Greatest Footballers of All Time
Football, said to be an interesting game is followed by Millions around the World. More than a Lakh of Footballers have played the game but Only few were deserved to be to be called as LEGENDS. Cricmatez.com brings you the Exclusive World XI containing the Greatest Footballers of All Time in each position. Handpicking only XI from a pool of more than one Lakh players means some of your favourite Footballers might be missing. I would like to apologize for not including your favourite or someone else’s favourite in my List of Greatest Footballers of All Time.
Greatest Footballers of All Time – WORLD XI
Team : Lev Yashin; Cafu, Beckenbauer(c), Baresi, Roberto Carlos; Matthaus, Best, Hagi, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Pele.
Free-Kick : Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho
Penalty : Zinedine Zidane
Greatest Footballers of All Time – Goal Keeper
National Team : USSR(Soviet Union)
Club(s) : Dynamo Moscow
Games : 812
Goals : 1
Clean Sheets : 270
Lev Yashin is widely considered as the greatest goalkeeper ever to have played the game. He was known for his superior athleticism in goal, imposing stature, amazing reflex saves. Yashin was voted the best goalkeeper of the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. He is fondly called as “Black Spider”. He only goalkeeper ever to win the European Footballer of the Year Award. Lev Yashin Award is given to the best Goal-Keeper of a World Cup. He made over 150 penalty saves during his career and had nearly 270 Clean Sheets in 812 games. Even though the Football World has lost its best Goalie in 1990, still Yashin is considered the best keeper in the history of football.
Best Footballers of All Time – Full Backs
National Team : Brazil.
Club(s) : Sao Paulo, Real Zaragoza, Juventude, Palmeiras, AS Roma, AC Milan.
Games : 667
The Former Brazilian skipper has been chosen as the Right Back in our list of Best Footballers of All Time. He is the most capped Brazilian Male player in International Matches. He is best known for his tireless overlapping runs. He holds the record of winning the most number of matches in World Cups. He was the Captain of Brazil’s Legendary team of 2002 that won the World Cup in South Korea and Japan. He was also a member of the Legendary AC Milan team of 2006-07. Cafu was named by Pele as one of the 125 greatest living footballers. Cafu is the greatest right-back ever to have played the game.
National Team : Brazil.
Club(s) : Uniao Sao Joao, Palmeiras, Internazionale, Real Madrid, Fenarbache, Corinthians, Anzhi Makhachkala.
Games : 945
Goals : 112
Roberto Carlos took attacking full-back play to a new level. He has been described as the most offensive-minded left back in the history of the game. Roberto Carlos is one of the few Defenders to have scored 100 Goals in his Career. The Brazilian Left Back is known for his constant attacking runs into the opposing half. At the same time he is also a solid Defender. Apart from these he is also a notorious Free-Kick taker. His Physics defying Free-Kick vs France in 1997 is one of the best Free-kicks of All time.
He shot from 35 m (115 ft) from the centre-right channel with his left foot, and scored. In 2010, a team of French scientists produced a paper explaining the trajectory of the ball. He was nicknamed “El Hombre Bal” which means “The Bullet Man”. He brings a lot of value to the team with his Versatile style of Play because of which he has been chosen as the Right Back in our list of Greatest Footballers of All Time ahead of Italy’s Paolo Maldini.
Greatest Footballers of All Time – Center Backs
Franz Beckenbauer (Captain)
National Team : West Germany.
Club(s) : Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos, Hamburger SV.
Games : 773
Goals : 108
When any Football Aficionado sits down and formulates a World XI which includes the Greatest Footballers of All Time, the team will have Franz Beckenbauer as one of its Center Back and Pele as its striker. He is Known for his elegant style and leadership which got him the name “The Emperor”. Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He was voted the second greatest European player of the 20th century just behind Johan Cruyff. He is one of the two footballers to have won the World Cup both as a player and as a coach and only one to win it as captain and coach.
National Team : Italy.
Club(s) : AC Milan.
Games : 800
Goals : 34
Franco Baresi is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time. Baresi was nicknamed “Piscinin” meaning the “The Little One”. He was known for his Loyalty towards his club AC Milan. He groomed players likes of Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta to become one of the best defenders in the World. In 1999, he was voted AC Milan Player of the Century and in 2004, he was named in the FIFA’s list of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers. He had made a huge impact in the Defence line and that earns him a spot in our list of Greatest Footballers of All Time.
