Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now Posted By: Bill Russell | January 1, 2018
Sports, whether team or individual, give a platform to athletes and sports lovers to come together, so that the athletes can entertain the audience with their sporting skills, and their fans can appreciate their prowess. Yes, entertainers have the power to make people smile, and to inspire them in more ways than we can comprehend. They are hugely popular, as a result. In fact, they have the power to influence their fans. Here’s a look at the top 10 most important athletes right now!
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now 
- Tai Tzu-ying – Badminton
- Sidney Crosby – Ice Hockey
- José Altuve – Baseball
- Virat Kohli – Cricket
- Tom Brady – American Football
- Danica Patrick – Racing
- Roger Federer – Tennis
- Serena Williams – Tennis
- Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Boxing
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Football
- Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now 
- Anthony Joshua
- Jamie Vardy
- Katarina Johnson-Thompson
- Dele Ali
- Bradley Wiggins
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Andy Murray
- Danny Willett
- Usain Bolt
- Amber Hill
Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now 
Besides the players listed below, there are many other athletes who have proven to be influential and important most recently. Whether it is through their incredible performances recently, through a continuation of their popularity since the beginning of their career, or through their attitude, these players, and the others, have the power to affect the minds of their fans, in many ways.
Tai Tzu-ying – Badminton
In the 10th place on our list of the most important athletes right now is the badminton player from Taiwan, Tai Tzu-ying. She became the no.1 Taiwanese Badminton player in 2011, and in 2016, she acquired the women’s World No. 1 place in her sport. Between 2016 and 2017, she has acquired 6 titles consecutively, and is currently enjoying a winning streak of 27 matches! In 2017, she won her third Hong Kong Super Series. Her wins in 2017 also include mixed doubles in Summer Universiade, as well as women’s single in Asian Championships and Summer Universiade, making her a prominent face sports.
Sidney Crosby – Ice Hockey
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Patrick Crosby is one of the most noted players from the world of Ice Hockey. This Canadian national is the captain of the Pittsburgh in the National Hockey League. He had a highly successful minor and junior career in Ice Hockey, after which he moved on to his senior career. In his second season of NHL, he secured 120 points, and helped grab the Art Ross Trophy, and became the only teenager and the youngest player to have gained a scoring title in a major sports league of North America. This year, he led his team Stanley Cups for the second consecutive time. He lifted the second Richard Trophy in 2017.
José Altuve – Baseball
Venezuelan baseball player José Altuve acquires the eighth place on the list of most important athletes right now, based on his most recent performances. He plays as the second baseman in the Major League Baseball team, Houston Astros. At 5 ft 6 in, he is the shortest active player in MLB as of 2017, but he truly justifies the saying, “big things come in small packages”. This year, he got a number of awards, like the Hank Aaron Award, AL Most Valuable Player Award, The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year, Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, and Baseball America’s Major League Player of the Year.
Virat Kohli – Cricket
In the seventh place is Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket player and national captain, and is also part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League. He is known not only for his incredible skills with the bat but also for his incredible attitude. The right-handed batsman is considered as one of the best in the world. ESPN ranked him as one of the most popular athletes in the world, while Forbes ranked him as one of the most valuable. He received the Padma Shri, the prestigious civilian awards in India, for his contributions to the world of sports. Kohli is one of the most influential sportspeople now.
Tom Brady – American Football
The next player on the list of the most important players in current sports history is Tom Brady, the American football quarterback. He plays for the National Football League team, New England Patriots, and is one of only two players to have won Super Bowls. In 2017, he won the 13th Pro Bowl of his career, adding to his nine-year streak. He currently has the third-highest passer rate in his career among quarterbacks, with 97.9, having made around 1500 passing attempts. Brady is considered as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of this sport, because of the highly successful career he has had so far.
Danica Patrick – Racing
American racing driver Danica Patrick is one of the most noted athletes today. She has acquired the top position among women in America’s open-wheel racing. She is one of the highest paid female athletes in the world of contemporary sports, and is a popular choice for brands as their ambassador. Her sponsors include Coca-Cola, Nationwide, Ford and Stewart-Haas. Her achievements include many ‘firsts’ as a woman; for instance, she is the first woman to win IndyCar Series race, to lead the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500, etc. She is also a model and an advertising spokesperson, making her more influential.
Roger Federer – Tennis
The Swiss tennis player, Roger Federer, remains one of the most important names in the sport of tennis. After holding the top position in Association of Tennis Professionals for 302 weeks, which is a record in itself, he is now in the 2nd spot. IN 2017, he won the Australian Open as well as Wimbledon. He was recently named the fourth most popular athlete in the world, and the most popular one in Tennis. Having had some incredible wins in the season, 2017 has been a successful year for Federer. For his contributions to the world of sports, he recently got an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel.
Serena Williams – Tennis
In the third place on the most of most important athletes in the world today is Serena Williams, the American tennis player. She is the highest earning female athlete, with a total wealth of $27 million, as of 2017. The World No. 1 in women’s tennis, Serena has often been considered as the greatest tennis player among women, by her peers and sports critics. Even during her hiatus from the sport for a year due to her pregnancy, she has continued to inspire and encourage women in the world of sports. With 39 Grand Slam titles, she has the highest number of them, including singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Boxing
A former pro boxer and current boxing promoter, America’s controversial athlete Floyd Mayweather Jr. is still one of the most influential and important members of the sports world. Though he quit from professional boxing in the year 2015, he came back to the right for a single match in 2017, i.e. the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor battle, also known as The Money Fight or The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History. This match helped him set the record win-loss ratio of 50:0, after defeating McGregor by a technical knockout, and he reportedly earned a massive $300,000,000 from this fight.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Football
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese soccer star who represents Real Madrid in the Spanish La Liga, is one of greatest soccer players in the world of all time. He has earned the highest number of trophies and awards in the year, including the Ballon d’Or, which is the most prestigious of individual awards in the world of football; he is now tied with Lionel Messi as the player with the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards. But, football is not the only area where he is has earned his glory, though it is the main reason. He is the most popular player on social media, and is the highest earning athlete according to Forbes.
