Top 10 Football Players

In football, also known as soccer, the aim of the sport is to kick the ball with your foot and score a goal. As one of the most popular team sports in the world, football has given us some of the most talented athletes that ever lived. These football players are so good that they've made history time and time again. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 football players. Special thanks to our users Mukhtaar Ashraf, Mattyhull1 and Airryuu for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Alan Schaaf.

These athletes sure know how to handle a ball – with their feet. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 football players.

#10: George Best
Years active: 1963-1984


With his speed, stability and finishing, this Northern Irishman was a tremendous player on the pitch. Combine those skills with his ability to fly through defenders and it’s no wonder he was such a good winger. Best’s “beautiful game” also helped Manchester United win the European Cup in 1968. Unfortunately, he enjoyed his success a little too much and died from health problems in 2005.

#9: Ronaldo
Years active: 1993-2011


Sometimes called the ‘Original Ronaldo,’ this Brazilian is so talented he became known as “the phenomenon.” Thanks to his powershot, striking talent and dribbling skills, he played with many world-class teams, including Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and AC Milan. He also played three FIFA World Cups and helped Brazil win its fifth tournament in 2002. Four years later, he became the all- time goalscorer in World Cups.

#8: Michel Platini
Years active: 1972-1987


This legendary French player was known for his proficient passing and expertise in free kick taking. During his senior career, which included five years with Juventus, he scored a total of 224 goals. He also made a name for himself playing with the French national team, and led his fellow players to victory in the ’84 Euro. His multiple accolades include 3 Ballon d’Ors and 3 Onze d’Ors.

#7: Alfredo Di Stéfano
Years active: 1945-1966


Though he was from Buenos Aires, this great player played for the national teams of three different countries: Argentina, Colombia and Spain. But he was especially key to Real Madrid, which he helped win multiple Euro Cups in the 1950s. With his endurance, power and range, the blond arrow was truly the complete package – and his individual honors prove it.

#6: Johan Cruyff
Years active: 1964-1984


As demonstrated by his 8 Dutch national championships and 3 Euro Cups wins, Cruyff wasn’t only a football star while playing for Ajax and Barcelona but also with his national team. Aside from being named Dutch Footballer of the Year 5 times, El Flaco could play both wide and center field. But it was his mastery of the “Total Football” style of play that really stood out.

#5: Lionel Messi
Years active: 2003-Present


Messi’s talent caught the attention of FC Barcelona before he’d even reached his teens. The Argentine footballer debuted with the league at 17 and soon became captain of his home country’s national team. In just a few short years, his playing and scoring skills became legendary and nabbed him record-upon-record. These include four Ballon d’Or awards and the most hat tricks in Champions League campaigns.

#4: Zinedine Zidane
Years active: 1989-2006


Starting his club career in Cannes, Zizou quickly moved up to more first-rate teams, displaying his excellent control of the ball with clubs like Juventus. But it was with Real Madrid that Zidane hit his prime, winning both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. After bringing France to victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the Frenchman was rewarded with a Ballon d’Or in 1998 and retired from the sport in 2006.

#3: Franz Beckenbauer
Years active: 1964-1983


With his ability to take control on the field and effortlessly play as a central midfielder or defender, it’s no surprise he was nicknamed Der Kaiser. The German footballer’s teamwork skills were especially important while playing with Bayern Munich, with whom he won several Bundesliga titles and 3 European cups. He also twice led the West German national squad to World Cup Victory: once as captain and once as manager.

#2: Diego Maradona
Years active: 1976-1998


Thanks to his domination on the pitch and his incredible dribbling techniques, it’s clear this Argentinean player’s got game. But it’s was his ‘Hand of God’ goal and his ‘Goal of the Century’ in the 1986 FIFA World Cup that Maradona made history. While he played with more than half a dozen different teams in his career, the most notable were Barcelona, with which he won the Copa de la Liga and Napoli, with which he twice earned Serie A titles.

Honorable Mentions


Ferenc Puskás
Lev Yashin
Ronaldinho
Eusébio
Cristiano Ronaldo

#1: Pelé
Years active: 1956-1977


With his multiple World Cup victories, goal-scoring techniques and overall unbeatable skill, this Brazilian all-star is probably the best player football’s ever seen. He didn’t only amaze the world with his dribbling, but earned a Guinness World Record for most career goals scored with 1281. Aside from his individual trophies, he won multiple titles with the Santos FC and made Brazil three-time World Cup champions. It’s little wonder he’s The King.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite football player? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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