Beckham's crossover appeal cannot be overstated—he was the one athlete little American girls were almost guaranteed to have heard of. He is also the only player after Jimmy Connors to have amassed 100 or more singles titles. He may not be the greatest racer in the world, but he certainly is one of the most popular. Perhaps the most physically dominant specimen ever to grace the hardwood, Shaq Diesel was beloved by fans, feared by opponents and dissected by comedians. And we love both equally. While he's known for winning the NASCAR Championship seven times and winning a record 200 races, it was Richard Petty's work with fans that earned him respect. To put it simply, he was a man who lived for excesses, be it the amount he ate and drank or the number of women he, um, dated. Still, sport is not always a popularity contest, is it? However, in countries like India — where Virat Kohli hails from — there is no bigger sport. (Gosh, having Heiden totally rock along with the US hockey team's defeat of the Soviets made the 1980 Olympics a totally rocking affair for America. memory of Philadelphia's beloved Spectrum. and advice for dealing with problem gambling. James’ popularity has seen him make truckloads of cash in endorsement deals. Tiger Woods is arguably the most famous golfer to have walked the face of the earth. Few pitchers combined Pedro Martinez's talent with his engaging and quote-worthy personality. The only four-time world heavyweight champion, Holyfield is perhaps known best for having his ear chewed off by Mike Tyson. The return of Raheem Moster made Jerick McKinnon... Daily Fantasy Football Sleepers for NFL Week 6 (2020). Were tennis as popular as some of the other sports on this list, Federer would be higher. One of the great moments in American Olympics history. Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League, with 126. Amid his 76 wins and seven championships was Dale Earnhardt's stellar mustache, ever-trimmed and shining bright. A refreshing change from the mundane straight-laced golfer often seen before the 1990s, Australian golfer Greg Norman brought his wild style to the green. Like Ted Williams once said, "They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays.". Multiple Champions League trophies, La Liga titles, Copa del Reys… you name it. It's simply the way of the American sporting cycle. When betting on soccer, for example, we will put our trust in the likes of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to get the job done. For casual fans, this man was an anomaly—for diehards, a legend. 46 in ESPN's SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century in 1999, the only speed skater to make the list... Who wasn't happy for "The Admiral" when he finally he got his championships alongside of Tim Duncan? Additionally, he is a six-time NBA All-Star and two time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Yes he spent 331 weeks ranked as the world No. This puts him second in the all-time list in men’s tennis, which is some accomplishment. Inevitable—Olympians are relevant once every four years, and then people sort of forget about them with all of the other sporting options available. And some are popular even if they aren't dominant or more skilled than others in their sport. The French club broke the world transfer record for the talented forward, paying out €222 million for Neymar’s services. He was a kid who made a bad decision and more pertinently, was documented doing so—end of story. Victoria Beckham enjoys the lackadaisical lifestyle of changing her outfit in every store she enters and her husband gets to seduce millions of female eyes with every obnoxious underwear commercial. But Gehrig was a quiet, decent man who showed up to work 2,130 straight times. Although he has years of soccer left in him, Neymar is already the third-highest goal scorer for the Brazilian national team. He was seen as the driving force behind the ascent of the Golden State Warriors and is among the greatest talents to have ever played the game. His No. Now that Austin's seemingly just an actor, we can look back on an illustrious career for the star wrestler. The 6'4" shortstop changed the game forever and led the way for future sluggers at the once-scrappy position. And that's the short list of Detroit greats. Last week’s daily fantasy football lineups had some holes. Evidently the most fit human on the planet, Daehlie wasn't finished after retiring from the sports world, as the Norwegian hero became a stout businessman, concentrating in real estate and fashion. But also see this: 3,141 career hits and a .338 batting average. Nadal is also one of the most searched-for stars on the planet. Other players make not like him, but fans seem to enjoy his passion and dedication to the game. From rap albums and ridiculous films to reality shows and comedic ploys, O'Neal tried it all. He gave four virtuoso performances, winning gold medals in the 100- and 200- meter dashes, the long jump and on America's 4x100 relay team. If I were to turn on a race, it would be to see what all of this Jimmie Johnson fuss was all about. He loves and respects Tom Brady's game so much that he actually purchased the jersey of another team. If any of the above bothers or offends you, feel free to not mention it. I mean, this guy lives and breathes the Eagles. I mean, he does rank second place in majors and PGA Tour victories. In September of that year, he won his first tournament in five years when he finished first in the Tour Championship. A third-generation driver, Earnhardt Jr. clearly has gasoline running through his veins. No, it was perfect for Musial because that is exactly what he was: A man. The hockey world yearned for his next trick. For Clemente, the Hall of Fame voters waved the mandatory five-year waiting period for induction into the Hall, electing him in 1973. As of July 2019, James has 45.3 social media followers, which is nothing to scoff at. After holding the ATP No. He isn't just a man; he's also a myth. Athletes may be professionals or amateurs. White should have retired as a member of the Eagles. Sports is full of such players, beloved figures we choose to emulate. So who are the most beloved figures in sports history? A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White has appeared on The Girls Next Door, briefly played a role as himself in Friends with Benefits and was named Transworld Snowboarding's Rider of the Year twice. Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Few players are as instantly recognizable in world sports as Rafael Nadal. Considering he's won the Most Popular Driver Award nine times, it's safe to say the son of the late Dale Earnhardt is quite beloved by the racing world. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hasn't had the success on the race track his father had, but he has done alright for himself in other regards—he has been named NASCAR's Most Popular Driver on eight occasions and was named Forbe's third-most influential athlete. Never had wrestling been so exhilarating. After finding a section on his Wikipedia page entitled "Years led league by statistical category," I think I can see why: He is the fastest man ever, and it doesn't hurt that he has the greatest name for a sprinter of all time. That man is Ken Griffey, Jr. Not only is he one of five players to average over 20 points and 20 rebounds during his career, but Gilmore still leads the NCAA in rebounds per game with 22.7. There is little Curry cannot do, making him a treasure to fans of the franchise. He's basically an offensive coordinator on the field, he has the perfect height and vision, a strong and accurate arm, the ability to take a hit in the pocket, a quick release and the moxie to lead a team down the field late in a game. And take that, most boxers Joe Louis fought. Ali wasn't simply a boxer, of course—he was a political figure who became a strong face for the civil rights movement. It is one of the greatest rags-to-riches stories in sports history, and through it all, Warner was a humble, likeable figure. Immense hard work, perseverance, and skill is required to make it to the top, and stay there. One of the most heartwarming moments I’ve ever experienced. All he lacked was a fluffy, curled mustache to complement his ability. During his 20 years with the San Diego Padres, Gwynn never hit below .309 in a full season and only struck out 434 times in 9,288 plate appearances (unheard of). Endorsements, media coverage, television appearances and beauty...the talented ice dancer had it all. Charity work, writing and course design headline a prolific career away from the green. But popularity, well, that's a whole different animal. Here we are going to share a list of top 10 most famous Athletes. Until that day, he will have to be content with being one of the most popular and recognizable players in the game today. Even if you don't follow mixed martial arts, you've easily heard the name Georges St. Pierre numerous times and wondered why his first name ends with an "s.". A scrappy champion, Pac-Man is impossible to despise unless your name is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Sure he played a record 2,632 straight games and finished with 3,184 hits, but Cal Ripken Jr. is applauded most for playing his entire 21-year career in Baltimore. It didn't hurt that the man had some serious game. Nobody has simultaneously dominated long-distance and short-speed skating like Heiden did. Even before hitting it big on the NFL scene, Tim Te-bro was actually quite popular with the Gainesville faithful. The Portuguese has won six league titles and five UEFA Champions Leagues with Manchester United and Real Madrid. As a runner, no one has ever combined his size, strength, agility, speed and vision into one package (Bo Jackson might have had football not been his hobby).

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