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Top 10 Best Football (Soccer) Players of All Time

Thomas Swan has been an avid fan of the English Premier League and European football for more than 20 years.

Many argue that Pelé was the greatest footballer of all time

Many argue that Pelé was the greatest footballer of all time

Who Are the World's Best Footballers?

The creativity and ingenuity that typify the beautiful game of football (soccer) would render it an art form if not for the physical context within which the sport is played. What distinguishes football from most other sports is the freedom of expression granted to the players. While baseball players and cricketers are limited to specific movements, footballers may shoot, pass, tackle or dribble the ball in any variety of ways, allowing the most talented players to reach the very peak of the game.

Only Retired Players Were Considered for This List

This list does not include currently active stars such as Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. They can be properly judged once their careers are over. The list includes retired players from the entire recorded history of the modern game.

I have included YouTube videos to showcase the skills of the players listed. The Zidane and Diego Maradona videos are recommended for newcomers to the sport who wish to see a demonstration of the artistic brilliance of the beautiful game.

10. George Best, Northern Ireland

Full name: George Best

Life: May 22, 1946–November 25, 2005

Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

Playing positions: Winger, attacking midfielder

George Best's career was plagued by drink problems, but his talent was almost unparalleled. Famed for his dribbling abilities, he won the 1968 European Cup and two league titles during his time with Manchester United. As an attacking midfielder, he scored a remarkable 205 goals in 579 games and won the Ballon d'Or in 1968. As Northern Ireland has never been a force in international football, he never made an impact on that stage. At the age of 28, his alcoholism sent his career into rapid decline, and he never achieved as much as his talent promised.

9. Zinedine Zidane, France

Full name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane

Date of birth: June 23, 1972

Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Zidane's strengths are his individual skill, ball control, physical strength and passing. His best performances were often in the most decisive games, demonstrating a character not seen in many other sportsmen. As a central midfielder, he scored 159 goals in 789 games. With France, he won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championships. With Juventus and Real Madrid, he won three league titles and one European Cup.

8. Alfredo Di Stéfano, Argentina

Full name: Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé

Life: July 4, 1926–July 7, 2014

Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9.5 in)

Playing position: Forward

The first forward on the list has to be Alfredo Di Stéfano. With 511 goals in 702 games, he was a prolific goalscorer for Real Madrid. He wasn't your conventional striker, though; he appeared all over the pitch, tackling, passing and dictating the play. He was the most complete player ever to grace the game.

With Real Madrid, he won an incredible five European Cups, scoring in all of the finals. He won 13 league titles in his career (1945–1966). His international record is poor due to not featuring in a World Cup, although he did win a Copa America with Argentina.

7. Ferenc Puskás, Hungary

Full name: Ferenc Purczeld (his father changed the family name to Puskás when Ferenc was 10)

Life: April 1, 1927–November 17, 2006

Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)

Playing position: Forward

Ferenc Puskás was probably the most precise goalscorer ever. Combining his finishing prowess with a general intelligence and ability to invent new skills (such as the drag-back), he scored a sensational 700 goals in 705 appearances during his career (1943–1966). For Real Madrid, he won three European Cups and five league titles. In Hungary, he won a further five league titles. At the international level, he led Hungary to the 1954 World Cup Final.

6. Franz Beckenbauer, Germany

Full name: Franz Anton Beckenbauer

Date of birth: September 11, 1945

Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11.5 in)

Playing position: Defensive midfielder

Franz Beckenbauer was a sweeper, or a defensive midfielder in today's lingo, but that didn't stop him scoring 111 goals in 776 appearances for Germany and Bayern Munich. Much like Di Stéfano, he never had a true position; he was literally everywhere at once, dictating the game and exerting his influence. He was the ultimate captain, but combined with his dribbling, passing and all-round technical ability, he was one of the greatest players ever.

He won the 1974 World Cup and the 1972 European Championships, as well as three European Cups and eight league titles during his club career.

5. Michel Platini, France

Full name: Michel François Platini

Date of birth: June 21, 1955

Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)

Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Michel Platini was an attacking midfielder, scoring 353 goals in 652 games. He was an excellent passer and free-kick taker, but he combined this with ruthless goal-scoring ability. Almost single-handedly, he guided France to the 1984 European Championships, scoring nine goals in the process. He lifted the European Cup with Juventus, and he also won three league titles in his club career.

4. Zico, Brazil

Full name: Arthur Antunes Coimbra

Date of birth: March 3, 1953

Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)

Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Often removed from top 10 lists due to his lack of achievements, Zico's footballing ability was never in question. With 527 goals in 769 games, he was not only a prolific goalscorer but also a remarkable creator of goals with a deft touch and an ability to produce unique shots and skills. As an attacking midfielder, he further combined his talents with heading ability and free-kick mastery to be one of the most complete offensive players ever.

He made the famed Liverpool side of the 1980s look like amateurs in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup. He also won the South American equivalent of the European Cup, the Copa Libertadores, and four league titles.

3. Johann Cruyff, Netherlands

Full name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (internationally spelled Cruyff)

Life: April 25, 1947–March 24, 2016

Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)

Playing positions: Forward, attacking midfielder

Johann Cruyff had the skill, control and strength of Zidane and the dribbling and pace of George Best. He was the total footballer, combining a sublime gracefulness with a clinical ability and calculating intelligence. He was a prolific goalscorer as well, scoring 401 goals in 710 appearances from attacking midfield. He won three European Cups and 10 league titles, but he wasn't able to gain an international medal.

2. Pelé, Brazil

Full name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento

Date of birth: October 23, 1940

Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

Playing positions: Forward, attacking midfielder

Pelé was the ultimate goal-scoring machine in his native Brazil, and he is often ranked the best player ever to grace the sport. He scored an incredible 1,282 goals in 1,366 games. His sheer power, strength, pace and dribbling ability saw him score all varieties of goal for fun.

He brought his goal scoring to the World Cup, which saw Brazil win the tournament in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He also won two Copa Libertadores and five league titles. These victories saw him within teams of highly talented players, including Garrincha and Carlos Alberto. He became a symbol for these teams, and as a result he is often accredited with all of the praise.

1. Diego Maradona, Argentina

Full name: Diego Armando Maradona

Date of birth: October 30, 1960

Height: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Playing positions: Attacking midfielder, second striker

Diego Maradona's talent was without a doubt the greatest ever seen in football. His dribbling ability was mesmerizing, his goal-scoring was unique and clinical, and his passing and crossing were precise—earning him many assists in his career. From attacking midfield he scored 345 goals in 680 games.

With a much more difficult career than Pelé, he still won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina as well as three league titles and one UEFA Cup with Napoli. Against England, he scored one of the greatest goals of all time.

Honorable Mentions

Many players marginally missed out on making this list. Honorable mentions should certainly go to:

  • Eusébio: Striker, Portugal
  • Marco van Basten: Striker, Netherlands
  • Garrincha: Winger, Brazil
  • Dennis Bergkamp: Striker, Netherlands
  • Rivaldo: Attacking midfielder, forward, Brazil
  • Gerd Müller: Striker, Germany
  • Ronaldo: Striker, Brazil
  • Romário: Striker, Brazil
  • Giuseppe Meazza: Forward, Italy

Possible Future Additions

Current players making a case to join this list in the future would include:

  • Lionel Messi: Forward, Argentina
  • Ronaldo: Forward, Portugal
  • Andrés Iniesta: Central midfielder, Spain

Final Thoughts

In summary, the beautiful game has witnessed many geniuses on the field. Whether you are a football fan or not, these videos should demonstrate the artistic brilliance and unique talent shown by the best players of all time.

While some of the picks may be controversial, remember this is a top 10 list of the best football players, not the greatest. While pure ability and talent often result in trophies, so does being in a team of other talented players. If Messi won a World Cup, it would make him a greater player, but it wouldn't make him a more talented player.

Top 100 List

© 2012 Thomas Swan

Comments

hearn says on September 16, 2020:

1. Maradona

2.Messi

3. Pele

goat232 on September 16, 2020:

maradona goat

human on September 13, 2020:

Of course Cruyff and Maradona, Maradona carried Argentina Cruyff is legendary, Pelé is a fraud that got carried by Garrincha and the others, Bad defenders and no offside rule...

Rohin on September 07, 2020:

1. Pele

2.maradona

3. Messi

Naseem on August 21, 2020:

Pele

Zabadin zuban on August 11, 2020:

From the videos shown, I found Pele and Johan cutjf interesting ..

