10 best footballers ever: Who ranks first?

According to the FourFourTwo’s ranking of the four greatest footballers in the football history, Messi is ranked second in this list, only behind "the Golden Boy" Diego Maradona.


10. Ronaldo de Lima (Brazil):

Rooney has all qualities to become the world's top striker. He has helped Brazil earn the fifth World Cup title. He became the World Cup’s greatest scorer in 2006 with his 15th strike (since surpassed by Miroslav Klose in 2014). And if there were no injuries, then “the Alien” would have been able to win the Champions League title.


9. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary):

Although Ferenc Pukas is only 1m72 high, with an impressive 616 goals in 620 appearances in 23 years of the National Championships, the late Hungarian legend has made fans change their the look of a striker. He was also an integral part of a legendary Real Madrid team, winning the European Cup three times and the Spanish title five times in a row.


8. Zinedine Zidane (France):

He has the special strength and big body size, but when Zizou came out, fans in the world feel him dancing like a ballet. It was Zidane who brought the French two major titles in 1998 and 2000.


7. Franz Beckenbauer (German):

"The Emperor" was a rare phenomenon of German football when he created the concept of libero, a sweeping defender. Beckenbauer helped Bayern Munich win four Bundesliga titles and Germany win the 1974 and 1972 World Cup.


6. Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain):

He is best-known for his achievements with Real Madrid, where he was instrumental in the club's domination of the European Champions' Cup and La Liga during the 1950s. Puskas and Di Stefano created a legendary European duo of that time, and it was the perfect pair that scored in five consecutive European Cup finals for Real Madrid.


5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal):

He starred in one of the greatest sides of the Premier League era, inspiring Manchester United to a hat-trick of Premier League titles from 2007-2009. He has led Madrid into their most successful spell since the 1950s, winning the Champions League three times in four years. He captained Portugal to their first major trophy at Euro 2016.


4. Johan Cruyff (Holland):

With success both on the pitch and on the benches, Johan Cruyff has been dubbed "the Saint". It is him who has changed the Spanish football philosophy to produce Tiki-taka and legends like Xavi or Iniesta.


3. Pele (Brazil):

At the age of 17, in 1958, Pele became the youngest player to feature in a World Cup final. He scored six times in Sweden, including a semi-final hat-trick and two more in the final. It was to be the first of three World Cup trophies he brought back home as an answer to those tears he saw running down his dad’s face after the national team lost the 1950 World Cup to Uruguay. On November 19, 1969, Pele scored his 1,000th goal from a penalty in a match against Vasco da Gama at the Maracana stadium.
Despite being dubbed “the King of Soccer”, Football’s most iconic player Pele only ranks third on the list.


2. Lionel Messi (Argentina):

Aged 30, he’s broken all-time records while lifting a host of personal and club awards – yet it’s only in watching Messi you can appreciate a one-off genius. One way to try to express the greatness of Lionel Messi is to list his records and awards: the unrivalled five Ballon d’Ors, the 30 club trophies, the 91 goals in one calendar year and his status as top scorer of Argentina, Barcelona and La Liga.


1. Diego Maradona (Argentina):

The golden boy's contribution to Napoli and Argentina is undeniablet was Diego Maradona who brought glory to his team thanks to his talent and ambition. Diego Maradona's 1986 FIFA World Cu goal against England is the most obvious evidence for Maradona’s talent. “Even if I played for a million years, I'd never come close to Maradona,” Lionel Messi once said. “He's the greatest there's ever been.”

By: Christina Baker

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