Football

Neymar and Rapinoe top Twitter's list of most popular athletes for 2019

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Megan Rapinoe (USA)

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEnis Koylu
10/12/2019 at 19:27 | Updated 10/12/2019 at 21:08

Neymar and Megan Rapinoe are the most talked about male and female athletes on Twitter in 2019 respectively, with Barcelona edging out Real Madrid in terms of sports teams.

The Brazilian striker was involved in a lengthy transfer saga linking him with a return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain and was a notable absentee as his country won the Copa America due to injury.

Meanwhile, Rapinoe was the star of the Women's World Cup in the summer but was embroiled in a public row with US President Donald Trump after criticising his social policies.

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The male list is dominated by football, with Lionel Messi second, Cristiano Ronaldo third, Kylian Mbappe eighth and Keisuke Honda a surprising ninth. Basketball is the next best represented, with Le Bron James fourth, Kawhi Leonard fifth and Kobe Bryan sixth. NFL stars Tom Brady and Antonio Brown are seventh and 10th respectively.

Rapinoe's USA team-mate Alex Morgan is also in the top 10 for women, coming fourth, while Brazil's Marta is seventh. Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Maria Sharapova, second, third and ninth respectively, are the only tennis stars in either list.

WWE's Becky Lynch and MMA star Ronda Rousey are sixth and eighth respectively, while two gymnasts are in the top 10 in Simone Biles (fifth) and Katelyn Ohashi (10th).

All but one of the sports teams to make the top 10 list are football clubs. Barca are closely followed by Real Madrid, with Manchester United third, ahead of their Premier League rivals Liverpool (fourth) and Manchester City (seventh).

PSG are fifth, Juventus sixth and Ajax eight while the only non-European football team on the list are Flamengo. The only non-football team are the LA Lakers.

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