Friday, 19 Apr 2024

The 12 Greatest Latin American Athletes of All Time

best hispanic soccer players of all time

Watching your favorite Latin American athletes perform is an inspiring experience. Sports bring us together. Seeing the awesome performance of a skilled athlete, you feel like you can accomplish greatness, too. Sports make you feel involved and part of the collective.

Latin America is full of amazing sports superstars. You’ll be impressed by the 12 famous Latin American athletes on this list, including many incredibly talented female Latin American athletes. Ready? Set? Let’s go!

12 Greatest Latin American Athletes of All Time

Some of the athletes are up-and-coming, while others are legends who are known all over the world. I also included a variety of interesting sports on the list.

1. Diego Maradona (Argentina)

Sport: Soccer
Years active: 1976-1994
Diego Maradona may not have scored as many goals as other famous soccer players but he practically won a World Cup by himself. Anyone who loves soccer knows what a legend Maradona is when it comes to Hispanic athletes. Argentina is forever indebted to the man who took the team to glory in 1986. Maradona scored five goals, which secured the World Cup trophy for Argentina. He’s not only a legendary South American footballer, but many consider him to be the greatest soccer player of all time.

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Sport: Soccer
Years active: 1994-present
No one can deny that Lionel Messi is one of the most extraordinary Latin American athletes of all time. Although he hasn’t been able to guide his country to glory when it comes to the World Cup, Messi’s skills are undeniable. He’s adored by many fans all over the world, and watching him play is amazing. Check out the YouTube video above to see him in action!

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3. Caterine Ibargüen (Colombia)

Sport: high jump, long jump, and triple jump
Years active: 1999-present
Catherine Ibarguen is a multi-talented athlete who has proudly represented Colombia in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. She holds the Colombian record of 1.93 meters for the high jump. Her impressive collection of accolades has gained Ibarguen global attention.

4. Sofia Mulanovich (Peru)

Sport: Surfing
Years active: 2002-present
Sofía Mulanovich was the first Latin American to win a World Surf League Championship Tour in 2004. She’s a three-time world surfing champion and the only Latin American surfer (male or female) to have won two ISA World Championships. Mulanovich has won championships in Ecuador, Japan and the U.S. She’s the first Latin American surfer to be inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame. She has broken records and is admired by many all over the world. If you’re into surfing, this star athlete is worth checking out.

5. Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela)

Sport: Triple jump
Years active: 2011-[resent
Yulimar Rojas is considered the queen of the triple jump. She has been crowned World Champion in Birmingham, Portland, London, and Doha. Rojas’ most important achievement came in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 where she won a silver medal. She also holds the world indoor record for the triple jump, with an incredible mark of 15.43 meters.

6. Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina)

Sport: Tennis
Years active: 1985-1996
Gabriela Sabatini is a renowned tennis player. This Argentinian athlete won 41 titles throughout her career in doubles and singles. Gabriela holds the record for the most wins against reigning world number ones. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2018, she was named #20 on Tennis Magazine’s list of the greatest tennis players of the last 50 years.

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7. Lorena Ochoa (México)

Sport: Golf
Years active: 2002-2010
Lorena Ochoa was the first Mexican golfer (male or female) to be ranked in a top position in the world. She is considered the best female Latin American golfer of all time. Ochoa was inaugurated into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017. She retired in May 2010 at age 28 having left a mark on the world of golf.

8. Garbine Muguruza (Venezuela)

Sport: Tennis
Years active: 2012-present
Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco is a Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and former world No. 1 in tennis. She became a professional player in 2012 and continues to play to this day. She has won 8 singles titles and two major titles. Garbine began playing tennis when she was 3 years old and trained at Bruguera Tennis Academy in Barcelona. Her explosive style has gained her many fans around the world.

9. Sofia Gomez Uribe (Colombia)

Sport: Freediving
Years active: 1992-present
Sofia is one of the greatest global free drivers in the world. She holds 6 national records. She competes in free immersion, constant weight Bi-Fins freediving, dynamic apnea, constant weight with fins, and free immersion. Sofia is also a civil engineer from the National University of Colombia and was a part of a study to measure how the human body reacts under extreme conditions.

10. Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico)

Sport: Baseball
Years active: 1952-1972
Roberto Clemente is considered a legend by many. He was a spectacular baseball player and a great man. His career in Major League Baseball lasted 17 years. Clemente was the first Latin American star in a Major League. He had a 317 batting average and won four batting crowns. He was chosen to play in 15 All-Star games and 12 Golden Gloves. Clemente was not only the first Hispanic athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame, his charity work also made him a legend. In 1972, the Puerto Rican was flying with help for the victims of the earthquake in Nicaragua, and his plane unfortunately crashed, resulting in his death at the age of 38.

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11. Pedro Martínez (Dominican Republic)

Sport: Baseball
Years active: 1988-2009
This Dominican baseball player is described as one of the best pitchers of all time. He achieved incredible stats and won 219 games. Martinez delivered about 3,000 strikeouts, and his average was 2.93. Throughout his 21-year career, the strength of his arm and his control earned him awards. He played in eight All-Star Games and helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004.

12. Teófilo Stevenson (Cuba)

Sport: Boxing
Years active: 1969-1984
This unforgettable Cuban boxer earned three Olympic titles and made history with his skills. He won an impressive 301 out of 321 fights throughout his 20-year career. Stevenson was honored with the Olympic Order. He is one of the only three boxers to have won three gold medals.


  • Who is the greatest Latin American athlete of all time?
  • Is Lionel Messi the best soccer player in Latin America?
  • How many Olympic titles did Teófilo Stevenson win?


The Latin American athletes on this list are a testament to the talent, dedication, and passion that exists in the world of sports. From soccer legends like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi to trailblazers in tennis, golf, and surfing, these athletes have left an indelible mark on their respective sports. Whether it’s their record-breaking achievements or their impact off the field, these athletes are a constant source of inspiration and pride for Latin America and the world. To explore more about the world of sports and discover key insights about your favorite athletes, visit Pesstatsdatabase.