Greatest Athletes of All Time – Top 10 Legendary Athletes

Greatest Athletes of All Time

The search for the sport’s all-time GOAT will always be impossible due to the sheer number of sports fields and age groups to consider. The question of who is the greatest athlete of all time is always up for debate. A competitor is considered fruitful by the digit of grants they have obtained or the number of scores they have acquired all through their vocation.

Athletes, on the other hand, stand out for their ability to captivate and inspire others to participate in their chosen field. A few athletes have been recognized as the best competitors ever in the whole world, because of their involved persuasive abilities and qualified sportsmanship. The public’s perception of sports has been elevated by these athletes. In addition, they have encouraged individuals to think outside the box and become a part of the sports franchise. Let’s take a look at the top ten most successful athletes ever.

Top 10 Greatest Athletes of All Time

Here is the list of the Top 10 Greatest Athletes of All Time and check below to know their field of achievements.


Name of the Athlete



Michael Jordan



Muhammad Ali



Wayne Gretzky



Usain Bolt



Michael Phelps



Jim Thorpe



Babe Ruth






Bo Jackson



Roger Federer



Top 10 All Time Greatest Athletes

Let us see each Athlete in detail.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is an American money manager and previous expert Basketball player. He competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for fifteen seasons and led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. Jordan has won six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, ten NBA scoring titles (both of which are all-time records), five NBA MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team selections, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, three NBA steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Additionally, Jordan has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

2.  Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali was an American activist and professional boxer. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and well-known sports figures of the 20th century. He is dubbed “The Greatest.” He was named the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC and the Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated in 1999. He fought in a number of historic boxing matches, the most well-known of which were his fights with Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier the Thrilla in Manila, and George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle.

Photos of Muhammad Ali’s Life He is the greatest boxer ever. That is unquestionable and will never be in doubt. He was also a well-known athlete in general. Before he became famous as an athlete, he was known for his strength, bravery, and outspoken beliefs.

Many people considered Ali to be a hero—and still is. We carry his legacy with us today and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

3. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky, a former Canadian professional ice hockey player and head coach, played for four teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) for two decades, from 1979 to 1999, earning the nickname “the Great One”. He is regarded by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL as the greatest hockey player of all time.

Gretzky holds several NHL records, including the highest number of goals, assists, and points in NHL history. He also has the most career assists than any other player who has scored total points. He achieved a milestone by totaling over 200 points in one season, a feat he accomplished four times.

At the time of his retirement, Gretzky held a whopping 61 NHL records, 40 of which were regular-season records, 15 were playoff records, and 6 were All-Star records. He was promptly inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after his retirement in 1999.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

4. Usain Bolt

Regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt is a retired Jamaican athlete who holds world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 × 100 meters relay.

As the first man to hold both the 100-meter and 200 meters world records since fully automatic time became mandatory, Bolt’s achievements are unparalleled. He is an eight-time Olympic gold medalist and the only sprinter to have won Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, and 2016). Additionally, he won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals.

Bolt broke his own 100 m world record of 9.69 seconds with a time of 9.58 seconds in 2009, marking the biggest advancement in electronic timing. He also broke the 200 meters world record twice, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. Furthermore, he enabled Jamaica to break three 4 × 100 meters relay world records, with the current record set at 36.84 seconds in 2012.

Given his exceptional athletic career, Usain Bolt is widely recognized as one of the greatest athletes of all time, ranking number 4 on our list.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

5. Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps, an American former competitive swimmer, holds the title for the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, having earned a total of 28 medals.

Phelps holds numerous records, including the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16). In the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps won an unprecedented eight gold medals, breaking fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s record of seven first-place finishes at a single Olympic Games, set in 1972.

Throughout his career, Phelps won a total of 82 medals in major international long course competitions, with 65 gold, 14 silver, and three bronze, spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.

Phelps’s outstanding performances and multiple international titles have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award eight times and the American Swimmer of the Year Award eleven times. He is widely regarded as the greatest swimmer of all time and is often considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

6. Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, a renowned American athlete and Olympic gold medalist, was the first American-born person to win a gold medal for the United States in the Olympics. He is widely regarded as one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports history, having won two Olympic gold medals in the 1912 Summer Olympics, one in classic pentathlon and another in decathlon. In addition to his Olympic accomplishments, Thorpe also excelled in American football, professional baseball, and basketball. Following his Olympic triumphs, he joined the Canton Bulldogs American football team in 1915, and helped them secure three professional championships.

Later on, Thorpe played for six teams in the National Football League (NFL), leaving a lasting legacy in American sports history.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

7. Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth, a legendary American baseball player, had a 22-season career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanning from 1914 to 1935. He was known by the nicknames “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat.” Initially, he gained fame as a left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before becoming a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees.

Many consider Ruth to be the greatest baseball player of all time, and he is highly regarded as a sports hero in American culture. He holds numerous Major League records, and his versatility as a dominant pitcher, outfielder, and hitter makes him truly exceptional.

Ruth’s exceptional skills helped the Yankees win seven American League (AL) pennants and four World Series championships. He became famous for his powerful swing, which resulted in an increasing number of home runs, attracting fans to the ballpark and boosting the sport’s popularity.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

8. Messi

Lionel Messi is a professional footballer who currently plays for the Argentina national team as well as the Spanish team Barcelona. He is frequently regarded as one of the greatest players ever and as the best player in the world. Messi has won a record six European Golden Shoes and a record seven Ballon d’Ors. He won a club record 35 trophies while playing for Barcelona, including four UEFA Champions Leagues, ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and more. Messi is regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever by numerous sources and pundits because he is a prolific goal scorer and one of the sport’s best players; His style of play combines individual dribbling with passing from midfield to create chances for him to score from close range with his weaker left foot (focusing on curving or “chip” shots) or from long range with his stronger right foot (using powerful strikes). Between 2009 and 2014, he was the highest-paid football player in the world for five out of six years, and Forbes ranked him as the highest-paid athlete in 2019 and 2022.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

9. Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson is an American baseball and American football player. He is one of the greatest athletes ever. He’s the main individual to be named an Elite player in both baseball and football. The “Bo Knows” advertising campaign by Nike, which featured Jackson and musician Bo Diddley in support of a cross-training athletic shoe named after Jackson, spread Jackson’s name beyond sports in 1989 and 1990.

Bo Jackson was a formidable competitor in both fields, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. With two runs for more than 90 yards from scrimmage, Bo still holds the record.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

10. Roger Federer

A tennis player hailing from Switzerland, Roger Federer has achieved great success in his professional career. He was ranked world No.1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals for a total of 310 weeks, which included a remarkable 237 consecutive weeks. Additionally, he has been named the year-end No.1 five times.

Federer’s accomplishments include winning 103 ATP singles titles, which is the second-most in tennis history, trailing only Jimmy Connors. He also holds a record of 20 Grand Slam titles, eight of which were men’s singles Wimbledon titles, and six year-end championships.

Due to his consistent performance and exceptional skills, Federer is regarded as one of the all-time greats in tennis history. However, he has been hampered by injuries in recent years, which have limited his appearances on the court.

Greatest Athletes of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Athletes

Who is the Best Athlete of All Time?

Determining the GOAT through the eye test alone can be challenging as it may be influenced by bias. While the eye test is a reliable indicator of a player’s greatness, individual and team accolades, as well as statistics, should also be considered. Michael Jordan’s outstanding record of 18 major accolades, including 6 NBA championships, 6 Finals MVPs, 5 MVPs, and 1 Defensive Player of the Year Award, as well as 10 scoring titles, 3 steals titles, 3 All-Star Game MVPs, 2 Slam Dunk Contests, and a Rookie of the Year award, make him the greatest player to have ever played the game. His 1996 Chicago Bulls team, which won 72 games, is widely regarded as the best team in NBA history, and his personal statistics during that season and the postseason further demonstrate his dominance. With such a record of excellence, it should be enough to settle any debate about who the GOAT is.

Who is the Greatest Athlete of All Time?

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He was a dominant force in the sport of basketball, leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships during the 1990s. Jordan’s impressive career included five NBA Most Valuable Player awards, ten scoring titles, and ten All-NBA First Team honors. His signature moves and iconic moments on the court are still celebrated by fans today. Jordan’s influence extends beyond basketball, as he has also become a successful businessman and owner of the Charlotte Hornets. His legacy as a competitor and cultural icon has made him a true legend in the world of sports.


Determining the greatest athlete of all time is a difficult task, considering the vast number of sports and age groups. However, some athletes have stood out for their accomplishments, persuasive abilities, and sportsmanship. The top ten athletes on our list, including Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Messi, Bo Jackson, and Roger Federer, have made a significant impact in their respective sports. They have won numerous awards, set records, and inspired generations of athletes to come. These athletes have undoubtedly elevated the public’s perception of sports and encouraged individuals to think outside the box and become part of the sports community.

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