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
30,664 26,787
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

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2
43,491 25,945
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
28,873 18,062
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,770 9,923
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
18,896 11,884
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

6
6,947 8,357
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

7
5,341 4,102
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
20,439 14,578
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
9,677 7,158
George Best is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

10
6,383 4,838
Zico is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

11
7,041 5,250
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

12
24,136 14,257
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

13
3,356 2,936
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

14
24,051 16,312
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

15
26,014 20,974
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

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16
5,135 3,509
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

17
4,653 3,233
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

18
7,129 5,656
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

19
2,018 1,940
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

20
961 1,075
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

21
27,143 19,013
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

22
1,539 1,503
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

23
1,405 1,326
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

24
1,844 1,751
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
976 1,142
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

26
1,345 1,089
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

27
425 331
Didi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

28
516 633
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

29
1,648 1,451
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

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30
4,627 3,509
Romário is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

31
8,398 5,668
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

32
10,203 5,439
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

33
423 320
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

34
537 509
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

35
314 264
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
2,278 1,676
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

37
312 289
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

38
237 220
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

39
249 230
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

40
400 374
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
276 208
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

42
783 776
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

43
8,084 4,865
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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44
10,230 7,448
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

45
9,105 6,680
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,552 4,732
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
863 690
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

48
277 262
Nils Liedholm is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Nils Liedholm Midfielder

49
2,447 1,692
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

50
524 536
Kevin Keegan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kevin Keegan Forward, Center Forward, Midfielder