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FIFA 100

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Pelé in 2008

The FIFA 100 is a list of Brazilian footballer Pelé's choice of the "greatest living footballers". Unveiled on 4 March 2004 at a gala ceremony in London, England, the FIFA 100 marked part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of football.

The figure 100 refers to the 100th anniversary of FIFA and not the number of players listed, which is actually 125; Pelé had been asked to select 50 active players and 50 retired players, for a total of 100 players, but found it too difficult to limit the number of former players to just 50.[1] The list contains 123 professional male and 2 female players. At the time the FIFA 100 was selected, 50 of the players were still active, with the remaining 75 retired from the game.


Some football observers have questioned the selection methodology of the list. David Mellor, politician turned football pundit, wrote in his column in the Evening Standard that he felt the selections were politically motivated rather than made on purely footballing grounds.[2] He suggested that the selections looked as if they came from the pen of Sepp Blatter rather than Pelé. As evidence for this, Mellor noted the wide geographical spread of the selected players: a true selection would be more heavily biased to South America and Europe, he argued. Such assertions were also forwarded by BBC columnist Tim Vickery.[3]

One of Pelé's old teammates, the former Brazil midfielder Gérson, reacted to his omission from the FIFA 100 by tearing up a copy of the list on a Brazilian television programme. Marco van Basten and Uwe Seeler refused to take part in the project on a point of principle.[4]


Following is the list of the "FIFA 100" greatest living footballers as nominated by Pelé in March 2004.[5][6][7]

  • Players active at the time of announcement are marked by (*). As of July 2022, Gianluigi Buffon is the only still active player on the list.
Nat. Player Pos. Born
 ARG Gabriel Batistuta* FW 1969
 ARG Hernán Crespo* FW 1975
 ARG Alfredo Di Stéfano FW 1926
 ARG Mario Kempes FW 1954
 ARG Diego Maradona MF 1960
 ARG Daniel Passarella DF 1953
 ARG Javier Saviola* FW 1981
 ARG Omar Sívori FW 1935
 ARG Juan Sebastián Verón* MF 1975
 ARG Javier Zanetti* DF/MF 1973
 BEL Jan Ceulemans MF 1957
 BEL Jean-Marie Pfaff GK 1953
 BEL Franky Van der Elst MF 1961
 BRA Carlos Alberto DF 1944
 BRA Cafu* DF 1970
 BRA Falcão MF 1953
 BRA Pelé FW 1940
 BRA Júnior MF 1954
 BRA Rivaldo* MF 1972
 BRA Rivelino MF 1946
 BRA Roberto Carlos* DF 1973
 BRA Romário* FW 1966
 BRA Ronaldinho* MF/FW 1980
 BRA Ronaldo* FW 1976
 BRA Djalma Santos DF 1929
 BRA Nílton Santos DF 1925
 BRA Sócrates MF 1954
 BRA Zico MF/FW 1953
 BUL Hristo Stoichkov FW 1966
 CMR Roger Milla FW 1952
 CHI Elías Figueroa DF 1946
 CHI Iván Zamorano FW 1967
 COL Carlos Valderrama MF 1961
 CRO Davor Šuker FW 1968
 CZE Josef Masopust MF 1931
 CZE Pavel Nedvěd* MF 1972
 DEN Brian Laudrup FW 1969
 DEN Michael Laudrup MF 1964
 DEN Peter Schmeichel GK 1963
 ENG Gordon Banks GK 1937
 ENG David Beckham* MF 1975
 ENG Bobby Charlton MF 1937
 ENG Kevin Keegan FW 1951
 ENG Gary Lineker FW 1960
 ENG Michael Owen* FW 1979
 ENG Alan Shearer* FW 1970
 FRA Eric Cantona FW 1966
 FRA Marcel Desailly* DF 1968
 FRA Didier Deschamps MF 1968
 FRA Just Fontaine FW 1933
 FRA Thierry Henry* FW 1977
 FRA Raymond Kopa MF 1931
 FRA Jean-Pierre Papin FW 1963
 FRA Robert Pires* MF 1973
 FRA Michel Platini MF 1955
 FRA Lilian Thuram* DF 1972
 FRA Marius Trésor DF 1950
 FRA David Trezeguet* FW 1977
 FRA Patrick Vieira* MF 1976
 FRA Zinedine Zidane* MF 1972
 GER Michael Ballack* MF 1976
 GER Franz Beckenbauer SW 1945
 GER Paul Breitner MF/DF 1951
 GER Oliver Kahn* GK 1969
 GER Jürgen Klinsmann FW 1964
 GER Sepp Maier GK 1944
 GER Lothar Matthäus MF/SW 1961
 GER Gerd Müller FW 1945
 GER Karl-Heinz Rummenigge FW 1955
 GER Uwe Seeler FW 1936
 GHA Abédi Pelé FW 1964
 HUN Ferenc Puskás FW 1927
 ITA Roberto Baggio* FW/MF 1967
 ITA Franco Baresi DF/SW 1960
 ITA Giuseppe Bergomi DF 1963
 ITA Giampiero Boniperti FW 1928
 ITA Gianluigi Buffon* GK 1978
 ITA Alessandro Del Piero* FW 1974
 ITA Giacinto Facchetti DF 1942
 ITA Paolo Maldini* DF 1968
 ITA Alessandro Nesta* DF 1976
 ITA Gianni Rivera MF 1943
 ITA Paolo Rossi FW 1956
 ITA Francesco Totti* FW/MF 1976
 ITA Christian Vieri* FW 1973
 ITA Dino Zoff GK 1942
 JPN Hidetoshi Nakata* MF 1977
 LBR George Weah FW 1966
 MEX Hugo Sánchez FW 1958
 NED Marco van Basten FW 1964
 NED Dennis Bergkamp* FW 1969
 NED Johan Cruyff FW 1947
 NED Edgar Davids* MF 1973
 NED Ruud Gullit MF 1962
 NED René van de Kerkhof MF 1951
 NED Willy van de Kerkhof MF 1951
 NED Patrick Kluivert* FW 1976
 NED Johan Neeskens MF 1951
 NED Ruud van Nistelrooy* FW 1976
 NED Rob Rensenbrink FW 1947
 NED Frank Rijkaard MF/DF 1962
 NED Clarence Seedorf* MF 1976
 NGA Jay-Jay Okocha* MF 1973
 NIR George Best MF 1946
 PAR Romerito FW 1960
 PER Teófilo Cubillas FW 1949
 POL Zbigniew Boniek MF 1956
 POR Eusébio FW 1942
 POR Luís Figo* MF 1972
 POR Rui Costa* MF 1972
 IRL Roy Keane* MF 1971
 ROU Gheorghe Hagi MF 1965
 RUS Rinat Dasayev GK 1957
 SCO Kenny Dalglish FW 1951
 SEN El Hadji Diouf* FW 1981
 KOR Hong Myung-bo* DF 1969
 SPA Emilio Butragueño FW 1963
 SPA Luis Enrique* MF 1970
 SPA Raúl* FW 1977
 TUR Rüştü Reçber* GK 1973
 TUR Emre Belözoğlu* MF 1980
 UKR Andriy Shevchenko* FW 1976
 USA Michelle Akers MF/FW 1966
 USA Mia Hamm* FW 1972
 URU Enzo Francescoli FW/MF 1961

See also


  1. ^ "Fifa names greatest list". BBC. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  2. ^ Mellor, David (5 March 2004). "Sing up for Ken, a true Blues man". Evening Standard Ltd. p. 77.
  3. ^ Vickery, Tim (8 March 2004). "Pele pays price for popularity". BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  4. ^ Davies, Christopher (4 March 2004). "Pele open to ridicule over top hundred". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  5. ^ "FIFA 100". Best Football Players Ever.
  6. ^ "The Fifa 100". The Guardian. 4 March 2004.
  7. ^ Pele's list of the greatest on BBC Sport, 4 March 2004

External links