The Best Footballers In History: 15 Legends From Yashin To Ronaldo

Best Footballers In History: It is impossible to imagine football without them. The best footballers in history from Yashin to Ronaldo.

We present a ranking of the best footballers in history. In compiling it, we took into account the impact of players on football, as well as based on personal preferences. As a result, we got the top of the 15 best football players, whom we deliberately did not place in their places, so as not to provoke unnecessary controversy among the readers.

The Best Footballers In History 2022

Here We Go!

1. Ronaldo

 
 
 
 
 
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The two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, “Nibbler” Ronaldo, was named the best player in the history of the World Championships according to the results of research on the Castrol Index statistics collection and analysis system.

Ronaldo won two world championships with the Brazilian national team (1998 World Cup and 2002 World Cup) and until 2014 was the record holder for the number of goals scored at the World Cup until he was overtaken by Miroslav Klose.

At the club level, the Brazilian is also in order with trophies: in total, he won more than 10 titles, most of which is a Real Madrid jersey. During his career, Ronaldo scored about 350 goals in official matches – not without reason he was called a phenomenon.

2. Lothar Matthäus

 
 
 
 
 
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Defender Lothar Matthäus holds the record for the number of appearances for the German national team (150). The ageless German has taken part in as many as five world championships. The peak of his career came in the early 1990s.

In 1990, Matthäus helped the German national team win the World Cup and was named the best player in his homeland, and in 1991 he became the best footballer of the year in the world.

3. Xavi

 
 
 
 
 
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Barcelona legend Xavi has devoted 17 years to his hometown club. During this time, he turned from a promising teenager into the best playmaker in the world according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFIS).

Together with Barcelona, ​​Xavi won 25 trophies, and in the Spanish national team, he became twice the European champion and once – the world champion. The Spaniard has repeatedly entered the symbolic world team, but the coveted Ballon d’Or never won – because of the brilliant Ronaldo and Messi.

4. Cafu

 
 
 
 
 
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Brazilian Cafu is the owner of a unique achievement. He is the only footballer to have competed in three World Cup finals. Moreover, in two of them, he celebrated victory (World Cup 1994 and World Cup 2002).

In all, during his career, he won more than 15 club trophies – with Sao Paulo, Palmeiras, Roma, and Milan, and in 1994 Cafe was named the best football player of the year in South America.

5. Paolo Maldini

 
 
 
 
 
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Maldini is a Milan legend. The defender spent his entire career at his home club, for which he played in 902 matches. Paolo won 26 trophies with Milan. The defender was voted the best footballer in the world in 1994, and Maldini was named one of the greatest footballers of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine.

Not surprisingly, after the end of Paolo’s career, Milan took his number (3) out of circulation.

6. Franz Beckenbauer

 
 
 
 
 
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Legendary German footballer Franz Beckenbauer revolutionized defense: he became the first attacking Libero and ended up being the only defender in history to win the Ballon d’Or twice. In addition, Franz has been named Germany’s Footballer of the Year four times.

Together with Bayern Munich, he took 13 trophies, including three European Cups. He also became the world and European champion with the German national team.

No wonder Beckenbauer is considered the best defender of the 20th century.

7. Michelle Platini

 
 
 
 
 
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In the mid-1980s, Michel Platini dominated European football. He became the first player to win three Ballons of Gold in a row (1983, 1984, and 1985).

Platini was repeatedly recognized as the best football player in the world and in Europe, he became the top scorer in Serie A, the European Cup, and the European Championship. During his career, Michel won 13 trophies – the European Championship with the French national team and 11 club titles.

8. Johan Cruyff

 
 
 
 
 
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Johan Cruyff is the first player in history to receive three Ballon d’Or: he was recognized as the best footballer in Europe in 1971, 1973, and 1974. The midfielder was an extravaganza in Ajax, Barcelona, and the Netherlands national team, and after the end of his career, he became as legendary as a football player.

Cruyff turned Barcelona into a formidable force in Europe and taught the team to love the ball and play pass. It is believed that it was Johan who invented modern football.

9. Marco van Basten

 
 
 
 
 
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The era of Marco van Basten began when the previous king of Europe, Platini, was already playing out. The Dutchman helped his team take the 1988 European Championship by scoring the legendary goal in the final of the USSR national team tournament and in the same year received the first of his three Golden Balls.

Playing for Ajax and Milan, van Basten has repeatedly become the top scorer of the Netherlands and Italy. In total, he won 21 trophies with his clubs.

10. Lev Yashin

 
 
 
 
 
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Legendary goalkeeper of the USSR national team and Dynamo Lev Yashin is still the only goalkeeper in history who managed to get the Golden Ball. In the middle of the last century, he made a revolution in football, when he began to actively play on the outs and often even outside the penalty area.

At first, Yashin was criticized for his unusual style of play, but then it became clear that he was bringing results. It is not without reason that Lev Ivanovich was recognized 11 times as the best goalkeeper of the USSR, the best goalkeeper of the 20th century according to IFFIIS, and even the best goalkeeper in history, according to France Football magazine.

11. Ronaldinho

 
 
 
 
 
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The “Magician” Ronaldinho became famous for his brilliant feints and ingenious goals. When the Brazilian was on the field, he literally charmed the fans with his play. The result – absolutely deserved “Golden Ball” and awards to the best football player in the world according to FIFA (2004, 2005).

Together with Barcelona, ​​Ronaldinho won the championship and the Spanish Super Cup, and in the early 2010s with Milan, he conquered Serie A. -level.

12. Pele

 
 
 
 
 
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Pele is a real lump in the football world. During his career, he scored 1283 goals in 1363 matches and became the top scorer in history. In addition, the Brazilian has won three world championships and many club trophies at home.

World Soccer magazine recognized Pele as the best footballer of the 20th century, and the IOC as the athlete of the century.

13. Diego Maradona

 
 
 
 
 
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Diego Armando Maradona first of all was remembered by the fans thanks to the triumphant World Cup for Argentina – 1986 in Mexico, where, after a chic pass, he scored the brilliant goal of England, which was recognized as the best goal in the history of the World Cup. Then Diego Armando showed the world the “Hand of God”.

Nevertheless, Maradona was enchanting not only for the national team but also in Boca Honeyars, Barcelona, and Napoli – at the club level, he collected as many as 9 trophies. After the end of his career, the Argentine received the honorary Ballon d’Or and was recognized as the best footballer of the century by FIFA.

14. Lionel Messi

 
 
 
 
 
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Messi has always been worthy of the Ballon d’Or. He is the best footballer in the world. If they choose the best in the world, then this is Messi. Undoubtedly, Messi is the best in the world, and whoever says the opposite is a relative of Ronaldo, ”said ex-Barcelona midfielder Xavi.

And it’s really hard to disagree with this, considering that Messi is the record holder for the number of Ballon d’Or (6). Leo also has 6 Golden Boots, more than 34 club trophies won with Barcelona, ​​and about 50 records.

15. Cristiano Ronaldo

 
 
 
 
 
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Cristiano Ronaldo is now Messi’s main competitor for the status of the best acting football player in the world. Despite the fact that the Portuguese have one Golden Ball less, he is sure that he is cooler than the Argentine. “I’m better than Messi.

In my understanding, I am better than him, and I will always be better, ”said Ronaldo. However, Cristiano still has reason to think so.

In his career, he has scored more goals than Messi (767 vs. 730). And the Portuguese’s achievements at the national team level are much more impressive – he is the winner of the Nations Cup and the European champion. So these all are the best footballers in history.

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