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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has been named the world’s most marketable athlete, according to the SportsPro Media website list which also includes LeBron James, Alex Morgan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Megan Rapinoe in the top 5 respectively. However, the absence of Portuguese superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo’s name in the top 25 players came as a surprise. 

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The 39-year-old footballer, who currently represents Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, is placed at the 27th position in the list which includes 22 footballer names. Ronaldo, who topped the chart in the year 2022 has slipped to 26 rankings owing to his transfer to the Saudi League from the PL’s Manchester United. 

Top 10 most marketable athletes in the world  

  • Lionel Messi - Football, Argentina, secured a marketability score of 94.81. 
  • LeBron James - Basketball, U.S.A, secured a marketability score of 92.75. 
  • Alex Morgan - Soccer, U.S.A., secured a marketability score of 92.32. 
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Basketball, Nigeria, secured a marketability score of 90.53. 
  • Megan Rapinoe - Soccer, U.S.A, secured a marketability score of 90.14. 
  • Mikaela Shiffrin - Alpine Skier, U.S.A, secured a marketability score of 89.91. 
  • Lewis Hamilton - Motorsport, Britain, secured a marketability score of 89.81. 
  • Simone Biles - Gymnastics, U.S.A, secured a marketability score of 89.48. 
  • Kylian Mbappe - Football, France, secured a marketability score of 89.00. 
  • Max Verstappen - Motorsport, Belgium, secured a marketability score of 88.22. 

Cristiano Ronaldo ranks below Bukayo Saka 

Surprisingly, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo ranked at the 27th spot, which is even behind Arsenal star Bukayo Saka, who is placed 26th. The 22-year-old England footballer couldn’t even find his place in the top 50 last year but now ranks above the 39-year-old legendary footballer. 

The rankings were determined in partnership with NorthStar Solutions Group, which is used to assess several athletes across the globe across key scoring pillars that include brand strength and market power. 

Among the 50 names, 22 of the athletes range from the football world which shows the widespread popularity and strength of the sport.