Best soccer players of all time: Who makes the list?

Soccer, or as it's called in many countries around the world – Football is the most popular sport on the planet with billions of fans in various countries. The sport has been traced back to ancient times, but it has been a pillar in many communities in recent decades. In this article, we will give you our suggestions for the best soccer players of all time in order.

Maradona is an Argentine footballer and manager, who is one of the recipients of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. He played for seven clubs in his senior career, including Barcelona, Napoli, and Argentinos Juniors (where he started). He has also managed the Argentina national football team among others.

Maradona has won multiple international and club honors, including a Copa del Rey title, two Serie A titles, FIFA World Cup in 1986, and others. He has also won many individual awards, like the 2020 Ballon d'Or Dream Team, Player of the Year multiple times, and so on. Diego Maradona recently passed away and the whole world was in mourning for the Argentinian star. He will always be remembered as one of the best soccer players of all time.

  • Pele

Pele's real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento and he is from Brazil. He played only for two teams in his senior career (Santos and New York Cosmos) and appeared in 560 matches overall. In those matches, he scored a total of 541 goals, which is impressive.

He is the recipient of the joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century award and many other individual honors. Pele also holds many records like most goals for the Brazil national team (77 or 95 including the friendlies) or most hat-tricks in world football (ninety-two).

The legend participated in four World Cups from 1958 to 1970 and Brazil won the tournament three of those times. He retired from football in 1977 and unlike other footballers didn't go into a managerial career, instead, he became a worldwide ambassador for soccer.

  • Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is the most famous and best footballer, who is still on the field to this day. He played his whole career in Barcelona and made the official team in 2004. Since then, he has made 516 appearances and scored 470 goals for Barça. Messi won the La Liga ten times, Copa del Rey seven times, the FIFA Club World Cup three times, and the Champions League four times with the Spanish club.

He also plays for the Argentina national team since 2005 and is currently their captain. Lionel Messi scored 71 goals for his country in international competitions. He has multiple Ballon d’Or awards, Golden Balls, player of the year, and top scorer awards. Messi also made the Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020. He is already considered one of the best soccer players of all time and he is still not finished with his senior career, like our previous picks.

  • Christiano Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese forward and the captain of the Portugal national team. He has been playing for them since 2003 and has scored over a hundred goals. Over the years he has played for various teams, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, and Sporting CP.

Ronaldo has multiple club honors, including five Champions League titles, two La Liga and Copa del Rey titles, and three Premier League titles. Individually he has won multiple awards like Ballon d’Or, four Golden Shoes, Player of the Century at the Globe Soccer Awards in 2020, and MVP in multiple leagues.

He has almost 800 scored goals in his senior career and holds the record for most goals (134) and assists (40) in the history of the Champions League. Christiano Ronaldo is also the first European player to score over a hundred international goals.

  • Zinedine Zidane

Zidane's nickname is Zizou and he is a former French footballer, who played for Real Madrid Bordeaux, Cannes, and Juventus. Currently, he is the manager of Real Madrid and he took the position ten years after he retired. He has played in three Euro Championships and three World Cups from 1996 to 2006 and he won the 1998 World Cup by scoring twice in the final match.

After his football career ended, he moved on to coaching and started with Real Madrid Castilla. After he took over the main team, his performance in his first two and a half seasons earned him the Best FIFA Men's Coach award in 2017 and was in second place in 2016 and 2018. He will be remembered as one of the best soccer players of all time.

  • Johan Cruyff

Cruyff was a Dutch footballer up until 1984 and a year later he started his coaching career. He played for many clubs, including Ajax and Barcelona, and after his retirement, he managed these teams, as well. He is considered one of football's greatest influences and his coaching methods helped shape the success of Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 and Ajax's international elevation in the 1990s.

  • Ronaldo

Ronaldo is a former Brazilian footballer who was nicknamed “O Fenômeno” and he played for multiple clubs, like Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan, etc. He also played in the Brazilian national team and participated in three World Cups and winning one in 2002. He was also one of the players named in the 2020 Ballon d’Or Dream Team and the Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award in 2018.

  • Ronaldinho

Another Brazilian legend on our list, Ronaldinho, participated in only two world cups but one of them in 2002. He was also the captain of Brazil for the 2008 Olympics, and they won a bronze medal that year. Over the years, he has played for multiple clubs, including Barcelona, PSG, Milan, Flamengo, etc. He has multiple awards and titles and most of them were won in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

  • Franz Beckenbauer

Beckenbauer is a former German footballer who started his career in Bayern Munich. Hee has won four Bundesliga titles, three European Cups, and one World Cup title in 1974. After retiring he moved on to management and in 1993, he came back to his first clubs, but this time as the manager.

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