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
31,789 27,967
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
45,296 26,916
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
30,103 18,636
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
9,156 10,955
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
19,565 12,282
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

6
7,359 9,235
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

7
5,933 4,540
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
7,324 5,557
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

9
10,307 7,521
George Best is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

10
20,770 14,937
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

11
4,893 3,490
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

12
6,599 5,111
Zico is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

13
5,369 3,782
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

14
3,607 3,542
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

The Best Current Soccer Players

15
7,533 6,279
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

16
24,823 16,564
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

17
25,056 14,905
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

18
2,204 2,184
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

19
26,658 21,238
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

20
1,095 1,324
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

21
28,223 19,719
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

The Best Athletes of All Time

22
1,091 1,335
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,703 1,923
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,534 1,653
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

25
1,983 2,116
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
628 617
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

27
1,446 1,182
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

28
529 423
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

29
402 366
Juan Alberto Schiaffino is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Juan Alberto Schiaffino Forward, Inside forward

30
8,813 5,813
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
628 820
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

32
534 425
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

33
1,753 1,565
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

34
4,773 3,581
Romário is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

35
10,470 5,573
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
389 379
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
340 278
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

38
2,382 1,744
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

39
296 297
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

40
306 315
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

41
453 454
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
838 852
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

The Sexiest Female Soccer Players

43
8,331 5,018
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

44
10,540 7,545
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

45
9,365 6,773
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,734 4,782
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
2,585 1,737
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

48
947 753
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

49
4,410 3,506
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

50
4,311 3,243
Ryan Giggs is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ryan Giggs Forward, Midfielder