For me, Fed has surpassed Jordan, Brady and Gretzky

Messi is just below Ali for me but if he wins a World Cup I might change my mind on that.
He is by far the GOAT of football though.
I find it hard to compare across sports so I just give the advantage to those athletes whose sport I follow. :p
Errr. Is that the same Messi that missed the Penalty Shot in the Copa America Final in 2016?

For sure nobody is perfect, but the #1 does not miss in those situations.
I don't think anyone has a flawless record of perfect performances on biggest stages. We wouldn't be having this discussion if someone else converted chances before the shootout(s).

Obviously lack of success in international football stinks but overall when you watch everything he has done I think it's clear the guy is up there with anyone else.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
I find it hard to compare across sports so I just give the advantage to those athletes whose sport I follow. :p

I don't think anyone has a flawless record of perfect performances on biggest stages. We wouldn't be having this discussion if someone else converted chances before the shootout(s).

Obviously lack of success in international football stinks but overall when you watch everything he has done I think it's clear the guy is up there with anyone else.
You defending Messi for losing to Chile twice while having Alexis avis recently is kinda funny. :D

True greats have success on both fronts, no?

Kidding kidding :p
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
I don't think anyone has a flawless record of perfect performances on biggest stages. We wouldn't be having this discussion if someone else converted chances before the shootout(s).

Obviously lack of success in international football stinks but overall when you watch everything he has done I think it's clear the guy is up there with anyone else.
Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Platini, Cristiano Ronaldo, George Best.

Messi is certainly in that group but it is a bit of stretch to suggest he is #1.

Like saying Sampras is #1 in a group that comprises Laver, Borg, Nadal, and Federer.
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Platini, Cristiano Ronaldo, George Best.

Messi is certainly in that group but it is a bit of stretch to suggest he is #1.

Like saying Sampras is #1 in a group that comprises Laver, Borg, Nadal, and Federer.
All of those are great players but Messi is something else.
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
Though with less Slams than Serena, he is greater than her because of the lack of competition Serena had in women tennis.
Serena did not have to compete with rivals of the importance of Nadal and Djokovic in her tour.
Imagine the analogy of Federer having the type of competition Serena had. How many Slams would he have had? 25/30+ is not a crazy number to figure.
Federer had basicly no competition in the middle of his prime from 2003 to 2007/10 where he won the majority of his slams.
Nadal (only on clay and grass....And i would hardly call Nadal great competition on grass) and especially djokovic became competition at the end of the decade 09/10.
Serena had much better competition from 99-09/10. So Many players that were actual viable threats unlike only Nadal and djokovic.

And don't give me shtick of Federer having better longevity than serena. Serena has been around since 1999. Fed won his first slam in 2003. Serena will be back on tour this season and will probably be back in the top 10 with a slam with a slam which is going on 19 years between her first and last slam wins. Fed is still well behind on that
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Federer had basicly no competition in the middle of his prime from 2003 to 2007/10 where he won the majority of his slams.
Nadal (only on clay and grass....And i would hardly call Nadal great competition on grass) and especially djokovic became competition at the end of the decade 09/10.
Serena had much better competition from 99-09/10. So Many players that were actual viable threats unlike only Nadal and djokovic.

And don't give me shtick of Federer having better longevity than serena. Serena has been around since 1999. Fed won his first slam in 2003. Serena will be back on tour this season and will probably be back in the top 10 with a slam with a slam which is going on 19 years between her first and last slam wins. Fed is still well behind on that
Lol who was Serena's biggest competition? Her older sister? Lol what a joke.
 
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Deleted member 756486

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The point is, all 'American' sports are marketed in a way that make it seem that just by winning in the US, one has virtually defeated the best in the world, which isnt necessarily the case
I agree but in terms of basketball we are the best in the world. (Our Olympic record proves this)
 
Jordan played a sport that - let's face it - is hardly global (international competitions are few and far between) and whose highest level is played in a niche that doesn't even qualify as the most important of the niche sports in the USA. Let's not compare it to the fully international attributes of tennis, which is played everywhere, in every country, and where the best players are being tested worldwide, without a barrier that clearly separates the top league (i.e. NBA) from the rest of the world. Jordan is great, but the greatest in tennis will always be greater than the greatest in hoopball.
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Jordan played a sport that - let's face it - is hardly global (international competitions are few and far between) and whose highest level is played in a niche that doesn't even qualify as the most important of the niche sports in the USA. Let's not compare it to the fully international attributes of tennis, which is played everywhere, in every country, and where the best players are being tested worldwide, without a barrier that clearly separates the top league (i.e. NBA) from the rest of the world. Jordan is great, but the greatest in tennis will always be greater than the greatest in hoopball.
Basketball is hardly global? Why don’t you tell Spain, Turkey, France, Argentina, Serbia, etc. That?
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Sure, but how often do they play the US or even amongst each other?
The sport is just not organised in a way that would make an overall sports GOAT conversation plausible.
Turkey and Spain both have a national league.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Turkey and usually only falls behind football. (Soccer)
 

mightyrick

Legend
Jordan played a sport that - let's face it - is hardly global (international competitions are few and far between) and whose highest level is played in a niche that doesn't even qualify as the most important of the niche sports in the USA.
The nature of basketball means it can't be global (like tennis is). You can't be flying tens of thousands of players worldwide every other day. By your logic, football (soccer) is hardly global. Cricket is hardly global. Table tennis is hardly global.

The reality is that basketball has a larger worldwide field at the professional level than tennis does. Basketball also has more global recreational players than tennis does. The sport is simply more accessible than tennis.
 
Agree to disagree then.
I’m a huge fan of basketball and tennis but Jordan is by far the superior athlete to Federer.
Jordan’s athleticism was astounding.
Well, as usual in these debates, we need to define what we mean by GOAT and what we're comparing.
For some people it's about titles, for others it's athleticism or domination, etc.

And within these categories there are additional problems, like comparing titles across sports (it's difficult enough to compare across eras within a single sport), defining what "athleticism" is, figuring out what domination means in each sport, agreeing on criteria that make it possible to compare team sports to individual sports, etc.

In my opinion, Americans and other nationalities that happen to be good at basketball overvalue the importance of basketball as a worldwide sport.

There is no single country that is more tennis-oriented or that one would call a "tennis nation". In that sense I think tennis is more neutral.
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Well, as usual in these debates, we need to define what we mean by GOAT and what we're comparing.
For some people it's about titles, for others it's athleticism or domination, etc.

And within these categories there are additional problems, like comparing titles across sports (it's difficult enough to compare across eras within a single sport), defining what "athleticism" is, figuring out what domination means in each sport, agreeing on criteria that make it possible to compare team sports to individual sports, etc.

In my opinion, Americans and other nationalities that happen to be good at basketball overvalue the importance of basketball as a worldwide sport.
You’d honestly be surprised by just how popular basketball is worldwide.
 
The nature of basketball means it can't be global (like tennis is). You can't be flying tens of thousands of players worldwide every other day. By your logic, football (soccer) is hardly global. Cricket is hardly global. Table tennis is hardly global.

The reality is that basketball has a larger worldwide field at the professional level than tennis does. Basketball also has more global recreational players than tennis does. The sport is simply more accessible than tennis.
Well then, if sports are different by nature what's the use of a GOAT debate across sports?
And yes, I agree that those sports you mentioned are not global in the sense I was describing.
 
You’d honestly be surprised by just how popular basketball is worldwide.
It doesn't surprise me at all, it's a very popular sport.
However, it's still dominated by the NBA.

And the team sports vs individual sports problem can only be solved in two ways: either they're apples and oranges, and can therefore only be compared within their own categories, or if we're forced to compare across them then I'd say individual sports are superior. For the same reason winning in singles is an upper level compared to winning in doubles. Or a rower who has won 5 Olympic medals on his own has more prestige and popularity than a rower who has won 5 Olympic medals in a team of rowers.

But that's only if we're forced to compare across sports, which is not ideal.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Messi has a bigger case than Pete does in his sport IMO. Also, recency bias for the win. :cool::p
I know this debate is a lot of subjectivity, but let me know when Messi has 3 World Cups on his own. Or 1 WC and 1 runner up being the only decent player in his team like Maradona in 1990
The team Messi "took" to the finals was decent. In fact, he did not appear a lot in that finals and he was not even the best in the WC no matter the prize he received at the end of the tournament.
Messi, at club level, is really tough to be compared to any other footballer bar Ronaldo. And if we go at achievements and goals, Ronaldo has more UCL's than him. And in no way I can say Messi is better than Ronaldo, Messi is way better than the diver
 
You simply can't guess where the next greatest tennis player will come from.
But you usually know exactly where the greatest basketball player will come from.

I think this is a great testament to a globalised sport.
 
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Deleted member 756486

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I know this debate is a lot of subjectivity, but let me know when Messi has 3 World Cups on his own. Or 1 WC and 1 runner up being the only decent player in his team like Maradona in 1990
The team Messi "took" to the finals was decent. In fact, he did not appear a lot in that finals and he was not even the best in the WC no matter the prize he received at the end of the tournament.
Messi, at club level, is really tough to be compared to any other footballer bar Ronaldo. And if we go at achievements and goals, Ronaldo has more UCL's than him. And in no way I can say Messi is better than Ronaldo, Messi is way better than the diver
Messi and Ronaldo both have the same number of UCLs.

Also Pele played in an era of bums and alcoholics he can’t be compared to King Leo.
 

mightyrick

Legend
Well then, if sports are different by nature what's the use of a GOAT debate across sports?
I ask myself the same question every time one of these idiotic threads is created. Instead of sticking to the thread subject -- which is who is most accomplished in their sport -- the debate quickly ends up being about how much skill a sport requires compared to other sports which is completely stupid.

Because for those who think tennis requires the most skill... they know it is the only way that Federer can win the original argument. The person who is most accomplished in their sport is clearly the one who has the most distance between the second best in that sport. And Federer doesn't get close to #1 or #2 across sports with that criterion.
 
I ask myself the same question every time one of these idiotic threads is created. Instead of sticking to the thread subject -- which is who is more accomplished in their sport -- the debate quickly ends up being about how much skill a sport requires compared to other sports which is completely stupid. Because for those who think tennis is the most complex... they know it is the only way that Federer can win the original argument.
I agree with that.
I would never argue about skill sets.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Messi and Ronaldo both have the same number of UCLs.

Also Pele played in an era of bums and alcoholics he can’t be compared to King Leo.
Come on man, the guy owned a World Cup at 17, and owned another one at 29 with great opposition in 1970
And you cannot be serious about Messi having 4 UCL's. He was a sub in the first one, when Dinho was the GOAT of UCL. Not a protagonist at all, where CR has been a crucial element in those 4 UCL's he have won

If you want to tell Pele that he was in an era of bums and alcoholics, same can be said about defensive quality in this era. Be fair
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
Lol who was Serena's biggest competition? Her older sister? Lol what a joke.
Who was feds from 03-09?
Her older sister was more of a competition than all of feds in that time period bar Nadal.
And she still had to face Hingis, Davenport, Clijsters, Henin, Mauresmo, Young sharapova who were all multiple slam winners in that time period and #1 in the world at some point. Yet she bested them all with a winning record against all of them.

Who was Fed facing apart from nadal who was only great on clay and good (not even a great ) on grass and average on HC?
Hewitt? Old Agassi? Safin? Roddick?
Now thats a Joke of a competition.
It wasn't until a fully matured nadal and 2011 Djokovic came along that fed actually had some real competition. Prior to that the rest was just cannon fodder and lapdogs
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Yeah but Fedr lost to Peak Donskoy last year too :D

Roger is def my pick out of those mentioned in the OP.
Ali, Pele, and Bradman are others that need to be considered too though
Ali is the greatest athlete of all time imo.
Fed is amazing but no one will ever have the influence and impact Ali had on the world.
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
Ali is the greatest athlete of all time imo.
Fed is amazing but no one will ever have the influence and impact Ali had on the world.
Yeah, I think he probably has to be the greatest athlete. Boxing is one of the purest contests of athleticism too.

Is "greatest sportsman" a different thing than "greatest athlete", in your opinion?
 
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Deleted member 756486

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Yeah, I think he probably has to be the greatest athlete. Boxing is one of the purest contests of athleticism too.

Is "greatest sportsman" a different thing than "greatest athlete", in your opinion?
I think athlete can just mean general athletic ability while sportsman can mean impact, influence, etc.
Even so Ali is the GOAT just watch his fight against Cleveland Williams if you want to see his athletic ability.
 
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