Who Are the Best Football Players?
The creativity and ingenuity that typify the beautiful game would render it an art form if not for the physical context within which the sport is played. What distinguishes football from most other sports is the freedom of expression granted to the players. While baseball players and cricketers are limited to specific movements, footballers may shoot, pass, tackle or dribble the ball in any variety of ways, allowing the most talented players to reach the very peak of the game.
This list of the best football players does not include currently active stars such as Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. They can be properly judged once their careers are over. The list includes retired players from the entire recorded history of the modern game.
I have included Youtube videos to showcase the skills of the players listed. The Zidane and Diego Maradona videos are recommended for newcomers to the sport who wish to see a demonstration of the artistic brilliance of the beautiful game.
10. George Best, Northern Ireland
George Best’s career was plagued by drink problems, but his talent was almost unparalleled. Famed for his dribbling abilities, he won the 1968 European Cup and two league titles during his time with Manchester United. As an attacking midfielder he scored a remarkable 205 goals in 579 games and won the Ballon d’Or in 1968. As Northern Ireland has never been a force in international football, he never made an impact on that stage. At the age of 28, his alcoholism sent his career into rapid decline, and he never achieved as much as his talent promised.
9. Zinedine Zidane, France
Zidane’s strengths are his individual skill, ball control, strength and passing. Zidane’s best performances were often in the most decisive games, demonstrating a character not seen in many other sportsman. As a central midfielder, he scored 159 goals in 789 games. With France, he won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championships. With Juventus and Real Madrid, he won three league titles and one European Cup.
Zidane’s qualities are his individual aptitude, ball control, quality and passing. Zidane’s best exhibitions were regularly in the most unequivocal games, showing a character not seen in numerous other sportsman. As a focal midfielder, he scored 159 objectives in 789 games. With France, he won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Titles. With Juventus and Genuine Madrid, he won three association titles and one European Cup.
8. Alfredo Di Stefano, Argentina
The first forward on the rundown must be Di Stefano. With 511 objectives in 702 games, he was a productive goalscorer for Genuine Madrid. He wasn’t your traditional striker however; he showed up everywhere throughout the pitch, handling, passing, and directing the play. He was the most complete player ever to effortlessness the game. With Genuine Madrid he won an extraordinary five European Cups, scoring in the entirety of the finals. He won 13 group titles in his vocation (1945-1966). His universal record is poor due to not highlighting in a World Cup, despite the fact that he won a Copa America with Argentina.
7. Ferenc Puskas, Hungary
Puskas was presumably the most exact goalscorer ever. Joining his completing ability with a general knowledge and capacity to create new aptitudes, (for example, the drag-back), he scored an electrifying 700 objectives in 705 appearances during his profession (1943-1966). For Genuine Madrid, he won three European Cups and five alliance titles. In Hungary, he won a further five association titles. At the universal level, he drove Hungary to the 1954 World Cup Last.
6. Franz Beckenbauer, Germany
Beckenbauer was a sweeper, or a guarded midfielder in the present language, however that didn’t stop him scoring 111 objectives in 776 appearances for Germany and Bayern Munich. Much like Di Stefano, he never had a genuine position; he was truly wherever on the double, directing the game and applying his impact. He was a definitive commander, however joined with his spilling, passing and all-round specialized capacity, he was perhaps the best player ever. He won the 1974 World Cup, the 1972 European Titles, just as three European Cups and eight association titles during his club profession.
5. Michel Platini, France
Platini was an assaulting midfielder, scoring 353 objectives in 652 games. He was a fantastic passer and free kick taker, however he consolidated this with heartless objective scoring capacity. Practically without any assistance he guided France to the 1984 European Titles, scoring nine objectives all the while. He lifted the European Cup with Juventus, and furthermore won three alliance titles in his club vocation.
4. Zico, Brazil
Often removed from top 10 lists due to his lack of achievements, Zico’s footballing ability was never in question. With 527 goals in 769 games, he was a prolific goalscorer, but also a remarkable creator of goals with a deft touch and an ability to produce unique shots and skills. As an attacking midfielder, he further combined his talents with heading ability and free-kick mastery to be one of the most complete offensive players ever. He made the famed Liverpool side of the 1980s look like amateurs in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup. He also won the South American equivalent of the European Cup, the Copa Libertadores, and four league titles.
3. Johann Cruyff, Netherlands
Cruyff had the skill, control and strength of Zidane and the dribbling and pace of George Best. He was the total footballer, combining a sublime gracefulness with clinical ability and calculating intelligence. He was a prolific goalscorer as well, scoring 401 goals in 710 appearances from attacking midfield. He won three European Cups and 10 league titles, but he wasn’t able to gain an international medal.
2. Pele, Brazil
Pele was the ultimate goal-scoring machine in his native Brazil, and he is often ranked the best player ever to grace the sport. He scored an incredible 1282 goals in 1366 games. His sheer power, strength, pace and dribbling ability saw him score all varieties of goal for fun. He brought his goal scoring to the World Cup, which saw Brazil win the tournament in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He also won two Copa Libertadores and five league titles. These victories saw him within teams of highly talented players, including Garrincha and Carlos Alberto. He became a symbol for these teams, and as a result he is often accredited with all of the praise.
1. Diego Maradona, Argentina
Maradona’s talent was without a doubt the greatest ever seen in football. His dribbling ability was mesmerizing, his goal scoring was unique and clinical, and his passing and crossing were precise—earning him many assists in his career. From attacking midfield he scored 345 goals in 680 games. With a much more difficult career than Pele, he still won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina as well as three league titles and one UEFA Cup with Napoli. Against England, he scored one of the greatest goals of all time.