Top Athletes Of All Time – Sports have a great place in our life as an entertainment source and as a great recreational activity. Even though most of us play any sort of sport for fun, there are a few selected ones who play it as a professional.
And among those professionals, there are a handful of players who are world-renowned, and they are top athletes of all time. That is what we will discuss today. So let’s take a look at the top of all time in different sports and categories.
Top Basketball Athletes of all time
Let’s start with basketball. It is one of the most famous and highest-earning sports in the United States. Let’s take a look at a few chosen ones at least of all time.
Michael Jordan is synonymous with basketball and the NBA. Nobody can imagine basketball without Michael Jordan in it. He has a 30.1 points career average score.
Julius Erving played 14 years as a professional basketball player and averaged around 23.4 points per game.
Vince Carter is another top athlete of all time with a 22.2 points average for his career.
LeBron James is one of the living legends. Till today he has averaged 27.7 points per game. And he is the reason Cleveland won.
Shaquille O’Neill is one of the best athletes in NBA history. He averaged 23.7 points with 10.9 rebounds each game during his career.
Kobe Bryant was a champ of NBA history, and everybody loved him. He was always compared with Michael Jordan, and with a 25.3 points average, he surely did try his best.
Dwyane Wade was one of the best dunkers to ever play this position. During his eight-season career, he averaged around 25.4 points each game.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar was one of the best and dominant players for nearly two decades, in which he averaged around 24.6 points each game.
Magic Johnson was one of the few players who could play all five positions in that game. Even though we averaged around 19.5 but still he was one of the best players.
Stephen Curry is surely a living legend who has been playing since 2009. He has won eight NBA all-stars, which makes his entry into the top athletes of all time more clear.
Top Athletes of All Time in American Football
Now let’s take a look at the second most famous sport in the United States of America, American football. Let’s take a look at the top athletes of all time in American football.
Jerry Rice was introduced to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He has won the Super Bowl three times with Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP, and 13 other pro bowls.
Tom Bardy is one of the most renowned since 2000. He has won Super Bowl 6 times and Super Bowl MVP four times.
Lawrence Taylor is another great name of the 1980s and 1990s. He was introduced two the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Jim Brown was one of the sensational players during the 1950s and 1960s. He was NFL champ of 1964 and four-time NFL MVP.
Joe Montana played quarterback for San Francisco and Kansas City during the 1980s and 1990s. He was four times Super Bowl champ and three times Super Bowl MVP.
Reggie White was one of the sensations from the 1980s till 2000. He played for Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Carolina Panthers.
Barry Sanders Was introduced to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He had 15,269 rushing yards, third all-time.
Ronnie Lott was one of the sensational players during the 1980s and 1990s. He went to the upper bowl four times during 1982, 84, 88, and 89.
Anthony Munoz played for Cincinnati Bengals during the 1980s and 1990s. He was 11 times pro bowler and got inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Deacon Jones played for three teams during the 1960s and 70s. He was introduced to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1980s.
Top Athletes of All Time in Boxing
Now let’s take a look at the list of top athletes of all time in boxing.
Ray Robinson fought 200 fights and won 175 of them. He was named fighter of the decade in the 1950s.
Muhammad Ali doesn’t need any introduction as he is the most famous boxer of all time. He is an Olympic gold medalist and former heavyweight champion.
Joe Louis is, known as a brown bomber, was one of the dominant boxers of all time. He participated in 27 heavyweight championship fights.
Mike Tyson is the Baddest man on the planet. He bought 58 fights and won 50 of them. He knocked out 44 players during his lifetime.
Ray Leonard is another Olympic gold medalist and was given the nickname sugar. He won 36 games out of 40 he fought, and 25 times he knocked out his opponent.
Roberto Duran was named hands of stone, and he is the only second boxer in history to have fought in five different decades.
George Foreman was an Olympic gold medalist and one of the biggest size boxes of all time.
Looking Marciano Is the only heavyweight champion in boxing history who retired undefeated. He won all 49 games he played.
Archie Moore had one of the longest professional careers in the history of boxing. He played 221 fights during his career.
Roy Jones junior is a modern-day boxing legend, and he was named fighter of the decade in the 90s.
Top Athletes of All Time in Soccer
Now let’s talk about the top football players of all time. Many people call soccer football because you play with a ball and foot.
