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Who are the 10 most searched athletes of 2023? Let’s find out

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From NBA, cricket, football and netball to tennis, rugby, baseball and AFL, on any given day, a host of sports are played around the world.

In this digital age, it means that millions of Google searches are being conducted every hour to confirm schedules, find out scores, watch highlights, or simply learn more about the most popular athletes in the world.

But have you ever wondered which athletes get searched the most?

The 10 most searched athletes of 2023

Spoiler alert, footballers have otherworldly followings, as expected. Five of the top 10 most searched athletes of this year play the world game.

But who are they and where do they rank? Let’s find out.

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10. Lewis Hamilton (Searched 34.9 million times)

Aged: 38

Sporting Code: Formula One

Winning seven F1 championships has made Lewis Hamilton a legend in the sport. With retirement possibly on the horizon and a reported split with girlfriend Shakira, it’s no wonder Google was abuzz with searches about the Formula 1 great.

9. Erling Haaland (Searched 43.4 million times)

Aged: 23

Sporting Code: Football

In his debut season for Manchester City, Erling Haaland took the league by storm, scoring 36 goals in just 35 games, including six hat-tricks, making him the most searched athlete in the EPL.

He narrowly missed out to Lionel Messi, who won soccer’s Ballon D’or last year. But as one of the world’s best strikers, he is among the favourites at the moment for this year’s call, with Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe also being frontrunners.

Erling Haaland, manchester city, fpl, most searched athletes, 2023
Erling Haaland

8. Novak Djokovic (Searched 58.4 million times)

Aged: 36

Sporting Code: Tennis

Novak Djokovic has always been one of the world’s most searched athletes due to his otherworldly sporting prowess.

On top of that, controversy is never far away from this most polarising of tennis players, who expressed forthright views about COVID-19 vaccinations, Rafael Nadal and men receiving more pay than women in sports.

most grand slams, djokovic, most searched
24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic

7. Carlos Alcaraz (Searched 60 million times)

Aged: 20

Sporting Code: Tennis

Carlos Alcaraz is only 20 years old, but the Spanish Tennis Player has already won 12 ATP titles and multiple Grand Slams; Wimbledon in 2023 and the US Open a year earlier. He is also believed to be dating female tennis player Maria Gonzalez Gimenez, which accounted for a large portion of his internet searches this year, with people eager to find out more about her.

If he continues playing with the same success, he should still be the most searched athlete in tennis next year. Although Rafael Nadal and Djokovic will no doubt have something to say about that.

most grand slams, alcaraz
Can Carlos Alcaraz (middle left) make some inroads on the Grand Slam frontrunners?

6. Kylian Mbappe (Searched 63.7 million times)

Aged: 24

Sporting Code: Football

Kylian Mbappe has the footballing world at his feet. A superstar for both Paris Saint Germain and the French national team, his performances at the FIFA World Cup and in the Champions League had fans purring.

His current contract with PSG is due to expire at the end of this season, so the hugely talented football player will be a free agent. As a result, he is the subject of strong speculation – and internet searches – with Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea reported to be among his many suitors.

This could well make him the most searched athlete on Google next year.

mbappe, athletes, most searched, 2023
Kylian Mbappe

5. Virat Kohli (Searched 68 million times)

Aged: 35

Sporting Code: Cricket

In a cricket-loving country with a population of over one billion people, it’s frankly a surprise that Virat Kohli isn’t higher on this list.

Widely regarded as one of the most dynamic batsmen of the modern era, he’s one of the most recognised athletes on earth. In the 2023 calendar, most searches come from his IPL and Cricket World Cup campaigns, plus his continuing marriage to Anushka Sharma.

Virat Kohli image
Indian megastar Virat Kohli

4. LeBron James (Searched 72.1 million times)

Aged: 38

Sporting Code: Basketball

When it comes to the most searched athletes from America, LeBron James comes out top — slotting in at number four on this particular list. And there aren’t many lists in existence where this icon is that far down.

In 2023, there was plenty of talk about; his potential retirement, especially after his Lakers were dealt a clean sweep in the Western Conference Finals, whether he’d get moved, and even son Bronny’s rising hoops career.

This all led to a surge of Google searches about him, which further increased when he confirmed he would be back for a 21st NBA season.

lebron james next team
Lebron James

3. Lionel Messi (Searched 104.4 million times)

Aged: 36

Sporting Code: Football

In terms of popularity among sports fans, few footballers can match Lionel Messi, which is why he regularly gets searched on Google.

The fact he won the FIFA World Cup tournament with Argentina and the Balloon D’or for a history-making eighth time, as well as his decision to pack up and move to Miami, no doubt helped to increase his search volume.

Lionel Messi Inter Miami
Lionel Messi

2. Neymar (Searched 140.9 million times)

Aged: 31

Sporting Code: Football

Neymar blew up the internet when he joined Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League on a two-year deal that sees him earn €150m a year — six times what he was on at PSG.

He was also the subject of high search volume when he accused the Spanish soccer player Álvaro González of racist abuse in a match against Marseille in Ligue 1.

Being a demi-god in Brazil, a country of over 213 million people, helps cement his spot on this list of favourite athletes.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Searched on 199.4 million times)

Aged: 38

Sporting Code: Football

It is probably no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo takes the number one spot on this list of the most searched athletes in the world for 2023.

Not only was there a FIFA Men’s Football World Cup to round out 2022, but there was also that ‘tiny’ matter of his mega-money move to Saudi Arabian powerhouse Al-Nassr FC.

Throw in his incredible net worth – Forbes rates him as a billionaire, infamous interview with Piers Morgan, and, of course, the various controversies he has been associated with.

It’s not difficult to see why so many people looked up ‘Ronaldo’ on Google.

Conclusion

So there you have it, Google’s most searched athletes in the world of 2023.

Living in a digital age, the daily, multi-million searches taking place about these athletes in the sporting world just goes to prove how connected we are to our heroes and the sports they play.

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