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The Top 10 Greatest Players Of All Time

This is a debate that can generate a full-scale war in the football community worldwide, It is understandable no one wants to see their idol/role model below anyone else. There have been some very Great players in the world but this list consists of the very best ever to grace the football pitch, some have changed the course of this game then someone has achieved the unthinkable, these are the players who have die-hard fan following all around the world. 

top 10 greatest players of all time

This list is made by accumulating overall everything a footballer should have and has gone through thorough inspections and opinions of elderly and young alike, this list. So Here is the list of the Top 10 Greatest Players Of All Time

10. George Best 

One of the finest footballers coming out of the British Isles, George Best created an epitome of example for the Irish folks during the 70s. Coming as the holy trinity of (Bobby Charlton and Denis Law) as the contenders to win the Balon Do’r.

George Best is considered one of the greatest football players of all time due to his unparalleled dribbling skills, creativity, and flair. His versatility allowed him to excel in various attacking roles, making him a constant threat on the pitch.

A senior describes George Best as the modern-day “Lionel Messi”. He scored goals with his Left foot, Right Foot, Headers, playmaking, dribbling past defenders and even “man marking”, George used to do it all. 

His career has been plagued by numerous personal events. He gained praise and recognition from fans, managers and players alike.

Sir Alex Fugerson described Best as the ‘footballer with the highest technical ability”,
while Pele recognised Best as the “Greatest Player in the World”.

Best's impact at Manchester United, highlighted by winning the European Cup in 1968 and the Ballon d'Or the same year, cemented his legacy. His charisma and style off the field made him a cultural icon, while his enduring influence and inspirational story continue to captivate football fans and players alike, securing his place among the sport's legends

9. Michel Platini

Platini also considered One the France’s Greatest has also been summoned as one of the “Greatest Players of all time”. His spell at Juventus had the greatest impact on his career as he won three Balon do’r to his name. 

Platini was renowned for his vision and ability to orchestrate play. His passing accuracy and creativity allowed him to set up countless goals for his teammates. As an “Attacking Midfielder” His understanding of the game and ability to anticipate movements made him a master strategist on the field. As captain of France, Platini's leadership was instrumental in unifying the team and guiding them to success. He guided France to win the 1984 UEFA European Cup on their home soil. 

He scored “9 of 14” goals for France in that tournamentMichel Platini's impact at Juventus was profound, leading the club to two “Serie A titles”, a European Cup, and multiple other trophies. His exceptional performances earned him the Ballon d'Or three consecutive times (1983, 1984, 1985). Platini's technical skill, vision, and goal-scoring ability redefined the attacking midfield role, making him a pivotal figure in Juventus's success. His achievements at the club level and his individual accolades solidified his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

8. Alfredo Di-Stefano

Di Stefano is considered the biggest Real Madrid legend in their history, The Argentinian turned Spanish had been one of the most influential people in world football before the likes of Pele and Maradona. His remarkable achievement consists of winning 5 consecutive European Cups with Real Madrid, the first person to win it back to back. He has a personalised Balon Do’r to his name which has been only awarded to him “The Super Balon Do’r”. 

Alfredo Di Stéfano's impact at Real Madrid was transformative, leading the club to five consecutive European Cup titles and numerous La Liga championships. His versatility, intelligence, and goal-scoring prowess made him a complete forward, instrumental in establishing Real Madrid's dominance in the 1950s and 1960s. Di Stéfano's performances earned him two Ballon d'Or awards (1957, 1959). His ability to influence games from various positions and his consistent excellence solidified his legacy as one of football's greatest players, profoundly shaping the club's history and success.

Di Stéfano started his international career with Argentina, winning the South American Championship (now Copa América) in 1947, where he showcased his talent on the continental stage.

He is the only Spanish to win “Copa America” as he changed his citizenship to Spanish after winning the South American Championship with Argentina.

7. Franz Beckenbauer 

The “Pinnacle of a Defender” The “Munich’s wall” who had changed how defending was seen throughout the world, A leader who never hesitated to back down from a difficult situation. A player who invented and implemented a particular position in football. 

