10 Best soccer players of all time

I’ve been a soccer fan for a long time and decided to compile the 10 best soccer players of all time.

10. Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin was considered by many to be the best goalkeeper of all time and was awarded the best goalkeeper of the 20th Century by IFFHS. Lev Yashin won the European Footballer of the year in 1963 and died on March 20, 1990 at age 60.

9. Marco Van Basten

Van Basten

Van Basten is one of the greatest strikers of all time despite the injury that ended his career. Van Basten was named European Player of the year in 1988, 1989 and 1992 and FIFA World Player of the year in 1992.

8. Michel Platini

Michel Platini

Platini is the current UEFA President. He is widely regarded as one of the best passers and free kick specialists in football history. Platini won the European Player of the year in 1983, 1984 and 1985.

7. Alfredo Di Stéfano

Di Stefano

Di Stéfano is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He played for three different national teams during his career (Argentina, Colombia and Spain). Di Stéfano won the European Footballer of the year in 1957 and 1959.

6. Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

Beckenbauer was a great defender, captain and leader for the German Machine. He is generally regarded as the greatest German Footballer of all time. Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo are the only people till date to win the World Cup as both player and coach.

5. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

Cruyff was the exponent of the football philosophy ‘Total Football’ and was named European Footballer of the year in 1971, 1973 and 1974. In 1999 Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century by IFFHS.

4. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane was the captain of the French National Team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships. Zidane won the European Footballer of the year in 1998 and FIFA Player of the year in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

3. Ronaldo


Ronaldo is the overall top scorer in FIFA World Cup with 15 goals. He won the European Footballer of the year in 1997, 2002 and FIFA Player of the year in 1996, 1997 and 2002. In 2007 he was named as one of the best starting eleven of all time by France Football.

2. Pelé


Pelé is widely regarded by some football experts as the greatest football player of all time. Pelé won his first World Cup at 17 and was named the Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS.

1. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Maradona is the most gifted player ever to play the game of soccer. His second goal against England in 1986 World Cup is commonly referred to as ‘The Goal of the Century’. FIFA Player of the Century Award was given to both Maradona and Pelé in 2000.

This list has been updated with a video on YouTube. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi now on the list, watch it below.

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  • Matthew

    Where is d place of d genius Lionel Messi?

    • Arturo

      there is always a big dispute about who are the best players of all times, I divide them by levels. 2nd level, players like Van Basten, Platini, Francescolli, Gullit, Romario, Hugo Sanchez etc… players that were above the rest, constant, amazing players. Level 1, Pele, Maradona, Cruyf, Beckenbauer, Di Stefano, Zidane. Those are from another world, and for all the ones saying about Messi, he still cant be there cause yes he is good in Barca, but in his national team he hasn’t accomplish anything, he hasn’t make a difference in Agentina National team, for me. Pele # 1, and tie in 2nd Cruyf, Maradona, Zidane, Beckenbauer. About Maradona being the best, I will repeat something Pele once said “Maradona is good with his left foot, I was good with both” If Pele wouldn’t have been hurt in England 66 and let the Brazilian team play he would have had 4 world cups

      • brahim

        Not even close between maradona and pele, maradano is head and shoulders above. followd by messi(now..may surpass him soon). And those talking about pele 3 world cups, he was not even a factor in the 1962 world cup. was injured in the beginning of the tournament and brazil win it all without him playing a minute in the quarterfinal or semi final or the final. Even the 1958 and 1970 brazil team was one of the best of all time without pele. pele was good of course. even great but he is not in the league of maradona and messi. so pls stop the nonsense of “that player played well here and there” so he is better. a good player is good everywhee but dont forget its a team game. 11 players on field. being good is not measured only in goals sometimes.