2017 was a bumper year in terms of sports starting from UEFA Champions League and La Liga victory of Real Madrid, Ballon d’Or win of CR7, wedding of Virat Kohli, retirement of Usain Bolt, fight of the millennium between Mayweather and McGregor till several great events in F1, Tennis, Basketball, Ice Hockey, American Football and many more.
There is more than enough opportunity for the world’s best sportsmen and women to make their mark, and for new ones to make a name for themselves. So who will be the ones who achieve the biggest success in the months ahead? Let’s take a look at the 10 important athletes right now 2017 at the moment, the ones with the most potential to make 2017 their year.
Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now 
It was the last Olympics where Watford Born Joshua made a name for himself winning the gold medal but he hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since and 2017 looks like it could be his best year yet. Despite only having 16 professional fights, his 2-round demolition of Charles Martin in April saw the heavyweight claim the IBF World Title and let him become one of the most important athletes right now. All 16 fights have ended inside the distance, and he has only heard the bell at the end of the third round once. He has made the London O2 Arena his home, with tickets selling out for the Martin fight in just 90 seconds.
Jamie Vardy could be forgiven for pinching himself every time he gets out of bed to check he isn’t still dreaming. The last 24 months have been nothing short of phenomenal for the soccer player. His 22 goals and 6 assists in second-last season not only helped Leicester to their historic Barclays Premier League title, but have made him a dead cert for a place on the plane to France in June. He was named the Football Writers Player of the Year, and is currently the clear favourite for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Award. Not only that, but producer Adrian Butchard is currently making a film based on his life and surely he is one of the most important athletes right now.
The third in our list of the important athletes right now 2017 is British Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Following in the golden footsteps of such stars as Denise Lewis and Jessica Ennis (who Katarina will compete against in Rio), she certainly has a hard act to follow, but the Olympics could be coming at just the right time for the Liverpudlian. She has her eyes firmly set on the Gold in Rio, and if these latest photos as part of her role as the face of Dulux’s Colour of the year are anything to go by, it’s a colour that certainly suits her.
People are loathed to burden the new talented crop of England’s footballers with titles such as the golden generation, but Roy Hodgson has certainly got an abundance of riches to choose from. We could have chosen any one from half a dozen potential stars to make a name for themselves in France this June, but Deli Ali has shown with his performances for both Spurs and England that he could be the best of the lot. His 10 goals and 9 assists for Tottenham together with man of the match performances for the national side have led many to believe he could be the next superstar to wear the three lions this summer and beyond.
Four years ago the nation fell in love with Bradley Wiggins – and his sideburns – and 2018 could see a repeat performance (though the chops have gone!). He was the first Briton to win the Tour de France, and also has 7 Olympic medals – 4 gold, 2 bronze and 1 silver. Any success at all in Rio will make Wiggins the most decorated British Olympian in history.
For years now, it has been impossible to make a list of the important athletes right now without including Cristiano Ronaldo. He has torn up practically every scoring record in his time at Real Madrid. This season alone he has scored 40 goals in 46 appearances, as well as knocking up 20 assists. With his great rival Messi not featuring at the Euros for obvious reasons, the summer of 2016 it is Ronaldo’s chance to nail down the position of the world’s best footballer once and for all. Ronaldo is listed among the Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now.
2018 could be one of the biggest years in Murray’s career. The 2012 US open winner and 2013 Wimbledon Champion has lost in 7 other grand slam finals, the latest being in this year’s Australian Open against friend and rival Djokovic. If he can convert more of those final appearances to victories, he will be on his way to becoming one of the most successful tennis players ever. This year also gives the chance for the Scot to defend the Olympic gold he won so memorably in London 4 years ago. If he does, he could also hold on to the Sports Personality Award he picked up last year, and become the first person to win the esteemed title for a third time.
Few people would have thought to include pro golfer Danny Willett’s name on the list of the important athletes right now 2017, at the beginning of the year, but with his victory in Augusta he makes it to number 8 on our list. Willet became only the second Englishman (the other being Nick Faldo) to win the green jacket, and the first European for 17 years. He will not only be looking to add to his success in the forthcoming majors but will have an eye on making it onto the European Ryder Cup team too.
It is no surprise Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has made to the list of important athletes right now, particularly in an Olympic year. Bolt is the fastest man on the planet – he not only holds the 100 metre world record of 9.58 seconds, but also has the second fastest time ever run (9.63 seconds). In Rio, he will be looking to make history when he defends both the 100 metres and 200 metres titles – for the second time. Bolt is listed in the 9th spot of our list of Top 10 Most Important Athletes Right Now.
The Olympics is a chance for those who compete in less popular sports to have their time in the limelight too, and sport shooter Amber Hill is someone who could very well be the star of this year’s events in Rio. The 20 year old will be one of the favourites to win gold in the women’s skeet event, after becoming the youngest World Cup gold medallist in 2013. Britain has a strong tradition in shooting at the Olympics, and Amber will be looking to add to their current haul of 44 medals.
All ten of these exceptional athletes, who are the Most Important People in Sports 2017, have already had phenomenal years, and over the remaining 8 months will be looking to make a case to becoming the most important sports person of the year. Whether they achieve their dreams or not, we will certainly enjoy every second of watching them try.
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