Greatest Footballers of the 20th Century

The Top Ten Greatest Footballers of the 20th Century

1 Diego Maradona Diego Armando Maradona is a retired Argentine professional footballer. He is known for "The Goal of the Century" and the "Hand of God" goal.

By far the greatest what he did in 86 no other player has come close too that 4get messi

His skill to run with the ball, this passing skill and his finishing is the best of all... His abilities and his achievements cannot be matched. He is the all time footballer, and he is the living legend. He is the heart of the many football fans...

I have not seen such a talented complete footballer on my life.

Won the scudetto with a below average napoli team

2 Pele Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as "Pelé", is a retired Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He is one of the best players in football, hence why he's nicknamed the "king of football".

Pele is a kind of player that would always light the game up, with a great goal, piece of skill or tackle, he was the most perfect player of all time.

He is a epic player and should be first because he is the king of football and he also had a sad life

Definitely the best player of all time.

Pele, Cruyff maradona, beckenbauer and best are the top ones I've seen top British player outside best bobby Charlton

3 Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", is a retired French footballer and current manager of Real Madrid.
4 Johan Cruijff

Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, anglicised to Cruyff was a Dutch professional football player and coach. As a player, he won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974. Cruyff was the most famous exponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football explored by Rinus Michels, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. He played as a forward or attacking midfielder. Cruyff led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.
Wearing the number 14 jersey, he set a trend for wearing shirt numbers outside the usual starting line-up numbers of one to eleven.
He was elected :
World Soccer's The Greatest Players of the 20th Century: 3nd
France Football's Player of the 20th Century: 3nd
IFFHS European Player of the 20th Century: 1st
IFFHS World Player of the 20th Century: 2nd.

5 Franz Beckenbauer Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German former professional footballer and manager. Early in his playing career he was nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, dominance and leadership on the field, and also as his first name "Franz" is reminiscent of the Austrian emperors.
6 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.
7 George Best George Best was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team.

Best tribbling skills!

8 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.
9 Alfredo di Stefano

ONE OF THE MOST LEGENDARY PLAYERS IN FOOTBALL HISTORY. He was voted 4th player of 20th century behind Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Johan Cruyff, in a vote organised by France Football magazine.

10 Michel Platini Michel François Platini is a football administrator, who served as the president of the Union of European Football Associations from 2007 until 2015, after which he was banned for 8 years following an ethics investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 21 December 2015, and formerly a French football more.

The Contenders

11 Hugo Sanchez Hugo Sánchez Márquez is a retired Mexican professional footballer and manager. A prolific goalscorer known for his spectacular strikes and volleys, Sánchez is widely regarded as Mexico's greatest-ever footballer, and one of the greatest players of his generation.
12 Ferenc Puskás

"The Galloping Major" could had won 4 Ballon d'Or (1948,1952,1953,1954) if this award was founded ten years earlier.
But even without them, he is one of the greatest and most famous football players in the history of the most popular sport in the world.

13 Roberto Baggio Roberto Baggio (Italian pronunciation: roˈbɛrto ˈbaddʒo), born 18 Feb 1967, is an Italian former professional footballer who mainly played as a second striker, or as an attacking midfielder. In 1993, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or. He is the former President of more.


14 Eusebio Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was a Portuguese footballer who played as a striker. Eusébio is considered by many as one of the greatest footballers of all time. During his professional career, he scored 733 goals in 745 matches.
15 Garrincha Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known by the nickname Garrincha, was a Brazilian footballer who played right winger and forward.

As good as Pele

16 Hristo Stoichkov Hristo Stoichkov is a retired Bulgarian footballer who is currently a football commentator for Univision Deportes.

Underrated genius from Bulgaria - danoir999

17 Marco van Basten Marcel "Marco" van Basten is a Dutch football manager and former football player, who played for Ajax and Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, in the 1980s and early '90s as a forward.

3 Ballon d'Or. That's enough.

18 Stanley Matthews

Greatest British football player ever.

19 Dennis Bergkamp Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp is a Dutch former professional footballer, who is the assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Ajax.
20 Gerd Muller

One of the greatest players

One of the greatest scorers in football history.
The 'bomber' netted 1,461 goals in his career (more than Pele) and won all the tophies (team and personal as top scorer) in all the tournaments he took part (both with Bayern M. and the National team). As far as I know he is the only one who managed to do so.

21 Giuseppe Meazza

Best Italian football player ever.

22 Juan Alberto Schiaffino
23 Zico

The 'white Pele' was arguably the world's best player of the late 1970s and early 80s, and he is regarded as one of the best playmakers and free kick specialists in history,.

