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The Best Soccer Players of All Time

Updated September 23, 2020 3.8m votes 436.4k voters 3.0m views1.3k items

List RulesVote up the greatest current or former professional soccer players from anywhere in the world.

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.

Vote up the world's best soccer players in the world who deserve to be in the top 10 in football history.

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  • 1
    Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    116,539
    63,087

    Diego Maradona

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLanús, Argentina

    Diego Armando Maradona (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo maɾaˈðona], born 30 October 1960) is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    165,868
    92,336

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceSanto António, Portugal

    Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    191,184
    107,442

    BirthplaceRosario, Argentina

    Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] (listen); born... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    93,128
    56,191

    Ronaldo

    Forward

    BirthplaceRio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Ronaldo is a Portuguese and Spanish equivalent of the name Ronald. Notable people known as... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    121,110
    68,056

    Ronaldinho

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplacePorto Alegre, Brazil

    Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho (Brazilian... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    87,211
    56,716

    Zinedine Zidane

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceMarseille, France

    Zinedine Yazid Zidane (French pronunciation: ​[zinedin jazid zidan]; born 23 June 1972),... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Luka Modrić is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    22,057
    10,308

    Luka Modrić

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceZadar, Croatia

    Luka Modrić (Croatian pronunciation: [lûːka mǒːdritɕ]; born 9 September 1985) is a Croatian... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    24,156
    15,416

    Thierry Henry

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLes Ulis, France

    Thierry Daniel Henry (French pronunciation: ​[tjɛʁi ɑ̃ʁi]; born 17 August 1977) is a French... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Steven Gerrard is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    12,097
    7,334

    Steven Gerrard

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceWhiston, United Kingdom

    Steven George Gerrard (born 30 May 1980) is an English professional football manager and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    42,721
    27,938

    Andrés Iniesta

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceFuentealbilla, Spain

    Andrés Iniesta Luján (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈdɾes iˈnjesta luˈxan]; born 11 May 1984) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Neymar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    47,134
    28,151

    Neymar

    Forward

    BirthplaceMogi das Cruzes, Brazil

    Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    32,551
    21,150

    BirthplaceCarrara, Italy

    Gianluigi Buffon, (Italian pronunciation: [dʒanluˈiːdʒi bufˈfɔn, -ˈfon]; born 28 January... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    14,714
    8,958

    Carles Puyol

    Defender

    BirthplaceLa Pobla de Segur, Spain

    Carles Puyol Saforcada (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkaɾles puˈjɔl i safoɾˈkaða]; born 13 April... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    20,922
    13,590

    Roberto Carlos

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceGarça, Brazil

    Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha (born 10 April 1973), more commonly known simply as Roberto... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    David Beckham is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    33,703
    21,450

    David Beckham

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceLeytonstone, London, United Kingdom

    David Robert Joseph Beckham (UK: ; born 2 May 1975) is an English former professional... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Iker Casillas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    9,672
    6,018

    Iker Casillas

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceMóstoles, Spain

    Iker Casillas Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈikeɾ kaˈsiʎas feɾˈnandeθ]; born 20 May 1981)... more on Wikipedia

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    #82 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players#7 of 183 The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time

  • 17
    Xavi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    28,376
    18,698

    Xavi

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceTerrassa, Spain

    Xavier Hernández Creus (Catalan: [ˈʃaβi əɾˈnandəs ˈkɾɛws], Spanish: [ˈtʃaβj eɾˈnandeθ ˈkɾeus];... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Pelé is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    130,587
    113,386

    Pelé

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceTrês Corações, Brazil

    Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈɛtsõ (w)ɐˈɾɐ̃tʃiz du nɐsiˈmẽtu];... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Raúl is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    9,876
    6,859

    Raúl

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceMadrid, Spain

    Raúl González Blanco (Spanish pronunciation: [raˈul ɣonˈθaleθ ˈβlaŋko]; born 27 June 1977),... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Francesco Totti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    8,334
    5,551

    Francesco Totti

    Playmaker, Forward

    BirthplaceRome, Italy

    Francesco Totti (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃesko ˈtɔtti]; born 27 September 1976) is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    9,707
    6,688

    BirthplaceNördlingen, Germany

    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐ̯t ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Johan Cruyff is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    45,945
    36,201

    Johan Cruyff

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    Hendrik Johannes Cruijff OON (Dutch: [ˈjoːɦɑn ˈkrœyf] (listen), internationally spelled... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Lev Jašin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    5,795
    4,084

    Lev Jašin

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    Lev Ivanovich Yashin (Russian: Лев Ива́нович Я́шин, 22 October 1929 – 20 March 1990),... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    7,147
    5,354

    Roberto Baggio

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceCaldogno, Italy

    Roberto Baggio (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto ˈbaddʒo]; born 18 February 1967) is an... more on Wikipedia

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    #850 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#6 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

  • 25
    Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
    34,519
    23,344

    BirthplaceMalmö Municipality, Sweden

    Zlatan Ibrahimović (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈslaːtan ɪbraˈhiːmʊvɪtɕ], Bosnian: [zlǎtan... more on Wikipedia
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