Soccer, or football as it is commonly known outside of the United States, is by far the most popular sport on the planet. Millions of people tune in to watch matches, and countless fans gather at stadiums to cheer on their favorite teams. While teams have come and gone, there are some players who have managed to leave an everlasting mark on the game. Here, we examine the top 10 best soccer players of all time, those whose skill is unmatched and has stood the test of time.

1. Pelé: Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. Leading Brazil to three World Cup victories, Pelé’s grace, agility, and technical abilities were unmatched in his era. He scored a staggering 1,282 goals in his career, making him an icon of the sport.

2. Diego Maradona: The Argentinean magician, Maradona, was known for his exceptional dribbling skills and vision on the field. His ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals and his wonder goal against England in the same match solidified his place in history.

3. Lionel Messi: The modern-day maestro, Messi, has rewritten records and redefined what it means to be a soccer player. The Argentine forward has won numerous individual awards and brought Barcelona to unprecedented heights with his blistering speed, incredible ball control, and unrivaled precision in front of the goal.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo: Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar, has a physique built for power and speed. His remarkable athleticism combined with his clinical finishing has made him one of the most feared players on the field. Ronaldo is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and has achieved success with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and now Juventus.

5. Johan Cruyff: Known for his creativity and innovation, Cruyff brought the concept of ‘Total Football’ to the world stage. His contributions to the Dutch national team during the 1974 World Cup, where they reached the final, remain memorable and influential.

6. Alfredo Di Stéfano: The Argentine-Spanish forward played a pivotal role in the success of Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s. Di Stéfano’s versatility and goal-scoring ability made him a force to be reckoned with during his time.

7. Zinedine Zidane: The elegance and grace with which Zidane played the game were unparalleled. The French midfielder was a master of ball control and possessed exceptional vision. He led France to a World Cup triumph in 1998 and had a highly successful club career.

8. Ferenc Puskás: Puskás, the Hungarian striker, was known for his exceptional goal-scoring ability. His partnership with Di Stéfano at Real Madrid set the benchmark for attacking duos during the 1950s.

9. Franz Beckenbauer: Beckenbauer, also known as “Der Kaiser,” was a pioneer and one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game. His ability to play as a sweeper and his excellent passing range revolutionized the role of a defender.

10. Ronaldo Nazário: Often referred to as “The Phenomenon,” the Brazilian forward combined flair, speed, and clinical finishing to become one of the most feared strikers of his era. Ronaldo won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.

These ten players have all left an indelible mark on soccer, achieving success on both the national and club stages. Their unmatched skill, determination, and passion for the game have set the standards for generations to come. While the debate for the best soccer player of all time may go on, there’s no denying that these individuals have changed the face of the beautiful game forever.

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