Who are the 10 best footballers of all time? We are not talking American Football, but what the world knows as football, which Americans call soccer. There have been many great ones so choosing the 10 best footballers of all time is difficult. See if you agree with our list. We considered personal accomplishments as well as overall impact on the game.
- Diego Maradona – Just about everyone in the world puts Pele at No. 1, but if you consider a player's ability to control a game, Maradona has to be given his due. He is credited with winning the 1986 World Cup on the sheer force of his will. He also has overcome many obstacles, such as health and drug issues, and continues to make his mark on the game. Football remains a team sport, but Maradona seems an exception to that maxim.
- Pele - The Michael Jordan of football/soccer, Pele (Edison Arantes do Nascimento) is one of the most recognizable names in football. Three world cups for Brazil, and many more titles puts him in an elite class. His overall impact on the game, particularly his influence in the United States, makes him one of the all-time greats. Winning his first World Cup in 1958 and ending his career as part of a United States NSL championship team (New York Cosmos) in 1977 speaks to his amazing longevity as well.
- Mia Hamm – No one said this had to be an all-male list. Her overall impact on popularizing women's soccer puts her here, as well as her great athletic accomplishments. She has scored more goals in international competition than anyone – male or female – with 158. She has won NCAA championships, World Cup titles and Olympic gold.
- Alfredo di Stefano – A great player of the 40s and 50s, who dominated European play with five consecutive European titles.
- Johan Cruyff – Netherlands player who led his country to three European titles. He also changed the game by introducing a more free-flowing style in the 80s. While a great player, his influence as a coach and pioneer of strategy, makes him one of the greats.
- Eusebio da Silva Ferreira – A Portuguese star who won 10 league titles, a European Cup and almost single-handedly led Portugal to third in the 1966 World Cup with nine goals.
- Ferenc Puskas – A Hungarian soccer star who is regarded as the best eastern European ever. Prolific left-footed scorer, with an amazing 662 goals in 669 professional games in the 50s and early 60s.
- Garrincha – Another one-name star from Brazil, Garrincha (actually named: Manuel Francisco dos Santos) is regarded by some as being almost as talented as Pele. Participated in three World Cups in the 50s and 60s.
- Franz Beckenbauer – Greatest German player ever and France Football called him one of the best World Cup players of all time. 1972 and 76 World Cup player of the year.
- Zico - The third one-name Brazilian, Zico (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) is regarded as the best free-kick specialist in the history of the game. 1981 and 82 South American player of the year.
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