Lionel Messi: The World’s Most Famous Latino Athlete

Lionel Messiis kickin’ it to the top of the popularity charts…

The 31-year-old Argentine soccer star is the top-ranking Latino on ESPN’s World Fame 100 list, which identifies the most famous athletes in the world.

Lionel Messi

Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner who plays for the Spanish club BarcelonaFC and the Argentina national team, comes in at No. 3 on this year’s list, behind soccer rival Cristiano Ronaldo and NBAsuperstar LeBron James. It’s the same position Messi held last year.

The World Fame 100 ranks athletes based on their Google search score, their endorsement dollars and social media followers.

Nipping at Messi’s heels… Neymar.

The 27-year-old Brazilian soccer star, who plays for the Brazil national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain, comes in at No. 4, the same position he held in 2018.

Also earning a spot in the Top 10… Rafael Nadal.

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star comes in at No. 8, two spots behind his rival Roger Federer. Nadal held the same ranking last year.

In all, Latino athletes took up 23 spots on the list, the majority of them international soccer players like Andres Iniesta (Spain), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Javier Hernandez (Mexico).

Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarezis the sole Latino boxer on the list, at No. 68, while Puerto Rican basketball player Carmelo Anthony, at No. 65, is the only Latino basketball player to make the grade.

There are no Latina athletes on this year’s list, which features tennis sensation Serena Williams as the top female athlete at No. 17.

Here’s a look at the Latinos who made the World Fame 100:

Rank, Name, Sport, Country, Search Score, Endorsements, Social Stats
No. 3, Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentina, 54, $28m, 103.1 million
No. 4, Neymar, Soccer, Brazil, 55, $19m, 107.2 million
No. 8, Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain, 40, $29.3m, 15.6 million
No. 27, Andres Iniesta, Soccer, Spain, 8, $2.2m, 26.7 million
No. 29, James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombia, 11, $4.8m, 40.5 million
No. 36, Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguay, 6, $7.4m, 31.2 million
No. 38, Sergio Ramos, Soccer, Spain, 13, $4m, 28.7 million
No. 44, Marcelo Vieira, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $3.2m, 33.8 million
No. 48, Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $4m, 16.9 million
No. 52, Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentina, 1, $6m, 28.7 million
No. 53, David De Gea, Soccer, Spain, 3, $7m, 11.8 million
No. 55, Paulo Dybala, Soccer, Argentina, 4, $4.03m, 24.7 million
No. 56, Dani Alves, Soccer, Brazil, 2, $8.75m, 21.5 million
No. 61, Philippe Coutinho, Soccer, Brazil, 15, $3.1m, 19.3 million
No. 62, David Luiz, Soccer, Brazil, 1, $1.3m, 24.9 million
No. 65, Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, USA, 6, $7m, 9.1 million
No. 66, Gerard Pique, Soccer, Spain, 5, $3.8m, 18.6 million
No. 68, Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, 44, $2.5m, 4 million
No. 72, Alexis Sanchez, Soccer, Chile, 24, $3.8m, 9.6 million
No. 79, Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spain, 1, $5m, 10.3 million
No. 80, Gonzalo Higuain, Soccer, Argentina, 7, $6m, 6.8 million
No. 81, Isco, Soccer, Spain, 2, $5m, 16.4 million
No. 88, Javier Hernandez, Soccer, Mexico, 6, $9.9m, 5.1 million

David De Gea Among 55 Players in Contention for FIFPro and FIFA’s World XI

David De Gea is in the running…

The 27-year-old Spanish soccer play, a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester United and Spain’s national team, is among the contenders in the reckoning to feature in FIFPro and FIFA‘s World XI.

David De Gea 

FIFPro and its affiliated player associations asked professional footballers to pick a team from the best players in world football last season.

It will include one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers who were the best at their position in 2017-18.

Once the 55 players have been selected, the XI will be unveiled by FIFA and FIFPro during the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on September 24.

De Gea, on a five-man shortlist that includes last year’s winner Gianluigi Buffon, is joined by Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba.

Other Latino players on the list include Barcelona‘s Philippe Coutinho, Real Madrid‘s Isco (Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez) and Manchester City’s David SilvaAndres Iniesta, who left Barcelona for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, is on the list for the 12th year in a row. He has already won nine World XI awards, including last year’s.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos— who lifted Real Madris’s third successive Champions League trophy, at the expense of Liverpool– also appears on the list alongside his Madrid teammate Marcelo.

The 20-strong list of defenders also includes Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba. Daniel Alves and Ramos are on the list for the 12th consecutive time, level with Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm. All three now share the record among defenders.

This is the 14th edition of the World XI.

Here’s the complete list:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Thibaut Courtois, David De Gea, Keylor Navas, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Defenders: Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Daniel Carvajal, Giorgio Chiellini, Virgil van Dijk, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Dejan Lovren, Marcelo, Yerry Mina, Benjamin Pavard, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Kieran Trippier, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Sime Vrsaljko, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta, Isco, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Nemanja Matic, Luka Modric, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva, Arturo Vidal.

Messi a Finalist for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award

Lionel Messi is the among best of the best in Europe this year…

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star was named one of the three finalists nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award of the 2014-2015 season, alongside Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez.

Lionel Messi

Journalists from each of the 54 UEFA associations gave a list of their top five players, after which the top players were given five points, the second were given four, and so on.

The 10 players with the most points entered a second ballot, which on Wednesday pared down the list to three finalists: two players from Barcelona and one from Real Madrid.

Next, jury members will submit their selection from among the finalists, and will meet the winner during the draw for the group stage of the 2015-2016 Champions League in Monaco.

As of late, the UEFA prize was awarded to Messi in 2011, Andres Iniesta in 2012, Franck Ribery in 2013, and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014.

Messi and Ronaldo are both looking to win the award for a second time, while Suarez is still aiming for his first.

The fourth favorite nominee was Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and Brazil’s Neymar came in fifth.

The winner will be announced on August 27.

Lopez: The Most Followed Hispanic Celebrity on Twitter in 2014

Jennifer Lopez is all atwitter

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actress and American Idol judge has made Twitter’s list of the Top 100 accounts with the most followers in 2014.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, who has 30,024,935 followers, takes the No. 14 spot on the list and is the highest-ranking Latino/a entertainer/celebrity on this year’s chart. In all, 17 Hispanic celebrities have made this year’s final count.

Nipping at la Lopez’s “Louboutins” is Shakira.

The 37-year-old Colombian superstar comes in at No. 15 on the list with 28,228,559 followers.

Demi Lovato ranks as the third-highest charting Latino/a on the list. The 22-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress and former The X Factor judge is ranked No. 18, with 25,802,236 followers.

Here’s a look at the other Latino/a celebrities on Twitter’s year-old list:

No. 20 Selena Gomez 25,164,292
No. 25 Kaka 21,562,716
No. 30 Bruno Mars 19,427,935
No 36 Pitbull 18,648,341
No. 44 Neymar Jr. 15,677,899
No. 46 Mariah Carey 15,234,039
No, 58 Christina Aguilera 13,563,729
No. 76 Alejandro Sanz 11,837,809
No. 82 Ivete Sangalo 11,437,396
No, 84 Charie Sheen 11,328,352
No. 85 Ricky Martin 11,239,789
No. 86 Ronaldinho Gaúcho 11,180,564
No. 95 Andrés Iniesta 9,998,061
No. 96 Claudia Leitte 9,962,698

Click here to see the complete list.

Messi’s Hat-Trick Leads Barcelona to a 4-3 Win Over Real Madrid

It’s a clasico moment for Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates…

Futbol Club Barcelona is now within one point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as the team came from behind twice thanks to a hat-trick from the 26-year-old Argentine soccer star.

Lionel Messi

Messi miraculous play helped Barcelona to a thrilling El Clasico win at the Santiago Bernabeu by a final score of 4-3.

Both sides went in tied at 2-2 at halftime as a record 19th goal against Madrid from Messi cancelled out Karim Benzema‘s double after Andres Iniesta had put Barca in front.

Cristiano Ronaldo then put Madrid back in front from the penalty spot, but the hosts were reduced to 10-men when Sergio Ramos pulled down Neymar inside the box 10 minutes later and Messi leveled once more from the spot.

And the Argentine won the game with another penalty seven minutes from time after Iniesta had been felled by Xabi Alonso.

A first defeat for Real in 32 games means Atletico Madrid remains atop the standings thanks to their better head-to-head record against Los Blancos with Barca still in third.

“The league starts a new now,” said Barca boss Gerardo Martino.
”More than the mathematical distance we were behind, the impression was people wrote us off. Atletico Madrid were always in the fight and I think that after this result we are too. We knew if we didn’t win tonight it was over for us. We still don’t have matters in our own hands, but we’ll now fight till the end.”

Messi Breaks Barcelona’s All-Time All-Game Goals Record

Lionel Messi is the ultimate goal man…

The 26-year-old Argentine footballer, a record-setting four-time Ballon d’Or winner, broke Futbol Club Barcelona’s all-time all-game goals count with a hat trick in the team’s 7-0 La Liga rout of Osasuna.

Lionel Messi

The previous tally of 369 goals had managed to stand for 87 years, and been held by Philippines-born striker Paulino Alcantara, who scored 142 official goals and 227 in friendly games in an era before the Spanish league had been formally established.

Messi’s latest feat raised his count to 371 goals [344 in official games and 27 in friendlies], at just 26 years of age and in less than nine years as a first-team player.

Monday’s local newspapers celebrated the achievement, with Mundo Deportivo going with a simple ‘Legend — 371 goals’ on its front page. Sport’s cover read ‘Historic Hat trick — Messi 371’, while inside the Catalan paper had a graphic breaking down both players’ goal-scoring feats.

Messi himself told Catalan station TV3 after the game that he had been well aware that the record was about to fall.

“I had heard everywhere that I was closing in on [Alcantara],” the Argentine said. “When you see you are close you want to do it, for what it means in the history of a club this big. A lot of years have passed since it was reached. Many more years will pass before it is overcome again.”

But he maintained that the three points, with Alexis Sanchez, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez and Christian Tello also getting on the scoresheet, had been the day’s most important development.

“The important thing is that the team keeps winning, we have come from doing impressive things, and winning everything, and we deserve to keep going like this,” Messi said. “I am very happy for the game we played, we came in from another good one against [Manchester] City and we had to improve the image from the last time. Since the game against Valladolid we received a lot of harsh criticism. We know that we were not good, but this gives us confidence again.”

Messi also said that he now felt fully over his recent injury issues, and dismissed recent speculation which had suggested he was considering a transfer this summer.

“I feel good, in the last two weeks each time I feel better, I hope I can keep going like this,” Messi said. “The injury is passed now and forgotten, I am picking up rhythm and confidence. As long as the people want I will stay here. My intention is to retire with this Barca jersey. I am happy here.”

Iniesta told Canal Plus pitchside reporter that there was little left to say about a player unique in football history.

“It has all been more than said,” the midfielder said. “All the adjectives come up short. You must congratulate him and congratulate Barca for having a unique player.”

Next for Messi could be the all-time ‘clasico’ goalscoring mark held by Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano [19], which will fall if he scores at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu next Sunday. Also within range is the Champions League tally currently held by another former Blancos hero Raul Gonzalez [71], which Messi needs just four more goals to match.

Messi Earns Third Consecutive Golden Boot Award…

Lionel Messi is getting the boot yet again…

The 26-year-old Argentine soccer star, currently sidelined by persistent thigh muscle issues, has picked up his third European Golden Boot award.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who hopes to return for Barcelona’s first game of 2014, was presented with the award by former Blaugrana striker — and 1990 Golden Boot winner — Hristo Stoichkov at a ceremony in central Barcelona on Wednesday.

Asked by reporters at the event if he might be back to play at home on January 5 — Barca’s first game after the winter break — Messi said: “I hope so.

“The truth is I have not put a date on the return. If all goes well it will be that date, but we will see what happens. I will be back when it is supposed to happen.”

Messi, who will spend part of his recovery back at home in Argentina, said nobody wanted to rush things as the most important thing was to put an end to a frustrating last six months, during which he has suffered five similar thigh and hamstring problems.

“My objective is to return in good shape, to strengthen the body so that, God willing, I can play without injuries,” he said. “I am improving bit by bit — it does not hurt any more. I am starting to do things.”

Messi scored 46 goals in the 2012-13 season to take the European Golden Boot, which he also claimed in 2009-10, when he scored 34 goals, and in 2011-12, when he scored 50 goals.

He dedicated his latest personal trophy to teammates including Xavi Hernandez, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Jose Pinto, who were all present at the ceremony.

