Greatest Sportsperson Match-up (Cricket Fans)

The Cricket Fans Forum ran a competition in 2008 to select the Greatest Sportsperson. Nominees were from users selecting their top five greatest sportsperson of all-time.

There were 98 nominations, who were up against each other in a knock-out match-up style competition, until only the greatest ever was left.

In the first round, there were four way matchups with two athletes advancing. Round of 48 was a 3-way match-up with two advancing from each match-up.

From round of 32 onwards it was 2-way match-ups up to the final. The determined the winner to be Muhammad "I'm the greatest" Ali.

Finals

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali v Michael Jordan
Muhammad Ali
Tiger Woods
Michael Jordan
Wayne Gretzky
Muhammad Ali
Jahangir Khan
Tiger Woods
Mark Spitz
Michael Jordan
Sugar Ray Robinson
Wayne Gretzky
Steve Redgrave

Round of 16

Tiger Woods 
Paavo Nurmi
Heather McKay
Sugar Ray Robinson
Jahangir Khan
Ty Cobb
Michael Jordan
Babe Ruth
Muhammad Ali
Pele
Steve Redgrave
Hicham El Guerrouj
Wayne Gretzky
Carl Lewis
Mark Spitz
Jack Nicklaus

Round of 32

From this list of 32, one from each matchup went through to the round of 16. The winner is marked in bold.

Steve Redgrave
Vladimir Salnikov
Lance Armstrong
Hicham El Guerrouj
Jan Zelezny
Heather McKay
Bjorn Borg
Sugar Ray Robinson 
Paavo Nurmi
Diego Maradona
Mark Spitz
Patrick Roy
Tiger Woods
Dhyan Chand
Ty Cobb
Zinedine Zidane
Babe Ruth
Pete Sampras
Rocky Marciano
Muhammad Ali
Al Oerter
Carl Lewis
Wayne Gretzky
Sergei Bubka
Michael Johnson
Jack Nicklaus
Roger Federer
Pele
Joe Louis
Jahangir Khan
Michael Jordan
Rod Laver

2nd Round Matchups

Here are the 50 athletes who made it past the first round, in their respective matchups for the 2nd round. In this list there are 7 boxers (Johnson, S.R. Leonard, S.R Robinson, Marciano, Dempsey, Joe Louis, Ali), 5 soccer players (Best, Maradona, Zidane, Cantona, Pele), 4 tennis players (Federer, Laver, Borg, Sampras), 3 sprinters (Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson), 3 long distance runners (Kuoros, Nurmi, Gebrselassie), 3 swimmers (Spitz, Fraser, Salnikov), plus other sports with two or one representatives. The top two highest vote winners in each matchup went through to the next round. The winners are in bold.

Lewis
Sampras

Davis 
Kuorus
Mark Spitz
Ty Cobb

Hendry
Redgrave
Nicklaus
Fraser
Yaping
Maradona
Ali

Meads
Nurmi
Zidane
Leonard
Tiger Woods
M Johnson
Edwards
Sugar Ray Robinson
Pele 
George Best
Oerter
Khan
Beamon
McKay
Roy 
Dempsey

Jan Zelezny
Borg

Owens

Lance Armstrong
Michael Jordan
Gebrselassie
Bubka
Laver

Bannister
El Guerroj
Chand
Chamberlain
Gretzky
Federer
Jack Johnson
Marciano
Babe Ruth

P Taylor
Salnikov
Louis
Cantona

Nominees List

Here are the 98 nominees, sorted by sport. Initially there were 96 (used for the first round), but two that were accidentally missed out were added to the next round. The females on the list include Martina Navratilova, Billy Jean King, Heather Mckay, Paula Radcliffe, Dawn Fraser, Kristin Otto, Fanny Blankers-Koen.

