Opinion

By Anne Silva

If you’ve ever wondered which athletes are the best right now – here’s a great place to start. In this article, you will read about the ten most influential athletes in the world at the moment. Some have left their mark on history thanks to their talent, others have achieved everything through work and consistency of results, and still, others have an extraordinary charisma, capable of collecting full stadiums and attracting millions of dollars. But they are all the best at what they do.

1. Mike Trout (baseball)

The Los Angeles Angels center fielder has an incredible combination of power and speed. The 29-year-old Trout has twice been named MVP of the season, has participated in the MLB All-Star eight times, and won the Silver Slugger Award five times.

In 2019, he signed a 12-year contract with MLB Los Angeles Angels. The amount of the agreement became the largest in the history of sports. Trout will receive $430 million in 12 years.

2. Conor McGregor (mixed martial arts)

Conor McGregor has 23 knockout victories under his belt. The Irishman’s fastest fight lasted four seconds. That’s how long it took McGregor to knock out Paddy Doherty.

But Conor performs not only in MMA. He had a boxing match against the legendary Floyd Mayweather. This fight came in second at the box office.

According to the Times, McGregor is one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Fights with his participation collect a record number of viewers and are the best-selling ones. You can place a bet on Conor’s next fight in one of the reliable bookmakers, which you can find on Meta.reviews.

The flamboyant Irish fighter is the ex-champion in two categories, lightweight and featherweight.

3. Alexander Ovechkin (ice hockey)

The 35-year-old Russian winger is perhaps the only player at the moment who has a chance to break the top scorer record of the greatest Wayne Gretzky. The Canadian has 894 goals in the NHL. Ovechkin scored 500 goals in his US career back in 2016, 600 in early 2018. The record is not that far.

Besides club awards, including the 2018 Stanley Cup, Ovechkin also has achievements in the international arena. He became world champion three times (2008, 2012, 2014). All this confirms that at the moment Alexander is one of the best hockey players in the world.

4. Tom Brady (American Football)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is one of the greatest American football players of the moment, though Brady himself doesn’t like being called that and thinks he still has room for improvement. 

Brady has achieved great success in his professional career. He won the Super Bowl seven times, was named MVP four times, became the best player in these matches, and participated in the Pro Bowl 14 times. Brady was named Athlete of the Year by multiple publications. The 43-year-old quarterback isn’t thinking about ending his career just yet, so maybe he’ll add to his list of accomplishments in the next couple of years.

5. Lewis Hamilton (motor racing)

The British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who won his 7th world title last season and is equal to the German Michael Schumacher, is the best driver to date. The 36-year-old holds the world record for most wins in Formula One (he’s won a Grand Prix 92 times).

Now Hamilton remains the only driver in the history of Formula 1, who managed to win stages in all the seasons held, starting with the debut.

6. Virat Kohli (cricket)

India’s cricket captain already has 80.5 million followers on Instagram. He is an excellent cricketer and is arguably the best batsman in the world. In 2018, Kohli was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. 

Cricket is not as popular as basketball or soccer all over the world, but the same cannot be said of India. Millions of fans follow Kohli’s successes, and the government recognizes his merits. The athlete has received several national and civic awards for his contribution to sports.

7. Roger Federer (tennis)

He is a holder of many records, including 20 titles in the men’s singles Grand Slam and 310 weeks in total in the first place in the world rankings (237 consecutive weeks). On July 16, 2017, he became the first 8-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion in tennis history.

Federer’s titles can be listed for a very long time. He is rightfully considered one of the greatest tennis players of our time. 

In 2020, the Swiss was named the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes, becoming the first tennis player in history to top the ranking.

8. LeBron James (basketball)

He’s a hero and anti-hero all in one, with a career full of ambiguities. All we can say is that he is the best basketball player on the planet Earth here and now. A worthy successor to Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

King James became the first player in NBA history to score 30+ points, 10+ assists, hit 6+ three-pointers in one match, showed 60% + accuracy from the field and did not commit a single loss. LeBron was twice the Olympic champion in the US national team. 

In 2020, he led the Lakers to the championship, winning their fourth title and fourth MVP in the NBA Finals. LeBron is now 36 and still has a couple of years to set new records.

9. Lionel Messi (soccer)

Alien is how the Barcelona and Argentina striker is called around the world because his work on the field is something cosmic. And the six Golden Balls prove that he is one of the greatest footballers in history. No modern soccer player can boast such a set of personal awards.

The Barcelona legend has 167 million Instagram followers. In 2019, Forbes magazine named Messi the highest-paid athlete in the world.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer)

One of the greatest footballers continues to perform at the highest level, although he is already 36 years old.

The Portuguese has four Golden Balls, three Golden Shoes and a whole scattering of team titles with Real Madrid (two-time winner of the Spanish Championship and the Spanish Cup, four-time winner of the Champions League and many others) and Juventus (national champion and winner of the Italian Cup). And in 2016 he finally managed to lift the title together with the national team winning the European Championship.

On the field, the Portuguese does something incredible and unusual. He is always motivated, scoring in almost every match.

Off the pitch, Ronaldo became the one who brought a lot of money into soccer. The Portuguese has signed a lifetime contract with the American company Nike alone, according to which he will receive $24 million annually. Also, he is a philanthropist and has donated more than $10 million to charity.

Ronaldo has 238 million followers and has the most popular Instagram account in the world.

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