Messi, Nadal, Woods, Schumacher: Naming the GOAT in world's biggest sports


Is Rafael Nadal now the tennis GOAT (Greatest of All Time)?

On Sunday, the Spaniard won his 21st Grand Slam title in Australia, moving him ahead of both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

If we’re basing it purely on statistics, Nadal is now the greatest tennis player of all time.

While the GOAT of tennis may be up for debate, the GOAT for many others sports isn’t.

Therefore, we’ve decided to look at 18 different sports and name who we think is the GOAT in that particular sport.

Of course, we certainly aren’t casting the deciding vote. We’re simply having our opinion and we’d be concerned if you agreed with every single one of our picks.

It’s just a bit of fun on the back of Nadal making history at the weekend.

So, without further ado, here is the GOAT for 17 of the biggest sports in the world.

QUIZ: The ultimate Messi vs Ronaldo quiz

Tennis – Rafa Nadal & Serena Williams

As we’ve mentioned, Nadal moving ahead of both Federer and Djokovic means he’s the GOAT of men’s tennis in our eyes. For now at least…

The GOAT in women’s tennis is a little easier to name. Williams has claimed 23 Grand Slam singles titles as well as 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles.

Football – Lionel Messi

For us, it was either Messi or Ronaldo. But given that the Argentine now has seven Ballon d’ors to Ronaldo’s five, we’re declaring him the GOAT.

Lionel Messi

Boxing – Muhammad Ali

Ali may have lost five fights in his career but the heavyweight boxer remains the only three-time lineal champion.

His trilogy of fights against Joe Frazier and his ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ victory over George Foreman helped boxing become one of the biggest sports in the world.

Athletics – Usain Bolt

Who else but the fastest man in history?

The world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.

Usain Bolt has eight Olympic gold medals to his name and is the fastest man ever, sprinting 100 metres in 9.58 second in Berlin in 2009.

Will he ever be beaten?

Usain Bolt

Basketball – Michael Jordan

For those of you who are still yet to watch the ‘The Last Dance’ documentary, you must.

MJ won six NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and was a real pioneer figure for basketball in the 1980s and 1990s.

Golf – Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has won 15 major championships, trailing only Jack Nicklaus. He also has 82 PGA Tour wins, tied first of all time with Sam Snead.

Tiger Woods

Formula One – Michael Schumacher

If Lewis Hamilton continues in the sport, he may go on to become Formula One’s GOAT. But, for now, we’re giving this to Schumacher. The German won seven F1 Championships – a record equalled by Hamilton – and 91 race wins.

Cricket – Sachin Tendulkar

The former Indian captain holds the record of the highest run scorer of all time in international cricket and is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries. In total, Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total, scoring 34,357 runs.

Sachin Tendulkar

Cycling – Chris Froome

Froome has seven Grand Tours to his name with four Tour de Frances, a  Giro d’Italia and two Vuelta a Españas. He’s also got two Olympic bronze medals in road time trials, in 2012 and 2016, and also took bronze in the 2017 World Championships. He’s suffered in the last few years but his achievements will never be forgotten.

NHL – Wayne Gretzky

Okay, we’re not the biggest NHL fans but even we know who Gretzky is. He’s the leading goal scorer, leading assist producer and leading point scorer in NHL history. The NHL themselves called Gretzky the greatest hockey player of all time so who are we to argue?

Wayne Gretzky

MMA – Jon Jones

Jones is a former two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, becoming the youngest champion in UFC history with his victory over Mauricio Rua at 23.

Swimming – Michael Phelps

The most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals – 23 of which are gold. The American won a total of 82 medals with 65 gold, 14 silver and three bronze in the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.

Adam Peaty has a long way to go…

Michael Phelps

Baseball – Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth played in the MLB for 22 seasons, winning seven World Series Championships. He played predominantly for New York Yankees from 1920 to 1934 and hit a staggering 714 career home runs.

Rugby – Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw played 148 times for the All Blacks, captaining them on 110 occasions. He helped New Zealand to two World Cups and spent the majority of his career at Christchurch Crusaders.

Richie McCaw

WWE – Ric Flair

Ric Flair had a WWE career spanning almost 40 years, becoming a 16-time world champion. The ‘Black Scorpion’ was the first holder of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship.

Snooker – Ronnie O’Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan is a six-time world champion, a seven-time Masters champion and a seven-time UK champion. He’s hit a 147 break 15 times in his career.

Darts – Phil Taylor

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor dominated darts for more than two decades, winning 214 professional tournaments, 85 major titles and 16 World Championships.

Phil Taylor
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