25 Most Iconic Athletes In The History Of Sports

While it can be hard to pick the greatest athletes of all time, if you narrow your criteria the task becomes a little simpler. Factors that influenced our particular list include the athlete’s accomplishment in their particular sports, the number of years they were considered its best player, and their impact not only in their own sports but on the world in general. Here are the 25 most iconic athletes in the history of sports.

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20

Willie Mays

Willie Mays

Willie Howard Mays Jr. was a great all-around player who is often known as the 2nd-best player in major league history. “The Say Hey Kid” who spent the majority of his career playing for the New York and San Francisco Giants, was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. Mays had won 2 MVP awards and ended his career with 660 home runs. In 2000 he was elected to the Major league Baseball All-Century Team.

19

Pele

Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento is the best soccer (football) player of all time though this may be disputed by the fans of Diego Maradona. His game highlights include scoring 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches and he won three World Cups.


18

Jim Brown

Jim Brown

James Nathaniel Brown, an American professional football player was known for setting world records in his nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns. Named in 2002 as the ‘greatest professional football player ever,’ he had a potent combination of power and speed. After his retirement he dabbled in acting and also was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

17

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., an all-time NBA leading scorer with 38,387 points won 6 MVPs and 6 NBA titles. After retiring he became an actor, a basketball coach and an author and was named US cultural ambassador in 2012.


16

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Cassius Clay, a heavyweight boxer was outranked only by middleweight fighter Sugar Ray Robinson for the best boxer of all time category, though this is surely a point of contention for fans. If you have seen his fights, you will never see another athlete again who was so far ahead of his time. His display of athletic skills include blinding speed, instincts and brains. A three-time heavyweight champ, his most notable fights were those against George Foreman and Joe Frazier.

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