10 World-Famous Athletes Who Managed To Stay Humble

OMG November 29, 2017 By Hugo

It probably isn't easy staying grounded when you have a life many other people want, but these athletes proved it's possible, despite their achievements being a montage of other-worldly greatness. 

Indeed, the athletes we have profiled have one thing that places them above fellow serial winners: class. Not only are they world-beaters, but they're also classy, humble individuals.

Here are 10 world-famous athletes who, despite the fame, wealth and adulation, have managed to remain humble

1. Roger Federer 

Long dubbed the Greatest of all time, Roger Federer is quite simply a phenomenon. Holding the male record for the most grand slam singles titles (19), the Swiss ace is by far the most popular player on the ATP Tour, not only for his on-court prowess but also for the way he conducts himself off it.

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He's a bastion of charitable causes and was one of the leading players to suggest decreasing the prize money for the winner's of prestigious tournaments so it could be redistributed more evenly to the player's who often only reach the 1st and 2nd rounds. He's also got a natural grace about him, and it's for these reasons- among many others- that the Swiss superstar was voted the ATP's Fan Favourite for an unprecedented 15th year in a row. 

2. Andrew Luck

When Andrew Luck was about to be drafted into the NFL, a TMZ photographer got hold of him and couldn't believe he was speaking to someone on an age-old flip phone. But that's just the guy Luck is. He isn't your typical baller. He's not ostentatious, and he doesn't care about material possessions. He's just a humble man who possesses an incredible gift for football.

Shutterstock/ Debby Wong

Yet you wouldn't believe, walking past him in the street, that the Indianapolis Colt's QB was currently the highest paid player in the NFL, but maybe that's what makes this man so great. Despite achieving the dreams of many guys, he's remained true to his values and good-guy personality, and in a league full of obnoxious, boastful athletes, Luck's success is much-welcomed, even if fellow baller Rodney Hudson described his niceness as "weird."

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman also commented on Luck's personality describing him as the "nicest guy you'd ever meet in your life."

3. Rafael Nadal

The second tennis player on our list, the Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has won 16 grand slams in his career, which in any other decade, would likely see him heralded as the best player of all time. But a player by the name of Roger Federer is currentley 3  ahead of him, despite the Spaniard boasting a 23-15 head-to-head winning record.

Shutterstock/Leonard Zhukovsky

Nonetheless, Nadal's achievements are equally as impressive, especially on the clay surface, where he has won an astonishing 10 French Open titles (more than any other player). 

But just like Federer, Rafa's nice guy persona and clear-to-see humbleness have further elevated his legendary status, with the star even admitting that he never expected to win a slam when starting his journey on tour. 

In fact, by the age of 30, Nadal thought he would have retired from the sport and returned to his home island of Majorca and live out the rest of his days fishing with his family and friends.

4. Lionel Messi

The magisterial brilliance of the Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi beggars belief. Already a Barcelona legend- where he plays his club football- Messi has been in a league of his own for some time thanks to his God-given talents, but that still hasn't stopped this game-changing athlete from remaining true to himself.

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Of course, naysayers will point to Cristiano Ronaldo and say he's better, but in reality, Messi's natural talent has always triumphed Ronaldo's, and though the Real Madrid star may have the looks and confidence, Messi is more down-to-earth and humble, and has always prefered to do his talking on the pitch, which has seen him win a record 5 Balon d'Or titles, more than any other soccer player.

5. Anthony Joshua 

Anthony Joshua was a teenage tearaway and even spent a brief period behind bars before he took up boxing at 18, a sport he is likely to dominate for years to come following his 11th round knockout of the legendary Ukranian heavyweight fighter, Wladimir Klitschko. 

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But even before the fight took place, Joshua had nothing but praise for his opponent, and it's this image of Joshua that the media and his fans have fallen in love with, especially after he admitted to the press that he still lives at home with his mother! 

6. J.J. Watt

After Hurrican Harvey devastated the homes and lives of many people in the city he plies his trade in, the Houston Texans defensive end set up a fundraiser which raised over $37m for victims of the disaster, but to many observers, it wasn't a surprise. 

After all, the star football player has thrown himself into a number of projects outside football for many years, and he's often praised for his sincerity and compassionate personality. 

Sgt. Kristen Duus via Wikimedia Commons

Like Andrew Luck, J.J. Watt doesn't appear to be interested in the material aspects of his fame, and he's simply determined to be a better person. But if you needed more convincing of this guy's niceness, then we encourage you to click here and watch a video of Watt surprising his elementary school teacher.

7. Manny Pacquiao

While the Filipino boxer lost a number of endorsements following his controversial views on gay relationships, which he claimed conflicts with his Catholic faith, the boxer is still a consummate professional- at least in the field of boxing.

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Unlike his fierce, braggadocious boxing rival Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Pacquiao is known to have donated a large majority of his earnings to charitable causes and is now a senator in his native Philippines.

8. Kevin Durant

One of the NBA's most prized players, Durant is widely considered one of the world's best basketball players, with his dunking and three-throwing abilities second to none. But as well as possessing exceptional talents that only the likes of Lebron James and Stephen Curry can better, Durant prefers to stay away from the more glamorous side of the game and that's likely because of his strict faith.

Shutterstock/ Oleksiy Naumov

A proud Christian, Durant was baptized by Hillsong Church Pastor Carl Lentz in 2013, and credits his faith with keeping him grounded. "When people tell me I’m great, I remind myself that I can always be better. Humility comes before honor,” Durant said.  

9. Andy Murray

If the three-time grand slam tennis champion Andy Murray happened to be competing in any other era, he'd likely have won every slam going. Yet with Nadal, Federer- and in more recent years, Novak Djokovic- dominating the men's game, Murray has often found himself playing 4th best, but the fact he's won three slams is still a monumental achievement when considering the competition he's been up against.

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Yet despite his on-court brilliance, he's remained humble throughout his career and has never cared for the glitz and glamour that comes from being a world-class tennis player, so much so that he even returned a bright red Ferrari because he didn't like the attention he got when driving it so traded it in for a practical VW Golf, the same car he learned to drive in!

10. Gianluigi Buffon

If ever you wanted your child to look up to a professional soccer player, then you'd find it hard to pick a more perfect professional than the seasoned Italian shot-stopper Gigi Buffon. A class act, both on and off the soccer field, the legendary goalie has won almost every trophy in soccer, including the FIFA World Cup, and has also been crowned the world's best goalkeeper, most recently at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London this year.

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Asked to speak at the event, the Italian insisted he speak English rather than let the translator do the work, and he tried hard to hold back the tears as he reflected on his incredible career.

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