10. Johann Cruyff
Cruyff was one of the most exciting players of the 1970’s with his ability on the ball mixed with good acceleration and pace. The Dutchman is lauded as the most skillful European footballer of all time and his ability to move in and out of positions around the pitch meant that he was a nightmare for defenders to keep under wraps.
9. George Best
George Best could well have been the greatest player of all time if it wasn’t for his early retirement and playboy lifestyle. He was probably the most naturally gifted player to every play the beautiful game and his combination of talents always caused defences trouble. Lightning quick pace, 2 footed, extraordinary vision and perfect balance are just a few of the traits that surrounded Best’s game.
Ronaldo is one of only 2 players from the last 15 years to have an inclusion in the top 10 players. The Brazilian forward was known for his outstanding shooting ability as well as his quick feet and his eye for goal. In total, Ronaldo amassed 343 appearances in club football in which he scored 247 goals. His international record boasts even stronger though as he bagged 62 goals in just 97 appearances. Ronaldo was also the top World Cup scorer boasting 15 goals in the tournament.
7. Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller is one of the best strikers ever to have played football at both domestic and international level. His goalscoring feats are phenomenal as his international record reads 68 goals in 62 games while his club record is equally as impressive with 489 goals in 565 appearances. Although he wasn’t built in the conventional strikers physique, Muller had great reactions and an immense natural instinct. His agility is one of the main reasons behind his goalscoring talents.
6. Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore is the only Englishman ever to lift the World Cup and his international record was outstanding with 108 appearances to his name. His tough tackling and ability to get last ditch blocks away led to a successful career for the Londoner and the majority of his career was spent in his hometown with West Ham & Fulham. He had a great ability to read the game and anticipate players movements which enabled him to be an efficient and effective centre half. Once again he wasn’t the conventional style of player for his position but the way he conducted himself was world class.
5. Ferenc Puskas
Puskas is renowned as one of the greatest Goalscorers of all time. 509 goals in 523 domestic appearances speaks for itself whilst his international record boasts 84 goals in 85 games. This record slightly shades Gerd Muller’s record for Germany and Puskas has been accredited with the FIFA Puskas award which is awarded to the player who has scored the best goal in the calendar year. Puskas plied his trade in both the Hungarian League and the Spanish League and his goalscoring talents attracted all the plaudits during his career.
4. Zinedine Zidane
Zidane is the second of the top 10 to come from the modern era of the game and ‘Zizou’ is one of the best players to have ever played football. His immense passing ability and his eye for goal enabled him to be an outstanding attacking midfielder. He is remembered fondly for his goal in the Champions League final at Hampden Park when he rocketed a side volley into the top corner to earn Real Madrid the cup. Zidane also had his fair share of awards and is joint top in the FIFA World Player of The Year awards as him and Ronaldo share 3 a piece.
3. Franz Beckenbauer
Der Kaiser is the best defender ever to have played football. The German captain was praised for his ‘creation’ of the modern day sweeper role. Despite being a centre half by trade, Beckenbauer chipped in with his fair share of goals including some vital goals for Germany in World Cups. Franz had a career spanning 19 years in which he managed to win the World Cup amongst many domestic titles and he followed it up by winning the World Cup as manager of Germany in 1990. With nearly 700 appearances to his name, Beckenbauer is a German legend and a worldwide football hero to many.
2. Diego Maradona
Maradona is famed for his hand of god incident against England in 1986 but this is only a small down point on what was a fantastic career for both club and country. Diego was able to win the World Cup as a player and his ability to dribble the ball is second to none. Although he doesn’t boast many trophies, the Argentinean was a master of the game and was able to change a game with one swift turn. His goalscoring records do not stand as great as the likes of Puskas and Muller but Maradona is commended for his overall gameplay rather than just his goalscoring ability.
Pele is the leading goalscorer of all time in Football. In all competitions, Pele scored an amazing 1281 goals in 1363 games. His domestic record makes even Puskas look inferior as he boasts 737 goals in 669 games. The Brazilian was announced as the footballer of the century in 2000 and this follows a career that is littered with honours. With 32 official trophies to his name, he is the player with the most career titles ever. Among these are 3 World Cups where Pele shone on the big stage and this is truly testament to the greatest footballer there has ever been.