One of the most played team sports in the world; Football has been linked to the words drama and scheme. Throughout the years, the game is recognized by several different countries, and it has been their most favorite and national sport.
From the coaches to the old players, goalkeepers to the famous world players, these footballers have gone miles ahead in reaching their life goals, fame, and fortune. Football is one of the most playing sports, and it is the world’s most influential game.
For the football game fans who stay updated to take a hint of their all-time favorite players, this is for you. The list of the top ten footballers of all time are based on the player’s effect on their generation and their position, and their contributions supplied for their club and country.
10. David Beckham
David Beckham is an English former professional footballer and named in the FIFA 100 list of world’s greatest living players. He holds the record for most appearance for an outfield player for England national team is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, United States and France. In his 20-year career, he won 19 major trophies.
He was known for his range of passing and crossing ability but more than he was famous for his bending free-kicks which made it to the back of the nets most of the team and hence became a treat to watch. He captained England team for six years, earning 58 caps during that time and in total 115 caps in total. He Played three FIFA World Cup tournaments for his team in 1998, 2002, and 2006.
He was a consistent high earner in football and one of the most marketable athletes in the sport. In 2013, he earned over $50 million in past 12 months, ranking him as the highest-paid player in the world. Though he hasn’t won FIFA World Player of the Year awards but runner-up twice.
9. Ronaldo de Lima
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, though commonly known as Ronaldo, played for Brazil and was one of the legends of he game in the 21st century.
He started his career at the age of 17 when he was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1994 World Cup. In 1994, he won the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament as he helped Brazil reach the final though was unable to play the final as he suffered from a convulsive fit and Brazil lost to France. However, in 2002 he scored two goals in he final and won Brazil the world Cup and received the Golden Boot for being the top goal scorer.
Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal, which was a World Cup record at the time and holds the second spot behind Germany Klose with 16 World Cup goals. He was awarded FIFA World Player of the year three times and is a two-time Ballon d’Or recipient. He was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest living players compiled in 2004, and was inducted into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame and the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
8. Zinedine Zidane
Zenedine Zindane, a French midfielder, is one of the greatest footballers in last decade. He was a real technician, in fact, a Maestro with the ball and had a great control on the ball, which was admired by his teammates and fans across he world.
He was known for his 360 roulette move but also possessed great dribbling and passing skills which made him a real playmaker. He was a great finisher with his ability to head the ball and take a penalty or free kicks. Playing for the French Team, he won the 1998 World Cup where he scored two goals in the all-important final match. He also helped his team become a runner-up in 2006 World Cup.
Zidane had a great feast as he won the European Championship in 2000 and at a club level won Champions League in 2002 and two Intercontinental Cups (1996 Juventus & 2002 Real Madrid). He was awarded FIFA world Player of the Year 3 times, Finest European footballer of all time and Ballon d’Or as well.
In 2006 Worldcup, his headbutt to Italy’s Marco Materazzi is considered as one of the most remembered moments in football history, but he still deserves a place as all-time greats of the game.
7. Alfredo Di Stéfano
Alfredo Di Stéfano, an Argentine footballer, is called as the most complete and influential footballer of all time. Though he never played at a World Cup due to various political reasons.
Most of his achievements came with Real Madrid from which he played and was instrumental in their domination of the European Champions’ Cup during the 50s where the club five following trophies from 1956, he scored a goal in each of the five finals he played for the club.
His nickname was “Blond Arrow” and was a powerful, quick, a prolific forward player with great stamina and tactical vision and versatility. He could play anywhere on the pitch; he would help to defend and later setting up an attack or scoring goals. Currently, he is the sixth highest goalscorer in Spain’s top division and Real Madrid’s third highest league goalscorer with 216 goals in 282 appearances; he also leads the chart of a goal scorer in the history of El Clásico.
He has earned his name in FIFA 100 list of World’s Greatest Living Players was selected as Golden Player of Spain as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. He has received the Ballon d’Or twice and won Spanish Championship eight times.
6. Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer, a former German footballer, and the manager are also known as “The Emperor” because of his dominance and leadership on the field. He is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport and is credited as having invented the role of modern sweeper (libero).
He started as a midfielder but made his name as a central defender as who opted for a versatile type of centre-back who does not man-mark other opponents but tasked to sweep up the opponents if they manage to breach the defensive line.
He earned 103 caps for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups and is one of only two men, along with Brazil’s Mário Zagallo, to have won the World Cup as a player and as a manager; he lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and as a manager in 1990. Beckenbauer was also named European Footballer of the Year twice; he was the first captain to lift the World Cup, European Championship, and a European Cup at club level.
Playing for Bayern Munich, he won the UEFA Cup in 1967 and three consecutive European Cups (1974-1976) making him the only player to win three Cups as a captain.
He earned his name in the World Team of 20th Century in 1998 and FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002. His name is also listed in FIFA 100 of the world’s greatest living players.
Eusebio also was known as “Black Panther,” a Mozambique-born who played as a Portuguese striker is one of all time greats. He scored a total of 733 goals in 745 appearances in his career. He won the European Cup in 1962 for his club Benfica in which he scored two goals out of five which gave them a 5-3 win against Madrid.
He was a great athlete who had fast acceleration, powerful shots and at the same time known for his dribbles. He could turn games around which he did at the 1966 World Cup where in the quarter-final match against North Korea, his team was 3-0 behind, and he did what some would say is impossible. He scored four goals and Portugal went on to win the game 5-3, allowing them to qualify for the semi-finals and received Bronze Ball award.
He was the first ever player to win the European Golden Boot, in 1968, which he won again in 1973.
4. Ferenc Puskás
Source and image: en.wikimedia.org
Ferenc Puskás was not only a Hungarian legend is also regarded as one of the world’s greatest player of all times. Playing for Hungary, he scored 84 goals in 85 international appearances and 514 goals in 529 matches between Hungarian and Spanish leagues. Indeed an excellent goal-to-match scoring ratio across a long career.
He became an Olympic champion in 1952 and helped Hungary reach the final of the 1954 World Cup where he was named the tournament’s best player. He won three European Cups (1959, 1960, 1966), ten national championships (5 Hungarian & 5 Spanish Primera División) and 8 top individual scoring honors. Playing for Real Madrid, he won 3 European Cups and won La Liga’s best striker four times.
He was a great finisher and would score 9 out of 10 times if he had the ball inside the penalty area. FIFA named him Top Scorer of the Century in 2004 and 2009; they introduced the FIFA Puskás Award, which is given to the player who has scored the “most beautiful goal” over the past year.
Hungary has recognized their legend, and in his memory, Ferenc Puskás Stadium is under construction which is estimated to be completed by 2019 which will have the capacity to host over 67 thousand people.
3. Gerd Müller
Source and image: en.wikimedia.org
Gerhard “Gerd” Müller, a retired German player, is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time. He is known for his clinical finishes inside the penalty box and has the third highest goal-to-game ratio i.e. 1.10 as the averages more than a goal a game with West Germany ranking him 12th on the list despite playing fewer matches than every other player which tells how good he was.
For West Germany, he scored 68 goals in 62 games that he played, and at a club level, where he played for Bayern Munich, he scored 365 goals in 427 matches. He had won the 1974 World Cup where he scored the winning goal and before that he scored ten goals at the 1970 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot award.
Müller held the all-time goal-scoring record in the World Cup with 14 goals for 32 years. He was also awarded “European Footballer of the Year” award in 1970. Pelé named Müller in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
2. Diego Maradona
Source and image: en.wikimedia.org
Diego Maradona is another legend who unanimously makes it to the greats of the game. He played from Argentina and had also served as a coach and now a manager of the Argentine national football team. He was a classic footballer and great technicians of the game; his small size allowed him the maneuverability and speed which made him a great dribbler as he became almost unstoppable.
He is the only player who had set a record transfer fee, first when he moved to FC Barcelona for £5 million and later when he transferred to Napoli for £6.9 million. He was the captain of Argentinian team in 1986 World Cup which he won for his country.
His infamous “hand of God” goal was one of the biggest sports scandals in history in which he used his hand to score a goal but at the same time his second goal a 60m (66yd) dribble past five England players, earned him “The Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002. He was jointly FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pele, one of the all-time best footballer.
1. Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento)
Source and image: en.wikimedia.org
A former Brazilian Footballer who is regarded as the greatest player of all time. He was voted “World Player of the Century” by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. In his lifetime he became the most successful league goal scorer in the world, with 541 league goals. In total Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games, for which he was listed in the Guinness World Records for most career goals scored in football, which no one has managed to beat yet.
He wasn’t just a great footballer but also a great athlete and was awarded the “Athlete of the Century” by International Olympic Committee in 1999. Among his records is that he is the only player who has won the World Cup three times for his country. He was an all-around player with immaculate skills in shooting, heading, dribbling and even tackling as a defensive player. The world still remembers his name, and surely he deserves to be the #1 Footballer of all times.