Whether you call it soccer or football, there's no denying this foot-friendly sport requires expert ball handling. From forwards to midfielders to goaltenders, these fancy-footed hunks have some of the best foot-to-ball coordination in the world, making them the 11 best soccer players of all time.
1. Pelé: With four World Cups underfoot, Brazilian soccer superstar Pelé is perhaps the best soccer player of all time. Over his career, Pelé scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, making him the all-time leading scorer of the Brazilian National Football Team, as well as the only player to be part of three winning World Cup Teams.
2. Diego Maradona: As the only player to set world-record contract fees twice, retired Argentinean player Maradona is well known as one of the best soccer players of all time. Throughout his career, Maradona played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments and captained Argentina's national team 16 times, setting a World Cup record.
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3. Johan Cruyff: Former player Johan Cruyff is widely considered the best Dutch soccer player of all time. Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or, often called the European Footballer of the Year award, three times, a feat accomplished by only three other players.
4. Franz Beckenbauer: Nicknamed "The Emperor," many consider Franz Beckenbauer the greatest German soccer player ever, as well as one of the most decorated and versatile. Beckenbauer played in three World Cups, won the Ballon d'Or twice, and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
5. Michel Platini: Michel Platini began his career as a member of the French national team and currently holds the record for most soccer goals scored in European Championship final tournaments. He is considered one of the best passers in the history of soccer, as well as one of the best free-kick specialists and finishers.
6. Alfredo Di Stéfano: Argentinean player Alfredo Di Stéfano was a member of Spain's Real Madrid when the team dominated the European Champions' Club. He remains the fourth highest scorer in the history of Spain's top division and Real Madrid's second highest league scorer of all time with 216 goals in 282 league matches.
7. Ferenc Puskas: Widely regarded as the best Hungarian soccer player ever, former Olympic champion Ferenc Puskas scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary, and 514 goals in 529 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish soccer leagues. Throughout his career, Puskas won three European Cups, a World Cup, and 10 national championships.
8. George Best: George Best lives up to his last name, earning a spot as one of the greatest soccer players ever. Best began his career at the age of 15 and went on to score 179 goals in 470 matches as a member of Manchester United, where he won the European Cup and the European Footballer of the Year Award.
9. Marco van Basten: Former Dutch player Marco van Basten scored 277 soccer goals throughout his career and is best known for his strength on the ball, tactical awareness, and amazing strikes and volleys. Van Basten has been named European Footballer of the Year three times, as well as FIFA World Player of the Year.
10. Eusébio: It only takes one name to identify Eusébio, one of the greatest soccer players ever. Eusébio remains the Portuguese national team's all-time top scorer with 638 goals in 614 official games. He was also the first player to ever win the European Golden Boot award.
11. Lev Yashin: Nicknamed "The Back Spider," Lev Yashin is considered by many to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. The Soviet-Russian player was voted best goalkeeper of the 20th century by IFFHS. Yashin is best known for his athletic skills in the goal, imposing stature, and superior reflexes.