1 Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999.
No question. Reinvented offensive hockey - Ned964
2 Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Bird is a 3x champ, 1x ROTY, 1x Finals MVP, 3x 3PT Contest winner, all with the Boston Celtics. (1979-1992)
3 Joe Montana
Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired American football quarterback.
4 Vladimir Salnikov
5 Lawrence Taylor
6 Magic Johnson
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons.
7 Eric Dickerson
Eric Demetric Dickerson is a former college and professional American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for eleven seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.
8 Diego Maradona
Diego Armando Maradona is a retired Argentine professional footballer. He is known for "The Goal of the Century" and the "Hand of God" goal.
I voted here. This man was one of the most brilliant players the sport has ever seen, and he helped to attract me to a sport many of my countrymen still despise. In the USA, If I were to ask 100 people here who he is, I believe maybe 1 would know. What a shame. Still I'm glad I got to see him play - Ned964
The absolute number 1 of the decade
He is still the God of football for the Argentinians (Messi haven't manage to dethrone him).
100% no doubt one. - ParasN2000
9 Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.
CORRECTION :I totally disagree...
I can understand the differened opinions with the list maker as I just realized that he's too young and didn't lived in the 80s.
I totaly disgorge with this top ten.
The absolute number 1 of the decade is D.A.Maradona.
The number 2 belongs to M.J. MVP of the NBA 1988, three consecutive years (1987,1988,1989) top scorer, twice best male basketball player of the year (1983,1984) as a college player, Olympic champion with the National team (1984).Also, his personal best career year in NBA was in this decade.Although three NBA super players were at their best in '80s (Jabbar. Johnson. Bird), Jordan was the one that amazed everybody. Only club titles weren' t in his hands.
10 Moses Malone
Moses Eugene Malone was an American basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association from 1974 through 1995. The center was named the NBA Most Valuable Player three times and was a 12-time NBA All-Star and an eight-time All-NBA selection. ...read more.
11 Mike Bossy
Michael Dean Bossy or, according to some sources, Michael Jean Bossy is a Canadian former ice hockey player who played for the New York Islanders for his entire career and was a crucial part of their four-year reign as Stanley Cup champions in the early 1980s.
What a sniper. Deadly accurate shot - Ned964
12 Carl Lewis
He should be in the top ten.
The number 1 of this list (Gretzky) is famous for 350 millions of people and totally unknown for over 6 billions...(also third as greatest athlete of all time! ).
13 Marvin Hagler
Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns, was a world middleweight championship boxing match between undisputed champion Marvin Hagler and challenger Thomas Hearns, the then reigning world's junior middleweight champion, who had gone up in weight for the bout.
14 Manuel Estiarte
One of the 3 greater waterpolo players ever.
15 Michel Platini
Michel François Platini is a football administrator, who served as the president of the Union of European Football Associations from 2007 until 2015, after which he was banned for 8 years following an ethics investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 21 December 2015, and formerly a French football ...read more.
16 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
17 Sugar Ray Leonard
Ray Charles Leonard, best known as "Sugar" Ray Leonard, is an American former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor.
18 James Worthy
19 Russ Grimm
20 Keith Millard
18 sacks in 1 season, from the Defensive Tackle position - Ned964
21 Lorenzo Charles
For one shining moment in 1983, this was the biggest athlete on the planet - Ned964
22 Mark Messier
23 Naim Süleymanoğlu
24 Leonid Taranenko
25 Sergey Bubka
26 Marco van Basten
Marcel "Marco" van Basten is a Dutch football manager and former football player, who played for Ajax and Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, in the 1980s and early '90s as a forward.
27 Marita Koch
28 Florence Griffith Joyner