The debate as to whether Messi or Ronaldo is the best is never ending. It’s been going on for ages. And as per our estimation, it’s set to continue till the end of time.


But by the looks of it, Ronaldo has beaten Lionel Messi. For the time being atleast. The first question that will pop up into your head is How?

Well, let us clear the air a little bit. Each year ESPN comes out with its annual list of the Top 100 World Fame Athletes. And this year Cristiano Ronaldo has taken the top spot in that list beating Lionel Messi(3rd).

How exactly is Ronaldo better?

After reading the first bit you will immediately ask that on what basis is the list being calculated? Is it the number of goals? Is it the number of hat-tricks? Or is it the number of games that they have managed to win?

Actually, it’s not quite that simple. ESPN takes into account a lot of things. But almost all of them are non-football related. They look into the value of endorsements that the players have. The amount of social media followers that each player has. So on and so forth.

They collect all these data and then painstakingly come up with the list.

By how much did Ronaldo actually beat Messi?

Well to be honest by a fair number.

  1. The first category was Endorsements. While Messi has endorsements worth 28 million USD. Ronaldo has 32 million worth of it.
  2. Ronaldo has a 93 million followers on Instagram. And Messi has to do with just about 65 million.
  3. Messi has 86.6 million followers on Facebook. But the Portuguese has a whopping 118 million.
  4. Ronaldo has a shade over 50 million followers on Twitter. But Messi does not even have a Twitter account. Maybe he just doesn’t want to be confined to 140 characters.

What does this actually mean?

Let’s keep aside the debate of ‘who-is-better’ for a second and analyze.

Messi might have lost out to Ronaldo in this battle but in a sense both of them are winners.

How you might ask.

You see, the list is not confined to footballers only. It takes into account every sporting personality there is in the world.

So ESPN knows exactly who Cam Newton is, even if you don’t.

Both Ronaldo and Messi have beaten the likes of Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal to make it to the top. And there is only LeBron James standing in between Ronaldo and Messi.

So as of now, Cristiano seems to have a small victory. And with the Champions League final coming up he may manage to gain a couple of million more followers.


You can see the list here.