Three Chinese athletes on ESPN's World Fame 100 list

Updated 2017-05-31 17:03:42

Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao, table tennis Olympic champion Ma Long and badminton star Lin Dan are among those included on this year's "World Fame 100" list compiled by US-based TV channel ESPN.

Despite his poor performance in the Rio Olympics, Ning Zetao still ranks 66th on ESPN's list for his popularity among Chinese fans. Ma and Lin rank 71st and 88th respectively, the only table tennis player and badminton player on the list.

ESPN has put together its rankings based on a formula that combines salary and endorsements, along with social media presence and popularity on a Google search.

The less-than-scientific approach continues to rank Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo first among the top 100.

His contract status is worth some 32 million US dollars per year.

Ronaldo also has 261 million followers on social media sites.

Second is NBA star LeBron James, followed by football star Lionel Messi in third.

Soccer remains the most popular sport worldwide, with 38 players on ESPN's list.

13 basketball players, 11 golfers and 10 tennis players are ranked among the top 100.

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