Dave on August 07, 2020:

What is this where is Christiano Ronaldo, Leonel Messi, Ronaldo???

Goku on August 04, 2020:

Leo Messi- GOAT

We are lucky to see real god of soccer playing

MasterMind on July 31, 2020:

If Luiz Ronaldo misses top ten then it is biased.

Teumay kindeya on July 25, 2020:

Leo messi is the only best and complete player in the history of sport.

Emmano LMJ 10 on July 11, 2020:

Messi and Ronaldo are the real goats I admire Ronaldo but Messi is the best

Siddhant Singh on July 09, 2020:

Every thing is correct just the Ronaldihino is not in top 3.

Durva on June 26, 2020:

3 World Cups, 2 Americas Cup, 2 Intercontinentals clubs, 6 Brazilian championship and more 1200 goals.

Only one G.O.A.T: *** PELÉ ***

PD on June 19, 2020:

MESSIAH IS THE ALMIGHTY GOD OF WORLD SPORT

Tita Benzema on May 31, 2020:

christiano Ronaldo is the king of all time he is always there when they need him and adapt to all system of football

Benson Victor on May 03, 2020:

Zinedine Zidane

Joshua on April 24, 2020:

Messi and Pelé the real goat Ronaldo not so good

Mekail on April 24, 2020:

Messi is the best of all time

DAKWEN HEZEKIAH YUNANA on April 20, 2020:

LIONEL MESSI THE REAL G.O.A.T

Dave on April 11, 2020:

A lot of young people never saw George best play I did he was the most gifted I’ve ever seen and Eusebio so natural pele was the best though

Peter Hofmann 43 on March 08, 2020:

I can not find GERD MÜLLER. He is the best striker which ever existed, making goals out of the strangest situations and with a goal-statistic per game, which nobody has ever reached until now. And this player is even not mentioned here??????? I can not understand.

john on January 19, 2020:

Ronaldo is a beast but Messi is better.

Patrick on December 30, 2019:

Maradona is the king of kings

Jeremiah F Joe on December 30, 2019:

Andry Leona Messi is the best football player ever in football record.

Joel on November 02, 2019:

Ronaldiniho will always be the God of football

DH 10 on September 21, 2019:

Obviously messi,,,, because he is out of the world.

Naim Garcia on September 08, 2019:

I don’t understand why Messi isn’t here, no one is or was as good as him

Mateen Ali on September 05, 2019:

Best of the best is only one genius the original ronaldo from brazil

JANET on August 12, 2019:

1,PELE,2,RONALDO,3,WHAT EVER YOU KNOW

Virginia Cahill on August 06, 2019:

I do not know what the world is coming to with all this men stuff it is men this and men that but I will tell you Mia Hamm should be on this list

james Green on July 17, 2019:

Pele then Ronaldiniho

Surendra Malkarenkar on July 16, 2019:

1 is ronaldo and 2 pele

FMS on July 13, 2019:

PELÉ is THE best/greatest football player EVER! Search through internet and you'll see.

Jeffre on July 09, 2019:

1. Messi 2. Whatever you think

Alex on June 25, 2019:

Rubish article 1.Pele 2.Maradona 3.Zidane

Ishan on June 24, 2019:

I think maradona because i like messi

Zid on June 16, 2019:

1. Pele 2.Cr7 3.Messi 4. Maradona

5. Cruyff 6. De Stefano 7. Beckenbaur

8. Zidane 9. Ronaldo 10. Garrincha

Vaughn K on June 12, 2019:

rubbish--Maradona--better than Pele--Maradona had no right foot and couldn't head the ball--anywhere close as Pele

khan Amjad on June 10, 2019:

1.Pele 2. Maradona 3.Messi 4.Zidane 5.Ronaldo 6.C.Ronaldo 7.Zico 8.Ronaldindo 9.Cruyff 10.Di Stefano 11.Beckenbaner 12.Michel Platine 13.Xavi

Abdi on May 30, 2019:

1 pele 2 maradona 3 ronaldo 4 c.ronaldo 5 messi

unanimous on February 02, 2019:

pele 1

firstname surname on September 10, 2017:

Pele is better than Maradona

hakan on August 30, 2017:

1 messi

2 c.ronaldo

3 ronaldo

4 pele

5 d.maradona

6johan crıyff

7 franz beckenbauer

9 alfredo di stefano

10 zico

Kaan on August 27, 2017:

1 messi

2 ronaldo

3 c.ronaldo

4 pele

5 d.maradona

6johan crıyff

7 franz beckenbauer

9 alfredo di stefano

10 zico

11 puskas

12 zidane

13 eusebio

14 michel platini

15 boby charlton

16 lothar matthaus

17 ruud gullit

18 franco baresi

19 paolo maldini

20 marco van basten

mattew on August 04, 2017:

george best is overrated in your list

gabriel fernandez on July 10, 2017:

george best is 10th? really ? eusebio,lothar matthaus,ronaldo fenomeno,cristiano ronaldo,karl heinz rummenigge,paolo maldini,franco baresi,gerd müller,ruud gullit are much better than george best

english people are overrated.

You must be english/british

youssef from morocco on May 29, 2015:

good classification , but i think ronaldo should be in your list .

matt on July 26, 2014:

None of the older players would survive in today's game, pele would struggle to get into the starting 11 of a champions league team. the modern game is faster/ more skilful and better in every way to the glacial style of football played in the past.

darren , on July 20, 2014:

right the main man missin g is John Charles who would probably make the team twice if experts were asked , was one of best in world at both central defence and centre forward, sorry but really don't know what the fasination with pele is , if he had succeeded in a big european league then maybe , and any player would of looked good in the Brazil team he played in . don't even think he was top Brazilian of his day , just a mention that John Charles has been voted as Italy's best ever foreign player , ,but he can't get in above certain others. will agree that Maradona best ever , as he played in Italy and Spain , and in Italy performed miracles and was the major force behind Argentina winning world cup , Messi is protected in spain and hasn't really set the world alight internationally , but as for Ronaldo even though i'm loathe to say it he has exelled in both the EPL and LA LIGA ..so i would say maradona best closely followed by John Charles. .the final 8 places is a toss up BUT IN MY OPINION BOTH PELE AND AS YET MESSI UNDESERVING OF A PLACE....and please b4 people react to Pele's omission can you give a reason which marks him as special . PERSUADE ME

M_mali on May 02, 2014:

maradona is the best player for ever

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on April 20, 2014:

Thank you for a beautiful hub. Top 10 Best Football Players Of Time. You did an outstanding article about sports. Specially, the world cup is coming soon in our marvelous Brazil. I love it. Thank you Mr. Thomas Swan.

joe on January 30, 2014:

Ronaldinho is the best ever

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on October 28, 2013:

I understand that the list contains some of the best football players, but I must say that two of the most renowned players are missing in the list.

The list is not complete without these two names - Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.

FootyPundit13 from London on October 08, 2013:

Although I understand your reasoning, I think that footballers these days are far superior to those of the old days. My list would be:

1. Messi

2. Ronaldo

3. Pele

4. Maradona

5. Cruyff

Daniel Cutter on May 16, 2013:

11. Eusebio

12. Franz Beckenbauer

13. Zinedine Zidane

14. Franco Baresi

15. Didi

16. Giuseppe Meazza

17. Bobby Charlton

18. Zico

19. Sandro Mazzola

20. Stanley Matthews

LuisS on May 05, 2013:

Maradona #1 DAFUG. We all know Pele was the best ever.3 WC more than 1000 goals. Maradona was good but Can't put him in # one Come on who ever made the list.

#1.Pele

#2.Maradona

#3.Beckenbhauer

#4.Zidane

#5.Ronaldinho. he did motivate Barcelona even though iam a Madrid fan.

CCahill from England on April 30, 2013:

Yup i guess removing personal bias, upholds the integrity of the article

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 30, 2013:

CCahill, yes, I've come to regard Platini as a rather shallow character too. He seems old fashioned, and marginally racist against the English. I don't let that affect this list though. It's only about talent. Maradona was a cheat and a druggy, but his talent was the greatest (in my opinion).

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 30, 2013:

touregoddard, I agree that artistry is an important component when judging a player's talent. It's not everything though. I couldn't help thinking that Zidane could have scored more (look at players like Lampard), and he did lack a bit of pace. Bergkamp was a very artistic player and didn't make the top 10, so I think I've ranked Zidane highly, and those above I think are rightly ranked higher.

