Cristiano Ronaldo is still the greatest despite Manchester United fallout

a Manchester United soccer player ready to receive the ball during a match

Cristiano Ronaldo has been announced as the Most Marketable Athlete (MOA) of 2022. Picture: Savvides Press/EPA

Published Oct 24, 2022


Centurion - Despite falling out of favour with Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo has been announced as the Most Marketable Athlete (MOA) of 2022.

The Portuguese legend has had little game time this season with the Red Devils, as Ten Hag has gone with younger players in his starting line-up ahead of the legendary 37-year-old. As a result, the speculation is rife that Ronaldo will be leaving Manchester United in the January transfer window.

MOA has three main categories for its ratings, namely brand strength, audience and reach, and economics. An in-depth explanation of the rating systems can be found here.

Serena Williams, who recently announced her retirement from professional tennis, was second on the list.

The 41-year-old has not won a Grand Slam event since 2017, and, no doubt, the news of her retirement pushed her up the ratings as the tributes from the sports world flowed as a result. Williams is also the highest-earning woman athlete of all time.

F1 legend Lewis Hamilton is third on the list. Another veteran at 37-years-old, Hamilton is a seven-time world champion. His last championship title came in 2020, as Max Verstappen has won the last two titles and is seemingly ready for a long period of domination at 25 years of age.

Again, despite Hamilton being eclipsed by a much younger opponent, he still commands a great following in brand awareness and all forms of media.

Completing the top 10 are: 4 LeBron James (basketball), 5 Lionel Messi (football), 6 Naomi Osaka (tennis), 7 Virat Kohli (cricket), 8 Alex Morgan (football), 9 Sam Kerr (football) and 10 Tom Brady (American football).

The top African on the list is Egypt and Liverpool football star Mohamed Salah.


IOL Sport