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THEN AND NOW: What the world’s biggest sports stars looked like as youngsters

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Rousey/Messi/FedererRousey/Messi/Federer

Ronda Rousey, Lionel Messi, and Roger Federer have all changed a lot over the years.
Getty/Harry How/Lluis Gene/Mike Hewitt


  • The world’s biggest sports stars didn’t always look the way they do today. 
  • Over three decades have passed since some began their careers, meaning there has been plenty of time for change.
  • From Lionel Messi and Roger Federer to Serena Williams, Business Insider took a look at how 15 of the globe’s elite looked when they were youngsters.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Just 16 years old when he made his professional debut in 2003, Lionel Messi has since played over 700 games for FC Barcelona.

Messi


AP/Manu Fernandez/Getty/Quality Sport Images


Lebron James has taken away the headband, but added tattoos, a beard, and plenty of muscle since high school.

Lebron James


Getty/Sporting News Archive/John McCoy


Serena Williams was winning trophies in 1991, and she is still doing the same in 2020.

Serena Williams


Getty/Professional Sport/Michael Bradley


Not a lot has changed for the ageless Tom Brady over the past two decades, including his team and shirt number.

Tom Brady


Getty/Boston Globe/Maddie Meyer


Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003: skillful, fast, goal scoring machine. Cristiano Ronaldo in 2020: skillful, fast, goal scoring machine.

Ronaldo


Reuters/Marcos Borga/Getty/Marco Canoniero


Floyd Mayweather has stayed in astonishing shape since making his professional boxing debut in 1996.

Mayweather


Getty/The Ring Magazine/Jeff Bottari


Simone Biles has lost her braces since 2013, but has picked up four Olympic gold medals in exchange.

Simone Biles


Getty/Corbis Sport/Kyodo News


Roger Federer sports a much cleaner hairstyle these days compared to the one he rocked in 2000.

Roger Federer


Getty/Mike Hewitt/Marcelo Endelli


29 years ago, a 16-year-old Tiger Woods won the Los Angeles Junior Championship at Griffith Park.

Tiger Woods


Getty/Per-Anders Pettersson/Warren Little


Megan Rapinoe made her debut for the USWNT 13 years before guiding it to World Cup glory in 2019.

Megan Rapinoe


Getty/Christian Petersen/Richard Heathcote


Giannis Antetokounmpo went from NBA rookie in 2013 to the league’s MVP in just six years.

Giannis


AP/Morry Gash/Getty/Stacy Revere


Rafael Nadal has the same competitive streak today as he did as a 14-year-old boy in 2000.

Nadal


Getty/Manuel Blondeau/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Different sports, same outcome —Ronda Rousey was a Judo champion before she rose to the pinnacle of the UFC and the WWE.

Ronda Rousey


Getty/Harry How/AP/George Napolitano


Aaron Rodgers was playing for the University of California in 2002, but is now an NFL all-time great.

Aaron Rodgers


Getty/Robert B. Stanton/Stacy Revere


Irishman Conor McGregor is barely recognizable from his 2012 days as a Cage Warriors fighter with a shaved head.

Conor McGregor


ESPN/Getty/Ethan Miller


More:

Lifestyle UK
Soccer
Tennis
NBA

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