athlete sport country
Ben Cousins AFL Australia
Leigh Matthews AFL Australia
Babe Ruth Baseball USA
Ty Cobb Baseball USA
Roger Clemens Baseball USA
Michael Jordan Basketball USA
Larry Bird Basketball USA
Wilt Chamberlain Basketball USA
Walter Lindrum Billiards Australia
Mike Tyson Boxing USA
Roy Jones Jr Boxing USA
Jack Dempsey Boxing USA
Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing USA
Jack Johnson Boxing USA
Joe Louis Boxing USA
Sugar Ray Robinson Boxing USA
Rocky Marciano Boxing USA
Muhammad Ali Boxing USA
Felix Savon Boxing Cuba
Floyd Mayweather Boxing USA
Joe Calzaghe Boxing Wales
Teofilo Stevenson Boxing Cuba
Jacques Anquetil Cycling (Road) France
Miguel Indurain Cycling (Road) Spain
Lance Armstrong Cycling (Road) USA
Eddy Merckx Cycling (Road) Belgium
Phil Taylor Darts England
Dhyan Chand Field Hockey India
Paolo Maldini Football (Soccer) Italy
Pele Football (Soccer) Brazil
Arthur Friedenreich Football (Soccer) Brazil
Zinedine Zidane Football (Soccer) France
Diego Maradona Football (Soccer) Argentina
Eric Cantona Football (Soccer) France
Gareth Barry Football (Soccer) England
Ryan Giggs Football (Soccer) Wales
George Best Football (Soccer) England
Gerd Muller Football (Soccer) Germany
Tiger Woods Golf USA
Jack Nicklaus Golf USA
Bobby Orr Ice Hockey Canada
Wayne Gretzky Ice Hockey Canada
Patrick Roy Ice Hockey Canada
Ayrton Senna Motorsports (F1) Brazil
Michael Schumacher Motorsports (F1) Germany
Ivan Mauger Motorsports (Motorcycle Speedway) New Zealand
Valentino Rossi Motorsports (Motorcycling) Italy
Steve Redgrave Rowing England
Billy Boston Rugby League Wales
Gareth Edwards Rugby Union Wales
Colin Meads Rugby Union New Zealand
Jonny Wilkinson Rugby Union England
Stephen Hendry Snooker Scotland
Steve Davis Snooker England
Heather Mckay Squash Australia
Jahangir Khan Squash Pakistan
Mark Spitz Swimming USA
Kristin Otto Swimming Germany
Michael Phelps Swimming USA
Dawn Fraser Swimming Australia
Kieren Perkins Swimming Australia
Vladimir Salnikov Swimming Russia
Ian Thorpe Swimming Australia
Murray Rose Swimming Australia
Deng Yaping Table Tennis China
Jan-Ove Waldner Table Tennis Sweden
Pete Sampras Tennis USA
Billy Jean King Tennis USA
Martina Navratilova Tennis Czech Republic
Roger Federer Tennis Switzerland
Rod Laver Tennis Australia
Bjorn Borg Tennis Sweden
Edwin Moses Track & Field (400m Hurdles) USA
Daley Thompson Track & Field (Decathlon) England
Al Oerter Track & Field (Discus) USA
Abebe Bikila Track & Field (Distance Running) Ethiopia
Paavo Nurmi Track & Field (Distance Running) Finland
Herb Eliot Track & Field (Distance Running) Australia
Paula Radcliffe Track & Field (Distance Running) England
Haile Gebrselassie Track & Field (Distance Running) Ethiopia
Emil Zatopek Track & Field (Distance Running) Czechoslovakia
Jan Zelezny Track & Field (Javelin) Czech Republic
Bob Beamon Track & Field (Long Jump) USA
Roger Bannister Track & Field (Middle Distance Running) England
Hicham el Guerroj Track & Field (Middle Distance Running) Morocco
Sergei Bubka Track & Field (Pole Vault) Ukraine
Yelena Isinbayeva Track & Field (Pole Vault) Russia
Robert Korzeniowski Track & Field (Race Walking) Poland
Michael Johnson Track & Field (Sprints) USA
Fanny Blankers-Koen Track & Field (Sprints) The Netherlands
Carl Lewis Track & Field (Sprints/Long Jump) USA
Jesse Owens Track & Field (Sprints/Long Jump) USA
Jonathon Edwards Track & Field (Triple Jump) England
Yiannis Kouros Ultramarathon Running Greece
Naim Süleymanoğlu Weightlifting Turkey
Vasily Alekseyev Weightlifting Russia
Alexander Karelin Wrestling (Greco-Roman) Russia
Gama Pahelvan Wrestling (Pehlwani) India

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Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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