Portugal v Wales - Semi Final: UEFA Euro 2016
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And The Most Famous Athlete On The Planet Award Goes To...

Is it LeBron James, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, or Cristiano Ronaldo?

“He’s a world star in soccer like Michael Jordan was in basketball. They have both been blessed with a genius that has never been seen before.”

If you had Cristiano Ronaldo in mind, then you guessed accurately. The above quote was stated by the former manager of Real Madrid and Portugal, Carlos Queiroz. ESPN released their “World Fame 100” list Tuesday (May 30) with the forward clocking in at the very top for the second year in a row. With 261.5 million social media followers within the Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and $32 million in endorsements, the soccer star has everyone else beat.

ESPN’s director of analytics, Ben Alamar, created the formula which examines five categories: Facebook followers, Twitter followers, Instagram followers, Google Trends score to track search engine popularity, and endorsements. They extract their candidates, first, from Forbes’ annual highest paid athletes ranking. From there, they sift through other domestic and international sources to ensure inclusivity.

Surpassing the soccer mega star in with $55 million in endorsements, but falling short with social media followers, is the king himself, LeBron James. Often pinned against, arguably, the all-time most famous basketball player, Michael Jordan, ESPN details James with an impressive resume including the notable 3-1 Finals triumph of last year which brought Cleveland its first NBA Championship, an acting gig in Amy Schumer’s 2015 film, “Trainwreck,” and likens him to a hero-turned-villain-turned superhero. Not to mention, King James has been able to maintain the hype around his talent since Sports Illustrated decorated their cover with his regality in 2002, denoting him “The Chosen One.”

Following after with the number 3 spot is another notable soccer star, Lionel Messi, with $28 million in endorsements and 151.7 million social media followers. Surprising to some, and not so much to others, tennis player, Roger Federer dominates the number 4 rank, beating out fellow tennis superstar, Serena Williams. There was much public criticism when GQ shared a tweet naming Federer “the greatest tennis player of all time.” But as far as the numbers go, Federer dominates with $60 million in endorsements and 23.7 total followers, while Williams holds the 19th spot with $20 million in endorsements and 18.3 total followers.

The NBA, with the most visible presence among their athletes, has three more entries into the top 25 with Kevin Durant at 8, Stephen Curry at 11, and Dwyane Wade rounding out at 24. The league holds three consecutive spots with 33-35 with Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook, respectively.

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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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Mike Ehrmann

Tiger Woods Wins The 2019 Masters

Sunday afternoon (April 14) Tiger Woods has won the Masters tournament, his first major win in 11 years. The win marks an official comeback for the athlete after more than a decade of scandals and career lows.

The 43-year-old golf pro walked up to the 18th hole as the crowd cheered, reminiscent of years prior when Woods dominated the sport.

After clinching the title, Tiger smiled and threw his fist in the air. He then hugged his son in the same place he once hugged his father after a Masters win.

WATCH: The moment Tiger Woods makes a historic 11-year comeback as he wins #TheMasters 2019 pic.twitter.com/YlqYRcSwyw

— The Speaker (@TweetTheSpeaker) April 14, 2019

Shortly after his win, Twitter erupted.

“Tiger Woods’ playing career is over. He will never win another major. It’s dead. Bury it.”

Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters: pic.twitter.com/8AmFPxJ6RV

— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) April 14, 2019

https://twitter.com/JamalJimoh/status/1117495211737796608

Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 14, 2019

However, Tiger's win was also met with mixed reviews by those who remember the player's past offenses, comments, and association.

nothing displays america’s collective ability to compartmentalize quite like a tiger woods victory. we don’t even really like this dude but this feels amazing.

— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) April 14, 2019

Caniblasian golfers winning today. This y’all mans? #TheMasters pic.twitter.com/TQniFveUPD

— Alvin aqua Blanco (@Aqua174) April 14, 2019

Trump gonna tweet congrats to Tiger and the whole TL gonna be like pic.twitter.com/PBIfrFvkuJ

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 14, 2019

This is Tiger Woods' fifth Masters and after the game, he briefly spoke about the importance of the moment 22 years after his first win.

“It’s come full circle,” Woods said after the win. “It’s a special feeling.”

Congrats to Tiger Woods.

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Allison Farrand

Students At Lebron James' "I Promise" School Exceed Test Score Expectations

It's been nearly a year since Lebron James opened the "I Promise" school in Akron, OH, and so far, the results and impact has been tremendous. According to a new report from The New York Times, the students' test scores have exceeded all expectations.

There are reportedly just 240 students in the inaugural third and fourth grade classes at the school, but their test scores in math and reading have shown a huge improvement. Before the school year started, the students' reading scores were in the one percentile. After taking the district-wide exams one year later, however, the third graders scored in the ninth percentile and the fourth graders in the 16th percentile.

The same improvement was reflected in their math scores. The third graders jumped from the one percentile to the 18th, while the fourth graders moved up from the second to the 30th percentile. Overall, test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, according to the Northwest Evaluation (NWEA).

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected," Lebron told The Times. "When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school... People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors."

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