Fans all over the world admire their sporting heroes, right from Badminton to Football. Passionate followers of the game and the media give them selective awards annually. With high profile players from various sports, who do you feel deserves a shot in the top 7 slot?Before I begin, let me state that this article only deals with active sportsmen, and therefore, no retired sportsmen will be taken into consideration. So brace yourself for the moment of truth.
7. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Though it may come as a surprise to many of our readers, Mahi is the number 7 choice. It was a slot which could have been filled either by him or boxer Floyd Mayweather and I chose the former. He led India to the 2011 World Cup win, along with conquering the 2007 T20 World Cup. He was a major influence in India becoming the number 1 Test side and also led them to the top of ODI cricket two days ago with a monumental win over England. He is the only cricketer to feature in the top 50 Forbes Richest Sportsmen list published last year, occupying the number 31 spot. Though India had a mixed performance, Dhoni continued to dominate and hence is the most popular cricketer in today’s world.
6. Rory McIlroy
The Irish world number 1 Golfer gets the number 6 slot. He had a cat-and-mouse game with Luke Donald over the last 2 years which was won and lost by both greats of the game. However, Mcllroy was quick to regain his crown, leaving Donald behind. Besides leading the PGA Tour Money List, he won PGA Player of the Year, PGA Tour Player of the Year, Vardon Trophy and was awarded with European Tour Golfer of the Year.
5. LeBron James
Miami Heat’s most valuable player from USA is the NBA champion, MVP 3 times, finals MVP and erstwhile Rookie of the Year – LeBron James. Last year, he led the Heat to their second NBA title and many experts bestowed the title of “Best Basketball player”on him. LeBron James, like many other sportsmen in their field, is the best in his business with plenty of titles and individual awards to his name.
4. Usain Bolt
The fastest man on the planet, who is arguably the best athlete ever, is my number 4 pick. The Jamaican won a Gold medal in 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay at last year’s London Olympics. He went past every single athlete including strong contenders like Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay. Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds in 100 meters is one of his major achievements aside from the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.
3. Novak Djokovic
The World Number 1 in Tennis is the top pick for number 3 slot. He remained at his peak in 2011 and continued his dominance in 2012. Djokovic, currently playing in the 2013 Australian Open, is the favourite to win it, and why shouldn’t he? His 41 match unbeaten streak in 2011 amazed everyone in the world of Tennis. He has 5 titles and has managed to beat Rafael Nadal 7 times on the trot. He won the Best Male Tennis Player in ESPY Awards last year along with GQ Male of the year and ATP Player of the Year twice in the last two years.
2. Sebastian Vettel
Driving for Red Bull, Vettel is a three time World Champion in Formula 1. Many experts call him the next Schumacher and others hail him as one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time. His moment of glory came in 2009 when he was crowned as the Driver’s Champion and from thereon, he has never looked back. He ended his 2012 campaign on a high after defeating his closest competitor Fernando Alonso. His records are outstanding and they include most championship points earned in a season – 392, most starts in a row – 18, most pole position – 15, most laps in a lead in a season – 739 and all these came in 2011. He is the favourite to win the Driver’s Championship yet again in 2013.
1. Lionel Messi
The best footballer in the modern era and one of the best of all time, Lionel Messi won his 4th Ballon d’Or on January 7, 2013 in Zurich. Messi broke Gerd Muller’s record, which was set 40 years back, of 85 goals in a calendar year, establishing his own new record of 91 goals. He scored 12 goals for Argentina which was the highest national goals by anyone in the calendar year 2012