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
29,267 25,506
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
40,887 24,818
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
27,572 17,476
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,383 8,915
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
6,543 7,517
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

6
18,238 11,507
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

7
5,031 3,685
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
20,071 14,195
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
6,079 4,471
Zico is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

10
9,327 6,775
George Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

11
23,154 13,642
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

12
23,230 15,940
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

13
25,235 20,644
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

14
3,109 2,502
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
1,857 1,658
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
6,735 5,008
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

17
825 828
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

18
6,742 5,310
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

19
4,426 3,002
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

20
25,751 18,488
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

21
4,871 3,299
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

22
894 1,005
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,433 1,367
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,741 1,619
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,316 1,208
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
443 495
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
1,264 995
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

28
353 248
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

29
4,494 3,442
Romário is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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30
8,195 5,575
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
9,979 5,337
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

32
1,569 1,355
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

33
478 435
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
2,172 1,626
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

35
264 191
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
271 224
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
219 168
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

38
742 712
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

39
196 163
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

40
366 309
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
331 253
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

42
7,842 4,753
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

43
9,938 7,371
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

The Most Obnoxious Athletes The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time

44
232 147
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

45
8,846 6,623
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,385 4,689
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
4,181 3,357
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

48
784 638
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

49
805 714
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder

50
11,449 9,309
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder