best sportsmen

Best Sportsmen Of All Time

Best Sportsmen All-Time List

ADDucation’s list of best sportsmen honors athletes who changed their sport or had a wider impact on the sporting world. Obviously this list is subjective but we’ve done our best. If you’re aware of a sporting legend we haven’t included get in touch – the easiest way is to add your comments at the bottom of this page and we’ll take a look.

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Best Sportsmen Country Birth Death Sport/s Best Sportsmen Achievements and trivia.
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem 🇺🇸 USA 1947 Basketball Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons as a center in the NBA[3]. He won 6 × NBA Champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988), 2 × NBA Finals MVP[2] (1971, 1985), 6 × NBA MVP (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1980), 19 × NBA All-Star (1970-1977 and 1979-1989), 10 × All-NBA First Team (1971-1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986). Abdul-Jabbar’s “skyhook” variation of a hook shot is his trademark. Abdul-Jabbar still holds the record for points scored, field goals made and career wins. In 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Abdul-Jabbar is one of basketball’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Agassi, Andre 🇺🇸 USA 1970 Tennis Andre Agassi achieved 64 tournament wins, an Olympic gold medal at Atlanta 1996, 8 Grand Slam victories (4 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 French and 2 US Open). In 1999 Agassi became the 5th (of 8) male singles player to achieve a Career Grand Slam, the 1st of 2 players to achieve the Career Golden Slam (Career Grand Slam + Olympic Gold) and the only man to achieve a “Career Super Slam” (Career Golden Slam + ATP Tour World Championships). Agassi won the Davis Cup with team USA in 1990 and 1992.  Agassi was regarded as the best ever returner of service and credited with reviving interest in tennis during the 1990’s. Agassi is one of the best sportsmen of all-time.
Agostini, Giacomo 🇮🇹 Italy 1942 Motorcycle Racing Giacomo AgostiniAgo” won 122 motorcycle Grand Prix wins in 14 seasons (1964-77). Agostini won 15 World Championship titles (8 x 500c, 7 x 350cc) a record which remains unbeaten today. Agostini also won 12 Isle of Man TT races. Following the death of his close friend Gilberto Parlotti during the 1972 TT race he declared the course unsafe that he would not race there again, other riders joined him and in 1977 the race was removed from the Grand Prix circuit. Agostini, one of  Italy’s best sportsmen, was the one of the greatest motorcycle riders of all time.
Ali, Muhammad 🇺🇸 USA 1942 2016 Boxing Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, won in 56 of 61 fights. He was also World Champion 3 times and Olympic gold medal winner. Ali was most famous for specific fights including “the rumble in the jungle” and “the thriller in Manilla”. Ali was an active campaigner for black rights and a 20th century sporting icon. In 2005 Muhammad Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. Muhammad Ali, one of boxing’s best sportsmen, was the greatest boxer of all time.
Beamon, Bob 🇺🇸 USA 1946 Athletics Bob Beamon is famous for his 8.90 m world record long jump at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, which held for 23 years. Beamon was one of the first inductees to the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983. Beamon, one of athletics’ best sportsmen, was one of the greatest track and field athletes of his generation.
Beckenbauer, Franz 🇩🇪 Germany 1945 Football / Soccer Franz BeckenbauerDer Kaiser” was a midfielder and one of the first sweepers. Beckenbauer played for Germany 103 times in 3 FIFA[16] World Cups (1966, 1970 and 1974). Beckenbauer won the World Cup as both a player and manager. With Bayern Munich Beckenbauer won the 1967 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and 3 consecutive European Cups in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Beckenbauer won the Ballon d’Or (European Footballer of the Year) in 1972 and 1976. Beckenbauer was named in the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998 and the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002. Between 1977-1980 Beckenbauer played soccer in the USA with the New York Cosmos and was inducted into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1998. Beckenbauer is one of Germany’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest footballers of his generation.
Bradman, Don 🇦🇺 Australia 1908 2001 Cricket Sir Don BradmanThe Don” played 52 Test matches with a batting average of 99.94 which remains unbeaten and it’s unlikely to ever be beaten because the next closest batting average is just 62! Bradman currently holds 20 Test cricket records including the highest ratio of centuries per innings played: 36.25% (29 centuries in 80 innings). To date only 11 batsman have scored more centuries than 29 centuries but at a much slower rate – the next fastest batsman took 148 innings which works out at just 19.6%. Bradman was a sporting legend, one of crickets’ best sportsmen, the greatest cricketeer of his generation and the greatest batsman of all-time.
Bjørndalen, Ole Einar 🇳🇴 Norway 1974 Skiing, Shooting, Biathlon. Ole Einar Bjørndalen won 13 Olympic medals including 8 x gold, 4 x silver and 1 bronze medal. Bjørndalen also won 45 World Championship medals including 20 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. In 2014 Bjørndalen was voted Best Male Winter Olympics Athlete by the International Sports Press Association. Bjørndalen, one of Norway’s best sportsmen, is the most successful biathlete of all time.
Bolt, Usain 🇯🇲 Jamaica 1986 Athletics Usain Bolt won 8 Olympic gold medals (100 m, 200 m at Beijing 2008. 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay at London 2012. 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay at Rio de Janeiro 2016). Bolt is the only triple winner of the sprint double (100 m and 200 m) at 3 consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). Bolt won 11 World Championships gold medals (100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay at Berlin 2009. 200 m and 4×100 m relay at Daegu 2011. 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay at Moscow 2013) plus 2 silver and a bronze medal. Bolt won CAC Championships gold in 200 m at Nassau 2005 and Commonwealth Games gold in 4×100 m relay at Glasgow 2014. Bolt is the current sprint world record holder at 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay and widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time. Usain Bolt, one of Jamaica’s best sportsmen, is a sporting legend and the best sprinter of all time.
