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GOAT - The eternal debate

Le Frére Alpha

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I think it's hard to argue against Messi over the course of a season or career but if offered one or the other in knockout football I'm taking CR. CL knockouts is the one arena that he was head and shoulders above anyone ever.
 

Yulia

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My bias is that I always prefer the natural talent in the sport to the best athlete or the best trained; but that's all subjective.
Vice versa for me: it's more interesting to see how did the person without this natural talent achieve the same (or higher) level than "God-gifted" talents in the same field.
Natural talent (that one given from the birth) is not a personal merit
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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When comparing the big 3 in tennis (and IMO):
Roger is just the most naturally talented of the 3, with the most varied game which is in constant evolution - throughout a match, let alone year or career. In rugby terms, he'd be Dan Carter
Rafa is the most naturally gifted physical specimen - the man's an absolute beast, and it's a miracle his knees have lasted this long, but they have, and he's been able to subdue all opposition. In rugby terms he'd be (a better version of) James Haskell
Novak is the most well drilled, trained professional - he's just a machine who never stops grinding you down. In rugby terms, he's be Jonny Wilkinson
You are making Nadal, a 20 grand slam winner, look a bit like a brute. Don't have the stats at hand, but isn't he the youngest ever to achieve a grand slam?
He's is strong, sure, and he is clearly not as elegant as Roger F, but don't let that blur his finesse.

I like Roger's style better, but dear god Nadal has shut up everyone. Again and again. First, he was a one-trick pony. A dirt specialist they called him. Then that he got lucky. Then that he needed to learn to play other surfaces. Then that he's ok on grass. Then that he's good but he'll never beat Roger at WBD. Then he beats the best ever, on Roger's best surface, at the biggest setting in arguably the best tennis game ever played. He wins all 4 grand slams. He's won an olympic gold medal on singles. He's won an olympic gold medal on doubles. He's been instrumental for Spain winning the Davis cup. He has a positive record against his #1 rival, who many consider the best ever.
I really don't see what more he can do. Again, i like Roger better, but resume-wise, there is a strong argument to be made in order to call Nadal the best ever. He has achieved, literally, everything (relevant, course), a tennis player can. Roger hasn't, Novak hasn't either.

Haskell? Seriously? That's like putting a tutu on a pig and calling it Natalia Makarova.
 

Which Tyler

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If I'm making Nadal look that way, then I'm failing at communication, it's absolutely not how I feel about him.

I'm comparing 3 potential GOATs, none of them are bad players, none of them are one-trick ponies. By trying to find these comparative strengths and weaknesses, and rugby equivalents, I'm not saying that Roger is gifted but lazy, that Rafa is a skill-less beast; or that Novak is an unfit waif. In no way am I denigrating any of the 3, I'm exemplifying their positives.

Oh, and "dear god Nadal has shut up everyone" that's patently untrue - he has a LOT of fans, including myself, and has since he first burst onto the scene. To me, that phrase says more about your opinion than anything you're replying to.
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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If I'm making Nadal look that way, then I'm failing at communication, it's absolutely not how I feel about him.
Fair enough, but if you dont mind me asking, what did you expect? In a thread about the goat you compared him to Haskel. ******* haskell!! What has Haskell achieved? His greatest achievement is what, signing an mma contract with bellator?
 

Which Tyler

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I said that his rugby equivalent would be a (much better) James Haskell. Not because he's as good at tennis as Haskell is at rugby (hence the "much better" part), but because he's a fantastic athlete, who happens to be very good at tennis.
I also said that he'd be the (male) GOAT as "athlete who plays tennis"

Talking about someone as the being one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, across all sports IS NOT A CRITICISM
 

Welsh Exile

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I would have thought Calzaghie is out on his own? Not my strongest subject now!
This is the correct answer.

A bit of useless trivia. Taine Basham’s (who should be getting his first cap for Wales this summer) great, great grandfather was the first welterweight to win the Lonsdale belt outright.
 

TW27BA

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Impossible to pick the GOAT as you'd have to have one for each event.
I'd throw in the name of Valentino Rossi in MotoGP along with Giacomo Agostini and Marc Marquez.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Here's one for the boxers. Remember everyone was caught up with Benn v Eubank, remember a Dub showed you they aren't ****?
 

The_Blindside

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Djokovic has a great chance to really separate himself from Federer and Nadal today to become the first male player in the Open era to win at 2 Of each Major. He’d also be on for the Calendar year Slam.
 

The_Blindside

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Djokovic's game is like a Python, just slowly strangles his opponents into submission. Quite beautiful to watch.

French Open Reaction GIF by Roland-Garros
 
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The_Blindside

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Just a thought: does Greatest = the best.

Does it require a transcending of the best’s individual sport? Ie appeal to fans who aren’t even fans of those sports.

Like an Ali, Bolt, Woods or Federer or Nadal?

Not sure if Djokovic transcends tennis despite his remarkable achievement yesterday.
 

Welsh Exile

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Just a thought: does Greatest = the best.

Does it require a transcending of the best’s individual sport? Ie appeal to fans who aren’t even fans of those sports.

Like an Ali, Bolt, Woods or Federer or Nadal?

Not sure if Djokovic transcends tennis despite his remarkable achievement yesterday.
I don’t like tennis but isn’t he meant to be a bit of a prick as well?
 

The_Blindside

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I don’t like tennis but isn’t he meant to be a bit of a prick as well?

The Djoker? Nah I think he’s quite funny. Sure he can lose it on court. I think his main thing is that he is not as loved or feels as loved as Federer and Nadal. The two players he’s trying to beat and overtake in the GOAT of tennis stakes.

Actually that is quite indicative of him not transcending the sport of tennis if someone like you who does not like tennis thinks that.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Isn't he an anti-vaxx, covids-a-conspiracy nutter?
Held a party during COVID because he said it was nothing to worry about and then loads of people caught it?
 

The_Blindside

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Ah yes, that is right.

And smacked a lines lady in the throat with a tennis ball and got disqualified.
 

Welsh Exile

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The Djoker? Nah I think he’s quite funny. Sure he can lose it on court. I think his main thing is that he is not as loved or feels as loved as Federer and Nadal. The two players he’s trying to beat and overtake in the GOAT of tennis stakes.

Actually that is quite indicative of him not transcending the sport of tennis if someone like you who does not like tennis thinks that.
Isn’t he a bit sexist? Something about women shouldn’t be paid the same or something. Like I say, I’m not a tennis fan. Put that on top of anti vaxer and I’d say the guy is a monumental tool.
 

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