Franz Beckenbauer does not only feature in sports Greatest Player but he is arguably “the best defender” the sport has ever seen, hence he is the only defender that has been enlisted in this list as he invented the famous “sweeper role “ in football. He didn’t only get the role in the limelight but also excelled in it, the opposition would only lose the ball if they ever came inside the defending line of Beckenbauer.

With Pele himself quoting about Beckenbauer’s defending “Backenbeaur is one of the best I ever saw play”.

Johan Cruff appreciates his technical understanding of the game he said “Franz Beckenbaeur is a great player who had a huge influence on football. He is a gentleman on and off the pitch”. 

He led Bayern Munich to multiple Bundesliga titles and three consecutive European Cups (1974-1976). Internationally, he captained West Germany to victory in the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup. Remarkably, he also won the 1990 World Cup as a manager. Beckenbauer's career accolades include two Ballon d'Or awards (1972, 1976), highlighting his impact as both a player and a leader. His influence on modern football and his impressive trophy haul cement his legacy as one of the game's greatest legends.

6. Johan Cruyff

The technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practising. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your teammate”.

A quote that represents Johan Cryuff inside and out. This technique would be in the future inspire the foundation of the most dominating style in world football. The “Tiki Taka” or “one-touch Football” would be implemented by his fellow student Pep Guardiola.

Johan Cruyff, a Dutch football icon, revolutionized the game with his visionary playmaking and tactical innovation. He won three consecutive Ballon d'Or awards (1971-1973) for his performances with Ajax and Barcelona. Cruyff led Ajax to three European Cups and numerous domestic titles before inspiring Barcelona to their first La Liga title in 14 years. Known for his "Total Football" philosophy, Cruyff seamlessly transitioned between attacking midfield and forward roles, combining sublime dribbling, precise passing, and exceptional vision. 

He made the “Attacking Midfielder” role so confusing that people would often confuse him with a forward. This style made him of the unique goal-scorer in the field that was used as a surprising element by the team. A vision so great that would make people think he saw the future, he used to play passes no one saw.

As Maradona famously puts it

“Cryuff was an artist he saw things before anyone else”

5. Zinedine Zidane

“Give me Zidane and 11 pieces of wood and I will win you the Champions League”
This is the quote that was used by Sir Alex Fugerson while describing the effectiveness of Zidane. A player who was able to famously dance around the entire Brazilian team in the 2006 World Cup. Right from dribbling, playmaking, assists, headers, bangers, and even defending he was there, Zidane made that French number 10 come alive and into the scene before the world.

A number 10 so powerful and effective that the opposition team’s first task would always be to close down Zidane. The heart and engine of the team. 

A  maestro of midfield play, known for his exquisite technique, vision, and decisive contributions. He achieved unparalleled success with Juventus and Real Madrid, winning multiple league titles and Champions League trophies. Zidane's crowning moments include leading France to World Cup glory in 1998 and guiding them to victory in Euro 2000. A Balon d'Or winner in 1998, his elegant style and ability to perform on the biggest stages defined his legacy as one of football's all-time greats. Both as a player and coach, Zidane's impact continues to resonate, shaping the modern game with his tactical acumen and leadership.

If it wasn’t for the infamous headbutt against Materrazi in the finals of 2006 then he might have won 2 world cups.

4. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, a name etched into the fabric of every football fan, transcended the sport to become a cultural icon. With unparalleled skill and audacity, he captivated the world's best sport like no other. From the streets of Buenos Aires to the grand stadiums of Europe, Maradona's journey was a saga of triumph and tumult.

His out-of-the-world dribbles, sublime goals, and magnetic charisma left an indelible mark on the game. Beyond the pitch, his larger-than-life persona and enduring legacy continue to inspire generations, embodying the passion and spirit that define football's greatest tales.

Lionel Messi: "Even if I played for a million years, I'd. never come close to Maradona”. Maradona was a name that would light up every Argentinian face back in the 80’s.

The player that made Argentina visible on the map, the world knew Argentina because of Maradona. 

His goals have literally debuted as the “goal of the century”, the solo run in the World Cup against England has been an icon for many of the young talented footballers. 

Diego Maradona's illustrious career is highlighted by his 1986 World Cup triumph, where he won the Golden Ball and scored the iconic "Hand of God" and "Goal of the Century." He led Napoli to unprecedented success, winning two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, a UEFA Cup, and a Supercoppa Italiana. Individually, Maradona was honoured with the “FIFA Player of the Century award” and the “1986 World Cup Silver Shoe”. His mesmerizing skills, leadership, and competitive spirit earned him numerous accolades, cementing his legacy as one of football's greatest and most influential players.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

The son of Mediera has been among one of the most influential beings of the 21st century. A footballer so skillful he made people fall in love with his technique at the very first sight. A young Ronaldo is what comes to the mind of the young generation “gen-z” whenever talked about football. The 2008 Cristiano Ronaldo was something else anyone has ever seen.

Before Cristiano No one ever thought skilful football would be the most mesmerising to watch, from knuckleball free-kick goals to Ronaldo Chops, Cristiano made every skill useful and used to leave defenders to bite the dust in the process.

He has won the most prestigious Premier League and the Champions League for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, but his career took off at Real Madrid where he won his 4 Balon Do’r. A total of 5 Balon Do’r is a representation of what type of career he had as a player. At Ronaldo, he broke the record for the most Champions League goals scored by a single player and also the goal ever scored by a footballer in history surpassing that of Pele. 

From a midfield at United to a winger-role at Real Madrid to a striker at Al-Nassr and Portugal Ronaldo has thrived in every position he has played, A player so dangerous he has been nicknamed “Mr Champions League” by the fans due to the three-peat he achieved during his career at Real Madrid.

2. Pele 

The “greatest goalscorer in the history of the game”, Pelé, the embodiment of Jogo Bonito, brought unparalleled beauty and grace to football. With every touch of the ball, he danced across the pitch, turning the game into an art form. Pelé's style was poetry in motion, a joyous celebration of the sport's essence.

As the undisputed king of football, he not only amassed records and trophies but also inspired generations to embrace the beautiful game.

He made “Jogo Bonito” the art of playing street-style football which he had in his blood. The Brazilian-styled street football looked like someone was dancing on the ball, A football so pure to watch even the opposition would bow.

Often hailed as the greatest footballer of all time, boasts an extraordinary list of achievements. He won three FIFA World Cups with Brazil (1958, 1962, 1970), the only player to do so. At club level, Pelé's illustrious career with Santos saw him secure multiple titles, including two Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups.

He scored over 1,000 career goals, a milestone few have reached. Individually, Pelé was named FIFA Player of the Century and received the Ballon d'Or (Honorary) in 2014. His contributions to football transcended the sport, making him a global icon and ambassador of Jogo Bonito.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is “The Greatest Of All Time”, he has just finished a fairytale story of his career life, winning the Copa America and the World Cup in just 2 years, The trophies he valued more than anything in his life. The man with 8 mythical Balon Do’r.

His birthday is often celebrated by fans by saying “The day God tried Football”. An epitome of success in football, Everyone has rated him highly above anyone else in football. 

It’s not about the dribbles that made him successful but all the solo runs he had made into the opponent's territory without hesitation.

With the playmaking passes of Zidane and Cryuff, the monster goal-scoring ability of Ronaldo and Pele, the dribbling ability of Maradona, Platini, A perfect blend of footballers that the world has never seen, Messi could do it all, from freekicks to playmaking to playing as an attacker to literally shooting from outside the box. He is the master of all. 

 "They tell me that all men are equal in God’s eyes, this player makes you seriously think about those words." - Ray Hudson on Messi 

He has won seven Ballon d'Or awards, a testament to his extraordinary talent and consistency. At FC Barcelona, Messi secured 10 La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies, and numerous domestic cups. His record-breaking goal-scoring feats include over 700 career goals. Internationally, Messi led Argentina to a Copa América triumph in 2021 and the coveted 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In Conclusion

Everyone wants to see their ideals in the list, but these all men have created what other billions only dream of, some have changed the course of the game with Jogo Bonito, some have made the defenders role way more important than it was before, one has defined the evolution of tactics used in the game with one-touch passing while other have been an inspiration for other young football players in the world, This list was created through intense research and by opinions of fans that have been following the game for more than 50 years.

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