Borg, Björn 🇸🇪 Sweden 1956 Tennis Björn Borg achieved 62 tournament wins, 11 Grand Slam victories (5 Wimbledon, 6 French Open). Borg won 3 YECs[12](1976, 1979 and 1980). Borg was world No. 1 ranked player in 1977, 1978 and 1980. Borg won the Davis Cup with team Sweden in 1975. Borg won Wimbledon 1976 and the French Open in 1978 and 1980 without losing a single game! His 89.8% Grand Slam win/lose percentage remains unbeaten and he also holds the record for the longest winning streak of 49 consecutive matches. Björn Borg was, one of Sweden’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest tennis players of all-time.
Brady, Tom 🇺🇸 USA 1977 American Football Tom Brady* is a 6 x Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI and LIII), 4 x Super Bowl MVP[2](XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX and LI), 3 x NFL MVP and 3 x First-team All-Pro (2007, 2010 and 2017). Brady holds dozens of NFL[1] and Super Bowl records including oldest Quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Notable for his TB12 Method diet regime. Brady, one of American football’s best sportsmen, is regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history and his achievements continue.
Brown, Jim 🇺🇸 USA 1936 American Football Jim Brown is one of the greatest running backs in NFL[1] history. With the Cleveland Browns he was 1964 NFL Champion, 4 x NFL MVP (1957,1958, 1963 and 1965), 8 x First-team All-Pro (1957-1961, 1963-1965) and made 9 Pro Bowls appearances. Brown was the first NFL player to rush over 10,000 yards and the first to reach 100 rushing touchdowns. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Jim Brown also excelled in track and field, basketball and was one of the best lacrosse players of all time. Jim Brown, one of American football’s greatest sportsmen, is one of the greatest running backs of all time.
Bryant, Kobe 🇺🇸 USA 1978 2020 Basketball Kobe Bryant played 20 NBA[3] seasons as a shooting guard. Bryant won 2 Olympic team gold medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, 5 × NBA champion (2000-2002, 2009 and 2010), 2 × NBA Finals MVP[2] (2009, 2010), NBA MVP 2008, 18 × NBA All-Star (1998 and 2000-2016), 4 × NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011) and 11 × All-NBA First Team (2002-2004 and 2006-2013). In 2018 Bryant won an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball. Koby, one of basketball’s best sportsmen, was one of the most successful basketball players of his generation.
Bubka, Sergey 🇺🇦 Ukraine
Soviet Union
1963 Athletics Sergey Bubka was the first pole vaulter to clear 20 feet (6.10 m). Bubka won Olympic gold in the 1988 Seoul  Olympics, 6 World Championship, 1 European Championship and broke the pole vault world record 35 times. He held the indoor world record at 6.15 m for 21 years (1993-2014) and since 1994 his outdoor world record of 6.14 m remains unbeaten. Bubka, one of Ukraine’s greatest sportsmen, is the best pole vaulter of all time.
Charlton, Bobby 🇬🇧 UK
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿England
1937 Football / Soccer Sir Robert CharltonBobby Charlton” was a midfielder in the England’s 1966 World Cup winner team. Charlton was English League champion 3 times and European Cup winner with Manchester United. Charlton won 106 caps for England, scoring 49 goals. Booby Charlton won the Ballon d’Or (European Footballer of the Year) in 1996. Bobby Charlton is one of England’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest footballers of his generation.
Connors, Jimmy 🇺🇸 USA 1952 Tennis Jimmy Connors won 109 tournament victories, including 8 x Grand Slam victories (2 Wimbledon, 5 US Open, 1 Australian Open). Connors won 3 YECs[12](2x 1977 and 1980). Connors won the Davis Cup with team USA in 1981. Connors was ranked World No. 1 for 268 weeks, including a then record-breaking 160 consecutive weeks (1974-77). Connors won 1,274 matches, more than any male professional tennis player in the open era. Connors was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998. Connors, one of tennis’ best sportsmen, was amongst the greatest tennis players of his generation.
Cruyff, Johan 🇳🇱 Netherlands 1947 2016 Football / Soccer Johan Cruyff was a leading exponent of “total football” and one of the most influential footballers of all time. Cruyff won the Golden Boot for best player at the FIFA[16] 1974 World Cup finals where his “Cruyff Turn” became famous and widely emulated worldwide. Cruyff moved from Ajax to Barcelona in 1973 for a world record transfer fee. He was in the Netherlands team that reached the 1974 World Cup final, was 9 x Netherlands Champion, 6 x Netherlands Cup winners and a Spanish league champion. Cruyff, one of soccer’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest soccer players of his generation.
Dæhlie, Bjørn 🇳🇴 Norway 1967 Cross-country skiing Bjørn Dæhlie won 8 Olympic gold medals and 4 x silver medals. Dæhlie was 9 x World Champion and won the Nordic World Cup 6 times, a total of 46 individual and 16 team wins in the decade from 1989 to 1999. Dæhlie, one of Norway’s best sportsmen, is the best male cross-country skier of all time.
Ewry, Ray 🇺🇸 USA 1873 1937 Athletics Ray Ewry won 8 x Olympic gold medals for standing, jump, long jump and triple jump at Paris 1900, St. Louis 1904 and London 1908. This world record stood for over a century until  it was beaten by Michael Phelps in 2008. Ewry also held the record for winning three gold medals in one event for 60 years and still holds the record for winning the most Olympic medals with a 100% record, 8 individual Olympic golds. In 1983 Ray Ewry was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. Ewry, one of athletics best sportsmen, is one of the best track and field athletes of his generation.
Fangio, Juan Manuel 🇦🇷 Argentina 1911 1995 Formula 1 Juan Manuel FangioEl Maestro” dominated formula 1 during the 1950’s winning the World Championship 5 times, a record which stood for 47 years. Fangio won 24 times from 52 Grand Prix entries, a 46.15 win percentage which remains unbeaten today. Fangio, one of the best sportsmen of his generation, is widely regarded as the greatest grand prix racing driver of all time.
