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
29,237 25,460
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

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2
40,812 24,792
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
27,540 17,456
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,376 8,896
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
6,536 7,503
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

6
18,222 11,500
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

7
5,020 3,676
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
20,063 14,185
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
6,074 4,461
Zico is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

10
9,321 6,764
George Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

11
23,131 13,633
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

12
23,212 15,929
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

13
25,219 20,635
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

14
3,107 2,488
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
1,854 1,646
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

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16
6,724 5,000
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

17
821 819
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

18
6,736 5,298
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

19
4,419 2,994
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

20
4,864 3,292
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

21
25,704 18,474
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

22
893 1,001
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,432 1,364
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,740 1,616
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,316 1,205
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
443 491
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
1,264 993
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

28
353 244
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

29
4,493 3,440
Romário is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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30
8,189 5,573
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
9,976 5,335
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

32
1,568 1,353
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

33
477 432
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
2,171 1,624
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

35
264 188
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
270 222
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
219 166
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

38
196 161
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

39
742 710
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

40
365 308
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
329 251
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

42
7,836 4,750
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

43
9,929 7,370
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

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44
232 144
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

45
8,840 6,622
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,381 4,688
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
4,178 3,354
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

48
783 636
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

49
805 711
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder

50
11,444 9,308
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder