Best Soccer Players of the 21st Century


The Top Ten

1 Leo Messi

Its tough to put one ahead of the other when you talk about the best footballers of all time, but for me Leo Messi is the only player from the 21st century who is in that conversation with Cruyff, Maradona, Pele, etc. I've watched all of these players live so many times, and THAT is where you really can tell the greats from the good - watching them live many times and seeing their bad days and good days. Messi is such a talented human being. He can do just about everything you can think of and can do it better than any one else can. People talk about Pep, but without Messi Barcelona would not have won a single Champions League title in the last decade. He is simply fenomenal and head and shoulders above Ronaldo, who is a fabulous striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a one-of-a-kind talent as well, and the rest. The only one I really had to think about on this list is Ronaldinho, who's a tricky one because for the years he was on his game for Paris, Barcelona, Brazil, I thought we had ...more


He is the best

Mess is the best player than other because of his talent he use skill more than anything during his work, unlike C. Ronaldo who use a lot of energy during playing football. Messi is the player of another planet.. And it will take time to go down.. Cheers Messi you're the only best player on ma view.. Keep it up..

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2 Ronaldo Ronaldo Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. Popularly dubbed O Fenômeno, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time.

ronaldo driblling and mindset skills are in a class of their own period!

We are talking about a player who, before his knee injuries, was nothing other than a force of nature. He was simply too good for the game of football at that time, everything was too easy. It was is if he found the perfect cheat code that made him quick, powerful and incredibly skillful. Of course that isn't possible so we must think of him as an out and out football genius. Nothing less will do.

He has scored over 60 national goals, messi has less than 20. ronaldinho is better than messi too. messi sucks nationally but is good in barcalona

Unquestionably. The. Greatest. EVER!

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3 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and the Portugal national team.

Has to be number 1. CR7 is better than everybody in this list!

Without a doubt. He has a hard personality, but he is undoubtedly the best in this century so far.

For me C. Ronaldo is extra-ordinary because of his brilliant performance and record created while in England. He is the only soccer player who played in England and became world best. Not only that Ronaldo has proven himself to be someone who is ready to perform and score more goal any part of the planet unlike for Messi, Ronaldinho, ETC

Cristiano Ronaldo is simply the best. The players on this list are very good, no matter what opinion is thrown in. But in my eyes, as a unrecognized young soccer player in High School. You don't come across to many Cristiano Ronaldos in a lifetime.

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4 Ronaldinho Ronaldinho Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, is a retired Brazilian footballer.

This is so true. Ronaldinho is the best player in the whole history of soccer. He is a genius. And when he plays he has fun with it. He is the perfect example of how soccer should be looked at, which is fun. You rareyly see ronaldinho angry, he always has a smile and a laughing face, this is because he does not worry about playing good otherwise he is gona be benched, No he plays it to have fun and has his own style and doesn't care what other people think of his style. I think he is one of the only players who I've seen that demonstrate that creativity and fun experience in soccer.

Ronaldinho did things I've never seen any other player doing (perhaps Maradona? )...

Ronaldinho is simply the king of the game. His age may have been short in top football, maybe 3-4 years in barcelona he was GOD and after that he stayed the best!

He made football more than just a sporting activity. Whenever he played he made football a magic show. One of the very best in his prime.

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5 Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", is a retired French footballer and current manager of Real Madrid.

Best player on France all time hands down,France won 2018 World Cup

He was the genius midfielder for France and Real Madrid. Moreover, he won all main cups for France like World cup and European cup and Champion League winner with Real.


Spectacular, only xavi and iniesta can challenge him.

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6 Thierry Henry Thierry Henry Thierry Daniel Henry is a French professional football coach and former player. He is the second assistant coach of the Belgium national team.

In his prime, he was unstoppable. The nightmare of every defender. He had everything, from touch, speed, and skill, to intelligence, unselfishness, and the deadliest finishing to ever be brought to the game. Easily one of the best players ever.

He was the the early decade destroyer who was every keepers nightmare with the pace and dribbling abilities that he had. Voted as the most influential arsenal player, there is no doubt that Henry was a revelation who was a killer player

355 club goals 228 goals for Arsenal in 376 appearances 406 in total. Both France and Arsenals record goalscorers. and that is just the stats he could play with fierce speed and flare and ran the whole length of a pitch to score a goal at least twice. And that goal against Manchester United in 2001. And that back heel nutmeg goal on October 2nd 2004 in the invincible season. Legend at Arsenal and Barcelona. And much more to talk about. He is so underrated. At least the best Premiere league striker. A football icon!

