Each Countries Greatest Athlete

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by GOATofGOATs1987, May 27, 2018.

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  1. GOATofGOATs1987

    GOATofGOATs1987 Registered User

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    In your opinions, who are the greatest athletes of each sporting nation? Now of course they're 195 countries so we obviously won't get to all of them, but I'll just name a handful that come to my mind!

    Canada: Wayne Gretzky
    USA: Michael Jordan (could be many ppl tbh)
    Argentina: Leo Messi/Diego Maradona
    Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo
    Spain: Rafa Nadal
    Switzerland: Roger Federer
    Brazil: Pele
    Germany: Franz Beckenbauer/Steffi Graf
    China: Yao Ming
    Jamaica: Usain Bolt
    Philippines: Manny Pacquiao
    Ireland: Connor McGregor
    Great Britain: Mo Farah
    Serbia: Novak Djokovic
    France: Zinedine Zidane
     
  2. JackStraw

    JackStraw Moving much too slow

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    USA: Willie Mays (best player in baseball at a time when baseball was by far the most popular sport in the country)
    France: Bernard Hinault
    Belgium: Eddy Merckx
    Italy: Fausto Coppi
    Sweden: Bjorn Borg
    Austria: Franz Klammer
    Australia: Rod Laver
    Ireland: Sean Kelly/Roy Keane
    UK: Daley Thompson/Jackie Stewart
    Netherlands: Johan Cruyff
    Czecholslovakia/Czech Republic: Martina Navratilova
    Romania: Nadia Comaneci
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  3. Morozov

    Morozov The Devil Killer

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    New Zealand - Richie McCaw
    Australia - Don Bradman
     
  4. Darren Peng

    Darren Peng Registered User

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    Don't have a problem with most of the picks for the countries already mentioned but I think for Ireland it should be Brian O'Driscoll. For Great Britain I'd say it's Sir Steve Redgrave.

    Finland: Teemu Selanne
    Russia/Soviet Union: Vladislav Tretiak
    South Africa: Joost Van Der Westhuizen
    Ukraine: Andriy Shevchenko
     
  5. Morozov

    Morozov The Devil Killer

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    I would say Jacques Kallis for South Africa.
     
  6. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    FIN : Paavo Nurmi
    CUB : Javier Sotomayor
     
  7. Panteras

    Panteras perennial loser

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    Alberto Juantorena and Felix Savon can be included in the Cuba conversation.
     
  8. The Moose

    The Moose Registered User

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    Romania: Nadia Comaneci/Gheorghe Hagi
     
  9. DanishPastry

    DanishPastry Registered User

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    Denmark: One of Paul Elvstrøm, Michael Laudrup or Caroline Wozniacki. Either Michael Laudrup due to footballs popularity or Paul Elvstrøm based on 4 Olympic gold medals and being awarded Danish Athlete of the Century.
     
  10. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    I'd vote El Caballo
     
  11. Panteras

    Panteras perennial loser

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    Yeah what he did might stand unbeaten in our lifetimes.
     
  12. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    From an accomplishment perspective probably Michael Phelps.
     
  13. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Not a terrible choice, but I would certainly take Lev Yashin over him.
     
  14. kudla

    kudla Registered User

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    Slovakia - Peter Sagan?
     
  15. Eisen

    Eisen Registered User

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    Gabi Szabo is another great Romanian that I remember.
     
  16. Eisen

    Eisen Registered User

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    Can't choose for Germany. Beckenbauer, Reiner Klimke, Schumacher, Birgit Fischer, Niemann-Stirnemann, Felix Loch and I could continue. I bet many nations have that problem.
    Come to think of it, I'm not sure Beckenbauer fits, he had a contemporary that was considered better than him in Cruyff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  17. Eisen

    Eisen Registered User

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    I'd take players on his own team over Tretiak.
     
  18. Ivan13

    Ivan13 Super Joe!

