That's the whole premise; that's what makes athletes famous nowadays:
- Social media following
- Google search popularity
That just about sums it up. And, when we look at the entire global athletic population, the guys we talk about the most in our corner (for me, that's Philadelphia and Hockey) seem pretty insignificant.
Group 1: Soccer Players
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Lionel Messi
9. James Rodriguez
12. Gareth Bale
17. Wayne Rooney
19. Mesut Ozil
21. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
22. Luis Suarez
24. Sergio Aguero
27. Radamel Falcao
28. Cesc Fabregas
42. Eden Hazard
62. Frank Lampard
86. Yaya Toure
96. Tim Howard
It's a soccer-heavy day for me here at the Bullets Blog, so let's jump right into the list with the jogo bonito. And boy, it really is the world's sport. Three of the top four. Six of the top twenty. Eleven of the top thirty. And we even got an American! (We might have even gotten two, depending on what you want to make of Frank Lampard.)
If soccer has an issue, it's that the Continental tournament match (Euros, Copa America, etc.) separates this group into two tournaments and then doesn't combine them all. I'd love to see the Euro winner and runner-up play a round robin against their American counterparts.
Group 1a: Female Soccer Players
55. Alex Morgan
It's time to ask the difficult question: is ESPN's Ben Alamar a sexist? I mean he included SIXTEEN men on this list and only one beautiful, perfect, amazing woman. So what if the men all make more money and have more athletic ability? This is America, and we demand equal treatment for our inferior groups of people!
Group 2: People I Have Never Heard Of
This is what I was really excited to look into. There are so many sports that are followed by millions (or billions?) of people that I just don't care about at all. These guys and gals all make more money than anyone I will ever meet in my life, and I just learned about them because of this dickhead formula that ESPN posted in between NBA Finals previews.
8. Virat Kohli
Earnings: $7.1 million last year, $20 million net worth
Fun Fact: He is the partial owner of a chain of gyms and fitness centers named Chisel. That's not a joke. His gyms are named Chisel.
14. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Earnings: $31 million last year, $30 million net worth*
(*Note: obviously this makes no sense, but this is what happens when you read an internet blog about the marketability of Indian cricket players.)
Fun Fact: He is the captain of the Indian national cricket team, which basically means he's India's Sidney Crosby or America's Tom Brady if we had an American national football team.
41. Sania Mirza
Earnings: $3 million last year, $25 million net worth
Fun Facts: She was ranked as high as #27 in the world in Singles, then hurt her wrist (no word on how she did that) and now she's ranked #1 in the world in Doubles. Isis hates her on-court attire because it's too slutty for their religious extremist beliefs. Her first wedding was called off altogether, and he second happened under protest from a woman who claimed she was already married to the man that Sania was attempting to marry. India, man.
47. Kei Nishikori
Earnings: $10.5 million last year, $32 million net worth
Fun Fact: He is the only male Japanese tennis player ever to be ranked inside the top 10 in ATP Singles Ranking. he has never won any of the four Grand Slams. He faced some controversy for saying he used one racket, even though some experts thought it was a different racket with a special paint job used to make it look like the first racket.
59. Lewis Hamilton
Sport: Formula One
Earnings: $39 million last year, $200 million net worth
Fun Fact: I actually had heard of him before because I just watched him win the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. And I heard the announcer say that he just recently signed a 3 year, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR contract to drive a car as fast as he possibly can and party his nuts off. He might be a fair way below the big names on this ESPN list, but make no mistake: Lewis Hamilton absolutely lives the life that everyone wants to live.
75. Fernando Alonso
Sport: Forumla One
Earnings: $35.5 million last year, $40 million net worth
Fun Fact: He's like the slightly less cool Lewis Hamilton. He's a little older, a little less good at driving cars, and a little less filthy rich. When he moved from Switzerland back to Spain to be closer to his family, his tax bill shot up by £50 million.
81. Lydia Ko
Nationality: South Korean/New Zealander
Earnings: $1.1 million this year, $6 million career, $7.5 million net worth
Fun Fact: Move over, Michelle Wie! There is another Asian chick on the golf circuit!
97. Kimi "The Ice Man" Raikkonen
Sport: Formula One
Earnings: $27 million last year, $180 million net worth
Fun Fact: I mean if "The Ice Man" isn't fun enough for you then I don't know what else could possibly push it over the top.
I hope you learned some new fun facts today. I'm off to go learn how to become a Formula One driver because Holy Fucking Christ those guys make a lot of money.