Who is the greatest athlete ever from your country?

Discussion in 'Sports Bar' started by SL1200, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. SL1200

    SL1200 Oranje boven!

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    It's quite a long read but if you're stuck at work like me it will help you kill some time..

    Once in a while an athlete emerges that rises above us mortals. Athletes who transcend the sport. Think of people like Muhammed Ali or Tiger Woods. Athletes that become Household names.

    Who is that athlete from your country?

    I'll start..

    Country : the Netherlands
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    Sport : Football (soccer for the murricans)
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    Athlete : Johan Cruijff
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    Hendrik Johannes Cruijff anglicised to Cruyff; 25 April 1947 – 24 March 2016) was a Dutch professional football player and coach. As a player, he won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974. Cruyff was the most famous exponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football explored by Rinus Michels, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dutch football rose from obscurity to become a powerhouse in the sport. Cruyff led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. At the 1974 finals, he executed a feint that subsequently was named after him, the "Cruyff Turn", a move widely replicated in the modern game. Wearing the number 14 jersey, he set a trend for wearing shirt numbers outside the usual starting line-up numbers of one to eleven.

    At club level, Cruyff started his career at Ajax, where he won eight Eredivisie titles, three European Cups and one Intercontinental Cup. In 1973, he moved to Barcelona for a world record transfer fee, winning La Liga in his first season and was named European Footballer of the Year. After retiring from playing in 1984, Cruyff became highly successful as manager of Ajax and later Barcelona; he remained an influential advisor to both clubs. His son Jordi also played football professionally.

    In 1999, Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century in an election held by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, and came second behind Pelé in their World Player of the Century poll. He came third in a vote organised by the French magazine France Football consulting their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect their Football Player of the Century. He was chosen on the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998, the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

    Considered to be one of the most influential figures in football history, Cruyff's style of play and his football philosophy has influenced managers and players, including the likes of Arrigo Sacchi, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger, Pep Guardiola, Frank Rijkaard, Michael Laudrup, Eric Cantona and Xavi. Ajax and Barcelona are among the clubs that have developed youth academies based on Cruyff's coaching methods. His coaching philosophy helped lay the foundations for the revival of Ajax's international successes in the 1990s. Spanish football's successes at both club and international level during the years 2008 to 2012 have been cited by many as evidence of Cruyff's impact on contemporary football.

    Source : Wikipedia



     
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  2. MC OverPressure

    MC OverPressure I'm gonna go with Russia

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    George Herman Ruth.

    He did it on hot dogs and beer, whiskey and hookers.

    *points to the fences*
     
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  3. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    Max Woosnam.

    There's a clear argument that he was the greatest sportsman ever to walk the face of the earth:

    - At schoolboy levels, he played for a Public Schools XI and made 144 playing against the MCC at Lords.

    - Represented Cambridge at 5 different sports - football, cricket, tennis & real tennis, and golf (was a scratch player).

    - Won the doubles at Wimbledon, and was a singles quarter finalist, as well as winning the Gold in the doubles at the Antwerp Olympics. He captained the British Davis Cup team, too.

    - He played for Chelsea, captained Manchester City FC and the England Football team.

    - He also made a 147 break at snooker, and beat Charlie Chaplin at table tennis, playing with a butter knife (Chaplin hated him after that humiliation).

    He did it all as an amateur, believing professional sports to be "vulgar".

    That, ladies and gentleman, is what I call a sportsman.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. MC OverPressure

    MC OverPressure I'm gonna go with Russia

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    Muhammad Ali.

    Obvious, indisputable.

    The Yankee Clipper.

    Michael Jordan.

    Sidney Crosby.
     
  5. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    Woosnam also represented Britain vs the Germans in World War 1, emerging as the winner in 1918.
     
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  6. SL1200

    SL1200 Oranje boven!

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    Nice one! Never heard of him. Knowing a little a bit about him now that's actually a shame!
     
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  7. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    Agreed. In fact, I only found out about him a while back, when I was researching multisports athletes after pondering Bo Jackson's career.

    There's also C. B. Fry from the Woosnam era https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._B._Fry:

    Played 26 first class tests (cricket) for England.

    Played for the Barbarians (a famous select Rugby Union team).

    Equalled the world Long Jump record (as a student).

    Played football for Southampton, Portsmouth & England. Played in the 1902 FA Cup final.
     
  8. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    I just bloody love those old time amateur multisport athletes. Up in the morning to a breakfast of kippers & scrambled eggs. A quick 18 holes of golf before representing England at international level in one of a number of different sports, then driving back to their enormous country pile for an evening getting drunk and up to no good, nicking policemen's hats and winning local elections.
     
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  9. therealdope

    therealdope Steel Belt

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    Canada? Terry Fox.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    Extremely hard bastard (IMO). There's something pretty awe-inspiring in anyone who just laughs in the face of adversity and ploughs straight on. If death can't beat a person - nothing can.
     
  11. SL1200

    SL1200 Oranje boven!

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    Just recently watched a documentary about this guy. What an absolute stud! Cliché but real heroes apparently really don't wear capes!
     
  12. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    "Fox had raised $1.7 million by the time he was forced to abandon the Marathon. He realized that the nation was about to see the consequences of the disease, and hoped that this might lead to greater generosity.[53] A week after his run ended, the CTV Television Network organized a nationwide telethon in support of Fox and the Canadian Cancer Society.[54] Supported by Canadian and international celebrities, the five-hour event raised $10.5 million."

    Why isn't stuff like this taught in schools?
     
  13. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Black Belt

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    You read about a bloke like Terry Fox, and you start to wonder if cancer hadn't there first, he'd have chopped one of his own legs anyway, just to make his daily training run more of a challenge.
     
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  14. Bamboozled

    Bamboozled Brown Belt

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    Probably Harry Greb, undersized dude who pummeled everyone. Lack of tape leading to folklore about him etc probably helps.

    Most would say Babe Ruth though, dude was a G. Jim Thorpe too.
     
  15. Rimbaud82

    Rimbaud82 Black Belt

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    Have to say George Best by a country mile, though I am not a huge soccer fan he is pretty clearly the most transcendent sportsperson to come out of this wee country:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. BigDickRick

    BigDickRick Black Belt

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    Lance Armstrong. Until be got busted and forced to confess!!!
     
  17. Scerpi

    Scerpi Black Belt

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  18. therealdope

    therealdope Steel Belt

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    LMAO !!!
     
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  19. therealdope

    therealdope Steel Belt

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    It actually is taught in schools in Canada, where there is a Terry Fox day. Most schools organize a Terry Fox run in mid-September and there is a sunday charity race/run all over Canada.

    Steve Nash's 30 for 30 film Into the Wind was excellent BTW.
     
  20. SL1200

    SL1200 Oranje boven!

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    Nice to know that in the end it was worth it!
     
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