Football, also known as the ‘beautiful game’ is the most loved sport on the universe. It is also the most watched sport worldwide and the most played one.

The game of football is enjoyable mainly because of the great players that play the game. Many great footballers have played football; however, some are considered the greatest football players.

Today, we will use our football player rankings to bring to you the top 10 greatest footballers of all time.

Our football player rankings which we used to determine the greatest footballers of all-time were based on:

• Skills

• Awards and Trophies

• Individual talent

10. Andrés Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta was a key player in the Barcelona side that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015. He won 33 trophies in his amazing career. His trophies include nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles, which makes him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.

Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all-time and also one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

His balance, ball control, dribbling skills, agility, passing range and flair on the ball proved he was a talented player.

9. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho became one of the greatest players in the world during his stint at Barcelona. Ronaldo was capable of doing any skill, he bewildered defenders with his dribbling, technique and had an uncanny ability to pull off tricks that would make you drop your jaw. Ronaldinho won the FIFA World Player of the Year Award and Ballon d’Or. The Brazilian winger played 97 matches for the Brazil national team scoring 33 goals. He was also part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team in Korea and Japan.

8. Johan Cruyff

The great Dutchman definitely makes our list in our football player rankings of all-time. Johan Cruyff won 20 major trophies which include three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973. In terms of individual accolades, he won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974.

Cruyff also led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball and was named the player of the tournament. He was a great goalscorer and a fantastic dribbler.

7. Franz Beckenbauer

Beckenbauer was one of the most illustrious footballers of all time. He was immensely talented, and his playing style revolutionized football. Beckenbauer was a center back, but unlike other center backs, he brought the ball out of defense into attacks with finesse.

In his international career, he reached the world cup final in 1966 and won the world cup in 1974. He also won the European championship with Germany in 1972. At club level, Beckenbauer won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1967 and three successive European Cups from 1974 to 1976.

6.  Alfredo Di Stéfano

Di Stefano was born in Argentina and played for three national teams which are Argentina, Spain, and Colombia. Most of his illustrious playing career was at Real Madrid. Di Stefano was arguably the best all-around footballer ever. Alfredo’s most remarkable moment came when he netted a sublime hat-trick in a 7-3 win against Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park in the 1960 European Cup Final.

Stefano had a powerful shot and could score goals from midfield.

5. Zinedine Zidane

Zidane is arguably the best French footballer ever. He moved to Juventus in 1996 where his career took off. In his first season with Juventus, he won the Italian League title twice. 

Subsequently, he signed for Real Madrid where he became a legend. Zidane won the UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid. He also won the UEFA Euro 2000 with France and lead France to 1998 World Cup glory. 

4. Diego Maradona

Next on our football player rankings of the greatest footballers of all-time is none other than the elusive Argentine Diego Maradona. Maradona was a tricky dribbler and an incredible goalscorer. Maradona led Argentina to win the 1986 world cup. He is also known for scoring two of the best goals in the history of football. Maradona played out most of his club career with FC Barcelona and Napoli.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese superstar has been described by many as the most complete footballer ever. Cristiano Ronaldo is a prolific goalscorer; He currently holds the records for most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, as well as most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season. He has won the Champions League title 5 times, as well the EURO 2016 with Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo possessed the ability to score, shoot and dribble with both legs comfortably. He is without a doubt one if the greatest players of all-time. Ronaldo has also won the Ballon D’Or five times.

2. Lionel Messi

Almost every football player, coach, and fan considers Messi the greatest footballer to have ever played. The mercurial Argentine has been a spectacular throughout his career. He has produced the most amazing match performances ever, scores the most incredible goals and amassed a plethora of trophies.

Like Ronaldo, Messi is also a 5-time Ballon d’Or winner. In 2012 he scored 91 goals in all competitions for a calendar year – a stat that may not ever be broken again in football. His amazing skills, sublime passing, shooting accuracy and ability to change direction while on full speed deservedly makes Messi one of the greatest players in our all-time football player rankings.

1. Pelé

Pelé won the prestigious international trophy three times. He won the world cup with Brazil back in 1958, 1962 and 1970. A true icon of the game, Pelé is regarded as the greatest football player of all-time. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for the Brazilian national team with 77 goals in 92 games. He is also the most successful league goal-scorer in the world, scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games, although some of those goals included unofficial friendlies and tour games.

Pelé was an extraordinary football talent; he was good at everything in football and deservedly tops our all-time football player rankings.

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This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Collins Michael Nwokolo. Follow him on Twitter and Pinterest.