38 Most Successful Athletes of the 21st Century

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Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

16. LeBron James
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 3x NBA Champion, 2x gold medal
> Team or country: Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat
> Career length: 2003-present
> Other accomplishments: 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 4x MVP

LeBron James won two NBA Championships in Miami with the Heat before returning to his original team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and winning a championship there in 2016. He also holds two Olympic gold medals and four NBA MVP awards.

Source: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

17. Lindsey Jacobellis
> Sport: Snowboarding
> Championships: 10x X Games gold medal
> Team or country: United States
> Career length: 2001-present
> Other accomplishments: 12 total X Games medals

Lindsey Jacobellis consistently shreds the competition at the X Games. The snowboarder has 10 gold medals at the competition.

Source: Alex Caparros / Getty Images

18. Lionel Messi
> Sport: Soccer
> Championships: 4x UEFA Champions league, 9x domestic league
> Team or country: Barcelona
> Career length: 2003-present
> Other accomplishments: 5 Ballons d’Or

Lionel Messi has dominated world soccer in the past decade, winning five Ballon d’Or awards as the world’s best player. He’s guided Barcelona to nine Spanish championships and four UEFA Champions League titles.

Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

19. Madison Bumgarner
> Sport: Baseball
> Championships: 3x World Series
> Team or country: San Francisco Giants
> Career length: 2009-present
> Other accomplishments: 4x All-Star

Pitcher Madison Bumgarner takes his game to the next level in the World Series. Bumgarner has never lost a start in the World Series, going 4-0 in the three Fall Classics in which he pitched. He was named the 2014 World Series MVP.

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

20. Manu Ginobili
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 4x NBA Champion, 1x gold medal
> Team or country: San Antonio Spurs
> Career length: 2002-present
> Other accomplishments: 2x All-Star

As one of the best bench players in NBA history, Manu Ginobili helped the San Antonio Spurs win four of the franchise’s five titles. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004.