Top 10 Best Soccer (Football) Players of All Time

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide. Throughout history, there have been countless talented players who have left their mark on the game, but only a select few can be considered the best of all time. In this top ten list, we will be ranking the greatest soccer players of all time based on their individual achievements, impact on the game, and overall skill.

To make it onto this prestigious list, players had to exhibit exceptional talent and skill, both on and off the field. From winning multiple World Cups to setting records and changing the game forever, these players have left an indelible mark on the sport. Whether you're a die-hard soccer fan or just starting to learn about the game, this top ten list is sure to provide some insights into the incredible feats achieved by some of the greatest soccer players of all time.
The Top Ten
1 Diego Maradona Diego Armando Maradona (October 30, 1960 - November 25, 2020) was an Argentine professional footballer. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, he was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. Maradona was given the nickname "El Pibe de Oro" ("The Golden Boy"). He was known for the "Goal of the Century" and the "Hand of God" goal. He died of cardiac arrest on November 25, 2020 at the age of 60

Maradona truly is on his own level of skill. People may argue that he wasn't a complete well rounded player like pele or cristiano ronaldo, but soccer is a sport that is more than just speed and strength this isn't track in field. What makes maradona so amazing is that no one else on the world can do what he can with a soccer ball. What zidane could do with a ball maradona could do with an orange. His mastery of the ball makes him the greatest soccer player of all time not only could he dribble past cristiano ronaldo or anyone else with disturbing ease but he could also distribute the ball with pinpoint accuracy. This means that not only could he carry a team on his back (unlike messi sadly) but he also makes his teammates play better he is a player that you cannot leave on the bench even injured. If you gave maradona's left leg to any player they would instantly get on this list.

I love Messi, I love Pele, I love Cristiano. But there is no one who deserves the #1 spot on this list is Diego Maradona. His pinpoint accuracy on passes, his cool finishes and most of all his dribbling make him the best ever. His passes allowed him to carry a team on his back, because he could make anyone look good. His cool finishes always came at crucial times to put his team in front in any competition. And his dribbling, ohh. He was 5x Messi because what Messi does about twice per games Maradona did at least 50. Pele could score, Messi can score, cristiano can score, but none of them could score as well as this man Diego. Just watch a YouTube video of him. He is 5'5 and he runs by people like they are cones.

The correct ranking would be something like that: 1. Diego Maradona 2. Pele & Puskas 3. Eusebio & Di Stefano - Actually this rankings do not have much meanings. All of them on the list are all great players. I just have the feeling that Maradona somehow stick out from all. I never saw someone dominating the playing field as him. He was fast runner, explosive acceleration, precise ball handling, high kicking power, fast direction changing. He also played with all direction. Most player just pushing forward but Maradona was ready to go back and than going forward and attack again... Left leg or right leg does not matter for him. He was very creative. I think God gave him the ball to make magic with it.

I am not sure if the person who created this list, plays soccer or "football" if you want to call it. Diego Maradona CAN NOT be compared to Pele or other players with all due respect, he is completely in a different category, BEST OF TH BEST, Maradona is an acronym to beautiful football, you enjoy seeing him playing, giving perfect passes, dribbling, scoring, I'm sure if he play goal keeper, would be the best as well. Putting someone else on the top of the list rather than Diego is an insult to the game. So far no one ever scored a goal like his against England from the middle of the field, fanasticoo. Diego you are SIMPLY THE BEST.

2 Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona. He is also known as one of the greatest football players of all time. He was born in Rosario, Argentina on June 24th, 1987.

No one is nowhere near him...
Greatest player to play football...

Scores Assists Dribbles Passes Tackle Intercepts. He does everything and at a higher rate per game than anyone.
Plus he won everything their is to win.

I have watched Maradona play and the only difference between him and Messi is the World cup trophy that Maradona won in 1986. Messi is in the same sentence with Maradona because he personal contribution during the 90 minutes on the field can actually impact the outcome of the game every time he plays. He is a playmaker, whenever he touches the ball, he tries to start something and most of the time, it is the trying that finally create goals. His touch, signature moves and ability to take on a double/triple team from another team. His ability to always get in the box is what makes him so dangerous even when he doesn't score. I will have to say that at this time, MESSI is the greatest player in the world who has not won a world cup.

Messi is the best player out there right now based on achievements. He has won almost every trophy except world cup and has more goals per game for Argentina than does Ronaldo for Portugal. No xavi and iniesta there to help him in Argentina, eh?

Ronaldo has world class players like Ozil and Kaka to help him score yet he has had less or the same goals as Messi in every season for past 4 years. Messi has broke so many records they are too hard to count.

Can Ronaldo run through defenders and score solo goals like Messi? Can Ronaldo stop diving? Messi never dives. Messi also has more assists than Ronaldo, every season. This shows he is a team player and not a ball hog like Ronaldo.

3 Pelé Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as "Pelé", was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. In 1999 he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. In 2000, Pelé was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century.

Maintained the the goat title for about 50 years until messi and ronaldo started making a name for themselves. Only people who watched him as kids know why and this is why he stayed as the goat for so long.

