He won three FIFA World Cups:although he only played the first game and got injured in the second andthe only player ever to do so; and is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 91 games. The waters are divided between those who consider him to be far from being the best No. Messi endured criticism over his performances during the campaign despite scoring 28 goals in 31 Liga appearances as Barcelona lost the title to Atletico Madrid in a dramatic final day clash, but the forward committed his long-term future to the club with a new deal in May and came back with a bang to claim the Treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey after scoring 43 goals in 38 games. He has served as a manager and coach at other clubs as well as the national team of Argentina.
Football became a sport in England. 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.
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 European Cup and two league titles during his time with Manchester United.
As an attacking midfielder he scored a remarkable goals in games and won the Ballon d'Or in 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.
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 goals in games.
With goals in games, he was a prolific goalscorer for Real Madrid. He wasn't your conventional striker though; he appeared all over the pitch, tackling, passing, and dictating the play.
He was the most complete player ever to grace the game. With Real Madrid he won an incredible five European Cups, scoring in all of the finals. He won 13 league titles in his career His international record is poor due to not featuring in a World Cup, although he did win a Copa America with Argentina.
Ferenc Puskas, Hungary Puskas was probably the most precise goalscorer ever.
Combining his finishing prowess with a general intelligence and ability to invent new skills such as the drag-back , he scored a sensational goals in appearances during his career For Real Madrid, he won three European Cups and five league titles.
In Hungary, he won a further five league titles. At the international level, he led Hungary to the World Cup Final. Franz Beckenbauer, Germany Beckenbauer was a sweeper, or a defensive midfielder in today's lingo, but that didn't stop him scoring goals in appearances for Germany and Bayern Munich.
Much like Di Stefano, he never had a true position; he was literally everywhere at once, dictating the game and exerting his influence. He was the ultimate captain, but combined with his dribbling, passing and all-round technical ability, he was one of the greatest players ever.
He won the World Cup, the European Championships, as well as three European Cups and eight league titles during his club career.
Michel Platini, France Platini was an attacking midfielder, scoring goals in games. He was an excellent passer and free kick taker, but he combined this with ruthless goal scoring ability. Almost single-handedly he guided France to the European Championships, scoring nine goals in the process.
He lifted the European Cup with Juventus, and also won three league titles in his club career.
Zico, Brazil Often removed from top 10 lists due to his lack of achievements, Zico's footballing ability was never in question. With goals in 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 s look like amateurs in the Intercontinental Cup.
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 goals in appearances from attacking midfield.
He won three European Cups and 10 league titles, but he wasn't able to gain an international medal. 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 goals in 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 , and 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. 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 goals in games.
Against England, he scored one of the greatest goals of all time. Who is the best retired football player of all time?