Fans vote for their top 50 sport stars ever with MJ top and Messi beating Ronaldo

MICHAEL JORDAN has been named the greatest sportsperson of all-time by fans around the globe.

The basketball star won six NBA titles in his glittering career along with a brief venture into baseball and, of course, Hollywood thanks to Space Jam.

Michael Jordan has been voted as the best sportsperson of all time

Top 50 sports stars of all-time (50-26)

50. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (football)

49. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (WWE)

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)

40. Michael Vick (American football)

39. Haile Gebrselassie (athletics)

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 (athletics)

32. Kobe Bryant (basketball)

31. Derek Jeter (baseball)

30. Michael Johnson (athletics)

29. Peyton Manning (American football)

28. Daley Thompson (athletics)

27. Mike Tyson (boxing)

26. Serena Williams (tennis)

*According to TheTopTens

And Jordan beat the likes of Muhammad Ali, ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky and baseball legend Babe Ruth to the title of GOAT, according to fan poll site TheTopTens.

Amazingly, Serena Williams (26th) is the only female star to be voted into the top 50.

Swimming icon Michael Phelps – a 23-time Olympic gold medallist – completes the top five, with Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt close behind.

All-round sporting phenomenon Jim Thorpe – who played baseball, basketball and American football, as well as competing in the pentathlon and decathlon – comes in next.

He’s followed by Bo Jackson – a baseball and American football star.

The first non-North American sports star to make the list is Pele, with the Brazilian football legend in ninth, ahead of tennis ace Roger Federer.

From there, there’s a wide array of sports covered, including WWE, boxing, pole-vaulting, cycling, skateboarding and golf.

Among the biggest names, Tiger Woods ranks 21st – with Lionel Messi (14th) edging out Cristiano Ronaldo (15th) by a single place.

Top 50 sports stars of all time (25-1)

25. John Cena (WWE)

24. Jim Brown (American football)

23. Jerry Rice (American football)

22. Gordie Howe (ice hockey)

21. Tiger Woods (golf)

20. Tom Brady (American football)

19. Wilt Chamberlain (basketball)

18. Don Bradman (cricket)

17. Jesse Owens (athletics)

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)

10. Roger Federer (tennis)

9. Pele (football)

8. Bo Jackson (baseball/American football)

7. Jim Thorpe (athletics, 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)

*According to TheTopTens

 Messi has beaten Ronaldo by a single spot in the list
Messi has beaten Ronaldo by a single spot in the listCredit: AFP

But not everyone is happy with the list and some have taken to Twitter to rant, with one writing: “American List… Americans yet again thinking they are the whole world.”

Another tweeted: “John Cena? How can you even take this seriously?”

A third posted an image of Michael Schumacher running in determined manner, captioned: “Me on my way to find whoever came up with this travesty of a list.”

One added: “How is Federer in the top 10 while Nadal’s isn’t even in top 50?”

Another argued: “Bias towards Americans and their lack of acknowledgement for sport worldwide. Zlatan & Pele over Maradona or Best?

“No Phil Taylor for darts, only Bradman for cricket, no Senna or Fangio and many other sports missed… plus Tyson would’ve destroyed Ali in both their primes.”



 Michael Jordan's skill and athleticism were unparalleled at the peak of his powers


Michael Jordan’s skill and athleticism were unparalleled at the peak of his powersCredit: AP:Associated Press

The NBA legend is not only the greatest basketball player of all-time, but quite possibly the greatest sportsman of all-time.

While the likes of Federer, Woods and even current NBA star LeBron James have attempted to wrestle that mantle from Jordan, it’s hard to look past MJ.

Not only the most incredible player on the basketball court, Jordan is a man of many other talents, including being a talented baseball player and golfer.

Then there’s his business empire, with Jordan worth well over £1billion.

During his 13 seasons as a basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, Jordan won the NBA title six times, and the league’s Most Valuable Player award five times.

On top of that he was named Finals MVP six times, NBA All-Star 12 times (14 in total) amongst dozens and dozens of accolades, both personal and team.

NBA legend Michael Jordan teams up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of The Loony Tunes for 90s classic Space Jam