One ball, eleven players and a billion dreams. Soccer is hands down the biggest sport in the world, with about 4 billion fans worldwide. Simplistic in nature, requiring only 1 ball, soccer is something people everywhere grow up playing. 11 players on each side try to get the ball into a rectangular goal post. Each time a team scores they get 1 goal or 1 point. The team with the highest goals at the end of 90 minutes wins. Over the past decade, the fans worldwide have been blessed with the rise of soccer's best players. With a very rich history, soccer has produced a plethora of players that could be considered as GOATs of the game. Although this list is debatable as per different opinions, here are the 5 greatest soccer players of all time, in no particular order.
Oh here come the Messi fans! Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese player currently playing for Italian club Juventus. His list of achievements is quite a mouthful. He has won 5 FIFA Men's best player, 5 Ballon d'Or , 2 World Cup Golden Boot, 3 times UEFA Best player, 4 Club World Cup trophies, 7 times Champions League top scorer, 5 Champions League, 3 English Premier League, and I could go on forever. Ronaldo comes from a poor family, and has built himself into a star player with a transfer value of over €90 million. Ronaldo is the epitome of hard work and discipline. His rigorous training regime is unparalleled. This coupled with the unwavering desire to be the best player has helped him achieve what many can only dream of. Something that sets him apart from his rivals is that Ronaldo has performed with a variety of clubs and not just one. At the age of 34, Ronaldo is still a formidable athlete and will forever be remembered as the GOAT of soccer.
"God of Football", Lionel Messi is a 32 year old Argentinian player who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona. Messi has a trophy cabinet that can beat the likes of Ronaldo. He has won 5 Ballon d'Or trophies, 4 Champions League Trophies, 10 La Liga titles, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 6 Copa Del Reys and many more. Messi is a natural, with godlike dribbling skills that can single-handedly win matches. He creates plays on his own and is a headache for opposing defenders. He is also one of the highest free-kick scorers. Messi is known to be a humble person and is loved and respected by his fans and rivals.
Arguably the true GOAT, Maradona in his prime was an unstoppable force. He is an Argentinian football legend who played for FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli. Maradona, like Messi was renowned for his excellent ball control, dribbling capabilities, and ability to fully control a game. This prowess enabled him to elevate a very weak Napoli to the top of Italian football. He won two titles with Napoli in 1987 and 1990. He won the under-20 World Cup in 1979 and the World Cup in 1986. He scored two of the most famous goals in history, one of them being the "Hand of God". Despite his success on the field, Maradona struggled with drug addiction issues, and was twice suspended for drug abuse.
Real name 'Edson Arantes do Nascimento', Pelé is a Brazilian football legend. He was a well balanced player known for his energetic playstyle. He was capable of hitting accurate and powerful shots with both of his feet. That didn't mean he wasn't a team player as he displayed his ability to create spaces and make plays from time to time. Along with Brazil, Pelé has won 3 World Cups, 1958 in Sweden, 1962 in Chile, 1970 in Mexico. He shared the award for Athlete of the Century.
Zidane was a French attacking midfielder. In his prime, Zidane had helped France win the 1998 World Cup. He played for Juventus FC from 1996 to 2001 and helped them win multiple titles. He transferred to Real Madrid in 2001 and won the UEFA Champions League in his debut season. He was known for his excellent judgment of the game which saw him pick his moments to either dribble past the defenders, precisely pass or whizz the ball past goalkeeper. Infamous for occasional bursts of temper, Zidane was kicked out of the 2006 World Cup finals for headbutting an opposing player.