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    I vehemently disagree with the picks for USA, China, Ireland, GB and France. There have been plenty of US athletes that have been more dominant in their sport than MJ was, namely Babe Ruth, Tiger, Phelps etc. For China, Yao Ming is an absurd pick, the answer is one of their table tennis players, most likely Ma Long. For Ireland, it's BOD and not the sideshow that is McGregor, for GB Mo Farrah might be an even more absurd pick than Yao given Chris Hoy or Steve Redgrave. For France, Thierry Omeyer has certainly been a more dominant figure in his sport that Zidane, who is not even the best footballer France ever produced, that is without counting non-team sports stars such as JC Killy and Forcoude.

    PS

    For Croatia, it's Janica Kostelić comfortably.
     
  19. The Moose

    The Moose Registered User

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    Not as big as the previous two. Imo it doesn't even come third. Ivan Patzaichin (canoe) is a strong candidate and if not for the higher recognition of gymnastics and football respectively, he really would be at least second in term of performance. For Romania, Nadia Comaneci has the biggest name recognition outside Romania, and Hagi is second. Probably Nastase is third. It would be intresting.

    I met Szabo in 2001 in Edmonton, at the World Athletics Championships, after she lost race. I remember she blamed it on a black cat crossing her way that morning.


    Again, name recognition is big, and being in a fringe sport (no offense to luge) doesn't help. Steffi Graf should be on that list, very high. To me it's between her and Schumacher. Michael, not Toni.
     
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  20. Babe Ruth

    Babe Ruth Registered User

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    Ivan, these lists are subjective.. but I agree that Ruth was a more dominant athlete (within his sport) than Jordan. Ruth started as a dominant pitcher & ended as the dominant power hitter. It was an incredible & versatile career. Ruth (literally) hit more home runs (in a season) than entire teams.
    An earlier poster mentioned Mays (as America's greatest), but Mays in my opinion is behind several baseball greats (Ruth, Cobb, etc)..
    Ruth, Jim Brown, & Jim Thorpe would be on my short list of America's greatest..
     
  21. JackStraw

    JackStraw Moving much too slow

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    The knock (if you want to call it that) against Ruth, and others of his time (and shortly after) was that they weren't necessarily playing against the best competition. There were great players in the Negro Leagues who might have changed the way we look at some of these older players.
     
  22. Ivan13

    Ivan13 Super Joe!

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    Which is fair, but even looking past him can you say MJ was a better athlete than Serena?

    PS

    Not saying that you are.
     
  23. JackStraw

    JackStraw Moving much too slow

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    I guess it may depend on what your criteria are. For me, an important factor is the popularity of the sport. In the US, 13% of kids ages 6-12 participate on a regular basis in basketball (higher pct than either baseball or tackle football). Only 4 % participate in tennis. This is from 2016. So based on the fact that MJ dominated a more popular sport (at least in the US, and I would suspect worldwide figures would also favor basketball over tennis) than Serena, or say, Pete Sampras, I would put Jordan above them.

    On the other hand, if by "greatest" you mean most famous, then you could make the case for Muhammad Ali. I think at his peak he was the most well-known person on the planet, except for maybe the Pope.
     
  24. Maverick41

    Maverick41 Registered User Sponsor

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    I agree about Graf, not so high on Schumacher. Personally I'd pick Dirk Nowitzki over both Schumacher and Beckenbauer. But overall Graf might still be my number 1 amongst German athletes.
     
  25. Babe Ruth

    Babe Ruth Registered User

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    Jack, Do you believe Ruth could only compete at a high level against White athletes.. bcuz that's what you're theory suggests (?)
    There have been great White power hitters in an integrated MLB; I'm curious, what leads u to believe Ruth wouldn't be one.
    I also find it curious that this standard is always selectively applied to White icons. Nobody questions the greatness of Negro Leaguers for not facing hitters & pitchers like Ruth & Walter Johnson, etc.
    I think some of these guys did face each other on barnstorming tours tho..

    My last point, bcuz of baseball's prominence in the '20s, I'd submit Ruth was facing the greatest athletes he could.. the White talent pool was less diluted by athletes migrating to football & basketball. Peace
     

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