Top 10 Greatest Footballers of All Time

Top 10 Greatest Footballers of All Time

Choosing the greatest soccer player of all time isn’t an easy task as many outstanding football players have graced the globe with their skills proved to be difficult. Explore the careers and accomplishments of the top 10 Greatest Footballers of All Time.

These sportsmen, who range from legendary goal scorers to skillful playmakers, have not only helped to define periods but have also come to represent the absolute best that the beautiful game has to offer.

Greatest Footballers of All Time

This list promises to be a celebration of unmatched talent, unwavering spirit, and the lasting legacy of individuals who have carved their names into the sport’s sacred halls, whether you’re an ardent fan or a casual spectator.

1) Pele


Pelé, who is universally recognized as the best football player of all time, has had an unmatched influence on the game. The legendary Brazilian scored over 1,000 goals in his career and won three FIFA World Cups.

Pelé stood out for having a special combination of talent, athleticism, and goal-scoring prowess. He was a real phenomenon with his dribbling, quickness, and precision finishing.

With 77 goals in 92 games, he is Brazil’s all-time top goal scorer. With 643 goals from 659 games, he is Santos’ all-time leading goalscorer at the club level. He guided Santos to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores and the 1962 and 1963

Intercontinental Cup during a golden age for the team. Throughout his career, he averaged nearly a goal per game, and his 1,279 goals in 1,363 games hold the Guinness World Record.

2) Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Maradona is renowned for his exceptional talent and capacity to impact games on his own. In the 1986 World Cup, he guided Argentina to victory, showcasing his unparalleled brilliance with the “Hand of God” goal and the “Goal of the Century.”

Maradona had superb ball control up close, superb dribbling, and a natural sense of how to read the game. When Maradona moved to Barcelona in 1982 for £5 million, he became the first player in history to establish a transfer fee record twice. Then, in 1984, he moved to Napoli for £6.9 million.

He is regarded as an icon at Napoli. He transformed the then-downtrodden, unpopular, and unfancied club into one of the top club teams in Europe and the best in the Serie A, the strongest league in Europe at the time.

Maradona led Napoli to their maiden Serie A championship in 1986–87.  Stadio Diego Armando Maradona was the new name given to Napoli’s primary stadium following Maradona’s passing in 2021.

3) Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Messi is considered one of the all-time greatest football players because of his low center of gravity, close ball control, and ability to create opportunities out of nothing.

Messi has continuously shown off his incredible talent, breaking innumerable records, collecting multiple individual honors, and most recently helping Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

His ability to score goals, dribble, and see the field well has made him one of the most important players of his generation.

The football player with the most individual honors is Lionel Messi. He currently holds the record for the most Ballon d’Or awards (seven), which are among the sport’s most coveted honors.

At the age of 19, he scored one of the greatest hattricks in soccer history at the El Clásico. Lionel Messi is the ultimate player in soccer history and is simply unbeatable when he’s on his game.

4) Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved remarkable success at the club and international levels thanks to his physique, athleticism, and extraordinary work ethic.

Throughout his career, he has taken home multiple titles and individual honors. He is well-known for his strong strikes, aerial abilities, and unwavering desire.

Ronaldo CR7 is the all-time top scorer for Real Madrid and is arguably the greatest goal-scorer of all time. At Euro 2016, Ronaldo guided Portugal to their first major victory.

Along with leading Portui to victory in the 2019 UEFA Nations League, he also won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s best scorer in 2020. In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals scored by a male soccer player for his country (117).

5) Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

The Dutch icon Cruyff played a key role in the development of Total Football, a method of play that completely changed the game. Cruyff was well known for his refined technique, elegance, and tactical acumen.

Cruyff also had remarkable vision and dribbling skills. In addition to leading the Netherlands to the 1974 World Cup final, he was a major contributor to Ajax’s supremacy in the 1970s.

Johan Cruyff is among the soccer players with the most assists in football history. Cruyff achieved great success as Ajax’s manager and then Barcelona’s manager when he ended his playing career in 1984.

Ajax won the 1995 UEFA Champions League under his leadership. He created the “Dream Team” while he was at Barcelona, and the team went through a fantastic period. 

6) Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano

Spanish forward Di Stefano, who was born in Argentina, played a major role in Real Madrid’s dominance in European football in the 1950s and 1960s.

Alfredo was a total player, thriving in all facets of the game, including playmaking, goal-scoring, and defense. Di Stefano was crucial to Real Madrid’s five straight European Cup wins because of his adaptability, wit, and leadership.

7) Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

The current sweeper or libero role was revolutionized by the German legend Beckenbauer. Known as “Der Kaiser,” he was a skilled ballplayer who also had a strong defensive game.

The vision, poise, and ability of Beckenbauer to control the game from a distance were unparalleled. As a coach and player, he captured the World Cup and rose to fame in German football.

There are just three players who have won both as a manager and as a player in the FIFA World Cup: Beckenbauer. In 1974, he raised the World Cup title as captain, and in 1990, he did the same as manager.

8) Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane had a superb first touch, dribbling abilities, feint application, and inventiveness.  Despite being right-footed by nature, he could use either foot.

He was able to perform shots and volleys with remarkable force and accuracy thanks to his skill and coordination, especially when they were made from outside the penalty area.

He scored the game-winning left-foot volley in the 2002 Champions League final, which is regarded as one of the top 10 goals in football history. 

With two goals in the championship match, Zidane helped France win the 1998 World Cup. In addition, he was voted Player of the Tournament and won UEFA Euro 2000. At the 2006 World Cup, he was also awarded the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament.

9) Michel Platini

Michel Platini

Platini was a French maestro who was well-known for his amazing technique, goal-scoring acumen, and vision. He was crucial to Juventus’ success in the 1980s, helping them win numerous national and international championships.

Platini is regarded as one of the best midfielders in history because of his superb passing, tempo-controlling abilities, and ability to take excellent free kicks.

10) Ronaldo de Lima

Ronaldo de Lima

Ronaldo de Lima was a full-fledged player who can finish from any angle and is comfortable with either foot. Arguably the most successful pure goal scorer of the past 50 years, if not all time, Ronaldo Nazário de Lima cemented his position in history.

The staggering number of accolades he received, both individually and collectively: the youngest player—20 years old—to win FIFA’s World Player title. He took home three victories.

Ronaldo was the La Liga top scorer in 1996–1997 after scoring an incredible 47 goals in 49 appearances for Barcelona!  Because of his reputation in his position, the Brazilian is regarded as one of the deadliest attackers the world has ever seen.


Numerous other greatest footballers of all time are also deserving of recognition, including Michel Laudrup, Bobby Charlton, Andres Iniesta, Gerd Müller, Thierry Henry, Denis Bergkamp, George Weah, and many more.

Football’s great past and the innumerable players who have enriched the game with their extraordinary skills are what make it so beautiful.

Also Read: Footballers with the Most Trophies Win

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