The long football history has seen the growth of many talented players from all countries over the world. As a result, if you ask a random person who is the best footballer of all time, you will get a large number of different answers.
Therefore, we have created a list of the five best players based on their ability, technique, and contribution to their teams without any bias.
The best football players checklist (until 2019)
Top 5. Lionel Messi
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Although Messi still has a few years left in his top-notch age, his rank in the temple of legends has been already ensured.
This Argentine player has been awarded 5 Ballon d’Or and scored the highest number of goals in Europe in different five years. During his 14-year career in Barcelona FC, he has scored around 600 goals and 50 hat-tricks – these are really respectable numbers! Particularly in 2012, Messi made a record of scoring over 90 goals.
As a devoted one-club man, Lionel has carried remarkable titles to Barcelona, such as nine league titles, six Copa del Reys, and four Champions League.
In 2009, he was the right-hand man of Pep Guardiola to win the treble and, adopting the “Tiki-Taka” playstyle. Since Pep retired, Barcelona is less overwhelming, and depend more on Messi. However, he is still proving his limitless ability to carry the whole team.
Top 4. Johan Cruyff
As a visionary footballer and later a coach, Johan Cruyff used the “Total Football” by Rinus Michel very successfully at Ajax. He brought about six league championships to the Dutch team from 1966 to 1973 in addition to three national cups and three consecutive European Cups.
In 1973, the Dutch superstar moved to Barcelona and helped the club to get the first league heading after 14 years and later the first European Cup ever. Plus, he gave them a unique identity as well as playstyle that helped the club make itself among the top European teams, too.
More importantly, he created the outline for the short and swift attacking football style, a.k.a “tiki-taka,” which is still the brand of the team from Catalan up to now.
During that tournament, Johann also introduced the famous move “The Cruyff Turn” to the world, which is still bearing his name.
As a robust and distinguished man, upon his death in 2016, people mourned Cruyff not only as a footballer but also as a manager who spent his life beautifying football.
Top 3. Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona World Cup 1982
Known as the superb club football player in European countries, Diego Maradona was a tiny genius with mastery dribbling ability as well as passing skills, along with an excellent vision apart from continuous ball control.
Besides, he also had a low center of gravity and a strong body to surpass several footballers simultaneously and make them chase after him. Perhaps his most well-known goal was the one he netted for Argentina in the quarter-final of World Cup 1986 with England. It was when he accelerated from his team’s half-way line to defeat six other players.
In Britain, Maradona is most remembered with his “Hand of God” goal when he made the ball past by Peter Shilton by hand. Also, in 1983, he came to Barcelona and won the Copa del Rey.
Yet, it was what he did at the Serie A that made him legendary in Italy. Diego, almost by himself, brought them the first-ever Scudetto heading in the season 1986 – 1987, and the second just three years later.
Moreover, he also carried the Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup as the only European honor of Napoli to now.
Top 2. Alfredo Di Stéfano
Regarded as the greatest player ever, Alfredo Di Stéfano must be ranked even above his Argentina fellows – Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
Strongly associated with the mighty Real Madrid FC, who won five consecutive European Cups from 1956 to 1960, Di Stéfano had not even joined European football until he was nearly going to enter 30. Unlike other famous footballers, he spent his early career years with the club River Plate in his hometown before going to Colombia to serve Millonarios.
Nevertheless, in spite of his 12 Championships throughout his career in South American, Real Madrid FC was where he became a legend. Only in 11 seasons, apart from the European Cup victories, Alfredo Di Stéfano brought them to win eight league headings as well as the reputable Copa del Rey, netting 308 goals only in 396 appearances for Los Blancos.
He had everything to be the greatest player of all – speed, mobility, trackback skills, strong heading ability, robust shooting power, spot, and pass any obstacles. That’s why people also know him as “The Blond Arrow”.
Top 1. Pelé
As a monument on the pitch, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or so-called Pelé started to go pro in Santos at the age of 15. Only one year later, Pelé became the top scorer in the national league of Brazil.
At the age of 17, he brought the first major heading to Santos and became a world-class star of the national Brazil team when they lifted their first World Cup.
On returning to Brazil, Pelé helped Santos win five league championships consecutively during the period from 1961 to 1965. Three years later, their sixth championship came up. At that time, they also got two Copa Libertadores and an Intercontinental Cup.
If we count all of his goals in both official and unofficial matches, Pelé had scored well over one thousand goals during his career.
He was good at netting goals with either foot and playing in the air in spite of his poor height. In addition to his magic dribbling ability, Pelé was visionary, mastered ball control, and played balanced yet skillfully.
So we have just gone through the list of five greatest players throughout the history of football. However, even though we are not biased and have carefully considered the different elements of each player, this may still be our subjective opinion.
Therefore, please comment with your own opinion and specify why that player is better than a player on our list. Thereby, we can have further discussion.
Thanks for reading!