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Ronaldo most talked about athlete online, LeBron fourth, Brady sixth: Study

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Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal during the game against Newcastle United in Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo by Phil Noble /REUTERS Soccer might not be king in North America but it is worldwide, at least according to research into news coverage of athletes.

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Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was the most talked about athlete online in 2021, with nearly 200,000 articles written about the Manchester United player, according to Onlinegambling.ca .

Fellow soccer standouts Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi were next in the list, with 171,222 and 131,080 articles about them, respectively.

There was a significant drop-off to the No. 4 athlete — NBA star LeBron James, who had 81,551 articles. Cricket’s Virat Kohli was next, followed by NFL quarterback Tom Brady and MMA star Conor McGregor.

Onlinegambling.ca used Buzzsumo’s database to discover the top 30 athletes featured most in the news for 2021. Buzzsumo is a content discovery tool that was used to track the number of news articles about athletes published online in any language in the last 12 months. Only athletes who are active or have events upcoming were counted.

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Soccer’s Sergio Ramos was in 8th spot, while Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and tennis standout Novak Djokovic rounded out the Top 10.

Gymnast Simone Biles was the top female athlete on the list at 11th overall. Naomi Osaka (17) and Serena Williams (21) were the other females to make it.

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