There is no way to avoid constant competition in a highly competitive sport like football, not only between clubs but between players also. Without the physical context in which the sport is played, the creativity and zeal that characterize “the beautiful game” of football would render it an art form.
Further, we all know that as humans, we strive for perfection. We are all striving to be the best versions of ourselves. And, while most of us aren’t as athletic as professional football players, we as fans play an important role in determining the best footballers of all time.
People perceive the greatest differently, and there hasn’t been a player who everyone agrees is the best. Rather than attempting to name the single best player in the game, we prefer to compile a list of the greatest footballers of all time.
Here are our selections for the greatest footballers to ever grace a football field:
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, is a Brazilian national hero who holds the Guinness World Record for most career goals. The figure will astound you: 1279 goals in 1363 games, including friendly games.
Pele is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time. He is regarded as football’s first superstar, and he is still the youngest player to ever play in a World Cup final, appearing in the final of the 1958 tournament at the age of 17.
Get onto YouTube and watch some footage of a 17-year-old wonder kind scoring goals in the 1958 World Cup with a skill that still leaves you breathless, no matter what is said about generations being better than some, Pele’s skills still make you gasp.
He has won more World Cups than any other player, which should be enough to put him first. Pele was the go-to scorer for both the club and the country.
Diego Maradona was supremely skilled and a football magician. The football legend is widely regarded for his achievements at both the club and international levels during his lengthy playing career, making his senior team debut at the age of 15.
El Diego never feared bending the rules to win and was Argentina’s star in 1986. Maradona had a successful club career in Europe, playing for Barcelona and Napoli.
Forget the hand of God and drug controversies. Take note of the footballer. Watch the skill and awe he created in the ‘other’ goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup, which is widely regarded as the greatest goal ever scored in a World Cup. His talent was unquestionably the greatest ever seen in football. His dribbling ability was hypnotic, his goal-scoring was distinct and clinical, and his passing and crossing were precise, earning him numerous assists throughout his career. In 680 games, he scored 345 goals from attacking midfield.
A free-kick taker specialist, “The Golden Boy” as he was often referred to, faced some legal trouble during his career, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the greatest to ever do it. Alongside Pelé, Maradona is the joint FIFA Player of the Century winner.
During his playing days, Ronaldinho received applause for every move he made. His movements, stunts, and flicks were all done so well that no one could help but fall in love with him. He is one of the most gifted Brazilian footballers of all time.
Ronaldinho was an exceptional and rare talent that we’re unlikely to see again. No player influenced the game more in the 2000s than Ronaldinho, a genius with the ball at his feet.
The Brazilian playmaker possessed unrivaled technical ability, but it wasn’t just that that endeared him to millions around the world; it was also the constant smile on his face. Ronaldinho won the Ballon d’Or while at Barcelona, and he also led the Catalan club to Champions League glory in 2006.
To set the record straight, Cristiano Ronaldo currently has the most goals of any active footballer in the world. The Portuguese is the prototypical goal machine, as evidenced by the 815 goals he has scored in his career. Despite being 37 years old. Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored the most Champions League goals in the competition’s history, with 141 goals.
Consider the fact that the UEFA Champions League is rated as the toughest and most competitive inter-club competition in the world and it is easy to see why Ronaldo is the greatest player of all time. He has also proven himself to be a top-quality player at some of the most competitive football leagues in the world – Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, as well as the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and one of the greatest ever to play the game. Messi has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards and and six European Golden Shoes. The former Barcelona player has risen through the ranks at the speed of light.
We still don’t think he’s human. There aren’t many records left for Lionel Messi to break; he’s had a stellar career so far, winning almost everything at the club and international levels. The FIFA World Cup is the reason he is only ranked fifth on this list of the Top 5 Greatest Footballers of All Time. It’s a competition he’s never won, and he’s never scored a goal in any of the knockout round games.