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 30, 2013:

Good lists Andy and pmarinov. Andy, that's a lot of Brazilians in your top 10! pmarinov, Ronaldo was excellent but I couldn't place him above Puskas for goalscoring ability, and the way Ronaldo's career ended was very disappointing to see.

CCahill from England on April 30, 2013:

No matter how good Platini was, i just can't honor him given his corrupt FIFA connections :P

touregoddard from New York on April 29, 2013:

I'd rank Zidane much higher on the list. When you talk about artistry I don't think any player played the game with more art than Zinedine Zidane. Maradona and the others were all wonderful players, but the variety in Zidane's technique surpasses them all. IMO.

Blogger at Best from Detroit MI on April 28, 2013:

Great hub and topic.

Here is my Top 5:

1 - Pele

2 - Maradona

3 - Zidane

4 - Ronaldo

5 - Platini

Andy on April 28, 2013:

1. Ronaldo

2. Maradona

3. Pele

4. Puskas

5. DiStefano

6. Garrincha

7. Beckenbauer

8. Best

9. Romario

10. Platini

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 26, 2013:

Agreed, I have added Romario to the honorable mentions at the end. Cheers for the comment.

Danny8oy1 on April 26, 2013:

I think that Romario deserves a mention considering the amount he managed to achieve in his career

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 22, 2013:

Damn, I'd just written a long reply to everyone who commented, but deleted it by closing two tabs instead of one. Thank you to everyone who commented.

Oliver Reed on April 21, 2013:

Its very difficult to actually determine the best 10 footballers as there are so many "genius" players there. So someone has to miss out. I think its a good list, and the current players are quite rightly not involved. Really enjoyed reading.........

Oliver

zidanohec on March 16, 2013:

are you serious??!!!Zidane is 9th!!!

he is the best ball controller in the history of the game...you might argue between him, pele, and maradona, but no doubt Zidane football is the one you'll most enjoy watching

Socrates on March 05, 2013:

All you so called experts here arguing over who's the best seem to have missed an obvious player who should be in the top 10. ROMARIO. Not only did he win numerous trophies and leagues he also won the world cup and was top scorer in that tournament. Was FIFA player of the year, not to mention a prolific goal scorer at club and international level and has scored over 1000 career goals. He is second to Pele in the most international goals for Brazil and is probably the most talented, skillful and technically gifted penalty box striker ever.

Tomas on February 24, 2013:

Ronaldo R9 Phenomeno is the best ever.

Daveyc2001 on January 15, 2013:

GUYS, MESSI IS NOT ON THE LIST AS HIS CAREER IS STILL IN PROGRESS, AS THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE HAS SAID MULTIPLE TIMES.

For me i think it's a very hard argument to compare different generations. Players today are fitter and faster however in previous years, rugby tackling was pretty much accepted as a challenge. You could argue that Best, Cruyff n Maradona etc would be even better in today's game if defenders were reluctant to even tackle them. On the other hand I doubt that the goal scorers on the list would amass anywhere near the same ratio as defending is far superior now.

I think the argument for Messi as number one is a bit premature though. Yes, he's the best in the world today however he is surrounded by arguably the best midfield ever assembled who feed him the ball at his pearl. When he plays for Argentina, he's great but not 'best ever' great!!

For me it's Diego.

Maradona took average Argentina and Napoli sides and won the World Cup and Italian league respectfully. This at a time when ever defender he came up against was instructed to 'take his legs' .

And re Rooney!!! I initially thought that comment was a joke but have since read it again and realised that someone actually believes that he should be mentioned in the same breath as Pele and Zidane, one of the most asinine comments I have ever read!! Wayne Rooney would struggle to be named in the top 10 English players of the last 20 years never mind this list. Gazza, Robson, Waddle, Gerrard, Shearer, Barnes, Lineker, Scholes, Lampard, Owen (on his day he was phenomenal) would all be before him in my opinon. In fact i think if he weren't English then he wouldn't even make most peoples top 10 for the EPL right now!!

lalalala on January 14, 2013:

CMON U HAVE TO PUT MESSI IN THE TOP TEN MESSI IS A FRICKIN LEGEND.

