The 50 greatest footballers of all time

The 50 greatest footballers of all time

Maybe this list ranking the 50 greatest footballers to ever lace up a couple of boots and do a little weirdly remarkable things with a ball, is surely one hundred% accurate.

Because there has been method within the following insanity. The following list turned into carefully collated with every of the following footballers’ ‘peaks’ in mind.

This list isn’t always simply the ‘Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time’, it’s a rating of the highest peaks each of these ‘Greatest Footballers of All Time’ reached.

So before you angrily tweet me or angrily WhatsApp your pals your disgust, please bear the aforementioned in thoughts and TRY (all I’m asking is you try) and experience studying 90min’s pinnacle 50 footballers of all time.

  1. Luka Modric
    Luka Modric starred on the 2018 World Cup
    Peak: 2014-18

Major Achievements: 2018 Ballon d’Or, 2018 UEFA Men’s Best Player of the Year, 2018 the Best FIFA Men’s Player, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 2018, 4 UEFA Champions Leagues.

We start out with a person who did the not possible in 2018: within the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo-generation, he received the Ballon d’Or.

Luka Modric’s ending of the last decade of dominance of soccer’s greatest character become more than deserved. At the very peak of his powers, Modric led an unfancied Croatian outfit to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final AND gained approximately 1000000000 (properly, 4) UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid.

  1. John Charles
    John Charles is one of Juve’s finest ever players
    Peak: 1957-60

Major Achievements: Third region Ballon d’Or, 1956/57 Serie A top scorer, 3 Scudetti & Coppa Italia.

Aaron Ramsey – weirdly – is not the first Wales international that Italian giants Juventus have signed in their trophy-encumbered records. The first became a man who changed into not simplest a ahead capable of scoring 28 goals in a single Serie A season (1957/58 season to be actual), however can also do a extra than admirable task at centre-back while necessary.

As one of the maximum versatile and talented British footballers of all time, John Charles is now rightfully remembered as THE best Welsh player ever. Yes, he was higher than Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale. Yes, he turned into better than David Vaughan…Everyone was.

Forty eight. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski
Peak: 2018-present

Major Achievements: 2021 Ballon d’Or Striker of the Year, 2020 & 2021 The Best’s FIFA Men’s Player, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2019/20, six-time Torjägerkanone, two-time Bundesliga Player of the Season, nine Bundesliga titles, one UEFA Champions League, four DFB-Pokals.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Robert Lewandowski is the worst Tik Toker inside the records of the world. The guy has 0 rhythm. Zero.

What he does have, however, is a knack for scoring desires. A lot of them.

In fact, Lewa bagged 40+ desires six seasons in a row and is the 1/3 highest goalscorer of the closing decade (the 2 player who’ve scored extra are apparent, and are manifestly in this list too). And whilst he ultimately hangs up his boots, Lewa will probably be the best goalscorer in Bayern’s history, Bundesliga history and German footballing records.

He have to have a Ballon d’Or to his name too.

  1. Jairzinho
    Brazilian ahead Jairzinho at the 1970 World Cup
    Peak: 1970

Major Achievements: 1970 World Cup, most effective player to attain in each sport of a World Cup, ‘Best Body on the Planet’ FIFA award (no longer sure what that is but it sounds outstanding).

You study that predominant success proper.

No, no longer the ‘Best Body on the Planet’ one – something which you could possibly see on Google photographs, feel loose to test it out.

Jairzinho is the only player in FIFA World Cup records to score in every unmarried game of the event.

He did so at the same time as guiding the greatest soccer crew of all time to a FIFA World Cup triumph. Decent.

  1. Omar Sivori
    Omar Sivori, Elsener
    Peak: 1958-61

Major Achievements: 1961 Ballon d’Or, 1959/60 Capocannoniere, 3 Scudetti, two Coppa Italia titles.

Before there was a Lionel Messi.

Before there has been a Diego Maradona.

Before there has been a Mario Kempes.

There became an Omar Sivori.

An Argentine (and Italian for some time) ahead who led Juventus during their adolescence as a European powerhouse underneath the stewardship of the excellent Umberto Agnelli.

With Sivori inside the well-known quantity ten jersey, La Vecchia Signora won 3 Scudetti and two Coppa Italia titles.

  1. Paolo Rossi
    Paolo Rossi
    Peak: 1982

Major Achievements: 1982 Ballon d’Or, 1982 World Cup, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 2018, 1977/seventy eight Capocannoniere, Scudetti, one Coppa Italia title, one European Cup.

Paolo Rossi’s 12 months height become so amazing that he has extra than earned his region many of the 50 finest footballers of all time.

Rossi emerged from the depths of a lengthy ban for his ‘alleged’ involvement in Totonero, to become the enduring parent of Gli Azzurri’s 1982 World Cup triumph.

A hat-trick against a apparently unbeatable Brazil crew, two in opposition to an oddly excellent Poland crew, and a goal in the very last against an usually outstanding West Germany group; it’s truthful to mention that Rossi had an awesome event…A virtually, really, virtually precise tournament.

Forty four. Paul Breitner
Marco Tardelli, Paul Breitner
Peak: 1974-81

Major Achievements: 1981 Ballon d’Or runner-up, 1974 World Cup, 1972 UEFA European Championships, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 5 Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal titles, one European Cup.

One of the top 50 footballers of all time with one of the top 5 afros of all time.

Paul Breitner may want to do it all.

Name some thing, and he should likely do it.

‘Score in a World Cup very last?’

Yeah. Easy work.

‘Man mark the great wingers in the international?’

Yeah, of course.

‘Make a souffle?’

Yeah, likely.

  1. George Weah
    George Weah, Giuseppe Iachini
    Peak: 1993-ninety six

Major Achievements: 1995 Ballon d’Or, 3-time African Footballer of the Year, Scudetti, one Ligue 1 identify, Coupe de France, one FA Cup.

Ok, so in most other ‘Greatest Footballers of All Time’ lists, George Weah probable wouldn’t make the reduce, because there was a time frame wherein he turned into at Chelsea and Manchester City and changed into, properly, pretty horrible.

However, with this being a listing of the GOATs at their peaks, Weah makes the cut.

At his fine, Weah turned into unstoppable. A uncommon aggregate of physical prowess and incredible technical potential, the now Liberian president (sure, LIBERIAN PRESIDENT) changed into the maximum whole ahead of the Nineties.

If you don’t consider me, just watch his purpose against Hellas Verona. It’s a face melter.

  1. Kaka
    AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka rea
    Peak: 2005-09

Major Achievements: 2007 Ballon d’Or, 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year, two-time Serie A Footballer of the Year, two-time Time a hundred listing member, 2002 FIFA World Cup, one Scudetti, one UEFA Champions League, one La Liga, one Copa del Rey.

Ok, so in maximum different ‘Greatest Footballers of All Time’ lists, Kaka in all likelihood wouldn’t make the cut, due to the fact there was a time frame wherein he become at Real Madrid and turned into, properly, quite terrible.

However, with this being a listing of the GOATs at their peaks, Kaka makes the cut.

At his exceptional, Kaka turned into unstoppable. A rare mixture of physical prowess and improbable technical capability, the previous Brazil global turned into the most entire attacking midfielders of the 2000s.

If you do not agree with me, simply watch his intention towards Manchester United. It’s a face melter.

Forty one. Lev Yashin
Eusebio, Lev Yashin
Peak: 1956-sixty four

Major Achievements: 1963 Ballon d’Or, Olympic gold medal, 1960 UEFA European Football Championship, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 5 Soviet Top League titles, Order of Lenin.

Lev Yashin is one of the maximum vital footballers of all time, as he essentially invented goalkeeping.

A chief, an innovator, and a ‘spider’ (that’s a praise – swear), the best testomony to Yashin’s skills is the fact that he is the most effective goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d’Or. Ever.


Forty. Gunnar Nordahl

Peak: 1950-fifty five

Major Achievements: Olympic gold medal, five-time Capocannoniere, Scudetti.

There’s one aspect that defines Gunnar Nordahl’s career: dreams.

Gunnar Nordahl scored dreams. A lot of them.

The Swedish forward scored so many desires between 1950 and 1955 that he received the Capocannoniere in four of these seasons, and became AC Milan’s all-time document goalscorer.

He also held the record for most goals scored in a unmarried Serie A season for 66 years…Till a certain Gonzalo Higuain got here alongside.

  1. Sandor Kocsis
    Peak: 1950-55

Major Achievements: Olympic gold medal, 1954 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, 1954 FIFA World Cup runner-up, 75 dreams in sixty eight caps for Hungary, La Liga titles, 4 Hungarian titles.

  • Sandor Kocsis scored 75 desires in sixty eight global appearances for Hungary.
  • In 1954, Sandor Kocsis scored 23 dreams in 14 global appearances for Hungary.
  • At the 1954 FIFA World Cup, Sandor Kocsis scored eleven dreams in 5 games.

All of the aforementioned statistics exemplify one easy thing: Sandor Kocsis scored desires. A surprising amount of goals.

  1. Kevin Keegan
    Kevin Keegan
    Peak: 1977-79

Major Achievements: 1978 & 1979 Ballon d’Or, 1981/eighty two PFA Players’ Player of the Year, three Football League First Division titles, one FA Cup, one European Cup, two UEFA Cup titles, one Bundesliga.

“I inform ya, sincerely, I’d like it if we beat them! Love it!”

When you study Kevin Keegan’s name that interview is what came to thoughts isn’t it?

Don’t lie, of route it’s far.

But if you can, just for a moment, placed apart the aforementioned rage prompted rant and the following bottling of the Premier League title race, you’ll see simply how amazing a footballer Keegan surely turned into.

In reality, Kevin Keegan became one of the best English footballers of all time.

He won the Ballon d’Or two times. TWICE.

Keegan also have become English soccer’s undisputed greatest ever export for the duration of his time a Hamburger SV; where he was lauded as a ‘saviour’ for winning the Bundesliga identify in 1979.

  1. Hristo Stoichkov
    Hristo Stoichkov on the 1994 World Cup
    Peak: 1990-94

Major Achievements: 1994 Ballon d’Or, 1990 European Golden Shoe, five-time Bulgarian Footballer of the Year, one UEFA Champions League, five La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey.

Imagine being so desirable at football that you could single handedly drag Bulgaria to a World Cup semi very last.

Imagine being THAT desirable at soccer.

Well, it truly is how top Hristo Stoichkov become in 1994.

Scoring six goals within the the 1994 FIFA World Cup – which include one in each of the knockout rounds – Stoichkov came within touching distance of taking an endlessly unfancied Bulgarian outfit to the very last; earning himself the Ballon d’Or within the technique.

On pinnacle of this splendid global fulfillment, Stoichkov – mainly among 1990 and 1994 – loved a quite incredible club career too.

Teaming up with Romario at Barcelona in his top, Stoichkov have become one of the maximum feared forwards in Europe, and helped the ‘Dream Team’ to a UEFA Champions League triumph in 1991/ninety two.

  1. Gianluigi Buffon
    Gianluigi Buffon
    Peak: 2002-06

Major Achievements: 2006 Ballon d’Or runner-up, 2006 FIFA World Cup, 12-time Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, 2002/03 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, -time Pallone Azzurro, 2016/17 Serie A Footballer of the Year, eleven Scudetti, six Coppa Italia titles, one UEFA Cup.

The greatest goalkeeper of all time? According to 90min, he’s.

Put honestly, no goalkeeper has ever been better for longer than Gianluigi Buffon. And no one ever will.

At his quality, he might simplest concede two goals (one a freak Cristian Zaccardo personal intention, the opposite a Zinedine Zidane penalty) on path to a World Cup triumph, at his worst he changed into one of the top three goalkeepers in Europe.

There will by no means be some other Gianluigi Buffon.

  1. Johan Neeskens
    What. A. Kit.
    Peak: 1971-seventy eight

Major Achievements: 1974 & 1978 FIFA World Cup runner-up, 1974 FIFA World Cup Silver Boot, 3 European Cups, Eredivisie, two KNVB Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, one Copa del Rey.

The ‘two protect’ for the remarkable Netherlands, Ajax and Barcelona teams of the Nineteen Seventies, Johan Neeskens can also have always been inside the shadow of Johan Cruyff, however his skills can not be underestimated.

Neeskens changed into the brutally tough running ying to Cruyff’s fantastically inventive yang, and it’s greater than fair to say that without one Johan, there couldn’t were the opposite.

  1. Xavi Hernandez
    Xavi roasting someone
    Peak: 2008-12

Major Achievements: 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2008 & 2012 UEFA European Championship, 2008 UEFA European Championship Player of the Tournament, 2005 La Liga Spanish Player of the Year, four UEFA Champions Leagues, eight La Liga titles, 3 Copa del Rey.

The fulcrum of two of the best football teams of all time.

A winner of actually every single trophy that has ever existed.

A participant that ‘modified football’.

Yeah, Xavi Hernandez turned into quite appropriate.

  1. Luis Suarez
    Luis Suarez

Peak: 1960-sixty five

Major Achievements: 1960 Ballon d’Or, two European Cups, Intercontinental Cups, three Scudetti, La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey.

No, now not that Luis Suarez. Don’t be stupid.

This isn’t always the Uruguayan Luis Suarez who may additionally emerge as being remembered extra for biting humans than being a high-quality goalscorer.

This is the Spanish Luis Suarez who, all through the first half of of the 1960s, dominated European football with a modern Inter aspect.

In this fruitful duration the actual Suarez received the Ballon d’Or, 3 Scudetti and a whopping consecutive European Cups.

Oh, and he did not bite a unmarried person (that we recognise of). Good man.

  1. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge looking typically irritated
    Peak: 1979-84

Major Achievements: 1980 & 1981 Ballon d’Or, 1980 German Footballer of the Year, 3-time Torjägerkanone, 1980 UEFA European Championship, European Cups, Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge may better known as one of the scarier members of the Bayern Munich board to more youthful readers of this text; to the older readers but, the German is remembered for being one of the maximum fearsome forwards of the Eighties.

Always the bridesmaid and by no means the bride on the World Cup – he turned into a overwhelmed finalist on events – but a winner in actually every other competition he ever performed in.

A scarily right ahead, a scarily appropriate leader and…Without a doubt, just a downright horrifying man.

  1. Andres Iniesta
    Iniesta scoring the winner in a World Cup final
    Peak: 2008-12

Major Achievements: 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2008 & 2012 UEFA European Championships, four UEFA Champions Leagues, 9 La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey, 2012 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award.

Is Andres Iniesta the maximum likeable footballer in this listing?

Yes, yes he is.

Is he additionally the maximum a success footballer on this listing?

Well, he is definitely right up there.

Andres Iniesta gained the whole lot. Everything.

  • The World Cup: test.
  • UEFA European Championships: take a look at.
  • UEFA Champions League: test.
  • Great Spanish Bake-Off: in all likelihood check.

He did with style too, as one of the most skilful footballers of his generation in reality.

  1. Rivelino
    Rivelino of Brazil
    Peak: 1968-seventy four

Major Achievements: 1970 FIFA World Cup, 1970 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, two Campeonato Carioca titles.

We’ve all seen the words ‘Joga Bonito’, and all of us enjoyed those Nike commercials, but it is honest to say that none of us honestly understood what ‘Joga Bonito’ truely approach (until you talk Portuguese).

But in case you make an effort to watch some YouTube highlights of Rivelino or discover some full recreation tapes from the 1970 FIFA World Cup (they’re out there, believe me, illegally so, however they may be available), you may apprehend simply what ‘Joga Bonito’ simply is.

It’s the stunning game; some thing that no one has ever personified pretty like Rivelino did.

  1. Bobby Moore
    Moore kissing the World Cup
    Peak: 1964-70

Major Achievements: 1966 FIFA World Cup, 1970 Ballon d’Or runner-up, 1964 FA Cup, PFA Player of the Century, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team.

I don’t know if you recognize this however England received the World Cup in 1966.

Oh, that already? Because English humans shoehorn the fact that their u . S . Won the World Cup into each single communique ever? Yeah, it is stressful.

To be honest even though, triumphing the World Cup is an remarkable fulfillment, and it is one that could not have been viable with out one of the best defenders and leaders of all time: Bobby Moore.

A elegance act each on and rancid the pitch, Moore has been rightfully immortalised in statue shape out of doors of Wembley Stadium.

  1. Socrates
    Socrates in a notable Brazil package
    Peak: 1976-eighty four

Major Achievements: Three Campeonato Paulista, 1983 South American Footballer of the Year, 1980 Bola de Prata, 1976 Campeonato Paulista pinnacle scorer.

The Che Guevara of football.

A man as vital off the sphere the as he become on it – he democratised Corinthians, creating a voting gadget for the membership’s selection making manner – the ‘Doctor’ is one of the maximum substantial figures in Brazilian soccer records.

He changed into additionally bloody awesome with a ball at his ft…Regardless of being a series smoker. A uncommon mix of elegance and strength, Socrates become the ideal all-round midfielder.

I imply, look at this intention. Stunning.

  1. Lothar Matthaus
    Lothar Matthaeus, Pierre Littbarski
    Peak: 1988-92

Major Achievements: 1990 Ballon d’Or, 1991 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1990 FIFA World Cup, 1980 UEFA European Football Championship, UEFA Cups, seven Bundesliga titles, one Scudetto, 3 DFB-Pokal titles.

Lothar Matthaus has the largest ego in this list: that definitely is saying something.

But the size of his ego is nearly justifiable. Put simply, Matthaus changed into the most whole player of his generation – a generation that simply so passed off to spawn the likes of Michel Platini, Diego Maradona, Zico and many others.

A natural born winner, and a herbal born world shaker (his purpose against Yugoslavia on the 1990 FIFA World Cup actually registered on the richter scale), Matthaus ought to, and did, do all of it.

  1. Ronaldinho
    Ronaldinho telling the competition how many rabonas he is going to do
    Peak: 2004-06

Major Achievements: 2005 Ballon d’Or, 2004 & 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2005/06 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2004 & 2005 FIFPro World Player of the Year, one UEFA Champions League, two La Liga titles, one Scudetto.

“The candle that burns two times as vibrant burns 1/2 as lengthy” is a quote that completely encapsulates Ronaldinho’s career.

Between 2004 and 2006, the sector bore witness to some thing absolutely unique: a footballer who played the stunning game with real joy.

The flicks, the hints, the gold boots, the smile, the faked Nike advert, Ronaldinho turned into a on foot advertisement for everything accurate approximately football.

  1. Ruud Gullit
    Ruud Gullitt being sincerely cool
    Peak: 1986-ninety

Major Achievements: 1987 Ballon d’Or, two-time Dutch Footballer of the Year, 1988 UEFA European Championship, two European Cups, 3 Scudetti, 3 Eredivisie titles, one Coppa Italia, one KNVB Cup.

At this very second in time, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the maximum dominant force in recreation. Before the ‘Greek Freak’, that title changed into held with the aid of Shaquille O’Neill. And before ‘Big Shaq’, it become held with the aid of AC Milan legend Ruud Gullit.

In the late 80s, Gullit changed into the unstoppable pressure that led an unstoppable AC Milan juggernaut that ruled European soccer.

Deservedly prevailing soccer’s equivalent of the MVP award (1987 Ballon d’Or), the Dutch global became soccer’s equal to a triple-double gadget.

He. Could. Not. Be. Stopped.

  1. Bobby Charlton
    Charlton on a muddy vintage pitch
    Peak: 1963-67

Major Achievements: 1966 Ballon d’Or, 1966 FIFA World Cup, 1966 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1967/sixty eight European Cup, three Football League First Division titles, 1962/63 FA Cup.

Remember how precise Frank Lampard turned into?



Bobby Charlton was like Frank Lampard, simplest 100x better.

The fine player within the satisfactory England group of all time, Charlton become precise – surely, clearly, surely right.

  1. Giuseppe Meazza

Peak: 1934-38

Major Achievements: 1934 & 1938 FIFA World Cup, 1934 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, three Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, three Capocannoniere.

So appropriate they named the maximum well-known stadium in the global after him, Giuseppe Meazza is the first – the OG – legend of Italian football.

A mythical figure at the peninsula, those who recognize say Meazza is the best Italian footballer of all time; individuals who do not say he’s the 23rd quality participant of all time.

  1. Raymond Kopa
    Peak: 1956-fifty nine

Major Achievements: 1958 Ballon d’Or, 1961 French Player of the Year, 1958 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, 3 European Cups, La Liga titles, four Ligue 1 titles.

Raymond Kopa is one of three geniuses of French football…You will study greater about the opposite two quickly, undergo with me.

A proverbial call in the pinnacle three of Ballon d’Or vote casting for the duration of his peak years, Kopa changed into the creative pressure that enabled Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano (you’ll examine more about those two soon as nicely, undergo with me) to attain a boatload of dreams for Real Madrid inside the Fifties and 60s.

He additionally helped guide Real Madrid to three European Cup triumphs.

So yeah, by way of all accounts, an excellent footballer.

  1. Romario
    Romario at the 1994 World Cup
    Peak: 1990-ninety four

Major Achievements: 1994 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1994 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1994 World Cup All-Star Team, 1989 & 1997 Copa America, one La Liga, three time Eredivisie, 1993/ninety four Pichichi winner.

According to Romario, Romario scored over 1,000 dreams.

That’s a number of dreams.

And while that may not definitely be genuine, there may be no doubting the fact Romario was an excellent talent.

The ‘King of the Lob’ become one of the most composed and clinical goalscorers of the 1990s, who became additionally – most importantly – a large game participant.

A 1994 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award right here, a Clasico hat trick there, Romario was a person for the large event.

  1. Eusebio
    Eusebio banging in a intention at the 1966 World Cup
    Peak: 1962-sixty eight

Major Achievements: 1965 Ballon d’Or, 1966 European Golden Boot, 1968 & 1973 European Golden Boot, 1962 European Cup, eleven Primeira Liga titles, 5 Taca de Portugal titles.

Like Romario, Eusebio turned into a perfect goalscorer. Unlike Romario, Eusebio failed to exclaim that he’d scored over 1,000 career desires; but he got here quite near doing so.

For the correct exemplification of the ‘Black Panther’s’ expertise, see his 4 desires in Portugal’s come-from-at the back of win over North Korea within the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

And before you brush it off as ‘most effective North Korea’:

1) Bear in thoughts the results of questioning that. Things should get frightening for you and your family.

2) Remember that North Korea – again in 1966 – have been genuinely virtually top. This recreation changed into within the World Cup area finals, and North Korea have been coming off the again of a famous win over Italy. Oh, and North Korea have been surely 3 goals to the good earlier than Eusebio decided to overcome them unmarried handedly.

  1. Marco van Basten
    Van Basten scored a marvel intention in the Euro 88 final
    Peak: 1988-92

Major Achievements: 1988, 1989 & 1992 Ballon d’Or, 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1989, 1990 & 1992 UEFA Best Player of the Year, 1984/85 Dutch Footballer of the Year, two Capocannoniere, 1988 UEFA European Championship, European Cups, 3 Scudetti, three Eredivisie, three KNVB Cups.

It’s a testomony to Marco van Basten that he gained 3 Ballons d’Or, and is (due to accidents) still taken into consideration to be a ‘what should’ve been’ tale. That’s how accurate Marco van Basten become.

Both technically elegant and extremely powerful in same degree, Van Basten was the right wide variety nine.

He should, and did, score every kind of aim you can imagine.



‘Right foot?’


‘Left foot?’


‘Overhead kicks?’



Oh. My. God. YES.

  1. George Best
    George Best wearing a large massive hat
    Peak: 1966-71

Major Achievements: 1968 Ballon d’Or, 1967/68 FWA Footballer of the Year, 1967/sixty eight Football League First Division pinnacle scorer, 1968 European Cup, two Football League First Division titles.

Without doubt, the coolest footballer in this listing. Hands down. It’s a non-contest.

Affectionately referred to as the ‘5th Beatle’, George Best is perhaps remembered extra for his off-the-subject antics in preference to his on-the-pitch achievements. However, that’s not to say he wasn’t an extremely good expertise.

Because he 100% was. In fact, he’s the most clearly gifted footballer the British and Irish Isles have ever produced. EVER.

A Ballon d’Or and European Cup winner, Best peaked early in his profession, however what a peak it was.

“Pelé referred to as me the finest footballer within the international. That is the remaining salute to my lifestyles.”

  1. Zico
    Leovelgido Lins Da Gama Junior, Arthur Antunes Coimbra Zico, Diego Armando Mardona
    Peak: 1979-eighty two

Major Achievements: Five-time Bola de Prata winner, 3-time South American Footballer of the Year, top scorer in Flamengo’s records, 1981 Copa Libertadores Best Player, 1981 Copa Libertadores, 1981 Intercontinental Cup, 3 Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A titles.

Zico latches onto the ball near the midway line, and loops a seemingly aimless pass into the left hand side of the penalty location. To regular humans, one of these bypass seemed aimless, but Zico saw an opportunity. Moments later Flamengo had been 1-0 up towards the best Liverpool group of all time.

Half-hour later, Flamengo were 3 dreams to the coolest courtesy of any other Zico assists.

An hour later, they were global champions.

That’s who Zico became. A genius who noticed the sport in a different manner. A genius who may want to conjure something from in reality nothing. A genius that made everyone round him better.

Flamengo’s best ever goalscorer.

Flamengo’s greatest ever playmaker.

Flamengo’s finest ever participant.

  1. Franco Baresi
    Baresi was the primary guy all through Milan’s great years
    Peak: 1987-94

Major Achievements: AC Milan Player of the Century, Serie A Player of the Century, 1982 FIFA World Cup, six Scudetti, 3 European Cups, Intercontinental Cups, 1989 Ballon d’Or runner-up.

Unlike quite a few the gamers in this list, the ‘height’ criteria way that we’ve needed to drop Baresi down a few places. After all, what sticks out about the Italian is his brilliant consistency for the duration of his 20 year profession.

Nevertheless, Baresi nevertheless makes it into 90min’s top 20 footballers of all time, due to the fact in case you look at the years wherein the defender changed into at the ‘height’ of his powers he changed into impossible to get past.

Literally not possible.

It couldn’t be completed.

And what such defensive dominance brought about, changed into a metric f**kton of trophies.

  1. Ferenc Puskas
    Ferenc Puskas
    Peak: 1950-fifty four

Major Achievements: European Player of the twentieth Century, Olympic gold medal, 1954 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1960 Ballon d’Or runner-up, 1954 FIFA World Cup runner-up, 4-time Pichichi winner, 4-time Hungarian league top scorer, two-time European Cup pinnacle scorer, 3 European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, 5 La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, five Hungarian League titles.

If you’ve got visible any photos of Ferenc Puskas, you probable seen a few blurry clips of a as an alternative fats fella scoring an obscene amount of goals for Real Madrid and notion:

“Jeez, is that how long in the past Gonzalo Higuain played for Real Madrid?”

I can guarantee that, regardless of Puskas locating the net scarily frequently at Los Blancos, his peak came a lot before that. He wasn’t continually that stocky.

In the early Nineteen Fifties, he changed into at the peak of his physical powers, and main the one of the maximum great football groups of all time.

The Magical Magyars’ star man turned into, in lots of ways, the correct footballer. Strong, skilful, a goalscorer and, perhaps most importantly a pacesetter.

Want to certainly see how true Puskas became?

Check out his goal in opposition to England in the ‘Match of the Century’. After latching onto the ball on the edge of the six-yard container, the ahead dragged the ball lower back, leaving Billy Wright for dead, before firing into the roof of the net. That goal is how accurate Puskas changed into: in reality high-quality.

  1. Paolo Maldini
    Paolo Maldini chilling out, catching some rays
    Peak: 1994-2003

Major Achievements: Most Serie A appearances of all time, most AC Milan appearances of all time, 5 European Cups, seven Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, Intercontinental Cup, 1994 FIFA World Cup runner-up, 2000 UEFA European Football Championship runner-up.

If you were to make the perfect footballer in some form of lab (like Manchester City seemingly do) – go complete Gene Wilder in ‘Young Frankenstein’ and scream “IT’S ALIIIVEEEE” whilst the footballer confirmed symptoms of existence – you’d in all likelihood create Paolo Maldini.

And, allow’s be honest, you’d probably name him Paolo Maldini too, due to the fact, properly, WHAT A NAME.

Maldini is most whole footballer of the past 30 years. At the very least, a nine/10 in every unmarried role he could be performed in, and a 10/10 week in, week out as a defender.

When Nike ran the ad marketing campaign:

“Italy’s Goalkeeper: Easiest Job in the World.”

They had been proper. Maldini made it the perfect process inside the world. He made every single one among his teammates’ jobs the easiest inside the world.

Thirteen. Gerd Muller
Rudi Krol, Gerd Mnller
Peak: 1970-seventy four

Major Achievements: 1970 Ballon d’Or, 1974 FIFA World Cup, 1972 UEFA European Championship, 1970 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, two-time German Footballer of the Year, -time European Golden Shoe winner, seven-time Torjägerkanone, thee European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, four Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals.

Der Bomber.

Gerd Muller = the high-quality goalscorer of all time.

He is.

Don’t @ me with any alternatives.

The sky is blue. Grass is green. And Gerd Muller is the excellent goalscorer of all time.

These are all statistics of existence.

Sixty eight desires in 62 global appearances for West Germany.

The guy as soon as scored sixty seven goals in a single season, in just forty nine appearances.

He also scored a aim that received West Germany the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

A goalscorer for the big moments, the small moments, and each moment in among.

  1. Mane Garrincha

Peak: 1958-sixty two

Major Achievements: 1958 & 1962 FIFA World Cup, 1962 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1962 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, three State Championships.

“Garrincha is the maximum novice footballer professional football ever produced. He in no way trained. He had no agent, didn’t trouble reading his contracts, and typically signed them earlier than the figures were filled in.”

And but, notwithstanding being an ‘beginner’, no matter in no way schooling (who prefer to visit the beach and play football along with his associates rather), and no matter having ‘bent legs’, Mane Garrincha is one of the best players of all time.

Garrincha is the authentic Samba football megastar; a person who added the game played in the streets of Brasilia, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo to the worldwide degree, and utilised it to win FIFA World Cups.

  1. Alfredo di Stefano

Peak: 1956-62

Major Achievements: 1957 & 1959 Ballon d’Or, 5 European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, eight La Liga titles, five-time Pichichi winner, World Team of the 20 th Century, one Copa del Rey.

“People argue among Pele or Maradona. Di Stéfano is the pleasant, lots extra entire.” (Pele)

“Di Stéfano become one of the finest footballers ever. He had such super balance.” (Alex Ferguson)

“The maximum complete footballer in the history of the sport.” (Eusebio)

“He was genuinely the most shrewd football participant I ever saw. If I had one player to pick out, out of all of them, to store my lifestyles, he’d be the one.” (Bobby Charlton)

After analyzing the aforementioned praise of Alfredo di Stefano, do you really want me to say some thing about him? So, moving on…

  1. Roberto Baggio
    Roberto Baggio
    Peak: 1990-94

Major Achievements: 1993 Ballon d’Or, 1993 FIFA World Player of the Year, Italy’s Player of the Century, 1994 FIFA World Cup Silver Ball, 1994 FIFA World Cup runner-up, two Scudetti, one UEFA Cup, one Coppa Italia.

Football’s maximum regular vessel for the elusive daemon of genius.

Wait, you do not know what meaning…? So you haven’t study the article I wrote approximately Roberto Baggio…? Go examine my article about Roberto Baggio!

Spoke of almost completely the usage of biblical allusions, the Divine Ponytail who had the angels singing in his legs (in line with Aldo Agroppi), for calcio enthusiasts, Roberto Baggio became a glimpse of God.

A participant divinely inspired to conjure the impossible on a football pitch, and alternate Italian football enthusiasts’ perception of the beautiful sport all the time.

  1. Michel Platini
    Peak: 1982-85

Major Achievements: 1983, 1984, 1985 Ballon d’Or, French Player of the Century, -time French Player of the Year, three-time Capocannoniere, 1984 UEFA European Championship Player of the Tournament, 1984 UEFA European Championship, one European Cup, Scudetti, one Ligue 1 title, one Coppa Italia, one Intercontinental Cup.

Michel Platini is now better regarded through the footballing international as a disgraced former UEFA president, however, for the purpose of this listing, we are going to pretend that by no means occurred.

So take a minute to place mind of “Platini is a disgrace!” and “Platini is a criminal!” to at least one facet.



Remember once I said in advance that Bobby Charlton changed into like Frank Lampard, only 100x higher? Well, Platini was like Frank Lampard, best 200x higher.

Michel Platini is certainly the greatest goalscoring midfielder of all time.

In three consecutive seasons in his top, Platini received the Golden Boot award in a league which boasted the pleasant defenders of all time; scratch that, the high-quality footballers of all time.

Platini was in addition effective for France, guiding the country to their first ever important football success by way of scoring 9 (sure, NINE) goals in 5 games at the 1984 UEFA European Championships. Decent.

  1. Zinedine Zidane
    Zidane scored goals within the 1998 World Cup very last
    Peak: 1998-2002

Major Achievements: 1998 Ballon d’Or, 1998, 2000 & 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2002 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2000/01 Serie A Footballer of the Year, UEFA Champions League Best Player of the Past 20 Years, L’Equipe Best French Player of All Time, 2006 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, only player to be named Player of the Year in 3 of the top five leagues, maximum dreams in FIFA World Cup finals, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2000 UEFA European Championships, one Champions League, Scudetti, one La Liga identify, one Intercontinental Cup.

Zinedine Zidane changed into one beautiful b**tard with a ball at his toes.

Headbutts apart (or even then, the headbutt was technically superb), Zizou changed into the most stylish football of all time, pirouetting his way around Europe; commonly triumphing while doing so.

Zidane received A LOT.

Everything truely.

When he gained, it became commonly after he’d scored one of the maximum memorable goals of all time.

Three World Cup final dreams and the satisfactory aim in UEFA Champions League history within the 2002 very last, it is truthful to say that Zidane wasn’t simply one of the most enjoyable footballers of all time, but also one of the most ‘clutch’.

Plus the headbutt became excellent. Super Saiyan level strength from the France legend.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Peak: 2012-sixteen

Major Achievements: Highest scoring footballer of all time, leading scorer in men’s international soccer history, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017 Ballon d’Or, 2008, 2016 & 2017 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2014, 2016 & 2017 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, 4-time European Golden Shoe winner, two-time PFA Players’ Player of the Year, UEFA Champions League all time top goalscorer, Real Madrid’s all time top goalscorer, 5 UEFA Champions Leagues, La Liga titles, three Premier League titles, two Scudetti, Copa del Rey, one FA Cup, one Coppa Italia, one UEFA European Championship.

Right, permit’s get this out of the way: Lionel Messi is, changed into, will always be, a better footballer than Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s only a truth.

However, in saying which you can’t deny how astonishingly tremendous Ronaldo has been for the duration of the direction of his profession.

I mean, study his ‘principal achievements’. Just look at them.

He’s gained definitely everything (besides for the World Cup) at least 20 instances, and he is scored extra desires than absolutely everyone else ever. EVER!!!!!!

  1. Ronaldo
    Ronaldo was unstoppable at his height
    Peak: 1995-98

Major Achievements: 1997 & 2002 Ballon d’Or, 1996, 1997 & 2002 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1998 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2002 FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe, 1996/ninety seven European Golden Shoe, 1994 & 2002 FIFA World Cup, 1997 & 1999 Copa America, -time Pichichi winner, 1998 Serie A Footballer of the Year, La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one KNVB Cup, one UEFA Cup, one Intercontinental Cup.

Are Ronaldo’s knee injuries the simplest things that stopped the Brazilian from being the primary, undisputed, best footballer of all time? Quite probably.

Pre-knee injury – the primary one, 23rd November 1999 – R9 changed into properly on his way to becoming the best to ever lace up a couple of boots.

In short, he was the appropriate ahead.

As brief as top PED Justin Gatlin, as powerful as peak PED Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and as skilful as Garrincha, Pele, Zico etc.

Ronaldo changed into perfect.

The perfect exemplification of R9’s mastery is his goal against Compostela. Sir Bobby Robson’s response says it all. Mind blowing.

Five. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff changed the sport
Peak: 1971-75

Major Achievements: 1971, 1973 & 1975 Ballon d’Or, 1974 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 3-time Dutch Footballer of the Year, two-time Dutch Sportsman of the Year, 3 European Cups, one La Liga identify, 9 Eredivisie titles, one Copa del Rey, six KNVB Cup, one Intercontinental Cup.