Federer, Roger 🇨🇭 Switzerland 1981 Tennis Roger Federer* has won 103 tournaments to date, including 20 Grand Slam wins (8 Wimbledon, 5 US Open, 6 Australian Open, 1 French Open) and completed a Career Grand Slam in 2009. Federer won 6 YECs[12](2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011). Federer won Olympic gold in doubles (with Stan Wawrinka) at Beijing 2008 and a singles silver medal at London 2012. Federer currently holds 30 tennis records in Guinness World Records – the third highest number of records in one discipline. Federer, one of Switzerland’s best sportsmen, is the most successful tennis player of all time.
Fischer, Bobby 🇺🇸 USA 1943 2008 Chess Bobby Fischer, aged 14, became US Chess Champion and the youngest grandmaster (GM) aged 15. Fischer went on to win the 1963/64 US Championship with 11 wins from 11 games, the only perfect score in the tournament’s history. In 1972, in Iceland, Bobby Fischer won the “Match of the Century” beating Boris Spassky (Soviet Union) to become the 11th World Chess Champion. Fischer’s peak Elo[5] rating was 2785 in 1972. Bobby Fischer is one of the greatest chess players of all time.
Foreman, George 🇺🇸 USA 1949 Boxing George Foreman won 76 (68 KO) of 81 fights. “Big George” won Olympic gold at Mexico 1968. He was world heavyweight champion 2 times. Foreman won second title aged 45 making him the oldest living heavyweight champion. He retired in 1997, aged 48 and is an ordained Christian minister and businessman. Foreman is one of boxing’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest boxers of his generation.
Garrincha 🇧🇷 Brazil 1933 1983 Football / Soccer Mané Garrincha is regarded as one of the best ever dribblers of a football and included in the fantasy FIFA[16] World Cup All-Time Team. Garrincha played 50 times for Brazil, scoring 12 goals and won 2 x World Cup winners medals against Sweden in 1958 and Chile in 1962. Garrincha, one of soccer’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest football players of his generation.
Gretzky, Wayne 🇨🇦 Canada 1961 Hockey Wayne Gretzky played 1487 NHL games over 20 seasons, scoring 894 goals and 1963 assists. Gretzky was a 3 x Canada Cup winner and won many awards for both performance and sportsmanship. Gretzky retired in 1999 holding 61 NHL[6] records, many of which still stand today. He was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the NHL retired his number 99 jersey, the only player to so far receive such an honor.  Gretzky, one of hockey’s best sportsmen and widely regarded as the greatest ever hockey player.
Hailwood, Mike 🇬🇧 UK
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿England
1940 1981 Motorcycle racing Mike HailwoodMike the Bike” was a natural talent on motorbikes and he also raced cars at Grand Prix level. Hailwood won 76 Grand Prix wins, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and 9 World Championship titles (4 x MotoGP, 2 x 350cc, 3 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc). Hailwood, one of England’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest motorcycle riders of all time.
Hamilton, Lewis 🇬🇧 UK 1985 Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton* currently is a 6 x F1 World Champion (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019) with 84 wins and 88 pole positions from 250 starts. Hamilton currently holds F1 records for all-time most pole positions, all-time most career points, most grand slams in a season and the most points in a season. Lewis Hamilton, one of England’s best sportsmen, is one of the most successful racing drivers of all-time.
Hayes, Bob 🇺🇸 USA 1942 2002 American Football Bob Hayes was a sprinter who went on to become a NFL[1] receiver for Dallas Cowboys between 1965-74. Hayes won 2 Olympic gold medals in the Tokyo 1964 100 m and 4 x 100 relay. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Bob Hayes is the only sportsman to win a Super Bowl ring (1971) and an Olympic gold medal (1964). At one time Hayes was the world’s fastest human and his 70 yard dash record in 6.9 seconds still stands. Hayes, one of American football’s best sportsmen, is one of the most successful athletes of his generation.
Heiden, Eric 🇺🇸 USA 1958 Speed Skating Eric Heiden is a legendary long track speed skater, road and track cyclist. Heiden won 5 individual Olympic gold medals, setting 4 Olympic records and a world record at the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Heiden, one of skating’s best sportsmen, is arguably the greatest speed skater of all time.
Hinault, Bernard 🇫🇷 France 1954 Cycling Bernard Hinault is a 5 x winner of the Tour de France in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985. Hinault was also World Champion in the 1980 Sallanches road race, 3 x Giro d’ Italia and 2 x Vuelta a España winner. Hinault was known as “the badger” for his aggression and as “the boss”. Hinault, one of France’s greatest sportsmen, is one of the most successful cyclists of his generation.
Hirscher, Marcel 🇦🇹 Austria 1989 Alpine skiing Marcel Hirscher won 2 Olympic gold medals at PyeongChang 2018 and a bronze at Sochi 2014. Hirscher won 7 World Championships and 8 overall World Cup titles with 67 wins. With 13 wins in one season Hirscher is joint record holder with Ingemar Stenmark and Hermann Maier. Hirscher, one of Austria’s best sportsmen, is the best alpine skier of all-time according to the stats.
Induráin, Miguel 🇪🇸 Spain 1964 Cycling Miguel Induráin is a 5 x Tour de France winner (1991-1995), 2 x Giro d’ Italia winner (1992, 1993), 1995 World Champion time trial winner in Duitama and Olympic gold time trial winner at Atlanta in 1996. Miguel Induráin,  a modest person, was one of Spain’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
Johnson, (Earvin) Magic 🇺🇸 USA 1959 Basketball Magic Johnson was 5 x NBA[3] Champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988), 3 x NBA Finals MVP[2] (1980, 1982 and 1987), 3 x NBA MVP (1987, 1989 and 1990). Johnson played 905 games and scored 17,700 points.  In 1992 Johnson won Olympic gold with the USA “Dream Team” in Barcelona. With 11.2 average assists per game Johnson still the NBA’s all-time record. Johnson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame twice, in 2002, and again in 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. Johnson, one of basketball’s best sportsman, is one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
James, LeBron 🇺🇸 USA 1984 Basketball LeBron James* has won 3 x NBA[3] Champion (2012, 2013 and 2016), 3 × NBA Finals MVP (2012, 2013 and 2016), 4 × NBA MVP (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013), 15 × NBA All-Star (2005-2019), 3 × NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008 and 2018) and 12 × All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008-2018). LeBron currently plays for the LA Lakers. LeBron is one of basketball’s best sportsmen and one of America’s most influential athletes and media personalities.
