The old saying goes, “you get nowhere in life or sport for being nice.”
But is that really the case? We have highlighted three sports stars who are extremely likeable and successful in their respective sports.
Roger Federer is regarded as the greatest men’s singles player to ever grace a tennis course. The Swiss star has won a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles and he may not be done just yet.
Given his success at Wimbledon, where he has won the tournament eight times, he is hugely popular when he features at SW19.
Beyond his tennis skills, everything Federer has done throughout his career has been performed with class and respect. From his post-tournament speeches to the way he has supported many great charities, it has all been of the highest level.
There have been many villains on the court over the years in tennis, John McEnroe and Nick Kyrgios to name just a couple. Federer has marvelled as a hero with some of his incredible shot-making skills and exemplary sportsmanship. When he does finally call an end to his spectacular career, he is going to be missed at Wimbledon and around the world.
Justin Rose is considered as one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour with spectators and players alike. When Rose won his first Major Championship at the 2013 US Open at Merion Golf Club he was celebrated like an American winner by the crowd at the course.
The former world number one has had a lot of success in the sport ever since he became a familiar name following the 1998 Open Championship where he featured as an amateur at the age of just 17. Rose holed a chip shot from the rough at the 18th hole at that tournament in the first glimpse of his brilliance.
Rose showed great sportsmanship at the end of the 2017 US Masters. He was beaten in a playoff by fellow Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia at Augusta. In what must have been a tough moment for the British golfer, he handled the defeat with such grace.
Although he only has one Major Championship to his name, he has the talent to win more in the near future. Rose is 28/1 in the odds on US Open golf in 2020, while he can be backed at 25/1 to win the US Masters at Augusta in November, a course he plays so well at. Success in either of those two events will delight many golf fans around the world.
The general image of young footballers today is that they are paid huge amounts of money and do very little for their communities. This certainly cannot be said about Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United forward has done some fantastic work this summer outside of football in helping those in need of dinner vouchers from the government.
Rashford ran a campaign that not only raised the awareness of certain sections of society needing extra help, but his voice also ensured the government reversed their decision on the handing out of dinner vouchers.
The young footballer has also flourished off the pitch in 2020 as the England international has been in excellent form for his club and country. He looks set to be an important player for Gareth Southgate ahead of the European Championship next year where the Three Lions are the 9/2 favourites in the betting.
All three of the above players prove it is possible to win in the right spirit and use their status to inspire others to pick up their sport.