Soccer, the world’s most-watched, played, and cherished sport has produced a pantheon of iconic players whose legacies transcend generations.

As the game has evolved, numerous players have elevated the sport to new heights, leaving an indelible mark on its history.

Here, we delve into the top ten football players who have not only showcased extraordinary talent but also set new benchmarks for excellence and left a lasting legacy.

  1. Pele
  2. Lionel Messi
  3. Diego Maradona
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo
  5. Zinedine Zidane
  6. Johan Cyruff
  7. Alfredo Di Stefano
  8. Franz Beckenbauer
  9. Gerd Muller
  10. Eusebio

Let’s look into the list & further discuss them individually;

10. EusebioEusebio

Country: Portugal
International Caps: 64
International Goals: 41
Club Matches: 436
Club Goals: 424

Eusebio, the Portuguese-Mozambican maestro, is hailed as one of the most formidable forwards in football history.

His prowess on the field was unmatched with a staggering 733 goals in 745 matches. Known as “The King,” Eusebio began his illustrious career in 1971 with Maxaquene before moving to Benfica in 1961.

He led the team to triumphs at Benfica, including the Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal, and the European Cup.

Eusebio’s accolades, including the Ballon d’Or and the European Golden Shoe, solidify his place as the 10th greatest soccer player of all time.

9. Gerd MüllerGerd Muller

Position: Striker
Country: West Germany
International Caps: 62
International Goals: 68
Club Matches: 555
Club Goals: 487

Gerd Müller, the legendary German striker, etched his name in the annals of football with his extraordinary goal-scoring ability.

Beginning his career in 1958 at Nordlingen, Müller later became a pivotal figure for Bayern Munich and Fort Lauderdale.

With 1,251 goals from 998 games, Müller’s record is a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence.

His instrumental role in West Germany’s victories in the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, along with his numerous individual awards, secures his spot as the ninth greatest soccer player of all time.

8. Franz Beckenbauerfranz beckenbauer

Position: Central Defender
Country: West Germany
International Caps: 103
International Goals: 14
Club Matches: 560
Club Goals: 79

Franz Beckenbauer, a German football icon and one of the sport’s most successful managers, started his journey at SC München von in 1951.

Known as “The Emperor,” Beckenbauer’s elegance, vision, and leadership redefined the role of a central defender. He is one of only three individuals to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager.

His achievements, including winning the European Championship and the World Cup, alongside numerous club-level triumphs, earned him a place in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team and the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.

Beckenbauer’s legacy is unparalleled, making him the eighth greatest soccer player of all time.

7. Alfredo Di StefanoAlfredo Di Stefano

Position: Forward
Country: Argentina / Columbia / Spain
International Caps: 41
International Goals: 29
Club Matches: 521
Club Goals: 376

Alfredo Di Stefano, an Argentine-born Spanish legend, is renowned for his exceptional scoring ability in the European Cup finals.

Starting his career in 1945 with River Plate, Di Stefano’s brilliance shone brightly in the Spanish league with Real Madrid.

His leadership and scoring prowess led Real Madrid to eight La Liga titles and five European Cups.

Di Stefano’s contributions to football, coupled with his accolades such as the Ballon d’Or and World Soccer awards, rank him as the seventh greatest soccer player of all time.

6. Johan CruyffJohan Cruyff

Position: Forward / Attacking Midfielder
Country: Netherlands
International Caps: 48
International Goals: 33
Club Matches: 514
Club Goals: 291

Johan Cruyff, a visionary Dutch forward and midfield maestro, revolutionized football with his innovative playmaking and tactical intelligence.

Starting his career at Ajax in 1957, Cruyff led the club to eight Eredivisie titles and three European Cups.

His tenure at Barcelona further solidified his legacy, where he won numerous titles including La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

Cruyff’s impact extended to the international stage, where he led the Netherlands to the 1974 FIFA World Cup final.

His three Ballon d’Or awards and enduring influence on the game earned him the sixth spot among the greatest soccer players of all time.

5. Zinedine ZidaneZinedine Zidane

Position: Attacking Midfielder
Country: France
International Caps: 108
International Goals: 31
Club Matches: 506
Club Goals: 95

Zinedine Zidane, also known as Zizou, is celebrated for his exquisite skill and remarkable achievements both as a player and a coach.

Beginning his career at Cannes in 1989, Zidane’s journey saw him excel at Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid.

His contributions to the French national team and his clubs earned him numerous titles, including the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, and multiple league championships.

Zidane’s legacy as one of the most talented and influential midfielders in football history places him as the fifth greatest soccer player of all time.

4. Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo

Position: Forward
Jersey Number: 7 (club & Country)
Country: Portugal
Ballon d’Or: 5
Current Club: Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo, known as CR7, is a global football icon whose relentless pursuit of perfection has earned him countless accolades.

Starting his career at Andorinha, Ronaldo’s journey to greatness saw him dominate at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and currently, Al Nassr.

With five Ballon d’Or awards, over 780 goals, and numerous league titles, Ronaldo’s work ethic and dedication to the sport are unparalleled.

His influence on and off the field secures his position as the fourth-greatest soccer player of all time.

3. Diego MaradonaDiego Maradona

Position: Attacking Midfielder / Second Striker
Country: Argentina
International Caps: 91
International Goals: 34
Club Matches: 491
Club Goals: 259

Diego Maradona, an Argentine football legend, is often hailed as the greatest player to ever grace the pitch.

Known for his extraordinary dribbling skills, vision, and infamous “Hand of God” goal, Maradona’s influence on the game is profound.

His career began at Argentinos Juniors, leading to stints at Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Napoli.

Maradona’s instrumental role in Argentina’s 1986 World Cup victory and his numerous club successes cement his legacy as the third greatest soccer player of all time.

2. Lionel MessiLionel Messi

Position: Forward
Jersey Number: 10 (club & Country)
Country: Argentina
Ballon d’Or: 7
Current Club: Inter Miami

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, began his career at Grandoli before making an indelible mark at Barcelona.

With seven Ballon d’Or awards, Messi’s achievements include four UEFA Champions League titles, seven Copa del Reys, and ten La Liga titles.

His influence was further solidified with Argentina’s victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Messi’s unparalleled talent, consistency, and impact on the game make him the second-greatest soccer player of all time.

1. PeléPele

Position: Forward / Attacking Midfielder
Country: Brazil
International Caps: 92
International Goals: 77
Club Matches: 560
Club Goals: 541

Pelé, the Brazilian phenomenon, is celebrated as the greatest soccer player of all time. Beginning his career at Bauru, Pelé’s extraordinary goal-scoring ability and versatility set him apart.

With three FIFA World Cup titles, numerous individual awards, and a Guinness World Record for goals scored, Pelé’s legacy is unrivaled.

His impact on football transcends generations, earning him the title of the greatest soccer player of all time.