Jones, Bobby 🇺🇸 USA 1902 1971 Golf Bobby Jones was the most successful amateur golfer of all-time. Jones competed as both an amateur and became famous for his unique 1930 “Grand Slam” winning all 4 major amateur and open golf tournaments (of that era) in the USA and UK. Bobby Jones enjoyed success in the USA national team with 5 Walker Cup wins (1922, 1924, 1926 andas captain in 1928 and 1930), 4 US Open (1923, 1926, 1929 and 1930), 3 Open Championship (1926, 1927 and 1930), 5 x USA Amateur winner (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930) and the British Championship in 1930. Bobby Jones, one of golf’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Jordan, Michael 🇺🇸 USA 1963 Basketball Michael Jordan is often regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan won 2 Olympic gold medals (LA 1984, Barcelona 1992), 6 NBA[3] Championships (with Chicago Bulls), 6 NBA Finals MVP[2], 5 x MVP Awards, 3 x All-Star Game MVP Awards and many other awards and records. Over 15 NBA seasons Jordan played 1,072 games and scored 32,292 points (30.1 points per game). In 2016 Michael Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Michael Jordan is the richest African-American sportsman and one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Karpov, Anatoli 🇷🇺 Russia 1951 Chess Anatoli Karpov became a chess grandmaster, aged 19, in 1970. Karpov was World Champion 1975-1985 and FIDE[4] World Champion 1993-99. Karpov’s peak Elo[5] rating was 2780 in 1994. Karpov, one of Russia’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest chess players of all-time.
Kasparov, Garry 🇷🇺 Russia
🇭🇷 Croatia
1963 Chess Garry Kasparov became a chess grandmaster, aged 17, in 1980. Kasparov was World Champion 1985-2000. Kasparov’s peak Elo[5] rating was 2851 in 1999 and 2000, In 1997 Kasparov became the first chess world champion to lose a chess match to a computer (IBM’s Big Blue supercomputer). Kasparov holds the record for consecutive professional tournament victories (15) and is one of the greatest chess players of all-time.
Keino, Kipchogo 🇰🇪 Kenya 1940 Athletics Kipchogo Keino, known as Kip Keino, won 2 Olympic gold medals at and 2 silver medals at Mexico 1968 (gold in 1500 m and silver in 5000 mm) and Munich 1972 (gold in 3000 m steeplechase and silver in 1500 m). Keino won 2 All-Africa gold medals in 1965 and 2 Commonwealth gold medals (silver and bronze) at the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth games. Kip Keino inspired many other African middle and long distance athletes. In 2012 Kip Keino was 1 of 24 athletes inducted into the IAAF[8] Hall Of Fame. In 2016 Kip Keino was awarded the first Olympic Laurel for outstanding service to the Olympic movement. Today Keino and his wife undertake humanitarian work for children in Kenya. Kip Keino, one of Kenya’s best sportsmen, is the one of the most famous distance runners of all time.
Killy, Jean-Claude 🇫🇷 France 1943 Alpine skiing Jean-Claude Killy won 3 Olympic gold medals at Grenoble 1968 for downhill, giant slalom and downhill skiing. Killy also won 6 World Championship titles,  18 World Cup wins and the 1967 and 1968 World Cup overall titles. Killy retired in 1968, aged 24, to pursue ski related enterprises. Killy, one of skiing’s best sportsmen, is one of the most successful skiers of his generation.
Klitschko, Vitali 🇺🇦 Ukraine 1971 Boxing Vitaly KlitschkoDr. Ironfist” is a 3 x world heavyweight boxing champion. Vitaly Klitschko won 47 (41 by KO) of his 47 fights. Vitaly Klitschko was world champion in 3 different decades and the first professional boxing world champion to hold a PhD degree. Vitaly Klitschko retired in 2014 and is involved in Ukrainian politics. Vitaly Klitschko, one of Ukraine’s best sportsmen, is one of the most successful boxers of his generation.
Klitschko, Wladimir 🇺🇦 Ukraine 1976 Boxing Wladimir Klitschko is a 2 x world heavyweight boxing champion. Wladimir Klitschko won 64 (53 by KO) in 69 fights. Wladimir Klitschko won Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996 and silver at the Vejle 1996 European championship in Denmark. Wladimir Klitschko was world heavyweight champion for 4,382 day, a cumulative world record, defeating 23 opponents, the most in boxing history.
Lasker, Emanuel 🇩🇪 Germany 1868 1941 Chess Emanuel Lasker was World Chess Champion from 1894 to 1921, the longest reign in chess history. Even aged 67 in a 1935 chess tournament in Moscow he came third. Lasker was a mathematician and good friend of Albert Einstein. Arpad Elo[5] calculated retrospective Elo ratings to past players, Emanuel Lasker’s Elo rating was 2720.
Lauda, Niki 🇦🇹 Austria 1949 2019 Formula 1 Niki Lauda was 3 x F1 World Champion (1975, 1977 and 1984) and won 25 races from 171 starts. Lauda was the only racing driver to have been World Champion for both leading constructors (McLaren and Ferrari). Lauda was one of the best sportsmen of his generation and amongst the greatest F1 drivers of all time.
Laver, Rod 🇦🇺 Australia 1938 Tennis Rod Laver won a record 200 singles tournaments including 11 Grand Slam wins (4 Wimbledon, 2 US Open, 3 Australian Open, 2 French Open). Laver won the Davis Cup five times with team Australia (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1973). Rod Laver was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and in 2002 became a Legend of Australian Sport. Laver, one of Australia’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
Lemieux, Mario 🇨🇦 Canada 1965 Hockey Mario Lemieux played in 17 NHL[6] seasons for Pittsburgh Penguins between 1984 and 2006, after which he bought the team. Lemieux led Team Canada to Olympic gold at Provo, Utah in 2002, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the Canada Cup in 1987. Lemieux was 7 x NHL All Star scoring 690 goals from 915 games. After his first retirement Lemieux was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997 immediately (an honor) and is widely regarded as one of the best Canadian sportsmen of his generation and amongst the best hockey players of all-time.
Lendl, Ivan 🇨🇿 Czech Republic
🇺🇸 USA
1960 Tennis Ivan Lendl won 100 tournaments (94 singles, 6 doubles), including 8 Grand Slam wins (3 x US Open, 2 x Australian Open, 3 x French Open). Lendl won 7 YECs[12](1981, 1982, 1982, 1985, 1985, 1986 and 1987). With the Czechoslovakia team Lendl won the Davis Cup in 1980 and the ATP[7] World Cup in 1981. Awards include 4 x International Tennis Federation’s World Champion, 3 x ATP Player of The Year. Lendl, one of tennis’ best sportsmen is one of the most successful tennis players of his generation.
Lewis, Carl 🇺🇸 USA 1961 Athletics Carl Lewis was a sprinter and long jump specialist. Lewis won 9 x Olympic gold medals and 1 silver medal at 5 Summer Olympics (1984-96). Carl Lewis is 8 x World Champion (1983-91) and set world records in the 100 m, 4 x 200m, 4 x 100 m and long jump – his indoor long jump record set in 1984 still stands. 1999 Carl Lewis was voted “World Athlete of the Century” by the IAAF[8] and elected “Sportsman of the Century” by the IOC[9]
Louis, Joe 🇺🇸 USA 1914 1981 Boxing Joe Louis the “Brown Bomber” won 66 of his 69 fights and was World heavyweight champion for 12 years (1937-1949). In 2005 Joe Louis was ranked “the best heavyweight of all time” by the International Boxing Research Organization and topped the The Ring magazine’s list of the “100 greatest punchers of all time”. Joe Louis, one of boxing’s best sportsmen, is one of boxings sporting legends.
Maier, Hermann 🇦🇹 Austria 1972 Alpine skiing Hermann Maier the “Herminator” won 2 Olympic gold medals at Hakuba, Japan in 1998, followed by a silver and bronze medal in Italy 2006. Maier won 3 World Championships and 4 overall World Cup titles with 54 wins. Maier scored 2000 points in 2000, a record unbeaten today. With 13 wins in one season Maier is joint record holder with Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher. Maier is one of Austria’s best sportsmen and one of the most successful skiers of his generation.
Marciano, Rocky 🇺🇸 USA 1923 1969 Boxing Rocky MarcianoThe Brockton Blockbuster” won all 49 fights – 43 of them by a knockout. He was world heavyweight champion from 1952 until 1956 and the only heavyweight champion to end his career unbeaten. Rocky Marciano died aged just 45 in a small plane crash in Iowa. He was the inspiration for the Rocky movie series. The Ring boxing magazine named Marciano fighter of the year three times and he is member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, International Boxing Hall of Fame and a boxing sporting legend.
Maradona, Diego 🇦🇷 Argentina 1960 Football / Soccer Diego Maradona played in 4 World Cups for Argentina. He won the FIFA[16] World Cup at Mexico in 1986 and the Golden Ball award. Maradona gained 91 caps and scored 34 goals for Argentina between 1997-94. At Italy 1990 Maradona scored a goal with his hand which the referee missed. Maradona said the goal was scored “A little with his head, and a little with the hand of God”, an infamous moment in football history. Maradona won the internet FIFA Player of the 20th Century award which he shared with Pelé. With Napoli he won Italian league, cup and UEFA Cup in 1989.
McEnroe, John 🇺🇸 USA 1959 Tennis John McEnroe was ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles winning 77 singles titles and 78 doubles titles, a record mens combined total of 155 in the Open Era. In singles McEnroe won 7 Grand Slams (3 Wimbledon, 4 US Open). In doubles McEnroe won 9 Grand Slams (5 Wimbledon, 4 US Open). McEnroe won the Davis Cup five times with team USA (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1992). McEnroe won a record 8 YECs[12](1978, 1979, 1981, 2 x 1983, 2 x 1984 and 1989). McEnroe still plays on the ATP[7] Champions Tour and is a TV Tennis commentator. McEnroe is one of the best sportsmen and all-round tennis players of all-time.
Merckx, Eddy 🇧🇪 Belgium 1945 Cycling Eddy MerckxThe Cannibal” was 5 x Tour de France winner (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974), 5 x Giro d’ Italia Tour of Italy (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974) and Vuelta a España Tour of Spain in 1973. Merckx won 3 World Championships, all 5 Monuments (classic races) and all the major one day races, apart from Paris–Tours. Merckx retired in 1978, started Eddy Merckx Cycles and coached the Belgian national cycling team until 1996. Merckx, one of Belgium’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
Messi, Lionel 🇦🇷 Argentina 1987 Football / Soccer Lionel Messi* moved to Spain as a youth to play for Barcelona. He made his senior debut in 2005 winning the FIFA[16] World Youth Championship, Golden Boot and Shoe. With Argentina Messi won Olympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since 2011 Messi has captained Argentina leading them to 3 consecutive finals (2014 FIFA[16] World Cup, 2015 and 2016 Copas América) and he’s Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer. At Barcelona Messi has won a record 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles and 6 Copas del Rey. Messi has won a record 6 Ballon d’Or awards for World footballer of the year, a record 6 European Golden Shoes and dozens of other awards. Diego Maradona regards Lionel Messi as his successor. Messi is one of Argentina’s best sportsmen and is widely regarded as the best football player in the world today.
Messner, Reinhold 🇮🇹 Italy 1944 Mountaineering, Climbing Reinhold Messner made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest, the first ascent of Everest without extra oxygen (with Peter Habeler) and the first to reach the peak of all 14 eight-thousanders (mountain peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level) without oxygen. Messner has 9 “World’s Firsts” in the Guinness World Records, related to mountaineering, along with his other first ascents: Agnér northeast face, Nanga Parbat Rupal face, Heiligkreuzkofel middle pillar, Marmolada south face, Yerupaja east face, Yerupaja Chico. Not content with mountain climbing Messner was the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland without snowmobiles or dog sleds and he also crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner was awarded the Spanish 2018 Princess of Asturias Awards for Sports jointly with Krzysztof Wielicki. One of Italy’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest mountaineers of all time.
Montana, Joe 🇺🇸 USA 1956 American Football Joe Montana was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers when he was 4 x Super Bowl champion, 3 x Super Bowl MVP[2], 2 x NFL[1] MVP (1989, 1990), 8 Pro Bowl invites, 3 x First-team All-Pro (1987, 1989, 1990). Montana is most famous for “The Catch” an iconic sporting moment in Super Bowl XXIII when he threw a remarkable touchdown pass with just 36 seconds left on the clock to win the game. Montana is the only player to have two touchdown passes of 95 yards or more. Montana was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and is one of America’s best sportsmen.
Moses, Edwin 🇺🇸 USA 1955 Athletics Edwin Moses won 2 Olympic gold medals at Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984 and a bronze medal at Seoul 1988. Moses also won 2 World Championships and 3 World Cups all for 400 m hurdles for which he was the best sportsmen winning 107 consecutive finals setting 4 world records between 1977 and 1987.
Rossi, Valentino 🇮🇹 Italy 1979 Motorcycle racing Valentino Rossi*  has won 9 World Championship titles (6 MotoGP, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc). Rossi holds records for 402 race starts, 6,218 points, the longest winning career in Grand Prix racing, and many others, Rossi, one of Italy’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time.
Niklaus, Jack 🇺🇸 USA 1940 Golf Jack NiklausThe Golden Bear” won 117 tournaments and a record 3 Career Grand Slams including 4 US Open (1962, 1967, 1972 and 1980), 6 Masters (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986), 3 Open Championships (1966, 1970 and 1978) and 5 PGA Championships (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1980), tied with Tiger Woods. Nicklaus shot 65 to win his final major title aged 46, an iconic golfing moment. In 2005 Jack Nicklaus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. In 2014 Nicklaus was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for “promoting excellence and good sportsmanship”. Niklaus is one the best sportsmen of his generation and amongst the greatest golfers of all time.
Nurmi, Paavo 🇫🇮 Finland 1897 1973 Athletics Paavo Nurmi, the “Flying Finn“, dominated middle and long distance running in the 1920’s. Nurmi won 9 Olympic gold medals, 3 at Antwerp 1920  (10,000 m, individual and team cross county, plus silver for 5000 m), 5 gold medals at Paris 1924 (1500 m, 5000 m, individual and team cross county and 3000 m team) and at Amsterdam 1928 he won gold for 10,000 m and 2 silver medals for 3000 m steeplechase and 5000 m. Nurmi set 22 IAAF[8] ratified world records plus 21 unofficial records. Nurmi, one of Finland’s best sportsmen, is amongst the greatest athletes of his generation.
Nykänen, Matti 🇫🇮 Finland 1963 2019 Ski Jumping Matti Nykänen won 4 Olympic gold medals (3 in Calgary 1988 and 1 in Sarajevo 1984 plus a silver medal). Nykänen won 4 team World Championships (Engelberg 1984, Seefeld 1985, Oberstdorf 1987 and Lahti 1989) and World Champion individual gold for Large Hill at Oslo 1982. Nykänen won 46 World Cup events from 143 starts including 4 overall titles (1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988) and 2 Four Hills wins in 1983 and 1988. Nykänen, one of Finland’s best sportsmen, is the greatest male ski jumper of all time.
O‘Neal, Shaquille 🇺🇸 USA 1972 Basketball Shaquille O’Neal won Olympic team gold at Atlanta 1996, the FIBA[11] World Cup 1994 Canada, 4 x NBA[3] champion (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006), 3× NBA Finals MVP (2000, 2001 and 2002), NBA MVP 2000, 15 NBA All-Star (1993-1998, 2000-2007, 2009), 3 × NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000, 2004 and 2009), 8 × All-NBA First Team (1998, 2000-2006). Shaquille is also a rap musician, actor, TV presenter and pundit, mixed martial artist and a reserve police officer. One of basketball’s best sportsmen and media personalities.
Owens, Jesse 🇺🇸 USA 1913 1980 Athletics Jesse Owens made history twice for different reasons. In 1935, at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships in Michigan, USA, Jesse Owens set 4 world records in 45 minutes a feat which has no parallel in any sport since. In 1936 at the Berlin Olympics Jesse Owens famously won 4 Olympic Gold medals in Nazi Germany. Following Owens Olympic achievements Hitler shook his hand and congratulated him. Jesse Owens received the Associated Press Athlete of the Year award but no other official recognition. In 1955, President Eisenhower honored Owens as an “ambassador of sport” and in 1976 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ford and is now recognized as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Phelps, Michael 🇺🇸 USA 1985 Swimming Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time winning a total of 28 medals at 4 Olympic games Phelps won 23 Olympic gold medals (6 Athens 2004, 8 Beijing 2008, 4 London 2012 and 5 Rio de Janeiro 2016) plus 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. Phelps was World Champion 17 times. Phelps set 39 world records and currently has 23 Guinness World Records, including his 400 m medley set in 2008. Phelps is one of the best sportsmen of his generation and the most successful swimmer of all time.
Pelé 🇧🇷 Brazil 1940 Football / Soccer Pelé won the FIFA[16] Player of the 20th Century award jointly with Diego Maradona. Pelé played for Brazil 92 times scoring a record 77 goals. Pelé is the only player to win 2 FIFA World Cup, in Sweden in 1958, Chile in 1962 and Mexico in 1970. With Santos Pelé was the leading goalscorer and they won the Copa Libertadores (South American Cup tournament) in 1962 and 1963 and were Brazilian Champions 5 times. Pelé scored 1283 goals in 1366 games in his professional career. Pelé is credited with coining football as “The Beautiful Game”. Pelé is one of Brazil’s best sportsmen, the best footballer of his generation, and arguably the best footballer of all time.
Pippen, Scottie 🇺🇸 USA 1965 Basketball Scottie Pippen won 2 Olympic gold medals at Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. Pippen played 17 NBA[3] seasons  6 x NBA champion (1991-1993 and 1996-1998), NBA All-Star MVP[2] 1994, 3 × All-NBA First Team (1994-1996). Pippen is a 2 x inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as an individual and one of the 1992 Dream Team”. One of the Basketball’s best sportsmen of his generation.
Prost, Alain 🇫🇷 France 1955 Formula 1 Alain Prost was 4 x F1 World Champion with 51 wins, a record at the time, and 33 pole positions in 199 races. Prost and Senna had a long running rivalry which melted into mutual respect. Prost was a pallbearer at Senna’s funeral. Prost, one of France’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest F1 racing drivers of all time.
Rice, Jerry 🇺🇸 USA 1962 American Football Jerry Rice was 3 x Super Bowl Champion, 13 × Pro Bowl (1986-92, 1998, 2002), Super Bowl XXIII MVP[2], NFL 1987 MVP, 10 x First-team AP (1986-90, 1992-96). 2 x NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 6 x NFL receiving yards leader (1986, 1989, 1990, 1993-95). His 1,549 career receptions, 22,895 career receiving yards and 197 career touchdown receptions are way ahead of the second placed players. Rice holds 36 NFL records. In 2010 Jerry Rice was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is widely regarded as the greatest ever wide receiver and one of the best sportsmen of all time.
Ronaldo 🇧🇷 Brazil 1976 Football / Soccer RonaldoThe Phenomenon” was a 2 x World Cup winner with Brazil in USA 1994, Korea & Japan 2002 and a finalist in France 1998. In 1997 Brazil won the FIFA[16] Confederations Cup and were 2 x Copa América winners in Bolivia 1997 and Paraguay 1999. At Barcelona during the 1996-97 season Ronaldo won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, was La Liga top scorer and won the European Golden Shoe. Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or (European Footballer of the Year) in 1997 and 2002, was UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 1998 and FIFA[16] World Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002. Ronaldo is one of soccer’s best sportsmen and one of the best footballers of all time.
Ruth, Babe 🇺🇸 USA 1895 1948 Baseball Babe Ruth was 2 × All-Star (1933 and 1934), 7 × World Series champion (1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928 and 1932), AL MVP[2] (1923). Ruth holds baseball records for all-time slugging 0.69%, all-time OPS 1.164 and OPS+ 206[99]. Ruth was a member of the inaugural class of 1936 in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. “Ruthian” has became an adjective used to describe sporting excellence. In 2019 Babe Ruth was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump. Ruth, one of baseball’s best sportsmen, is the most famous baseball player of all time.
Sampras, Pete 🇺🇸 USA 1971 Tennis Pete Sampras won 64 singles titles and 2 doubles titles including 14 x Grand Slam wins (7 x Wimbledon, 5 x US Open, 2 Australian Open). Sampras won 7 YECs[12](1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 2 x 1997 and 1999). Sampras won the Davis Cup twice with team USA in 1992 and 1995. In 1990 Pete Sampras became the youngest mens single player to win the US Open aged 19. Sampras ranked No. 1 a total of 286 weeks, second only to Federer. Sampras was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007. Sampras one of the greatest tennis players of his generation.
Schumacher, Michael 🇩🇪 Germany 1969 Formula 1 Michael Schumacher won the F1 World Champion a record 7 times. He currently holds over 2 dozen Formula 1 records including most race wins (77) and most fastest laps (77). Statistically Schumacher is the best ever racing driver. In 2013 Schumacher had a skiing accident in which he almost lost his life. He is still recovering but struggles to communicate. Schumacher, one of Germany’s best sportsmen, is one of the greatest F1 racing drivers of all time.
Senna, Ayrton 🇧🇷 Brazil 1964 1994 Formula 1 Ayrton Senna was 3 x F1 World Champion with 41 wins and 65 pole positions. Ayrton Senna died when his car crashed into a concrete barrier during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy. His death lead to changes to F1 safety rules which has undoubtedly saved the lives other racing drivers. A 2010 documentary movie titled Senna depicts the life and death. Senna, one of F1’s best sportsmen, is amongst the most famous racing drivers in history.
Slater, Kelly 🇺🇸 USA 1972 Surfing Kelly Slater has ranked 1st in the World Surf League for 11 years (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) and is both the youngest (age 20) and oldest (39) surfer to win the title. Kelly Slater, one of surfing’s best sportsmen, is widely acclaimed as the best professional surfer of all time. Slater is also an innovator model, actor (Jimmy Slade in Baywatch and dozens of surf films), musician, author of two autobiographies and businessman (Slaters Wave Pools). Surfing will be included in the Summer Olympics for the first time at Tokyo 2020.
Spitz, Mark 🇺🇸 USA 1950 Swimming Mark Spitz “Mark the pool shark” won 9 Olympic gold medals (2 Mexico City 1968, 7 Munich 1972 plus 1 silver and 1 bronze medal), a total of 11 Olympic medals. Spitz won 5 gold medals at the Pan American games in Winnipeg 1967 and set 35 world records before retiring aged just 22. Spitz was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977. Spitz, one of swimming’ best sportsmen, is one of the greatest swimmers of all-time.
Stenmark, Ingemar 🇸🇪 Sweden 1956 Alpine skiing Ingemar Stenmark won 2 Olympic gold medals for Slalom and Giant slalom in 1980 at Lake Placid, USA and a bronze medal in Austria 1976. Stenmark won 3 World Championships and 5 overall World Cup titles with 86 wins. With 13 wins in one season Stenmark is joint record holder with Hermann Maier and Marcel Hirscher. Stenmark is one of Sweden’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time.
Tendulkar, Sachin 🇮🇳 India 1973 Cricket Sachin TendulkarLittle Master” played cricket for Mumbai, India and Asia XI and made his [15]Test cricket debut in 1989, aged 16. Tendulkar holds most important records for runs in both Test and [13]ODI cricket. Tendulkar is the only cricketeer to have scored 100 International centuries and the first batsman to score a double century in a ODI. Tendulkar won the 2011 World Cup with India and is the only Indian cricketeer named in Wisden’s 2013 all-time Test World XI. On his retirement in 2013 Tendulkar became the youngest and first sportsperson to receive the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. Tendulkar was inducted into the [14]ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in In 2019. Tendulkar is one of India’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest cricket players of all-time.
Thompson, Daley 🇬🇧 UK 1958 Athletics, Decathlon. Daley Thompson Thompson won 2 decathlon Olympic gold medals in Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984. Thompson was 1983 World Champion at Helsinki. Thompson won 2 decathlon European Athletics Championships gold medals in Athens 1982 and Stuttgart 1986 plus a 4 x 100m bronze and a decathlon silver at Prague 1978. Thompson won 3 decathlon Commonwealth gold medals at Edmonton 1978, Brisbane 1982 and Edinburgh 1986 along with a 4 x 100m silver medal. Daley Thompson is a natural showman, the greatest British decathlete of all time and one of England’s best sportsmen. Thompson won the 1982 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Thorpe, James 🇺🇸 USA 1888 1953 Athletics, Baseball, Basketball. Jim Thorpe was the first Native American to win Olympic gold. At Stockholm, in 1912, Thorpe won pentathlon and decathlon gold for the USA. Thorpe also played major league baseball for the New York Giants (1913-19), 6 NFL[1] teams (1920-28) and was also a professional basketball player. Thorpe is one of the best sportsmen of the 20th century.
Weissmuller, Johnny 🇺🇸 USA 1904 1984 Swimming Johnny Weissmuller won 3 Olympic gold medals (100 m, 400 m and 4 x 200 m freestyle) and an Olympic bronze team medal in water polo at Paris, France in 1924 followed by 2 Olympic gold medals (100 m and 4 x 200 m freestyle) at Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1928). Weissmuller won 67 World Championships, 52 National titles and set 51 swimming world records, one of the best sportsmen of his generation. Johnny Weissmuller went on become a movie star playing Tarzan, alongside his chimpanzee sidekick “Cheeta“, and Jungle Jim in 24 movies between 1932 and 1955.
Woods, Tiger 🇺🇸 USA 1975 Golf Tiger Woods* won 91 tournaments, including 15 majors, 18 World Championships and a record 3 Career Grand Slams with 3 US Open (2000, 2002 and 2008), 4 Masters (1997, 2001, 2002 and 2008), 3 Open Championships (2000, 2005 and 2006) and 4 PGA Championships (1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007), tied with Jack Niklaus. Tiger Woods ranked #1 for over 500 weeks. In 2019 Tiger Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump. Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers of all time.
Zátopek, Emil 🇨🇿 Czechia
Czech Republic
1922 2000 Athletics Emil Zátopek won 4 Olympic gold medals (10,000 m at London 1948 and a 5000 m silver medal, 5,000 m, 10,000 m and Marathon at Helsinki in 1952). Zátopek won 3 European Athletics Championships gold medals (5,000 m and 10,000 m at Brussels 1950. 10,000 m plus a bronze medal at 5,000 m at Bern 1954). Following the 1968 Prague Spring and subsequent repression Zátopek could only undertake menial work until his retirement in the early 80’s. In 1975 Zátopek was awarded the [9]IOC Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship. In 2012 Zátopek was one of the first 12 athletes to be inducted into the [8]IAAF Hall of Fame. Zátopek is one of athletics best sportsmen and one of the greatest runners of his generation.
Zidane, Zinedine 🇫🇷 France 1972 Football / Soccer Zinedine Zidane won 2 Serie A titles with Juventas before moving to Real Madrid where he won La Liga and the 2002 UEFA Champions League title. For France Zidane was instrumental in France winning the 1998 FIFA[16] World Cup, scoring twice in the final, to become a national hero and recipient of the French Légion of Honor. Zidane won UEFA Euro 2000 and Player of the Tournament. Zidane won the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament at the 2006 World Cup. Zidane was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003 and won the Ballon d’Or for World player of the year in 1998. Zidane is one of France’s best sportsmen and one of the greatest footballers of all time.

* Active player (this list was last updated on 11 Jun 2020). [1]NFL National Football League. [2]MVP Most Valuable Player. [3]NBA National Basketball Association. [4]FIDE International Chess Federation. [5]Elo rating indicates the relative skill of chess players. Named after its inventor Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-American physics professor. [6]NHL National Hockey League. [7]ATP Association of Tennis Professionals. [8]IAAF International Association of Athletics Federations, now World Athletics. [9]IOC International Olympic Committee. [10]WSL World Surf League. [11]FIBA International Basketball Federation. [12]YECs Year-end championships. [13]ODI One Day International. [14]ICC International Cricket Council. [15]Test cricket is cricket between national teams. [16]FIFA International Federation of Association Football. [99]Baseball stats (the higher the better): All-time slugging, OPS On-base plus slugging and Adjusted OPS+.

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