best athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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.

list ordered by

1
58,882 47,623
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
62,778 31,693
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

3
81,638 46,023
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

4
49,048 24,600
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

5
42,102 25,089
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

6
49,915 31,426
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

7
42,224 27,685
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

8
17,371 17,094
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

9
13,793 20,057
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

10
13,240 20,024
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
12,858 5,108
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward

12
6,816 9,842
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

13
27,414 18,371
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

14
13,778 8,090
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

The Best Current Soccer Players

15
10,457 9,706
Zico is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

16
16,073 7,628
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

17
24,954 20,114
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

18
14,838 11,803
George Best is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

19
16,442 8,684
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

20
10,543 9,814
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

21
3,280 4,274
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

The Best Athletes of All Time

22
7,913 7,382
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

23
9,150 8,875
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

24
7,358 7,013
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

25
13,487 6,747
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
3,388 4,277
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

27
1,996 2,000
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

28
3,450 5,625
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

29
13,182 7,640
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

30
2,031 4,113
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

31
2,605 3,559
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

32
6,342 5,209
Romário is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

33
1,867 3,249
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

34
1,541 1,817
Didi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

35
3,918 2,780
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
10,288 6,342
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

37
2,684 3,051
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

38
1,222 2,545
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

39
2,244 2,581
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

40
14,651 10,110
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

41
3,980 2,202
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

42
11,855 7,818
David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Beckham Midfielder

The Sexiest Female Soccer Players

43
5,188 3,518
Raúl is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Raúl Forward, Midfielder

44
4,952 2,856
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

45
7,983 5,559
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

46
2,746 1,462
Robert Lewandowski is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
FrancisLanceDavid added Robert Lewandowski Forward

47
5,712 4,049
Ryan Giggs is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ryan Giggs Forward, Midfielder

48
2,854 1,676
Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
StephenCrouch added Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder

49
1,956 1,114
Luka Modrić is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Luka Modrić Midfielder

50
800 1,239
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender