Who is the best football player of all time? That’s a difficult question to ask because of the development in football. Over time players got stronger and faster, while they have better equipment for their traning and matches.
Some people would say that Messi or Ronaldo are the best, because they have been dominating the scene the past decades. While elders might mention players like Pele or Maradona.
All these players have in common that we have enjoyed them play the game and will remember their efforts for our lifetime. Here are the players, that can be considered the best of all time.
Here is Cristiano Ronaldo! 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 winner of Ballon d’Or, 2008, 2016 and 2017 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2014, 2016 and 2017 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, four-time European Golden Boot winner, two-time Player of the Year European Golden Boot, UEFA Champions League top scorer, Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer, five UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga titles, three Premier League titles, one Scudetto, two Copa del Rey titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA – EC.
Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the best Portuguese footballer ever and certainly one of the best footballers in the world today. Not undeservedly, he is also considered by some to be one of the best players of all time.
Many consider him the world’s best footballer of all time: FIFA World Cup 1986, Ballon d’Or 1986, Footballer of the Year 1985, Argentine Sportsman of the Century, two-time winner of the South American Footballer of the Year, four-time winner of the Argentine Footballer of the Year, two Scudetti, a Coppa Italia , a Copa del Rey, a UEFA Cup – these are just some of his awards.
Maradona is a legend because he almost single-handedly won the World Cup, he has scored the two greatest goals in football history – one of those goals was the most incredible goal of all time – only a true genius can make the impossible possible.
FIFA Player of the Century, Brazil’s all-time top goalscorer, youngest FIFA World Cup winner, most assists in FIFA World Cup history, FIFA World Cup 1958, 1962 and 1970, FIFA World Cup top scorer, two Copa Libertadores titles, six Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A titles, Ballon d’Or 1970, Best Young Player at FIFA World Cup 1958, Bola de Prata 1970…
Pelé is one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century according to TIME Magazine and one of the most important footballers of all time. Pelé realized his dream of a football career at a typical age: at 17, he entered a competition to make up for his father’s disappointment when Brazil lost the World Cup final in 1950. He won the World Cup three times and turned Brazil into a footballing nation.
Between 1958 and 1962, no one scored more goals than him. In fact, no footballer has ever scored more goals than Pelé.
Ballon d’Or 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, FIFA World Player of the Year 2009, Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, La Liga’s all-time top scorer, six-time Pichichi winner, Argentina’s all-time top scorer, most goals scored in a calendar year, UEFA Player of the Year in 2011 and 2015, seven-time La Liga Player of the Year, 2014 World Cup Golden Ball, European Young Player of the Year in 2005, five-time European Golden Shoe winner, four Champions League titles, nine La Liga titles , six Copa del Rey titles. ..
Messi is one of the best soccer players of all time. He has also played for two of the world’s most famous football clubs. At his peak, he scored 91 goals in a calendar year, won five Ballon d’Ors and plenty of club awards and remains one of the best footballers in the world.
Ballon d’Or 1972 and 1976, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, Best Young Player award at FIFA World Cup 1966, four-time winner of the title of German Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Cup 1974, UEFA European Championship 1972, three European Cups, five Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups, one Intercontinental Cup. Franz Beckenbauer was not only one of the best German footballers, but also one of the most complete footballers of all time.
Franz Beckenbauer, notoriously known as “The Emperor”, is one of only two defenders to ever win the Ballon d’Or – twice.
Ballon d’Or 1971, 1973 and 1975, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 1974, FIFA World Cup All Time Team, three-time winner of the title of Dutch Footballer of the Year, twice Dutch Sportsman of the Year, three European Cups, one La Liga title, nine Eredivisie titles, one Copa del Rey, six KNVB Cups, one Intercontinental Cup.
Johan Cruyff is one of the most influential footballers of all time – and also one of the most talented.
Ballon d’Or 1998, FIFA World Player of the Year 1998, 2000 and 2003, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 2002, Footballer of the Year 2000/01, Best player in the UEFA Champions League in the last 20 years, Best French player of all time in L’Equipe, Best French player of all time, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 2006, The only player to be named Player of the Year in three of the top five leagues, Most goals in the FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup 1998, UEFA European Championship 2000, An Champions League, Two Scudetti, One La Liga title, One Intercontinental Cup.
Zinedine Zidane was a god with a ball at his feet and the most elegant footballer to ever play in Europe. Zidane has won A LOT. Everything, actually. When he did win, it was usually after scoring one of the most memorable goals of all time.
Three World Cup final goals and the best goal in UEFA Champions League history in the 2002 final.
Ballon d’Or 1997 and 2002, FIFA World Player of the Year 1996, 1997 and 2002, FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 1998, FIFA World Cup Golden Boot 2002, European Golden Boot 1996/97, Copa America 1999 1994 and 2002, two-time Pichichichi winner, Serie A Player of the Year 1998, two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one KNVB Cup, one UEFA Cup, one Intercontinental Cup.
Many say that it was only Ronaldo’s knee injuries that prevented the Brazilian from becoming the undisputed greatest footballer of all time. Ronaldo was well on his way to becoming the best. He was the perfect striker: fast, powerful and skilful. He ran through the strongest defenders as if they weren’t there.
1983, 1984, 1985 Ballon d’Or, French Player of the Century, twice French Player of the Year, three times Capocannoniere, UEFA EC 1984, one European Cup, two Scudetti, one Ligue 1 title, one Coppa Italia, one Intercontinental Cup.
Michel Platini is better known in the football world today as the former UEFA president who has been disgraced for corruption and bribery, but since this is about the greatest players of all time, we’ll pretend it never happened. Michel Platini is probably the most successful midfielder of all time.
Platini led France to their first major football success by scoring nine goals in five games at the 1984 UEFA European Championship.
Ballon d’Or 1993, FIFA World Player of the Year 1993, Italy Player of the Century, FIFA World Cup Silver Ball 1994, World Cup 1994 runner-up, two Scudetti, a UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia. Roberto Baggio was a divinely inspired player who managed to conjure up the impossible on a football pitch and changed the perception of Italian football fans forever.
Ballon d’Or 1970, World Cup 1974, European Championship 1972, European Golden Boot 1970, twice winner of the title of German Footballer of the Year, twice winner of the European Golden Boot, seven times top scorer, three European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, four Bundesliga titles and four DFB Cups.
Gerd Müller is one of the best goalscorers of all time: 68 goals in 62 international matches for Germany. A man who once scored 67 goals in just 49 games in a single season. He also scored the goal that secured Germany the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
Most Serie A matches ever, most matches with AC Milan ever, five European Cups, seven Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, two Intercontinental Cups, runner-up at the 1994 World Cup, runner-up at the UEFA European Championship 2000. If you had to have the perfect footballer who you could create, you would probably create Paolo Maldini.
Maldini is the best all-rounder of the last 30 years. He scored 9/10 in all the positions he has played and 10/10 for his role as a defender. Nike used the slogan in an advertising campaign: “Italy’s goalkeeper: the world’s easiest job”. Maldini really made Italy’s goalkeeping job the easiest job in the world.
European Player of the 20th Century, Olympic Gold Medalist, 1954 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1960 Ballon d’Or runner-up, 1954 FIFA World Cup runner-up, four-time Pichichichi winner, four-time top scorer in the Hungarian League, two times top scorer in the European Cup, three European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, five La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, five Hungarian league titles.
The Magical Magyars player was the first international star in football history in the 1950s and in many ways the perfect footballer. He is strong, skilled, a goalscorer and most importantly a leader.
Puskas was wide and rather small, but he had remarkable speed and an incredibly powerful shot. He could build up attacks and stop them himself. With 806 goals in 793 official matches, he is one of the top scorers of all time.
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