The 100 Greatest Athletes of the Complex Decade

7. Lionel Messi

Sport: Soccer
Bonafides From 2002-2012: 2x FIFA Ballon D'Or winner, 2009 FIFA POY, 3x UEFA Champions League Champion, 5x La Liga Champion
Lets face it; he's the best player on Earth, on the best team on Earth, in the world's most popular sport—that's hard to beat. The 5-foot-7 Argentine is only small in stature, as he has won pretty much everything he could possibly win in club play, and has dazzled fans with breathtaking goals and foot skill since joining FC Barcelona in '04. The only blip on the 24-year-old's (yes, he's only 24) bio is the elusive World Cup title he has yet to achieve but he is still without a doubt going to go down as one of the best of this era. To put the cherry on top he scored an epic Champions League record 5 goals in a recent 7-1 drudging of German team Bayer Leverkusen.

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