Lionel Messi named Greatest Sportsperson of All Time; beats Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods

Barcelona and Argentina ace footballer Lionel Messi has been voted – not just the greatest footballer – but the greatest sportsperson of all time.

GiveMeSport, the online sports media website, decided to conduct a series of polls among fans to find out who they think is the greatest sportsperson of all time and Lionel Messi emerged on top, beating out a list of historical sporting icons like legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, tennis ace Roger Federer, golf maverick Tiger Woods and, of course, arch footballing rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

A portion of the poll was conducted on the Twitter thread below:

The entire poll was conducted in a tournament format –  with a group stage and a knockout stage – as sixteen sporting individuals from different sports and eras were placed into four initial groups.

The winner from each group then progressed through to the semi-finals and then eventually to the final, where the winner was decided.

Group One consisted of Lewis Hamilton, Roger Federer, Floyd Mayweather and Serena Williams.

Group Two included Phil Taylor, Michael Phelps, Tom Brady and Lionel Messi.

Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Martina Navratilova and Michael Jordan together formed Group Three.

LeBron James, Michael Schumacher, Pele and Muhammad Ali were placed in Group Four.

Roger Federer (Group One), Lionel Messi (Group Two), Cristiano Ronaldo (Group Three) and Muhammad Ali (Group Four) were the winners of Round One, and all four of them progressed to the semi-finals.

Messi took on Serena Wiliams, Pele and Michael Jordan in the semi-finals, while Ronaldo was pitted against Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps and Roger Federer. Eventually, it was Messi and Ali who progressed to enter the finals.

There could only be one final winner, and after an extremely close battle, Messi narrowly emerged victorious by claiming 51% of the 240,800 votes received on Facebook.

On the equivalent Twitter poll mentioned earlier, the final winning margin was almost similar (53%-47%) but there again, it fell in Messi’s favour.

Though it still remains difficult to find a definite solution for who is the greatest all-time sportsperson, now we at least know what many people feel about the important question.

What do you feel? Let us know in the comments section below.