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Sports Stars – 10 Most Popular Athletes in the World in 2016

 

2016 has been a great year for sports so far and promises to get even better as the year progresses. From the best athletes of baseball and basketball to the stars of soccer, here are the names that are making waves globally in the sports world

Jamie Vardy, English Soccer Player

29 year old Jamie Vardy shot to fame; thanks to some incredible performances with English Premier League club Leicester City, which helped them capture the Premier League crown. Determination, hard work, and passion truly reflect Vardy’s success story. Having risen to the top tier of English Soccer after many years of toil in the lower divisions, Jamie Vardy was instrumental in saving Leicester City from relegation in 2014-15. However, his performances in front of THE goal in the next campaign stunned opposition defenses and viewers around the world. Vardy notched up 24 goals and 6 assists in the league. The highlight of Vardy’s season came in the home draw over Manchester United in November, where he overtook former United Great Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of having scored in 10 consecutive league games. His stellar performances also earned him a call up to the England national side for the European Championship in France.

 
 
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese Soccer Player 
      

Cristiano Ronaldo has consistently featured in ‘top athletes’ lists in the past too and he does so here again in 2016 World’s most famous athletes. The Portugal and Real Madrid forward enjoyed yet another memorable campaign, scoring 35 times in the Spanish league and 16 times in the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. Ronaldo also played a massive role in helping Portugal earn their place in the European championship, with crucial assists and goals during the qualifying stages. Ronaldo’s magic moment came in the UEFA Champions League final against Real’s crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid. Having witnessed the game go into penalties, Ronaldo stepped up with the decisive spot kick, which gave Real their second Champions League title in three seasons.

 
Novak Djokovic, Serbian Tennis Player

During the era of the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry in tennis, Novak Djokovic emerged as a youngster with potential. Fast forward to 2016, and the tennis star is the World No. 1, and already has 12 Grand Slams to his name. Djokovic holds an astounding 93.75% win record in 2016, having already wrapped up 6 titles. His Australian Open triumph in January was his 6th Grand Slam down under. But the highlight of his year came at Roland Garros, where he won the French Open for the first time. Djokovic completed his career Grand Slam with his French Open victory, and is only the eighth player in tennis history to do so.

 
Mike Trout, American Baseball Player 
Commonly referred to as “The Millville Meteor”, Mike Trout is one of the most happening names in the baseball world. Having made his debut in Major League Baseball for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the tender age of 18 in 2009, Trout came to prominence in 2012. Ever since then, Trout has been regarded as one of the finest center fielders in MLB and has received constant admiration and acclaim for his efforts. He was voted All-Star Game MVP in both 2014 and 2015, the first player to be voted MVP in consecutive years. Signed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim till 2020, even greater things are expected of Trout in the years to come.

Kevin Durant, American Basketball Player

Kevin Durant is to American basketball today what Kobe Bryant was in the yesteryear. Currently plying his trade for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant’s career began with the club’s former avatar, the Seattle Supersonics. Durant is one of the deadliest small forwards in basketball, and averages over 27 points per game. His list of personal achievements is a long one, with an NBA MVP award and an Olympic Gold medal for the USA being at the very top. Over the years, Durant has put in considerable effort to improve his defensive and playmaking abilities as well. Durant’s popularity extends beyond basketball as well, with the athlete having featured in a movie and also done a lot of philanthropic work in and around Oklahoma. A closer look at the top 20 famous athletes feature 3 golfers and basketball starts each, 4 tennis players and 8 soccer players. ESPN the Magazine came up with the entire list measuring the athlete’s fame basis their social media popularity, earnings and Google searches.

 

Usain Bolt, Jamaica – Sprinter

 

Usain St. Leo Bolt, born 21 August 1986, is a Jamaican sprinter.  Both a standout cricket player and a sprinter early on, Bolt's natural speed was noticed by coaches at school, and he began to focus solely on sprinting under the tutelage of Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete. Regarded as the fastest person ever timed he is the first man at the modern Olympic Games to win six gold medals and an eleven-time World champion. He also hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Although gaining worldwide popularity for a sprint double victory at the Beijing Games, Bolt had won numerous crowns in the 200m event at the youth, junior and senior levels. Further, at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Bolt completed a hat-trick of 200 m world titles by winning his third straight gold in the event. His 2009 record breaking margin for 100 m, from 9.69 seconds (his own previous world record) to 9.58, is the highest since the start of fully automatic time measurements. He created history again and became a legend at the 2012 Olympic Games in London by defending all three Olympic titles with 100m, 200m and 4x100m victories, the latter in a new world record time of 36.84 secs.

