Best Athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.1M votes 372.8k voters 2.6M views 1,255 items

List Rules Any current or former professional soccer players from around the world are eligible.

Whether you call it soccer or football, this extensive list of the greatest soccer players of all time is ranked by 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 good 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.

Vote up the world's best soccer players in the world who deserve to be in the top 10 in football history.

1
123,259 94,080
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
169,479 92,210
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
150,366 71,482
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

4
110,905 51,069
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

5
97,277 54,788
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

6
86,074 45,117
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

7
82,498 48,803
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

8
48,205 47,053
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

9
22,095 33,853
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

10
19,195 32,783
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
13,202 21,548
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

12
37,917 17,257
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

13
31,300 14,091
David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Beckham Midfielder

14
38,337 25,339
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

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15
16,886 16,695
Zico is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

16
25,456 12,235
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

17
28,664 12,359
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

18
25,582 14,531
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

19
18,637 8,707
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

20
30,675 25,685
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

21
30,931 13,432
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

22
6,861 9,917
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

23
20,779 17,254
George Best is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

24
22,490 11,934
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

25
13,940 14,337
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
11,781 4,751
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

27
43,209 17,049
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward

28
9,183 3,678
Luka Modrić is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Luka Modrić Midfielder

The Best Soccer Players from Australia

29
9,979 10,481
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

30
10,593 10,955
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

31
3,016 7,644
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

32
11,486 12,475
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

33
5,409 7,842
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

34
4,566 8,988
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

35
5,010 5,561
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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36
9,018 4,161
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

37
10,789 4,983
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

38
3,805 6,298
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

39
7,659 3,400
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Arminius added Toni Kroos Midfielder

40
2,713 5,889
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

41
9,550 4,509
Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
StephenCrouch added Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder

42
8,505 7,522
Romário is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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43
6,483 4,596
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

44
4,027 5,171
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

45
8,019 5,029
Raúl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Raúl Forward, Midfielder

46
2,764 3,930
Didi is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

47
1,661 4,750
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

48
10,347 5,908
Steven Gerrard is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Steven Gerrard Midfielder

49
9,157 4,440
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
QusaiK.Morbiwalla added Luis Suárez Winger, Forward, Midfielder

50
6,995 3,369
Robert Lewandowski is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
FrancisLanceDavid added Robert Lewandowski Forward