Want to know who is the greatest athlete of all time? Then follow the list of the best and most famous athletes of all time. This list of the top 15 greatest athletes of all time is on the basis of their skills, achievements, honors, and awards. Whether on the field or off these famous athletes have set a high bar for the young generation. But the question remains who is the greatest athlete of all time?
Several sportsmen have achieved fame as the best athletes in the whole world, due to their outstanding athletic abilities and high-level sportsmanship. These sportsmen have enhanced the status of sports among the general public. They have also influenced society and people to think outside the box and join the sports team. Let us take a look at the top 15 greatest athletes in the world.
The Top 15 Greatest Athletes Of All Time
15. Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza is one of the most successful Indian female tennis players. She is a super hot sensational, and intelligent female player in 2022. The 35-year-old Sania Mirza was born on 15th November 1986. She has always been in the news for her glamorous beauty and game. Another reason to be in the news is her marriage to Pakistani cricketer Sohaib Mallik. Indeed, Sania Mirza is one of the best athletes of all time in 2022.
Mirza ranked Indian number 1 by the WTA from 2013-2022. She is famous for forehand groundstrokes which are full of strength and power. She has won six major titles and was one of the highest-paid greatest Indian athletes in India. The Economic Times named Mirza on the list of “33 women who made India Proud.”Besides, Times magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in the world.
14. Michael Phelps
Another famous athlete of all time is Michael Phelps. He is an American former competitive swimmer who has won a total of 28 medals. He also holds the all-time Olympic records of 23 gold medals, 13 Olympic gold medals in individual events, and so on. No doubt why he is considered one of the greatest swimmers and athletes of all time.
Initially, Phelps was afraid to put his face underwater, but he overcame his fear and loved swimming. Besides his back-to-back wins, he started breaking his records and popularised swimming as a sport. However, he took retirement in the year 2016.
13. Ronda Rousey
The top 15 best and greatest athletes of all time list will lose credibility without mentioning WWE diva Ronda Rousey. She is the first woman to win the UFC and WWE championships. Rousey was born in Riverside County, California, on February 1st, 1987. After winning the 2004 Olympic Games, she decided to pursue a career in professional MMA.
Rousey holds the title of WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Also, she is 2018, won the RAW WWE Women’s Championship against Nikki Bella. ESPN fan poll voted Rousey as the best female athlete of all time. At the same time, Fox sports defined her as one of the defining athletes of the 21st century. Besides this, the beautiful WWE diva has appeared in films such as Mile 22, Furious 7, and The Expandables 3.
12. David Beckham
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Are you a football fan? Then you must be aware of David Beckham. He is an English former footballer and current president and co-owner of Inter Miami CF. He is also a fashion icon and has been called “the best soccer player ever”. Beckham is at number 11 on our list of the top 15 world’s most famous athletes of all time.
His career began at Manchester United when he joined them as a trainee in 1988. After spending three seasons at Old Trafford, he moved to Real Madrid for £25 million in 1992. In 1996, he returned to Manchester United, where he spent another six seasons before moving to Milan in 2002. He then signed for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007. He retired from playing in 2013. People’s magazine named him the ‘sexiest man alive in 2015.
11. Steffi Graf
With 22 Grand Slam wins, 4 Olympic gold medals, and 107 titles in his kitty, Steffi Graf is truly one of the greatest and best athletes of all time. Her brilliance at the tennis court can be seen from the long list of records she holds to date. She began her career at an early age and became one of the top-notch players in the game.
She has the highest number of Grand Slam victories since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968. Indeed, Graf has been named the Greatest Tennis Player of all time by several publications, associations, critics, and sports channels.
10. Rafael Nadal
Popular as Rafa, Rafael Nadal is a tennis player from Spain and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He began his career at the age of three and was blessed with talent both in football and tennis. He participated in several junior level championships and moved to professional tennis with ATP. In addition, Nadal is the first tennis player to win Grand Slam tournaments for ten years straight. Undoubtedly, this professional player deserves to be on the list of famous and best athletes of all time.
9. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player who holds the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles (23) and Grand Slam doubles titles (14). She was born in Compton, California, United States, and raised in nearby Culver City. She began competing professionally in 1991, winning her first major tournament title at the 1995 US Open.
Since then, she has won 22 consecutive grand slam tournaments, including 11 Wimbledon championships, six Australian Open titles, three French Open titles, and two Olympic gold medals. At the age of 17, she became the youngest-ever winner of the WTA Tour Championships. She is currently ranked number one in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and is the only woman to hold the top spot in the rankings for over 100 weeks. She is also the oldest person to win the WTA World No.1 ranking.
8. Roger Federer
When talking about the greatest athletes of all time, Roger Federer needs no introduction. But for those who don’t know, he is a swiss former pro tennis player who was ranked number 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. This 6ft 1inch 38-year-old player has been on the list of Top 10 tennis players since 2002. He has been regarded as the greatest tennis player and athlete of all time by many commentators and other experts in his fraternity.
Roger has won 7 single grand slams and is married to Mirka Federer since 2009. His long locks of hair coming over his headband while playing add charm to his already magnificent personality. However, this best tennis player took retirement in 2022.
7. Eric Decker
Eric Deckers is a former American Football player who played as the wide receiver in the New York Jets team NFL. An early player; he also played football and college baseball at the University of Minnesota. The fame of the player can be easily estimated by the fact that he and his wife star in a show named ‘Eric and Jessie: Game On’ which has been running since 2013. The 35-year-old Eric Decker was born in 1987 and is an American football player, serving for the New York Jets as their wide receiver in the National Football League.
He started his career in this sport back in college and played for the University of Minnesota. He also played baseball for them. After that, he started his career as a professional American footballer in the NFL back in 2010. He has a television show called E! Decker is known among his fellow players as a charismatic and humble person, and is one of the cutest players in the NFL, with his perfect jawline and all. Indeed, Decker is one of the best and most famous athletes of all time in the world.
Pele is a legend in the sport of football. He is considered one of the greatest ever to grace the pitch. During his playing days, he was known for his incredible skill, speed, and power. He was a prolific striker and was nicknamed the King of Football. Besides, he is the only person to win the Ballon d’Or award three times.
Pele has also set a Guinness World Record of 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies. Times magazine listed him among the 100 most important people of 20th century.
5. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer and athlete in history. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year five times and won seven Ballon d’Or and six European Golden Shoes. His career has spanned over two decades, and he currently plays for FC Barcelona. Although 35 years old, he has shown no signs of aging and is still one of the most handsome soccer players in the world. A large part of his income which is $19 million comes from the brand endorsement of well-known brands. While as salary, he is paid $20 million.
In addition, he also ranked on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes by Forbes in 2019 and 2022. Born and raised in Argentina, Messi started playing football at the age of seven and has since become one of the most recognizable faces in the sport. He’s also a role model for millions of fans around the globe.
4. Christiano Ronaldo
The one who has always topped the list of the hottest soccer players and is the best athlete of all time is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo has won several awards over the years, including being named the World Player of the Year twice. He also holds the record of winning five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden shoe awards.
Cristiano Ronaldo was born in 1985 in Aveiro, Portugal. In 2003, he joined Manchester United’s youth team. Ronaldo is the first footballer to earn US$1 billion in his career. His good looks have earned him 470 million followers on Instagram.
3. Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is a Jamaican-based former sprinter who is considered one of the best athletes of all time. He holds the records for 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 * 100 meters relay in the fastest time. Initially, he didn’t believe in his abilities but over the years several coaches shaped him into a great runner. An eight-time Olympic gold medalist he is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 meters and 200-meter titles.
Bolt suffered a setback when he was eliminated in the 200m event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. But this didn’t stop him from becoming the most famous and best athlete of all time. Due to his achievements. he has been nicknamed the Lightning Bolt.
2. Muhammad Ali
Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali was one of boxing’s greatest fighters. At six feet tall, he was a towering presence in the ring, known especially for his quick footwork and powerful left hook. What made him stand out from his contemporaries were the principles he stood for throughout his life.
A devout Muslim, he had adopted the Islamic name of Muhammad Ali and changed his birth name from Cassius Marcellus Clays. A man of great courage and conviction, he fought for civil rights and equal treatment for people regardless of race or religion. In 1967, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston. Throughout his career, he recorded 56 out of which 37 came in knockout and 5 losses.
1. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is an American businessman and former professional basketball player who played for 15 seasons in the national basketball association (NBA). He won 6 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls. His personal achievements and accomplishments include 6 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and 10 NBA scoring titles (both are all-time records).
He also had 5 NBA MVP awards, 10 All-NBA First Team designs, 9 All-Defensive First team designs, 14 NBA All-Star game selections, 3 NBA All-Star game MVP awards, 3 NBA steals titles, and the 1989 NBA Defensive Player of the year award. He is one of the best marketers of his generation. In 2017, he became the first billionaire athlete in NBA history. Michael Jordan tops the list of the Top 15 Greatest Athletes of All Time.
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