Lionel Messi named most marketable athlete in the world

Superstar footballer, Lionel Messi has topped a list of the world’s top 50 most marketable athletes for the second time, according to new data analysis.

The Inter Miami playmaker achieved a major milestone in 2022-2023 after winning the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina in December.

The 36-year-old inked a lucrative move from Paris Saint-Germain to MLS over the summer and his first start in Florida has earned him even greater exposure to a global audience.

Messi is believed to be preparing to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of October, which will burnish his star further.

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

Messi is one of just four footballers to round out the top ten.  Second on the list, is NBA superstar LeBron James, with seven-time NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo in fourth.

Last year’s winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, was nowhere to be seen on the heels of his move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr, slipping from the top spot to a surprising 27th year-on-year.

Top 10 most marketable athletes – in full 

1. Lionel Messi (football)

2. LeBron James (basketball)

3. Alex Morgan (football)

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (basketball)

5. Megan Rapinoe (footballer – retired)

6. Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing)

7. Lewis Hamilton (F1)

8. Simone Biles (gymnastics)

9. Kylian Mbappe (football)

10. Max Verstappen (F1)  

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