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23-Nov-2019 11:12

Get on my back and I'm going to carry you.'" -- Richard Jefferson, Cleveland teammate He remains the greatest current exponent of global soccer, a player of such otherworldly skill that the one remaining question to be answered in his career is whether he can be considered the best in the game's history.

We could wax lyrical all day about the Barcelona and Argentina nonpareil's unreal goals, visionary assists and magic wand of a left foot, but it's surely better to simply follow his old mentor Pep Guardiola's wistful advice: "Don't write about him, don't try to describe him.

For special situations (esports and China) we used two additional categories: other social media -- for when the athlete was more relevant on a platform outside the Big Three (Twitch, for example, although no gamers made the top 100) -- and, in China's case, Baidu search score, because Google is blocked there.

Salary is not used as a factor because of differences among sports. We have also excluded amateur athletes -- Deshaun Watson, Lonzo Ball and Katie Ledecky, for example -- due to lack of salary and endorsements.

Bolt has won eight Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 4x100 relay, the most for any sprinter (it would have been nine if a 2008 Jamaican relay teammate hadn't failed a doping test), and holds the world record in the 100 (9.58 seconds) and the 200 (19.19).

Bolt, 30, will get considerable attention this summer during and after the world championships in London, which he has said will be his final competition.

Endorsement amounts cover 2016 and were compiled by ESPN researchers. Still, he steered Real Madrid to another Champions League triumph and Portugal to the European Championship in 2016 and lifted the Ballon d'Or as the world's premier player again.

This year, it was inspiring the greatest comeback in the game's annals for Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League with an individual tour de force that Liverpool great Steve Gerrard hailed as one of the greatest he'd ever seen. Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of analytics, devised a formula that combines endorsements with social media following and internet search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings.(Note: NA means either an athlete doesn't have an official account for a social media site or an accurate endorsement figure could not be confirmed.) is our annual attempt to create a ranking, through statistical analysis, of the 100 most famous athletes on the planet.We started with Forbes' annual list of the highest-paid athletes and expanded the pool from there using a variety of domestic and international sources to make sure we didn't overlook any legitimate candidates.(You can find the 2016 World Fame 100 here.) We also sought input from ESPN journalists around the world, including colleagues in our bureaus in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

This year, it was inspiring the greatest comeback in the game's annals for Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League with an individual tour de force that Liverpool great Steve Gerrard hailed as one of the greatest he'd ever seen.

Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of analytics, devised a formula that combines endorsements with social media following and internet search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings.

(Note: NA means either an athlete doesn't have an official account for a social media site or an accurate endorsement figure could not be confirmed.) is our annual attempt to create a ranking, through statistical analysis, of the 100 most famous athletes on the planet.

We started with Forbes' annual list of the highest-paid athletes and expanded the pool from there using a variety of domestic and international sources to make sure we didn't overlook any legitimate candidates.

(You can find the 2016 World Fame 100 here.) We also sought input from ESPN journalists around the world, including colleagues in our bureaus in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

And he continued to bolster his fame this year when he won the 2017 Australian Open, becoming at age 35 the oldest man to win the event since Ken Rosewall in 1972.