With the 2018 calendar year coming to an end, Google has taken a look back at the year and released its annual list of top-trending searches across the world. While the World Cup was the most-searched event of 2018, followed by shocking deaths to celebrities like Avicii, Mac Miller, and Stan Lee, there are a number of surprises, especially when looking through specific categories.
In the sports world, the Winter Olympics helped spike interest in some athletes, while breakout stars also found their way near the top of the list.
It is important to note that the trending searches do not necessarily mean the most searched athletes, but the athletes who saw the highest spikes in traffic compared to 2017.
Was your favorite athlete one of the top trending athletes of the year?
The full top ten can be seen below.
Top-Trending Athletes Of 2018
10. Harry Kane
Harry Kane’s spike in search predictably came during the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he was a member of the England national team. The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Nepal led the way with the most interest.
9. Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor was in the headlines back in April after he threw a dolly through the window of a bus that was carrying fighters from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He was later arrested and faced criminal charges. In October, McGregor made his highly-anticipated return to the UFC but ultimately fell short to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
8. Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho started off the year hot in search after his transfer from Liverpool to Spanish power Barcelona. His search then spiked once again during the FIFA World Cup for Brazil where he scored in his debut with a ridiculous curling shot in Brazil’s opening match of the tournament.
7. Naomi Osaka
Osaka was one of this year’s breakout stars, earning a career high No. 4 world ranking in the Women’s Tennis Association. Osaka stunned 23-time major champion Serena Williams to claim the U.S. Open and to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.
6. Kawhi Leonard
Interest in Kawhi Leonard spanned from the end of the NBA regular season through the NBA Free Agency when rumors swirled about his future with the San Antonio Spurs. Ultimately, Leonard was sent packing and landed with the Toronto Raptors.
5. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nurmagomedov had an incredible 2018 and is in contention for Fighter of the Year. After winning the vacant UFC lightweight championship with a win over Al Iaquinta, the undefeated titleholder returned to action in October and delivered a one-sided walloping of Irish superstar Conor McGregor.
4. Shaun White
Thanks to the Winter Olympics, Shaun White saw his name near the top of every search at the beginning of the year. At the Winter Games, White won his third Olympic gold medal in the Men’s Halfpipe. His score of 97.75 also set the record for the highest score in the men’s halfpipe at the Winter Olympics.
3. Lindsey Vonn
Like White, Vonn received a boost from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Unfortunately, she struggled and only brought home a bronze medal in the women’s downhill. However, Vonn was skiing with a heavy heart after the passing of her grandfather, a Korean War veteran, a few months prior. She scattered some of her grandfather’s ashes near the men’s downhill racing course.
2. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez was one of the biggest targets on the transfer market which led to his name trending in soccer circles at the beginning of the year. Ultimately, the 29-year-old Chilean national decided to make a transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United.
1. Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson was the top trending athlete of 2018, but it wasn’t for anything he did on the court. Instead, video of Thompson cheating on Khloe Kardashian with three women surfaced online and you know what happens when the Kardashians are involved in a story. It rises to the top… for some reason.