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Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Footballers of All Time

Greatest Footballers All Time
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The game of football is a concept Which is quite familiar with fans of the sport world. For a match to take place, each team needs to register eleven footballers in their starting lineup and a further six on their bench.

A team must have players that meet the role criteria of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards and with great performances they are conscripted into the Top ten Greatest Footballers list.

Though footballers have their own style, they still follow the orders of their captain and manager to achieve maximum efficiency. Footballers who have followed the norms of the sports have received the classification of best in the world. Furthermore, based on their extra achievements, they receive a promotion to the position of G.O.A.T.

But, only a rare few deserve to be called legends of the game, and these footballers can be ever-present in an all-time list.

Thus, without further ado…..

The Top ten Greatest Footballers of all time:

#10. David Beckham

David Beckham finds himself in the last spot in this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers. In the world of football, there are many footballers who have gone to great lengths to achieve laurels. These footballers their numbers would be in the hundreds. So for Beckham to beat ninety of those other footballers to secure his position becomes a feat in itself.

DB7 has always been a player who stepped up in doing the impossible, for example, when he scored a last-minute free-kick against Greece for England and won them the game. Similarly, Beckham has done a lot for his country in the World Cups by recording 15 goals and 39 assists in hundred and fifteen appearances for the Three Lions.

Top ten Greatest Footballers: David Beckham, Manchester United (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

David Beckham, Manchester United (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

On the other hand, he recorded 105 goals and 149 assists in five hundred and thirty-seven appearances at Manchester United and Real Madrid combined. By doing that, he won the Premier League six times, one UCL title, two FA Cups, and one La Liga title.

#9. Franz Beckenbauer

The one and only sweeper on this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers and rightly so as well because the defender won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award twice in the year 1972 and 1976. Beckenbauer won the award because of his performance for the West German national team and Bayern Munich overall till the year 1977.

In his time with Die Mannschaft, Franz recorded 14 goals and 2 assists in a hundred and four games in twelve years. Before the culmination with East Germany, the West German football team had won the World Cup three times. Of these times, Beckenbauer won just one World Cup in the year 1990.


Similarly, Franz recorded 58 goals and 73 assists in five hundred and eighty-four games in the Bundesliga. In light of his performance in the Bundesliga, he won the Footballer of the Year award between the years 1966 and 1976.

Thus he became a key footballer for the Bavarian giants and the Die Mannschaft.

#8. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho, the Samba master, put himself above all other footballers in an era where players like David Beckham used to shine in. In the same way Ron has been placed above Beckham in this list of Top ten Footballers. Dinho, known for his tricks, made a name for himself on the international and domestic level. Through his overall performances achieving such international recognition, Ron received the Ballon d’Or award in the year 2005.

Dinho recorded 31 goals and 20 assists in ninety-one and helped Brazil win the World Cup in the year 2002. Additionally, he recorded 197 goals and 163 assists in five hundred and forty-three games at club level and won the Champions League with Barcelona in the 2005-06 season.

#7. Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo was a teammate of Ronaldinho and a fellow winner of the 2002 World Cup and finds himself in this list of Top ten Footballers. Both these players have played for the same clubs. But Ronaldo played for the club first before Ronaldinho had a chance to shine alongside them.

Barcelona and AC Milan are the clubs that the two Brazilian superstars have in common.

RONALDO/Madrid (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)

RONALDO/Madrid (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In comparison to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo had more chances at scoring goals, and his record of 58 goals and 12 assists in ninety-one games can be shown as evidence to the fact stated. Ronaldo has also recorded 296 goals and 77 assists in four hundred and fifty-two appearances at the club level.

Thus he won the Ballon d’Or twice in the years 1997 and 2002 for his exemplary performances with Real Madrid and in the 2002 WC.

#6. Johan Cruyff

A Barcelona legend who will never be forgotten.

Johan Cruyff made his image bigger at Barcelona, but he won more achievements while at Ajax. For a club like Ajax to award better trophies to the Dutchman over the Blaugrana cannot be imagined in any circumstance. But, in the era of Johan Cruyff, Ajax was the bigger and better club.

Top ten Greatest Footballers: Johan Cruyff, Ajax Amsterdam, 1970 (Photo by Roger Benoit/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Johan Cruyff, Ajax Amsterdam, 1970 (Photo by Roger Benoit/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

During his career in Ajax, he recorded 135 goals and 93 assists in the Eredivisie. By doing that, he won the European Cup in three consecutive seasons and received the European Cup top scorer award in the 1971-72 season. Then Cruyff decided to move to Barcelona, where he quickly became a legend of the game despite winning just one La Liga and Spanish Cup title in the year 1974 and 1978, respectively.

Thus he won the Ballon d’Or on three occasions in between the years of 1971 and 1974 and placed himself proudly on this list of Top ten Footballers.

#5. Zinedine Zidane

A true French legend and the only one of his kind to make it in the list of Top ten Greatest Footballers.

Zinedine Zidane received the admiration for both players and managers alike whenever he played in a match. Zidane predominantly played in the role of central midfield. Still, he loved to act as a deep-lying playmaker and sometimes switched that for the role of a central attacking midfielder depending on the circumstances.

Zidane, therefore, recorded as many as 121 goals and 119 assists in six hundred and thirty-one games all throughout his club career in three different leagues (Ligue 1, La Liga, and Serie A). Of these clubs, his contributions for Real Madrid should be seen as most important because it won him the Champions League in the 2001-02 season.

Other than his achievements at club level, Zizou came ever close to winning the World Cup for France in the 2006 World Cup, but an altercation with Marco Materrazi saw the fiery Frenchman sent off the field fuming. Thus his goal contributions of three goals and two assists became a waste. 

Though he did not win the World Cup, he managed to secure the Ballon d’Or title in the year 1998 after a great year with Juventus.

#4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is a name that no football fan can forget and that grants him a spot on this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers. Even now, Manchester United fans remember the mushroom-haired, freckle-faced, and crooked-teeth kid who Sir Alex Ferguson found and brought from Sporting Lisbon. Soon the awkward-looking teenager changed his look, and his performance also grew simultaneously.

By the time CR7 concluded the 2008-09 season in the FA Premier League, he had recorded 69 goals and 38 assists in hundred and eighteen appearances for the Red Devils. As his last season came to an end, Ron had won the Ballon d’Or for his performance in the previous year and the current season.


Then Ronny moved to Madrid, and he continued his excellent run of form there as well. At Madrid, Ronaldo broke his previous record by accumulating 450 goals and 132 assists in four hundred and thirty-eight. While at the Santiago Bernabeau, he won a further four Ballon d’Or’s.

#3. Pele

The name Pele should say it all.

Winner of three World Cups, with his first international tournament trophy becoming Brazil’s first-ever World Cup. Pele has never won the Ballon d’Or, but he finds himself at number three because of the overall presence that he has had in any team that he played for. Dico recorded 77 goals in ninety-two appearances for the Selecao and made himself the most influential player to achieve such a record for a national team.

Brazil's Pele shoots as he is challenged by a Swedish defender (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Brazil’s Pele shoots as he is challenged by a Swedish defender (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

In comparison to the other players on this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers, Pele did not play for a big club, with him having played for Santos and then the New York Cosmos his entire life. As a player who played for such unknown clubs, this fact would astonish anyone to have achieved such an impressive record of 1000+ goals in his entire career can be seen as mind-blowing.

#2. Lionel Messi

The second position has been given to Lionel Messi on this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers, and the Argentine superstar deserves it.

Ever since his debut for Barcelona in 1994, LM10 has recorded 663 goals and 291 assists in seven hundred and seventy appearances for the Blaugrana. Messi has only ever played for one club, so his record only accounts for the achievements and accumulations he has collected at the Nou Camp.

In his years at the Camp Nou, Leo has won the Champions League four times, the La Liga title eleven times, and seven Copa Del Ray titles. No other player in the history of the sport has won these many awards and laurels at one club.

With regards to his performances, the Argentinian wizard won the Ballon d’Or six times and proved himself as the best in the world or G.O.A.T.

#1. Diego Maradona

It would be a surprise to any football fan if Diego Maradona did not make this list of Top ten Greatest Footballers. But, it would shock many to see him in first. However, after winning the world cup in the year, 1986 Maradona overtook many of the other great players of his era. Coincidentally, the year 1986 had become an important one for Argentina since they never won the WC after that.

Diego proved to be a troublemaker for other teams as he made ten goals contributions from just seven games. Through that, the Argentinian won the golden ball for his overall contributions in the World Cup, physically and mentally. Additionally, he received the Silver shoe for his five goals, falling second only to Gary Lineker, who scored six goals.

Top ten Greatest Footballers: Diego Maradona keeps his balance as he takes the ball past the fallen Paul Hegarty.. (Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images)

Diego Maradona keeps his balance as he takes the ball past the fallen Paul Hegarty.. (Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images)

El Diez made a significant impact on the national stage (by winning the WC, obviously he would) and gave all credit for that to his performance at the domestic level in Italy, where he recorded 81 goals and 18 assists in hundred and eighty-seven appearances for Napoli. Through this, he became the highest goalscorer for the Partonopei.

There may be some backlash on having Pele overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Maradona. But, no doubt Maradona deserves the top spot after doing proving his worth as a footballer by scoring countless goals at the domestic and national levels.

Thus this article and this list have come to a conclusion.


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