Top Most Legendary Soccer Players in History

The leaderboard featuring the all-time soccer greats is ever-evolving, reflecting the dynamic history of this globally beloved game. As of now, two unparalleled champions and another rising star, poised to ascend to the pinnacle of this list, are actively shaping the sport. Their ongoing competition promises to further shuffle the rankings shortly.

Greatest Soccer Players Of All Time

#1 Lionel Messi

What is the most famous soccer player? This is definitely Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi has achieved the unfathomable, rising to the stature of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona through an extraordinary career that has left football connoisseurs in awe. With unmatched prowess, Messi has netted more goals than any other player for the iconic Barcelona FC, accolades piling up including a record-breaking eight Ballon d’Ors. His name is indelibly etched as the premier icon of his era in football history.

#2 Diego Maradona

Few individuals have left an indelible mark on soccer as Diego Maradona did. The legendary Argentinian, who played a crucial role in Argentina's memorable 1986 World Cup victory in Mexico, also revolutionized Napoli during his tenure with the Italian club from 1984 to 1991.

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#3 Pele

Pele, the iconic Brazilian football superstar, holds an enviable record as the top goal scorer ever in Brazil's football history. He's renowned worldwide for his prolific scoring ability. Among his monumental recognitions are being honored as the FIFA Player of the Century and securing a spot on TIME's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. These accolades highlight the indelible mark he has left on the realm of sports.

#4 Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff was a trailblazing icon, igniting the spark for 'tiki-taka' football— a style that would later achieve global glory through Pep Guardiola's Barcelona and Spain's national team in the era spanning from 2008 to 2014. Cruyff orchestrated the symphony of 'Total Football' at Ajax, the club where he launched an illustrious career and netted 257 goals across 329 appearances.

#5 Michel Platini

The legendary French midfielder, Michel Platini, holds an impressive trio of Ballon d'Or awards, achieved back-to-back from 1983 through 1985, marking his undeniable stature in international soccer. Distinguished for being the only non-forward to amass this number of Ballon d'Or wins, Platini rivals the scoring abilities of the most formidable strikers of his time. Notably, during Euro 1984, his performance was nothing short of extraordinary — not only did he earn the title of the tournament's best player, but he also topped the scoring charts, a remarkable feat for someone in his position.

#6 Zinedine Zidane

Certainly, if Ronaldo has been celebrated as the quintessential striker, then Zidane is enshrined as the archetypal midfielder. The prowess he demonstrated on the field was nothing short of stunning, artfully combining strength with a level of technical skill that seemed paradoxical for a man of his stature.

Each contact Zidane had with the ball was as refined and gentle as the blades of grass beneath his feet. His prowess in ball control was hypnotic, capturing the attention of audiences with its sorcery. Zidane possessed a unique talent for taking a mundane pass and transforming it into the catalyst for a vehement charge down the pitch, a feat that remains largely unequaled to this day.

#7 Ronaldo

Certainly, R9's exceptional skill on the field was shadowed at times by hardships. Yet his ability to earn admiration while representing the top clubs in Italy and Spain speaks volumes about his reputation as a celebrated athlete. Beyond securing victories in the World Cup twice and proudly hoisting the Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo's career pinnacle was his unforgettable performance during the 2002 World Cup final, where he scored decisive two goals, leading Brazil to a 2-0 victory against Germany. Until now, this match is one of the most significant and watched. Even if you need a VPN for this, you can get by with a free extension for Mozilla, this is a real spectacle. Such matches do not happen so often that they should be neglected.

#8 Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is often hailed as a pivotal figure in the creation of 'Total Football', a Dutch tactical system celebrated for its emphasis on player fluidity and dynamic positioning. His influence is still evident in today's game, but it wasn't just his coaching that left a mark. As a player for teams such as Ajax, Barcelona, and the Netherlands national team, Cruyff's exceptional creativity, adaptability, smart positioning, and technical prowess led his teams to numerous victories and secured him three Ballon d'Or awards in the early '70s.

#9 Johan Cruyff

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff didn't just make waves on the field; he revolutionized soccer from the sidelines as a legendary coach. Celebrated with three Ballon d’Or awards and remembered for leading the Netherlands to the brink of glory in the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Cruyff’s genius transcended the stadium.

#10 Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo Nazario of Brazil, an emblem of exceptional soccer prowess, is celebrated amongst the true legends of the game. Holder of two prestigious Ballon d'Or titles and a three-time recipient of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, his extraordinary abilities carried the Brazilian team to a zenith in the footballing world.


There are quite a lot of soccer players who were remembered by the audience. But some of them remained with us even decades after their departure. Isn't this an indicator of their fame, celebrity and contribution to the development of soccer? Of course, they also have more tangible achievements.

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