The GOAT: What Does This Acronym Mean?

Messi will be the GOAT”, say some Internet users following the qualification of Argentina for the final of the World Cup.

But what does this acronym mean?


Indeed, this acronym means “Greatest Of All Time”. This expression and its acronym are now very popular among American sports fans, but now also in the world of soccer.

Muhammad Ali, the GOAT

According to USA Today, it all goes back to boxer Muhammad Ali. In 1964, he fought Sonny Liston for the first time (it was during the knockout of the second match that one of the most famous photos of the boxing legend was taken).

After the match, Ali gave one of his famous speeches and said: “I Am the greatest”. In 1974, after his fight against George Foreman, he said: “I Am the greatest of all time. The expression was taken up by his wife, who created a G.O.A.T Inc. license in September 1992, to protect the intellectual property of her husband for commercial purposes.

In 2000, the rapper LL Cool J released the single “G.O.A.T.” and said that he was inspired by Muhammed Ali. In those years, in American sports, debates about the hierarchy of certain players were born. In basketball: Michael Jordan or LeBron James? In American soccer: Tom Brady or Joe Montana? Then these debates arrived in other sports, where great confrontations took place. In tennis: Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic? And then in soccer: Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi?

On social networks, the term is often replaced by an emoji featuring a goat, since it is the French translation of the word (and acronym) “goat”.



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