Humans love entertainment and for most, it is their means of escape from the misery and tragedy of living on this ball of gas called earth. Before the evolution of modern sports as it is and the birth of famous athletes, various cultures developed different forms of entertainment. Some took to public dancing, late-night storytelling, but in human history, no form was ever as popular or known of till date as the gladiators of ancient Rome, who participated in violent confrontations with fellow human beings or wild animals as a sport.
In an arena surrounded by hundreds of people, they fought and were prepared to lay down their lives to entertain their audience. Today, through our imagination and sheer ingenuity, we have taken that idea and rebranded it into different sports where men and women compete in front of thousands to entertain the rest of those.
Just like the gladiators who fought for glory, many athletes today have achieved greatness and immortality through their consistent excellent performances. In this list, we will be taking a look at 10 famous athletes with the most outstanding performances over the years.
Picking 10 famous athletes who have consistently delivered outstanding performances is not exactly an easy task. Throughout the various sports that we have created, many men and women, through training, hard work, and skill have achieved some incredible things. From basketball to football (American) to soccer to tennis, there is an inexhaustible list of those who attempted to fly to the sun, did and became back unhurt. Here is a list of some of them.
Top 10 Famous Athletes with the Most Outstanding Performances
1. Serena Williams – Tennis (Lawn)
What are gods if not personalities we look up to in awe and inspiration because of their ability to perform extraordinary feats. By that definition, it is a name that Serena Williams perfectly qualifies for. In many circles, she is considered the greatest athlete of all time, she is certainly the greatest tennis player of all time. The American female tennis star has not only conquered the sport but the mind of unbelievers, who after seeing her exploits have come to accept her as the one true goddess of the sport.
She began her professional sports career under the tutelage of her father in 1995 and as gone to shatter several records as if they were stand-ins for her arrival. She has held the Number One position in her sport for a total of 319 weeks, staying number one for 186 consecutive weeks once. Part of her record plate is the most Grand Slam titles held by a person in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles category.
Her athleticism and power redefined female tennis and it has helped her earned over $88 million in prize money.
2. Lebron James – Basketball
Undoubtedly, basketball is a popular sport. It has been made famous by the exploits of men like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan but one man whose name has certainly kept the sport popular even more those who aren’t a fan of the sport is Lebron James. Affectionately referred to as “King James”, he has displayed superhuman abilities on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in the sport. He is considered the face of the sport by many, including his own colleagues.
When most players spend time in college to build their career and gain more confidence in their abilities, Lebron went straight from high school to the highest level of the sport, the NBA. He came into the NBA as one of the most popular amateurs to ever grace the sport, with a hype that would have been extremely difficult for anyone to live up, but so far, he has exceeded expectations.
He has achieved remarkable things that have put him in conversation with one of the most universally recognized greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan.
He has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA four times, won three NBA Finals MVP Awards, three All-Star Game MVP and holds the record as the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader. Internationally, he also has two Olympic Gold Medals and overall, he has been an NBA champion three times.
3. Lionel Messi – Soccer
There is a simplicity about Lionel Messi that an introduction about him as an Argentine professional soccer player is a perfect fit for the personality of the player. But none should be fooled by his simplicity. He is considered by a majority of soccer fans to be the greatest player to ever play the sport.
Like the story of a mythological creature who suffered from a deformity until he was blessed by the gods and went on to perform great exploits, he was born with a growth hormone deficiency and he struggled with the disease till the age of 13 when Barcelona, his lifelong club came in to pay for his medical treatment.
Since then, Lionel Messi has become somewhat of a god on the pitch, whose capabilities have grown beyond human understanding and comprehension. His extraordinary performances have brought him accolades like five Ballon d’Or, five European Golden Shoes and has won a total of 33 trophies including the much coveted UEFA Champions League four times and nine La Liga titles. Some of his amazing individual records include being the top scorer in La Liga history, most goals scored in a calendar year and an amazing total of over 660 career goals for his club and country.
If there is a list of 10 famous athletes with the most outstanding performances, his name deserves a place on the list because his career defines the list.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer
There is a rivalry that exists between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo that will most likely be made into a film someday. Having listed some of the exploits of Lionel Messi, it takes a man with extraordinary capabilities to sustain a rivalry with someone with Lionel Messi’s talents. In his own rights, Cristiano is considered the greatest player of all time and he has the records to make a claim for himself.
He has scored over 680 career goals and like Messi, has won the coveted Ballon d’Or five times. He has won four European Golden Shoes and a total of 26 trophies in his career. He holds the record for the most goals scored in various major soccer competitions including the UEFA Champions League and the European Championship.
5. Michael Jordan – Basketball
Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player of all time. A fact that is backed up by the NBA website. During his time in the NBA, where he spent 15 seasons playing for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, he won the NBA champion six times, named Finals MVP six times, NBA Most Valuable player six times and was scoring champion ten times, among many other excellent accolades.
His ability to leap from the ground and make a slam dunk earned him the nickname, Air Jordan and subsequently birthed a brand that has lasted over 20 years and made him a billionaire.
6. Roger Federer – Tennis (Lawn)
For many, he is the greatest tennis player of all time. Between his sporting achievements and his personality, he is a well-beloved man who has endeared many to the sport. Currently ranked No. 3 in the sport, Roger Federer has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name – the highest for any man in the history of the sport and has been ranked No. 1 a complete total of 310 weeks, once maintaining his position in the rankings as number one for 237 consecutive weeks, a sports record. His unmatched footwork combined with several other excellent attributes have made him one of the world’s greatest sportsmen.
7. Floyd Mayweather – Boxing
Floyd Mayweather is a boxer that has never lost a fight. That in itself is the proof of his remarkable ability and performance that makes him fit for the top 10 famous athletes with the most outstanding performances. Consequently, not losing a single boxing bout has helped him to several titles like holding world titles in five weight classes. He is considered by many in the boxing world to be the most defensive boxer in history and it’s most accurate. Mayweather‘s boxing record stands at 50 fights, 50 wins, with 27 of them having been won through knockouts.
8. Conor McGregor – Mixed Martial Artist
Before Conor McGregor, the UFC was just another unpopular sport with niche followers. However, since he stormed onto the scene in 2013. Since then, he has taken the UFC from a little-known sport to a global sport through his in-ring and off-ring performances. His fighting record stands at 25 UFC fights, 21 wins, of which 18 were from knockouts and 4 losses. He also began a professional boxing career in 2017 in a match against Floyd Mayweather and although he lost after 10 rounds, his performance in the fight was billed extraordinary for his first fight as a professional boxer.
9. Tiger Woods – Golfer
He once lost his place as one of the top golfers in the world due to a huge infidelity scandal and a recurrent back injury but his recent comeback and his history make him a worthy member of our list of 10 famous athletes with outstanding performances. At the height of his career, he was ranked number in the sport for 264 weeks and 281 weeks in two consecutive streaks.
Tiger Woods has won the PGA Tour 80 times and the European Tour 40 times. He has 14 major golf championship wins to his name, making him one of the most decorated golfers in history. He recently returned to career success in 2018 when he won a Tour Championship at East Lake. He is considered to be the greatest golfer of all time by many.
10. Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt defined athletics at the turn of the millennium. When he ran 9.58 secs to set the World Record in Berlin in 2009, he etched his name in history forever. Despite being retired, he is a world record holder in two other track categories – the 4 x 100 meters relay and 200 meters. During his career, he was considered and is still considered the king of the Olympics as he won and reigned as champion of three Olympic tournaments he competed in. He is generally considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.