Soccer Players Facts
Soccer Players Facts

Top 10 Best Soccer Players

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published July 20, 2019Updated March 9, 2020

Pele, Messi, Maradona, Nazario, and Ronaldo all make this list of the top ten soccer players in the world. What's your say? What's your top 10?

  • Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé.[1][2]
  • Pele Soccer
    Widely held to be the best player of all time, Pelé was named the best footballer of the 20th century by FIFA and was declared a national treasure by his native Brazil. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

  • Lionel Messi.[1][2]
  • Soccer Lionel Messi
    An Argentine child soccer prodigy, Messi joined Barcelona at age 13 at the winger position. He is Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, with 491 goals and 12 championship titles. He's also a five-time FIFA player-of–the–year award recipient. (David Ramos / Getty Images)

  • Diego Maradona.[1]
  • Diego Maradona Facts
    Diego Maradona is number three on our list. The Argentine midfielder, famed for his dribbling and footwork, scored the “Goal of the Century” in the World Cup game against England, where he dribbled the ball all the way from Argentina’s half, past England’s team, and into the net.

  • Ronaldo Nazario.[1]
  • Ronaldo Soccer Facts
    Known as O Fenomeno (the phenomenon) in Brazil, Ronaldo Nazario is held by many to be the greatest striker ever to play, landing him in our number four spot. He has been loved by all of the teams he has played for and has accrued nearly every personal honor in the sport. (Denis Doyle / Getty Images)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo.[1]
  • Soccer top 10
    Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese winger for Real Madrid, has been named FIFA Player of the Year four times, boasts three Champion’s League trophies, a record-tying five Golden Balls, and is the only major-league player ever to score 50 goals in six consecutive seasons. (Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

  • Alfredo di Stefano.[2]
  • Alfredo di Stefano
    Alfredo di Stefano ranks number six on our list. During his 20-year-long career, the Argentine total footballer scored 307 goals with Real Madrid and still holds the record for being the only person ever to score in five consecutive European Cup finals.

  • Franz Beckenbauer.[1]
  • Top 10 Beckenbauer
    The German center defender bears the nickname of “The Kaiser,” and is famous for inventing the “sweeper” position. He is also one of only two players to win the World Cup both as a player and a manager. (Staff / Getty Images)

  • Johan Cruyff.[1]
  • Johan Cruyff Soccer
    Number eight on our list is Johan Cruyff, the Dutch “total footballer.” Cruyff trained in every position except goalkeeper and led Dutch club Ajax to their first three European cups. He patented the “Cruyff Turn,” a feinting maneuver.

  • Zinedine Zidane.[1]
  • Zinedine Zidane Soccer
    This French legend helped France secure their only World Cup victory, in 1998. He is famed for his incredible ball-handling skills, and he scored one of the best goals in the history of the game in a 2002 Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)

  • Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior.[1]
  • Top 10 Soccer
    The young Brazilian superstar plays winger for Paris Saint-Germain. He has surpassed both Messi and Ronaldo at the same point in their careers, and many experts predicting he will be one of the best footballers ever. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)


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