Top Athletes of the Decade

1. Lebron James – Everyone knows the name of the man who’s a 3x NBA champion, 3x Finals MVP, 4x Regular Season MVP, 1x Rookie of the Year, 15x NBA All-Star and many more amazing accolades. Lebron James is the most iconic athlete of our generation, let alone basketball players.

2. Micheal Phelps – One of the more accomplished people on this list. Micheal Phelps has the record of the most Olympic medals across all sports (28 medals total, 23 gold). Phelps completely dominated his sport from the age of 15 to 31.

3. Serena Williams – One of the most dominant tennis players of all time, regardless of gender, Serena won more Grand Slam singles titles (23) than anyone ever in the Open era. She has also beaten 12 different players who have been ranked No. 1, including her sister, Venus Williams, seven times.

4. Tom Brady – For the past decade, Tom Brady and the Patriots single-handedly ran the NFL, and year after year angered fans because they were just so good. After winning his sixth Super Bowl championship, Tom Brady solidified himself as the G.O.A.T. of football no matter how much people dislike him.

5. Simone Biles –  The first female U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Olympic Games, Simone Biles is highly regarded as one of the best athletes ever. She was the first gymnast to win three consecutive world all-around titles (2013–15) and recently solidified herself as the world’s most decorated gymnast after winning her 25th medal in October.

6. Usain Bolt – Usain Bolt is an 11-time world champion and holds the world record in races for 100 meters, at 9.58 seconds, and 200-meters, at 19.19 seconds, which he set both in the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championships. Bolt is also regarded as the fastest man of all time and his legacy will be remembered forever.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo –  Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League with 127 and the joint record of most goals scored in the UEFA European Championship with nine. As being the most popular athlete in the world, Ranaldo is regarded as the GOAT of soccer and if not second behind Lionel Messi.

8. Stephen Curry – Stephen Curry changed the way the game of basketball is played as kids grow up trying to shoot threes, due to Curry’s amazing shooting ability. Curry is a 2x Regular Season MVP, 3x NBA champion, and holds plenty of three-point shooting records. There’s no doubt Curry completely revolutionized the game of basketball and he’s perfect for this list.

9. Floyd Mayweather –  Mayweather is often described as the best defensive boxer in history. According to ESPN in 2016, Mayweather was ranked by ESPN as the greatest boxer, pound for pound, of the last 25 years. During his career, he held multiple world titles in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight) and retired with an undefeated record. Most definitely deserving as a top 10 athlete of the decade.

10. Lionel Messi – Although he’s #10, it doesn’t take away from his monumental success in the world of soccer. He’s regarded as one of the greats and possibly even the GOAT above Ronaldo. Messi holds countless records like Ronaldo including most goals in La Liga (431) most hat-tricks in La Liga (35), and most assists in La Liga (173). Of course, Messi has accomplished many more than this but they are just too long to put on the list.

Any athlete on this list can be switched around and be put in different places but what’s for sure is that these 10 athletes are the best of the best and have been for the entire decade. 

Honorable Mentions: 

John Cena –  The multi-world champion John Cena is one of the most universally loved wrestlers in WWE history. Although WWE is staged, Cena – time and time again – captured the attention of young viewers inspiring them to be great. Cena holds the title for the most Make-A-Wish wishes with over 600 to solidify him as one of the most generational athletes of the decade.

Shaun White – Although he’s one of the least recognizable athletes on the list, Shaun White has proved himself as one of the best with his many Olympic medals. White is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, he holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, and has won 10 ESPY Awards. 

Mike Trout –  Trout became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs, steal 45 bases, and score 125 runs in one season. Trout also set the Angels’ club record for most runs scored in a season, surpassing Vladimir Guerrero. And as a rookie, Trout set the Angels rookie hitting record with 173. Trout has plenty of records under his belt as he is consistently one of the best players in the league.