The world has produced many illustrious sportsmen over the years who have taken their individual sports to a different level because of their talent and dedication. Games like soccer, cricket, athletics, golf, racing, tennis and boxing have given us players who were true masters at their games and excelled beyond the imagination. These legendary players include:
Edson Arantes do Nascimento is the actual name of this wonderful and legendary footballer who is known as Pele the world over. Also called fondly as the Black Pearl, Pele played as a forward and has scored 1281 goals in 1363 games. He is the only player to have won three consecutive World Cups for his country Brazil.
2) Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Clay in USA and went on to become the greatest boxer of all times in the world boxing in the Heavyweight category. He reigned over the boxing ring by winning 56 fights out of 61 and KOed 37 opponents. He was an enigmatic personality and feared by all his opponents for his quick moves.
3) Roger Federer
This Swiss Tennis legend is presently the world no: 3 and is truly the greatest tennis player of all times. No Grand Slam event was left untouched as Roger has conquered 88 career titles in his lifetime including 5 consecutive Wimbledon title wins.
4) Tiger Woods
40 year old Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods dominated the world of golf from 1999 to 2010 as World No. 1 except for a brief period in between. His contribution in taking golf to a professional level is huge and has been awarded PGA Player of the year for a record 11 times.
5) Sachin Tendulkar
This iconic legend has absolutely no match in terms of dedication and talent as he ruled the cricket world for almost 23 years. Records broke and bowlers ran for cover when he came to bat and has often been compared to the great Sir Don Bradman. The God of Cricket played 664 international matches and amassed 34357 runs.
6) Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter and is regarded as the fastest man on earth. He became the first man in history to hold the record for 100 meters and 200 meters and is the Olympic record holder in these events. He has won six gold medals in running at Olympics and is the first man to do so.
7) Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is regarded as the greatest basketball player of all times and has played a massive role in popularizing Basketball as a game during the 80s and the 90s. With an amazing list of career records under his belt like all-time leading scorer for Chicago Bulls, 6-time NBA Champions and many more, he was the most popular player of his time.
8) Don Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman, fondly known as Don, is unarguably the greatest player cricketing history has ever known. He was the only player to have a batting average of 99.94 in Test matches. He was singled out for his batting prowess when Australia played against England in the infamous Bodyline series and he took body blows to stand up against the might of English fast bowlers.
9) Michael Schumacher
The biggest name in professional racing, Michael Schumacher holds a large number of Formula One’s racing records to his name. He has won the most races in one season-13 and also became the only driver to finish in the top three in every race he participated in one season.
10) Lionel Messi
Unarguably the most popular name in world football, Lionel Messi is an Argentine forward who has helped his country and club win more titles than any other player in the history of football. A prolific goal scorer, Messi retired this year much to the disappointment of millions of fans.
11) Diego Maradona
Maradona was a master at dribbling, passing and has tremendous reflexes that made him a feared opponent on the field. This Argentine pocket-rocket could run through many opposing players while running with the ball.
12) Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis is an American athlete who has won 10 Olympic medals in his lifetime, which included 9 Gold medals and 10 World Championship medals. He won 65 consecutive times in making the long jump over a period of 10 years. His world record for the long jump in 1984 still stands unbroken.
13) David Beckham
One of the wizards of world soccer, there was indeed no one like British football star, David Beckham. He played for Manchester United and the English National team and holds the record for making the maximum number of appearances as a player.
14) Martina Navratilova
The now retired Czech and American tennis player, Martina Navratilova was one of the first stars of the tennis world. She has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 doubles titles and has won the Wimbledon title for a record 9 times out of which 6 were consecutive ones.
15) Serena Williams
Serena is ranked as the World No 1 in the women’s singles tennis and has reigned supreme for 179 consecutive weeks. 22 world singles titles, 14 world doubles titles, and two mixed doubles titles, Serena is regarded as the greatest modern day player who has graced the tennis courts. Australian Open, French Open, US Open and Wimbledon, no Grand Slam event has seen a better player than her in recent times. She has also won 4 Olympic Gold medals in singles and doubles tournaments.
All these sportsmen mentioned above have struggled in their initial days and have sacrificed a lot to make it to the top. Unending struggles and capacity to endure all kinds of troubles was never a barrier for these super humans. The world looks at them as superstars but they are as humble as anyone. These Sports Icons have contributed immensely to the popularity of the sport they played and have made their countries and its people proud of their achievements.
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