100th Post: Who is the greatest footballer ever?

all 5

“Reaching 100 caps is something I never thought I’d achieve” is what Steven Gerrard said on the eve of his 100th appearance for England against Sweden in November 2012.

It’s a quote that sums up how I feel right now. I have written blogs in the past, but often stopped of them and never found the time to do it because they came repetitive and boring.

When I started this blog last October, I thought that this would again be the case. But for the first time, I have started writing about what I love and started writing about all kinds of football things, not just sticking to a set plan so “Reaching 100 (blog posts) is something I never thought I’d achieve”.

But this, my 100th post, may be the toughest one of all so far as I answer possibily the hardest question in the beautiful game. Who is the greatest player ever?

There are so many candidates, present and past, dead and alive from all over the globe and all over the pitch. I have somehow narrowed it down to five and will now profile them before deciding on an answer to this huge question. Normally on a post like this I would bullet-point players who ‘just missed out’, but because there are so many who fall into this category, it’s better to get on with the five in alphabetical order according to their first name.


Diego Maradona

diego-maradona_1116639c

  • Full Name: Diego Armando Maradona Franco
  • Date of Birth: 30 October 1960 (age 53)
  • Position: Forward
  • National Team: Argentina 1977-94 (91 caps/34 goals) 
  • Clubs played for: Argentinos Juniors 1976-81 (166 appearances/116 goals); Boca Juniors 1981-82 (40 appearances/28 goals); Barcelona 1982-84 (58 appearances/38 goals); Napoli 1984-91 (259 appearances/115 goals); Sevilla 1992-93 (29 appearances/8 goals); Newell’s Old Boys 1993-94 (5 appearances/0 goals); Boca Juniors 1995-97 (71 appearances/31 goals)

Best Moment

Maradona’s one and only World Cup win in Mexico 86 will certainly be one to remember, not least because he captained his side in the tournament. He was fairly quiet in the group stages, scoring once against Italy, but in the knockout stages, Maradona virtually led Argentina to victory. In their quarter-final win against England, his controversial “Hand of God” goal and a sublime solo effort stunned the world, and against Belgium in the last four, the forward was once again at the fore; scoring twice and inspiring his side to a second World Cup final in three attempts. Argentina dropped a two-goal lead late in the game against West Germany but a perfect Maradona through-ball found Jorge Burruchaga, who made sure of the victory with only minutes remaining. Maradona was awarded the Golden Ball, for best player, and earned the adulation of 30 million countrymen.

Worst Moment

It’s often so depressing to hear when one of the greatest talents this world has ever seen gets involved in the problems of drugs and alcohol. It happened to George Best, and Maradona suffered the same problem. From the mid-1980s until 2004, he was addicted to cocaine which began to interfere with his ability to play football in his last few years as a professional. His health continued to deteriorate and he suffered many health problems, including heart muscle damage, as a result of overdose of the drug. Maradona has also been emitted to hospital for hepatitis and effects of alcohol abuse in the last ten years, but thankfully in May 2007, he claimed  on Argentine television that that he had quit drinking and had not used drugs in two and a half years.

What they said

“Diego was capable of things no one else could match. The things I could do with a football, he could do with an orange.”

Michel Platini

Trophy Cabinet

Club

  • Argentine Primera División: 1981 Metropolitano
  • Copa del Rey: 1983
  • Copa de la Liga: 1983
  • Supercopa de España: 1983
  • Serie A (2): 1986-87, 1989-90
  • Coppa Italia: 1986-87
  • UEFA Cup: 1988-89
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1990

National Team

  • 75th anniversary FIFA Cup: 1979
  • FIFA World Cup: 1986
  • Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1993

Individual

  • Argentine Primera División top scorers (5): 1978 Metropolitano, 1979 Metropolitano, 1979 Nacional, 1980 Metropolitano, 1980 Nacional
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
  • World Player of the Year (Guerin Sportivo): 1979
  • Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year (4): 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
  • South American Footballer of the Year (2): (official award) 1979, 1980
  • Olimpia de Oro (2): 1979, 1986
  • Guerin d’Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1985
  • Onze de Bronze (2): 1985, 1988
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2): 1986, 1990
  • Onze d’Or (2): 1986, 1987
  • Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Year: 1986
  • L’Équipe Champion of Champions: 1986
  • United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
  • World Soccer Awards Player of the Year: 1986
  • South American Player of the Year (4): (unofficial award) 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992
  • Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
  • Coppa Italia top scorer: 1987-88
  • FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
  • Onze d’Or (top player of the year for the Onze Mondial French newspaper): 1994
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
  • Ballon d’Or for services to football (France Football): 1996
  • World Team of the 20th Century: 1998
  • World Soccer The Greatest Players of the 20th century: (#2) 1999
  • Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century: 1999
  • Marca Leyenda: 1999
  • Number 10 retired by Napoli football team as a recognition to his contribution to the club: 2000
  • FIFA Player of the Century: 2000
  • FIFA World Cup Goal of the Century (1986 (2–1) v. England; second goal): 2002
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
  • FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers: 2004
  • Argentine Senate “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento” recognition for lifetime achievement: 2005
  • World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013
  • Napoli all-time Top Scorer
Maradona's famous 'hand of god' which knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona’s famous ‘hand of god’ which knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup.

Eusebio

eusebio-portugal-20666091

  • Full Name: Eusébio da Silva Ferreira
  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1942 (died 5 January 2014 aged 71)
  • Position: Striker
  • National Team: Portugal 1961-73 (64 caps/41 goals)
  • Clubs played for: Sporting de Lourenço Marques 1957-60 (42 appearances/77 goals); Benfica 1960-75 (440 appearances/473 goals); Boston Minutemen 1975 (7 appearances/2 goals); Monterrey 1975 (10 appearances/1 goal); Toronto Metros-Croatia 1975-76 (25 appearances/18 goals); Beira-Mar 1976 (12 appearances/3 goals); Las Vegas Quicksilvers 1976-77 (17 appearances/2 goals); Uniao de Tomar 1977-78 (12 appearances/3 goals); New Jersey Americans 1978-79 (4 appearances/5 goals)

Best Moment

The 1966 World Cup holds fond memories for English people, but I’m sure Eusebio remembered the tournament in this country just as pleasantly. Despite failing to net in the opening game, he went on to score a whopping nine times as Portugal finished third—three clear of his nearest rival to claim the Golden Boot trophy. The most memorable match came in the quarter-finals against surprise team North Korea, but Eusebio led the way in crushing the Asian outfit during a thrilling encounter, scoring four goals in a 5-3 victory. The English were so impressed by the striker’s performances at the tournament that he was immediately added to the Madame Tussauds collection of waxwork. It was the only World Cup Eusebio ever played in.

Worst Moment

Wembley didn’t hold the greatest memories for Eusebio in the 1960s, even during his dream 1966 World Cup. His Benfica team lost the 1963 European Cup final there, losing 2-1 to AC Milan. Three years later Eusebio returned to face England in the semi-final of the 1966 World Cup. Although he scored a late goal for Portugal, England won 2-1 thanks to two goals from Bobby Charlton. Two years later there was more misery as Benfica lost another European final, this time to Manchester United. He had the chance to win the match for Benfica in the final seconds of normal time, but was thwarted by a fine save from United keeper Alex Stepney.

What they said

“He scored beautiful goals. All of the Santos players, including myself, thought Eusebio was a great player even if none of us knew who he was at that time.”

Pele, after a game between Benfica and Santos in June 1960

Trophy Cabinet

Club

  • Campeonato Provincial de Moçambique (1): 1960
  • Primeira Liga (11): 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75
  • Taça de Portugal (5): 1961–62, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72
  • European Cup (1): 1961–62
  • Taça de Honra de Lisboa (9): 1962–63, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75
  • Taça Ribeiro dos Reis (3): 1963–64, 1965–66, 1970–71
  • NASL (1): 1976

Individual

  • European Footballer of the Year (1): 1965
  • Silver European Footballer of the Year (2): 1962, 1966
  • European Golden Boot (2): 1968, 1973
  • Bola de Prata (7): 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1973
  • European Cup top scorer (3): 1965, 1966, 1968
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Boot (1): 1966
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1): 1966
  • Portuguese Footballer of the Year (2): 1970, 1973
  • BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (1): 1966
  • FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers: 2004
Eusebio with fellow Portuguese magician Cristiano Ronaldo, who narrowly missed out on this list.
Eusebio with fellow Portuguese magician Cristiano Ronaldo, who narrowly missed out on this list.

