Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

Top 20 Greatest Soccer Players of All Time

Soccer GOAT

Soccer is a sport with a rich history, and it’s challenging to compile a list of the greatest players without sparking debates. Yet, there are 20 remarkable individuals who deserve recognition for their exceptional contributions to the game. In this article, we will delve into the top 20 soccer players of all time, considering both their domestic and international achievements. Let’s celebrate their legacies and explore how they shaped the sport we love.

20. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

With his unique playstyle and imposing physical presence, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has left an indelible mark on the game. From his strength and aerial dominance to his unwavering competitive spirit, Ibrahimovic’s impact on the pitch cannot be understated.

19. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe

At a young age, Kylian Mbappe has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with. His wise and tactical approach to the game, coupled with his exceptional speed and skill, has propelled him to the forefront of soccer. With such promising talent, Mbappe’s potential seems limitless.

18. Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski, known for his accuracy and versatility in scoring goals, has consistently showcased his prowess as one of the game’s best strikers. His ability to manipulate defenders and create opportunities for himself and his teammates is a testament to his exceptional decision-making skills.

17. Marco Van Basten

Marco Van Basten

Despite an early retirement due to injury, Marco Van Basten remains one of the most underrated players in soccer history. His goal-scoring ability, coupled with his tactical acumen, made him a formidable force on the pitch. Van Basten’s powerful and accurate shots continue to be remembered as some of the most difficult to stop.

16. Eusebio


Before Cristiano Ronaldo, Eusebio was Portugal’s soccer star. His speed, athleticism, and remarkable technique allowed him to create countless scoring opportunities. Eusebio’s goal-scoring prowess solidified his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

15. George Best

George Best

Considered the greatest player from Northern Ireland, George Best mesmerized fans with his exceptional skill and creativity on the field. Despite personal distractions, Best’s contributions to Manchester United and his display of talent cannot be overlooked.

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14. Xavi


Xavi’s passing ability, ball control, and leadership skills have made him one of the best players in Spain’s history. His strategic playmaking opened up numerous scoring opportunities for his teams, contributing to his domestic and international success.

13. Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini’s defensive prowess and leadership skills defined his illustrious career with AC Milan and the Italian national team. Widely regarded as the greatest defender in soccer history, Maldini’s ability to spearhead a defense made him a formidable opponent.

12. Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta, known for his steady play and remarkable technique, played a pivotal role in Spain’s success during the 2000s. His contributions to Barcelona and his ability to elevate his team’s performance in both domestic and international competitions cemented his status as one of the best players in the game.

11. Neymar


Neymar’s exceptional talent has placed him among the world’s best players. Although he has yet to achieve certain milestones, such as winning a World Cup, his skills and marketability remain undeniable. With continued success both domestically and internationally, Neymar has the potential to climb even higher on this list.

10. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry’s success, particularly with Arsenal, has solidified his place among the greats of the game. His impressive goal-scoring record and team contributions have made him an iconic figure. With a World Cup championship and numerous domestic titles, Henry’s impact on the sport is undeniable.

9. Ronaldinho


Ronaldinho’s flamboyant style and exceptional goal-scoring abilities have left an indelible mark on the game. His technical finesse and versatility have earned him numerous accolades, including the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldinho’s influence extends far beyond the pitch, inspiring future generations of players.

8. Ronaldo (R9)


Ronaldo, often referred to as R9, was one of the best strikers of his era. His remarkable goal-scoring ability and individual accolades showcase his impact on the game. Ronaldo’s success on the international stage, including winning multiple World Cups, solidifies his status as one of the greats.

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7. Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer, the pioneer of the modern sweeper role, enjoyed immense success during his playing days. His leadership skills and defensive prowess led to numerous trophies for both Bayern Munich and the German national team. Beckenbauer’s impact on the game extended beyond his playing career, as he later achieved success as a manager.

6. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff, widely regarded as the best Dutch player in history, dominated soccer in the early 1970s. His exceptional skills and visionary playmaking abilities revolutionized the sport. Cruyff’s influence extended beyond his playing career, as his coaching methods shaped youth academies worldwide.

5. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane, France’s beloved soccer player, enjoyed an outstanding professional career. His contributions to Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid were monumental, but it was his leadership that led France to their memorable 1998 FIFA World Cup victory. Zidane’s skills and tactical abilities continue to inspire aspiring players worldwide.

4. Pele


Pele’s impact on the game is undeniably legendary. As one of the all-time great winners, Pele’s Brazilian pride and remarkable achievements cannot be overlooked. While it’s challenging to compare players from different eras, Pele’s immense influence on the sport remains undeniable.

3. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona’s recent passing has reignited discussions about his sensational career. Maradona’s skill and memorable moments on the field elevated Argentina to World Cup glory. While some argue that modern-day players possess more well-rounded abilities, Maradona’s impact and undeniable talent are revered in soccer history.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

The debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remains a matter of personal preference. Ronaldo’s dominance and versatility on the field have propelled him to remarkable heights. With an impressive collection of titles, Ronaldo’s greatness continues to captivate fans around the world.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi stands atop the list of the greatest soccer players of all time. Messi’s creativity, skill, and ability to create offense for himself and his teammates have set him apart. With numerous domestic and international achievements, including a FIFA World Cup victory, Messi’s legacy in the sport remains unparalleled.

1. Who is the greatest soccer player of all time?
The debate surrounding the greatest soccer player of all time often revolves around Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both players have achieved remarkable success and have legions of fans who support their respective claims to the top spot.

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2. How did you determine the ranking of these players?
The ranking is based on a combination of individual skill, team success, and overall influence on the sport. While personal opinions may differ, these rankings aim to recognize the exceptional contributions of each player on the list.

3. Are there any other notable players who narrowly missed the list?
There are countless remarkable players who narrowly missed the top 20. Soccer history is filled with exceptional talent, and any list of the greatest players will inevitably leave out deserving individuals.

4. Are there any young players who have the potential to join this list in the future?
The beautiful thing about soccer is that new stars are constantly emerging. There are undoubtedly talented young players who have the potential to ascend to the ranks of the all-time greats. Only time will tell how their careers unfold.

5. What makes a player great in soccer?
Greatness in soccer encompasses a combination of skill, athleticism, mental acuity, leadership, and the ability to perform consistently at the highest level. It also includes the impact a player has on their team’s success and the lasting influence they have on the sport.

Soccer has been graced by the presence of some truly extraordinary players throughout history. From their individual achievements to their contributions to their teams and the sport as a whole, these top 20 players have left an indelible mark on soccer. Each player brings their unique style and skills to the game, making it difficult to definitively rank them. Whether it’s the mesmerizing dribbling of Messi, the power of Ronaldo, or the tactical acumen of Cruyff, every player on this list has contributed to the beautiful game in their own exceptional way. As soccer continues to evolve, the next generation of players will strive to leave their own lasting legacy on the sport we love.