Best Players

Our top 20 list of the best footballers of all time include the predictable Pelé, and Diego Maradona combo near the top as well as other retired players include Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian Ronaldo. Current players also make the cut including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who still have years of top level football to play out.

You may not agree with our lists and their order, but most other lists include most of the players listed here. What is your top 10? Who should be there and who shouldn't?

In the other tab above, we have all the Ballon d'Or stats for you.

All time

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Pele (1956-1977)
  3. Diego Maradona (1976-1997)
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo
  5. Zinedine Zidane (1989-2006)
  6. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
  7. Johan Cruyff (1964-1984)
  8. Franz Beckenbauer (1964-1984)
  9. Alfredo Di Stéfano (1945-1966)
  10. Garrincha (1933 - 1083)
  11. Ferenc Puskás (1944-1966)
  12. Eusébio (1958-1978)
  13. Michel Platini (1973-1987)
  14. George Best (1963-1984)
  15. Gerd Muller
  16. Paolo Maldini
  17. Dino Zoff,
  18. Franco Baresi
  19. Zico
  20. Marco Van Basten
  21. Bobby Charlton



Listed here are stats for the best FIFA men's player of the year starting in 1991 to 2014. It ranks the top players in the world based on votes by coaches from international teams. In 2010, the FIFA player of the year award was merged with the Ballon d'Or to become the 'FIFA Ballon d'Or'. Our Football Player of the Year table in the sheet below draws upon the FIFA Ballon d'Or stats. Before that, FIFA player of the year stats are used.

In total, Lionel Messi is in the lead having been voted the best player four times. Players with three titles include: Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.


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