Top 5 rivalries in sports that will always remain unrivalled

May 19, 2018, 07:18 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Here's a look at five rivalries that have made sport the adrenaline rush we all enjoy

Rivalries. They define sport. With them, sport is turned into a fierce contest that one just can’t get enough of. Without them, well, there is no fun in sport. Fortunately, we’ve all been blessed with some iconic sporting rivalries over the ages. Here’s a look at five rivalries that have made sport the adrenaline rush we all enjoy.

Lionel Messi – Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi Ronaldo

We are living in a golden period, an era of not just one, but two legendary football players. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, both are extremely energetic, skillful and passionate players. Combined, they’ve won the Ballon d'Or 10 times, with both sealing five apiece, and with it tons of fans. Unfortunately, sports follows the rule of the jungle, there can’t be two kings!

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been in a score row since forever, breaking world records one after another. Their competitive performances have polarized fans more than anything else in the world of football. The fact that there’s a special Wikipedia page dedicated to this rivalry tells us that it can’t get bigger than this. The internet is often flooded with articles debating for both sides. In spite of being in a race, both players have great sportsmanship. They would never speak ill of each other and share a sense of mutual respect. It is impossible for us to choose between the two, but the upcoming World Cup could influence the fans’ choice when it comes to Messi vs Ronaldo.

Sachin Tendulkar – Ricky Ponting

Tendulkar Ponting

The world’s hottest game hosts one of the world’s spiciest rivalries. Sachin and Ponting were a crucial topic of discussion during the 2000’s. As we all know Sachin Tendulkar became a world phenomenon shortly after his debut at the age of 16. He set sky-high records for others to beat and some of them stay unbeaten despite his departure from the game. Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, set the stage alight in the late 1990s and batted his team to some glorious years on the field. This remained a moot point when the two legends of the game were pitted against one another. While Sachin held the records, Ponting’s innings resulted in more wins for the team. This debate was put to rest when Sachin became the only cricketer to have scored 100 hundreds.

Roger Federer – Rafael Nadal

Nadal Federer

Fedal! One of the world’s most famous rivalries. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This is probably modern-day Tennis’ Messi vs Ronaldo battle. This duo has put up the most enthralling tennis fights in the last decade. They have faced each other 38 times and while Nadal has an overall head to head record of 23-15, Federer is still the one with more titles to his name. Federer currently stands at #1 and Nadal at #2. Roger though has opted out of the French Open, and with Nadal’s glossy record at the tournament we could just see a shift in leadership.

Bjorn Borg - John McEnroe

Borg McEnroe

Well, if we’re talking about Tennis rivalries then we have to talk about Björn Borg and John McEnroe. This is the real story of ice and fire. Borg, the cool and icy tennis player who was an undisputed champion until the fiery John McEnroe entered the world of tennis. McEnroe became popular for his court-side tantrums and fierce style of playing. In a very short period, he came neck and neck with Borg. The 1980 Wimbledon was the highlight of this rivalry when Borg and McEnroe met in what was touted as one of the biggest Wimbledon finals ever. What resulted was a thrilling five-setter which Borg managed to clinch. 

Ayrton Senna – Alain Prost

Senna Prost

Everything is fair in love and race? Senna and Prost, two extremely ferocious racers teamed up in1988. Wheels turned fast and so did the table. Their partnership turned into a rivalry and it soon turned ugly. Instead of focusing on beating other teams, the duo was seen competing with and overtaking each other on the F1 tracks. The urge to be the number one pushed them over the limit. In 1989, the duo lost the race as Prost hit Senna’s car to prevent Senna from over-taking which resulted in a loss for both. After this incident, they both refused to team up and their rivalry intensified.

After Prost’s retirement though, their bitter rivalry was resolved and the two sworn enemies became good friends. In fact, when Senna succumbed to an untimely demise, Prost who was extremely shattered with the news came out in public and expressed his heartfelt condolences.

Want to know the inside story of Tennis’ greatest rivalry? Then tune in to Star Movies Select HD on 19th May at 9 PM to watch the Indian Television Premiere of Borg vs McEnroe.

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