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6 Aug, 2019 19:44

Cristiano Ronaldo tops ‘social media’s most valuable athletes’ list

Cristiano Ronaldo tops ‘social media’s most valuable athletes’ list

Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has blown away the field in Forbes’ list of most valuable athletes on social media, while Conor McGregor remains a huge social media draw, despite his relative inactivity.

In the list, ordered by total social media interactions, Ronaldo sits in the top spot with a colossal 887.2 million interactions.

That figure dwarfs those of his fellow athletes in the top 7, with Lionel Messi garnering less than half the interactions of his footballing rival. His 367.1 million interactions see him listed second.

The PSG duo of Neymar (289 million) and Kylian Mbappe (167.6 million) are third and fourth on the list, before the top non-footballer on the list, UFC superstar Conor McGregor in fifth, with 159.7 million.


McGregor’s inclusion is particularly interesting given his relative inactivity in his sport of mixed martial arts. The Dubliner has not fought since UFC 229 back in March, but that hasn’t stopped him from finishing as the only non-footballer in the top seven, with Liverpool's Mo Salah and Juventus star Paulo Dybala rounding out the top spots.

The biggest American sports stars didn’t finish so highly, with the top NBA player, LeBron James, garnering 125.5 million interactions, while the most valuable NFL athlete on social media, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has less than half that number, with 66.4 million.



In another of Forbes’ published sports lists, Spanish giants Real Madrid pipped La Liga rivals Barcelona to the ‘Most Valuable Team’ title with a calculated value of $4.24 billion. 

Barca came in second at a cool $4 billion, while Premier League club Manchester United put one over their cross-town rivals Manchester City by finishing above them in the list.

United was listed third with a value of $3.8 billion, with Bundesliga side Bayern Munich fourth, with a value of $3 billion. City, meanwhile came in fifth, at $2.69 billion.

Forbes’ Most Valuable Football Clubs

1. Real Madrid (La Liga) – $4.239 billion

2. Barcelona (La Liga) – $4.021 billion

3. Manchester United (Premier League) – $3.808 billion

4. Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) –$3.024 billion

5. Manchester City (Premier League) – $2.688 billion

6. Chelsea (Premier League) – $2.576 billion

7. Arsenal (Premier League) – $2.268 billion

8. Liverpool (Premier League) –$2.183 billion

9. Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) – $1.624 billion

10. Juventus (Serie A) – $1.512 billion



The sport of tennis continued to produce the biggest earners in women’s sport, with 12 of the top 15 earners plying their trade on the WTA Tour.

The first 11 names in the list, headed by Serena Williams, are all tennis players, with US soccer star Alex Morgan breaking that run in 12th.

Indian badminton star PV Sindhu and Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn were the only other non-tennis stars on the list in tied-13th and 15th respectively.

Pushing Williams at the top of the list was Naomi Osaka, whose huge $8.3 million earnings were still eclipsed by her endorsements, which came to a massive $16 million, a number beaten only by Williams herself.

Serena’s tough year on tour saw her earn a relatively modest (for her) $4.2 million, but her $25 million in endorsements ensured she remained at the top of the list.

Forbes’ Top Earners In Women’s Sport

1. Serena Williams (tennis) – $29.2 million

2. Naomi Osaka (tennis) – $24.3 million

3. Angelique Kerber (tennis) – $11.8 million

4. Simona Halep (tennis) – $10.2 million

5. Sloane Stephens (tennis) – $9.6 million

6. Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) – $7.5 million

7. Maria Sharapova (tennis) – $7 million

8. Karolina Pliskova (tennis) – $6.3 million

9. Elina Svitolina (tennis) – $6.1 million

=10. Venus Williams (tennis) – $5.9 million

=10. Garbine Muguruza (tennis) – $5.9 million

12. Alex Morgan (soccer) – $5.8 million

=13. PV Sindhu (badminton) – $5.5 million

=13. Madison Keys (tennis) – $5.5 million

15. Ariya Jutanugarn (golf) – $5.3 million