The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

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List Criteria: Any current or former professional soccer players from around the world are eligible

This list focuses on the 'best' and 'greatest' players based on team achievements, individual awards and impact on the game. Making a list there is always some bias, therefore there will never the ultimate list, but after 10+ years watching the game this is my conclusion of what I believe are truly the 50 best players the world has witnessed. It is very hard to rank players in different positions at different eras, therefore impact and influence as well as popularity played a bigger role when deciding. Also no "if's'' were applied, merely what the players did on the pitch during their careers was put into consideration.

note: Talent and individual ability is not as important since 'all' players in this list share outstanding talent and ability in different areas and different ways.
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  1. 1
    Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #2 on the original list
    Lionel Messi Forward The Best soccer player the world has ever seen and will probably ever see

  2. 2
    Pelé is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #1 on the original list
    Pelé Forward, Midfielder Most successful footballer ever

  3. 3
    Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #3 on the original list
    Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder Bigger heart than any other player

  4. 4
    Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #8 on the original list
    Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder CR7 is a pure athlete

  5. 5
    Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #4 on the original list
    Zinedine Zidane Midfielder Greatest midfielder ever, team leader, superb technical ability, and a gifted mind at reading the game

  6. 6

    #7 on the original list
    Forward, Midfielder The Creator of “total football”

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  7. 7

    #5 on the original list
    Forward Best Striker Ever

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  8. 8

    #9 on the original list
    Defender, Sweeper Perhaps the most important German player to date,  Beckenbauer Revolutionized the role of attacking sweeper

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  9. 9

    #29 on the original list
    Midfielder Winner of 3 Balon Dor's, Platini was the perfect midfielder.

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  10. 10
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  11. 11

    #32 on the original list
    Right Wing, Midfielder One of the most underrated and badly marketed players ever. Garrincha's ability will never be matched PERIOD

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  12. 12
    Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #15 on the original list
    Marco van Basten Forward

  13. 13
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  14. 14
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  15. 15

    #6 on the original list
    Forward, Midfielder Had arguably two of the best years the game has seen, but lacked consistency. The first true 'showman' in soccer

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  16. 16
    George Best is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #13 on the original list
    George Best Midfielder Some say Maradona: Good, Pele: Better, Geroge: Best

  17. 17
    Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #16 on the original list
    Gerd Müller Forward

  18. 18
    Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #12 on the original list
    Andrés Iniesta Midfielder Scored the goal in the final for the first Spanish World Cup, Best player in Euro 2012, key FCBarcelona player

  19. 19

    #18 on the original list
    Midfielder The brain of the greatest barcelona & spanish national team

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  20. 20

    #22 on the original list
    Playmaker, Midfielder

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  21. 21
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  22. 22
    Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #46 on the original list
    Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

  23. 23
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  24. 24
    Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #30 on the original list
    Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

  25. 25
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  26. 26

    #122 on the original list
    Forward, Inside forward Not enough evidence to support this amazing player. However we know that he lead Italy to two World Cup victories

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  27. 27
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  28. 28
    Eric Cantona is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #34 on the original list
    Eric Cantona Forward, Midfielder

  29. 29
    Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #87 on the original list
    Franco Baresi Defender

  30. 30
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  31. 31

    #45 on the original list
    Defender, Forward, Midfielder

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  32. 32
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  33. 33
    Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #44 on the original list
    Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

  34. 34
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  35. 35
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  36. 36
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  37. 37
    Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #54 on the original list
    Carles Puyol Defender

  38. 38
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  39. 39
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  40. 40
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  41. 41
    Alessandro Del Piero is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #47 on the original list
    Alessandro Del Piero Forward

  42. 42
    Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #10 on the original list
    Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

  43. 43
    Paul Scholes is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #67 on the original list
    Paul Scholes Midfielder One of the most underrated and consistent players in the world of soccer. One of the most complete midfielders ever seen

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  44. 44
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  45. 45
    George Weah is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #98 on the original list
    George Weah Forward

  46. 46
    Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #90 on the original list
    Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

  47. 47
    Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

    #33 on the original list
    Lothar Matthäus Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

  48. 48
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  49. 49

    #19 on the original list
    Defender, Midfielder Perhaps the most prolific Left Back in the modern game

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  50. 50
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