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
30,713 26,830
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

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2
43,558 25,984
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
28,920 18,090
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,787 9,964
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
18,922 11,901
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

6
6,963 8,391
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

7
5,364 4,123
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
20,452 14,594
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
6,398 4,856
Zico is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

10
7,053 5,269
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
9,692 7,176
George Best is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

12
24,184 14,284
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

13
24,089 16,326
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

14
3,366 2,968
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
5,145 3,520
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

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16
26,043 20,984
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

17
7,151 5,672
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

18
4,665 3,241
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

19
2,028 1,950
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

20
27,198 19,025
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

21
1,547 1,510
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

22
962 1,084
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

23
1,411 1,332
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

24
981 1,145
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

25
1,851 1,756
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
1,350 1,092
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

27
432 332
Didi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

28
519 639
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

29
1,652 1,455
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
4,634 3,511
Romário is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

31
8,408 5,670
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

32
10,215 5,442
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

33
425 322
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

34
540 511
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

35
314 268
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
314 291
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
2,285 1,679
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

38
251 232
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

39
238 223
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

40
403 376
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
8,094 4,868
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

42
277 211
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

43
786 779
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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44
10,244 7,450
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

45
9,118 6,681
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,556 4,735
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
868 691
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

48
278 264
Nils Liedholm is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Nils Liedholm Midfielder

49
2,454 1,694
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

50
4,286 3,434
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder