10. Michel Platini

Michel Platini is ranked tenth on this list. Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers of all time, may probably be considered France's greatest ever player. Even so, Les Blues had another unbelievably great playmaker in Platini before the current Real Madrid manager worked his magic.

The small playmaker had a long and lucrative career for club and country and is credited with making France a global football giant. Platini, who played as a number ten, saved his best for the most important matches of his career, scoring numerous key goals.

The three-time winner of the Ballon d'Or trophy (1983, 1984, 1985), the Frenchman was at the pinnacle of his game when he led France to the European Championship victory in 1984.

Platini, who was playing in his home country, captivated the country's interest with his remarkable displays, scoring nine goals in just five games. Pele couldn't help but compliment him because he was so good:

"He didn't sprint as fast as Cruyff or rely on his body as much, but I admired how he was the brains behind the scenes on the pitch. He was a player who made use of his intellect in a broad sense. He was one of the finest European footballers of the 1980s thanks to his performances with France and Juventus, as well as his ability to take free-kicks."

Platini retired in 1987 when still at the pinnacle of his game, having led France to their first-ever major international prize and won league titles with both Juventus and St Etienne.

The impact of the Frenchman on his homeland is possibly best summed up by Zidane's quotes:

"When I was a kid, I always wanted to be Platini when I played with my pals. My pals were free to discuss the names of my other idols."

Platini is one of the all-time greats of the beautiful game and has inspired a new generation of French footballers.

9. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is the most influential person and player in the history of football. Cruyff had a successful career in both his club and national teams, and he produced some spectacular football along the way. He was a pathfinder who introduced the brilliant concept of 'total football' to Ajax, Barcelona, and the Netherlands national team.

"Winning is nice, but having your own style, having others follow you, and making others like you is the best present."

Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or three times throughout his illustrious career (1971, 1973, and 1974), but he made his name at Ajax, where he played a crucial role in numerous league titles and three great European Championships.

Cruyff, on the other hand, is best renowned for the transformation he brought to Barcelona in the contemporary period.

Cruyff is recognized as a cult icon for instantly leading the Catalan giants to their first league title in 14 years after joining them, and for being the first to introduce the tiki-taka and beautiful football ideologies to the Camp Nou. Joan Laporta, the former president of Barcelona, nailed the nail on the head when he said: "He raised football to an art form as a player. Johan's arrival had a significant impact on the game. He is the embodiment of our culture, and he is responsible for introducing us to a football style that we enjoy."

Cruyff was a true visionary and pioneer of the sport, as well as a member of arguably the best ever football squad that never won the World Cup, finishing second to West Germany in 1974.

Cruyff retired from football in 1984, having defeated all odds to lead Feyenoord to the league title. He was a true game icon who spent an astonishing 20 years at the top.

Gary Lineker's statement perfectly summarises the late Johan Cruyff's impact on the game:

"Football has lost a person who has done more than anyone in the history to create the most wonderful game ever."

8. Ronaldo Nazario

When a player plays for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and AC Milan and has no haters, you know he's special. 'O Fenomeno,' Ronaldo Nazario, is probably the best striker in the history of the game.

Since his debut as a precocious 17-year-old child at Cruzeiro, there has been little doubt that the Brazilian forward was destined for greatness in the game. Ronaldo played probably the best season of his career with Barcelona, cementing his position as one of the game's all-time greats, after tearing up European football with PSV.

Former Atletico Madrid and Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune even declared that Ronaldo was the best player he had ever seen:

"He appeared to be a famous character and was physically faultless. I adore [Lionel] Messi, I've had many opportunities to play with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and adore him, Neymar is incredible, and Ronaldinho was exceptional—but if you combine all of them, you might even get what Ronaldo was that time."

The Brazilian striker, who won the prestigious Ballon d'Or prize in 1997 and 2002, is perhaps best known for his performances for the Brazil national team at the World Cups in 1998 and 2002.

In 1998, Ronaldo was one of the best players in the competition, scoring four goals and assisting on three more. He was not at his best, however, as Brazil fell in the final to host nation France after experiencing a convulsive fit hours before the game.

The year 2002, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Ronaldo astonished the world by finishing as the top scorer with an incredible eight goals and the Golden Shoe after returning from injury. The legendary striker was composed, composed, and lethal in front of goal, scoring in all of Brazil's big matches, including the final, to lead the team to a stunning 5th World Cup title.

If Ronaldo Nazario hadn't been sidelined by injury, he might have rated higher on this list. The Guardian's Rob Smyth perfectly summarised Ronaldo's career:

"Ronaldo was a superb striker when he returned from a long-term injury in 2002, but the Ronaldo of the 1990s was a wonderful everything. During his spectacular career with PSV, Barcelona, and Inter Milan, he was possibly the most deadly striker the world has ever seen."

On these days, Ronaldo was unbeatable.

7. Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano, Real Madrid's finest ever player and a key figure in the club's domination in the 1950s, had a 20-year career during which he was consistently ranked among the world's best footballers.

Di Stefano is best renowned for his performances with Real Madrid, where he scored 307 goals in 396 appearances and won 15 major honors, including five consecutive European Championships.

Di Stefano was always at his best during major matches, whether as a supporting striker or as an offensive midfielder with Puskas and Gento. He has the record for being the only player to score in five European Cup finals.

The Real Madrid legend's best performance came in the 7-3 final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, in which he dominated the game and had complete control of the field.

Di Stefano, according to legendary manager Helenio Herrera, was a better player than Pele:

"Alfredo Di Stéfano was the best footballer of all time, even better than Pelé. He was the defensive anchor, the playmaker in midfield, and the most deadly marksman in attack all at the same time."

Many fans still regard Di Stefano as the greatest Argentine footballer of all time, even surpassing Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Di Stefano's impact on his squad was arguably best summed up by journalist Mike Langley: "A complete player who could play in a variety of positions with equal ease."

"His box-to-box movement, desire to tackle back, and mastery of the offensive arts – shooting, close control, heading power, and an eye for the most telling pass – revolutionized forward play." "The ideal footballer."

Unfortunately, the 'Blonde Arrow' never had the opportunity to participate in the World Cup, and if he had, he would have been far higher on this list than number 7.

6. Garrincha

Garrincha was a famous number 7 for both Brazil and his club team Botafogo, winning two World Cups and being regarded as one of the most talented players of all time. Garrincha captivated the Brazilian public with his skills, feats, and flicks from 1953 until 1965, often providing pure joy to the people through his distinctive style of football.

Garrincha debuted for Brazil in the 1958 World Cup and quickly established himself as one of the top players in the world, scoring and assisting on numerous goals for teammates such as Vava and Pele. In the final, the famous genius notched two assists and was chosen man of the match for his outstanding effort.

Mel Hopkins, a Welsh defender who faced Garrincha in the 1958 World Cup quarterfinals, believed that the Botafogo star was better than Pele at his peak:

"Garrincha was more of a threat than Pelé, a phenomenon capable of sheer magic, I believe at the time."

In the 1962 World Cup, Garrincha led Brazil to victory in the absence of Pele, and he was awarded the tournament's best player.

The renowned Brazilian's best performance came against Chile in the 1962 World Cup semi-finals, when he scored two spectacular goals. El Mercurio, a Chilean newspaper, afterward summed up the Brazilian's brilliance brilliantly, lavishing praise on his performance.

"Where does Garrincha come from?"

Garrincha's career was sadly cut short due to his drunkenness and injuries. Even still, the bow-legged prodigy will be remembered in Brazil for his ability to brighten people's days with the way he played the beautiful game.

A great Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano, eloquently summed up what Garrincha meant to the people:

"Nobody has ever made more people happy in the history of football. The pitch was a circus ring, the ball was a tamed animal, and the match was a party invitation when he was out there. Garrincha cared about his pet ball, and the two of them got up to so much mischief that people nearly died laughing. He hopped over it, which whirled around him, disguised itself, skipped away, and forced him to go after it. His opponents collided with each other on the way."

Garrincha is without a doubt the most talented footballer in the game's history!

5. Zinedine Zidane

Zidane, the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner, had a stellar career at both Juventus and Real Madrid. However, it was his performance against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final that cemented Zidane's reputation as a truly world-class player.

Zidane scored a couple of headed goals in the final to give France their long-awaited first World Cup victory over Brazil, making him an instant hero and icon. He followed that up with a fantastic performance in Euro 2000, in which France won once again and he was named player of the season.

Platini, his idol, gushed over the young French prodigy:

"In terms of technical ability, I consider he is the master of the fundamentals of the league: control and passing. When it comes to controlling or receiving the ball, I don't believe anyone can match him."

After completing a then-world-record transfer to Real Madrid, Zidane quickly established himself as one of the team's greatest players. In a white shirt, his most memorable moment was in the 2001/02 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

With the score at 0-0, Zidane demonstrated incredible talent by volleying home a left-footed strike from outside the box. With one of the most exquisite goals in Champions League history, the Frenchman demonstrated that he could always be counted on to deliver at important moments.

Zidane remained one of the finest players in the world until his retirement in 2006. Except for his notorious headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final, the renowned Frenchman was a player who relished the spotlight.

Zidane is recognized as one of the best players of all time due to his tremendous longevity and incredible performances in the 1998 World Cup final, the 2000 European Championship final, and the 2002 Champions League final.

Famous Guardian journalist Sid Lowe nailed Zidane's class and grace on the field best. In a piece about Zidane, he wrote:

"Football's answer to the Bolshoi Ballet was Zidane. Zidane was all about grace."

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Sir Alex Ferguson discovered Cristiano Ronaldo as a precociously gifted youngster at Sporting CP, and it was at Manchester United that the Portuguese superstar cemented his place as one of our generation's best players.

Ronaldo's performance had such an impact on the legendary George Best that he said:

"A few players have been nicknamed 'the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it's been applied to me."

Thanks to his tremendous talent and a strong desire to be the best, Ronaldo has become the single most well-known figure in world football today, thanks to his persistence and dedication.

While establishing himself as a global celebrity with Manchester United, he firmly established himself as an all-time great with Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has often demonstrated his abilities, whether it was by striking the game-winning penalty in a Champions League final penalty shootout or by scoring a crucial goal in a Euro 2016 semi-final.

Since transferring from Madrid to Turin in the summer of 2018, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who has been at the top of his game for nearly 16 years, has continued to score goals for Juventus.

3. Lionel Messi

Along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's great Lionel Messi is one of the best players of our generation. Messi debuted as a fresh-faced La Masia child in 2005, quickly establishing himself as one of the game's top players, first under the direction of Frank Rijkaard and later, more importantly, under Pep Guardiola.

"When you're in trouble, give the ball to Lionel Messi."

Messi quickly established himself as Barcelona's main man after Ronaldinho's departure and was the start of Pep Guardiola's all-conquering Barcelona team in 2008-09.

Mascherano's stunning words about Messi highlight Messi's importance to the Catalan giants:

"The rest of us are optional, save for [Messi]. –Except for Leo, the club is bigger than any manager or player. That is the truth, and it is something you must accept."

Messi has scored in Champions League finals, semi-finals, Copa Del Rey Finals, and Clasicos against Real Madrid, yet he has yet to score for Argentina.

Messi took a hiatus from the national team after losing three consecutive championships, before returning two months later for one final stab at international glory.

Regardless of what he does in the future, Messi will always be considered one of the greatest players of all time. At the age of 32, the Argentine international is still scoring goals for club and country as the only player to win the Ballon d'Or six times.

Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal, put up Messi's genius best:

"Messi is, without a doubt, the best player on the planet. He seems like a PlayStation to me. Every misstep we make, he has the abilitycanability

Isn't he a freaking genius?

2. Diego Maradona

In that awful 1986 World Cup match against England, Diego Maradona's entire personality as a player and as a person was most likely captured. The Argentine maestro, a crafty genius, tangled up the English defence to score the best World Cup goal of all time.

"Maradona, the small squatting man, turns like a little eel and flees out from problems, tiny squat man... goes inside Butchers and leaves him for dead, outside Fenwick and leaves him for dead, and puts the ball away..." Bryon Butler The BBC broadcasted Maradona's second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

Diego Maradona, extraordinarily gifted and a master of the foot, could do things with a football that normal mortals could only imagine. El Diego was unafraid to break the rules if he thought it would benefit him, and he was certainly the star of Argentina's spectacular triumph in 1986.

While Maradona is most recognized for his achievements for Argentina, he also had a great club career in Europe, first with Barcelona and then with Napoli. Despite only winning a Copa Del Rey and a Supercopa Espana during his time at Barcelona, the legendary playmaker put in some great performances, none more so than when he received a standing ovation from the usually hostile Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

During his stint at Napoli, Maradona almost single-handedly led the team to two Serie A titles. The Argentine maestro was at his most destructive during these years, and the Naples mob loved him and looked to him as their savior.

On the field, Maradona led by example, seizing every game by the collar and inspiring the Serie A club to greatness. Maradona is still recognized as the greatest player in European history and a heroin Naples.

Messi's comments demonstrate the respect that even the finest players in the game have for Maradona:

"I'd ever come close to Maradona, even though I performed for a million of years. I'm not sure I'd want to go through with it. He is the best of all time.

1. Pele

Pele, the famous Brazilian footballer, often is known as the foremost player of all time. He has more World Cup wins than any player, which is enough to put him at the top of our list.

Pele was not only the best goal scorer in the world, but he was also his club's and country's focal point of attack. His goal-scoring record is incredible; he is the first senior soccer player to score over 1200 goals.

Pele, more than any other legend on our list, gave his best performance when it was most needed. At the age of 17 years and 249 days, Pele scored twice in the 1958 World Cup final against Sweden, becoming him the youngest player to score in a World Cup.

Despite only being able to play one match at the 1962 World Cup due to injuries, he cemented his reputation as the greatest player of all time in 1970. Brazil won the tournament by playing fantastic football along the way, with Pele taking home the Golden Ball (Best Player) title.

According to reports, Burgnich, who was credited with marking Pelé in the final, said

"Before the game, I told myself he's just like everyone else, made of skin and bones - but I was wrong."

Pele's successes with Brazil are well-known, but he also had a brilliant club career with Santos and the New York Cosmos. Before retiring to the United States, Pele won multiple trophies during his tenure at Santos, scoring over 600 goals for the Brazilian team.

Goalkeeper Costa Pereira had this to say about Pele after Benfica's 1962 loss to Santos:

"I came to put an end to a great man, but I departed certain that I had been undone by someone from another planet."

The Brazilian is regarded as an all-time great, and his goal-scoring ability will continue to be unrivaled for many years.