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Who is the greatest "world" sportsman of all time?

Whirlysplat

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Let's avoid sports that are really only specific to certain nations of regions. So we'll have to exclude my favourite sport Rugby, along with Cricket and most American sports like Baseball, Gridiron etc.

I'm talking about the guys who are recognisable anywhere;

Pele
Ali
Tyson
Woods
Borg

etc.

So of the greatest players in the world. Who is the greatest. Choose from any era. You can only choose one. Please also give the justification for your choice. I will total up choices and give results periodically.
 
Jordan. No explanation necessary.
 
He said "World" ^^^... I'd put like three guys up there before putting Jordan... Ali for sure... maybe Federer/Woods if we are talking current athletes... and definitely like five or six soccer players would top any "World" athlete list.
 
No one cares about soccer in America. That is just the truth. And no one outside of America cared about basketball UNTIL Jordan played. Everybody, EVERYBODY wanted to "Be like Mike". I mean, he had a ****ing impact on the revenue, there was a study done about him being responsible for the soaring revenue during his career, it was estimated at around 10 BILLION. Who knows where the NBA is today without Jordan. He is the most recognizable sports figure of all time. Anywhere, anywhere he would go during his career and after it, its a circus. He could go into the depths of the Congo and still people would know who he was.
 
Now, I wouldn't doubt it. But there was basically just one person responsible for basketball to even be talked about anywhere else but America, and that was Jordan. I'll compromise and say it would be pretty close between Ali and Jordan, but other than that, forget it. Woods? Federer? Borg? Come on. I'm not saying they aren't some of the best of all time in their respective sport, but are they on a worldwide level of Jordan or Ali? No way.
 
Now, I wouldn't doubt it. But there was basically just one person responsible for basketball to even be talked about anywhere else but America, and that was Jordan. I'll compromise and say it would be pretty close between Ali and Jordan, but other than that, forget it. Woods? Federer? Borg? Come on. I'm not saying they aren't some of the best of all time in their respective sport, but are they on a worldwide level of Jordan or Ali? No way.

Pele, Ali, Woods, Fedderer are all at least as recognisable. Although America did not like Lewis, he had one hell of a record. Marciano, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens are all in many ways names that have stood the test of time, in a way I wonder if Jordans will. Carl Lewis, Maradonna, Evander Holyfield have some amazing feats. Etc. etc. etc.
 
Jordan, Ali, Pele would be my top 3. Even though I don't give a **** about soccer and a lot of America doesn't either (which does count for something when you are talking about world wide appeal) I'd put Pele in the top 3.
 

Borg_trio.jpg
 
Jesse Owens is for me the greatest of all time. I thought about Ali and Pele. Sorry, in Europe, Jordan just doesn't cut it. This is for the same reasons Pele might not in the U.S. However Jesse Owens and Joe Louis achievements transcend sport, even 70 odd years later. Their achievements are the stuff of legend. A black man winning four medals in Berlin, in front of Hitler. You have to love it!
 
Jesse Owens is for me the greatest of all time. I thought about Ali and Pele. Sorry, in Europe, Jordan just doesn't cut it. This is for the same reasons Pele might not in the U.S. However Jesse Owens and Joe Louis achievements transcend sport, even 70 odd years later. Their achievements are the stuff of legend. A black man winning four medals in Berlin, in front of Hitler. You have to love it!

I was just about to post mine

250px-Jesse_Owens1.jpg


I agree Jesse Owens hands down what he did at the time he did it makes him the best ever..
 
Muhammad Ali no question.

The man was a star, he was a hero, he was inspirational to people of all races. He fought racism, he fought religious discrimination, he fought against a wrongful war in Vietnam. Not to mention how good of a fighter he was.
 
Michael Jordan.

The NBA and basketball as a whole are as global as they are because of him. He redefined athlete marketing on an international scale.
 
Michael Jordan.

The NBA and basketball as a whole are as global as they are because of him. He redefined athlete marketing on an international scale.

Yeah. That's what I'm talking 'bout.
 
Michael Jordan.

The NBA and basketball as a whole are as global as they are because of him. He redefined athlete marketing on an international scale.

It's not really global on the scale of football (soccer).
 
It was when he was around and he was sole reason for it.
 
It's not really global on the scale of football (soccer).

That wasn't the point I was trying to make.

My point was that basketball is a huge international sport now mainly because of Jordan.
 
That wasn't the point I was trying to make.

My point was that basketball is a huge international sport now mainly because of Jordan.

I would say the globetrotters are far more important for basketball than Jordan. They broke the Black White barrier up until them basketball had been a white mans sport.

Your point was about the greatest world athlete? In a sport by world standards which is not played by most of the world to any real standard?
 
It was when he was around and he was sole reason for it.

No, it never was on the scale of Soccer for the rest of the world. I think Americans really can't comprehend the scale of football.

10,000 major stadiums worldwide are visited by more than 18,000 people on every match day, the majority are (soccer) football stadiums.

http://www.worldstadiums.com/

It's a different scale!
 
The ****ing Globetrotters? You're insane. Not to take anything away from them, but bigger than Jordan? Sorry man, that is crazy.
 
The ****ing Globetrotters? You're insane. Not to take anything away from them, but bigger than Jordan? Sorry man, that is crazy.

Not bigger, no, but, what they did was beat American league teams who were all white, allowing blacks and whites to play on an equal level. Without them you would perhaps not have had Jordan as the NBA would have been formed later. In many ways they caused its creation.
 

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