Diego Maradona is, without a doubt, the greatest athlete of all time. He won the FIFA World Cup in 1986 and the golden ball in the same year.
Pele has a record of the most career goals of any footballer ever. He was named FIFA player of the century.
Lionel Messi is a people’s champ, and he is the old-time goal scorer for Barcelona and the overall La Liga tournament. He is the Goat.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the FIFA player of 2008, 2016, and 2017. He is UEFA Champions League all-time top scorer.
Franco Baresi was a hotshot footballer for more than seven years, and he was Milan’s player of the century.
George Best is mostly known for his off-the-field antics as opposed to his on-pitch achievements.
Marco van Basten was the FIFA player of the year in 1992 and UEFA best player of the year in 1989, 1990, and 1992.
Kaka played professional football for more than ten years, but he peaked from 2005 to 2009.
Luka Modric is no doubt one of the best athletes of all time as he was the best performing player in 2018.
Hugo Sanchez Was the winner of the European Golden Shoe in 1990, and he won Pichichi five times.
Top Athletes of Full Time in Tennis
Now let’s take a look at all the top athletes of all time in tennis.
Roger Federer has been one of the most dominant players in the squad since his debut in 1998. She has won more than 103 titles across her entire career.
Rafael Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, who turned pro in 2001, and has been in a rivalry with Federer since then. He also had two Olympic gold medals.
Rod lever is a classic tennis player who was ranked number one amateur player in 1961. He has won more than 190 single titles
Serena Williams is a sensational female player from the United States. She turned pro in 1995, and she is still playing like a legend in tennis.
Margaret court Is another female player who has won more than 190 career titles, and she wants 24 grand slams.
Ivan Lendl was one of the sensational players during the 1980s, and he won more than 140 career titles and eight grand slams.
Bjorn Borg retired at the age of 26, but during his career, he won more than 100 career titles and 11 grand slams.
Novak Djokovic Turned into professional tennis in 2003, and since then, he has won twenty-plus grand slams.
Pete Sampras is no doubt the legend itself as he is the number one world tennis player by ATP.
John McEnroe, who is currently working as a commentator for the sport, was a sensation between 1978 and 1992.
Top Athletes of All Time in The Swimming
Now let’s take a look at the most famous water sport of all time, swimming, and its all-time famous athletes.
Mark Spitz was nicknamed Mark as he won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games.
Michael Phelps Has won 16 gold medals in the Olympics and two bronze. During the Beijing Olympics, he won eight gold medals in a single tournament.
Ian Thorpe, born in 1982, is a retired Australian freestyle swimmer who has won five Olympic gold medals.
Aleksandr Popov is a former Russian Olympic gold medalist. He had 4 Olympic gold medals and five silver medals in his pocket.
Pieter Van den Wasn’t named Flying Dutchman and hoagie. He is a three-time Olympic gold winner.
Johnny Weissmuller is a famous American swimmer and actor. He won 5 Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal.
Grant Hackett, Born in 1980, is another famous Australian swimmer. He has four world championship gold medals in his pocket, along with Olympic gold medals.
Krisztina Egerszegi is a former world record swimmer and one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era.
Debbie Meyer, Born in 1952, has won 200 meters, 400 meters, and 800 meters swimming events at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Kristin Otto was a German Olympics swimming champion. She worked for the first woman to win six gold medals in Olympics.
Top Athletes of All Time in Gymnastics
Gymnastics has also given us the top athletes of old times. Let’s take a look at the best ones.
Vitaly Scherbo is from Belarus and is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. He has won the most single titles by any male gymnast ever.
Kohei Uchimura is the second-highest most popular master of all time. He has three gold and four silver Olympic medals in his pocket.
Alexis Nemov Is one of the most celebrated gymnasts from Russia. He won four Olympic medals during his career, but he also won five World Championships and three European Championships.
Sawao Kato is one of the most famous Japanese gymnasts in the world as he won 12 Olympic medals, including eight golds.
Takashi Ono is a retired Japanese gymnast who won five gold, four silver, and four bronze medals in the 1952, 56, 60, and 64 Olympics.
Akinori Nakayama Is a Japanese gymnast. During his career peak, he was the highest-paid athlete in the gymnastics circuit.
Alexander Dityatin was one of the best-looking Russian gymnasts as he won three-time Olympic medals.
