best 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.
list ordered by

1
28,997 25,286
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

The Best Current Soccer Players The Best Athletes of All Time

2
40,386 24,627
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
27,363 17,350
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,295 8,780
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
6,457 7,401
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

6
18,123 11,443
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

7
4,969 3,605
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
25,096 20,587
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

9
23,086 15,855
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

10
19,986 14,122
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

11
22,991 13,554
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

12
9,248 6,708
George Best is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

13
6,007 4,398
Zico is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

14
3,052 2,431
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
868 976
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

Coolest Soccer Players The Creepiest Sports Mascots

16
25,464 18,385
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

17
787 777
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

18
1,812 1,602
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

19
6,667 5,246
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

20
6,670 4,972
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

21
4,370 2,972
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

22
4,814 3,277
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

23
1,407 1,343
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,713 1,596
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,286 1,185
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
418 462
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
329 228
Didi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

28
1,241 977
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

29
4,464 3,430
Romário is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

The Sexiest Female Soccer Players The Superstitions You Secretly Believe

30
8,150 5,551
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
9,937 5,304
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

32
1,546 1,340
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

33
256 207
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

34
2,145 1,614
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

35
186 147
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

36
205 153
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

37
460 417
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

38
728 699
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

39
7,795 4,711
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

40
9,884 7,343
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

41
241 176
Juan Alberto Schiaffino is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Juan Alberto Schiaffino Forward, Inside forward

42
8,800 6,600
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

43
797 701
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder

The Best Soccer Players from Colombia of All Time The Basic Social Rules Everyone Should Follow

44
216 132
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

45
6,352 4,672
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

46
4,155 3,344
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

47
307 239
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

48
11,414 9,281
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

49
345 298
Ranker Video
zanzarlad added Luigi Riva Forward - One of the top Italian players of all times, hard to believe he is not on the list,Italians should be ashamed for this ,you idiots!!!

50
770 628
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder