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Man’s Life Top 10 Sportsmen Of The Year

Novak Djokovic and Max Verstappen
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From Grand Slams and Olympic Games to World Cup action and plenty of Football, 2021 has been a record-breaking year for men in sport, as the world’s greatest athletes continued to push the boundaries of what was considered possible on a sporting field. 

Here are our top 10 sportsmen of 2021.

10. Joe Root


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At number 10 is Joe Root, who has enjoyed plenty of success on a personal front for England this year, scoring nearly 1500 runs at an average of 63 in Test cricket. In 2021, Root became the only person to score three consecutive centuries twice in a calendar year and with England’s victory over India at Headingley, Root also overtook Michael Vaughan to become the most successful English captain in history.

9. Canelo Alvarez 


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The #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world – who holds the WBO, WBC, and WBA titles – added the IBF belt to his list with a ruthless 11th round TKO against the previously unbeaten Caleb Plant. With that win, he became the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history and only the sixth fighter to carry all four major world titles in a single division, as well as the first-ever Mexican fighter to be recognised as the undisputed champion.

8. Caeleb Dressel


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No athlete won more gold medals at Tokyo 2020 than Caeleb Dressel, with the 24-year-old American swimmer emerging from the shadow of Michael Phelps to become the face of US swimming after his five golds this summer. Dressel won gold in the 50 and 100-metre freestyle, 100-metre butterfly and the 4 x 100m medley and freestyle relays while also setting two World Records and one Olympic Record in the process.

7. Robert Lewandowski


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Robert Lewandowski couldn’t stop scoring in 2021, with the Polish striker netting an unprecedented 38 goals in 30 league games in 2021, a strike every 66 minutes on average. Lewandowski won the Bundesliga and DFP-Supercup with Bayern Munich this year while also breaking Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old record of scoring the most goals in a single Bundesliga season (41).

6. Max Verstappen


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Max Verstappen tapped into a different gear in 2021 to go toe-to-toe with the greatest driver of this generation – Lewis Hamilton – in the closest F1 title battle in nearly half a century. Verstappen showed unbelievable consistency in 2021, finishing either 1st or 2nd in 16 of the 17 races he completed. (*Written before Abu Dhabi GP)

5. Lewis Hamilton


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The accolades kept tumbling for Lewis Hamilton in 2021, who broke Michael Schumacher’s record for the most laps led in F1 history while also passing a century of wins and pole positions. Despite not having the fastest car, Hamilton produced some iconic performances on the race track in 2021 in Brazil and Saudi Arabia and was involved in one of the greatest title races in F1 history alongside Max Verstappen.

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo


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Giannis Antetokounmpo entered the company of greatness in 2021, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA championship in over 50 years. Not only did the Greek Freak win his first NBA ring, but he also put in one of the most iconic performances of all time in the Finals, finishing with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in game 6 with the title on the line. With this historic display, Giannis joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only 3 players in history to win an MVP, Finals MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year trophy.

3. Lionel Messi


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It was another mesmerizing year for Lionel Messi for both club and country, with the 34-year-old registering 60 goals and assists in all competitions in 2021 while also ending his long wait for some international silverware. Messi led Argentina to their first Copa America title since 1993 and was named as the player of the tournament in Brazil, scoring four goals and registering five assists on his way to the title.

2. Novak Djokovic


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At number two in our list is arguably the greatest player to ever step foot on a Tennis court, Novak Djokovic. Although the Serbian fell perilously short of the unprecedented Calendar Golden Slam, Djokovic still had a record-breaking year, winning the first three majors of the year before losing in the final of the US Open. In 2021, Djokovic extended his record at the number one spot in the ATP rankings to 350 weeks while also tying Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s record of winning 20 Grand Slams each.

1. Neeraj Chopra


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Taking the top spot is none other than Neeraj Chopra, who created history with his iconic performance at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, becoming only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic Gold medal. With his mighty throw of 87.58 metres in the final of the Javelin Throw, the 23-year-old secured India’s first-ever gold medal in Athletics in Olympics history while also becoming the first to do it in their debut at the Olympic level.