He's the best that ever played. He moved like a jungle cat. No one had ever seen anyone play like that before. His skill at full speed was mezmorizing. His passing was as precise as a surgeon's scalpal, un-locking opposing defenses. Look at what the Brazilians did to Italy in the 1970 World Cup. That wasn't TFC out there, that was the 1968 defending European Champions Brazil were playing. Italy's defense was known to stifle the opposition. Pele cut them open at will. Pele changed the way the game was played. Players today, that people fawn over because of their skill, Pele did 60 years ago. He did it before big contracts, endorsements and personal trainers. Most importantly, he showed up and performed at major tournaments. Ronaldo and Messi can't hold a candle to Pele. Simply put, Pele is a winner, the greatest of all time

Laugh out loud I'm sure whoever voted for anybody else --specially "modern" players like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo-- have NEVER seen Pele play (just check him on You Tube) OR they are biased people who dislike him for his skin color or nationality. But unbiased people can easily see that Pele is year-lights away from anyone else. He played perfectly with both legs, the head, chest, knees, scored goals, did assists, scored free kicks, penalty kicks, headers, bicycle kicks, back-heeling, I mean he handle 100% of the repertoire of soccer tricks, to perfection, and he was THE BRAIN of any team he played in. He was the planner, the strategist, the thinker, the creator. He was the heart of the Golden era of soccer: 1970 World Cup. PELE, SIMPLY THE KING!

Probably the most overrated player of all time. People say he won three world cups...he was 17 during the first one and only played the last few games, albeit as a great asset to the team, but not close to being their best player (that was Didi). The next one he played only two games before being sidelined with injury (an injustice in its own right); the star of that world cup and overall better player was Garrincha. In 1970 Pele was the leader and best player of one of the best teams ever assembled at a World Cup, that would have most definitely won without him; contrarily, Maradona nearly single handedly won a world cup (albeit only one) in 1986.

Pele played his club career exclusively in the Americas. He did not face the tougher competition that Europe had to offer...

Defense was not a priority during Pele's era. If you watch highlight videos, you can see that it was not difficult to simply waltz through a soft defense and score at will. The far higher scoring numbers ...more

4 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.

Come on! He has the sweetest shot in the world and well does about everything! I mean, can Messi ever jump over 6'3 defenders and send a powerful header? Can the likes of di Stefano, Pele etc. Score goals like he does and still have the rest of his attributes? The answer is... No

I think the best football player is Cristiano Ronaldo. His transfer is the most expensive, he can jump, dribble and his free kick is magnificent. The PERFECT PLAYER.

Sure he is one of the best players of all time but he is not #2 material at all, first off the bat, he is not a team player! AT ALL, from the time he premiered in professional football through now he is yet to improve on that. He is also an incredibly inconsistent player on the field. Some days he has incredible matches, others, he might as well not even be on the field. He over touches the ball and more the 50% of his touches are too far ahead of him and he only barley makes up for it with his speed.

If people looked at a long list of criteria and had to rate 20 qualities in players, on a 1-10 scale this list would be much more exact. This is a decent list but there are a few people who are terrible placed.

The worst errors are Jari Litmanen should be moved in front of Messi, Christian should be moved down to about 8, and Ronaldinho and Pele are close together for #1 in terms of about 20 or so criteria, Ronaldinho would tend to be ahead of Pele with his explosive moves ...more

He is a remarkable player and will be remembered amongst the best to ever play football. But his stamina is not all that because he fades out of matches quite often and his work rate on the field over 90 minutes is not always exemplary, even if it is a requirement for his role. He can improve his team play, sure he shows flashes of vision sprinkled with hints of generosity, but he is more selfish than he needs to be and it takes away from his effectiveness more than it adds to it. Is he Great? Yes. Generational talent? Yes. One of the best we will ever see? Yes. As close to perfect as anyone today? Debatable. One of the Most Complete athletes on the basis of his physical prowess and ability? Yes. But is he the perfect footballer? No, there are too many holes in his game and too many questions regarding his dependability, mental strength, emotional maturity for him to be perfect. I don't say that to knock on him, because honestly, the perfect footballer does not exist.

5 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 Ballon d'Or. He is the current manager of Real Madrid.

Put France back onto the worldwide football map.

His playing skills were simply marvelous, amazing, punctuated in my opinion by his incredible performance against Brazil in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. At that point of his career he was more Brazilian than any Brazilian at the time.

Always present when needed, he led France to back-to-back major championships in 1998 and 2002.
Came back in 2006 and almost won it for France in overtime with another amazing headshot (his specialty in the Finals) blocked by a certain Gianluigi Buffon, at the top of his craft.

Zidane's name should be well ahead of the two Ronaldo's. Cristiano is a great player but he hasn't won anyhting worthy now and probably won't.

I haven't seen Pele play live - only a vido, but saw Maradona and Ronaldo, they both had a class of their own and world knows they were good, may be out of the two if I had to select one, I would say Maradona may take an edge. However, for the number one slot, the only player who really inspired me was none other than Zidane. I rate him the best simply because he made me feel as he owns the field the moment he stepped into it, inspiring his team mates and becoming the focus point of entire opponent team to be the one to tackle, and guess what? He still used to manage to get through them - Class above!

Zidane won everything there is to win.. He won the 1998 World Cup against Brazil... He won Euros.. He won Champions League with Real Madrid scoring one of the best goal ever in the Final.. He also was about to win 2 consecutive World Cups but barely lost to Italy in penalties in 2006.. and cause he got a red card... Zidane is the only player that will make Brazilians look bad in the pitch.. He also is a good coach he even won Champions League as a coach and player... Give me Ronaldo and 10 players and I will win you Champions League... Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane is in a class by himself, he is the most elegant player ever, whenever he is playing you do not want to take your eyes off him because you don't want to miss a magical move or a ball control never seen before. Zidane makes the game look beautiful with his artistic style of play. Zidane did things with his weaker foot most world class players of the past and present cannot do. The man was a football god sent to show us the true beauty of the sport.

6 Johan Cruyff Hendrik Johannes "Johan" Cruijff (25 April 1947 – 24 March 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. Cruyff was a proponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football explored by Rinus Michels, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and the most prolific players in the history of the sport.

As some of you have rightfully pointed out both Pelè and Maradona were better (but just barely) individual players, but they did not bequeath anything as as revolutionary or enduring as Cruyff's vision of "Total Football". Cruyff modernized the game of football. He not only possessed outstanding tactical ability, he also had an unparallelled vision of the game that no other football player could match.
For his superior visionary skills, his technical and tactical abilities, as well as For his titles and legacies, Cruyff deserves to be recognized as the greatest player of all time.

For many to long ago to have witnessed. But this man belongs in the top 3, I'd even say single best one. I understand the internet is ruled by youngsters, and they adore the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, and they should, but I hope they will one day aknowledge the fact that Cruyff is the individual that influenced football the most as we know it today.

Barcelona should rename it's stadium to this all time legendary. The people of Catalonia and the Netherlands should never forget him.

The top 3 should be:
2. Diego Maradona
3. Johan Cruyff.
Come on, third that's very good.
Johan Cruyff isn't one of those footballers that's good but ends up as a washed-up celebrity. He was a very special footballer who invented football as it is today. Come on, the least they can do is put him in the top 5.
Do you know why he was the first to call football the beautiful game? (By the way, anyone who doesn't know this is a right idiot). Johan Cruyff called football the beautiful game because he made it the beautiful game. He definitely deserves to be higher on the list, SO COME ON EVERYBODY VOTE FOR JOHAN CRUYFF! (If you don't, screw you).

Cruijff is well known for changing the way football was played into the best way to play football. Not only as the best player, but also as the best coach and the best manager. Bringing joy to spectators and always remaining down to earth. His influence is bigger and much more complete than other great players. Johan Cruijff is easily the greatest football player of all time.

7 Ronaldo (Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Lima) 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 players of all time. As a multi-functional striker who brought a new dimension to the position, Ronaldo has been the influence for a generation of strikers that have followed. His individual accolades include being named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, and winning two Ballon d'Or awards.

The greatest footballer would be a coin toss between Pele or Maradona I would think. But my favourite player ever is original Ronaldo. Check out all those quotes from the best players in the world who saw him and you may have to agree that he was one of perhaps 3 players in the game's history who might be thought to have been sent to earth from another planet. The best defenders in the world really couldn't handle Ronaldo in his prime. And even after his horrific injuries, he comes back and scores 8 goals at the 2002 World Cup and wins player of the year, even when he's effectively past his prime. His ability was through the roof, he would probably get over 18 out of 20 for nearly every quality listed on the Football Manager games. He could level Pele for his football brain. I love watching videos of him more than anyone else. I dunno. He just really, really, really had that special something. And I love how unlike Messi and Cristiano (both obviously amazing), Ronaldo at the 98 and 02 ...more

He might not be the greatest but he will remain the best player in history with the best technical ability like dribbling, skills and tricks efficiency(ahead of Ronaldinho), pace, shooting and even passing(surprisingly good for a centre forward). I've seen many players in the past like Pele, Cruyff, Maradona, Di Stefano, Zico, Ronaldinho, George Best, Denis Law, George Weah, Michael Platini, Beckenbauer, Figo, Eusebio, Kaka, Rivaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and so I can call them one of the greatest and they're certainly in the best list as well but the one that tops the best list is just Ronaldo and none else. If Ronaldo had won the European Champions League he would of certainly been the greatest ever.. Please don't even compare anyone with Ronaldo.. He's beyond comparison..

In the years prior to his injuries Ronaldo played football on a different plane. In comparison to Messi a phenomenal player, however Ronaldinho possessed more ways to win a football match, he had more skill than messi, more powerful than messi, can use both feets to either dribble or shoot, could play as pair, could upfront by himself, performed at every level, tested himself against the best defenders and came out on top. Voted ballon d'or twice by 20 how many did Messi have at the same
Age. Simply outstanding

Ronaldo is the greatest of all time, no doubt if he didn't have this multiple knee injuries he would have been the best player of all time, He was an unstoppable goal machine, a dribbler etc. He was a complete striker, he made it easier for mitfielders moving all around the pitch, he scored 34 in seria A in 1 season (highest score since 1980) I would say he is better than pele in terms of skills also to mention he played against more organized defense of modern era along side with playing in europe after all this being said only one word decribes him "Phenomeno"

8 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 players of his generation and regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time, Ronaldinho won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d'Or. A global icon of the sport, he was renowned for his technical skills, creativity and dribbling ability, as well as his use of tricks, feints, overhead kicks, no-look passes and accuracy from free-kicks.

Ronaldinho is the complete football player, sure Cristiano Ronaldo can jump higher, run faster, etc. I'm not saying Ronaldo and Messi or anyone else are bad, they just aren't Ronaldinho. In fact, Messi is probably most efficient on the field, Cristiano Ronaldo has the overall top attributes. But when do you EVER see anyone smile like Ronaldinho when he falls, when he scores, when he misses, etc. He has fun and he shows that. Never have I seen anyone manipulate a football like Ronaldinho. I can do around the world, so can half the footballing world I bet, but the way the ball is like part of Ronaldinho's body makes it look elegant, super easy. This is just one opinion though, it was a tough choice because there are great footballers out there today, many of them. Ronaldinho, Messi and Cristiano remain my favorites.

In terms of technique no one has even been close, he carried his Barcelona team at times and I have no doubt that if he had the luxury of playing in the current Barcelona team with such a talented squad, it would not be Messi who would be taking the plaudits. Possibly, Maradonna, Pele and Beckenbauer could be named ahead of him, but for me he was amazing. He could do everything, his passing was immaculate, he had the vision and ability to find the killer ball, he could beat any number of defenders with amazing skill and of course scored some fabulous goals, and lots of them. My favourite footballer of all time without doubt, the best to watch and far and away the most skillful. At times... Absolutely mind-blowing. (Not to mention, a lovable guy). Who doesn't like Ronaldinho?!

Ronaldinho... I don't care how many cups he won for his country, his team, or the himself... Don't care how many goals he scored, assisted, or narrowly missed. All what I care about is when I like to be entertained, I look for his videos online and watch for hours; always makes me smile and often laugh out loud. Truly student of the art, the beautiful game. How many goal he scored from outside the box? How fast can he run past unsuspecting mid-fielders and defenders? He passes the ball like Magic Johnson, with his back like the Harlem Globetrotters. I call on those who arrogantly deny the truth, to ask themselves, have you truly seen him pass, score, assist, dribble, and most importantly, have you seen him smile when he does all that... He reminds me when I was a kid playing the game and enjoying it.

He is the best ever player, distant second comes Ronaldo (De Lima)

Ronaldinho could do things with the ball that no one else could. He manipulated it as if he was telling it where to go with his mind, not his foot. Ronaldinho has the best playmaking ability out of anyone out there. Iniesta and Xavi are amazing passing players but I don't see them making 50 yard passes onto someone's foot without looking. Messi is unbelievable, however, he doesn't have the skill that ronaldinho had, period. Ronaldinho's free kicks have always been almost perfect. He has te most incredible field awareness I have ever seen. He also doesn't flop. He loves to play the game an is always smiling. If he gets kicked in the leg but still has a slight chance to get the ball back, he will hop right back up and get it. Pele and mars finna were great players, but only for their time. If maradonna or pele played professionally now, they wouldn't make a high level team if they make one! Ronaldinho in his prime could take anyone on any time no questions asked. He was the absolute ...more

9 Franz Beckenbauer Franz Anton Beckenbauer (born 11 September 1945) 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. He is widely regarded to be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. A versatile player who started out as a midfielder, Beckenbauer made his name as a central defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper (libero).

A lot of people think goals is what only makes a player great, but what about the people who keep them from happening or getting anywhere near the box?

Beckenbauer redefined what is the sweeper/libero. He mastered it and made it his with his elegant style of play, gracing the field. There was a certain arrogance to how he worked on the pitch, like he was in control - earning him the nickname "Der Kaiser". Beckenbauer was a puppet master, standing back and pulling the strings which earned whomever he was playing for every major prize.

He was always the number one threat to the other team, and he could demolish them like nothing. Franz Beckenbauer was simply extraordinary on every single level.

I really cannot understand how Beckenbauer is ranked only 10th, behind Beckham.
Beckenbauer was one most complete players ever, he was fast, had a great vision, could score like only a few strikers of his time and he was probably the best defender to ever grace the game. He ruled the entire game and won countless trophies. Sadly there are only a few videos of him available, and most of those videos only show his scoring skills. He was more than a defender, he could play basically everywhere.

Except for Pele, Franz was the greatest all around player I ever saw. Smarter than anyone playing the game today. And as a sweeper he played both defense and offense without a lot of flashy wasted movement. He made the game look so simple, till you tried to duplicate him and realized the man was pure skill and deception, who never got caught out of position. No, he didn't chalk up a lot of goals in his career... but most of the players who did received a perfect assist from Franz.

Beckenbauer was undoubtedly the most brilliant and technically sound defender of all time. He was a rock for Germany and then, after retiring as a player, he became one of the greatest coaches of all times. As of 2014, he is the only person to win the World Cup as a captain and a coach.

10 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 team, for which he held the appearance record for an outfield player until 2016. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. He retired in May 2013 after a 20-year career, during which he won 19 major trophies.

David Beckham is my idol. He literally does everything a soccer player could do. David beckham is probably the greatest soccer player ever would ever step foot on this earth. I would watch a thousand games of David Beckham. Besides a lot of people look up to Beckham as their idol. For example in the movie "Bend It Like Beckham" pretty much every character looks up to Beckham as their idol or hero. He just inspires so many people that it is unbelievable. He has so much talent and potential that people just love him. It is probably a honor for The LA galaxy coach to have a very talented player on his team. Beckham's parents are so blessed to have a child like Beckham. There is nothing bad to say about Beckham because he is a hero in my eyes and he inspires me.

Professional soccer player David Beckham was born May 2, 1975, in London, England. A phenom almost from the moment he could first kick a soccer ball, Beckham began playing for Manchester United, England's legendary soccer team, at 18, and was a starter by the time he was 20. He's also played for Real Madrid. In 2007 he signed a five-year, $250-million contract with the L.A. galaxy. He has also scored a amazing free kick goal in in 2001 against Greece that changed the way England plays soccer.

A truly magical player, always made a difference in an england shirt which was really important to him. Absolute legend, best crosser and free kick taker the game has ever seen... Laugh out loud at those who consider Cristiano Ronaldo to be in the top 10 you obviously don't watch football.

David Beckham has come 2nd in world player of the year twice. He single-handedly led UNited to the treble and helped Real Madrid win the league last year.
He has done everything in his power to help England, and 2 days ago he was their oldest AND BEST PLAYER!
He moved to the United States and still plays for his country when they come calling and he is the REAL England Captain
You guys are a bunch of ignorant for callin cristiano the best of all time
I'm a united fan and I can call you an idio for that!

The Contenders
11 Neymar Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, born 5 February 1992, commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and the Brazil national team as a forward or winger, and is also the captain of the national team. Neymar was born on 5th February 1992 in Sao Paulo of Brazil. He started playing international matches at the age of 17. Neymar salary is 9.18 million Euro. As a result, his net worth is about $75 million.

Another year, another cluster of near moves for Neymar.

The constant speculation linking him to Real Madrid and Barcelona often takes away from what a fantastic year he's had, scoring 31 goals and providing 15 assists back in Brazilian football for Santos.

He had a solid London 2012 Olympics during the summer, scoring some great goals and grabbing a silver medal.

Neymar will be in the TOP 5 of all time by the end of his career, his international stats are incredible for his age, he perfroms the best in the world for his nation. 44 goals in 65 games, he will without a doubt surpass Pele's record as the highest goal scorer for Brazil, probably in less then 5 years too! If he wins 2018 World cup he will give Messi a good run... Neymar and Messi are the new Pele and Maradona.

He is really young but is already the third best player in the world right now after only Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has amazing trick moves and dribbling skills and can be relied on to score the winning goal. He will definitely surpass Pele as the top scorer for Brazil.

Awesome... This kid will not go the extra mile but the extra trillion miles. I hope he stays focused. His country men: Ronaldinho, after Pele, are my past favourites.. Next is Messi, but I hope to be right with this future pick!

12 Alfredo Di Stéfano

Many people seem to have no idea what makes a great player or cannot recall players of the past.
Di Stefano was the greatest with Pele second. Players like Beckham, Ibrahimovic etc should not be mentioned in the same article.
George Best was skilfull but would have been better off as a ball juggler in a circus. He would beat the same defender four times when he could have passed to a team mate with an open goal... Not a team player at all.

The greatest player of all time. Though nominally a striker, Di Stéfano had the tackling, shooting, passing and dribbling ability and (most importantly) endurance to be able to play quite literally all over the field, and excel in all facets of the game, and it is this all-around brilliance that made him the best. He is one of only 8 players to have won multiple Ballons d'Or, and was recently declared by Pelé to be the greatest ever.

It is like a joke to see players like Ronaldinho and especially Beckham above Di Stefano. The others above him like Beckenbauer or Zidane have the logic of been legends of the last decades instead of the 6 decades icon Don Alfredo. If Pelé, Maradona and Messi deserve the top 3, Di Stefano and Cruyff are two of the next 3 coming after.

One of the first and most complete "PLAY-MAKER" of football ever seen.

What a joke to see young people put Beckham, Xavi, or Rooney here - all 3 were combined are not even equal to Di Stefano in effectiveness from midfield to attack!

13 Zlatan Ibrahimović Zlatan Ibrahimović (3 October 1981) is a Swedish professional footballer who plays for an Italian club AC Milan and the Sweden national team for which he is captain.

Zlatan is one of the cockiest players of all time. It is hilarious though. Ballotelli does it as well but he is just mean and annoying. Anyway ibra has one of the hardest shots I've ever seen in my life. He will use both feet to just give the goalie the worst time in goal. He is very good ima mad off the ball. His attitude holds him back on the field a little bit but, he makes up for it quite a bit with his great play. He uses moves or just simple fakes to take on entire teams at one time. He can score with any part of either foot and his proved it over and over again with many acrobatic goals. He is a complete forward but not a great all around player.

Ibra is my favorite player by far. He has tremendous gifts of balance and focus. He is exciting to watch: you never know what he will do, and sometimes it is utterly breathtaking, impossible. I would put him in the top 5 all time for his complete game--as a striker with head and feet and even chest, and for his generous assists, and for his brutal defensive skills. He is a huge man who moves like a tango dancer.

I cannot believe he is not up here already, this player holds one of the most impressive highlight reels to date. Dribbling through what seems to be an entire team and promptly puts the ball in the net. Players like C. Ronaldo make many pretty moves, but do not put the ball in the net. This player does.

15th? Easily top 10. This man has scored some of the most insane goals I have ever seen. A natural goalscorer. Also he can dribble the ball with the best of them. Can pull off literally every skill in the book too. Watch a Zlatan compilation then come back and say he isn't a magician with a football... Its impossible.

14 George Best George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger, spending most of his club career at Manchester United. A highly skillful dribbler, Best is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the sport. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1968 and came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. Best received plaudits for his playing style, which combined pace, skill, balance, feints, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to get past defenders.

Pele himself once claimed that George best is better than him, what is wrong with you people George best was the first football superstar and he was awarded player of the year in 1968. People who saw him play claimed that he was certainly a legend after his death in 2005 people forgot of this legend who deserves to be in the top 5, people who've not seen him play can check his videos on YouTube and also read his famous quotes. I hope my comment helps you recognize a true legend.

Maradona good, pele better, George best

A player that was so far ahead of the rest that he made it look easy. From his time on the pitch to now there has never been a player that could single handedly turn defenders inside out and change the out come of any game he was in (and did many many times).

Skill that has no equal.
Insight of the game second to none.
Unparalleled self belief.
A true god of the game.

If George Best is not number 1 then there should not be a number 1 because there is no player alive or dead that deserves it more (FACT).

George had it all, balance, vision and breath taking brilliance. He was magic. His swerving runs and pace took him past the best defenders in the world, he played for fun. During George's playing days, the winter pitches became mud baths but he could still pirouette and ghost from one penalty area to another. When he was in full flight he was a sight to behold. George Best is the best footballer ever to grace a football pitch.

Never had the privilege of watching him and YouTube doesn't do justice. The era that he played in that even Messi and Maradona would've not survived the style of football. He played among Booby and Law what was considered to be the greatest Man U of all time but he stood out with his talent. I because of his lack of commitment, he did get the chance to play at his peak for long. But if you want me to compare the talent of Best's peak vs Messi's, I'd go with Best any day. Greatest in terms of accomplishment and talent combined well that's a different story. If he had Cristiano's discipline, there would be no argument in him being top 3 of all time. I'm a Real fan and I hate United lol

15 Ferenc Puskas Ferenc Puskás (1 April 1927 – 17 November 2006) was a Hungarian footballer and manager, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and the sport's first international superstar. He scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary, played four international matches for Spain and scored 514 goals in 529 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues. He became an Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup. He won three European Cups (1959, 1960, 1966), 10 national championships (5 Hungarian and 5 Spanish Primera División) and 8 top individual scoring honors. In 1995, he was recognized as the greatest top division scorer of the 20th century more.

The greatest footballer ever! Football is all about scoring goals and Ferenc was the greatest goalscorer ever. Just look at his record, there is no one who can compare!
Even Puskas's record for the most goals scored in a season in Spain stood until just a couple of years ago. His goal scoring in internationals for Hungary is unbelievable.
Have a look at the 4 goals Puskas scored in the great team of Real Madrid that won the 1960 European Cup - fantastic!
I am English (not Hungarian) and many years ago had the pleasure of seeing Puskas play in a charity match in England when he was well into his 40s & he was still brilliant!

With 5 Champions Leagues for Real Madrid C.F., he was the most prolific player of his generations. He has scored 84 goals in 85 matches for Hungary and 512 goals in 529 matches for Real Madrid. His international team mate, Sandór Kocsis who played for Barcelona, had a better goal-ratio for Hungary by scoring 75 goals in 68 international matches. Hungary had the best squad in the planet 60 years ago and they could've win the World Cup 1954 but Germany beaten them in the final.

He is the most underrated player in the History! He scored his 1000th before Pelé did it! He played for Real Madrid and won the 5 first Champions Leagues from 1956 to 1960. He was playing with Santiago, Alfredo Di Stéfano and Gento. Real Madrid was a dream team for football! He scored 84 goals in 85 matches for Hungary and 514 goals in 529 matches for his whole career. He scored an awesome goal with Real Madrid against Valencia C.F. in 1959 so that we name the prize of the goal of the year as the "Puskás Prize". He also won with Hungary some crazy records like the 10-1 against Mexico, the 8-3 against Germany or the 6-3 against England. He is the best left-footed player ever! He was a World Cup finalist in 1954 but he lost 3-2 against Germany unfortunately

During his legendary career, the Galloping Major was record breaker of three important world records :
1) Player with most appearences with his National team (1956-1957, record broke by Billy Wright)
2) Player with most goals with his National team (1952-2003, record broke by Ali Daei)
3) Top tier best goalscorer (since 1961)
No other football legend (Di Stéfano, Pelé, Maradona, Cruyff, Messi etc) has ever achieved any of this records.
If we add 8 individual scoring championship honors, 10 National championship club titles, a Golden Ball of the 1954 World Cup, a gold Olympic medal (1952) and so many other less important, it is easy to regard him as the G.O.A.T.
But as numbers are not playing, the least someone can tell is that Puskás is on the top of greats in football history together with 5-6 others (already mentioned).

16 Zico

The best FREEKICKER of all time
TOP10 bets playermakers. TOP20 best dribblers. TOP20 best shooter/scorers.

