ESPN are attempting to quantify fame. Seriously. Their analysts have conjured up a formula that supposedly takes into account endorsements, social media presence, and Google search popularity to determine an athlete's fame, and with this data, they've compiled a top 100 list of the most famous athletes in the world.
Or, as Awful Announcing put it, "another pointless gimmick [to] toss in the debate echo chamber".
The ESPN World Fame 100 rankings feature three current Chelsea players and a club legend. Amazingly enough, Radamel Falcao is the highest ranked Blue at No. 27, just one spot ahead of Cesc Fabregas. Eden Hazard at No. 42 completes the trifecta.
Former Chelsea great and current New York City FC whipping boy, Frank Lampard, slides in at No. 62. He's the highest ranked MLS player on the list (USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard is the other at No. 96).
While basketball is the most represented sport with 20 players (and the USA the most represented country with 56), there are 17 footballers on the list, including three of the top four overall, none of whom are American. They are the three horsemen of La Liga, Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 1), Lionel Messi (No. 3), and Neymar (No. 4). Mr. Bitey only makes it to No. 22. The Premier League's Rooney, Ozil, Aguero, and Yaya are in there as well, plus Bale and silent James, and of course The Zlatan. Plus one female soccer player, too, the USA's Alex Morgan.