The BEST of the BEST

By Massimo Castelli

In Lew of Tom Brady’s recent historic 7th Super Bowl win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The StrathclyTelegraph has asked for me to write a list feature about the best Athletes in a selection of Team sports including; Football, Basketball, American Football, Rugby, NHL and Tennis. So lets get into my possibly controversial, highly opinionated list.

American Football- Tom Brady 

Let’s start this list off with the 10-time appearing, 7-timeSuper Bowl champion Tom Brady. 

Brady has become the most highly decorated player in the NFL, with a historic 7th Super Bowl win with the with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 season. 

Brady Holds a long list of records in the NFL including but not limited to; the most Super Bowl appearances (10), Super Bowl MVPs (5,) Super Bowl touchdown passes (21) and most Super Bowl passing yards (3,039). At the age of 43, he shows no signs of slowing down in the sport meaning there is probably lots more records that are going to be broken by this NFL Legend. 

Football- Cristiano Ronaldo 

Now I know this is a controversial pick, and many out there will complain about Ronaldo being here. But those people aren’t writing this article.

At the age of 36 Ronaldo has aged like fine wine. With 761 senior goals in his career, the highest official recorded numberof goals, (verified goals for all those Pele fans out there) CR7 has proved himself as a goal scoring king. 

In the Champions league he has number of records including;the most UEFA Champions League goals (134), most goals in UEFA Champions League knockout stages (67) and most UEFA Champions League final wins (5)

With 5 Ballon d’Or wins and a European championship to his name Ronaldo continues to impress in both domestic, international and European football, in what many would consider the twilight of his career, in the beautiful game. 

Tennis- Serena Williams 

An absolute Machine in the world of Tennis there is no one better than Serena Williams. 

With 23 grand slam singles titles (more than any individual has in the men’s game) and 16 grand slam double titles, Williams’ 23-year playing career has been incredible.  

Her tenacity as an athlete is only ever matched by her pure athletic ability as even at age of 39 years old she’s still going strong. With 319 weeks spent at the top of the world rankingsacross eight spells in 15 years, with the longest stretch being186 weeks in a row, there’s a reason she’s considered the best tennis athlete of all time. 

Combine these ridiculous stats with the first “Serena slam”, winning all four majors back-to-back, a feat she did not once but twice in 2002-03 and 2014-15. You can see why you’d be crazy not to think she is the best Tennis Player of all time. 

Throw in the four gold medals she has won at the Olympicsand all I have to say is ‘Nuff said’. 

NHL- Gordie Howe

Many of you might be staring at the name above saying “Who?” well let me enlighten you.

Gordie Howe broke into the NHL as a right winger with the Detroit Red Wings in 1946. This marked the start of a 32-season professional career that was filled with remarkable moments, including even skating alongside his sons Marty and Mark.  

Mr. Hockey spent 25 years in Detroit, winning six league MVP awards, six scoring titles and four Stanley Cup championships. He even had the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”named after him, which is accomplished with a goal, assist and a fight in a single game.

Nobody has appeared in more NHL games (1,767), and his 22 consecutive 20-goal NHL seasons remain unmatched and will likely never be broken.

Rugby- Richie McCaw

Where do we start, well first off McCaw captained the All Blacks, in 110 out of his 148 test matches and holds the record of the most capped test rugby player of all time. An incredibly charismatic individual and a superbly talented athlete he was a master of the art of breakdown and an inspiring leader. 

One of the most durable All Black player ever, McCaw had everything bagging three ‘World Rugby player’ of the yearawards, in 2006, 2009 and 2010 for his individual efforts. 

As a Captain he led his All-Blacks side to four Rugby World Cup Finals winning the competition on two separate occasions in 2011 and 2015. 

Basketball- Michael Jordan

Another obvious choice here. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time and there is no argument that can convince me otherwise. 

The man revolutionised the sneaker game with Air Jordan’s, brought the game of basketball to the rest of the world through the Olympics (winning a gold medal for his troubles) and set many records that will never be broken. 

Jordan led a Chicago Bulls team that was a joke, to glory and unprecedented success during his tenure. 

With Jordan as captain, he won two 3-peats, winning 3 straight titles not once but twice a feat that will probably never be repeated by and NBA team ever. 

Jordan broke many records that will never be broken and left his eternal stamp on the game of basketball. 

For anyone who disagrees with me all I would say is watch ‘The Last Dance’ docu-series on Netflix, then tell me wrong about him being the greatest of all time.