lakers from Cleveland Cavaliers last year, but his side have struggled in the Western Conference. He is the fourth all-time scorer in NBA with 32,377 points.

1 - Cristiano Ronaldo - endorsements: £27.8m - search score - 100 - social media following - 148m

Portugal forward has thrived in Turin since joining from Real Madrid, spearheading Juventus to the top of Serie A and into the Champions League quarter-finals.

He was labelled as an "alien" by his agent Jorge Mendes following hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo mocks Diego Simeone dance during post match celebration after Juventus win
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