List of association football players considered the greatest of all time

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This is a list of men's football players considered "the greatest of all time", so claimed by at least one expert or one group of experts.[a] With the 20th century coming to an end, numerous lists were composed and votes held on the subject.[1]

Hyperbole and the influence of one's employer[2][3] may have influenced some opinions. It has also been argued that due to the vast pool of talent, circumstantial differences, personal preferences, and the evolution of the game, it is difficult to compare players from different eras.[4][5]

List[edit]

Player Years Club(s) National team(s) № of expert(s)
Roberto Baggio 1982–2004 Vicenza, Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia  Italy
Franz Beckenbauer 1964–1983 Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos and Hamburger SV  Germany
George Best 1963–1984  Northern Ireland
Bobby Charlton 1956–1980  England
Johan Cruyff 1964–1984 Ajax, Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante and Feyenoord  Netherlands
Alfredo Di Stéfano 1945–1966 River Plate, Huracán, Millonarios, Real Madrid and Espanyol  Argentina and  Spain
Eusébio 1957–1979  Portugal
Garrincha 1953–1972 Botafogo, Corinthians, Portuguesa Carioca, Atlético Junior, Flamengo, and Olaria  Brazil
Diego Maradona 1976–1997 Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys  Argentina
Giuseppe Meazza 1927–1947 Inter Milan, Milan, Juventus, Varese and Atalanta  Italy
Lionel Messi 2003–present Barcelona  Argentina
Gerd Müller 1963–1981 1861 Nördlingen, Bayern Munich and Fort Lauderdale Strikers  Germany
Pelé 1956–1977 Santos and New York Cosmos  Brazil
Michel Platini 1972–1987 Nancy, Saint-Étienne and Juventus  France
Ferenc Puskás 1943–1967 Budapest Honvéd and Real Madrid  Hungary and  Spain
Ronaldinho 1998–2015  Brazil
Ronaldo 1993–2011  Brazil
Cristiano Ronaldo 2002–present Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus  Portugal
Zico 1971–1994 Flamengo, Udinese and Kashima Antlers  Brazil
Zinedine Zidane 1989–2006 Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid  France

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ These include agents, club presidents/chief executive officers, clubs, coaches, football-related associations, members of the written media, sporting directors and other professional footballers
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h The vote was conducted by France Football at the end of the 20th century. Stanley Matthews, Omar Sívori, George Best and Lev Yashin did not vote.[9]
  3. ^ Lawton had his opinion published twice. In 2014, he opted for Maradona,[29] but chose Pelé on his revised assessment of the debate three years later.[30]
  4. ^ Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is one of the first 34 players to win the Ballon d'Or.
  5. ^ a b Benzema has voiced contradictive opinions at least twice. In 2016, he told the official website of bwin: “When I was younger, the way the Brazilian Ronaldo played had an influence on me. For me he's the best striker and the best player of all-time,” even though he had said: “[Cristiano Ronaldo] made me dream and he still makes me dream. For me, he is the best player of all time. I play with the best player in the world,” in an interview with Téléfoot two years earlier.
  6. ^ During the 2012–13 season, Mourinho lauded Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest of all time,[159][160][161] but effectively retracted these statements in 2016 and 2018 by saying that he prefers Ronaldo Nazário, Pelé, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi to Cristiano.[162][163]
  7. ^ Arvind has also worked and written articles for Managing Madrid, SB Nation, SB Nation Radio and Outside of the Boot.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Rawson, Dov (April 2018). "What a Real Madrid youngster has done after saying he prefers sahil shaikh Ronaldo". GiveMeSport. Retrieved 17 June 2018. It's widely understood that everyone employed by Real Madrid will say that [Cristiano] Ronaldo is the better of the two [Lionel Messi and Ronaldo].
  3. ^ Shetty, Sanjeev (12 June 2017). "Who really is the best: Messi or Ronaldo?". GQ. Retrieved 17 June 2018. When he wasn't coach of the richest football team in the world, Zinedine Zidane was allowed opinions on things not pertaining to Real Madrid.
  4. ^ Liew, Jonathan (4 June 2014). "How and why Pele's mystique and reputation as the world's greatest ever footballer has been overhyped". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
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  6. ^ Giulia Crivelli. "Gianni Agnelli e "roi Michel", una passione infinita" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 Ore. Retrieved 6 November 2018. Baggio è il più grande giocatorino che abbia mai visto.
  7. ^ "Ravanelli elogia Baggio: «Il più forte di sempre»" (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2018. Faccio tanti auguri a Roberto, è un ragazzo straordinario, sa giocare a calcio come pochi, sicuramente il più forte col quale ho giocato. Non era alto, sembrava non fosse forte fisicamente ma lo era, ha avuto problemi gravi alle ginocchia ma non l'hanno fermato. Per il momento uno come lui non c'è in circolazione, negli ultimi 30 metri diventava cinico, non perdonava, sapeva far gol e mettere la palla perfetta al compagno.
  8. ^ Brehme, Andreas (28 May 2018). "Andreas Brehme picks his all-time Germany XI". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018. With all respect for players such as Pelé, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, for me Franz Beckenbauer continues to be the best player in the world of all time.
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  10. ^ Kilpatrick, Chris (13 March 2013). "Pele: Belfast boy George Best was Brazilian". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2018. The legendary Brazilian footballer Pele famously named George Best as the world's greatest ever player.
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