Cape Town – Star Proteas batsman AB de Villiers is the sole South African featured in ESPN’s World Fame 100 of 2018.
The American sports publication rounded up the Top 100 athletes in the world based on a formula that took into account ‘three fame factors’: Google Trend score, social media following and endorsement dollars.
According to ESPN, to find the 100 most famous athletes in the world, they started with 600 of the biggest names in sports, drawn from 67 countries.
De Villiers is arguably one of the biggest sports personalities that the country has ever produced and slotted at No 99 on the list.
The 34-year-old had a Google Trend score of 4, social media following of 5.7m and endorsements up to the value of $4.5m (R56 million).
De Villiers, who is back in South Africa after the Royal Challengers Bangalore failed to reach the IPL playoffs, has played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is thus far for the Proteas.
Real Madrid and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo topped the ESPN list for a third straight year.
ESPN World Fame 100 top 20:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2. LeBron James (United States of America)
3. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
4. Neymar (Brazil)
5. Roger Federer (Switzerland)
6. Tiger Woods (United States of America)
7. Kevin Durant (United States of America)
8. Rafael Nadal (Spain)
9. Stephan Curry (United States of America)
10. Phil Mickelson (United States of America)
11. Virat Kohli (India)
12. Serena Williams (United States of America)
13. Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
14. Floyd Mayweather (United States of America)
15. Rory McIlory (Northern Ireland)
16. Jordan Spieth (United States of America)
17. Sun Yang (China)
18. Conor McGregor (Ireland)
19. Gareth Bale (Wales)
20. MS Dhoni (India)
99. AB de Villiers (South Africa)