Who are the Most Popular Athletes of the 21st Century?

July 8, 2022

Sport stars have always had a special place in human society. In the 20th century, athletes began to enjoy the same success as film stars, musicians, and other celebrities, to the point where they are recognizable, even by people who don’t enjoy the sport. Some of the biggest athletes of the 20th century include people like Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Pele, etc. In the 21st century, we continue the tradition of placing athletes on a pedestal. In this article, we are taking a look at the most popular sport stars of the past 20+ years.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Considering football is the biggest sport in the world today, it is no surprise that the most popular footballer is going to make it to the top of this list. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players active today, and considered by many to even be the greatest of all time. His professional career began in Manchester United, where he plays today as well. However, over the course of his long career, he has played for a number of the greatest football clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid and Juventus. Ronaldo also captains the Portuguese national football team. Betting sites like betstation.com rightfully rank him as one of the greatest, and clubs with Ronaldo on their side always do well in terms of wagers placed on their victory.

Michael Phelps

Phelps made his fame as one of the most successful athletes in the Olympics. He rose to prominence after winning a record of 23 Olympic gold medals, the highest amount of medals out of an Olympian in history. A competitive swimmer, Phelps has won 13 gold medals in individual events, and another 16 silver and bronze medals. Over the course of his career, he also set 39 world records in the sport of swimming.

Tiger Woods

One of the most popular golfers of all time, Tiger Woods has done everything in his power to make sure he reaches the top. He started playing the game from a very young age (16-years-old). In 1997, at the age of 22 he first reached the number one ranking, and over the course of his career he has won 13 major golf championships. Mr. Woods has been embroiled in a few controversies, all of which are explored, along with his hugely successful career in an HBO documentary series.

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian tennis player has been making the rounds since his debut, and quickly rising through the ranks to become one of the greatest in the world. Today, Djokovic is ranked as the number 1 best tennis player in the world, a title which he has retained for a record of 369 weeks. And speaking of records, Djokovic has won a record of nine Australian Open titles, 37 Masters, and is the first man to achieve a double career Grand Slam. All of this, has certainly earned him the acclaim as one of the most popular athletes working today.

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