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Cristiano Ronaldo tops ‘ESPN World Fame 100’ rankings

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session at Valdebebas Sport City in Madrid on May 30, 2017 during the Media Day prior to the UEFA Champions League match final against Juventus. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pierre-Philippe Marcou


ESPN widely was mocked in 2007 for a summer dog days time-filler called “Who’s Now,” in which a bracket-style contest was used to determine “the ultimate sports star” of the moment.
The complaints were twofold: First that it was silly and meaningless, and second that it was obvious from the start who would win: Tiger Woods.
That he did, easily defeating young LeBron James in the final with 65 percent of fan voting to 35 for James.
Ten years later, both still are in the news this week, only one for positive reasons.
ESPN did not repeat the “Who’s Now” idea in 2008 or beyond, but it came up with another last year, one more global in reach called the “ESPN World Fame 100” rankings.
It aims to use a formula that combines endorsements, social media following and Internet search popularity to quantify fame for active athletes.
This year’s list, released Tuesday, features James at No. 2 and Woods at No. 10.
The only other Americans in the Top 10 are Phil Mickelson at No. 5 and Kevin Durant at No. 8.
Cristiano Ronaldo ranks first, Lionel Messi third, Roger Federer fourth, Neymar sixth, Usain Bolt seventh and Rafael Nadal eighth.
Serena Williams is the top-ranked woman at 19. New York-area athletes include Derrick Rose (No. 33), Carmelo Anthony (41), Eli Manning (60) and Odell Beckham Jr. (64).
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