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…
24. Manny Pacquiao
23. Lorenzo Bernardi
22. Tamas Kasas
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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
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.