best athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.1M votes 368.9k voters 2.6M views 1,256 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
122,097 92,924
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
167,760 91,159
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
148,756 70,518
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

4
109,726 50,425
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

5
81,535 48,257
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

6
96,157 54,262
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

7
85,115 44,677
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

8
47,684 46,343
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

9
21,741 33,486
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

10
18,917 32,452
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
37,358 16,990
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

12
12,991 21,182
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

13
30,833 13,644
David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Beckham Midfielder

14
37,803 25,131
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
25,280 14,309
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

16
25,045 12,019
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

17
28,264 12,180
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

18
16,606 16,485
Zico is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

19
18,301 8,569
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

20
30,515 13,130
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

21
20,579 17,044
George Best is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

22
6,721 9,727
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

23
30,317 25,556
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

24
11,527 4,598
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

25
42,805 16,706
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward

26
22,194 11,763
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

27
13,735 14,167
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

28
8,765 3,534
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
2,956 7,459
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

30
10,442 10,810
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

31
5,323 7,657
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

32
11,341 12,326
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

33
9,758 10,392
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

34
4,506 8,825
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

35
4,933 5,385
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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36
8,835 3,945
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

37
10,590 4,838
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

38
9,343 4,339
Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
StephenCrouch added Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder

39
7,443 3,256
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Arminius added Toni Kroos Midfielder

40
3,734 6,160
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

41
2,657 5,764
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

42
8,364 7,431
Romário is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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43
6,338 4,524
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

44
3,953 5,073
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

45
7,902 4,956
Raúl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Raúl Forward, Midfielder

46
2,697 3,836
Didi is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

47
1,623 4,644
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

48
5,036 2,387
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

49
8,946 4,324
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
QusaiK.Morbiwalla added Luis Suárez Winger, Forward, Midfielder

50
10,197 5,816
Steven Gerrard is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Steven Gerrard Midfielder