Daniel Cutter on January 05, 2013:

1. Pele

2. Diego Maradona

3. Alfredo di Stefano

4. Lionel Messi

5. Johann Cruyff

6. George Best

7. Ferenc Puskas

8. John Charles

9. Garrincha

10. Michel Platini

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on December 22, 2012:

Thanks for the comments. Baggio and Van Basten would be top 15, as well as Eusebio and Garrincha. People look for top 10 lists though, not top 15. Also if I was to add another 5 videos, this page would be even slower to load than it is. I suppose I could split into 3 pages, but I doubt it would be as popular then. Ronaldo and Ronaldinho... good, but more top 30, maybe top 20 at a stretch. Players like Hagi, Figo, Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup were of the same calibre as Ronaldinho. Ronaldo is probably top 20 though. It all depends on the era you grew up in. Players get over-rated if you watched them when you were 10 years old, and the two Ronnies certainly got hyped.

As for Messi, I hope he does light up the World Cup in Brazil 2014. It's what we all want to see. It's still the biggest tournament in the world, and it deserves to see his ability. Their defense certainly are shaky though. If I was the Argentina coach, I'd be experimenting a lot with my forward and midfield lines. Either play Messi with 3 attacking mids and two DMs, or play 442 with Aguero/Messi, two wingers that cut inside, and two DMs. They need the defensive mids though. They can rely on Messi to provide enough in attack. Otherwise they'll be losing games 4-3 and 3-2.

Oussama on December 21, 2012:

I agree with the list you made, pretty much all ur top 10 deserve to be in the list. I just suggest to make top 15 list since there is more then 10 players deserve to be on the list. they are all about the same level, they just play in different time different positions. I diffidently think the brazilian ronaldo and ronaldino deserve to be in the list, also players like van basten, roberto baghio could be in the list. with they new generation of course messi is number one and he deserve to be top 3 in the futur if not the best ever, cristiano ronaldo is a good player but a don't think he can make top 10 ALL time list, I really like iniesta to be included in top 20, cause he is a rare talent. One more thing Eto and roney are good players for sure but no way close to top ten, if we r going to name eto and roney then we can name another 100 players. they can be top ten player playing now but no way top 10 all time.

HENRY on December 19, 2012:

MESSI IS DA BEST

Richard-Murray on December 10, 2012:

Thomas, the greatest challenge for Messi is coming in Brazil. If he can win it with argentina in Brazil he will be deemed the best ever. Club side he is already a great but the true test of greatness is the ability to lift that golden magic above the world. If he can do this. oh wow! and i think his best chance will be in brazil, Russia is six years from now, near a decade, messi will be 31 he will not be as fast and his game demands speed, with his lack of natural strength. and interestingly , argentina will be quite matured then, di maria, aguero, higuain will be there. Defensively i am uncertain with argentina. I hope a brazil argentina final in brazil, destiny awaits:)

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on December 10, 2012:

Thanks for the comment. This is just retired football players. It's hard to judge a players career until it's over. Messi will probably enter at #1 though when he retires. His ability is second to none. Ronaldo might just make it into this list too.

seyi ojeleye on December 10, 2012:

all of you guys on this page are definitely oldies, and not followed football in the past 20 years, are you telling me that ronaldinho, ronaldo delima, messi, does not stand a chance on that list, i don't think so.

Don Sata on December 07, 2012:

Maradona was very skilled but certainly not the best. His trajectory is very irregular, he had very bad sportsmanship and his socres fall short compared to other great players.

Maradona is praised by weak egos because he is very egocentric.

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on December 01, 2012:

Thanks for the comment! I gave Ronaldo and Eusebio honorable mentions, and Eusebio was very close to getting in the top 10. Figo is more of a top 40 player for me. If I mentioned him I'd probably have to mention others like Ronaldinho, Laudrup, Hagi, Stoichkov, Weah, etc.

thecollegeway on November 30, 2012:

I think that Eusebio deserves a mention as well! The Brazilian Ronaldo and Luis Figo were also quite good... maybe they could at least get an honorable mention!

Ola on November 21, 2012:

ZIDANE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN FRANCE --- BORN IN MARSEILLE ON JUNE 23, 1972. So please friends, stop the nonsense!

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on November 02, 2012:

Well Zidane played for France his whole career. I don't call him French anyway. Di Stefano is generally regarded as Argentinian. He began his career with River Plate, and represented Argentina at international level. He only represented Spain later in his career.

jose on November 02, 2012:

Zidane is from Algeria,he weren't born in France. But ok...you can say that Zidane is from France because he played in his national team,but then Di Stefano is from Spain...change it in your description

JG on October 27, 2012:

Pele will always be regarded as the all-time greatest footballer, like it or not.