Zico could dribble like Messi, could score many goals like Cristiano Ronaldo, but these two could never get any close to Zico in FREE KICK (even both combine in number)

Deadly long range shots with machine precision combined with all other football skills to the mastery level.

His name alone goes with the other single-name greats like Pele, Ronaldo and Gherson.

Zico is one of the greatest in the history of soccer.

17 Eusébio 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.

The merit of Eusebio's achievements as a footballer surpass the 4 lines on the field. He became an inspirational icon, for many generations of footballers, not only in Portugal or Europe, but also in an entire continent (Africa). His achievements were greater than the impressive football he played, he became part of the national identity of countries like Portugal and Mozambique. Inside the field or outside it he was always a simple, humble man, who played with passion a game that we all embrace. His legacy is timeless and imortal.

Why is Eusebio so low on this list, just go watch videos of him, see he's goal stats for Benfica more goals then games for Benfica, over 600 goals for Benfica, won numerous titles for Benfica, including two European cups (champions league) and reached another 3 or so finals, was top scorer in the 1966 world cup. Best Portuguese player ever, easily should be in the top 10!

Everybody older or young should see this guy run drible and shoot and after that you gone know why he have the nickname black panther... The BEST AfricaN player ever! It's because of this legend I just love this amazing sport that we call football. RIP EUSEBIO the SILVA FERREIA you will be always in the Benfica and Portuguese supporters heart.

Laugh out loud, Eusebio 30th? Talk about people being ignorant and not knowing crap about soccer! He's Easily top 5 material, and only people who never seen him play could think otherwise!

Come on Beckham 12? Wake up idiots! WATCH SOME SOCCER!

LOOL di stefano 40? Should be top 10!

FIGO like 50 -. -, one of the best players I've EVER SEEN, amazing dribbles and crazy crosses, the man who was there for ronaldo and rivaldo and raul!

18 Kaká 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 .

A man who was once, just a curious boy hypnotized by perfect harmony. And the man in the middle, the conductor. Who creates balance out of chaos, beauty from turmoil, elegance from disarray. No one really knows what happened that day, but he was never the same, and he never forgot the man in the middle. Now this boy has grown up and he is as elegant with the ball as the conductor with his baton. A pure player, born from the twin mothers of intelligence and creativity. With feet that tethered to the pitch like strings on a violin. A master of control. A roaming midfielder, with an instinctive feel for the ball. Who advances man like a conductor moves music, orchestrating the game with just the right rhythm and tempo. Creating something out of nothing, with just a look and a perfect one-touch pass. Ending the match with a crescendo and a bow. Every team needs the maestro. - Adidas, The ultimate search.

He is simply the best playmaker in the history of world football. His killer through passes is like a nightmare for any defense. And his long range shoot is also fantastic. Cristiano ronaldo shoots 10 shoots but scores only one or two whereas kaka does not shoot much but every time he shoots it's a goal.

Very few on the above list are complete players. lionell Messi is known for his dribblling and so is maradona.C. Ronaldo is known for his skills, pace and shooting power, ronaldinoho for his skills. But only the complete players in the football field serve the very important duty of playmaking. Like zidane or cryuff or pele. Kaka is a complete player.

Besides that he has a great vision and flow of play.

I want to slap the list maker kaka is the legend he is the best player ever in football history no one can beat him he is even better than your list number one Messi if you search on YouTube you see kaka is better than Messi and should know now days he is weak because of his knee ingury.

19 Garrincha Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known by the nickname Garrincha, was a Brazilian footballer who played right winger and forward.

Garrincha was a footbal artist, a player with an unique dribbling style which resembled a drunken man trying to walk. He's an underrated footballer, perhaps overshadowed by Pele, and he should be in the top ten list. It's definitely worth seeing his videos.

Garrincha is a really unknown player, and still a legend. If it's someone who was and is better, is it just Pelè. Messi is a overrated player. Garrincha had easily run around and around Messi, who never had been near to Catch him.

The God of soccer. He is mane Garrincha. His name should be laid sharing with Maradona, and Pele. He is the angel of football, art of dribbling.

I'm voting for Garrincha simply because he is waay to low. Most people clearly don't know anything about the sport if Garrincha is only 25. He should be in the top five.

20 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.

This is the best goalkeeper to have lived on Earth. He is the only goalkeeper to have won a Ballon D'Or, and will probably will be the only one. He has made some unbelievable saves and I just don't know why he has always been underrated or even unknown to the general football fans.

I hate the fact that the person that made goalkeeping an important position and as a "GOALKEEPER" won player of the year is sooo underrated it's ridicules. People know casillas, they know buffon, they know nuer but how many people know Gordon banks or yashin? Not all the players that are popular are the greatest you know

Rated 94 for being the great goalie who could save tons of shots most goalies couldn't and just flat out being the best goalie of all time.

Very underrated. He made the goalkeeping position important. He's the reason anyone even cares about Casillas and Buffon.

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

He captains the best soccer club in the world right now. He scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final. He is the best visionary to play the sport and creates so many opportunities with impeccable passes. Even though he is aging, Iniesta was named the best player at the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final. What else do you want from him? He is easily the best midfielder right now. He has been among the top nominees for the Ballon D'or in recent years and deserves at least one to his name.

