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
30,808 26,924
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé Forward, Midfielder

The Best Current Soccer Players The Best Athletes of All Time

2
43,694 26,075
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Lionel Messi Forward

3
29,028 18,138
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Diego Maradona Forward, Midfielder

4
18,980 11,934
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Johan Cruyff Forward, Midfielder

5
8,814 10,047
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

6
5,411 4,158
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Garrincha Right Wing, Midfielder

7
6,998 8,462
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

8
20,481 14,622
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

9
7,076 5,290
Alfredo de Stefanio is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

10
6,421 4,882
Zico is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Zico Playmaker, Midfielder

11
9,727 7,198
George Best is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Best Midfielder

12
24,262 14,343
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldinho Forward, Midfielder

13
24,149 16,348
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ronaldo Forward

14
5,168 3,539
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Forward, Inside forward

15
3,384 3,030
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Ruud Gullit Defender, Forward, Midfielder

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16
26,094 21,002
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
rebelr19 added Zinedine Zidane Midfielder

17
4,685 3,254
Eusébio is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Eusébio Forward

18
7,182 5,695
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Kaká Midfielder

19
2,038 1,967
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

20
27,285 19,061
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo Forward, Midfielder

21
1,561 1,529
George Weah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
George Weah Forward

22
970 1,093
Giuseppe Meazza is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Giuseppe Meazza Forward, Inside forward

23
987 1,156
Gianni Rivera is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianni Rivera Midfielder

24
1,860 1,770
Andriy Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

25
1,420 1,344
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

26
1,354 1,101
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Rivelino Midfielder

27
438 343
Didi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Didi Midfielder

28
8,425 5,680
Andrea Pirlo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder

29
10,230 5,452
Gianluigi Buffon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gianluigi Buffon Goalkeeper

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30
1,657 1,463
Clarence Seedorf is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Clarence Seedorf Midfielder

31
4,645 3,517
Romário is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Romário Forward

32
524 651
Roberto Donadoni is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Donadoni Midfielder

33
546 519
Ranker Video
Tostão Winger, Forward, Midfielder

34
428 332
Luis Suárez Miramontes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

35
316 278
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
321 299
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Vavá Forward

37
2,293 1,683
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Cafu Defender

38
243 230
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

39
255 240
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gérson Playmaker, Midfielder

40
406 383
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
8,114 4,883
Zlatan Ibrahimović is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

42
10,269 7,454
Andrés Iniesta is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Andrés Iniesta Midfielder

43
279 220
Sandro Mazzola is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Sandro Mazzola Forward, Inside forward, Midfielder

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44
787 788
Paulo Roberto Falcão is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time

45
9,140 6,686
Xavi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Xavi Midfielder

46
6,567 4,740
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Gerd Müller Forward

47
876 697
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Forward, Midfielder

48
2,465 1,699
Lev Yashin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Lev Yashin Goalkeeper

49
4,295 3,439
Roberto Baggio is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Roberto Baggio Forward, Midfielder

50
849 764
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players of All Time
Jairzinho Midfielder