Johan Cruyff

johan_cruyff_WM-finale

  • Full Name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff
  • Date of Birth: 25 April 1947 (age 67)
  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • National Team: Netherlands 1966-77 (48 caps/33 goals)
  • Clubs played for: Ajax 1964-73 (240 appearances/190 goals); Barcelona 1973-78 (143 appearances/48 goals); Los Angeles Aztecs (27 appearances/14 goals); Washington Diplomats (32 appearances/12 goals); Levante 1981 (10 appearances/2 goals); Ajax 1981-83 (36 appearances/14 goals); Feyenoord 1983-84 (33 appearances/11 goals)

Best Moment

Johan Cruyff could do no wrong throughout 1974. Many of his achievements that year could easily be named his best moment of his career, but instead I’ve chosen to applaud the whole 12 months. The midfielder finished his first season with Barcelona by winning the La Liga trophy, and went in to the World Cup in the form of his life. It was at the tournament in West Germany where the skill move named after the Dutchman was born – ‘The Cruyff Turn’. In a group game against Sweden, Cruyff looked to pass or cross the ball but instead of kicking it, he dragged the ball behind his planted foot with the inside of his other foot, turning through 180 degrees, and accelerated away outside defender Jan Olsson. The Netherlands went on to reach the final, losing to the hosts, but the midfielder picked up the golden ball for the best player at the tournament. At the end of the year, he was awarded his second successive Ballon D’or and his third in total.

Worst Moment

Cruyff’s final transfer caused headlines and showed that the Dutchman could get a bit to big for his boots at times. In 1983, he was told that he wasn’t needed by Ajax, so driven by a desire for revenge, he does the impossible and signs for the club’s arch rivals Feyenoord. That is perhaps bad in itself, but his ego became clear at De Kuip.  Among the Feyenoord players, he quickly earned a reputation for thinking he knows everything. To trick him, the Feyenoord players ask him for the definitions of several difficult words. Full of his usual confidence, Cruyff explains one meaning after another. The players pretend to be impressed. In reality, they have prepared a trap. The final word has a catch. It doesn’t exist. Still, Cruyff proceeds to explain it. lnitially the players laugh, telling him he got fooled. But Cruyff continues to insist. Feyenoord player Bennie Wijnstekers describes the scene: “Cruyff kept explaining the word with so much confidence that we started to doubt ourselves. Maybe that word existed after all?”

What they said

“Throughout my career I’ve simply tried to instil what I learned from Johan Cruyff. He has had the biggest influence on football out of anyone in the world, first as a player and then as a coach.”

Pep Guardiola

Trophy Cabinet

Club

  • Eredivisie (9): 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983-84
  • KNVB Cup (6): 1966–67, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1982–83, 1983-84
  • UEFA Intertoto Cup (1): 1968
  • European Cup (3): 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73
  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 1972
  • Intercontinental Cup (1): 1972
  • La Liga (1): 1973–74
  • Copa del Rey (1): 1977–78

Individual

  • Dutch Footballer of the Year (5): 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1984
  • European Golden Shoe (1): 1968
  • Ballon d’Or (3): 1971, 1973, 1974
  • Dutch Sportsman of the Year (2): 1973, 1974
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (1): 1974
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1): 1974
  • Don Balón Award (2): 1977, 1978
  • Onze d’Or (2): 1986, 1987
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
  • World Team of the 20th Century
  • FIFA 100
  • Golden Player of the Netherlands
  • World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time: 2013
Cruyff's number 14 shirt has become iconic in world football
Cruyff’s number 14 shirt has become iconic in world football

Lionel Messi

messi_2950870b

  • Full Name: Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
  • Date of Birth: 24 June 1987 (age 27)
  • Position: Forward
  • National Team: Argentina 2005-Present (93 caps/42 goals)
  • Clubs played for: Barcelona 2004-Present (427 goals/ 356 appearances)

Best Moment

Just like Cruyff, Lionel Messi has had a year to truly remember himself: 2012. For Barcelona, he only won the Copa del Ray trophy, but on a personal level, it was the year where he finally assured his place as one of the world’s greatest by breaking two huge records. First, he beat Gerd Muller’s 40 year old record total of goals in year, by notching 91 in 12 months – the German scored 85 in 1972. There was only going to be one result of this and that was that Messi would win the Ballon D’or – his fourth in succession, becoming the first player to win the award that many times, more than Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo who have three each. Messi received 41.60 percent of the vote beating second-place Cristiano Ronaldo once again, who received just 23.68 percent of the vote.