      • brahim

        Not even close between maradona and pele, maradano is head and shoulders above. followd by messi(now..may surpass him soon). And those talking about pele 3 world cups, he was not even a factor in the 1962 world cup. was injured in the beginning of the tournament and brazil win it all without him playing a minute in the quarterfinal or semi final or the final. Even the 1958 and 1970 brazil team was one of the best of all time without pele. pele was good of course. even great but he is not in the league of maradona and messi. so pls stop the nonsense of “that player played well here and there” so he is better. a good player is good everywhee but dont forget its a team game. 11 players on field. being good is not measured only in goals sometimes.

  • admin

    This is a list of 10 and Messi will have to play more years to make it to the top 10.

    • said

      messi is not on top 10 on earth, his number is not in the universe

      • Heikos

        Ridiculous! I guess you’ve never seen Beckenbauer, Cruijff or Pele, or anybody in that categoy, play. They were not simply players that played brilliantly in an already incredible team. They made the team incredible.

        Without Pele, Brazil would’ve won 2 World Cups less than with Pele.

        Without Cruijff, (and this one is indeed ironical, Barca wouldn’t have played this marvelous system. Aside from being a one of the best players ever, he was also one of the greatest minds (which helped the team hugely).

        Without Beckenbauer, Germany would’ve have 2 World Cups less.

        Without Messi, Argentina, nor Barca would’ve any less trophies.

        • Tom

          very well said you obviously know your football, I also think cruijff should be #3, Im surprised that Puskas is not on this list

    • Faisal Khan

      zidane is the best man you are not a good judge

  • Don Dami

    An impressive list dominated by strikers and attacking midfielders…I can’t find any goal keeper on the list. Be that as it may, Pele might have won 3 world cups and scored more competive goals than any other footballer in the history of the game i will not fault his number two position. But Maradonna is an over rated footballer. At his peak, he was undoubtly the best footballer in the world but a closer look at his footballing achievement and contribution pale in comparision to el pheleno!

    I’m a student of the gme and i have watched interviews by some of the greatest players of modern football (Zidane & Maldine). When asked to name the best footballer they have ever played with or against, without hestation – they said Ronaldo De Lima. And to me, he is the greatest footballer of all time.

    I will be intrested in your list of Africa’s top 10.

    • admin

      #10 Lev Yashin is a keeper and #6 Franz Beckenbauer is a defender. Ronaldo & Pele are the two best strikers of all time while Maradona & Zidane are the two best play-makers of all time. Check the other entries for Africa’s Top 10 led by Samuel Eto’o.

      • arthur

        what about ronaldinho?

        • Rascojet

          Ronaldinho will make the top 20 soccer players of all time while Messi is closing on the gap to be the best ever.

        • Boimah

          Have you ever heard the name George Weah? because if you did, he will be in the top ten

          • Rascojet

            Have you watched some great games from the listed players? Get some old VHS, CD or try YouTube for help :-)

  • Duduyemi

    It’s very sad not 2 see Ronaldinho making d list. As 4 me, Dinho is d best player i’ve ever seen playing. Hope he’d b favoured next time.

  • conzuma

    why is my zizou not d no.1 of all time seeing that he deserves it from all around d corner despite his scoring tally as a playmaker and not a striker or either?

  • henry legend

    2 me lionel messi should make d first 5 greatest player of all time, becos he is the king of soccer. Nevertheless,c.ronaldo should also make the top 10 list becos he was the first ever epl football playeq 2 win d FIFA WORLD PLAYER’08. 2 me he is regarded as d prince of d game. Long live d king of football LIONEL MESSI

  • pad man

    pele no 1

  • joba bonitaaa

    Messi is not in this list… wow how on earth could you be so blind.. i know its an opinion but its a harsh one.. Messi at his age ’24’ is already atleast top 3 or 4 players ever if not the best… how could someone discredit all what he has done… half of this list didnt win world cup so…and anyway dont tell me your waiting for his to magically turn Argentina into a world cup winner because he only accounts for himself anyways…

  • Adolphus

    I think Zidane was better than Ronaldo….

  • Jão

    I’m brazilian and for me, the list of the 4 betters should be:

    4 – Zidane
    3 – Ronaldo
    2 – Diego maradona

    1 – PELÉ

    • RealSlimShady

      That’s pretty true but Diego Maradona is not Brazilian he’s from Argentina.

