Top 10 Most Overrated Athletes of All Time

It's not that they aren't great players, they just aren't everything we've been led to believe.
The Top Ten
1 David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham is (born 2 May 1975) is an English former professional footballer, the current president & co-owner of Inter Miami CF and co-owner of Salford City.. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national... read more

I saw an article in People magazine that mentioned him. His epitaph was "king of soccer." I'm sorry, but from the games I've seen, while he's a decent player, he is not among the best and is FAR from being "king." He's had 17 international goals, which isn't shabby, but then there's Messi, who has had 32 international goals and doesn't allow himself to be bought and sold amongst teams. He's filthy rich and dated an American pop singer, so I can see where the affinity comes from, but at the end of the day, he's an average player, and it upsets me that anyone would think to call him the king of soccer. PSG would be fine without him.

2 Michelle Wie West

So overhyped. Famous for her long drives, but not even close to being number one on the tour - and what is the difference if you can drive the ball a mile but it doesn't go where you want it? Like the pilot to the passengers' good news and bad - the bad news is that we are lost. The good news is that we are making good time. After the win at the 2014 open, she goes on tour to all the shows - hasn't come close to winning again - probably should have stayed home and worked on her game. Finally, she always seems to have an excuse for why things don't go well. Hip problem, ankle injury, bee sting, heat exhaustion, wrist injury - should include fading talent. It's very possible that, with the current talent on the tour, she may never win again. But the sponsors still line up.

3 Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He is known for his fun, friendly personality, and is one of the most beloved athletes of all time.

Shaq Daddy is a 7'1", 325-pound dunk machine. In the paint, he is an absolute beast, but outside of seven feet, he is all but worthless. We all know about his free-throw woes over the years. And don't tell me about how big his hands are compared to the ball. All NBA players have large hands. Shaq has made less than three game-winning shots in his career and can't shoot free throws. So, in a close game in the fourth quarter, he is more of a liability than an asset. He has never won a championship without a superstar guard to complement his game.

4 Eli Manning Elisha Nelson "Eli" Manning is a former American football quarterback who played his entire career for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He is the younger brother of former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Eli Manning is what happens when an utterly mediocre QB rides a phenomenal defense to a couple of Super Bowls and is anointed the God of Giants quarterbacks, such that he spent most of the rest of his career getting sacked while heaving inaccurate balls down the field for anyone to grab, often defenders.

If he hadn't gotten a ton of lucky breaks in the playoffs to win that first Super Bowl (in which he admittedly played relatively well), he would have been an underwhelming backup on a different team within 3 years and out of the league in 5. Sharing a last name with a football legend has never done as much heavy lifting as it has trying to convince people that Eli doesn't suck.

5 Pelé Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as "Pelé", was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. In 1999 he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. In 2000, Pelé was... read more

I think Pelé was the best footballer of his time, but he is for sure not the best footballer of all time. All of these guys (Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Johan Cruyff), they were professional footballers when the level of football was very high. Also, all of these played in great clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United, and Real Madrid, something Pelé didn't. Pelé was part of Santos, a team where you can make a difference if you have talent. Just overrated!

Played in a crap league, crap time (players now are far better than they used to be), also missed most of the third World Cup and wasn't the best player in either of the others. Also says he scored 1,200 goals... in friendlies and exhibition matches. Arrogant, pretty slow compared to today, not particularly skillful from what I've seen of YouTube, and never played in Europe.

6 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant (1978 - 2020) was an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history... read more

Shaq won three championships for him. Pau Gasol never got the credit he deserved, even though he was in his prime when he and Kobe won the titles. Gasol was always the right-hand man during the Lakers' championship runs. Whenever Kobe had no help, the Lakers were terrible. Also, I don't think LeBron is better than Kobe, but the stats say otherwise. LeBron is better in almost every scoring stat. People think Jordan vs. Kobe is a great matchup. If by great matchup they mean Jordan destroying Kobe, then they are wrong. Everyone says Kobe is in the top ten, but he probably barely makes the top twenty. If I made a typo, it is because of autocorrect.

7 Joe Namath Joseph William Namath, nicknamed "Broadway Joe", is a former American football quarterback and actor.

Terrible from a statistical point of view. He's known for beating the Colts in Super Bowl 3. I say, so what? The Jets' defense won Super Bowl 3! Namath did not throw a touchdown, and the Jets only scored 16 points.

If God forbid the Sanchize manages to do something with his career, the Jets should just stop trying to scout for talent because apparently, they don't need it to win.

His stats are terrible. If you put Roman Gabriel up against Joe Namath, Namath looks like Ryan Leaf, and Gabriel looks like Dan Marino.

