Top 10 Greatest Soccer Players of 2000-2010

Honoring the greatest soccer players of the 2000s decade.
The Top Ten
1 Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", (born 23 June 1972) is a is a French former professional football player who played as an attacking midfielder. He received many individual accolades as a player, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998... read more

Zidane was the maestro of the last decade, perhaps the best midfielder in history. He had incredible ball control, amazing balance, technique, leadership, unbelievable passing skills, and he could read the game better than any other player.

Zidane was simply on a different level than any other player.

The best modern footballer. Great vision, understanding, passing, dribbling, finishing, headers, good at set pieces, and long-range shots. Fairly quick and agile. Just the best.

A fantastic player for both club and national team. He is the most complete footballer I've ever seen!

2 Ronaldo Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian business owner, president of La Liga club Real Valladolid, and a retired professional footballer who played as a striker. Popularly dubbed in Portuguese O Fenômeno ("The Phenomenon"), he is widely considered one of the greatest... read more

Ronaldo was the World Player in 2002. Zidane retired in 2006. Ronaldo still plays and is important in the Brazilian league. Plus, Ronaldo in '99 won World Player of the Year, so there you go.

I think he's the best player in football history. He has speed, agility, skill, a finishing touch, and everything you can dream of in a striker.

Greatest striker I've ever watched. He came back twice after very serious injuries. What he did in the 2002 World Cup is unbelievable.

3 Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi was born on June 24, 1987. He is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for the American club, Inter Miami CF, in the MLS. Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. His birthplace is Rosario, Argentina.

Super quick, scores loads of goals, and is pretty unstoppable. Another reason is because he's won Best Player in the World in 2008 and 2009 and came second twice before. He's the best ever!

There is no one quite like Messi. Amazing player to watch, and he is still young. He will get even better as he continues to play and eventually will be the greatest! Vamos Messi!

He can change pace so well and do tricks a little only. He slows the game down, gets defenders to relax for a second, and then he takes off!

4 Ronaldinho Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho or simply Ronaldinho, is a Brazilian former professional footballer and current ambassador for Barcelona. He played mostly as an attacking midfielder, but was also deployed as a winger. Often considered one of the best... read more

One of a kind. Probably the most creative player to ever play the game. His otherworldly impressive skill helped him lead Barça to numerous championships and earned him some of the most prestigious individual awards.

Watching him play is a mixture of amazement and pure entertainment. You can see the love he has for the game in every single match. If only he had been able to keep performing the way he did at his peak, but he sure has been making a comeback this past season! The King could be returning!

5 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

Not only has he shown his qualities on the club level, Cristiano has done the best he can for his country. I consider him one of the best, if not in the top few, because he has proved his skill not only in Madrid but also in Lisbon and Manchester.

He is obviously the best player in the world. He can almost do everything: heading, scoring with both feet, crossing, and free kicks.

He constantly scores goals for Madrid and saves their face against Barcelona. Young stars like Hazard, Götze, and Bale have regarded him as the best player.

6 Steven Gerrard Steven George Gerrard (born 30 May 1980) is an English professional football manager and former Liverpool player who currently manages Scottish Premiership club Rangers.

He spent his career in a one-man band, keeping a largely average team competitive through his own brilliance. He could tackle, pass, and score all types of goals while also being an inspiration for his team. Tremendous leader who, during this decade, would have gotten into any team in the world.

Won the 2004-2005 Champions League campaign almost single-handedly with numerous vital goals. Followed it up with a class match in the following season's FA Cup final with two beautiful goals. He has been the best midfielder in the world for a decade.

In my opinion, he's up there with Zidane, and he is better than Kaka! Liverpool legend who is still going strong!

7 Raul

Best scoring attacker of the Champions League. A man who always knew where the ball would be and was there to punch it into the net.

8 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.

Henry is the best striker. Not because he scored 227 goals for Arsenal or won Footballer of the Year on three separate occasions. Not because he won the Golden Boot six times (four in the Premier League, one in the Confederations Cup, and one in Euro 2000). Not because he was the go-to guy for the undefeated '03-'04 'Invincibles' or the leading scorer for the '08-'09 Barcelona team that won an unprecedented sextuple.

It's the fact that every single goal Henry scores seems to always be in the clutch, for the win, breaking a record. Each goal is beautiful. For example, the bicycle kick he performed in May for the Red Bulls for the win. No statistic can describe such brilliance!

9 Pavel Nedved

Absolute legend. Epitome of a midfielder. He could pass, he could score goals, he could get past players, and he had the strength.

