To be successful in sports, you need hard work and dedication. A character, self-belief and unrelenting determination. But to be a global sports star, you need all that and a healthy helping of style.
Who are the most fashionable athletes in the world? Many household names lay claim, but only an elite few go on to become trendsetters.
With the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics underway, sports fans have plenty to look forward to, with over 11,000 athletes taking part in 33 different sports. We look beyond their performances on the track and field. What we wanted to know is who are the most fashionable sports stars on the planet. We set a team of writers and sports experts to investigate, and you can read their findings below. Here are our top names. Just to make things a little more controversial, we limited ourselves to one athlete per sport. Well, we enjoy a challenge as much as the next sports fan.
David Beckham - Soccer
Let’s start with the style icon that is David ‘Golden Balls’ Beckham. Since exploding onto the scene as a young star at Manchester United, Becks’ dress sense has always attracted attention. Not many male soccer players could get away with wearing a sarong a the England international known as much for his style as his scoring just about got away with it. The next generation of Beckhams is beginning to make waves, with Romeo Beckham echoing his father’s style from top to toe.
Amar’e Stoudemire - Basketball
Gone are the days that Michael Jordan was the only NBA star known for his style. Professional basketball players have become much more fashion-conscious in recent years, and a prime example of this is Amar’e Stoudeire. Despite his formidable stature, he wears suits impeccably well and attends all the top fashion shows.
Malcolm Jenkins - American Football
The NFL star is another surprise addition but one that merits his spot on the list. He owns his own menswear line and believes his style comes from a very personal choice that helps showcase his individuality. His garments are always popular when released to the public, and he certainly has a future in the business after his playing career is over.
David Haye - Boxing
Most boxers aren’t known for their exquisite dress sense - apart from Chris Eubank Snr - but former cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion David Haye likes to do things a little differently. Despite retiring in 2017, the Englishman has kept himself in great shape and looks as fit today as he was dominating the noble art. Would it be a tragic pun to label his dress sense a knockout? Too late, we took it there.
Conor McGregor - MMA
Sticking with combat sports and Irishman Conor McGregor is another who goes against the grain. His fans consider the former two-weight world champion to be the biggest name in UFC, but Notorious would argue he is much bigger than the MMA promotion. His performances in the octagon have dipped in recent years, but his style outside of competition remains unbeaten.
Arnold Palmer - Golf
Old but gold. The sport of golf may not be seen as fashionable with the loud shorts and brightly coloured polo shirts, but Arnold Palmer was different. He’s a legend of the game and goes down as a trailblazer with the American dubbed “The King ''. His style was probably best described as traditional - maybe even old fashioned by today’s standards - but he always stood out in a crowd.
Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1
Representing motorsport, we have a multi-world champion, Lewis Hamilton. The Englishman’s style continues to divide opinion, and he has been mocked and ridiculed for some of his more risky attempts at standing out but more often than not, he’s a hit. We’ll file his style under racy, just to squeeze in one last pun.
Roger Federer - Tennis
Swiss bliss from the Mr Reliable of tennis. Federer has dominated the sport of tennis over the years, winning multiple Grand Slam titles. His temperament on the tennis court may be reserved and professional, as cool and calm under pressure as he is when a shot away from winning another title. Off the court, however, he has a flair for style and helped elevate the style of tennis, modernising the whites of Wimbledon centre court.