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
31,843 28,021
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
45,377 26,961
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
30,165 18,665
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
9,178 11,002
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
19,593 12,309
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

6
5,968 4,561
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

7
7,378 9,282
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

8
7,338 5,581
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

9
10,343 7,539
George Best is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

10
20,782 14,955
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

11
4,901 3,505
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

12
7,554 6,298
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

13
6,611 5,128
Zico is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

14
5,376 3,798
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

The Best Current Soccer Players

15
3,615 3,556
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

16
24,862 16,581
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

17
25,099 14,922
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

18
2,217 2,195
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

19
26,690 21,248
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

20
1,102 1,341
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

21
28,283 19,749
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

The Best Athletes of All Time

22
1,094 1,343
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,713 1,926
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,542 1,657
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

25
1,989 2,125
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

26
635 825
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
632 621
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

28
407 372
Juan Alberto Schiaffino is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Juan Alberto Schiaffino Forward, Inside forward

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

29
533 428
Didi is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

30
1,450 1,188
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

31
8,824 5,827
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

32
543 430
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

33
4,784 3,585
Romário is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

34
1,759 1,570
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

35
10,487 5,579
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
394 384
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
341 284
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

38
2,386 1,750
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

39
309 320
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

40
456 458
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
298 302
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

42
8,345 5,024
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

The Sexiest Female Soccer Players

43
839 857
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

44
10,555 7,550
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

45
9,377 6,781
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,742 4,786
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
2,597 1,740
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

48
953 756
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

49
4,417 3,511
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

50
4,319 3,249
Ryan Giggs is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ryan Giggs Forward, Midfielder