YouGov have ranked the 50 most popular football players in the UK

  • Kobe Tong

Fame: It’s something that’s guaranteed if you become a professional footballer at the highest level.

When there are tens of thousands of people watching you live every week and millions via their television sets, it’s inevitable that you’ll become a household name and recognisable face.

Well, that’s the case for the biggest stars at least, but how does that translate into popularity? Are some of the most popular players actually some of the less skilful or well known?

There’s never going to be a definitive scale or metric for popularity, but that hasn’t stopped YouGov – who assessed ‘The most popular contemporary football players in the UK’ – from trying.

Interviews were conducted with over 7,000 people and when presented with the names of footballers, they had to disclose whether they had a positive, negative of neutral opinion of them.

50 most popular football players

Male, female and retired players were all considered and while there were as many as 89 presented to the public, we’ve decided to stay positive and focus on the top 50.

So, without further ado, check out the half-century of players with the highest percentage of positive opinions:

50. Ellen White (Manchester City) – 19%

49. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) – 19%

48. Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich) – 19%

47. Ashley Young (Manchester United) – 19%

46. Ashley Cole (Retired) – 20%

45. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – 20%

44. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) – 20%

43. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 20%

42. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) – 20%

41. Tim Cahill (Retired) – 20%

40. Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) – 20%

39. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) – 20%

38. Yaya Toure (Qingdao Huanghai) – 20%

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37. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – 21%

36. Dwight Yorke (Retired) – 21%

35. Alex Scott (Retired) – 21%

34. Jack Wilshere (West Ham United) – 21%

33. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) – 21%

32. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – 21%

31. David de Gea (Manchester United) – 22%

30. Juan Mata (Manchester United) – 22%

29. Joe Cole (Retired) – 23%

28. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) – 24%

27. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) – 25%

26. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – 25%

25. Daniel Sturridge (Trabzonspor) – 25%

24. John Terry (Retired) – 26%

23. Danny Welbeck (Watford) – 26%

22. Cesc Fabregas (AS Monaco) – 26%

21. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 26%

20. David Silva (Manchester City) – 26%

19. Robin van Persie (Retired) – 26%

18. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) – 26%

17. Fernando Torres (Retired) – 27%

16. Wayne Rooney (DC United) – 27%

15. Petr Cech (Retired) – 27%

14. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) – 28%

13. Theo Walcott (Everton) – 28%

12. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) – 28%

11. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 28%

10. Didier Drogba (Retired) – 29%

9. Joe Hart (Burnley) – 29%

8. Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) – 31%

7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 31%

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 34%

5. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 34%

4. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) – 35%

3. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – 39%

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 42%

1. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 50%

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