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
29,217 25,453
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

46 Famous Couples with Huge Age Differences The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

2
40,769 24,787
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
27,538 17,452
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,368 8,901
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
6,531 7,507
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

6
18,216 11,500
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

7
20,058 14,185
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

8
6,069 4,459
Zico is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

9
5,016 3,674
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

10
9,319 6,762
George Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

11
23,123 13,629
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

12
23,202 15,928
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

13
25,213 20,634
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

14
3,105 2,488
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
1,851 1,644
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

The Best Soccer Players from Portugal Essential Brands For Your Hipster Lifestyle

16
6,722 4,998
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

17
820 817
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

18
6,732 5,295
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

19
4,416 2,992
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

20
25,686 18,469
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

21
4,861 3,292
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

22
892 1,001
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,431 1,364
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,736 1,616
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,314 1,204
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
443 491
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
1,264 993
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

28
353 244
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

29
4,492 3,440
Romário is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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30
8,187 5,573
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
9,975 5,335
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

32
1,568 1,353
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

33
477 432
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
2,169 1,624
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

35
264 188
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
269 222
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
219 166
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

38
196 161
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

39
742 710
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

40
364 308
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!!!

41
327 250
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

42
7,833 4,747
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

43
9,928 7,367
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

The Most Obnoxious Athletes Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

44
231 143
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

45
8,837 6,621
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,378 4,687
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
4,177 3,353
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

48
804 711
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder

49
781 636
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

50
11,443 9,307
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder