Who are these soccer players
The 50 best soccer players of all time
Warning: The following article is going to piss you off. The following article is going to get you excited. The following article will get you thought: "How on earth can he make a list like that? That's ridiculous !!!!!!"
But maybe, just maybe, she's not THAT wrong.
Perhaps this list of the 50 best footballers who ever put their boots on and did weird, wonderful things with a ball is actually 100% correct.
Because in the madness that followed there was method. The following list has been carefully compiled with a view to the respective 'peaks' of the following footballers.
This list is not just about the "50 best players of all time", but a ranking of the highest 'peaks' that each of these stars has achieved in their career.
So before you write me angrily or show this article to your friends in horror, please remember the above and TRY (I'm only asking you to try) to read this article from that point of view. Have fun reading 90min's best 50 footballers of all time.
50. Sergio Ramos
Greatest successes: 2010 World Championship, 2008 & 2012 European Championship, 4x Champions League, 5x La Liga, 4x Club World Cup, All-Star-Team World Cup 2010 & Euro 2012.
If there were pictures in the Duden, a photo of Sergio Ramos would definitely be printed next to the word 'Leader'. Some hate him, others love him - but everyone recognizes his achievements.
Technically well-versed for a defender, dangerous for goals and an ABSOLUTE BEAST in a duel - with Sergio Ramos you simply won't find any weak points.
One of the best defenders this game has ever seen.
49. Hugo Sanchez
Greatest successes: 1990 golden shoe, 5x Pichichi winner, 5x La Liga title, 1x Copa del Rey.
Check out this jersey. Just take a moment and check out the Mexico jersey above. It's a beautiful thing. An "Arc de Triomphe" made of woven fabrics.
Ok, now look at the player who is wearing this shirt. This guy's name is Hugo Sanchez (great name, isn't it?) And he's one of the greatest goalscorers in La Liga history.
Hugo Sanchez has scored an obscene number of goals in his prime - 157 in four seasons to be precise. The Mexican international was one of the best enforcers of his generation and rightly one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Greatest successes: 1970 World Cup winner, the only player to hit every World Cup game, 'Best Body on the Planet' FIFA Award (I don't know what that is - it sounds cool).
Yes, you read the Biggest Achievement Part right.
No, not the 'Best Body on the Planet' - this is something you can probably check out on google images.
Jairzinho is the only player in the history of the FIFA World Cup to have scored a goal in every single game in the tournament.
He did this while leading the greatest football team of all time to triumph at a FIFA World Cup. Not bad.
47. Robert Lewandowski
Greatest successes: 5x top scorer cannon, 7x Poland's Footballer of the Year, 8x Bundesliga, 4x DFB Cup, 1x Polish champion, fastest hat-trick / four-pack / five-pack in Bundesliga history.
You know the saying about good wine, age and getting better and so. And it is precisely this saying that applies to Robert Lewandowski.
The Pole reached his ultimate peak in his late 20s and early 30s - Lewangoalski would be the absolute top favorite for the Ballon d'Or in 2020. But this little bitch called Corona made sure that the election was canceled. Well
In any case, the Bayern star is the most complete striker of his generation: technically a feast for the eyes, strong with his back to the goal, both feet, strong at the head - and of course blessed with the killer instinct of a terminator.
46. Omar Sivori
Greatest successes: 1961 Ballon d'Or, 1959/60 Capocannoniere, 3x Scudetti, 2x Coppa Italia title.
Before there was a Lionel Messi.
Before there was a Diego Maradona.
Before there was a Mario Kempes.
There was an Omar Sivori.
An Argentine (and for a time Italian) striker who led Juventus as a European powerhouse under the leadership of the great Umberto Agnelli during its formative years.
With Sivori in the famous number ten jersey, La Vecchia Signora won three Scudetti and two Coppa Italia titles.
45. Paolo Rossi
Greatest successes: 1982 Ballon d'Or, 1982 World Championship title, 1977/78 Capocannoniere, 2x Scudetti, 1x Coppa Italia title, 1x European Champion’s Cup.
So amazing was Paolo Rossi's annual peak that he more than earned his place among the 50 greatest footballers of all time.
Rossi emerged from the depths of a long suspension for his "alleged" involvement in the Totonero (manipulation scandal) and became the icon of Gli Azzurri's triumph at the 1982 World Cup.
A hat trick against an apparently unbeatable Brazilian team, two against a strangely good Polish team and a goal in the final against an always extraordinary West German team; it's fair to say that Rossi had a good tournament ... a really, really, really good tournament.
44. Paul Breitner
Greatest successes: Second in the 1981 Ballon d'Or, 1974 World Cup title, 1972 European Championship winner, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 5x Bundesliga title, 2x DFB Cup title, 1x European Champion’s Cup.
One of the 50 best footballers of all time with one of the five best Afros of all time.
Paul Breitner could do everything!
Tell us something and he could probably make it.
'Hit in a World Cup final?
Yes. Easy work.
'You fight the best wingers in the world?'
Yes of course.
'Make a soufflé?'
43. George Weah
Greatest successes: 1995 Ballon d'Or, 3x Africa's Footballer of the Year, 2x Scudetti, 1x Ligue1 title, 2x Coupe de France, 1x FA Cup.
Ok, so on most of the other Greatest Footballer of All Time lists, George Weah probably wouldn't be on the list because there was a time when he was at Chelsea and Manchester City and, well, it was pretty terrible.
However, since this is a list of the GOATs at their peak, Weah makes the leap into our selection.
At his best, Weah was unstoppable. With a rare combination of physical prowess and incredible technical ability, today's Liberian President (yes, the LIBERIAN PRESIDENT) was the most complete striker of the 1990s.
Greatest successes: 2007 Ballon d'Or, 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2x Serie A footballer of the year, 2002 World Cup winner, 1x Scudetto, 1x Champions League, 1x La Liga title, 1x Copa del Rey.
Ok, so on most of the other best footballers of all time lists, Kaka probably wouldn't be on the list because there was a time when he was at Real Madrid and, well, it was pretty awful.
However, since this is a list of the GOATs at their peak, Kaka makes the leap into our selection.
At his best, Kaka was unstoppable. The former Brazil international was the most complete attacking midfielder of the 2000s with a rare combination of physical strength, speed and incredible technical ability.
41. Lev Yashin
Greatest successes: 1963 Ballon d'Or, Olympic gold, 1960 European Championship winner, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team.
Lev Yashin is one of the most important footballers of all time because he basically reinvented the goalkeeping game.
As a leader, innovator, and "spider" (which is a compliment) the greatest testimony to Yashin's talent is the fact that he is the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d'Or. Ever.
40. Gunnar Nordahl
Greatest successes: Olympic gold, 5x Capocannoniere, 2x Scudetti.
There is one thing that describes Gunnar Nordahl's career: goals!
Gunnar Nordahl scored goals. And many.
The Swedish striker scored so many goals between 1950 and 1955 that he won the Capocannoniere in four of those seasons and became AC Milan's record scorer.
He also held the record for most goals scored in a single Serie A season for 66 years ... until a certain Gonzalo Higuain and, most recently, Ciro Immobile joined them.
39. Kevin Keegan
Greatest successes: 1978 & 1979 Ballon d'Or, 3x Football League First Division title, 1x FA Cup, 1x European Cup, 2x UEFA Cup, 1x Bundesliga.
"I'm telling you, honestly, I'd be happy if we beat her! I love it!"
When you were reading Kevin Keegan's name, this interview came to mind, didn't it?
Don't lie, of course it is.
But if you can put aside the aforementioned rant-provoked tirade and the subsequently wasted Premier League title race for a moment, you'll see just how amazing the footballer Keegan really was.
In fact, Kevin Keegan was one of the greatest English footballers of all time.
He won the Ballon d'Or twice. TWICE.
Keegan also became the undisputed largest export of English football of all time during his time at Hamburger SV, where he was hailed as the "savior" for winning the Bundesliga title in 1979.
38. Hristo Stoichkov
Greatest successes: 1994 Ballon d'Or, 1990 Golden Shoe, 5x Bulgarian Footballer of the Year, 1x Champions League, 5x La Liga, 1x Copa del Rey.
Imagine if you were so good at football that you could single-handedly lead Bulgaria to a World Cup semi-final.
Just imagine being that good at football.
Well, Hristo Stoichkov was THAT GOOD in 1994.
With six goals at the 1994 World Cup - including one goal each in the knockout round - Stoichkov and Underdog Bulgaria came within reach of the final and earned the Ballon d'Or.
In addition to this incredible international performance, Stoichkov also had a pretty impressive club career - especially between 1990 and 1994.
As Romario's strike partner in Barcelona, Stoichkov became one of the most feared strikers in Europe and helped the "Dream Team" triumph in the 1991/92 UEFA Champions League.
37. Gianluigi Buffon
Greatest successes: Second in the 2006 Ballon d'Or, 2006 World Cup title, 12 times the best goalkeeper of the Serie A season, 2x Pallone Azzurro, 2016/17 Serie A footballer of the year, 10x Scudetti, 5x Coppa Italia, 1x UEFA Cup.
The best goalkeeper ever? According to 90min it is he.
In other words, no goalkeeper has ever been better than Gianluigi Buffon over such a long period of time. And no one will ever be.
In his prime time he only conceded two goals on the way to the World Cup triumph (an own goal from Cristian Zaccardo, a penalty from Zinedine Zidane), at his worst time he was one of the top three goalkeepers in Europe.
There will never be a Gianluigi Buffon again.
36. Johan Neeskens
Greatest successes: World Cup 1974 & 1978 each runner-up, 3x national championship cup, 2x Eredivisie, 2x KNVB Cups, 1x Copa del Rey.
In the national team, at Ajax and Barcelona, one would like to place Johan Neeskens in the shadow of Johan Cruyff, but his talent should not be underestimated.
Neeskens was the brutally hard working one Ying to Cruyff's beautiful artistic Yang, and it is more than fair to say that without one Johan there would not have been another.
35. Xavi Hernandez
Greatest successes: 2010 World Championship title, 2008 & 2012 European Championship title, 2008 best player in the European Championship, 4x Champions Leagues, 8x La Liga, 3x Copa del Rey.
The linchpin of two of the greatest football teams of all time.
A winner of literally every single trophy that has ever existed.
A player who "changed" football.
Yes, Xavi Hernandez was pretty good.
34. Luis Suarez
Greatest successes: 1960 Ballon d'Or, 2x European Champion Clubs' Cup, 3x Scudetti, 2x La Liga, 2x Copa del Rey.
No, not this Luis Suarez. Do not be absurd.
This isn't Uruguayan Luis Suarez who may end up being remembered for biting people rather than being a great goalscorer.
It is the Spaniard Luis Suarez who dominated European football with a revolutionary Inter team in the first half of the 1960s.
During this fertile time, the real Suarez won the Ballon d'Or, three Scudetti and a whopping two European Cups in a row.
Oh, and he didn't bite a single person (that we know of). Good guy.
33. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Greatest successes:1980 & 1981 Ballon d'Or, 1980 Germany's footballer of the year, 3x top scorer, 1980 European title, 2x European championship cup, 2x Bundesliga, 2x DFB cup.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge may be known to younger readers of this article as one of the more fearsome board members of Bayern Munich; however, older readers will remember the German as one of the most terrifying strikers of the 1980s.
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride at the World Cup - he was twice beaten finalist - but a winner in literally every other competition he has ever entered.
A scary good striker, a scary good leader and ... just a scary man, actually.
32. Andres Iniesta
Greatest successes: 2010 World Championship, 2008 & 2012 European Championship, 4x Champions League, 9x La Liga, 6x Copa del Rey.
Is Andres Iniesta the most personable footballer on this list?
Yes, yes, it is.
Is he also the most successful footballer on this list?
Well, he's certainly high on the list.
Andres Iniesta won everything. And everything.
- The world championship: Check.
- The European Championship: Check.
- The Champions League: Check.
He did it in style, too, as one of the most elegant football players of his generation.
Greatest successes: 1970 World Cup title, 1970 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, 2x Campeonato Carioca.
We have all seen the words "Joga Bonito" and we all have these Enjoyed Nike advertising, but it's fair to say that neither of us really understood what "Joga Bonito" actually means (unless you speak Portuguese).
But if you take the time to watch some YouTube highlights from Rivelino or find some full game tapes from the 1970 World Cup (they're out there, believe me, illegal, but they're out there) you'll understand what "Joga Bonito" really means.
It's the beautiful game; something that no one has ever embodied in the way Rivelino did.
30. Bobby Moore
Greatest successes: 1966 World Cup title, runner-up in 1970 Ballon d'Or, 1964 FA Cup, PFA Player of the Century, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team.
I don't know if you knew, but England actually won the World Cup in 1966.
Winning the World Cup is of course an incredible achievement, but it would not have been possible without one of the greatest defenders and leaders of all time: Bobby Moore.
Moore was a formidable guy both on and off the pitch and was rightly immortalized in the form of a statue outside Wembley Stadium.
Greatest successes: 3x Campeonato Paulista, 1983 South American Footballer of the Year, 1980 Bola de Prata, 1976 Campeonato Paulista top scorer.
The Che Guevara of football.
A man who was just as important off the field as on the field - the "Doctor" is one of the most important figures in Brazilian football history.
He was brilliant as hell with a ball on his feet ... even though he was a chain smoker. With his rare blend of elegance and strength, Socrates was the perfect all-round midfielder.
28. Sandor Kocsis
Greatest successes: Olympic gold, World Cup 1954 Golden Shoe, second in the 1954 World Cup, 75 goals in 68 international matches for Hungary, 2x La Liga, 4x Hungarian titles.
- Sandor Kocsis scored 75 goals in 68 international appearances for Hungary.
- In 1954, Sandor Kocsis scored 23 goals in 14 international appearances for Hungary.
- At the 1954 FIFA World Cup, Sandor Kocsis scored 11 goals in five games.
All of the above facts illustrate one simple thing: Sandor Kocsis scored goals. A shocking number of goals.
27. Lothar Matthäus
Greatest successes: 1990 Ballon d'Or, 1991 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1990 World Cup title, 1980 European Championship winner, 2x UEFA Cup, 7x Bundesliga, 1x Scudetto, 3x DFB Cup.
Lothar Matthäus has the biggest ego on this list: And that really means something.
But the size of his ego is justified. Put simply, Matthäus was the most complete player of his generation - a generation that happened to spawn people like Michel Platini, Diego Maradona, Zico, etc.
26. Ruud Gullit
Greatest successes: 1987 Ballon d'Or, 2x Netherlands Footballer of the Year, 1988 European Championship, 2x European Cup, 3x Scudetti, 3x Eredivisie, 1x Coppa Italia, 1x KNVB Cup.
At the moment Giannis Antetokounmpo is the dominant force in sport. Before the "Greek Freak", this title was held by Shaquille O'Neill. And before "Big Shaq" it was held by Milan legend Ruud Gullit.
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