Worst Moment

Barcelona’s recent success seemed to just naturally start when Messi made his debut, so the only downfall of the Argentine’s career so far has been his performances on the international stage. They haven’t necessarily been bad, but he has not stood out like he does at club level. He has been the runner-up in two finals, at the 2007 Copa America and at this summer’s World Cup, with the game in Rio de Janeiro on July 13 his worst and most crushing moment to date. Messi had had a fairly good tournament and was one of the nominees for the Golden Ball. Leading his side out at the Maracana, the dream had a chance of becoming a reality, but Mario Gotze’s 113th minute strike wrecked Messi’s hopes and left him having to go up and receive a silver medal.

What they said

“What Leo does is so incredible that I have to be careful not to stand still watching him make his moves.”

Thierry Henry

Trophy Cabinet

Club

  • La Liga (6): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13
  • Copa del Rey (2): 2008–09, 2011–12
  • Supercopa de España (6): 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
  • UEFA Champions League (3): 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11
  • UEFA Super Cup (2): 2009, 2011
  • FIFA Club World Cup (2): 2009, 2011

National Team

  • Olympic Gold Medal (1): 2008

Individual

  • FIFA Ballon d’Or: 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Ballon d’Or: 2009
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009
  • World Soccer Player of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012
  • World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time: 2013
  • Onze d’Or: 2009, 2011, 2012
  • European Golden Shoe: 2010, 2012, 2013
  • UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2011
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2009
  • FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2009, 2011
  • UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • L’Équipe Champion of Champions: 2011
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup Player of the Tournament: 2005
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup Top Goalscorer: 2005
  • LFP Best Player: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • La Liga Player of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011
  • La Liga Foreign Player of the Year: 2007, 2009, 2010
  • Pichichi Trophy: 2010, 2012, 2013
  • LFP Best Forward: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • UEFA Champions League Forward of the Year: 2009
  • La Liga Ibero-American Player of the Year: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • FIFPro World Young Player of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008
  • World Soccer Young Player of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Bravo Award: 2007
  • Golden Boy: 2005
  • Marca Legend Award: 2009
  • Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11
  • ESPY Awards Best International Athlete: 2012
  • El País King of European Soccer: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer: 2011, 2012
  • IFFHS World’s best Top Division Goal Scorer: 2012
  • FIFA/FIFPro World XI: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • ESM Team of the Year: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Copa América Young Player of the Tournament: 2007
  • Copa América Top Assist Provider: 2011
  • Copa del Rey Top Goalscorer: 2010–11, 2013–14
  • Argentine Sportsperson of the Year Award: 2011
  • Olimpia de Plata: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • 2014 FIFA World Cup: Golden Ball
  • 2014 FIFA World Cup: Dream Team
Messi with all four of his Ballon d'Ors to date
Messi with all four of his Ballon d’Ors to date.

Pelé

2_1328843952_1355224898_540x540

  • Full Name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
  • Date of Birth: 21 October 1940 (age 73)
  • Position: Forward
  • National Team: Brazil 1957-71 (92 caps/77 goals)
  • Clubs played for: Santos 1956-74 (1115 appearances/1088 goals); New York Cosmos 1975-77 (107 appearances/64 goals)

Best Moment

Barely finished school, Pele was included in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup squad in Sweden aged 17. I don’t think even the greatest of fortunes tellers could have predicted what a tournament he would have. He didn’t start a game until the final group match, but he went on to score six goals, be included in the team of the tournament as Brazil won the trophy. The forward scored a hattrick in the 5-2 semi-final win against France, including a majestic volley, before bagging a further two (another of which was a cracker) in the final which Brazil won by the same scoreline. It was the first of his three World Cup wins – no player has won more.

Worst Moment

It’s difficult to think of a point in his career where Pele went wrong, so instead you have to question where he actually does stand in World Cup records, apart from the fact that he has won the tournament three times. He has not scored the most goals in finals history (Miroslav Klose, 16), the most in one tournament (Just Fontaine, 13), the most in one game (Oleg Salenko, 5), the most in a single final (Geoff Hurst, 3), featured in the most tournaments (Antonio Carbajal and Lothar Matthaus, 5), in the most all star teams (Djalma Santos and Franz Beckenbauer, 3) or played the most games (Lothar Matthaus, 25). So what is actually so special about Pele’s involvement in the World Cup?