Best Footballers of All Time – Defensive Midfielder
National Team : Germany.
Club(s) : Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Internazionale, Metro Stars.
Games : 882
Goals : 227
The Defensive Midfielder to be named in our list Best Footballers of All Time is Lothar Matthaus. A versatile and complete player, he was known for his perceptive passing, positional sense, and well-timed tackling. During his career, he usually played as a box-to-box midfielder and later in his Career, he played as a sweeper. He has played in five FIFA World Cups, the most by any outfield player and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). “He is the best rival I’ve ever had. I guess that’s enough to define him”-Diego Maradona on Matthaus in his book I am Diego.
Greatest Footballers of All Time – Wingers (Right Midfielder and Left Midfielder)
National Team : Northern Ireland.
Club(s) : Manchester United.
Games : 746
Goals : 262
George Best has the qualities to find a place in our List of the Greatest Footballers of All Time and he has been given the role of Right Winger in our World XI. He is considered as greatest player to wear the green shirt of Northern Ireland. Despite the early end to his career at an age of 27, Best made a huge impact when his playing days. His greatest days came for post-Munich Manchester United. His playing style combined pace, acceleration, balance, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to beat defenders. A common description of his place in football history is summed up by the quote “Maradona good; Pele better; George Best.”
National Team : Romania.
Club(s) : Farul Constanța, Sportul Studențesc, Steaua București, Real Madrid, Brescia, Barcelona, Galatasray.
Games : 766
Goals : 310
Gheorghe Hagi is one of the few players who could play on the left and in the centre. He was one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980’s and 1990’s. His passing, shooting, and dribbling were his strengths and he used them to the maximum extent. Hagi is arguably the greatest Romanian player in history and led the Romanian team to its best ever international performance at the 1994 World Cup, where the team reached the quarterfinals. He is fondly called The King by the People of Romania. He features in our list of Greatest Footballers of All Time and occupies the Position of Left Winger in our World XI.
Best Footballers of All Time – Attacking Midfielder
National Team : France.
Club(s) : Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid.
Games : 789
Goals : 159
We are honoured to include The Marseille Magician Zinedine Zidane in our list of Best Footballers of All Time. He has been given the role of Attacking Midfielder in our World XI. Nicknamed Zizou, he is one of the greatest player of his generation. Zidane was named best European footballer of the past 50 years by UEFA. His playing style combined pace, acceleration, balance and the ability to beat defenders. Even at the age of 40, the Legend in him has not faded. This was evident when he represented Real Madrid in an All Stars Match against Manchester United in 2013. In April 2013, he was named as a member of the “Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid’s history.
Greatest Footballers of All Time- Forwards
National Team : Brazil.
Club(s) : Gremio, PSG, Barcelona, AC Milan, Flamengo, Athletico Mineiro.
Games : 764
Goals : 295
Any Football fan or enthusiast will have Ronaldinho in his/her list of Greatest Footballers of All Time. He is widely regarded to be one of the best footballers of his generation. He can play as an attacking Midfielder as well as a Forward. He is skilful by nature and is wonderful with the ball at his feet. He is fast, brash, skilful, tricky, an uninhibited playmaker who provides a mix of goals, assists, skills and a repertoire of crafty moves. He was also named in the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest footballers compiled by Legendary Pele, and in the FIFPro World XI consecutively from 2004–2007.
National Team : Brazil.
Club(s) : Santos, New York Cosmos.
Games : 1363
Goals : 1281
As we have mentioned earlier, When any Football Aficionado sits down and formulates a World XI which includes the Greatest Footballers of All Time, the team will have Franz Beckenbauer as one of its Center Back and Pele as its striker. His 1281 goals in 1363 games is the highest FIFA recognized tally by any player in history. Pele played most of his career as a deep-lying forward. He was renowned for his excellent dribbling and passing, his pace, powerful shot, exceptional heading ability, and prolific goalscoring. He is regarded by many experts, football critics, former players, current players and football fans in general as the best player of all time. He is nicknamed “The Black Pearl” and “The King of Football”. He dominated the game from the second he laced up his first pair of boots to the second he hung them up for the final time.
Again we apologize if favourite Footballer is missing in this list. With this we round-up our World XI consisting of Greatest Footballers of All Time.