Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi in the list of the most admired men

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The debate over the best footballer in the world has raged on for the past decade.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shared the previous 10 Ballon d’Ors and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down as they enter their thirties.

While it’s almost impossible to prove which one is better than the other, it is possible to work out which one is more ‘admired’.

YouGov have conducted a survey to work out the most admired man in the world.

More than 42,000 people were interviewed to compile the list - and only two sportsmen make the top 20.

Cristiano Ronaldo moves up three places to seventh, with a 4.3% share of admiration.

That means he’s more ‘admired’ around the world than Lionel Messi, who is ninth in the list with 3.8% share of admiration.

But the two superstars find themselves trailing in the wake of the likes of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Zi Jinping, Jack Ma and Narendra Modi.

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In the UK, Messi actually finds himself above Ronaldo is the admiration charts. The Barca star is 13th in the list, with Ronaldo coming in at 15th.

Incidentally, there are no sportswomen in the top 20 world’s most admired women with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie making the top three.

YouGov have explained the methodology behind the results:

"In December last year, YouGov gathered open-ended nominations from panellists across 41 countries, asking them simply: 'Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?' These nominations were then used to compile a list of the 20 men and 20 women who received the most nominations and were nominated in at least four countries. An additional 10 popular local figures were added to the lists for individual countries.

"In fieldwork conducted from March to June we used these lists to poll each of the 41 countries asking two questions: 'who do you truly admire?', where respondents could make multiple selections, and 'who do you MOST admire?', where they could only pick one. These two numbers were combined into a percentage share of admiration, displayed to the right of each name in the graphic above and table below, which shows the full results for every country including local celebrities and public figures:

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"By asking respondents two questions, we can understand both the breadth (i.e. global reach) and the intensity of a person's support.

"Altogether, we polled in countries that constitute more than two-thirds of the world's population. However, some parts of the world were better represented than others, so we weighted up the impact certain countries had on the final scores and weighted down others so the global scores more accurately reflect the breakdown of sentiment in the world overall."

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