He has won all all major trophies in football history. name them, UEFA champions league, world cup, European cup what a view.

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7 Ibrahimovich

He's so good he's been nominated in this list twice! Scroll Down And see for yourself

Greatest player of all time. Can score anywhere. Powerful, strong, acrobatic, physical etc...

He is the best player

He is a real player not like others!

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8 Luis Suarez Luis Suarez Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team as a striker.

I'm very surprised Suarez is not in the top 10. Leaving him as a person out of the equation all I can see is one of the most gifted strikers in recent memory. No one since the days of the original Ronaldo and Henry has a player evoked such feeling of fear and fright into opposing defenders. He plays with his heart and is insanely gifted. His decision making with and without the ball is extremely intelligent and his finishing is devastating.

He should be number 4


He’s good, but where are Neymar and Kylian Mbappé?

9 Roald Dahl Roald Dahl Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

An amazing striker who scored 250 million goals. He is first on all time greats.


Truly a top bloke. I find it unlikely that anyone else on this list could come close to his skill in his respective position.

Top notch lad, ate all the pies and really good yeah

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10 Fernando Torres Fernando Torres Fernando José Torres Sanz is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for La Liga club Atlético Madrid, on loan from Serie A club Milan.

Unstoppable in his prime, could embarrass any defender.

Simply the best

Great eye for goal, can score from anywhere in his own half at the first sight of goal. - 15barneyboy15

one of the best strikers of 21st century, defenders get scared of his pace.

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The Contenders

11 Iker Casillas Iker Casillas Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Portuguese club Porto and the Spain national team as a goalkeeper.

Iker casillas is the best goalkeeper of the 21st Century... He needs recognition for his great football skills and all that he has accomplished during his career

12 Xavi Hernandez Xavi Hernandez Xavier "Xavi" Hernández Creus is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Qatari club Al Sadd SC.

He is the most underrated middle fielder in the game, I think he is better than Zidane.

The best passer in the world without a shadow of a doubt. - 15barneyboy15

13 KaKa KaKa Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer and the Brazil national team.

Kaka is the greatest he was in the top ten best players in the world for 6 years and was named best player in 2007. better than C. ronaldo who just hogs it does all this fancy stuff whereas he could simply just pass it off

He is the best player

Kaka the greatest player I have ever seen in my life he is simply the best with accuracy, technique, vision a player who can pass the ball better then any other players in the world the semifinal against manu was the match not to forget kaka scored three fantastic goals and proved ferguson and Ronaldo that he does BELONGS TO JESUS

I chose Kaka because he's my favorite right now the top three are so true though but the only player missing is xavi hernandez

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14 Andres Iniesta Andres Iniesta Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team.

Amazing genius

Best vision in the world at the moment. - 15barneyboy15

Amazing player and had a great World Cup in 2010

Brilliant middle, brilliant team player.

15 Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team.

One of the best in generation.

The best team player...

Great strength, great finishing, great player. - 15barneyboy15

volleys his goals thats amazing... the only person that can do that amazingly great is wayne the awesome rooney

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16 Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez
17 Steven Gerrard Steven Gerrard Steven George Gerrard is an English professional footballer who plays for Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy.

A true leader, amazing vision, ground and aerial passing. Can go forward and create plays, and bust his gut getting back to defend. Amazing free kick and long shot taker. His loyalty to the liverpool football club is also amazing for this day and age.

gerrard is one of the best all rounders of 21st century

Captain fantastic he inspirational for both england and liverpool

Should easily be in the top 5

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18 Zlatan Ibrahimović Zlatan Ibrahimović Zlatan Ibrahimović is a Swedish professional footballer who plays for an English club Manchester United and the Sweden national team for which he is captain.
19 Luis Figo Luis Figo Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo is a retired Portuguese footballer who played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before retiring on 31 May 2009.

Luis figo is a master of dribbling and passing for me he is a real footballer

He is a legend on FIFA

20 Roberto Carlos Roberto Carlos Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, more commonly known simply as Roberto Carlos, is a Brazilian retired footballer.

A good passer. Defender and overlaps better than anyone. He is also the best set peace taker

He is the physicist of football. The Carlos Law of Motion.

21 Lampard

a midfielder that scores like a striker.. what more do you want?

Simply, the best.

The best midfielder I have ever seen

He broke so many records already! One being Chelsea all time topscorer being a midfielder!

22 David Beckham David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham is an English retired professional footballer. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team, for which he held the appearance record for an outfield player until 2016.

