Those who use social media may have come across the phrase ‘GOAT’ being used in relation to the world’s top athletes.
Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Tom Brady, and LeBron James are just a few of the athletes who have been dubbed the “Greatest of All Time.”
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, are frequently found on comparable lists of elite athletes.
What does GOAT mean?
The abbreviation GOAT (or G.O.A.T.) stands for “best of all time.” It’s a title given to the person who is widely regarded as the indisputable master of their chosen sport.
To be considered the GOAT, an individual must have outstanding talent as well as a consistent high degree of success.
While the term has been around for a long time, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali popularized it in the twentieth century when he declared himself “the best” after defeating Sonny Liston in 1964.
It remained Ali’s nickname throughout his career, and he memorably brought it up again after defeating George Foreman by knockout against all odds in 1974.
“Now is the time for everyone to quiet down. Attention! When I beat Sonny Liston, I told you, all of my detractors, that I was the best of all time “Following the ‘Rumble in the Jungle,’ Ali had this to say.
“I’m still the best of all time, as I told you today. Never, ever, ever defeat me again. Never again will I say that I’m going to lose. Until I’m approximately 50 years old, don’t make me the underdog again. Then you might have a chance of catching me.”
As the term implies, the GOAT is regarded as not only superior than their contemporaries, but also better than everyone who has come before them.
Who is the GOAT in football?
The discussion over who is the greatest player in football continues, but in recent years, the consensus has limited the field to one of two players: Ronaldo or Messi.
Because of the nature of the game, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for determining who is the greatest of all time, but that hasn’t stopped the debates.
Ronaldo and Messi have both won the Ballon d’Or five times, the most of any player.
When it comes to the European Golden Shoe, Messi has won it five times to Ronaldo’s four, and they both have four Champions League winners medals.
The criteria for determining who is the greatest of all time vary, but some have cited Ronaldo’s ability to excel in a variety of places as a reason to put him ahead of the Argentine.
Furthermore, the Portugal captain has achieved big honors with his country (winning the European Championship in 2016), something Messi has yet to achieve with Argentina at the senior level (he has won an Olympic gold medal and the Under-20 World Cup).
Given that they were going head to head in El Clasico, the fact that Messi plays for Barcelona and Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid added to the levels of animosity and served to fuel the discussion.
Both players encouraged one another and embraced the moniker of GOAT, with Messi awkwardly posing with a live goat in an issue of PAPER Magazine and Ronaldo sporting a goatee for a brief period during the 2018 World Cup.
Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus, the Barcelona captain said Marca, “The rivalry with Cristiano was really healthy and excellent for the fans.”
Future football GOATs?
When Messi and Ronaldo retire, there will be a gap into which a pretender will enter, and a few talents are already being touted as their successors.
Neymar of Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain has long been regarded as the natural heir to the GOAT throne, but injuries and poor form have dimmed his reputation in recent seasons.
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Kylian Mbappe, Neymar’s PSG teammate and World Cup champion, solidified his place as one of the best young players in the world in 2018, but he’ll have to keep up his high standards if he wants to be called the GOAT.
Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, and Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid have all risen to the level of Ronaldo and Messi, but there is a belief that they will all need to up their game to reach the same level.
Although the aforementioned players have been identified, there is always the possibility that a sensation will arise from the obscurity and surpass both Messi and Ronaldo. That would necessitate a massive effort and may appear improbable at this stage.