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Top 10 football players of all time

Attempting to rank the best football players of all time is an incredibly subjective task, perhaps one of the most subjective endeavors of all time. Comparing athletes from different eras is almost impossible, especially considering that very few people have witnessed all of the players in their prime.

While our list may not align with your personal beliefs, the question remains: is there even a correct answer to the age-old debate of who is the greatest of all time?

  1. Andres Iniesta

In a world where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo did not exist, Iniesta would have been the undisputed king of football. His abilities on the pitch were unparalleled and his influence on every team he played for was undeniable. However, despite his incredible performances, he never managed to win a Ballon d’Or, a fact that many consider to be a tragedy.

Despite not possessing the sheer explosiveness of Messi, Iniesta was still able to become the second-best Barcelona player of all time, behind only the Argentinean superstar. He was also the most important player in the history of Spanish football, leading his country to one World Cup and two European Championships.

These achievements earn him 10th place in our list.

  1. Ronaldo (R9)

R9, the iconic centre-forward of football history, stands out as one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo was the epitome of an all-rounder, transcending the sport to become an emblem of greatness. He boasted a rare blend of pace and power, and was unmatched in every aspect of the game.

  1. Alfredo Di Stefano

Many football enthusiasts consider Di Stefano to be the greatest player in Real Madrid’s history, despite the club’s numerous successful eras and legendary Galacticos. Despite being born in Argentina and even representing the country six times, he ultimately chose to represent Colombia before finally settling in Spain. Over an impressive 11-year span and following a decade of tormenting teams in South America, he scored 308 goals in 396 games for Madrid.

  1. Franz Beckenbauer

Starting out as a midfielder, Beckenbauer transitioned into a centre-back position for Bayern Munich, revolutionizing the sweeper role as we know it today.

His ability to essentially function as a box-to-box midfielder from a centre-back position is what set him apart from his contemporaries, and his impressive career tally of 98 goals, including 75 for Bayern Munich in 584 appearances, speaks volumes about his attacking prowess.

  1. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff was a pioneer in the world of football, paving the way for the ‘tiki-taka football’ that would later dominate the sport. Cruyff’s influence on the sport extended beyond his playing career, as he went on to coach at Barcelona and implement his revolutionary ideas. The iconic ‘Cruyff Turn’ is still used by players around the world, and his legacy can be seen in the modern game today.

  1. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has been hailed as the ultimate complete midfielder, possessing an unparalleled level of technical skill and grace on the field.

When it comes to his impressive accomplishments, Zidane’s collection of trophies may not be as extensive as one would think, but every major championship is represented at least once. The World Cup, the Euros, La Liga, Serie A, and the Champions League all grace his collection.

  1. Pele

The influence of Pele on Brazilian football cannot be overstated. He is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, with 77 goals for Brazil in just 92 games and three World Cup victories to his name.

However, Pele’s legacy is not without controversy. Some critics have questioned his records, particularly his claim of scoring 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. It is worth noting that a significant number of these goals were scored in exhibition matches against much weaker opponents.

Despite not playing regularly in Europe, Pele’s record remains outstanding. During his 18-year career at Santos, he scored a remarkable 643 goals in 659 games before moving to New York Cosmos to end his career. While some may criticize him for not playing in Europe, his international record demonstrates his exceptional talent.

  1. Diego Maradona

    Despite his diminutive size, Maradona had an incredible low center of gravity and technical ability that allowed him to glide past players with ease. His direct running style and intensity struck fear in the hearts of opposition, but also inspired his teammates to raise their game to new heights.

    While Maradona’s trophy cabinet may not be as full as one would expect from the greatest footballer of all time, the manner in which he won those trophies is what made him a legend. In just five years with Napoli, he transformed the team from a middling entity to a league champion, twice over, and capped it off with the UEFA Cup. He also led Argentina to World Cup victory, the last time they have accomplished the feat.

    2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniably one of the greatest football players of all time. However, recent events in his career have led some to question his legacy. It’s important to zoom out and take a look at his entire body of work to truly appreciate his greatness.

Ronaldo has dominated every league he’s played in, claiming domestic titles and cups in the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A. He’s also won five Champions League titles and lifted the European Championship trophy with Portugal. In every season and in every triumph, Ronaldo has produced clutch moments of brilliance. Whether it’s scoring last-minute penalties, thunderous strikes against the run of play, or turning the tide with a fiery performance, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to win.

Some might rank Cristiano Ronaldo at number 1 spot but based on our views and findings he has earned 2nd position on our list.

1.Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is widely considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He has won an unprecedented seven Ballon d’Or awards and six European Golden Shoes, and was recently named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team for 2020.

Messi spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, winning an incredible 35 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions Leagues. In 2021, he helped lead Argentina to victory in the Copa América, and followed that up by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Messi is known for his prolific goalscoring and creative playmaking abilities, and holds a number of records, including most goals in La Liga, most hat-tricks in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, and most assists in La Liga and the Copa América. He also has the most international goals of any South American male, with 98 to his name. In total, Messi has scored over 795 senior career goals for both club and country, and holds the record for most goals by a player for a single club, with an incredible 672 for Barcelona.

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