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The 50 Greatest Sports Athletes Of All Time Have Been Ranked

The 50 Greatest Sports Athletes Of All Time Have Been Ranked

Basketball icon Michael Jordan has beaten fellow American legend and boxing hero Muhammad Ali to be named the best sports athlete of all time.

Jordan, 57, transcended the sport of basketball and enjoyed a prolific trophy-laden career during his 15 seasons in the NBA.

And sports fans over at the TheTopTens voted the ex-Chicago Bulls superstar, who won six NBA championships in the 1990s, at the top spot ahead of Ali.


Joining Jordan from the basketball world are the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away back in January.

Meanwhile, Ali is joined by boxing legends Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson in the top 50.

Posted below are the 50 best sports athletes voted by the fans.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

50. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (football)

49. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (WWE/wrestling)

48. Ian Thorpe (swimming)

47. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball)


46. Chris Hoy (cycling)

45. Serguei Bubka (pole vaulting)

44. Drew Brees (American football)

43. Tony Hawk (skateboarding)


42. Zinedine Zidane (football)

41. Barry Sanders (American football)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

40. Michael Vick (American football)


39. Haile Gebrselassie (running/long-distance track and road)

38. Brett Favre (American football)

37. Magic Johnson (basketball)

36. Floyd Mayweather Jr (boxing)

35. Jackie Robinson (baseball)

34. Larry Bird (basketball)

33. Carl Lewis (track and field athlete)

32. Kobe Bryant (basketball)

31. Derek Jeter (baseball)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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The 50 Greatest Sports Athletes Of All Time Have Been Named And Ranked

30. Michael Johnson (sprinter/track and field athlete)

29. Peyton Manning (American football)

28. Daley Thompson (decathlete)

27. Mike Tyson (boxing)

26. Serena Williams (tennis)

25. John Cena (WWE/wrestling)

The 50 Greatest Sports Athletes Of All Time Have Been Ranked By Fans

The 50 Greatest Sports Athletes Of All Time Have Been Ranked By Fans

published at5 months ago

24. Jim Brown (American football)

23. Jerry Rice (American football)

22. Gordie Howe (ice hockey)

21. Tiger Woods (golf)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

20. Tom Brady (American football)

19. Wilt Chamberlain (basketball)

18. Don Bradman (cricket)

17. Jesse Owens (track and field athlete)

16. Bobby Orr (ice hockey)

15. Cristiano Ronaldo (football)

14. Lionel Messi (football)

13. Bruce Lee (martial arts)

12. LeBron James (basketball)

11. Joe Montana (American football)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

10. Roger Federer (tennis)

9. Pele (football)

8. Bo Jackson (baseball/American football)

7. Jim Thorpe (pentathlon, decathlon, American football, baseball and basketball)

6. Usain Bolt (sprinting)

5. Michael Phelps (swimming)

4. Babe Ruth (baseball)

3. Wayne Gretzky (ice hockey)

2. Muhammad Ali (boxing)

1. Michael Jordan (basketball)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

You can view the complete rankings, which features over 100 different sports stars, over at TheTopTens.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: American Football, Basketball, Baseball, Football, roger federer, Boxing, muhammad ali, Pele, ice hockey, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]