athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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List Rules Any current or former professional soccer players from around the world are eligible.

List of the greatest soccer players of all time is ranked by soccer (football) fans worldwide. Who are the best soccer players ever? The goal is to determine the greatest footballers to ever play the game. The list establishes individual rankings of specific soccer players and helps answer the question, "Who is the best soccer player in the world?" This list includes some of the most famous soccer players in the world, but fame doesn't necessarily determine talent.

Though many more people are exposed to top soccer players during major international events like the Olympics or the World Cup (or even UEFA's European tournaments), there are numerous soccer/football leagues around the world made up of thousands of professional athletes. Any of these soccer players are eligible for the list, even if they are mainly well known in certain regions or nations. In America, other than that nation's own Major League Soccer league, the English Premier League and its athletes are most likely to be popular, recognizable, and familiar - though the marriage of David Beckham to Posh Spice makes all the people he plays with more recognizable to American fans.
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Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder - Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard is a Dutch football manager and former player. Rijkaard has played for Ajax, Real Zaragoza and Milan, and represented his national side 73 times, scoring 10 goals. In his ...more

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Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder - Clarence Clyde Seedorf is a Dutch former footballer and former manager of A.C. Milan regarded by many as one of the best midfielders of his generation. Seedorf is one of the most decorated Dutch ...more

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Arjen Robben is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Arjen Robben Winger, Forward Midfielder - Arjen Robben is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Netherlands national team. Robben has appeared at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 UEFA European ...more

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Neymar is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward - Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and is the captain for the Brazil national ...more

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Jari Litmanen is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jari Litmanen Forward, Midfielder - Jari Olavi Litmanen is a Finnish former footballer. He was the first-choice captain of the Finland national football team between 1996–2008 in an international career that ran from 1989 to 2010. He is ...more

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Miroslav Klose is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Miroslav Klose Forward - Miroslav Josef Klose is a German professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Lazio. Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the 2014 ...more

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George Weah is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward - George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a Liberian humanitarian, politician, and an ex-footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995 he ...more

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Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Philipp Lahm Defender - Philipp Lahm is a German professional footballer who plays as a full back or defensive midfielder for Bayern Munich and formerly for the German national team. He is the captain of his club, having ...more

59
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Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Bobby Moore Defender - Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore OBE was an English professional footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 ...more

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Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder - Roberto Rivellino is a former Brazilian footballer. He was one of the stars of Brazil's 1970 FIFA World Cup winning team. Rivellino currently works as a pundit for Brazilian TV Cultura. The son of ...more

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Edwin van der Sar is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper - Edwin van der Sar OON is a Dutch former footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United. He is the most capped player in the Netherlands national team's history. ...more

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Wayne Rooney is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Wayne Rooney Forward - Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team. He has played much of his career as a forward, but he has also ...more

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Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder - Giovanni "Gianni" Rivera is an Italian former football midfielder, who was mostly utilised as an offensive playmaker; he was awarded the Ballon d'Or, one of the most prestigious individual ...more

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Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender - Carles Puyol i Saforcada is a Spanish retired footballer. Mainly a central defender he could also play on either flank, especially as a right back. He served as the longtime team captain for his only ...more

65
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Sócrates is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sócrates Forward, Midfielder - Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, MD, simply Sócrates, was a Brazilian footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. His doctorate in medicine and his ...more

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Jürgen Klinsmann is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jürgen Klinsmann Forward - Jürgen Klinsmann is a German football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of the United States national team. As a player, Klinsmann played for several prominent clubs in ...more

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Thomas Müller is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thomas Müller Forward, Midfielder - Thomas Müller is a German footballer who plays for Bayern Munich and the German national team. Müller plays as a midfielder or forward, and has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles ...more

68
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Didier Drogba is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didier Drogba Forward - Didier Yves Drogba Tébily, known as Didier Drogba, is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea as a striker, and is the all-time top scorer and former captain of ...more

69
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Gabriel Batistuta is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gabriel Batistuta Forward - Gabriel Omar Batistuta, nicknamed Batigol as well as El Ángel Gabriel, is a retired professional footballer. The prolific Argentine striker played most of his club football at Fiorentina in ...more

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Paul Scholes is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paul Scholes Midfielder - Paul Scholes is a retired English footballer who played his entire professional career for Manchester United and is currently co-owner of Salford City. Born in Salford, but later moving to Langley, ...more

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Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Bastian Schweinsteiger Playmaker, Midfielder - Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the German national team, serving as captain. A right-footed player, he usually plays as ...more

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Samuel Eto'o is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Samuel Eto'o Forward - Samuel Eto'o Fils is a Cameroonian footballer who plays as a striker for Sampdoria and formerly for the Cameroon national team. He is the most decorated African player of all time having won the ...more

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Robin van Persie is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Robin van Persie Forward - Robin van Persie is a Dutch footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United and is the captain of the Netherlands national team. He is a youth product of Feyenoord. Having joined Arsenal in ...more

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Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward - Giuseppe "Peppino" Meazza, also known as il Balilla, was an Italian footballer playing mainly for Internazionale in the 1930s, scoring 242 goals in 365 games for the club. He led Italy to ...more

