Barça forward Lionel Messi named world's most marketable athlete

The Barcelona captain topped the list ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lebron James

Messi recogió el Trofeo Joan Gamper | FC Barcelona

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been named the world's most marketable sportsman in 2020, topping the Nielsen SportsPro 2020 list of the top 50 athletes.

Messi, 33, comes in ahead of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, with Neymar, Mohamed Salah and Paolo Dybala the other footballers to make the top 10. 

"Designed to accurately monitor social campaign effectiveness and help sponsors maximise impact, Nielsen’s Influencer Selection and Measurement Framework incorporates a range of performance and sponsorship-related KPIs, such as social following, content engagement, fanbase growth over time, media value, and the performance of branded versus organic content," SportsPro explained.

"Under the framework, the Instagram accounts for over 6,000 athletes from 21 sports were tracked over the last 12 months." 

THE TOP 10 

  1. Lionel Messi - Argentine, 33, Football
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo - Portuguese, 35, Football
  3. LeBron James - American, 35, Basketball
  4. Virat Kohli: Indian, 31, Cricket
  5. Bianca Andreescu - Canadian, 20, Tennis
  6. Neymar Jr - Brazilian, 28, Football
  7. Khabib Nurmagomedov - Russian, 32, MMA
  8. Rohit Sharma: Indian, 33, Cricket
  9. Mohamed Salah - Egyptian, 28, Football
  10. Paulo Dybala - Argentine, 26, Football
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