Best Athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.1M votes 372.9k 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
123,315 94,133
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
169,543 92,278
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
150,455 71,516
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

4
110,953 51,105
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

5
97,328 54,821
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

6
86,115 45,144
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

7
82,531 48,830
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

8
48,220 47,096
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

9
22,127 33,866
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

10
19,222 32,793
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
13,230 21,557
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

12
37,952 17,266
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

13
31,314 14,120
David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Beckham Midfielder

14
38,367 25,342
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
16,909 16,699
Zico is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

16
25,479 12,241
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

17
28,682 12,362
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

18
25,600 14,534
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

19
18,657 8,710
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

20
30,693 25,688
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

21
6,874 9,923
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

22
30,943 13,444
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

23
20,782 17,265
George Best is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

24
22,503 11,940
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

25
13,947 14,346
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
11,793 4,755
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

27
43,225 17,062
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward

28
9,202 3,682
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
9,991 10,483
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

30
10,598 10,964
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

31
3,019 7,652
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

32
11,490 12,484
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

33
5,410 7,852
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

34
4,567 8,998
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

35
5,011 5,572
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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36
9,021 4,170
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

37
10,790 4,994
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

38
3,807 6,307
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

39
7,665 3,403
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Arminius added Toni Kroos Midfielder

40
2,714 5,893
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

41
8,510 7,525
Romário is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

42
9,556 4,516
Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
StephenCrouch added Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder

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43
6,488 4,596
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

44
4,029 5,172
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

45
8,023 5,031
Raúl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Raúl Forward, Midfielder

46
2,767 3,933
Didi is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

47
1,662 4,752
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

48
10,349 5,910
Steven Gerrard is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Steven Gerrard Midfielder

49
6,999 3,371
Robert Lewandowski is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
FrancisLanceDavid added Robert Lewandowski Forward

50
9,161 4,445
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
QusaiK.Morbiwalla added Luis Suárez Winger, Forward, Midfielder