24 Johan Cruyff Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (1947-2016) was a Dutch professional football player and coach. As a player, he won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974.
25 Bobby Charlton Sir Robert "Bobby" Charlton is an English former football player, regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and an essential member of the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, the year he also won the Ballon d'Or.
26 Héctor Scarone

The best player of the first great team in football history, the National team of Uruguay of the 20s (two Olympic gold medals, winner of the first World Cup).

27 Fritz Walter

German legend, the best of the National team that won the 1954 World Cup.

28 Lothar Matthaus

Lothar Herbert Matthäus is a German great footballer of the 20th century. After captaining West Germany to victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he lifted the World Cup trophy, he was named European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d'Or). Matthäus held the record of having played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), more than any other outfield player in men's football, until the 2018 World Cup, in which Mexico's Rafael Márquez equalled his record and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). Matthäus is the most capped German player of all time, retiring with a total of 150 appearances (83 for West Germany) in 20 years which was a World record at that time (2000).
During his career, he usually played as a box-to-box midfielder, although late in his career he played as a sweeper.

29 Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi was an Italian great of the last two decades of 20th century. He mainly played as a sweeper or as a central defender, and spent his entire 20-year career with Serie A club Milan, captaining the club for 15 seasons. He is considered one of the greatest defenders of all-time and was ranked 19th in World Soccer magazine's list of the 100 greatest players of the 20th century and 33nd in IFFHS century elections.
With Milan, he won three UEFA Champions League titles.
He was caped 81 times with his National team and was member of the winning team of 1982 World Cup and the finalist of 1994 captaining the team.

30 Just Fontaine

The greatest French scorer and one of the best in football history.His record of 13 goals in single World Cup (1958) will never be broken.

31 Gianni Rivera

Giovanni "Gianni" Rivera was an Italian great attacking midfielder of the 60s-70s.
Dubbed Italy's "Golden Boy" by the media, he played the majority of his club career with Italian side A.C. Milan and he enjoyed a highly successful career in domestic and European football, winning three Serie A titles and two European Cups, among several other trophies.
At international level, he represented Italy 60 times scoring 14 goals, and took part at four World Cups (1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974). Rivera is widely remembered for scoring the decisive goal in Italy's 4�"3 extra-time win over W. Germany in the semi-final of the 1970 World Cup, leading the team to final. Rivera was also a member of the first Italian side ever to win the European Football Championship in 1968, on home soil.
He was awarded the Ballon d'Or in 1969, and placed 19th in IFFHS's election for the World Player of the 20th Century.

32 Paolo Maldini Paolo Cesare Maldini is a former Italian professional footballer who played as a left back and central defender. Maldini captained Italy for 8 years and AC Milan for 12, and was renowned for his leadership skills, earning him the nickname “Il Capitano”, or ‘The Captain’.
33 Josef Bican

He scored 1,468+ total goals in his career, 805+ of them in official matches. At least 36 more official goals are to be verified increasing his numbers.He's the first of all times (second in total goals is G.Muller with 1,461 and in official matches Romario with 772).
When Pele scored his 1,000th goal (1969),Franz Binder (one of the few with more than 1,000 goals) said that 'if Pele scored 1,000 goals, then Bican had scored 5,000(! ). Bican was asked about this comment and said :'who would believe me if I say that I have scored 5,000 goals? '
Josef Bican was awarded the Golden Ball by IFFHS as the greatest scorer of the 20th century.

34 José Leandro Andrade

Uruguay was the first great National football team.
If Scarone was the best, Andrade was also great.

35 Bobby Moore Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore was an English professional footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup.
36 Raymond Kopa
37 Didi

Originally Waldyr Pereira.
One of the greatest Brazilian players, took part in three World Cups, won 2 of them and was Best player of the 1958 one.

38 Zizinho

One of the best Brazilian players.

39 George Weah

I believed that should have been the number ten on this list

George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a retired Liberian striker who spent 14 years playing for clubs in France, Italy and England.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first and to date only African player to win these awards. In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was also named the African Footballer of the Year, and in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century.
After retirement, he is involved in politics in his country and elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election.

40 Eric Cantona
41 Chuni Goswami
42 Lev Yashin Lev Ivanovich Yashin, nicknamed the "Black Spider" or the "Black Panther", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game.
43 Ricardo Zamora
44 Gordon Banks

One of the best goalkeepers and English players of all times.

45 Kevin Keegan Joseph Kevin Keegan is an English former football player and manager. A forward, he played for several clubs including Liverpool and Hamburger SV.

2 Ballon d'Or.

46 Ruud Gullit Ruud Gullit is a Dutch football manager and former footballer who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s as a midfielder or forward.
47 Teófilo Cubillas

Good player

48 Raúl
49 Ronaldinho Gaucho Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, is a retired Brazilian footballer.

The most skillful footballer to play the game. Full stop!

Seriously.. he should be no. 1

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