      • ThePersonAboveMeIsStupid

        NO SHIT DUMBASS. the person is just stating that they think Pele should be #1, which I agree. How can you place Maradona at #1 when the man openly admits to scoring goals with his hands and asking his team to cheer with him so the officials don’t call it. He was an amazing player, but also a cheater and therefore should never be regarded as the best ever.


    Ronaldo should be no1 and pele no2 because it was stated by buffon that the best player ever seen is Ronaldo.

  • wahid

    ronaldinho should be there, hes #1 😛

  • miguel

    chicharito and messi should be there

    • Rascojet

      Messi is closing the gap but Chicharito won’t make the top 100 soccer players of all time.

  • mohammad

    i wanna emphasize that ronaldo was the best player in all history!i cant imagine other player like him take as an example cr7 or mesi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ronaldo best for ever

  • Chika henry

    I tink d analysis has to b rearanged ok,so rolandiho and figo shld b in d first seven

    • Rascojet

      Ronaldinho is close but Figo is far from the list.

  • ehsan

    i cant stay from laughing
    cruyff is not first.

  • mantis

    im so glad messi isnt on this list. if ronaldinho isnt on here then messi without a doubt doesnt belong here. i think del piero should be here though

  • Angela

    Pele #1 no one was better than him then maradona. Mesi and ronado dont deserve to be theredont put

  • Xzonen

    Unless Messi achieves for Argentina he cannot be said greatest player. I’d say Ronaldo(Brazil) is the best player of latest era. While Pele is the greatest ever.

    • Rascojet

      I agree completely with your on Ronaldo. The next Top 10 is going to feature Messi & the number 1 position will be keenly contested for.

  • Rehan

    Top 10 players i have seen post 1990
    1. Ronaldo (Brazil)
    2. Zidane (France)
    3. Messi (Argentina)
    4. Van Basten (Netherlands)
    4. Ronaldinho (Brazil)
    6. Maldini (Italy)
    7. Rivaldo (Brazil)
    8. Baggio/Romario (Italy/Brazil)
    9. Figo (Portugal)
    10. Raul (Spain)

    • Rascojet

      You have a nice list here. Why don’t you drop Raul and include both Baggio & Romario.

    • AND….


      • Rascojet

        Del Piero will make Juventus Top 10 list of all time

  • Human

    You forgot Puskas ,Garrincha most of people say he was better than Pele ,and one Hungary I forget his name but he scored 60 goals per seasons,I’m just 13 year old but i love football

    • Rascojet

      Puskas and Garrincha would definitely make the top 20 greatest soccer players of all time.

  • ozor

    that top ten is 4 u . how could u under presure from barca fan promise that someone who did no make ur to 10 will be contesting 4 nomber1. i dont see why people are making noise about messi all his style is just holding on to d ball and runing like a mouse. ur topten is based on where people tosed u about and not on reality. how could ronaldiho not make ur 10 and in ur africantop10 no jay jay . it is true jayjay did not pik african player of d year but u know it was politics he played well to there but just politics . u plased eto 1 and weah 2 very rong. weah won world best player .. one gold is beter tha 100 silver eto only came 3rd and champ lg he has weah have it. so how is he beter than weah

    • Rascojet

      Let me be clear on messi closing the gap on the top ten. I was looking into the future top 10 list, say 2015. You won’t expect top 10 list of 2015 to be the same like this of 2010. For all I know Ronaldinho would be in the top 20 while JayJay would be in Africa’s top 20. George Weah didn’t play 80% of either Eto’o or Milla in his entire career though he won the FIFA Player of the year and if that’s the only reason you would list him number one on your list, go ahead. You can list your top ten for us to see. Cheers!!!

  • idris

    messi is supspose to be no the list


    i think messi is good, but he still have many years ahead. you can still compare him with the likes of zidane and ronaldo of this century.

  • Faisal Khan

    zidane behind ronaldo is this a joke? he was better than even maradona.

