Though they swore an oath of sportsmanship, it is still unavoidable for athletes to get entangled with a heated competition. Which among these can you consider as the greatest rivalry in sports?
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer
They have played in various court types spectated by countless audiences from many nations. Their rivalry has been going on for 13 years already with the figures of 23–14, in favor of Nadal. Both players have the same level of charisma which makes it really hard for a neutral tennis fan to pick a side. Their chronicled competition is considered by many to be the greatest ever in Tennis history.
Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
There are countless boxing matches in the history of sports but no other match-up can ever be greater or at least, equal in renown to the Ali-Frazier bouts. Hyped and popularized by Ali’s trash talking and also due to the non-stop media barrages, the series of fights by both boxers will forever be remembered and relived in the next generations.
Tyson Gay vs. Usain Bolt
Track and Field
Both guys have the same skin color, nearly the same speed and probably, the same level of determination. When one of them wins a prestigious recognition, the other would seem to get his own too. Gay has since been banned due to the enhancement drugs he’s been using, but the fierce competition in the game of running that he showed to Bolt remains unparalleled.
Nancy Kerrigan vs. Tonya Harding
Their chosen sport is very non-violent in any way. Unfortunately though, their rivalry resulted into a physical altercation orchestrated by Harding’s husband. Such a plot nearly broke Kerrigan’s leg and ruined her career forever. Consequently, it was Harding’s career which was shut down for good. Their rivalry is one of the most controversial issues ever in the history of sports and television.
Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods is hailed by both fans and critics as the ultimate symbol and face of Golf. So who is his greatest rival? The answer is simple: Phil Mickelson. Their are many great golfers, but none of them raise’s Woods’ heart rate better than Mickelson. The guy is a force of nature, a worthy opponent for the legendary icon in the grassy fields.
Ayrton Senna vs. Alain Prost
Being speedy and being ahead is their objective, and since both of them aims to be the fastest guy inside a car, they engaged themselves in a heated rivalry which only subsided when Senna got himself killed on a grand prix. Unexpectedly, Prost served as pallbearer during the funeral– an act that touched the hearts of racing and media spectators all over the world.
Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture
Defined by a trilogy, all three fights have ended in knockout, and were absolutely 3 of the best fights in the history of combat sports. Both warriors were very good at their craft and they eventually became movie stars. Many analysts and fans openly say, that without the Couture vs Lidell matches, MMA wouldn’t be that much of a global phenomenon.
Michael Jordan vs. Isiah Thomas
Although it may just have been due to media exaggeration, Thomas was said to have this intense dislike to the really talented Bulls rookie Jordan. Ultimately, the latter had the last laugh specially when Thomas failed to join the US dream team of 1992. The rivalry began in the late 80s and became intensified even further when Jordan steadily rose to become NBA’s most celebrated player.
Roger Clemens vs. Mike Piazza
It was just supposedly a case of a bat that broke, but due to the split-second reaction and human nature of the 2 players, the story was blown out of proportion. It escalated into a major media frenzy. Clemens and Piazza were both excellent players. Unfortunately though, they are now only remembered as the players who wanted more than a baseball game on field.
Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
Having won a combined 9 FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, both kickers are widely admired as the 2 best players of their generation, as well as being among the best of all time in Football. Though their rivalry is on the same level as the other pairings in sports, these 2 never talked ill against the other, making them well-loved even more by their fans and admirers.
Which among these should be ranked as No. 1?