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Ranking the 5 Greatest Footballers of All Time

Tim Hollis
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
33.11K   //    Timeless

One of the most common footballing debates that gets thrown around surrounds who is the greatest player of all time. With so many legends having graced our sport over the years, this is often a tough one to call.

After all, it can be tough to compare players at times. No two players will have the same career which can make it difficult to compare their achievements and accomplishments.

That said, by using an objective and equal criterion, it becomes easier to identify some of the top talent in our game. If this is a debate you’ve been having trouble with, I’ve identified the 5 greatest footballers of all time and justified their positions.

Please note that this is an evidence-based personal opinion piece, which everyone is entitled to.


#5 Johan Cruyff

A portrait of Johan Cruyff the manager of Barcelaona before the start of the UEFA cup quarter-final against PSV.
A portrait of Johan Cruyff the manager of Barcelaona before the start of the UEFA cup quarter-final against PSV.

The impact that Dutch legend Johan Cruyff had on the game of football will be hard to match. Whilst he unfortunately passed away in Barcelona in 2016, his footballing legacy will live on for generations to come.

One of the most complete attacking midfielders of all time, Cruyff could do almost everything from a technical perspective. Whether it was setting up his teammates or creating for himself, he was incredibly lethal in the final third.


Also See: Champions League Fixtures | Champions League Table


He played the bulk of his career for Ajax and Barcelona, enjoying a particularly dominant goal-scoring stretch in Ajax. Upon retirement, he then went on to manage a very successful Barcelona first team and was a huge inspiration for current Man City manager Pep Guardiola.

He implemented an incredibly fluid style of football and was regularly one step ahead of his opposing coaches. The Cruyff turn will also live on as one of the premier skill moves in world football.

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