Messi, Ronaldo, Bolt, Schumacher, Federer: Top 25 athletes of the 2000s ranked

Top 25 Greatest Athletes Of The 2000s

Trying to decide who is the best athlete of all time is an incredibly difficult task, especially when you have to compare different eras as well as disciplines.

To make the assignment a little easier, the top athletes of the 2000s have been voted on, with all competing in the same era.

Fans have been voting on The Top Tens’ website for who they believe to be the greatest athlete of the 2000s, and the results are in…

25. Ronaldinho

24. Manny Pacquiao

23. Lorenzo Bernardi

22. Tamas Kasas

21. Cristiano Ronaldo

20. Tim Duncan

19. Serena Williams

18. Valentino Rossi

17. Ian Thorpe

16. Albert Pujols

15. Sebastien Loeb

14. Yelena Isinbaeva

13. Drew Brees

12. Ryoko Tani

11. Kenenisa Bekele

10. Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher
28 Apr 2002: Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher cracks open the champagne on the podium after victory in the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Michael Schumacher is one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, winning seven world titles which included five consecutive triumphs from 2000-2004 so seeing him in the top 10 of this list won’t raise any eyebrows.

9. Lauren Jackson

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 18: Lauren Jackson of the Opals reacts after winning the Women’s FIBA Oceania Championship match between the Australian Opals and the New Zealand Tall Ferns at AIS on August 18, 2013 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

One of the greatest female basketball players of all time, Lauren Jackson is a national treasure to the Aussies. She has just been named in the World Cup squad after a 12-year absence.

8. Lionel Messi

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona lifts up his sixth Ballon d’Or prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on December 07, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi, where do you start with him? Widely regarded as the greatest footballer to ever play the game, he has to feature. He dominated La Liga for the best part of two decades with Barcelona, breaking records at a canter.

7. Roger Federer

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND – JULY 05: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory with the trophy after the men’s singles final match against Andy Roddick of USA on Day Thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 5, 2009 in London, England. Federer won 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The Swiss racket man is aging like fine wine and is the greatest tennis player of all time for many. With 20 Grand Slam titles to his name including a dominant spell at the prestigious Wimbledon in the 2000s, he commands a spot on this list.

6. Peyton Manning

SANTA CLARA, CA – FEBRUARY 07: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Regardless of whether you like NFL or not, Peyton Manning is a name you’ll know. The quarterback is one of the icons of the sport and was awarded as the most valuable player in the NFL a record five times, including four times in the noughties.

5. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was an icon of the sporting world until his untimely death, but his legacy lives on after his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships on his way to being an 18-time All-Star.

4. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Despite his controversies away from sport, Tiger Woods is an icon of the sporting world for his achievements in golf. Few, if any, can come close to matching his achievements and legacy in the sport, but he just misses out on the podium here.

3. LeBron James

LeBron James

Just like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James is an all-time great of the basketball court, with many struggling to split the two with an unbiased view, however LeBron just pips his rival on this list to take the bronze medal.

2. Michael Phelps

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The American swimmer is the all-time leading medal winner at the Olympics, securing 28 podium places in the pool, with 23 gold, three silver and two bronze, his dominance at the biggest show on earth has him just miss out on another gold medal here.

1. Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 20: Gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 4 x 100 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

No one will be shocked to see Usain Bolt here. In the 2000s he dominated the sprinting scene with plenty of medals in his pocket including a world record for the 100m in 2009 which many sprinters have tried to beat but have struggled to get anywhere close to the Jamaican’s speed.

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