best athletes The Best Soccer Players of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.1M votes 369.9k 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
122,421 93,218
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

2
168,235 91,412
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
149,140 70,788
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

4
110,056 50,572
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

5
81,797 48,383
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

6
96,447 54,381
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

7
85,358 44,774
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

8
47,801 46,504
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

9
21,797 33,571
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

10
18,960 32,527
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

11
37,486 17,052
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

12
13,018 21,261
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

13
30,951 13,736
David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
David Beckham Midfielder

14
37,931 25,169
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
25,356 14,355
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

16
25,132 12,065
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

17
28,342 12,215
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

18
16,652 16,527
Zico is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

19
18,361 8,600
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

20
30,610 13,181
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

21
20,624 17,079
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
30,370 25,579
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

23
6,736 9,753
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

24
11,561 4,628
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

25
22,258 11,783
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thierry Henry Forward, Midfielder

26
42,887 16,774
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Neymar Forward

27
13,769 14,191
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

28
8,848 3,557
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
2,966 7,481
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

30
10,463 10,829
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

31
5,340 7,679
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

32
11,365 12,344
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

33
9,781 10,405
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

34
4,512 8,847
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

35
4,945 5,407
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

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36
8,872 3,985
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

37
10,625 4,858
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper

38
9,391 4,364
Gareth Bale is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
StephenCrouch added Gareth Bale Forward, Midfielder

39
7,480 3,276
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Arminius added Toni Kroos Midfielder

40
3,742 6,178
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

41
2,660 5,779
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

42
8,377 7,446
Romário is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

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43
6,355 4,533
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

44
3,963 5,085
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

45
7,921 4,964
Raúl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Raúl Forward, Midfielder

46
2,700 3,849
Didi is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

47
1,624 4,658
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

48
5,062 2,396
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

49
8,992 4,341
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
10,224 5,829
Steven Gerrard is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Steven Gerrard Midfielder