O'Sullivan, Messi, Mayweather, Hamilton, Nadal: Naming the GOAT of different sports

Sporting GOATs decided

Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Judd Trump 18–13 to win his seventh World Snooker Championship over the weekend, equalling the record of Scot Stephen Hendry, cementing his place as the sport’s greatest ever player.

In the process, he became the oldest ever player to win the Championship at 46 years and 146 days.

O’Sullivan has also delivered the most ranking titles (39), most Triple Crowns (21), most UK Championships (7), most Masters titles (7), most career centuries (1,170) and most maximum breaks (15).

He also has the record for the fastest ever break made.

While Snooker’s GOAT is nailed on, some other sports are up for debate.

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

This is all a matter of our opinion, readers are allowed to disagree, and nothing is set in stone. 

Sporting GOATs decided
Sporting GOATs decided

Tennis  – Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams

Honourable mention goes to Roger Federer, who has had an amazing career. However, his friend and rival Rafa Nadal is now statistically the greatest tennis player of all time.

Serena Williams is the undoubted GOAT in her division. The icon has 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, and three doubles gold medals at the Olympics.

Football  – Lionel Messi

The great debate, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. This is an unwinnable fight and will never be settled. Some argue Messi is more naturally gifted and CR7’s success has come thanks to his dedication.

Ronaldo vs Messi
BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 03: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona conducts the ball next to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou stadium on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

CR7 has reinvented himself at several different clubs and both men will go down as the two greatest that have ever lived.

However, Messi has seven Ballon d’Ors to Ronaldo’s five, that makes him the GOAT in our eyes.

Boxing  – Floyd Mayweather

Polls will suggest Muhammed Ali or Sugar Ray Robinson.

For us, though, it is Floyd Mayweather.

Floyd won titles in five categories and he faced and defeated 23 of The Ring’s ‘top 10’ fighters in their divisions.

Floyd Mayweather
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – MARCH 16: Floyd Mayweather Jr. stands in the ring before Errol Spence Jr takes on Mikey Garcia in an IBF World Welterweight Championship bout at AT&T Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Out with his fighting record, his unsurpassed box-office returns alone make him the GOAT.

Athletics –  Usain Bolt

“Lightning Bolt” is arguably the greatest athlete of all time.

An eight-time Olympic gold medallist. The fastest man ever and record holder in 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.

He retired in 2017, and it has been questioned if he will ever be beaten.

Erriyon Knighton may have his say on that in the future…

Basketball  – Michael Jordan

While statistics suggest LeBron is a better basketball player than Jordan, MJ has the accolades to make him the GOAT.

An argument can be made that MJ played in a weak league, however, the same argument could be made for the conference LeBron has played in, with the East conference trailing the West for the most part of LeBron’s career. 

Golf  – Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Eighty two PGA Tour wins, 15 major championships. The only ever player to win four consecutive majors and PGA Tour Player of the Year a record 10 times.

F1  –  Lewis Hamilton

Lewis has now surpassed the great Michael Schumacher as the F1 GOAT in our eyes.

Hamilton has equalled and is likely to surpass Schumacher for Drivers’ Championships. 

He has the most wins (103), pole positions (103) and podium finishes (183).

Cricket  – Sachin Tendulkar

His records may never be broken. Tendulkar 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.

NFL  – Tom Brady

There’s no other option, right?

MMA - Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: Georges St-Pierre of Canada enters the octagon for his UFC middleweight championship bout against Michael Bisping of England during the UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Jon Jones is often spoke about as the GOAT, but for us, it’s GSP.

He is a great role model and can do about anything.

His hard work, personality and statistics make him an unquestioned contender for GOAT.

Swimming  – Michael Phelps

No question. The most decorated ever Olympian with 28 medals, 23 of which are gold.

Baseball – Babe Ruth

An MLB career spanning 22 seasons, Ruth won seven World Series Championships.

Rugby  –  Richie McCaw

McCaw played 148 times for The All Blacks and had everything as a player. 

Two-time World Cup-winning captain in 2011 and 2015, and played in 2003 and 2007. Named World Rugby Player of the Year three times, in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Darts  –  Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Phil Taylor of England reacts after winning a leg during the PDC World Darts Championship final against Rob Cross of England on Day Fifteen at the 2018 William Hill PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on January 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The Power dominated the sport for decades, winning 214 professional tournaments and 85 major titles. The 16-time world champion will forever be spoken about when it comes to darts.

WWE  –  Chris Jericho

This may be an unpopular decision. Ric Flair and likely John Cena are up there for most titles won.

The Rock for his career, superstar power and mic skills.

HBK for his in-ring ability, The Undertaker for longevity.

However, Chris Jericho has gone against the hands of time and reinvented his character several times. 

He is brilliant on the mic and is a great in-ring performer.

He has been in the business for decades and remains relevant, albeit his in-ring skills are not what they once were.

His longevity is up there with The Undertaker, and he is the first-ever Undisputed Champion.

It is an opinion I have had for a few years now, and recently Kurt Angle has agreed. Who can argue with an Olympian?

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