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
29,314 25,542
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

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2
40,987 24,854
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
27,608 17,501
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
8,399 8,945
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

5
6,555 7,545
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

6
18,266 11,524
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

7
5,042 3,706
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

8
20,086 14,213
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
6,090 4,486
Zico is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

10
9,338 6,790
George Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

11
23,186 13,657
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

12
23,264 15,950
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

13
25,264 20,654
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

14
3,119 2,514
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

15
6,746 5,019
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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16
1,860 1,670
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

17
6,758 5,325
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

18
828 840
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

19
4,435 3,011
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

20
4,883 3,307
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

21
25,821 18,505
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

22
896 1,011
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

23
1,436 1,373
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
1,745 1,623
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,316 1,214
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
443 500
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

27
1,266 999
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

28
356 252
Didi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

29
4,500 3,445
Romário is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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30
8,204 5,578
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

31
9,989 5,339
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

32
1,573 1,357
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

33
479 439
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
2,178 1,628
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

35
267 194
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
274 228
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
220 172
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

38
744 715
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

39
198 167
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

40
335 256
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

41
366 313
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!!!

42
7,854 4,755
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

43
9,947 7,372
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
232 150
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

45
8,855 6,625
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,393 4,690
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
787 641
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

48
4,183 3,360
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

49
806 717
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder

50
11,458 9,311
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder