The Top 5 Football Players of All Time


The Top 5 Football Players of All Time

Football, also known as soccer in some parts of the world, is the most popular sport globally. Throughout history, numerous exceptional players have graced the football pitch, leaving an indelible mark on the game. This article aims to highlight the top 5 football players of all time, considering their skill, achievements, and influence on the sport.

1. Pelé

Pelé, the Brazilian forward born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. He achieved a remarkable record, scoring 1281 goals in 1363 official matches, and winning numerous titles, including three FIFA World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970. Pelé’s extraordinary dribbling skills, exceptional vision, and clinical finishing abilities set him apart from his contemporaries.

Key Achievements:

  • Won three FIFA World Cups with Brazil
  • Scored over 1,000 professional career goals
  • Named FIFA Player of the Century in 1999

2. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, the Argentine magician, is widely regarded as the greatest player of the modern era. His ability to effortlessly maneuver through opposing defenses with his quick feet and exceptional close control is truly mesmerizing. With Barcelona, Messi has won numerous domestic and international titles, including the prestigious UEFA Champions League. He has also claimed the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award multiple times.

Key Achievements:

  • Won four UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona
  • Record-breaking six-time Ballon d’Or winner
  • Holds the record for most goals in a calendar year (91)

3. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, the enigmatic Argentine icon, is fondly remembered for his exceptional skills and charisma on and off the field. Maradona led Argentina to victory in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, where he scored two of the most iconic goals in football history. His infamous “Hand of God” goal and the stunning solo effort against England showcased his unparalleled talent and footballing genius.

Key Achievements:

  • Won the FIFA World Cup with Argentina in 1986
  • Excelled for Barcelona and Napoli, winning multiple trophies
  • FIFA Goal of the Century award for his solo goal against England

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese sensation, has dominated football with his blistering pace, power, and incredible goal-scoring abilities. Ronaldo has played for top clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and currently, Juventus. His numerous individual awards and impressive goal-scoring record place him among the all-time greats in the sport.

Key Achievements:

  • Five-time UEFA Champions League winner
  • Five-time Ballon d’Or winner
  • Most international goals scored by a European player

5. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff, the Dutch maestro, revolutionized the game with his innovative playing style and tactical prowess. He played a vital role in shaping the success of Ajax and Barcelona as a player and later became an influential coach. Cruyff’s exceptional vision, elegant dribbling, and remarkable technique made him a joy to watch and a true footballing legend.

Key Achievements:

  • Guided Ajax and Barcelona to multiple domestic and European titles as a player
  • Three-time Ballon d’Or winner
  • Influential in implementing the famous “Total Football” style of play


The top 5 football players of all time have left an everlasting impact on the beautiful game. From legends like Pelé and Diego Maradona to the modern-day duels between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, these exceptional athletes have enthralled fans worldwide with their skill, technique, and unparalleled achievements. Their contributions have transcended the sport, inspiring future generations to play the game with the same passion and dedication.

FAQs About the Top Football Players of All Time

1. Which player has scored the most goals in football history?

The player who holds the record for the most goals in football history is Josef Bican, who scored an astonishing 805 official goals in his career.

2. Has any player won the Ballon d’Or more than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

No, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won the Ballon d’Or the most times, with each of them claiming the prestigious award five times.

3. Who is the youngest player to have won the FIFA World Cup?

The youngest player to have won the FIFA World Cup is Pelé. He achieved this feat in 1958 when he was just 17 years old.

4. Who is the best goalkeeper of all time?

Differing opinions exist among football fans, but some notable goalkeepers often mentioned among the best of all time include Lev Yashin, Dino Zoff, and Gianluigi Buffon.

5. Are there any female players in the list of all-time greats?

While this list focuses on male players, it’s important to acknowledge the immense talent and achievements of female players. Names like Marta, Birgit Prinz, and Mia Hamm are considered among the best female footballers in history.

6. How many times has Brazil won the FIFA World Cup?

Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup a record-breaking five times, with their victories coming in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.

7. Who is the highest-paid football player in the world?

Lionel Messi currently holds the title of the highest-paid football player in the world, earning a staggering amount both from his club contract and various endorsements.

8. Has any player won the UEFA Champions League with multiple clubs?

Yes, a few players have won the UEFA Champions League with different clubs. Some notable examples include Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid), Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan), and Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona, Inter Milan).

9. Who is the oldest player to have won the Ballon d’Or?

The oldest player to have won the Ballon d’Or is Fabio Cannavaro, an Italian defender, who won the award in 2006 at the age of 33.

10. How many goals has Lionel Messi scored for Barcelona?

As of now, Lionel Messi has scored over 650 goals for Barcelona in official competitions.