As different people may have different standards for what makes an athlete the best, it is difficult to definitively identify the greatest athletes of all time. There are many other athletes including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, etc. In their respective sports, the following athletes are mainly regarded as among the greatest of all time:
Michael Jordan: Jordan was a dominant force in the NBA for more than a decade, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever. He was named NBA Most Valuable Player five times and won six NBA championships.
LeBron James: LeBron James is regarded as one of the best basketball players ever. He has been one of the best players in the NBA for over a decade and has won four championships and four NBA Most Valuable Player awards.
Usain Bolt: One of the greatest sprinters of all time is thought to be Bolt. He holds the world record for the 100-meter and 200-meter races, and has won eight Olympic gold awards.
Wayne Gretzky: Most people think that Wayne Gretzky is the best hockey player ever. He has won four Stanley Cups and holds the NHL record for most goals, assists, and points.
Serena Williams: Serena Williams is regarded as one of the best tennis players ever. She has been consistently ranked as one of the best players in the world for more than two decades and has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most since the Open era.
Muhammad Ali: Most people think that Muhammad Ali is one of the best boxers ever. He was the first fighter to win the world heavyweight title three times, and he became a cultural icon because of his aggressive personality and boxing style.
Pele: One of the greatest soccer players of all time is Pele. With the Brazilian national team, he won three World Cups and is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history.
Roger Federer: Roger Federer is regarded as one of the best tennis players ever. He has come out on top for 20 major homerun singles championships, the most in the Open time, and has reliably positioned as one of the top players on the planet for north of twenty years.
Babe Ruth: Babe Ruth is widely regarded as one of baseball’s greatest players ever. He has won seven World Series championships and also holds the record for most home runs in a season and career.
Sachin Tendulkar: Sachin Tendulkar is a former Indian international cricketer. He has also captained Indian Cricket team. He is also referred as ‘The God of Cricket’. He is the only cricket player in the world, who has scored 100 international 100’s.
Lionel Messi: Lionel Andres Messi, commonly referred to as Leo Messi, is a professional soccer player from Argentina who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain, a club in Ligue 1, and serves as captain of the Argentina national team. Leo Messi has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, and was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team in 2020. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He had spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, winning a club-record 35 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey titles, and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, before leaving the team in 2021. He won the Copa América in 2021 and the FIFA World Cup in 2022 with his country.
Tiger Woods: Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is a professional golfer from the United States. He holds numerous golf records and ranks second in men’s major championship wins and is tied for first position in PGA Tour wins. Tiger Woods is one of the most well-known athletes of the modern era and is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional footballer from Portugal who captains the Portugal national team and plays as a forward. Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He has won the most European Golden Shoes and five Ballon d’Or awards. He has won 34 prizes in his profession, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions League title, the UEFA European Title and the UEFA Countries Association.
Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant was a professional basketball player from the United States who is a former Los Angeles Lakers player of the National Basketball Association. After graduating from high school right away, he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he went on to win five NBA championships.
Diego Maradona: Diego Armando Maradona was a football manager and professional player from Argentina. He was one of two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest sportsmen ever.
Mike Tyson: Michael Gerard Tyson is a former professional boxer from the United States who competed between 1985 and 2005. In his early career, he was also known as “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite,” and later as “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” One of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever is regarded as Mike Tyson.
Kapil Dev: Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj is a former Indian cricket player. In 2002, Wisden named him the Indian Cricketer of the Century. He was a middle-order batsman and a fast-medium bowler who hit hard.