• 09/12/2023

The Best Soccer Players of All Time

The Best Soccer Players of All Time

Summary: From 125 soccer players, these 8 have made it to the top

As a kid, I grew up watching the backs of these legendary superstars of soccer. I always watch soccer matches (and replays) and often there is this one shinning star in the field that would exert dominance. Ultimately, the game would take shape around this player until at last as the game ends, the legacy is cemented and this videotape is archived into the football annals of time.

Sifting through these priceless archives FIFA has announced the best soccer players that had emerged from in this century. A poll was created and ultimately, the fans of the emerging and the old voted on who should be among the best soccer players of the 20th century.

8 – George Best (May 22 1946 – November 25 2005)
While there had been speculation as to whether he should hold the crown of the best soccer players in history, undoubtedly he is the best English player ever. George had the gifts of pace, balance, two-footedness, goal scoring prowess and the uncanny ability to sniff out positions for scoring. Indeed, Pelé regarded him as greatest player of all time, which he also replied as the ultimate salute of his life. Even the great Argentinean Diego Maradona regarded George Best equally high.

7 – Ferenc Puskás (April 2, 1927)
Known as the ‘Galloping Major’, Ferenc Puskás had the strongest left footed shot in the annals of football. It tore through defenses with unerring accuracy and Puskás was the offensive catalyst of the Hungarian Squad during Puskás’ reign. From 1950 to 1956 he carried the Hungarian Flag to unparalleled heights holding the longest consecutive run of unbeaten games, 32 of which involved world competition, a record that still stand today. The Hungarian record? 43 victories, 7 draws and only 1 defeat.

6 – Alfredo Di Stéfano (July 4, 1926)
While most players are born with exceptional skills for scoring, the most common are pace, dribble and a powerful shot, Di Stéfano was different. What he has was his amazing versatility, a keen game vision coupled with a deep running stamina. With that, the Argentine born footballer made so many goals that by tallying he ran 3rd highest goal scorer while playing in Spain.

5 – Michel Platini (June 21, 1955)
Before Zidane, there was Platini. But what Zidane can do, many regarded Platini can do better. Though the Frenchman is the only midfielder among the top 8 soccer players of the 20th century, he is still an outstanding goal scorer. But his gifts of passing were what made his image immortal; in the words of Bobby Charlton, “he could thread the ball through the eye of a needle as well as finish.”

4 – Franz Beckenbauer (September 11, 1945)
Franz Beckenbauer is the world’s best defender. He was the one who invented the role of the sweeper. His elegant style, his leadership qualities and his domination on the football pitch earned him the title “der Kaiser”.

3 – Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (April 25, 1947)
Cruijff (or Cruyff), known for his ball skill, speed and acceleration, was immortalized for his football philosophy known as the Total Football, where players moving out of position are replaced by another retaining structure. In this system no footballer has ever implemented it so successfully other than Cruyff. With Cruyff on the helm and Total Football as their strategy, Netherlands dominated most of their games in the 70s.