This post will list 10 greatest footballers in the history of football as a game. It will also provide answer as to who is the best football player ever.
Although, there are many soccer stars who ply their trade in different top soccer clubs in the world, becoming legends at their various clubs and countries, they can not still be compared with these players below who are seen as demi-gods and greatest soccer stars of all time in the history of the game all over the world.
Top 10 list of the Greatest Football Legends
1. Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona won the 1986 World Cup along side two Italian Championships with Napoli. His style of play is often compared to that of Lionel Messi. It was said that Maradona won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 single handedly. He is known for his two popular goals against England in the quarter finals. The first goal which he used his hands to score was called “The Hand of God”. The second was a solo goal of outstanding class (Lionel Messi did a similar kind of goal) and was voted “The Goal of the Century” in 2002. Due to the way he dribbles past defenders, Maradona looked like someone from another planet because he was just unstoppable. Maradona was also a drug addict. Most people argued that his skills were enhanced due to high intake of drugs and should not be included among the list of great football legends but his name precedes their argument.
Pele was often called “The king of football”. He was a Brazilian football player who scored more than 1000 goals in his career, winning 3 World Cup with Brazil in the process. He played most of his footballing career at Santos where he won the Copa libertadores and Intercontinental Cup twice. During his time, he was regarded as the best football player ever to grace the game of football. Pele soccer skills were so mesmerizing as great in all aspects of the game, he was good in shooting from long range distance, heading, dribbling, passing and even defending.
3. Johan Cruyff
Dutch player and FC Barcelona legend, Johan Cruyff, is number 3 on our list of world tome greatest soccer stars. Cruyff was known for his insight of the game and his ability to give great passes to his teammates. Cruyff could dribble past defenders changing direction with fast acceleration. He mostly played as a centre forward however he could drop deep or even played from the wing. Cruyff won the European Cup thrice with Ajax and was nine times champion of the Netherlands, he won La Liga with Barcelona once and was voted European Player of the Century in 1999.
4. Franz Beckenbauer
One thing about Franz Beckenbauer was that he was a defender but scored a vast number of goals. Born in Germany, “Der Kaiser” as popularly known introduced a new style of playing as an attacking sweeper. He would often make a rush from his own penalty area to the penalty area of the opponent by dribbling and making short combinations with his teammates. Despite being a defender he scored 60 goals in 427 appearances for Bayern Munich. He won the World Cup in 1974 in his homeland as a captain of Germany. In 1999 he was voted second place behind Cruyff as European Footballer of the Century. He was one of the best soccer legends during his time
5. Alfredo Di Stéfano
Alfredo Di Stéfano is seen as Real Madrid’s legend. He played for Real Madrid during the 1950s and 60s which at that time was the most successful club in the world. He led his team to five consecutive European Cup victories during the period of 1956-1960, scoring in each final. He won the Ballon d’Or twice. Although Di Stéfano was a forward, it was said that he could play anywhere in the pitch. He had great stamina, tactical sense and high vision. Di Stéfano was born in Argentina but played for Colombia and Spain. Despite being one of the greatest football players of all time, he never played at a World Cup.
6. Ferenc Puskás
The famous “Puskas award” was named after Ferenc Puskás who played alongside Di Stéfano in the great Real Madrid team of the 1950s and 1960s. He won three European Cups and scored four goals in the 1960 final against Eintracht Frankfurt. Puskás was known to score impossible goals and was also a player of the famous Hungarian team that was second in the 1954 World Cup. He was a perfect left footer who could score 9 out of 10 chances he had in the penalty area with the ball.
Garrincha was mostly over shadowed by Pele because both played at the same era. He was also a Brazilian and was called “little bird”. He had most of his career at Botafogo and won two World Cups with Brazil. He was known for his great dribbling move where he threatened inside but then suddenly go outside with a fast acceleration. He mastered this skill so good thanks to the fact his left leg was six centimeters shorter than his right. He led Brazil to the 1962 World Cup victory without the injured Pelé. He may be one of the most underrated players of all time because of the fact he was in the shadow of Pelé but he is definitely one of the greatest players of all time.
8. Zinedine Zidane
Three times FIFA World Player of the Year and World Cup winner of 1998, Zinedine Zidane was one of the greatest players of the last decade. Zidane most famous of his short first touch of the ball, his ball control and 360 roulette move was a real playmaker . His tactical vision made it possible to organize a team and give brilliant passes to his teammates. Zidane was successful with the French Team (World Cup 1998 winner, 2006 runner-up, European Champion 2000) and with his club team by winning the UEFA Champions League twice with Juventus and once with Real Madrid.
9. Ronaldo De lima
After Zidane we can’t forget about the other brilliant player of the late 90s and early 21st century, Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima “O Fenômeno” was on his way to win the 1998 World Cup when an convulsive fit hindered him to win the final. Four years later he took revenge by scoring twice in the final against Germany and winning the tournament. Ronaldo a striker, always did where he was best at, scoring goals. At the 2006 World Cup Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal and became record holder of scoring the most goals at World Cups.
Eusebio was a Portugese striker who was born in Mozambique. He played most of his career at Benfica with which he won the European Cup in 1962. Eusebio scored two goals in the 5-3 final against Madrid. He scored a total of 733 goals in 745 games in his career. Eusebio was known for his great dribbles, powerful shots and fast acceleration. At the World Cup in 1966 Eusebio helped his team to become third. In the quarter-final match against North Korea, Portugal was behind 3-0 after 25 minutes. Then Eusebio did the impossible and scored four goals. Portugal had won with 5-3 and Portugal went through to the semi-final in which they lost with 2-1 from England, Eusebio scoring the goal for Portugal. Portugal finished third by winning from Russia with 2-1 and Eusebio scoring another goal.
11. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portugese player who is famous for his great skills and tricks, and also has an amazing free kick. He played for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United and currently plies his trade with Real Madrid. This great athlete has great shooting ability from long range. At his young age, he dribbled more often but as he developed, he became a deadly forward, scoring goals with an incredible rate and ratio. He has won three Ballon d’Ors and he is among the richest footballers in the world.
12. Lionel Messi
This list of world’s best footballers would not be complete if we don’t mention Lionel Messi. Born in Rosario, Argentina, Lionel Messi was born with a hormonal disorder but did not mar him from playing football. His ball skills are second to none, his runs from midfield are usually lethal and he is almost impossible to tackle when he gets his head down. His balance when running at speed is incredible. Lionel Messi has all attributes of the players listed above and he is regarded by pundits, legends and coaches as the greatest player on the planet and in the history of the game. The Argentine play-maker has remained alongside his eternal rival C. Ronaldo in the list of Ballon D’Or winners for 10 solid years. He currently plays for FC Barcelona, winning five Ballon D’Or in the process. He is also among the Highest paid footballer in the world with a net worth of $40 million.
What’s your take on the greatest soccer players of all time in the history of football