Why he's so low on this list, I'll never know.

Footballing god. He could play anywhere in midfield, and to come from a small-ish country like the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia) and be known as one of the best ever is truly an accomplishment!

10 Francesco Totti Francesco Totti is a former Italian professional footballer who plays for Serie A club Roma and Italian national team.

Not only a great forward able to score many goals in a season, the majority of these of a sublime class, but also a great offensive midfielder with more vision than Xavi, in my opinion. A very underrated player.

Just look at his goals against Sampdoria and Inter. Excellent free kicks too. A legend.

The one and only. Same team from day one. Didn't care about the money, glory, or trophies. Loyal. Golden Foot, Golden Shoe, oldest to score in Champions League, World Champion 2006.

No one will ever be as good in heart and foot as him. He is a legend.

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

Biggest crime: Drogba not winning a Ballon d'Or. He was part of the Untouchables at Chelsea, carried Ivory Coast, and had a magnificent career with team achievements.

As clutch as they come. No one dominated the air like Drogba.

How come Drogba is not above Fernando Torres and many others on this list? He easily fits in the top ten.

12 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.

He was one of the most spectacular players I have ever seen when he was playing for AC Milan.

13 Fabio Cannavaro

Cannavaro, in my opinion, is the third greatest footballer in history. He is the best tactical defender, with the best leadership I've seen, superb positioning, timing, ball dribbling, and much more.

He is the peak of defenders and captains and an almost impossible player to equal.

He is the best defender of all time with his great positioning and sliding tackles.

14 Rivaldo

Should be much higher on the list!

15 Cafu

Cafu is definitely the best right-back of this decade. Name anyone who was better than this phenomenal player. His attack and defense are great, and he was part of the best AC Milan defense of all time: Maldini, Nesta, Stam, and Cafu.

16 Edwin Van Der Sar
17 Kaka Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a retired Brazilian professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer and the Brazil national team .

Best of the decade. When in Milan at 100%, he was way better than Messi and Ronaldo. Fastest player of his generation. Only player I would pay money to watch.

Watch his games when in Milan at 100% and see how incomparable he is to Ronaldo and Messi.

I think he was the best soccer player in the first decade of this century. If you watch his career, you see everything: he was fast, strong, smart, intelligent, and talented.

When he played, you would just enjoy.

Not the best player but definitely higher than Cannavaro or Pirlo if we're going to compare playmakers. Now he's back at Milan and rocking once again.

18 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’.

He is inestimable, amiable, and adorable. I love his amazing tackles. He drove rival strikers crazy. He is the best defender in soccer history and is unrivaled. ALL OF AC MILAN.

19 Fernando Torres

Brought glory to Spain in Euro 2008. Besides, one of the brightest players in football history. A brilliant goalscorer and undoubtedly the best striker in Spain's history.

A handsome and kind player still trying to win the Champions League.

He should be in the top ten. He is a nightmare for goalkeepers and the only competitor for Messi and Ronaldo. I still remember his Liverpool days. He is far better than Ronaldo.

20 Frank Lampard

Between 2000-2010, it's Frank Lampard. He brought glory to Stamford Bridge unlike all others who played in big clubs. Lampard made them big.

Only behind Messi, CR7, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Zidane despite being one of only two box-to-box midfielders in the list, which is arguably a more demanding role.

Top player. 200 goals as a midfielder for Chelsea, the highest-scoring midfielder in EPL history.

21 Nicklas Bendtner
22 Gianluigi Buffon Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon (born 28 January 1978) is an Italian professional goalkeeper who plays for Serie B club Parma. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and by some as the greatest ever.

I love, love, love to watch Buffon in goal. There is something very magical about him. Although Mr. De Gea is fast approaching that number one spot for me.

23 David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham is (born 2 May 1975) is an English former professional footballer, the current president & co-owner of Inter Miami CF and co-owner of Salford City.. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national... read more

Unparalleled set pieces, inspirational captain, legend.

24 Alessandro Del Piero Alessandro Del Piero Ufficiale is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a deep-lying forward.

Great leadership. He is simply one of the most loyal players in the world, staying with Juventus even when they went down to Serie B. He has been captain forever and won the World Cup with Italy in a secondary role, but he was there. He nearly won the Champions League in 2003 - a penalty shootout was the difference between silver and gold. Del Piero is and has been one of the most important Juve players this century.

25 Arjen Robben

He is one of the greatest players of all time. It's always good to see his attacking technique and athleticism.

8Load More
PSearch List