Anyone who says otherwise is just willing to be different or trying to attract attention.

It makes A LOT more sense to make a point for Pele as the greatest football player ever than Maradona. No question about the.

PS. I'm glad you included Zico on your list. Probably the most underrated football player in History, because he failed to win a WC.

harry saadi on October 27, 2012:

messi

maradonna

pele

cruyff

bockenbauer

ronaldo

van basten

lev yashin

zidane

platini

eusebio

best

puskas

don z on October 26, 2012:

messi

maradona

pele

cruyff

stefano

best

luiz ronaldo

backenbauer

zidane

(puskas.eusobio)

Néstor on October 06, 2012:

Para mi personalmente Messi y Maradona son los mejores, son los únicos jugadores en los que he podido observar la capacidad de salir gambeteando desde la mitad de la cancha hasta patear y hacer goles (Maradona en reiteradas ocasiones aunque solo vean el gol contra Inglaterra), son muy distintos al resto, llevan la pelota atada al pie como ningún otro jugador, pueden pasarse con facilidad a 4 jugadores. Messi la temporada pasada fue el jugador que mas cantidad de goles oficiales marco en total, 83 goles y casi 40 asistencias. por otra parte e visto varios videos de otros grandes, enormes jugadores como Zidane, Garrincha, Cruyff , Platini, Baggio Cristiano ronaldo, Schiaffino y no vi en ellos tal capacidad. Pele y Zico fueron quizás los mejores delanteros, quienes tenían muy buena precisión al disparar al arco pero ninguno de ellos son como Maradona y Messi.

Esta es mi humilde opinión, para mi ellos dos son los mejores, pero no significa que lo sean para todos. Un saludo para todos, gracias.

FootballisABeauty on September 22, 2012:

As I expected so many comments. Happy to see Maradona at #1 :)

Daniel on September 20, 2012:

I think Jorge "El mágico" Gonzalez deserves a place in the list. The salvadorian born was technically similar to Maradona. I think Garrincha, who led Brazil to achieve WC1962, could be instead Zico or Platini. Cristiano Ronaldo never could be in a "top 10 best players of all time list", he is just a noob compared to this real "cracks".

rudimanukwari on September 07, 2012:

I don't really know how pele, maradona, cruyf, zico playing. everyday time born a star player, i know zidane when playing at juventus, then real madrid, world cup 2006 vs italy. When france won world cup and euro.

I think he is best player (playmaker) ever born on earth, full skill. And now best player ever born on earth is Messi but different position (striker). irrefutable!! for united fans, visit our site about full united http://www.unitedhot.com/

But messi Messi not won the title with Argentina. Zidane Title: World Cup, euro, serie A, Laliga, Champion League...Complete

nwa on September 04, 2012:

really zedan is legend

IOwn from My laptop in the UK on September 03, 2012:

As good as Rooney is, he simply has not done enough to be on that list, especially with the kind of talented players on it! Besides, there are better players than Rooney around who are not on the list either, Iniesta?

CCahill from England on July 31, 2012:

I imagine Rooney is close but hasn't yet done enough imo and that's as a fan who has his name of the back of their shirt :)

He still has plenty of time and in that time he will need some international success and a little more individual dominance to gain a domestic cup, rather than a collective team effort

Icematikx from United Kingdom, Staffordshire on July 31, 2012:

No wayne rooney!?! He's awesome!

OutDaremagazine from United Kingdom on July 30, 2012:

sorry, typo! FAIR*

OutDaremagazine from United Kingdom on July 30, 2012:

I think Zidane is pretty far at 9, i had him in the same position myself. There is no logical argument that can put Zidane before Maradona or Pele, and to be fair im not sure he can be argued before players like Cruyff, Di Stefano and Puskas. Beyond that is is subjective probably..

Aaryan khorasani on July 30, 2012:

come on mate don't embarase your self. how u dare to put zidane at number 9??????? with out any doubt he come in top 3. didn't u read the comments? do u want me to make a video on his football career and compare it to other players along with the big succeeds he had in his career then send it to u?????sorry for my bad english.

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