When it comes to sports, rivalries are considered healthy. It is something that players live for and it is something that the audience is entertained by. When people go to watch a match in the stadium or a field, they expect the rival players or teams to be in front of each other. These particular matches that are played between rivals are the most interesting ones since there is tension in the air along with a strong sense of competition.
Rivalries are present in all sports whether it is cricket or soccer or any other sport. For example, Pakistan and India’s rivalry in cricket is much popular. This is why any match between the two nations is much anticipated by the watchers. Moreover, there is a healthy competition between Messi and Ronaldo. You would often see their fans arguing with each other on who is a better player. The debates go on and both the players keep performing to the best of their ability. The reason these rivalries are so favoured is because they add a fun vibe to the whole sport. Below are few of the most popular rivalries in all sports.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier
The two boxing players have been rivals from the start of their career. They faced each other for. The first time in 1971 when Ali encountered Frazier in a boxing championship. To everyone’s surprise, Frazier defeated Ali, who was at that time considered to be the best boxing champion to live. The fight was also named as the Fight of the Year, although Ali did not think the results were fair.
Then, Frazier lost his awards to Foreman when he was defeated in 1974. Ali ended up winning the second match and the third too. This championship is regarded as one of the most interesting ones and people still talk about it whenever any sports rivalry is mentioned.
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
This is another sports rivalry that is worth mentioning. Both the players may be rivals but they have mutual respect for each other and their rivalry is quite celebrated in the tennis world. Federer established himself in the early years of this century as a remarkable player and his only opponent who could match him was Nadal. Federer was the winner of US Open as well as Australia Open. It was a set back for him when Nadal took French Open away from him and kept winning the title for 9 years.
Also, in 2008, Federer was defeated by Nadal in the Wimbledon championship, that is the most prestigious cup in tennis. Federer has 18 open titles to his name at the moment and standing second to him is Nadal with his 14 open titles.
Ronaldo vs Messi
This rivalry is not much hidden since everyone in the world talks about it. However, there in not really any competition between the two since they both are great in their own way. Of the total 10 Best Players, they both have won 9 awards. Messi has 5 of them to his name while Ronaldo has 4. Also, they both have a huge fan following which is always present to watch when Real Madrid plays Barcelona. They play for the best clubs in the world and are everyone’s role models, although their fans are often in a debate on who is better and why.
Adidas is currently paying 20 million dollars to Messi to be their brand ambassador and Nike is paying the same amount to Messi’s rival, Ronaldo, to be their company’s face.
Arnold Palmer vs Jack Nicklaus
This is a rivalry that may not be so popular today but it was a craze back in the 60s when Arnie’s Army cheered him against Jack. Jack entered gold in the 1960s and he was the runner up for that year’s US Open while Palmer won. The next time US Open took place, the tables had turned and the situation was reversed.
Palmer had won 7 major titles during his time but Jack left him behind after winning 18 major titles. This rivalry was the highlight of the 60s and is still talked about by the older lot.
Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O’Neal
This is a unique rivalry because it was between two members of the same time. Both the basketball players played for the same team named La Lakers. They played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2002 for 6 years straight. They could not stand each other and could not even bear the fact that the audience would applause the other when he made a goal. The feud came to be known as Shaq-Kobe feud and it was much talked about in the basketball world.
When the matter got too much heat, Shaw was transferred to Miami Heat where he still played against Kobe, but as his opponent. Both teams played 11 matches of which the Lakers only won 4. When both the players were together in the same team, their team ended up winning 3 consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002.
Björn Borg vs John McEnroe
This is another rivalry from tennis that is much talked about. Borg was considered an emotionless player and on the contrary, John was famous fro the scenes that he made on the field. Somehow, he was also the favourite among the audience since he won three of the four titles in which the two played against each other. In other 14 matches that the two played against each other, it was a tie as they both won 7 matches each.
From these rivalries, it is clear that sports cannot be made interesting without these rivalries. They should not be to the extent that it causes disappointment to the fans and it kills the fun. However, a little bit of it is a must since it is what adds excitement to the field. People who love sports also live for these rivalries and they would never want this source of entertainment and fun to end.