Who do you think it is? The most well known athlete ever? Pele? Jordan? Ali? So because of America, I say you have to leave soccer players out of it. Ali was huge in Europe AND the USA. (and everywhere else). Ali was a gold medalist first so he had Olympic fame - and as champion he fought and promoted fights against a big Swede, had classic fights against British boxers, Germans...he fought all over Europe. His stand against the Vietnam was was very keenly watched by Eastern Bloc countries as well. They knew Ali well in China and Russia as he featured strongly in their anti-western propaganda. Ali was also an enormous star in the Muslim world. His trip to Mecca was watched very closely by Muslims on every corner of the Earth, and I just don't know how many Saudi Arabians know who Jordan is. Also was also absolutely huge in Africa. He fought perhaps the biggest fight of his career in Africa against George Foreman. Ali fought big fights in Japan and southeast Asia as well. He was interviewed on every European TV channel, his voice and the result of his fights were heard in every country on earth. He gave speeches at universities all over Europe, South America, North America, in Japan and in Australia. He's also considered a civil rights crusader in many parts of the world including South Africa. The guy is the definition of an internationally famous athlete.