Last chance to have your say in sports poll of decade

Is Federer your hero of the past 10 years? Is Briatore your ultimate villain? Thousands of readers have voted in our online ballot – and with one day left for you to join in, Matt Fearon rounds up the standings so far
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The Independent Online

Hero of the decade

With more votes cast than in any other category, it looks as though Hero of the Decade has become the self-selecting blue riband event in our poll. And the winner so far? Surprisingly, the British contingent is flagging: neither Andrew Flintoff, nor Sir Alex Ferguson, nor Dame Kelly Holmes are setting the pace. It could yet change, but so far this award is heading overseas.

As voting stands, its destination is one of two unlikely sporting hot spots: either Switzerland, for Roger Federer, or the Philippines, for Manny Pacquiao. A surprise? Maybe, but Federer is certainly counted among the great living sportsmen, and Pacquiao is arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Nominations in full

Roger Federer Having won at Roland Garros, he joined the elite club of tennis players to have won every Grand Slam.

Andrew Flintoff Hero of the 2005 Ashes, his efforts in 2009 also helped England claim the urn for the second time in the decade.

Tiger Woods Before his private life unravelled, Woods revolutionised golf.

Kelly Holmes At 34, Holmes won gold in both the 800 metres and 1500m at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Manny Pacquiao The boxer has won six titles at six different weights.

Michael Schumacher A dominant force in Formula One this decade, winning five titles in the Noughties.

Venus Williams The older of the Williams siblings won all four Grand Slams in the decade.

Villain of the decade

As things stand, this category is wide open. Thierry Henry is currently villain-in-chief with 26 per cent of the vote, for his infamous handball in France's World Cup qualifier against Ireland.

The late, disgraced South African cricketer Hanse Cronje sits in second place, for accepting money from bookmakers. Just a fraction behind him is Flavio Briatore, for his part in Nelson Piquet Jnr's deliberate crash at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.

The nominee least deserving of wrath is, surprisingly, Dean Richards, former director of rugby at Harlequins and the man at the centre of this year's Bloodgate scandal.

Nominations in full

Hansie Cronje Earned $130,000 during time as South African cricket captain for providing information to bookmakers.

Victor Conte Founder and head of the laboratory which developed the steroid Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).

Dean Richards One word: Bloodgate.

Peter Ridsdale Wrecked Leeds United financially in his time as chairman.

Tiger Woods Cheated on his wife, repeatedly.

Sir Allen Stanford The ECB's newest best pal before he became the subject of multiple fraud allegations.

Flavio Briatore Instrumental in Nelson Piquet's infamous crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Thierry Henry His handball in the World Cup play-off between Ireland and France sickened football.

Contest of the decade

The most popular Swiss export since chocolate, Roger Federer leads not just the Greatest Hero category but also features at the top of the tree for contest of the decade. Unsurprisingly, as the Wimbledon final of 2008 saw Federer and Rafael Nadal take tennis to a sublime new high.

That Wimbledon final may have gripped hearts and minds for almost seven hours but the contest occupying the runner-up slot gripped an entire nation from 13 June 2005 to the moment, a day shy of three months later, when Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden accepted the umpires' offer of bad light to seal England's Ashes win. Equally dramatic in its own way was Liverpool fight to come from three down to win the Champions League in 2005.

Nominations in full

Champions League final 2005 At half-time, Liverpool were 3-0 down, but fought back to win on penalties.

Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 2008 This five-set epic lasted a staggering four hours and 48 minutes, making it the longest Wimbledon final in history.

Rugby World Cup final 2003 Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in extra time saw England edge this thriller 20-17.

Brazilian Grand Prix 2009 Lewis Hamilton nipped past Timo Glock at the death to clinch the title by one point.

The Ashes 2005 A nail-biter, with Shane Warne at his mercurial best.

Padraig Harrington v Sergio Garcia, the Open 2007 Harrington pipped Garcia in a play-off after a titanic struggle.

Germany 1-5 England 2001 England's most emphatic win over Germany in recent times.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2009 Sea the Stars joins the Flat's immortals.

Moment of genius

David Beckham may be arguably Britain's – sorry, England's – most popular sportsman but his free-kick against Greece in 2001 is languishing well behind with just 2 per cent of the votes.

Ahead of him lie Zinedine Zidane's volley to seal victory in the 2002 Champions League final, Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal to win the Rugby World Cup in 2003, Federer's "banana shot" between his legs in this year's US Open semi-final, and Usain Bolt's 9.58sec blast into the 100m hall of fame.

Nominations in full

Tiger Woods Chipping in from the bunker on the 16th green at Augusta, 2005.

Jonny Wilkinson Dropping the winning goal in the World Cup Final against Australia in Sydney, 2003.

David Beckham The stoppage time free-kick against Greece to ensure England's place in the World Cup in 2002.

Roger Federer Returning a Novak Djokovic lob through his legs to win a point in the US Open this year.

Sea the Stars Striding past the two early leaders to coast to victory in the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Gary Pratt The run-out of Ricky Ponting that proved so pivotal in the 2005 Ashes.

Zinedine Zidane Volleying in against Bayer Leverkusen to secure Real Madrid's ninth European Cup in the 2002 final.

Usain Bolt Beating the 100m world record in a staggering 9.58sec.

Tearjerker of the decade

"He is immortal because he leaves in everybody who knows him a mark of his personality – a great coach but, more than that, a great person." Such was the effect of Sir Bobby Robson's death in July that even Jose Mourinho paused to speak of someone other than himself. Robson, quite simply, stole the hearts of fans around the world. To date, 45 per cent of you to have voted that his final appearance, earlier this year, meeting the teams about to replay the 1990 World Cup semi-final between England and West Germany, was the greatest tear-jerker of the decade.

Nominations in full

Tom Watson misses out A three-putt on the final hole at Turnberry led to a play-off for the Open this year – which Watson lost.

Lewis Hamilton Few could fail to have been touched when Hamilton hugged his mother and stepmother after winning the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix.

Sir Bobby Robson meets the boys one last time Sir Bobby's time was nearly up when he led England and Germany out at St James' Park for a replay of the 1990 World Cup semi-final this year.

Paula Radcliffe collapses In 2004, Radcliffe looked certain to win the Olympic marathon, yet collapsed and sobbed by the roadside.

George Best dies The Manchester United legend's death stopped the nation.

Seve Ballesteros's cancer The news that one of Europe's most popular sportsmen was ill shook golf.

Michael Vaughan resigns Plagued by injury, the captain who won the Ashes in 2005 stepped down last year.

How to vote: Polling closes at 5pm

To cast your vote in our poll, visit www.independent.co.uk/decade and click on your nomination. You can also leave comments to explain your choice and suggest other names. Votes must be cast by 5pm today.

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