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Petr Čech is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Petr Čech Forward, Goalkeeper - Petr Čech is a Czech footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Chelsea and the Czech Republic national team. Čech previously played for Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague, and Rennes. He ...more

76
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David Villa is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Villa Forward - David Villa Sánchez is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for American club New York City in Major League Soccer. He is nicknamed El Guaje because as a youngster he ...more

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Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder - Jair Ventura Filho, better known as Jairzinho, is a former association footballer. A quick, powerful winger, he was a member of the legendary Brazilian national team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup, ...more

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Frank Lampard is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Lampard Midfielder - Frank James Lampard is an English professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder or defensive midfielder for Manchester City. He is the all-time leading goalscorer for ...more

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Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Luis Suárez Winger, Forward Midfielder - Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan national team as a striker. In July 2014, Suárez moved to ...more

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Ruud van Nistelrooy is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud van Nistelrooy Forward - Rutgerus Johannes Martinus "Ruud" van Nistelrooy is a retired Dutch footballer and current assistant manager for the Dutch National Football Team. He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in ...more

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Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Alessandro Nesta Defender - Alessandro Nesta, Ufficiale OMRI is an Italian professional footballer. Widely considered to be one of the best centre backs of his time and also as one of the greatest defenders ever, he is best ...more

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Franck Ribéry is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franck Ribéry Forward, Midfielder - Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry, also known as Bilal Yusuf Mohammed as an adopted name since his conversion in 2006 to Islam, is a French footballer currently playing for German Bundesliga club ...more

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Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Fabio Cannavaro Defender - Fabio Cannavaro, Ufficiale OMRI is an Italian football coach and former player who is currently the head coach of Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. He is considered to be one of the greatest ...more

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Wesley Sneijder is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Wesley Sneijder Midfielder - Wesley Sneijder is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for the Turkish club Galatasaray and the Netherlands national team. He was named UEFA midfielder of the season and one of the three best ...more

85
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Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paulo Roberto Falcão Midfielder - Paulo Roberto Falcão is a Brazilian head coach and former footballer. He is widely considered one of the best players in Internacional and Roma history, and one of the most talented central ...more

86
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Robert Lewandowski is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Robert Lewandowski Forward - Robert Lewandowski is a Polish footballer who plays as striker for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and captains the Polish national team. After being the top scorer in the third and second tiers of ...more

87
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Gheorghe Hagi is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gheorghe Hagi Midfielder - Gheorghe Hagi is a Romanian former footballer, considered one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s and the greatest Romanian footballer of all time. Galatasaray fans ...more

88
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Alan Shearer is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Alan Shearer Forward - Alan Shearer OBE, DL is an English retired footballer. He played as a striker in the top level of English league football for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and for the England ...more

89
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Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder - Roberto Donadoni is an Italian football manager and former midfielder, who is currently in charge of Serie A club Parma. A complete winger, known for his pace, stamina, offensive capabilities, ...more

90
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Pavel Nedvěd is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pavel Nedvěd Midfielder - Pavel Nedvěd is a Czech retired footballer who played as a midfielder. Described as one of the best footballers of his generation, he is also regarded as one of the most successful players to emerge ...more

91
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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder - Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge is a German former football striker. His nicknames are "King Kalle". He had his greatest career success with German club Bayern Munich, where he won ...more

92
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Sergio Agüero is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sergio Agüero Forward - Sergio Leonel "Kun" Agüero Del Castillo is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Argentina national team. On 5 July ...more

93
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Michael Ballack is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Michael Ballack Midfielder - Michael Ballack is a retired German footballer. He is among the top goal scorers in the history of the German national team. Ballack wore the number 13 shirt for every team he has played for except ...more

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Hugo Sánchez is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Hugo Sánchez Forward - Hugo Sánchez Márquez is a Mexican former professional footballer and manager. He began his career playing for Pumas de la UNAM in 1976, and briefly on loan to the San Diego Sockers of ...more

95
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Mesut Özil is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Mesut Özil Midfielder - Mesut Özil is a German footballer who plays for English club Arsenal and the German national team. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national ...more

96
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Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder - Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Wales national team. Bale began his professional career at Southampton, playing at left-back and ...more

97
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Mario Kempes is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Mario Kempes Forward - Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi is a retired Argentine footballer. His father, Mario, also a footballer, inspired him to play from a young age. At the age of seven he began playing with a junior team and ...more

98
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Michael Laudrup is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Michael Laudrup Forward, Midfielder - Michael Laudrup is a retired Danish footballer and current manager of Qatar Stars League club Lekhwiya. During his playing career, Laudrup won league titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Real Madrid and ...more

99
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Sir Stanley Matthews is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sir Stanley Matthews Outside forward, Midfielder - Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as ...more

100
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Paolo Rossi is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Rossi Forward - Paolo Rossi is an Italian former footballer, who played as a forward. In 1982, he led Italy to the 1982 FIFA World Cup title, scoring six goals to win the Golden Boot as top goalscorer, and the Golden ...more