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

“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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Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Plans To Retire From NFL Again

Pro-footballer Marshawn Lynch might take another indefinite break from the National Football League. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch will step away from the turf "after two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders."

CBS Sports reports Lynch prepared to share his decision on staying in the league or exiting after the NFL Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday (April 25). He's been with the Raiders since 2017.

Prior to suiting up for his hometown's team, Lynch launched his pro career with the Buffalo Bills where he was stationed from 2007-2010. Following that stint, the 33-year-old entrepreneur traveled across the country to play for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-2015.

Following his last year with the Seahawks, Lynch publicized his retirement by posting a picture of hanged up cleats on Twitter. In 2017, Lynch laced up once more to join the Oakland Raiders. During a press conference, Lynch shared that he wanted to play for the team before their move to Las Vegas, as a symbol to young children that someone from their town is a part of this movement.

"With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they're from, someone they probably idolized," he said, per USA Today. Lynch also shared the atmosphere he would encounter on game days.

"The way we feel about where we're from, and why we represent so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down," he said. "Every home game that I get to come to this [stadium], I'm probably going to be riding with the whole town."

After two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch is not planning to play football again, league sources tell ESPN.

Now, with the three-day draft kicking off Thursday night in Nashville, the Raiders have one more potential need to address: running back.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019

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— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016

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Russell Wilson Buys Amazon Stock For Select Teammates

Russell Wilson recently made history as the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid player. To celebrate this wealth, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback purchased Amazon stock worth $12,000 apiece for 13 of the team's offensive linesmen, TMZ reports.

The premise behind the gesture is to help set the players on a lucrative path post-NFL. "We all have dreams of what we can build and accomplish off the field," he wrote in a memo. "One important lesson I have learned thus far in my career: The memories on the field will last forever, but we have to constantly prepare for life after football."

In the letter that was sent to his teammates, Wilson said he was indecisive on what to give them as a sign of his appreciation for their protection on the field. "Some were flashy, some were cool, but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact," he said. "Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children." According to CNBC, each linesmen's stock could be worth $270,000 in the next 10 years if Amazon's shares continue to result in a return of 2,200 percent.

Earlier this month, Wilson signed a $140 million contract. He'll suit up with the Seahawks for the next four years. The re-signing follows a previous four-year agreement the 30-year-old athlete made with the team.

 

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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

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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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