Obviously Iniesta is in the Top 100 footballers of all time.
Andres is going to be the best footballer in the next 10 years
Or so. No one will ever beat Andres the beast Iniesta in the next 10 years! Iniesta should be the 11th best of all time. Againist Italy in Group Stages of Euro 2012, he made Gianluigi Buffon (the best goalkeeper for the last decade or so)jump like a frog. Iniesta is small, but he can get through footballers(Peter Crouch or Nikola Zigic)who are about 1 foot and a quarter taller than him. Iniesta has helped Spain for a long time and all matches with Spain, Rain or Shine, Iniesta would always play in the 1st team. In the 2010 World Cup, Iniesta helped Spain with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the Final. Fabregas set Iniesta up and Iniesta scored the only goal in the match. Iniesta is the best Attacking Midfielder in the
World, By a long, long, long way.

The insane skill player who is ale crowds out by many players has a great flexibility and guts and neck to get through all of the challenges without losing the ball..

What's he doing at number 32. He should be right up there, below Messi at 3. I haven't seen too many players as skillful as him. The list should go like this- 1.Pele 2.Messi 3.Iniesta 4.Zedane 6.Maradona 7.Voller 8.Zico 9.Ozil 10.Ibrahimovic

22 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.

What the hell! Zidane below messi.. And kaka, rooney, Steven Gerrard, Gheorghe Hagi, David Beckham, Jari Litmanen, Cristiano Ronaldo and messi above HENRY! Are you kidding me, he is the best striker ever to live, now some of you might be thinking about messi and maradona. They are far below this legend.. Zidane should be at number 1 as a player but definiteky henry and ronaldinho are the best as a striker.

Legendary! Record goalscorer for Arsenal and France, Won the World Cup, European Championships, Premier League, FA Cup, La Liga, Champions League & Copa Del Rey.
In his prime he could dribble past 6 or 7 defenders in the middle of the park and go on to score a goal. I'm not even exaggerating!
Electric pace, Strength, Sublime finishing, Intelligence,... He had it all. Shame he never won the Ballon D'Or.

Best premier league player of all time. Got snubbed for ballon d'or twice and many people forget about his undefeated season with arsenal in 2003-04. And seriously who on earth would say to the ref in the World Cup, " yo I touched the ball don't allow that goal." He is simply a world class player and should certainly be in the top 20 of the best players of all time list.

I don't believe TH14 in ranked 22 in this list, He is more Greates than Messi, Pele, Ronaldo, and Maradona. He is best striker in arsenal and world ever. He score +230 for Arsenal. One Word to describe this player "Fantastic". If who created this list is me, I will make Thierry Henry Number 1.

23 Robin van Persie Robin van Persie is a Dutch coach and former professional footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, he is the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands men's national team. He is currently an assistant manager at boyhood club Feyenoord in his first managerial role.

In one of the only years Robin van Persie's ankle hasn't given way, it's no surprise to see him turn in consistently excellent performances that place him among the best in the world. Coming off a 30-goal season at Arsenal and a £22 million move to Manchester United, expectations were so high the Dutchman could have crumbled.

Robin Van Persie The Best Striker and Winger ever, Good technical, good shoot, and the left foot number one in the World, just stay in Arsenal and Gunners. Come on Van Persie you can do that. I trust you.

Had a great career only cut short by injury which made man Utd fell out of favor with him. If it weren't for his knee and ankle he would still bang 15 every season

Best player ever. Star of the best team to never win a World Cup, if not the best team ever.

24 Michel Platini Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a French football administrator and former player and manager. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from involvement in football under FIFA's organisation, over ethics violations. The ban will last until 2023. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985, and came seventh in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. In recognition of his achievements, he was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1985 and became an Officier in 1998. more.

A real complete player: scorer, passer, very good personal technique, sense of timing, extraordinary vision of the game, very good teammate (make his partners play better), a winning mentality, respectful to others, regulars performances, and so on...

Three times European Player of the Year.
Over 40 goals for his country from midfield.
Highest scorer in Serie A 3 years running.
One of the greatest passers of the ball in history.
Highest goal scorer in European Championship history.
I rest my case.

Cristiano Ronaldo took 4 european tournaments to score 9 goals whereas he took only 1. He should be ahead of CR7 and many of the overrated players ahead of him

Come on! Platini scored the best free kick goal ever in 1984 against Portugal! He's just the best.

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

Wayne Rooney has undergone some borderline surgical changes to his game over the past 12 months, but he's coped extremely well.

A poor European Championships (again) firmly behind him, he's adapted to the presence of Robin van Persie superbly and reinstated goals to his game over the past month.

He was the Red Devils' top scorer last season, reliably turning in 27 English Premier League strikes.

Think he should be the 4th &I am his no1 fan. He got crazy skills & I will never let him down. I like his salto kik & his shots and dribling amazing. It's just awesome. I choose you to be my favourite soccer player. My name is gurpreet & I hope you will become the best in the world. Your skills are very great wow he is a great man. You are going to always be my favourite football player

He hit a bicycle by mistake which made him famous... He is the worst player for United.. They should have bid for other players.. Stupid.. Black mark on United... This worm doesn't know how to hit.. He can score only in penalties...

Wayne Rooney is the best soccer player to ever exist he's amazing he's scored all sorts of brilliant goals in his international goals and premier league goals. So who do we cheer for Wayne Rooney!

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