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Lionel Messi tops list of world's most marketable athletes but Cristiano Ronaldo drops 26 places

Lionel Messi tops list of world's most marketable athletes but Cristiano Ronaldo drops 26 places

Messi has topped the list.

Lionel Messi has topped the list of the world’s most marketable athletes while Cristiano Ronaldo has plunged down the pecking order.

Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has topped the list of the 50 most marketable athletes for a second time.

It comes after the Argentine inspired his country to World Cup glory in Qatar in December, before securing a lucrative move from Paris Saint-Germain to MLS side Inter Miami, earning him even greater exposure to a global audience.

As per Sports Pro Media, the former Barcelona icon's on-pitch influence has translated to marketability, as he tops the list three years after coming first in 2020.

Messi is one of just four footballers in the top ten, with USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who retired last month, in fifth, and her international teammate Alex Morgan in third.

Meanwhile, France and PSG icon Kylian Mbappe is in ninth, a place higher than last year.

Second to Messi is NBA superstar LeBron James, while seven-time All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo sits in fourth.

Furthermore, US alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin is ranked sixth, while seven-time world champion Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, gymnast Simone Biles, and Max Verstappen round out the top 10.

Ronaldo, who was last year’s winner, has fallen to 27th on the list upon his pioneering move to Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in January.

British football’s first representative is Barcelona star and Lioness Lucy Bronze in 15th, two places ahead of her international captain Leah Williamson.

The first men’s England star in the ranking is Harry Kane, who is in 22nd after securing a high-profile move to Bayern Munich during the summer’s transfer window.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Kylian Mbappe, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen