Studio Minuit Sporting Rivalries - True Stories

May the best win ! Some athletes attract more attention than others, in particular thanks to their exploits and performances. Only they are not the only ones to be gifted in their field. Rivalries between athletes sometimes take on a great deal of importance in order to prove who is the best. And there's no denying it, these clashes grab our attention. Discover the 20 sporting rivalries that have marked history. Narrated by Brad Carty.

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JOHNSON vs BIRD, The Golden Age of the NBA
JOHNSON vs BIRD, The Golden Age of the NBA (00:03:17)
If the NBA had a real boom in the 80s, it was particularly driven by the rivalry between Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. First opposed at the university, the two players landed in the NBA for the 1979-80 season. Bird joined the Boston Celtics while Eavin was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. Both would make the entirety of their career in a single franchise, and their personal rivalry would extend to that of the two teams. The West Coast versus the East Coast.
CRISTIANO RONALDO vs MESSI, The classico
CRISTIANO RONALDO vs MESSI, The classico (00:04:33)
Two of the greatest players in history have fought a battle of statistics, collective titles and individual awards relegating other players to second place for many years as their dominance of soccer has been exceptional. The best period of this competition within soccer took place from 2009 to 2018 when Cristiano Ronaldo played for Real Madrid, in the same league as Lionel Messi, the idol of Barcelona.
NADAL vs FEDERER, The giants of the small yellow ball
NADAL vs FEDERER, The giants of the small yellow ball (00:03:24)
If Novak Djokovic is going to beat many records in tennis and will be for some years the best player in the world, the greatest rivalry of tennis in the 21st century does not concern him. Yes, it is the matches between him and Rafael Nadal that have taken place most often in men's tennis, but the greatest rival of the Spaniard Nadal is the Swiss Roger Federer, whom he has faced nine times in the final of Grand Slam, as much as the Serbian. Both have dazzled the tennis world since the beginning of the 2000s, while Djokovic revealed himself a little later and really asserted himself at the highest level from 2011.
Carl LEWIS vs Ben JONHSON : Olympic Duel
Carl LEWIS vs Ben JONHSON : Olympic Duel (00:04:45)
Athletics will never know such a rivalry. In the 1980's, the two fastest men in the world were fighting for the domination of the 100 meter race, in a poisonous atmosphere. With the American Carl Lewis, a world star, facing the Canadian Ben Johnson, it was a confrontation on and off the track that has fascinated athletics for many years.
TYSON vs HOLYFIELD, A rivalry with teeth!
TYSON vs HOLYFIELD, A rivalry with teeth! (00:03:20)
Of this heated rivalry, we remember most Mike Tyson's bite on Evander Holyfield's ear. However, this is only a symbol of their immense rivalry ; and if the two men reconciled a few years ago, knowing who is the best of the two remains a heated debate among fans of boxing.
HUNT vs LAUDA, Fast and Furious
HUNT vs LAUDA, Fast and Furious (00:03:23)
It's no coincidence that this famous rivalry has given rise to a Hollywood film, as the characters and the scenario of this page of Formula 1 history are so unusual. On the one hand, the Englishman James Hunt, who does not hesitate to party the night before the races, wanders around the paddock with a cigarette on his lips and women on his arms, a virtuoso of the circuits. On the other hand, the Austrian Niki Lauda, nicknamed "the computer", much more reserved, from the Viennese bourgeoisie and presented as more rigorous than talented. In 1975, Niki Lauda signed with Ferrari and won the World Championship. The following season, James Hunt, who had revealed himself in the Hesketh team, was recruited by McLaren. This year was one of the most impressive in the history of Formula 1. Lauda, the reigning champion, was the logical favorite, and Hunt, despite some good performances, fell behind in the standings...
CRUYFF vs BECKENBAUER : The enemy brothers
CRUYFF vs BECKENBAUER : The enemy brothers (00:03:14)
Johann Cruyff, who passed away on March 24th 2016, is probably the most influential person in modern soccer. Through his immense career as a player and then as a coach, from Ajax Amsterdam to Barcelona to the Dutch national team, the Dutch striker had a profound impact on the game. As a player, he was a legend of the 1970s, winning numerous titles, including three times the Champions Cup, the forerunner of the current Champions League.
John McEnroe vs Ivan Lendl : Johnny and the Colonel
John McEnroe vs Ivan Lendl : Johnny and the Colonel (00:02:56)
John McEnroe had several great rivalries in his immense career. We could have talked about the tension that opposed him to Jimmy Connors, the other big mouth of the circuit, or of course Bjorn Borg, the world star of modern tennis who made the discipline pass a milestone. But the rivalry between McEnroe and Ivan Lendl was really the most striking, because of its intensity and longevity...
CORMIER vs JONES, Beauty and the beast
CORMIER vs JONES, Beauty and the beast (00:05:25)
In a combat sport as violent as MMA, and in an organization as spectacular as the UFC, it is obvious that many rivalries are born. Especially, unlike boxing and its multiple organizations, the UFC is more powerful than agents and only the best end up competing for the title. Even though their first fight took place in 2015, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have known each other for a few years, and it's an understatement to say that they don't like each other in the least...
JORDAN vs THOMAS, Irreconcilable
JORDAN vs THOMAS, Irreconcilable (00:05:14)
In the debates about whether Michael Jordan or Lebron James is the best player in the history of the NBA, one of the recurring arguments is the intensity and aggressiveness of the league in MJ's time. In the 1980's and 90's, games were much rougher, and most importantly, no one was afraid to express their dislike for opponents...
KERRIGAN vs HARDING, The other side of the coin
KERRIGAN vs HARDING, The other side of the coin (00:04:27)
Few sports rivalries have ever gotten this out of hand. Figure skating may be aesthetically benign, but it is still an arena of competition between male and female competitors. Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding are nothing alike ; Kerrigan is elegant and well liked by her peers, while Harding is an outlier in the skating ecosystem...
OVECHKIN vs CROSBY, Neighborhood battle
OVECHKIN vs CROSBY, Neighborhood battle (00:05:15)
Field hockey and the American NHL had a great rivalry with Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky during the 80's and 90's, but these last ones were not as much in opposition as the Russian Alex Ovechkin and the Canadian Sidney Crosby...
ANQUETIL vs POULIDOR, The French divorce
ANQUETIL vs POULIDOR, The French divorce (00:04:44)
Of the rivalries that French sport has known, the one between Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor in the 1960s is one of the greatest, having transcended the world of cycling and gone beyond its borders. Everything about the two men is opposite : Anquetil, the bad winner who only likes to win, and Poulidor, the good loser, happy to be already there and the eternal second...
BRADY vs MANNING, The guardians of the temple
BRADY vs MANNING, The guardians of the temple (00:04:02)
The two quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning dominated the NFL for nearly twenty years, and embodied a rivalry that pushed them to surpass each other with a mutual respect that does them both credit...
FURY vs WILDER, When the noble art becomes a war of ego
FURY vs WILDER, When the noble art becomes a war of ego (00:04:23)
If the most important categories in boxing are historically the welterweights and the middleweights, with their combination of speed, technique and power, the most popular category and the one that gets the most media coverage is the heavyweights. Contemporary boxing is no exception, especially since in recent years the competition is real. Thus, the queen category of English boxing offered us a rivalry worthy of the golden age of the discipline with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
WITT vs THOMAS, The battle of the Carmens
WITT vs THOMAS, The battle of the Carmens (00:03:00)
During the Winter Olympics of Calgary in 1988, two major figures of figure skating confronted each other. On one side, the East German Katarina Witt, on the other the American Debi Thomas. They were the two favorites, it was probably their last Olympic Games and there was a scandal : the two athletes chose to carry out their long program using the opera Carmen by Bizet, thus providing a nickname to this duel "the battle of the Carmens"
HAMILTON vs VERSTAPPEN, Defying the master
HAMILTON vs VERSTAPPEN, Defying the master (00:05:03)
The 2021 Formula 1 season saw Dutchman Max Verstappen win his first world championship title at the age of 24, at the end of a crazy season crowned by a last grand prix that was still controversial weeks after its conclusion. Indeed, during the race in Abu Dhabi, a controversial arbitration decision affecting the course of the race following an incident, has indirectly favored Verstappen who was able to dethrone the English Lewis Hamilton. The latter is probably the greatest driver in the history of F1, and he was so close to an 8th world title that was synonymous with an absolute record. The 36-year-old Mercedes driver already holds all the other major records possible, but it is the identity of his successor and the scenario that make it so special. For one thing is certain, Verstappen and Hamilton hate each other.
ALI vs FRAZIER, The bee and the gorilla
ALI vs FRAZIER, The bee and the gorilla (00:05:30)
On March 8th, 1971, two of the greatest boxers in history faced each other at the mythic Madison Square Garden, marking the beginning of a legendary trilogy in the history of the sport. Of the rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, we know mostly the third round, nicknamed "Thrilla in Manilla", which took place in 1975, fought one year after the "Rumble in the Jungle" of 1974, against George Foreman in Zaire. However, the relationship between Ali and Frazier was first of all a frank friendship.
EVERT vs NAVRATILOVA, The queens of tennis
EVERT vs NAVRATILOVA, The queens of tennis (00:03:40)
When Djokovic claims that his record of confrontations with Nadal makes theirs the de facto greatest rivalry in tennis, former player Christine Evert is quick to remind him that this only applies to men's matches: in fact, she faced her rival, Martina Navratilova, over 80 times, far surpassing any other historical duel in tennis...
PROST vs SENNA, Fratricidal war
PROST vs SENNA, Fratricidal war (00:04:58)
Between the Lauda-Hunt duel and the more recent Lewis-Verstappen, Formula 1 racing witnessed an unprecedented rivalry with two of the greatest drivers in its history, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. The peculiarity of this opposition is that the two men evolved together on the same team. The technological domination of McLaren-Honda led Prost and Senna to compete for the championship title in the late 1980s...
JOHNSON vs BIRD, The Golden Age of the NBA