There is only one David Beckham

Best right player and free kick

23 Oliver Kahn Oliver Kahn Oliver Rolf Kahn is a German former football goalkeeper. He started his career in the Karlsruher SC Junior team in 1975. Twelve years later, Kahn made his debut match in the professional squad.

What a keeper how can people forget him best keeper ever by far better then casillas, dida, cech anyone else

Who the hell is this

Best keeper of the 21st century period

When he goalkeeping he was the wall of bronze for Germany and bayren Munich

24 Neymar Neymar Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Brazil national team as a forward or winger, and is also the captain of the national team. more.

He can be the best player in the world if he goes on like this after some years.

Acordin to pele, neymar is the best of the 21st century

25 Arjen Robben Arjen Robben Arjen Robben is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for German club Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Netherlands national team.
26 Michael Owen Michael Owen Michael James Owen is an English former footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team.

Owen best CF of england

27 Didier Drogba Didier Drogba Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Canadian Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact.

Always rises to the occasion, one of the most influential footballers of all time!

Strongest forward in the world, and quality finisher. - 15barneyboy15

An amazing player

He should take iniesta's position

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28 Andriy Shevchenko Andriy Shevchenko Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko is a Ukrainian retired footballer who played for Dynamo Kyiv, Milan, Chelsea, as well as the Ukrainian national team as a striker.

Favourite player of 99-06 with Milan

Sheva in Milan at 1999 - 2005 years is the best.

29 Mesut Özil Mesut Özil Mesut Özil is a German professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Arsenal. He is considered to be one of the best players in the world. Özil plays mostly as an attacking midfielder, but can also be deployed as a winger.

Best best best player, I like and love him, he is the most genous person and great command on football, he is not selfish of scoring the goals, he is the best player in German

I love Mesut Ozil beecause he is Muslim. He should be in number 1. He is the best player ever.

30 Raúl

Spanish international football, all time leader in goals for Real Madrid in La Liga and in Champions League.

31 Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs Ryan Joseph Giggs is a Welsh football coach and former player who is currently the assistant manager at Manchester United and co-owner of Salford City.
32 Manuel Neuer Manuel Neuer Manuel Peter Neuer is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.

Number 2

33 Franck Ribery Franck Ribery Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry is a French professional footballer who plays for German club Bayern Munich.
34 Nicklas Bendtner Nicklas Bendtner

He is our lord and saviour

He is the LORD

On par with the great Marouane Chamakh

One of the greatsest arseanal players EVER�'�'! - Blebaer112

35 Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and the Egypt national team.

He is he best in the world you can't deny that

Best ever

36 Samuel Eto

Brilliant, yet another underrated player, just cause he is an African.

Much better than Suarez, he is definitely the best striker of FC Barcelona

Eto'o was better than Henry in his prime

37 David Villa David Villa David Villa Sánchez is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker and also serves as captain for New York City FC in Major League Soccer.

How can this list miss villa, the highest goal scorer of Spain...!

38 Podolski
39 Fabio Cannavaro
40 Diego Forlan
41 Mohamed Aboutrika

The best African player. A player who has many good abilities and qualities.

42 Abedi Pele


43 Park Ji Sung

He is a genius

Best player ever hard work

44 Luka Modric Luka Modric Luka Modrić is a Croatian footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Croatia national team.
45 Carlos Tevez Carlos Tevez Carlos Alberto Martínez Tevez is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Shanghai Shenhua and the Argentina national team.

Tévez is amazing, he has a lot of goals! ;, - Blebaer112

46 Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero Sergio Leonel "Kun" Agüero is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Manchester City and the Argentina national team.

Will always be a man city legend.

He is maradona son in law and the best

47 Aaron Ramsey Aaron Ramsey Aaron James Ramsey is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Wales national team.
48 Radamel Falcao García

Don't forget about this guy. He is tremendously a skillful and excellent finisher. He is one of the best goalscorers I've ever seen. His touch on the ball is very great too. He is only in third place of the top goalscorers of the Spanish league.

49 Edin Džeko

He has the best shots mangneo saidm

50 Eden Hazard Eden Hazard Eden Michael Hazard is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Belgium national team.

Eden hazard is an oustanding player scores freekicks penalties superb goals and lets not forget the assists he is just marvellous and that's eden hazard

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List Stats

2,000 votes
88 listings
11 years, 91 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. Wayne Rooney
2. Ronaldo
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Zinedine Zidane
3. Ronaldinho
1. Oliver Kahn
2. Ronaldo
3. Zinedine Zidane

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