Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne (cricket)
Tendulkar (R) and Warne are all-time greats who played against each other on several occasions during the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Aussie spinner, however, often claims that Tendulkar is one batsman he always feared, especially after the hammering he took when the pair met in the final of a tri-nations series in 1998, when Tendulkar knocked an impressive 134 from 131 balls, leading his team to victory.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (tennis)
In probably one of the most talked about tennis rivalries in the modern era, the Swiss maestro has faced off against the fiery Spaniard 37 times. Although Nadal (R) emerged victorious in 23 matches in the rivalry, Federer leads the entire men’s division with the record score of 19 Grand Slam wins. Despite their heated on-court battles, the two have remained good friends.
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer)
Arguably the best soccer players in the world at present, Argentina’s Messi (foreground) and Portugal’s Ronaldo have a total of nine FIFA Ballon d’Or awards between them. While the former plays for Barcelona and has won the honor five times.
Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi (tennis)
Apart from their nationalities, not much is common between Sampras (L) and Agassi. This clash of styles on and off the court made for an amazing rivalry between “Pistol Pete” and “The Punisher” in the 1990s. Sampras often came out on top, however, winning four of their five Grand Slam finals meetings. Overall, Sampras has won six Grand Slams in his career, while Agassi has won three.
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield (boxing)
The 1997 fight between Holyfield and Tyson saw one of the most infamous moments not only in the history of boxing, but the sporting world altogether. Holyfield, who had beaten Tyson in their previous fight despite being the underdog, left the match after being bitten by Tyson on the ear, who was disqualified from the fight.
Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry (snooker)
O’Sullivan (R) could easily have been the greatest snooker player of all time, if not for a certain Stephen Hendry, who has seven World Championships under his belt. While five-time world champion O’Sullivan, described as a naturally gifted potting machine, has been a model of impatience, arrogance and eccentricity, Hendry is the perfect idol for any young player with his composed persona and well-calculated shots.