Top Ten Greatest Sporting Comebacks of All Times

Sporting comebacks have always intrigued common men who often wonder what it takes to emulate the feats achieved by their heroes on the field. Here in this list are ten of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.


1. Lasse Viren in 1972 Olympics
Lasse Viren  1972 Olympics

Lasse Viren entered the 1972 Olympics as an unknown who was given little chance by the critiques to win any medal. Yet in the final of 10,000 mtrs he broke the record of former champion Mohammed Gammoudi and won the race setting up a world record of 27:38:40. Later he won the 5000mtrs as well to prove his detractors wrong.


2. Liverpool vs A.C Milan – Champions League Final 2005
Liverpool vs A.C Milan  2005

Many would perhaps argue that this feat deserved the first place in this prestigious list. At half time it looked as if it was game over for Liverpool as they trailed AC Milan by three goals to zero. But in the second half Liverpool scored three goals in a span of eight minutes and later went on to win the trophy in a dramatic penalty shootout.


3. Goran Ivanisevic – Wimbledon Champion 2001
Goran Ivanisevic Wimbledon 2001

The Croat was on the verge of retiring when he got a wild card entry to Wimbledon in 2001 as he was seeded outside the top 100. Through his sheer will power and never say die attitude, he reached the finals where he encountered Patrick Rafter. In an exciting match, Ivanisevic proved his mettle and for the first time a wild card entry had won the championship.


4. Kelly Holmes – Olympics 2004
Kelly Holmes Olympics 2004

What Kelly Holmes achieved in the summer of 2004, many of us would fail to comprehend. Coming out of clinical depression and worst year of her career, Kelly won the 800m and 1500m gold at an age of 34 to show the strength of human spirit at the greatest stage possible, the Olympics.


5. Manchester United and the Munich air crash of 1958
Manchester United  air crash of 1958

Remembered as one of the greatest tragedies of sporting history, this saga has left many astounded. In 1958 the air plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed, instantly killing seven players and leaving two permanently disabled. Sir Matt Busby, the then manager went into coma. But within a few months a new Manchester United team took up the challenge and regained their status in the football world.


6. Lance Armstrong – 7 Times Tour De France Winner
Lance Armstrong 7 Times Tour De France Winner

Enough has been said and written about this man who has defied testicular cancer.  The cancer had spread almost throughout his body but it didn’t prevent him from winning the trophy not one, not two but seven times. Even the drug allegations were not able to curb his die hard spirit.


7. Nikki Lauda – 1977 Formula One world champion
Nikki Lauda – 1977

Nikki’s quest to become the world champion after his near fatal car crash has been labeled as one of the bravest comebacks of all times. After suffering severe injuries and going into coma, Nikki Lauda came back in 1977 to win the world championship.


8. Henri Cochet
Henri Cochet

Henri Cochet’s comeback in the Wimbledon semi final of 1927 has been part of the folklore in tennis history. After being two sets down and 1-5 trailing against Bill Tilden, Henri didn’t give up and came up with winner after winner to go on to win the game, set and match.


9. South Africa – Winner MTN Series 2006
South Africa Winner MTN Series 2006

Arguably the greatest comeback in cricketing history, South Africa chased down a score of 434 within 50 overs and broke the record of highest target to be chased against Australia to win the MTN Cup. Earlier Australia had broken the world record of highest target ever been set.


10. Geoff Boycott
Geoff Boycott 1974

As he took a self imposed retirement in 1974, English cricket stared at a bleak future. But his comeback against Australia in 1977 gladdened the hearts of his most bitter critics where he scored a century and a half century to see off the Aussies single handedly.

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