“It was a lot of goals, and I would not have scored them without my teammates,” he said. “Without them I would not have won this Golden Boot, nor the others. I appreciate them being here.”

Messi did not speak about the controversy surrounding the extension of this year’s Ballon d’Or voting, which some have suggested will favor Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of winning the award.

Barca president Sandro Rosell, though, was on hand to push his club’s player’s chances.

“If people vote on what they have seen on the pitch this year, and do not put on political or media pressure, then Messi should win,” Rosell said in Mundo Deportivo. “I would vote first for Leo, second for Leo and third for Leo. Fourth, fifth and sixth would be Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Sergio] Busquets.”

Soccer Star Iniesta to Make Film Debut in the Comedy “Who Killed Bambi?”

He may be known for bending it like David Beckham, but Andrés Iniesta will be kickin’ it in a different role in the very near future…

The 29-year-old Spanish soccer star, who scored the winning goal that ensured Spain the World Cup title in 2010, will make his film debut with a cameo appearance alongside Ernesto Alterio in Santi Amodeo‘s comedy Who Killed Bambi?

Andrés Iniesta

The film, produced by Rodar y Rodar, will be distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing Spain and tells the story of two friends who must find a way to return the president of their company to his home safe and sound after discovering him half-naked in the trunk of their car.

Iniesta, who plays for Futbol Club Barcelona when not sporting the national team’s jersey, is considered Spain’s most beloved player, not only for his famous winning goal, but for his soft-spoken, good-sportsman-like manner.

In soccer-crazed Spain, Iniesta is one of the few players that the whole country supports.

Further details about Iniesta’s cameo aren’t immediately clear yet.

Bambi is scheduled for release in Spain on November 15.

Soccer Star Xavi Weds Fiancee Nuria Cunillera

Xavi Hernandez is officially off the market…

The 33-year-old Spanish soccer star, a midfielder for Futbol Club Barcelona, has married his fiancée Nuria Cunillera.

Xavi Hernandez

The couple tied the knot in a ceremony at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden in the Spanish city of Blanes on Saturday night before some 180 invited guests, including most of the soccer team.

Following the ceremony, Hernandez and his new wife held the reception at the neighboring building “El Convent,” a 16th century structure.

The Barça star’s nuptials attracted about 100 curious members of the public who cheered Hernandez when he arrived at the botanical garden, which offers several magnificent views of the Costa Brava.

Among the guests at the ceremony were Barça midfielder Sergio Busquets, former players Santi Ezquerro, Oleguer Presas, Gabri Garcia and Albert Jorquera, as well as former Athletic Bilbao player Joseba Etxeberria.

The last guests to arrive, accompanied by their spouses or girlfriends, were Cesc Fabregas, Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Pedro Rodriguez, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta, who all showed up together in one vehicle and sparked a frenzy among fans who were waiting at the door.

Cunillera was the last to arrive riding in an antique Bentley.

The newly married couple are said to be planning a honeymoon in the Seychelles this summer.

Isco Declared “The Future” of Spain’s National Soccer Team

Isco is being heralded as the future of Spanish soccer…

Spain’s national team manager Vicente del Bosque has placed the future of Spanish football in the hands of the 21-year-old midfielder, insisting the Real Madrid recruit “is the future” for La Roja.

Isco

Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, commonly known as Isco, played for Spain’s Under-21 side as they claimed the European Championship title last month, scoring a penalty in the final win over Italy.

His bronze boot-winning performance in the tournament reaffirmed Real Madrid’s interest in Isco and his five-year contract at the Bernabeu is likely to allow him to become a regular in the national team over the coming years.

Isco has made one appearance in Del Bosque’s side, but he’s confident the young futbalista can comfortably succeed the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, alongside Real Madrid target Asier Illarramendi.

“We have a lot of hope pinned to Isco, he is the future of the national team,” Del Bosque told Radio Nacional de Espana. “Illarramendi is the complete midfielder. He has the personality to play for any team in the world.”

Del Bosque also responded to the criticism of Alvaro Arbeloa and Iker Casillas following the Confederations Cup final, claiming both players were crucial for Spain throughout the tournament.

“Alvaro played very well throughout the tournament,” he said. “It’s as if we are always looking for the weak link and we are all guilty of that. Casillas was magnificent.

“We played good football at times but the final wiped away everything we did up until then. We now have another year to try to make sure we have a good World Cup – if we qualify.”