  • Zsivaz

    Ever heard of Eusebio? Where the hell is Messi? I still think Zidane is slightly overrated- Figo was better than him IMO. Romario perhaps deserves a mention

  • jose Santamaria

    Messi is a genius do not compare whit anyone pls

  • Arindam

    If Pele is No 1. so is Garrincha…. Maradona is a great footballer but a bad sportsman. He has the ” Greatest goal of the century” to compliment his ” Hand of God “. Nobody mentions Puskas, Eusebio and defenders like Maldini ….

  • Luke Bambala

    People are now debating whether Messi is the greatest ever player!!!…Watch Cruyff, Eusebio, Maradona and George best…these players were naturally gifted as Messi but what differentiates them all from him is that the all did something special single handed with there national teams….Maradona for example did it with Argentina..the current Barcelona team is very good team maybe even the greatest of all time…so Messi is surrounded by players like xavi and iniesta who are 2 and 3 respectively in the world for me…if Messi wants to be considerd the best he should do somthing special with Argentina, Maradona did it, he did it when he moved to relegated threatened Sampdoria in Italy..can Messi do it if he moves to wigan…for me the greatest player is Maradona then followed by Pele not because of his skill but the fact that i think it is difficult to play in three world cups at great form much less win them all

  • Err

    Ok..what I don’t understand is how you could compare players of previous decades,to players of the common era. Over the years teams have learned to defend and attack better so as to not make the same mistakes that have led them to bitter losses against previously faced teams(American Samoa vs Australia for example). In addition,players have immensely gotten better, such as speed,ball control, analysis of play,etc. Don’t get me wrong,in my opinion Pele is the best(for top goal scorer),but who can really disagree with the slithering,tactile Leo Messi’s? And let’s not forget Zizou for his profound ease of play. All i’m saying is that different players have different way’s of playing,and you can’t overlook them for someone else that is constantly scoring. This is Football,a team sport,not Tennis or darts, peeeeople!!

  • Ricardo

    Good list.

    But I gonna ruin this argument if you all will forgive me but sadly we cant accurately say the ‘greatest of all time’ as every position is differnt for example Bekanbauer is rated by many including myself as the greatest ever defender so why is he not the greatest player of all time?
    accurately Lev Yashin arguably the greatest Goalkeeper of all time so why can he not be the greatest ever player?

    You cant compare a defender to a forward therefore you cant say for example who is better Maldini or Zidane as they play in two completely differnt positions. All you cant say is who is the greatest Goalkeeper ever, who is the greatest defender ever, who is the greatest forward ever etc

    Although you can compare certan positions which are close to each other for exaample an Tarquesta (attacking midfielder) or forward can be compared.

    Anyway here are my greatest ever players:


    1: Lev Yashin
    2: Dino Zoff
    3: Gialuigi Buffon
    4: Sepp Miaer
    5: Gordon Banks


    1: Franz Bekanbauer
    2: Paolo Maldini
    3: Franco Baresi
    4: Carlos Alberto
    5: Bobby Moore


    1: Johan Cryuff
    2: Zinidene Zidane
    3: Michel Platini
    4: Zico
    5: Jairzinho


    1: Diego Maradonna
    2: Johan Cryuff
    3: Alfredo Di Stefano
    4: Pele
    5: Marco Van Basten/Ronaldo

    Its hard to judge Midiflers as there so many differnt types from defensive mids, Tarquesta, deep lying playmakers and wingers, to judge them correctly id have to break them down into atleast 3 differnt catagories.
    Also with forwards im sure you can appreciate that I just couldnt choose between Van Basten and Ronaldo.

    Anyway this is just my list of who I belive are the greatest of all time.

    • Rascojet

      This is a nice compilation. Kudos for coming up with this list. Really there are many good players in the history of the game that a list of 10 or 20 won’t mention but somehow you have to rate these players…

  • Simon

    A good list – I agree with most but not all, they are certainly all in the top 30.

  • Fifa pro

    Where’s CR7

    • Rascojet

      Looking for CR7? He’s in Real Madrid :-)

  • Nino Maxi

    I will say Zidane is the best midfielder the world has ever seen, cos he worked with both leg like never before and won every title in the world of football

  • Leo

    LOL I cannot believe that George Best is not on that list; probably the most naturally gifted player of all time.

  • Almazan

    No hagi
    I remember watching in the 80’s and loved klinsman, Hugo Sanchez I’m Mexican, maradona of course, Batistuta, but when I saw hagi and how Romanians played it was him himself as the offense. Hagi should be in the top 10 he was long distant, short distant, passer, and scorer.

    • Rascojet

      Gheorge Hagi used to be one of my favorites. He would score powerful goals anywhere on the field of play. I believe he was underrated during his playing days. He’s not on this top 10 list.

  • Facu

    Like it or not, Lionel Messi is now Nº 1 in that list. He’s the best player in the history of football and he’s just 25. And Zidane Nº 4? I don’t think he’s top 10. Where’s Puskas?

    I hate Cristiano Ronaldo but in a couple of years, he’s gonna get in that list.

  • Kazac

    This list is based hugely on players actually having accomplished something in the club or national team they are in, so while some players might have looked just as good they need to have done it at club and national level and also to have been a huge part of the team. So while Messi isn’t in this list i can fully understand why not, if Argentina win the next world cup and Messi scores goals for them then he can be considered in this list. Give him time anyway he is still young and can accomplish a lot in the time he has left.

  • Weston


    • Rascojet

      Laudrup @2 while Messi @8+5, what a list…

  • SDI

    nice list Rascojet! I have question.
    1. According to ur opinion, Is cristiano including top 20? and you think what more he need to be top 10?
    2. Just my opinion. I dont think Ronaldo Luis can be that high. But I think hes top 15. Because his career in club is great when he was 18-21. After he get injured, his skills decrease a lot! He cant dribble fast like he was 20. He even didnt win UCL with such team mates like zidane carlos beckham and when he was barcelona player. After bad injured in intermilan, he just like a finisher and goalscorer. his team mates in world cup 2002 are incredibly amazing. just look at the assist his team mate gave. If I have to include him in my list, I would write “3. Ronaldo Before Injury” not just ronaldo.

    even Im brazilian.

    • Rascojet

      This list was written on Jan 1, 2011. CR 7 has improved since then but still not on the top 10 list. I guess you missed some wonderful moments from Ronaldo and some of the old players on the list. Puskas, and Messi are the only players that could be on the top 10 list if updated today and not CR7.

  • jimmy

    Its never easy making lists like this so I am not going to criticize. I would of left out Lev Yashin- I realise you wanted to include a goalie tho. I would have Rivaldo and Messi both in my top 10 of all time. Eusebio was the greatest European player for me behind Zidane. Better than Platini and Van Basten

    • http://www.rascojet.com/ RascoJet

      Though it’s personal but the moment you mentioned Rivaldo in a list of 10 or 20 Greatest Players Ever is a justification of your experience of the round leather game. Need I say more???

      • jimmy

        Lol funny how you haven’t replied to the comments I have made in any of the other posts- which pretty much undermine the credibility of your lists. Having watched football/spanish football religiously- I rate Rivaldo as a slightly better player than Zidane and perhaps even better than Ronaldo (who was never the same post knee injury). So I think I could argue a case for Rivaldo being in the top 10. Him being Brazilian – a country which has a history of great players has perhaps seen him unfairly in the shadows. He could turn a game on its head and is probably the most decisive player I have ever seen

  • Wave

    Pele should be number 1 not a drug enhanced Maradona. Maradona scored over 350 goals in his career, Pele scored over 1200 in his. Maradona won the worl cup once but pele has won it 3 times!! Maradona has won 4 league titles and Pele has won 10. Pele won 2 continental club titles in his career and your precious Maradona has never won a single one. To top it all off Pele has a scoring rate of 94% and Maradonas is only 50%. When making a list like this use stats to decide who is greater not favourism