Greatest of all time (GOAT) is neither a small honor nor a tag given to a person out of sentiments. It‘s something an athlete has to earn. While everyone has their own yardstick for determining a GOAT, there are some basics. For a lack of better words, the athlete must be beyond amazing. What’s more, their performance must be consistent over a long period and not just a fluke or one-off scenario. When we witness a GOAT in the making, it makes the games more exciting and unpredictable but reading these predictions can help you determine the outcome.
Their feats should be far from a walk in the park; therefore, they may likely be the only or one do the few other athletes in their class. With that said, here are the GOATs in the World’s favorite sport.
- Lionel Messi
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then you’ve probably never heard of football, or you’ve been hiding under a rock far away from civilization. Messi came into the professional football scene in his teenage years, back in 2003. Since then, it has been a record-setting and breaking journey.
With six Ballon d’Or awards (most ever), six European golden boots (most ever), eight La Liga best player award, best FIFA player of the year, FIFA World Cup golden ball, etc., Messi is no doubt phenomenal. His feats are not only impressive but also consistent.
He has often single-handedly led his team to victory when they were in a tight corner. He doesn’t just score goals; he’s also an excellent assist. His dribbling skills on the field led many to compare him to the legendary Diego Maradona during his early days at Barcelona. These days, Messi is in a class of his own, with many calling him a god on the soccer field.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
There’s always a rivalry scenario going on in the sports world. No thanks to fans, sports journalists, and enthusiasts. In modern football, the argument has always been about Messi and Ronaldo. We aren’t going to tell you who’s the best in this article; that’s left for you to decide. But does he deserve the GOAT honor? Hell yes! If there’s any other player in the same class as Messi, it’s Ronaldo.
To mention a few of his feats, Ronaldo has won the champions league golden boot seven times, 5 Golden Balls, 4 Golden boots, and is a 5 time Ballon d’Or winner, while snagging the title of UEFA club footballer of the year.
He has equally scored nearly 800 career goals and checks out in terms of consistency, since 2001. The player single-handedly launched his team to victory on many occasions, and his skills on the field are nothing but impressive.
- Tom Brady
Some argue that the honor of a GOAT belongs to NFL players like Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas. However, the honor was no longer a debate immediately New England patriots claimed the Lombardi trophy for the sixth time, with Tom Brady right at the center of it all. Like many athletes given the GOAT honor, Brady has been consistent since his professional career began in 2001.
He’s a multiple record-breaker winning 219 games as a quarterback (most won), 173 games with a 2-plus touchdown pass, and the list goes on. No player has consistently delivered like Tom in NFL history.
- Michael Jordan
You can’t mention the greatest of all times and not remember the legendary Michael Jordan. There are other big names in the NBA, like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Magic Johnson, but Michael stood out most for the GOAT honor. From 1984, Jordan was a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls and Washington wizards up until 2003. His two-decade career earned him many titles and a Presidential Medal of freedom.
Michael’s achievements were so impressive that they were revisited in 2009, leading to his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Tiger Woods
Like Ronaldo and Messi, fans debate the GOAT status of Tiger by comparing him with Jack Nicklaus. Well, if the yardsticks were only about major titles, Jack might have had a chance at the GOAT honor with 18 major titles, which is three ahead of Tiger. However, Tiger has more majors than any other golfer in the last 60 years. He’s won all four major golf tour championships consecutively and bagged 82 PGA tournaments.
Woods’ consistency was second to none in his prime, winning 27 tournaments between ’99 to 2002. What’s more, he added another 25 trophies between 2005 and 2008. There’s no doubt that he set and broke records. If not for some domestic issues, he probably would have broken more records in his career.