Lionel Messi Tops a List of the Most Marketable Athletes in the World

Inter Miami’s Argentine forward #10 Lionel Messi reacts after scoring his team’s second goal during the Major League Soccer 2023 match between Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls at the Red Bull arena in Harrison, New Jersey, August 26, 2023. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR / AFP)

Lionel Messi, the world’s most marketable athlete, has topped a list of the top 50 most marketable athletes for the second time, according to fresh data research.

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After Argentina won the World Cup in Qatar in December, the Inter Miami playmaker reached a crucial milestone in 2022-2023.



Over the summer, the 36-year-old signed a lucrative transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to MLS, and his first start in Florida has given him even more exposure to a global audience.


Messi is expected to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of October, further elevating his star.



According to Sports Pro Media, the former Barcelona icon’s success on the field has translated to his marketability, as he tops the list just three years after coming first in 2020.


Messi is one of only four footballers in the top ten.NBA superstar LeBron James is second on the list, with seven-time NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo coming in fourth.


Cristiano Ronaldo, last year’s winner, was nowhere to be found following his move to Saudi Pro League team Al-Nassr, sliding from first to a startling 27th year on year.


Top 10 most marketable athletes – in full 

1. Lionel Messi (football)

2. LeBron James (basketball)

3. Alex Morgan (football)

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (basketball)

5. Megan Rapinoe (footballer – retired)

6. Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing)

7. Lewis Hamilton (F1)

8. Simone Biles (gymnastics)

9. Kylian Mbappe (football)

10. Max Verstappen (F1) 

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