What they said

“I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us”

Benfica goalkeeper Costa Pereira following the loss to Santos in 1962

Trophy Cabinet

Club

  • Copa Libertadores (2): 1962, 1963
  • Intercontinental Supercup (1): 1968
  • Supercopa de Campeones Intercontinentales (1): 1968
  • Intercontinental Cup (2): 1962, 1963
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (6): 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968
  • Torneio Rio-São Paulo (4): 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966
  • Campeonato Paulista (10): 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973
  • North American Soccer League, Soccer Bowl (1): 1977
  • North American Soccer League, Atlantic Conference Championship (1): 1977

National Team

  • Roca Cup (2): 1957, 1963
  • FIFA World Cup (3): 1958,1962,1970
  • Cruz Cup (2): 1958, 1962, 1968
  • Bernardo O’Higgins Cup (1): 1959
  • Atlantic Cup (1): 1960

Individual

  • Intercontinental Cup: All-Time Leading Scorer
  • Copa Libertadores Top Scorer (1): 1965.
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Top Scorer (3): 1961, 1963, 1964.
  • Campeonato Paulista Top Scorer (11): 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1973.
  • Torneio Rio-São Paulo Top Scorer (1): 1963.
  • Copa América Top Scorer (1): 1959.
  • Brazil National Team All-Time Leading Scorer, 95 goals
  • FIFA World Cup Best Young Player: 1958
  • FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 1958
  • FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 1958
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1970
  • Copa America Best Player: 1959
  • FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur: 2013
  • Guinness World Records: Most career goals (football): 1283 goals in 1363 games.
  • Guinness World Records: Most World Cup Winners’ Medals.
  • International Federation of Football History and Statistics(IFFHS): World´s most successful Top Division Goal Scorer: 541 goals
  • All time Top Scorer in one calendar year: 127 goals(1959)
  • World record number of hat tricks: 92
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality: 1970
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award: 2005
  • Greatest football player to have ever played the game, by Golden Foot: 2012
  • Athlete of the Century, by Reuters News Agency: 1999
  • Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999
  • Athlete of the Century, elected by world wide journalists, poll by French daily L’Equipe: 1981
  • South American Footballer of the Year: 1973
  • Inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993.
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire: 1997
  • UNICEF Football Player of the Century: 1999
  • TIME One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century: 1999
  • FIFA Player of the Century : 2000
  • Football Player of the Century, elected by France Football’s Ballon d’Or Winners : 1999
  • Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
  • South America Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
  • Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela: 2000
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
  • World Team of the 20th Century: 1998
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
  • World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013
Pele at the World Cup Trophy Tour in March, a few months before the tournament kicked off in his home country.
Pele at the World Cup Trophy Tour in March, a few months before the tournament kicked off in his home country.

So, Who is the Greatest Player Ever?

A decision has to be made and so after much debating with myself, I narrowed the top two down to Diego Maradona and Pele, as both are nearly always described as single-handedly the two best players in history by quite a way.

Behind them, I placed Johan Cruyff in 5th, just down to the fact that I had questions about him in the top five in the first place. Lionel Messi is in fourth behind Eusebio, purely because of the Portuguese striker’s fantastic goal scoring record and the legacy he left, but who knows, at the end of Messi’s career, he may well be third or possibly the greatest player ever – he’s certainly on his way to doing so.

And so we are left with two. It was close, but I have decided that the greatest player ever in my opinion is……

PELE!

Pele-6

The Brazilian’s total career goal tally of 1,283 is just absolutely outstanding, even if 500 odd were in friendly games. He broke on to the scene at an incredibly young age, and set the bar high for his country’s young footballers coming through, right up until now which is probably why La Selecao have had so much success. The only one regret of his must be the fact that he never played club football in Europe, which did make me query my decision.

Maradona had a fantastic career too winning various trophies including the World Cup almost by himself, but does just fall in my opinion slightly due to his involvement in drugs in the latter stages of his time as a professional. Despite this, he is still a fair way ahead of third placed Eusebio.

My Top Five Players Ever

5. Johan Cruyff

4. Lionel Messi

3. Eusebio

2. Diego Maradona

1. Pele

Thank you for reading and here’s to the next 100 posts!

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