Incredible! Anthony Martial is more popular than Messi in China
This may sound unbelievable but it is true that while Lionel Messi has one of the most recognizable faces in the world, football fans do not rate him that highly in China.
According to the 2021 edition of the Red Card report just released, Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the most popular footballer in China for the third year running.
The Portuguese footballer proved to be huge on Weibo, being five times more popular than Neymar, the third biggest footballer on the site.
Meanwhile David Beckham was rated football’s second most popular star in China despite retiring over seven years ago with the former England international coming in behind Ronaldo and ahead of Neymar in third place.
One major surprise on the ranking is Manchester United’s Anthony Martial who finished in fourth place, one spot ahead of six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
While Messi finished in fifth, Barcelona remained the most popular club in China for the second year running.