Bolt's achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname "Lightning Bolt", and awards including the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (three times). He is the highest paid athlete ever in track and field. He has been called the world's most marketable athlete. By winning three gold medals at the 2015 World Championships, Bolt became the first athlete in the 32-year history of the IAAF athletics world championships to complete a "triple triple" making him the most successful athlete at the IAAF championships. On 14 February 2015, Bolt announced that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships in London.

 Stephen Curry, USA - Basketball Player

Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II born March 14, 1988 is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. Many players and analysts have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. In 2014–15, Curry won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led the Warriors to their first championship since 1975. The following season, he became the first player in NBA history to be elected MVP by a unanimous vote and to lead the league in scoring while shooting above 50–40–90. That same year, the Warriors broke the record for the most wins in an NBA season.

During the 2012–13 season, Curry set the NBA record for three-pointers made in a regular season with 272. He surpassed that record in 2015 with 286, and again in 2016 with 402. During the 2013–14 season, he and teammate Klay Thompson were nicknamed the "Splash Brothers" en route to setting the NBA record for combined three-pointers in a season with 484, a record they broke the following season (525) and again in the 2015–16 season (678).

 
 Lionel Messi, Argentina – Soccer Player

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi born on 24 June 1987 is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona. Often considered the best player in the world, Messi is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d'Or, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes. With Barcelona he has won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, as well as four Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season (50), a football season (82), and a calendar year (91), as well as those for most assists made in La Liga and the Copa América. A former Argentina international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer.  His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals of the 2014 World Cup, for which he controversially won the Golden Ball, and the 2015 and 2016 Copas América. After his fourth final defeat, Messi retired from international football aged 29, having represented his country in seven major tournaments.

 

Bubba Watson, USA - Golfer

Gerry Lester "Bubba" Watson, Jr. born on November 5, 1978 is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. One of the few left-handed golfers on tour, he is a multiple major champion, having won the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014. In February 2015, Watson reached a career-high 2nd place in the Official World Golf Ranking. Watson is among the longest drivers on the PGA Tour; in 2007 he had an average drive of 315.2 yards (288.2 m) and can hit a ball over 350 yards (320 m), capable of generating a ball speed up to 194 mph (312 km/h).Watson was runner-up to Martin Kaymer at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2010. Watson had his own clothing line called "Bubba Golf" at the former Steve & Barry's. On January 30, 2011, Watson won his second PGA Tour event, the Farmers Insurance Open. Watson's first major championship win came at the 2012 Masters Tournament. In 2012 he  one win, six top-5 finishes, seven top-10 finishes and three missed cuts. Watson earned his fifth career PGA Tour victory and a second-place tie in the WGC-Cadillac Championship which raised him to 12 form 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking in 2014. In 2015 Watson won the Travelers Championship to move him to third in the Official World Golf Ranking. In 2016, he won the Northern Trust Open at Riviera for a second time in three years.
 






Tom Brady, American Football Player

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. born on August 3, 1977  is an American football player considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL).

In Brady's 14 seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned six trips to the Super Bowl (the most for any quarterback, ever), winning four games. Brady has won three Super Bowl MVP (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XLIX) and two league MVP awards (2007 and 2010), has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls, and has led his team to more division titles (13) than any other quarterback in NFL history. Brady is fifth all-time in career passing yards, and third in career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 22–9. He has won more playoff games than any other quarterback, and appeared in more playoff games than any player at any position.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only players in NFL history to win multiple NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards. In 2010, he was unanimously chosen as the NFL MVP, becoming the first player since 1986 to be unanimously chosen as MVP, and was ranked as the top player in the NFL Top 100, a poll of league players. He set the NFL record for consecutive passes without an interception (358), and broke his own record for the highest season touchdown to interception ratio, among players who have started a full season, at 9:1. Brady and the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, have combined to form the most successful quarterback-coach tandem in NFL history, winning 172 regular season games and 22 postseason games together, as well as appearing in six Super Bowls together. All of these events set new NFL records.

 
Quiz Section !

  1. Who is Commonly referred to as “The Millville Meteor”?
     Cristiano Ronaldo  Stephen Curr  Mike Trout  Tom Brad
  2. Who is the highest paid athlete ever in track and field?
     Usain Bolt  Kevin Durant  Stephen Curry  Lionel Messi
  3. Who was unanimously chosen as the NFL Most Valuable Player in 2010?
     Jamie Vardy  Lionel  Ronaldo  Tom Brady
  4. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were nicknamed as?
     Splash Brothers  The Millville Meteor  Lightning Bolt   None
  5. Who is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d'Or ?
     Bubba Watson  Lionel Messi  Tom Brady  Jamie Vardy
 
 

 

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