It takes a unique kind of footballer to invent his very own skill flow – Aiden McGeady aside, manifestly.

Johan Cruyff did each.

A now mythical parent, Cruyff is arguably the maximum influential footballer of all time; and one of the most proficient too.

The centrepiece of the ‘Total Football’ era (shoutout to Parquet Courts), Cruyff made stunning groups a success; a feat so splendid that we still see its outcomes to at the moment.

  1. Franz Beckenbauer
    Franz Beckenbauer of
    Peak: 1966-76

Major Achievements: 1972 & 1976 Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 1966 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award, four-time German Footballer of the Year, 1974 FIFA World Cup, 1972 UEFA European Championships, 3 European Cups, 5 Bundesliga titles, 4 DFB-Pokals, one Intercontinental Cup.

While Paolo Maldini turned into the most complete footballer of the beyond 30 years, Franz Beckenbauer turned into the maximum complete footballer EVER.

Put actually, whatever you could possibly want a footballer so one can do, Beckenbauer may want to – and did – do it.

A goalscorer: sure.

An exceptional defender: sure.

A splendid athlete: yes.

A consummate expert: yes.

A chief: yes. In a huge, big, manner.

A winner: yes.

Known as Der Kaiser, Franz Beckenbauer was the person in the back of the bulk of Germany’s footballing triumphs over the years…That you probable already understand, changed into a number of triumphs.

Oh, he is additionally considered one of two defenders to EVER win the Ballon d’Or. Oh and sure, of direction he gained it TWICE.

Three. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Peak: 2009-12

Major Achievements: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 & 2021 Ballon d’Or, 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year, Barcelona all time top goalscorer, La Liga all time top goalscorer, six-time Pichichi winner, Argentina’s all time pinnacle goalscorer, most goals scored in a calendar yr, 2011 & 2015 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, seven-time La Liga Player of the Year, 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2005 Young European Footballer of the Year, five-time European Golden Shoe winner, 4 Champions Leagues, nine La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey, one Copa America.

You’ve examine it one million times on Twitter.

Someone might be tweeting it this very second:

“Lionel Messi is the GOAT!!! THE GOAT!!! If you disagree you already know not anything approximately football!!! Nothing!!!”

While those Tweets are notably grating, the do form of have a point. Because let’s face it, Messi is one of the greatest footballers of all time.

He’s extremely good. Truly tremendous.

At his top he scored 91 desires in a calendar year, gained six Ballons d’Or, and a boatload of membership honours; in his relative (relative) decline, he is still the nice footballer within the world.

The motive why he is best 1/3 in this listing of the Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time, is due to the FIFA World Cup. It’s a opposition he’s never gained, and it’s a competition wherein he’s by no means scored a goal in any knockout spherical video games.

  1. Pele
    Pele loving the craic
    Peak: 1958-64

Major Achievements: FIFA Player of the Century, France Football’s finest FIFA World Cup player, TIME one hundred Most Important People of the twentieth Century listing, Brazil’s all-time main goalscorer, Santos’ all-time main goalscorer, youngest FIFA World Cup winner, most assists in FIFA World Cup history, 1958, 1962 & 1970 FIFA World Cup, pinnacle goalscorer in FIFA World Cup finals, two Copa Libertadores titles, six Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A titles, two Intercontinental Cups, 1970 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1958 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player, 1970 Bola de Prata.


It’s the only phrase that encapsulates Pele.

Pele is important.

One of the a hundred maximum important human beings of the 20th century in keeping with TIME.

The maximum crucial footballer of all time.

Bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-antique seeking to avenge the tears of his father while Brazil misplaced the 1950 World Cup final, Pele could cross directly to win the World Cup on three separate events and make Brazil the football kingdom.

The Brazilian’s height is delusion at this point, probably because the arena failed to clearly get to see it due to his injury at the 1962 World Cup, however greater aptly because between 1958 and 1962, he scored an extraordinary wide variety of goals.

His first-rate fulfillment was leading the maximum extraordinary soccer team of all time to 1970 FIFA World Cup glory, however it is his top years of the early Sixties which make Pele one of the very pleasant.

  1. Diego Maradona
    Maradona gained the 1986 World Cup basically on his personal
    Peak: 1985-90

Major Achievements: 90min’s Greatest Footballer of All Time, Corriere dello Sport’s Best Athlete in History, 1986 FIFA World Cup, 1986 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1985 Serie A Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, FIFA Goal of the Century, Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century, -time South American Footballer of the Year, four-time Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year, two Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup.

So what makes Diego Armando Maradona 90min’s best footballer of all time?

Is it the truth that he gained the FIFA World Cup in a manner that no one else has ever been capable of doing – unmarried handedly?

Is it the reality that he scored the two maximum widespread dreams in footballing history?

Is it the fact that any such dreams became the greatest intention of all time? The not possible made feasible with the aid of a true genius?

Is it the truth that he joined SSC Napoli – a downtrodden, undesirable, unfancied crew – and made them the fine group within the strongest league Europe has ever seen?

Is it the truth that in his hometown he is considered to be a God? A running magnificence hero that empowered a nation through his messianic skills?

It’s all of the above.

Diego Maradona, at his very high-quality, is the greatest footballer we’ve, and will ever see. Effective and notable in identical degree.

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