Boris Shakhlin is another Soviet gymnast who was the most successful athlete in the 1960 Summer Olympics as he won 13 medals, including seven gold.
Viktor Chukarin is a Ukrainian USSR gymnast who picked his career during the 1952 and 56 Summer Olympics as he won 7 medals.
Nikolai Andrianov is a famous Soviet gymnast. He is the third one to win the most Olympic medals after Michael Phelps.
Top Athletes of All Time in Golf
Now let’s take a look at the all-time famous athletes in the classical sports of golf.
Jack Nicklaus was nicknamed the golden bear because of his contribution to golf. He has a record of 73 PGA Tour wins and also the highest number of major championships.
Tiger Woods is no doubt the greatest player of all time. He has 82 PGA Tour wins. Apart from that, he was also named player of the year 11 times.
Ben Hogan won all three majors in a single calendar year. He is the only golfer to achieve this, along with Tiger Woods.
Walter Hagen is one of the greatest golfers of the 20th century. He was also the first American golfer to win the British Open in 1922.
Sam snead Scored 82 victories in PGA, and he also fought in World War One, which is a unique achievement.
Arnold Palmer was often known as the king who scored 62 PGA Tour victories. He was also given the PGA Tour lifetime achievement award in 1998.
Bobby Jones is the only amateur golfer on the greatest of all-time list. During his short career, he won four U.S. Open and three open championships.
Gary Player is a South African golfer who is well known for wearing all-black golf attire. In his career, he scored 165 victories on six continents.
Tom Watson was one of the most sensational players during the 70s and 80s. He is one of the few players who was placed in the top ten at least ten times at each time of the four majors in which he participated.
Byron Nelson is an American Texas-born professional golfer who has 52 PGA Tour wins under his belt.
Top Athletes of All Time in Badminton
Now let’s take a look at the old-time famous and successful athletes of Badminton.
Lin Dan is a Chinese professional badminton player who first won an Olympic gold medal at the age of just 21.
Gao Ling Was one of the most dominant players on the badminton court from 1993 to 2009.
Tony Gunawan Is a former indo American badminton player who won gold medals in the Olympics and world championship.
Taufik Hidayat is an Indonesian badminton player who holds the record for the fastest smash in the 2006 world championship.
Lee Chong Wei is a Malaysian badminton player who was the number one rank holder for more than 199 weeks.
Peter Høeg Gade Is one of the few European players in the badminton game. For 4 consecutive years, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, he topped the world ranking.
Li Lingwei Is a role model for thousands of women badminton players in the world. She LED China to many glories in the game and even won the World Cup seven times.
Liem Swei King Was one of the most popular and successful players during the 1970s and 1980s. He was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Rudy Hartono Is another sensation from Indonesia in badminton court. He won the men’s singles title at the prestigious old England championship eight times.
Han Aiping is an iconic figure in the China and badminton world. She stacked more than five world championship titles and five World Cups.
Top Athletes in Table Tennis
Now let’s talk about the final game of the day, table tennis.
Ma Long Was one of the top athletes in the game since his debut. He has one gold medal in the Olympics two times and three World Championships.
Jan Ove- Waldner Is truly a legend in the world of table tennis. He was the first-ever person to achieve a career in Grand Slam in table tennis.
Zhang Jike Is another famous Chinese table tennis player who was placed number one by the ITT from June to December 2012.
Kong Linghui Is the third person ever in table tennis to achieve a career in Grand Slam.
Wang Liqin, Born in Shanghai, was ranked number one for more than 25 consecutive months. He is also a part of the international table tennis federation Hall of Fame.
Deng Yaping Was denied the opportunity to play the sport because of her small height. But, she made it on the team in 1998 and immediately won her first world championship title in women’s doubles.
Liu Guoliang is the second player in table tennis history to achieve a career in Grand Slam.
Xu Xing Is a professional Chinese table tennis player who topped the number one position in 2013 and also began the ITT world tour, as a grand final winner.
Wang Nan Is another top table tennis player who held the number one rank from January 1999 to November 2002.
Wang Hao Worn three World Championships in 2007, 2008, and 2010. Apart from that, he also wants silver medals in the Olympics 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Who is the top athlete of all time?
It is a tricky question, who is the top athlete of all time. Because every sport is different, and every sport has a huge number of players who are legends of that sport.