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Typically, when seeking to learn more about the greats in the world of sports, you run the risk of focusing mostly on the present greats and the ones hyped by the media. Padel is a relatively young sport, with a shorter history than other sports, but for decades it has witnessed players becoming idols, legendary figures that a steadily growing number of fans admire and aspire to.
Over the years, many players, individually and as doubles partners, have earned recognition and achieved prominence, thanks to ranking, technique, and charisma.
In this post we are going to list those players - male and female - who, in our opinion, are the best padel players in history.
Fernando “Bela” Belasteguín, the greatest padel player in history
Argentinian Fernando Belasteguín, popularly known as Bela, is without question the greatest male padel player in history. Bela has had a long, illustrious career. He turned professional at the age of fifteen. Fernando Belasteguín has been an elite padel player for 29 years, a six-time World Champion and number 1 in the WPT ranking 16 times. He humbly refers to himself simply as a "padel player".
Fernando Belasteguín, despite initially standing out more for his excellent defensive virtues, quickly developed his attack game. In no time at all, he became not just one of the most complete players on the circuit, but also a clear candidate for greatest padel player in history.
On the court he occupies the left position and is known for his devastatingly powerful winning shot.
Juan Martín Díaz: the best doubles padel player
Juan Martín Díaz is of Argentine origin, and is now a Spanish national. Affectionately nicknamed 'El Galleguito', Juan Martín Díaz was Fernando Belasteguín's partner for many years. Together, they were the number one pair in the world 13 years in a row and were victorious in twenty-three consecutive tournaments.
While Juan Martín Díaz is clearly an offensive player, he is, at the same time, a fantastically creative player capable of surprising and improbable shots. He has extraordinary reflexes, which he combines with great skill. It is widely agreed that his master shot is the X3 smash, which he executes with flawless technique.
Juan Lebrón and Ale Galán: the best pair in padel today
Juan Lebrón is the first Spaniard to reach number one in the world rankings. He started out at a very young age in the world of padel, leading the lower categories in Spain. Before becoming Ale Galán's doubles partner, he competed together with Paquito Navarro, Juan Cruz Belluati, Gabriel Reca and others.
Juan Lebrón, 'El Lobo', is a right-handed player who currently plays drive along with Ale Galán. In addition to a life dedicated to padel, he is passionate about music, especially electronic music and flamenco. He tends to listen to music right before each match in order to achieve a state of maximum concentration.
Alejandro Galán, "Ale Galán", has become, in no time, a true number one alongside Juan Lebrón. He started playing padel when he was very young, though at first it was quite difficult for him because he needed a scholarship to be able to train professionally. Over time, he improved his game exponentially.
On the court, he is a right-handed player who plays backhand. His game is clearly offensive, complemented by great defensive qualities. His height and speed make Ale Galán an extraordinary player at the net.
Sanyo Gutiérrez: The Wizard of padel
Nicknamed Sanyo because of his similarity to an advertising character for the television brand in the 80s, this Argentine player is also known as 'El Mago' (The Wizard) and 'Abracadabra'.
Sanyo Gutiérrez is a player who stands out precisely for his superb technique and miraculous shots that demonstrate why these monikers are not just hype. He puts himself into every shot, every stroke is executed with purpose and determination.
Sanyo Gutiérrez has been Paquito Navarro's doubles partner for several seasons and has even starred in an epic final of the 2013 World Padel Tour in Madrid against Bela (Fernando Belasteguín) and Juan Martín Díaz. In addition to technique, Sanyo Gutiérrez demonstrates exceptional power, ability, and a deep knowledge of the game.
Augustin Tapia: "The Cosmonaut"
Agustín Tapia is one of the best young players today, destined to revolutionize the world of padel. From a very young age, he was clear about his desire to become a professional player, which is why he did not hesitate to leave his hometown of Catamarca and settle in Rosario in order to train as an athlete. Not long after turning professional, at age 17, he took the big leap and settled in Barcelona in order to focus on moving up the ranks on the World Padel Tour. He was subsequently named 'Revelation Player' of 2021.
He has played alongside of Fernando Belasteguín, Pablo Lima, Sanyo Gutiérrez and Arturo Coello, with whom he has clinched a number of important victories on the World Padel Tour, settling in at number three in the world rankings for 2021.
Agustín Tapia is a right-handed player who occupies the backhand position on the court, and is recognized above all for his forehand volley.
Miguel Lamperti started very young in the world of padel, at just 12 years old. When he first started, he was especially fond of training against a wall. He is a player who has stood out consistently for his steady desire to improve, which is why, over the years, he has combined his professional career with the manufacture of handcrafted padel rackets and teaching amateur players.
Already a veteran player, he continues to play alongside much younger partners who bring impudence, ambition and desire to the court. A very charismatic player, he has always stood out for his very generous attitude and his fine character on and off the court.
Miguel Lamperti is a player with an excellent mental attitude on the court. And, then, there is his powerful smash, his ability to hit the X3 shot and his back wall shot.
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Iciar Montes: the greatest female padel player of all time
The Spanish player Iciar Montes came to padel from tennis and went on to become the most successful player in the history of padel. Playing at the elite level of world padel for over twenty years, Iciar Montes developed her mental strength into one of her main competitive virtues.
She earned five world championships with five different partners and was named best player in the world three times. She achieved victory in more than 40 international tournaments on the professional circuit.
Marta Marrero: ultra-competitive drive to reach the top
Marta Marrero also has her origins in the world of tennis, where she became number 47 in the world. With over twenty victories in international tournaments, she is currently considered to be one of the best padel players. In addition, she has come to be number one in the world padel tour rankings.
Her transition from professional tennis to padel is proof of her ability to adapt and remake herself. And this transition was undoubtedly helped by Marta´s ultra-competitive nature, her great professionalism and by how demanding she is of herself.
A right-handed player who plays backhand, she stands out technically for her attack, pressing winning volleys and smashes. She has one of the best backhand shots in the game. Her professionalism and self-demanding nature have driven Marta Marrero to work hard to improve her defensive performance. As a result, she has become one of the most complete players.
Marta Ortega: padel player and medical doctor
Marta Ortega, known as Martita, is the youngest player to occupy the highest ranking on the World Padel Tour. Having earned a medical degree, she combines padel with her medical profession.
She started playing padel at an exceptionally early age: by age 6 she had already begun to play and by age 9 she began to compete.
She is a right-handed player who usually plays on the right. Her super-competitive, winning character makes her fight for every point. Having played more than 350 official matches, Marta Ortega has won 12 professional titles.
Alejandra Salazar: creating a school with 'La Bandejandra'
Alejandra Salazar, known as Ale, is from Madrid. She started playing padel at a very young age. When she was 8, she was already running up and down the court.
She has won more than 50 titles in World Padel Tour tournaments, even winning 12 in one season! She has been number one in the world three times and is considered currently to be one of the best padel players.
Alejandra Salazar's famous 'bandeja' has given rise to the legendary 'Bandejandra', a shot she executes with great mastery, the shot she knows gets the job done.
Alejandra Salazar is a right-handed player who plays drive. She has partnered with a number of renowned players with whom she has won major victories on the professional circuit.
The Atomik Twins: the most famous pair of twins in sport
Mapi and Majo Sánchez Alayeto, the 'Atomik Twins' from Zaragoza, are without a doubt one of the most famous pairs of twins in maybe all of sport.
They look so much alike it's almost impossible to tell them apart. They were regarded as greats worldwide and were number one in the international rankings, establishing themselves as two of the best padel players of their time.
Both share a very disciplined, constant and scrappy character. Having also started in tennis, they have become one of the most influential pairs in the development of women's padel, introducing physical power as a quality to work at and build upon.
Aránzazu Osoro: 'The Viking'
Aránzazu Osoro is an Argentinian padel player who started playing from a very young age, along with other sports, such as volleyball and tennis, that were part of her family's routine. Over time, she settled on padel, determined to become a professional player.
Convinced that in Spain she would have better professional opportunities, she crossed the Atlantic and settled in Barcelona. Aránzazu Osoro, a prominent advocate of women's padel,
shows great promise on the women's professional circuit. Her gutsiness and great mental strength on the court are exemplary.
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