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
30,915 27,017
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
43,861 26,162
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
29,137 18,189
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,849 10,121
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
19,030 11,970
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

6
7,036 8,528
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

7
20,512 14,650
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

8
5,460 4,191
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

9
6,459 4,902
Zico is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

10
9,762 7,227
George Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

11
7,113 5,314
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

12
5,196 3,566
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

13
24,350 14,398
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

14
3,406 3,063
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
24,234 16,368
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

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16
4,714 3,275
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

17
7,227 5,714
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

18
26,152 21,021
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

19
2,064 1,986
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

20
1,582 1,553
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

21
986 1,118
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

22
27,371 19,113
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

23
1,000 1,174
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

24
1,429 1,357
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

25
1,867 1,788
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
1,371 1,110
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

27
541 662
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

28
452 352
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

29
8,440 5,691
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

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30
4,662 3,521
Romário is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

31
1,667 1,475
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

32
10,255 5,466
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

33
560 529
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
440 340
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

35
327 285
Juan Alberto Schiaffino is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Juan Alberto Schiaffino Forward, Inside forward

36
329 306
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
2,302 1,688
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

38
252 238
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

39
262 250
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

40
8,136 4,903
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

41
411 392
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!!!

42
289 226
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

43
10,291 7,465
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

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44
794 795
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

45
9,162 6,694
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,584 4,745
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
885 703
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

48
2,478 1,703
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

49
537 549
Kevin Keegan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kevin Keegan Forward, Center Forward, Midfielder

50
4,308 3,445
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder