No matter what caste, colour or religion we belong to, we all identify as Indians whenever India plays. That’s what sports can do, bring us together as one people.
And sometimes while doing so, it gives us heroes, that have the ability to bind us together as we watch them scale heights hitherto unheard of.
1. Usain Bolt
He is the fastest man alive. If that doesn’t define his greatness, nothing ever will. Bolt ran 100 mts in the Berlin Olympics in a record 9.58 seconds at the speed of 44.72 km/hr.
2. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is the greatest there is, the greatest there was and the greatest there ever will be. Don’t trust my words. But trust the numerous records the man had set on his path to greatness for more than 2 decades.
And if that’s not enough, you can trust the 20 grandslams he has won along with countless other ATP tournaments throughout his career.
3. Lionel Messi
There is nothing that has to be said about the man that hasn’t already been said. Messi is a God. And damn, he does work in mysterious ways, be it around a bunch of defenders or chipping over Manuel Neuer!
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
The fact that you knew his name would follow Messi in this list is a testament to his greatness. This man has done everything, won everything and has the fitness of a 20-year-old. The debate about who is better shall always live on, but despite all that bitterness, we must not forget to be glad about the fact that we got to have a debate like that!
5. Sachin Tendulkar
With 34, 357 runs and a 100 centuries in 782 international games spanned over a career of 24 years, Sachin Tendulkar is the undisputed GOAT. And we are so glad to have watched him play. And it’s not just that he scored those runs, it’s how and when he scored them.
Everyone who grew up in the 90s knows that TVs would be shut down if Tendulkar got out. He carried the hopes of a billion people on his shoulders every time he went to bat and rarely ever disappointed.
6. Virat Kohli
He has to be here. You know that, right? You may like him, you may hate him for his antiques but you can’t deny that India is lucky to have such a dedicated man leading us. I mean, he already has 39 ODI centuries and at the rate he is going, he is going to give Sachin a real chase in this regard.
Virat is not only the greatest batsman of this generation, he is also the leader of an exceptionally gifted squad, that fueled by his ferocity and conviction is doing things that no other Indian team has ever done.
7. Michael Phelps
This guy has literally competed with a shark! That’s how damn good he is. He is so good, he could beat Aquaman and still win another Olympic medal while he is at it. And even if he doesn’t, he would still be walking around with 28!
8. Michael Jordan
Even if you’ve never watched Basketball, you’ve heard of him. He was the greatest of his generation and popularised the NBA across the world in the 80s and the 90s. He’s won 6 championships, is a 10 time NBA scoring champion, never lost in the finals and once scored 38 points while he had the flu. DAMN!
9. Dennis Bergkamp
I could actually go on a rant about just how good he actually was and I am a Manchester United fan! The fact of the matter is that you just have to watch him play. Go on YouTube and you will know why he is one of the greatest. The things he could do with the ball at his feet, PHEW!
Ronaldinho had a relatively short career but his control over the football made him one of the best footballers the world had ever seen. He was so good that even those who do not follow the sport have heard of his greatness.
11. Floyd Mayweather
Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is a difficult man to like. He is truly a cocky little shit who shows off all his money. But inside a ring, he is the best goddamn technical boxer I’ve ever seen. He has never lost a match in his entire career. He is 50-0 and he has fought some of the toughest bastards on the planet.
12. Connor Mcgregor
Make no mistake, there have been better mixed martial artists than this man. But there is just something about Mcgregor, isn’t it? He is fast and precise and he sells out arenas like a gladiator of old. He is the first UFC fighter to hold championship belts in two different divisions.
Basically, he is the one Irish guy, who you wouldn’t want to pick a bar fight with, no matter how drunk he is.
13. Serena Williams
The younger Williams sister has 23 grand slams to her name putting her in the same league as Roger Federer, if not better. Even today after more than 2 decades of being a professional tennis player, Serena is in a different league than any of her peers.
BTW, did you know that when she won the Australian Open in 2017, she was pretty pregnant? DAMN!
14. PV Sindhu
Sindhu shot to fame after winning a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. And she has not stopped ever since, winning the 2017 BWF World Championships and 2018 BWF World Championships consecutively. And with age by her side, it doesn’t look like she is stopping anytime soon.
15. Brock Lesnar
You’ve all seen him as ‘The Beast’ in WWE. But that is nothing compared to his accolades in the amateur wrestling and then in the UFC. Lesnar left WWE as a top star in his early 20s to pursue his goal of being a fighter and became a two-time UFC champion.
And anyone who has seen him inside a cage knows that he is a freak of nature. No human of that size should be able to move that fast. Watching Lesnar at his best is one of the greatest sights in the world.
16. Simone Biles
The gymnast just won the 2019 Laureus World Sports Award for the ‘Sportswoman of the year’. She has 5 Olympic medals and 14 others at World championships. If that doesn’t establish her as one of the greatest of all time, I don’t know what will.
17. Rafael Nadal
Any list about the greatest sportspersons to have ever lived is incomplete without Rafa in it. Federer has his class and his technique. Nadal has his will, determination and his undying stamina and an immortal will to rise from the ashes. With 17 grand slams to his name, he will be forever remembered as the only man who challenged Federer successfully at his peak.
18. Michael Schumacher
The retired German racing driver has a record 7 F1 titles to his name, closely followed by Lewis Hamilton. But following a skiing accident in 2013, the 50-year-old has been in a coma and is yet to recover. Hopefully, someday he will see what a legacy he has left behind.
19. Lewis Hamilton
Take Schumacher out of the picture and Hamilton could easily be considered the best to have ever lived. Some would even argue that Hamilton with his 6 F1 titles is already the greatest. Well, he is in pursuit of a 7th title that would equal Schumacher’s record and given the form he has been in, it doesn’t look like a distant dream.
20. LeBron James
The sheer fact that there is still an ongoing debate about who is better, James or Michael Jordan, makes you realise what a champion he was. He won six championships playing for the Chicago Bulls over 13 seasons. In his 15th season, he won three championship rings — two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavaliers.
If there is anybody else you would like to see on the list, let us know.