Just saw a special on Sportscenter where they debated among 10 different analysts who was the greatest sports star in the world while there was a live fan vote happening below.
They had to choose from Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Kevin Durant.
All of the analysts were either saying Lebron or Tiger, but I'm amazed that this is even a question.
I know this is a nbadraft.net forum but the answer is no doubt Lionel Messi. He plays the most popular sport in the world and might just be the GOAT in that sport as well. He is the Michael Jordan of soccer. There is no doubt in my mind that sans America, Messi would be the most recognized athlete in the world.
Even though none of the analysts mentioned Messi, Lebron and Messi were trading places at #1 for the entire segment until Lebron took the top spot over Messi in the final second.
I love Lebron, but its obvious if this poll was done by voters from all around the world Lionel Messi would probably double all the other athletes put together.
Just to add to that surely Novak Djokovic, Usain Bolt, Sebastian Vettel and Bradley Wiggins, in terms of sheer dominance in global sports should be considered.
But I agree Messi is the best sportsman I've witnessed personally and as a soccer fan Cristiano Ronaldo is pretty amazing as well and will end up top 10 all time himself
Also Woods has done nothing lately, Mcilroy if any golfer but he isn't dominant
the original poll included 10 athletes which inlcuded rg3. The fact that rg3 was a top 10 candidate shows this vote is about popularity and marketing just as much as being one of the most dominant players in your sport. In that case, i have no idea how big a star messi is in terms of marketing worldwide. In the usa, he is not known.
^Messi is HUGE. Anyone who says he's not the greatest/most known athlete in the world doesn't know what they're talking about.
Messi would walk it IMO, he is that good. His scoring record would be the basketball equal of Wilt at his peak or if he was a basketball player he'd be MJ.
I'd also agree that Bolt has to be up there for his worldwide appeal and his performances. LeBron would probably round off my top 3.
100% agree those are the top 3 and it's not that close. Only 1 would argue could be in there in terms of worldwide appeal and dominance (although he is unknown in the US) would be Sebastian Vettel who has absoulutely dominated formula one for the last 3 years.
Lionel Messi, Roger Fedderrer and Tiger Woods are the biggest sports stars in the world. I know heaps of people here in NZ that have no idea who LBJ is, because basketball is not big here. We are not a soccer nation, but people know of Messi and Tiger Woods in both a positive and negative light. Fed has just been so good for so long as well.
Is Lebron really that popular in Europe though?
I'm from England and Lebron is well known here, everyone knows who Lebron and Kobe are and in continental Europe (spain, turkey etc) Lebron and Kobe are superstars like soccer players
He is not popular is South Pacific. Only to basketball fans, but we have so many other sports that basketball is way down the ranks.
Anywhere outside of the U.S., it would be Messi/Cristiano but we've seem to put soccer in the back burners around here.
Now, I don't know about saying Messi is the G.O.A.T. since he might not even be the greatest soccer player alive (CR7).
Regardless, in the eyes of Americans, it's LeBron James.
In the eyes of the rest of the world, it's between Messi/CR7
Another outstanding guy who isn't such a high profile is the Kenyan 800 Metres World Record Holder and Olympic Champion David Rudisha. Who has run 6 of the 8 fastest times ever at that distance and which has always been regarded as one of the greatest world records ever.
LeBron is known worldwide but so is Messi and CR7. It would be interesting to see who had the greater recognition in places like China, India etc.
In China the biggest star I think would be Kobe they love him there, and the biggest in India would be Sachin Tendulkar one of the greatest cricketers ever, he is a god there
KOBE BRYANT is more known than lebron and KD put together.
Edit: Wait! Subzero confused me. The question is not the Who is the "greatest/most known athlete in the world". It's only -Who is the Greatest?-, in that case, Lebron and KD are atop.
I'd still say Messi is the best. Soccer players as athletes are underrated, and Messi might be the best there ever was
I meant as far as bball.
Messi's great and towers above Kobe and Lebron as far as world wide sporting reputation. At the same time though, he is surrounded by like 90 percent of the Spanish national team which has won two World Cups without him. He's put in a fantastic position to succeed.
Yeah... Lebron and Kobe are surrounded by scrubs ¬¬
Messi is not only is a great scorer, but also one of the leaders in assists in the spanish league and that's what makes him different from CR7. Messi is probably the only player in today's soccer that could be in a conversation among guys like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff and very few others. He still lacks recognition at world cup level, but there's not doubt he's the greatest sports star in the world at the moment.
@Tongue-Out-Like-23 Soccer is not bigger than basketball here in Canada.