ESPN The Magazine’s World Fame 100, Featuring Multiple Covers with Athletes Bryce Harper, Anthony Joshua and Naomi Osaka, on Newsstands Friday

ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine’s World Fame 100, Featuring Multiple Covers with Athletes Bryce Harper, Anthony Joshua and Naomi Osaka, on Newsstands Friday

  • Fourth Annual World Fame 100 Issue Ranks the Biggest Names in Sports
  • Bryce Harper First MLB Player to Make the List Since 2016

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ESPN The Magazine ranks the most famous athletes from around the world in its fourth annual World Fame 100 issue, hitting newsstands Friday. Senior writer Peter Keating, with help from The Mag’s research department and ESPN’s Sports Analytics group, ranked 800 athletes from 78 countries based on a proprietary formula that took into account three fame factors: Google trend score, endorsement dollars, and social media followers, to calculate an overall ranking of 2019’s 100 most famous athletes. In “The Faults in Our Stars,” Keating explores why this year’s ranking shows that being well-known is not the same as being well-liked… or even successful.

Top 20 Athletes of 2019 World Fame 100 Rankings:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. LeBron James
  3. Lionel Messi
  4. Neymar
  5. Conor McGregor
  6. Roger Federer
  7. Virat Kohli
  8. Rafael Nadal
  9. Stephen Curry
  10. Tiger Woods
  11. Kevin Durant
  12. Paul Pogba
  13. MS Dhoni
  14. Kylian Mbappe
  15. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  16. Antoine Griezmann
  17. Serena Williams
  18. Yuvraj Singh
  19. Mesut Ozil
  20. Novak Djokovic

Full list:

Bryce Harper, Anthony Joshua and Naomi Osaka all grace the cover of the World Fame 100 issue and are among the deep dives looking at some of the athletes on 2019’s list. Harper, the first MLB player to make the list since 2016, just signed the most lucrative deal in American sports history. Senior writer Tim Keown breaks down how it happened, plus what’s next for the new Phillies right fielder in an exclusive interview. In “The One and Only Naomi Osaka,” The Undefeated’s Soraya Nadia McDonald looks at the tennis player who made a meteoric rise to World No. 1 and what makes her dangerous to competitors. British boxer Anthony Joshua is hoping to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in nearly 20 years. The Mag writer and associate editor Dotun Akintoye tells the story of the fighter who may become the sport’s next biggest star in “One World Under Anthony Joshua.”

The World Fame 100 also includes:

Flashes of Fame

Not all fame takes years of cultivation. Here are the stories behind three insta-viral moments that took over our feeds from this past year.

Wade, Out

Sitting down with Dwyane Wade as his storied NBA career winds down to discuss his legacy and what comes next. By Justin Tinsley, in collaboration with The Undefeated

In the Spotlight, Out of Reach

In September, a woman named Kathryn Mayorga accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in his Vegas penthouse in 2009. Las Vegas police reopened a criminal investigation, and Mayorga filed a civil suit. ESPN global sports contributor Sam Borden explains why, six months later, the case remains in legal limbo.

Yet Another Year of Living Famously

Globally famous athletes … they’re just like us! Or they would be, if they ever stopped creating soap-opera-caliber viral moments. Behold the year in absurdity, high drama and pointless meme-ery. By Dotun Akintoye

Also in this issue:

Fighting for Araya

Rather than shielding her young daughter Araya from her MMA career, Michelle Waterson is bringing her along every step of the way. Araya has now become the most powerful force behind one of the most successful fighters in the UFC. By Tisha Thompson and Simon P. Baumgart

Milwaukee’s Best

Giannis Antetokounmpo is making a defensible case for MVP. (That case: 27.0, 12.6 and 5.9 and an NBA-high 11.1 win shares.) But the Bucks are more than one freaky Greek. They’re arguably the NBA’s best team. Defensible? Read on… By Anthony Olivieri


Experts look at college hoops stars Grant Williams (Tennessee) and Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State) ahead of the men’s and women’s tournaments. By Anthony Olivieri and Sachin Dave Chandan

Smooth Operator

Ice maintenance secrets from the NHL’s only woman Zamboni driver, Alison Murdock of the Tampa Bay Lightning. By Greg Wyshynski

Batter Up! You Make the Call

A very Mad Libby preview of the MLB season. By Sam Miller

House of Devising Fun

In this edition of “Hang Time with Sam Alipour”, we spend an afternoon at the home of Yasiel Puig, baseball’s tongue-wagging, coach-smooching oracle of joy. The soiree goes exactly as you’d expect: Boisterous celebrations, lighthearted trash talk over games of FIFA and poker, and screaming—lots of screaming.

Home on the Midrange

The long 2 is dead, right? So why are the Warriors shooting so many of them? Two words: Kevin Durant. By Anthony Olivieri

 Safe at Home

In this photo essay, we chronicle Clayton Kershaw’s recent trip to the Dominican Republic to help the victims of human trafficking. By Mike Stocker

Every Day is Thanksgiving

A guest column from a Special Olympics track and field star, whose list of challenges pales in comparison with the list of things she’s grateful for. By Mallory Morris

The Stitches are Showing

Columnist Howard Bryant takes a look at the looming labor war in Major League Baseball.




Jennifer Cingari Christie

Based in New York City, Jennifer Cingari Christie is a Communications Manager for ESPN Films and Original Content. Her projects include the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, ESPN The Magazine and The ESPYS, among others.
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