8 Terrell Owens Terrell Eldorado Owens is an American football wide receiver who played for the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

All talk. If it wasn't for his attitude and drugs, maybe he wouldn't have made it on this list. But an athlete's most important body part is his brain, followed by his heart, and then his other muscles. TO is KO'd.

This guy is a loser who has nothing better to do than dump popcorn on his face and show off! He annoys me so much... I'm glad that the Cowboys got rid of him! What I'm wondering now is where he is now?

Never came up big in important games, dropped a lot of passes. Complained too much.

9 Scottie Pippen Scottie Maurice Pippen is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association.

He was a great Robin to Michael Jordan's Batman. However, he was not a guy you can build a championship team around like so many people think. His bad performances during the second 3-peat don't get talked about enough. Yes, Pippen is worthy of being a Hall of Famer. Yes, he did have that MVP-caliber season in 1994. However, he fell flat on his face during the 1994 NBA Playoffs, and the Bulls took the Knicks to seven games in spite of Pippen, not because of him. He is probably a top 40 player of all time. No way is he top 20, like some people suggest.

10 LeBron James LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.

If LeBron kept his mouth shut and focused on playing basketball, rather than trying to convince everyone of his own greatness, he wouldn't be on this list. He is so desperate to be in absolute control, to be beloved, and to be regarded as the best that he sabotaged his own career by playing GM and lost more Finals than he won. Not to mention, he keeps trying to convince people that he is intelligent and well-informed, but everything he says and does makes him come off as a big, dumb try-hard.

Fast player but no Jordan. Throughout his career, people have tried to compare him to Jordan. This has nothing to do with him, but where they went wrong was in comparing him to Michael Jordan. I think he plays with a different drive, always aiming to draw fouls. I don't feel he's as accurate as Jordan. He's about to lose two championships back to back right now. He is literally the whole team for the Cavs. Curry performed poorly during the playoffs.

The Contenders
11 Danica Patrick Danica Sue Patrick is an American professional racing driver. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only female win in an IndyCar Series race.

Lots of people don't win anything as a pro. Few people don't win anything with as much hype as Danica. Congrats, you were a female driver. Sadly, you weren't a good driver.

She is not good enough to handle a gen-6 car. She should go down. She is not good enough to be in the all-star race.

Danica Patrick isn't even an athlete. She drives a car in a circle 500 times. There's nothing athletic.

12 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

True. Cristiano, the most followed person on Instagram with 374 million followers, isn't as good a footballer as Lionel Messi. When people talk about football, they talk about this guy. Even Usain Bolt, the world's fastest person, said in his biography that Manchester United, Cristiano's team, was his favourite team.

He is the best at scoring goals, but he is not as good as Messi. While he is great at taking chances, Messi both creates and takes chances brilliantly. He is the best, but I think he is overrated.

13 Babe Ruth George Herman Ruth Jr., better known as Babe Ruth, was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935.

Played against only white players who had other jobs in the winter and didn't even work out. Please. Good for his time, but one of the most overrated. Old people just can't get over the fact he played against mostly just average white guys.

714 home runs is nothing to BS about, but the guy was a fat drunk who could hardly run. Sure, he was pretty dang good when he pitched, but then the stardom got to him. For his time, he was God, and some still see him that way, but times have changed folks.

Let's be honest here. Babe Ruth played in a time when baseball was in its infancy, and many of the best athletes weren't allowed in the league. Today, Ruth would be stuck working as a DH in the minors.

14 Johnny Manziel Jonathan Paul Manziel is an American professional Canadian football quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He was drafted by the NFL's Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Towards the end of the 2015 season, Manziel endured numerous scandals,... read more

When he made his first start for the Cleveland Browns, it was déjà vu of him two years ago, running around people. He still sees it as college ball. There is a clear difference between college and professional. In college, it mostly works when you run around a guy. In the professional league, defensive ends are not naïve and do not miss tackles of a QB sneak. Also, if you want to be a professional quarterback, then you have to use your arm more often than your feet. Manziel might as well just become a running back if he wants to use his feet more.

15 Mike Tyson Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old.

Mike was great, really, he was. But he was massively overrated. The excuses his fanboys make over him losing:

Buster Douglas: He wasn't focused. He was on drugs!
Evander Holyfield: He went to prison. He was high!
Lennox Lewis: He wasn't in his prime. Lewis ducked him for years!

He just lost. Deal with it.

Tyson fought mostly average boxers, and when he did fight elite boxers, he lost. Can someone list 5 elite boxers he beat?

Great puncher, yes. Great boxer, no. Tyson wouldn't have stood a chance against the best boxers in their prime.

16 Ronaldinho Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho or simply Ronaldinho, is a Brazilian former professional footballer and current ambassador for Barcelona. He played mostly as an attacking midfielder, but was also deployed as a winger. Often considered one of the best... read more

Had some cool moves, but got his ass handed to him by a very old Zinedine Zidane and drank himself out of competitive football in his late 20s. Looking back, he reminds me more of those professional football dribblers or trickshot artists than someone who wanted to be a member of a professional football team.

People just love to say he's the best player in history, but he only had like 2-3 good seasons, then he lost his skill. He was always a lazy player, and that's why he sucks.

Overrated. I can't for the life of me understand why people think this guy is even on the same level as the GOAT, Cristiano Ronaldo.

17 Manny Pacquiao Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao is a Filipino professional boxer and politician, currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. He currently ranks #4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.

Overrated? Probably. Mostly because boxing is in a lull right now and no one really cares about boxing in general. The only decent fighters out there for him are all over 30. Plus, the stigma of possible PED usage seems to be a real one. I really don't like Floyd Mayweather, but if Manny is as good as he says he is, why does the blood test matter? Someone's covering something up.

He is way overrated! He robbed Marquez... more than three times? How does that show integrity and honor? What a fake!

18 Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

He was very good, but not even the best of his time. He had to wait for Abdul-Jabbar and Bird to retire to win his first MVP & Championship.

He is one of the greatest, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he is the undisputed greatest athlete of all time.

Put Kareem, Wilt, Bird, Russell, James, Bryant, and Magic in the same era, and MJ wouldn't dominate.

19 Stephen Curry Wardell Stephen Curry II is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely considered to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, if not the greatest. He is one of the most beloved stars in the NBA today, as... read more

In my list, he's the 8th best in the NBA right now. There are so many little kids that somehow think he's better than Jordan. It's mind-blowing how good they think he is. He is the best shooter of all time. Shooter. That's it. He does few other things at an elite level.

You can't say someone's your favorite basketball player just because they're the point guard of the team that just won the championship. That's stupidity.

20 Alex Rodriguez Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, nicknamed "A-Rod", is an American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees.

He might be good, but he is normally considered better than he is.

He did bang Cameron Diaz, so he's got that.

21 Colin Kaepernick Colin Rand Kaepernick (born November 3, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. Kaepernick played college football at the University of Nevada, where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice. After graduating, he was selected... read more

If you ignore all the BLM/activism stuff, you will see a C-tier former NFL player.

22 Tiger Woods Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time.

He was on pace to be the greatest of all time, but something sure happened. His skills didn't go downhill. They fell off a cliff. I'm sure his knee issues play a part in it, but it seems like it's at least partly psychological as well.

Most overrated by far, even over Pele. Nicklaus was so much better, and Maradona was so much better than Pele it's not even funny.

All he does is play golf. He might be the greatest golf player of all time, but how "athletic" do you have to be to play golf? His caddy does more heavy lifting than he does. There are a lot of better athletes than him.

23 Emmitt Smith Emmitt James Smith III is a former college and professional American football running back who became the National Football League's all-time leading rusher during his fifteen seasons in the league during the 1990s and 2000s.

The best RBs in football, like Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders, all left before their skills completely fell off a cliff. That said, if any of them had stuck around for 5-6 more seasons after they stopped being elite, like Smith did, then they would still have the rushing record. Smith is the epitome of a player well past his prime, sticking around just to break a career total record and, in the process, largely tarnishing the legacy of the prime of his career.

Good runner, great offensive line. Most running backs would be happy to line up behind four different Pro Bowl linemen in a career, but in the 1995 Super Bowl, Emmitt had four Pro Bowlers in front of him at once. And that doesn't count the Pro Bowl fullback blowing up the holes, the Pro Bowl tight end drawing the attention of the linebackers, or the Pro Bowl quarterback and wide receiver keeping the secondary honest. Half the backs in the league would have put up Hall of Fame numbers in a setup like that.

24 Russell Wilson Russell Carrington Wilson is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos, and formerly for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League.
25 Cam Newton Cameron Jerrell Newton is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He had previously played with the Carolina Panthers from 2011 to 2019, and for the New England Patriots in 2020. In November 2021, he signed with his old team, the Carolina Panthers.

Stole a laptop in college. Stole millions of dollars in salary from the NFL by pretending to be a professional QB. He is perhaps the best exemplar of an era of quarterbacks where the ability to run completely blinded everyone to not only a lack of throwing ability but extremely poor judgment.

I can see it's been a while since anyone's made an entry here. It's 2016, and Cam's 15-1 Panthers just lost the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos. Despite the setback, I think Cam is tremendously gifted, made great strides this year, and has a great future ahead of him.

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