When it comes to what people believe are the greatest sportsmen in the world, everyone will have their own opinion. From football starts to darts players. They are all amazing sports stars and all top of their game. Today I would like to share with you what I think are the ten best sportsmen in the world…
10 – Ray Ewry
Ray Ewry competed in the now-defunct standing long jump, standing high jump and standing triple jump events, where he won 10 gold medals during the early 1900’s and boasted a perfect unbeaten record at the Olympics. Although many of you may not have heard of Ewry, he was recently named the greatest Olympian of all time in a recent infographic published by BWIN which used an algorithm to work out the winner percentage, putting him above top athletes including Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps.
9 – Lionel Messi
Messi burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 19-year-old at Barcelona and as they say, the rest is history. He’s gone on to score 312 goals in 348 appearance for the Catalan club and was an integral player in what became the best domestic side in history, guiding Barca to three Champions League win’s and three straight La Liga titles between 2008 and 2012, picking up the Ballon D’Or award three times along the way. Some argue that to become the greatest soccer player ever, he must win a trophy with Argentina. But he has led them to runner-up finishes in four major tournament finals which, considering how weak some aspects of their team are, should be considered a fantastic achievement.
8 – Roger Federer
Some thought Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam tournament wins would never be surpassed after he retired in 1999. But Federer, who actually beat Sampras in his final Wimbledon, has taken tennis to new heights, using a unique blend of power, style and elegance to collect 17 Grand Slams during his 13 years at the top. He’s a national hero back in Switzerland and universally loved by sports fans around the world, as he continues to search for that elusive eighteenth slam.
7 – Michael Jordon
Despite leaving Basketball for a year to pursue a career in Baseball, Jordon is universally recognised as the best player Basketball has ever produced. He was the most popular and dominant figure in the sport during the 80’s and 90’s, leading the Chicago Bulls to six Championship wins. He’s a 14 time NBA All-Star, a five-time NBA MVP, a film star, a franchise owner, an ambassador, role model and legend in the sport of Basketball.
6 – Sachin Tendulkar
There are very few sportsmen who can match the overwhelming popularity Tendulkar enjoys in his home country of India. Around the sporting world, he is seen as one of the greatest to ever pick up a bat, the leading run-scorer and century maker in both Test and One Day Cricket. But in India, he is so much more than a cricketer. He is worshipped like a God, followed like a politician and adored by the entire country.
5 – Jack Nicklaus
It didn’t take Nicklaus long to establish himself as the man to beat in the world of golf, winning his first Major championship less than two years after turning professional. In a career that spanned over three decades, he won six green jackets at the Masters, he won the PGA Championship five times, the U.S Open four times and the British Open on three occasions. Those achievements, combined with his incredible will to win and determination, sets him apart from all other golfers who came before or after. One of the greatest competitors sport has ever seen.
4 – Sir Steve Redgrave
Undoubtedly the greatest British athlete of all time, Sir Steve is the only athlete to win gold medals at five successive Olympic Games. Competing in both the Coxless Pairs and Fours, he also rowed his way to nine World Championship golds and three Commonwealth titles to go with his Olympic haul. Redgrave suffered from a chronic stomach condition called colitis during his rowing career, but that didn’t stop him becoming one of the most successful and admired sportsmen in the world.
3 – Michael Phelps
Phelps is already the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time and will be looking to add to his collection of 18 Olympic gold’s when he heads to Rio this summer. He may be extremely relaxed and friendly away from the pool, but when he pulls down those goggles and gets in the water, he is a machine. He’s an incredibly versatile swimmer, competing and winning over a range of disciplines and distances and just qualifying for his fifth straight Olympics in Rio was a massive achievement. If he could add another gold to his collection, it would be an astonishing achievement.
2 – Usain Bolt
At the young age of 22, Bolt took the sprinting world by storm when he captured his first Olympic Gold medal at Beijing in 2008. Since then, he has won eleven World Championship golds and became the first man to win six sprinting Olympic golds, winning the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay treble in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and currently he holds the World Record in all three of those events. He is arguably the most popular athlete on the planet today, letting his infectious positivity and playful personality spill out onto the track wherever he turns up to race and in all his public appearances. He’s put Jamaican athletics firmly on the map, is a beacon of hope to all clean athletes in a sport riddled with drug problems and is undoubtedly one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.
1 – Muhammed Ali
Taking his rightful place at the top of our list is the late, great Muhammed Ali and to put him there was a fairly easy decision. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist transformed and transcended the sport of boxing. He fought in arguably the strongest era of Heavyweight boxing we have ever witnessed and conquered all in front of him. He had the looks of a film star, with the style, charisma and confidence to match. He had strong values and fought for what he believed in, even if it meant the prospect of jail time. He battled Parkinson’s disease for most of his life after retirement and after he passed away earlier this year, the world gathered to mourn the loss of a superstar. There will never be another Muhammed Ali. There will never be a sportsman so talented, so beloved and so idolised all over the world. The greatest sportsman to have ever lived.