TOP 10 Best Soccer Players Of All Time

Football, or soccer as it’s known in some parts of the world, is by far the most popular sport globally with over 4 billion fans. The legends of football have inspired generations with their incredible talent, dedication and skill. But who are the greatest footballers of all time? Let’s take a look at 10 of the best.

TOP 10 All Time Best Soccer Players Of All Time

1 Pelé – Brazil’s Prodigious Talent


Pelé bursts into worldwide fame at 17 years old, scoring two goals in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup final win against Sweden. Nicknamed “The Black Pearl,” Pelé displays preternatural speed, balance, power and precision goalscoring ability. His feats include an uncanny ability to strike the ball perfectly with either foot and score improbable goals from awkward positions. Pelé leads Brazil to an unprecedented three World Cup trophies and retires with an astonishing 1,281 goals, cementing his place as one of football’s immortals.

2 Diego Maradona – Argentina’s Flawed Genius

diego maradona

Maradona captivates with his unpredictability and mesmerizing dribbling skills. His lower center of gravity, startling changes of pace and direction and ostensible disregard for the laws of physics astound defenders and fans alike. Maradona rises to prominence leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 with the infamous “Hand of God” goal followed by the “Goal of the Century” dribbling feat. His demons with drug addiction could not diminish his brilliance on the pitch and his status as a flawed footballing genius.

3 Lionel Messi – Barcelona’s Pint-Sized Maestro

lionel messi

Standing only 5 feet 7 inches, Messi overcomes his small stature with pace, balance, intelligence and a low center of gravity that allows him to slalom through defenses at will. A one-club man for Barcelona, Messi breaks goalscoring records with each passing season, winning countless trophies along the way with his combination of vision, pinpoint passing and lethal finishing ability with either foot. Still only in his 30s, Messi has already sealed his place among the football greats.

4 Mané Garrincha – Brazil’s Wizard of Dribbling

mané garrincha

Garrincha’s crooked legs did not prevent him from bewitching defenders with the ball. His improvisation and imagination allowed him to humiliate opponents with ease. Garrincha played in the shadow of Pelé for Brazil but shone brightly on football’s biggest stage. His standout World Cup performances were instrumental to Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 World Cup victories. Garrincha brought pure joy and endless entertainment to the “beautiful game.”

The Modern Football Era

As football became truly global in the 1990s and 2000s, televising matches around the world, a new generation of elite footballers captured the imagination of billions. Tactics evolved to become faster-paced and athleticism reached new peaks. Let’s explore some modern greats of the beautiful game.

5 Miroslav Klose – Germany’s Prolific Goal Poacher

miroslav klose

An unlikely football superstar, Klose’s slightly ungainly appearance belied his predatory instincts in the penalty area. Deft movement and timing his runs to perfection, Klose became the World Cup’s all-time leading goalscorer. Winning titles for club and country, the humble team player Klose earned respect wherever he played with his tireless work ethic and relentless hunger for goals.

6 Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal’s Physical Phenom

cristiano ronaldo

Ronaldo’s elite conditioning, power and drive set him apart from the competition. His obsession with self-improvement manifests itself in blistering pace and a perfectly sculpted physique. Ronaldo overwhelms opponents with stepovers and feints before unleashing his devastating shot. Scoring goals at a freakish rate season after season, Ronaldo dominates domestically and internationally for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, capturing every major trophy and individual honor.

7 Ronaldo – Brazil’s Phenomenal Striker


Simply known as “Ronaldo,” the legendary Brazilian striker battled back from career-threatening knee injuries to lead Brazil to a World Cup triumph in 2002, capturing the Golden Shoe award as the tournament’s top goalscorer along the way. Ronaldo celebrates goals with his signature finger wagging celebration after destroying defenses with his strength, speed and clinical finishing. During the 1990s and early 2000s, a healthy Ronaldo stood head and shoulders above his peers as the world’s best striker.

8 David Beckham – England’s Culture Icon

david beckham

David Beckham transcends football as a global icon, celebrity and fashion trendsetter, but first and foremost he boasted one of the deadliest right foots the game has ever seen. His movie-star looks and extravagant lifestyle captured the world’s attention, but Beckham backed it up by bending free kicks into the top corner from impossible angles along with providing pinpoint crossing for some of the greatest strikers of all time. His work ethic matched his talent, playing at the highest levels for over 20 years.

The Greatest of All Time?

As the game continues to evolve, outstanding talents emerge and stake their claim as the greatest ever footballer. Only time will tell if they can demonstrate the brilliance and longevity to unseat the legends at the top of the list.

9 Zinedine Zidane – France’s Magnificent Midfielder

zinedine zidane

Zidane pulls the strings from midfield with elegance and panache, dictating matches with short, crisp passing before showcasing close control and balance to drift past opponents. His signature pirouette move leaves defenders spinning in his wake. Zidane elevates France to an improbable World Cup title and Champions League trophy for Real Madrid with sublime performances. Despite his diminutive frame, one headbutt reminds us that the usually graceful Zidane also brought an edge to his game when competitive tensions ran high.

10 Neymar – Brazil’s Next Superstar


Neymar stands poised to stake his claim as Brazil’s next global superstar. His tricks and flicks entertain the highlight reels, but Neymar has substance behind the style. Excelling with both feet, Neymar unleashes long range rockets or slides perfect passes to set up goals. Growing up in poverty, Neymar never forgot his love for the game during his rapid rise to fame and fortune. If he can maintain fitness and drive, Neymar could write himself into football lore.

The Verdict?

Pelé, Maradona and Messi consistently rank as a clear triumvirate at the top any sensible footballing historian’s best ever player list. Modern training techniques and tactics continue to push the game forward. But for sheer skill and brain, it is hard to envisage anyone surpassing the magic Maradona conjured for both club and country. Messi comes closest to matching this brilliance in the modern era. Meanwhile, Pelé’s outrageous statistical achievements may never be challenged.

So there you have it – 10 football legends and the greatest footballer debate that rages on. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Who is the best footballer ever in your opinion?

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