Football has known many greatest stars in the tournament’s 84-year old history. But only a few sheer in excellence. Here’s our pick of the Top 10 best football players ever.
When you ask football fans about the best all time football player, they are likely to take the name Pele. Pele is considered as the “King of Football”. The Brazilian football player has scored 1283 goals in 1367 matches and has won three World Cup titles (1958, 1962, 1970). He played most of the football games at Santos. After his retirement Pelé has continued playing the role of goodwill ambassador for football. He was also Brazilian minister for Sport for a while. His mastery in football makes him stay on the top of the list.
2. Diego Armando Maradona
Diego Armando Maradona won the 1986 World Cup almost single-handedly and took Argentina to the final four years later. He became famous for his two goals against England in the quarter finals. Maradona scored a goal off his hand, which is popularly called” The Hand of God”. The second was one of the World Cup-s all-time great goals and was voted “Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002.
3. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff was the best player of the Dutch 1974 “Total Football” World Cup team and the Ajax Amsterdam team that won a hat-trick of European Cups in the early seventies. He was a good dribbler and was nine times champion of the Netherlands. Building on the legacy of his mentor Rinus Michels, Cruyff developed tremendous tactics of attacking football in the history of the game.
4. Franz Beckenbauer
An elegant sweeper Franz Beckenbauer is nicknamed “Der Kaiser”. The German player won the European Cup with Bayern Munich three times consecutively from 1974 to 1977. He was the only man to captain Germany (in 1974) and coach (1990) a team to win the World Cup. He would often make a rush from his own penalty area to the penalty area of the opponent by dribbling and making short combinations with his teammates. He did this so well that he scored 60 goals for Bayern Munich as a defender.
5. Alfredo Di Stefano
Argentina player Alfred Di Stefano was nicknamed “The Blond Arrow” for his superb technique, stamina, tactical insight and an ability to score goals. Stefano was the spirit behind Real Madrid’s domination of the European Cup in the late 1950’s. He has scored 418 goals in 510 games for Real Madrid, with 307 of these strikes coming in competitive matches.
Eusebio, nicknamed “The Black Panther” or “Black Pearl” won 10 Portuguese league titles, in addition to the 1962 European Cup with Benefica, scoring two goals in the finals. Eusebio was a great striker, he was known for his speed, powerful shot and dribbles. He won the Portuguese championship for eleven times and is the all-time great player of the club with 638 goals in 614 matches.
7. Ferenc Puskas
The legendary Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas had won Olympic Gold in 1952 in Helsinkin and the Magical Magyars arrived at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland undefeated in four years. At Madrid he played along with Di Stéfano, he won the European Cup thrice and became five times Spanish Champion.
8. Lev Yashin
There are relatively few players whose excellent performance has helped revolutionise the game of football but former Russia No.1 Lev Yashin is undoubtedly one of them. He was the best European football player of the year “Golden Award” (1963). For his outstanding service to the people and for his country he was awarded Order of Lenin (1967), the highest award of the USSR. In 2000 he was named FIFA World Keeper of the Century.
Garrincha was a brilliant Brazilian winger on the pitch as he was wild off to it. In spite of his distorted left leg, he has made some of the most beautiful football performances ever. He played for Botafogo, his first professional team, in 581 games, scoring 232 goals. When Pelé was out and got injured at the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Garrincha almost single handedly won the World Cup with Brazil at a similar way Maradona did in 1986.
10. Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine, a French football player is one of the soccer icons of his generation. Zinedine was an incredible playmaker who did a lot of amazing things to retain the ball with him very well. He played three times for the FIFA World Cup and won the world Cup with France in his homeland in 1998. He retired from playing after scoring and being sent off in the final of the 2006 World Cup.