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Dutch footballer Cruyff was one of the best attacking midfielder of his generation and just like Beckenbauer, Cruyff revolutionized the game. He was product of Ajax acedamy and played most of his career with Ajax winning 7 dutch league titles and 3 european cups in process scored 190 goals in 240 matches before moving to Barcelona.
He guided holland 1976 world cup final where they lost against Germany in the final but not before Holland stunned the world with their new brand of football called “total football” where players could interchange positions and Cruyff was the great benefactor as he was equally good playing on the wings or in central attacking areas.
He scored 33 goals in 48 international matches for Holland
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One of the greatest french player, Michel Platini played most of his 15 year career in attacking midfield roles for Nancy, Saint-Étienne and Juventus. Played over 432 games scored 224 goals helping his sides to number of club honors. Highlight of his club career was 1985 European cup win with Juventus where he played instrumental role and he became the first player to win three back to back Ballon d’OR awards in 1983,84 and 85.
He also captain France to 1984 European championship win which was their very first major trophy in international football. He was declared player of the 1984 european championship and also grabbed the top goal scorer award. He went on to manage France from 1988 to 1992 and later became “UEFA” president.
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Xavi has been so successfull with both FC Barcelona and Spain that he has to be in every list of greatest soccer players of all times. Started in Barcelona youth teams back in 1998 he broke into the first time in 2002 when a struggling Barcelona were finding it hard to buy new players. At the start of his career he was more of a defensive midfielder but it was his touch and ability to control matches with superb compose passes which makes him stand out.
He along with Iniesta and Messi were absolute tailor-made for Barcelona’s tiki taka style which was later adopted by Spanish national team. He is probably the greatest central midfielder of all times without any competition. When he was at the peak of his career Barcelona were winning trophies for fun here is his list of trophies.
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Most football fans now consider Messi the greatest footballer to have ever played and more fans might join claim by the time Messi hangs up his boots. because still at the age of 28 he has several years left in him at the top of his game which is evident as after a lackluster 2014 he has turned up again in 2015 and currently have 53 goals to his name this season.
Lionel Messi goals stats stand at 585 goals in 727 competitive matches, he is Barcelona’s all time leading goal scorer with 524 goals to his name he is also all time leading goalscorer of Spanish league having scored over 300 goals. Messi and Ronaldo are the top two goal scorers in Champions League history with over 100 strikes to their names. Goals are just one side of his impact on the team, when he is not scoring he is making and assisting goals with pinpoint though balls and lobs for his team mates.
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Three time world cup winner with Brazil back in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and a true icon of the game, Pele is widely considered as the greatest footballer of last century and FIFA also recognized that with awarded him the best footballer of 20th century. His international career was upright success but his club success is debatable because he spent most of his career playing for native Santos and a few years in American league which was and still not considered a very competitive league.
Although Pele won everything there was to be won with Santos, scored most number of goals (apparently the most by any footballer in history). According to unofficial statistics Pele has scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. He scored more than 100 goals in a year three times for santos in 1959, 1961 and 1965. His international success with native Brazil and unprecedented ability to score important goals consistantly truly made him the greatest football player of all times.
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Probably the greatest dribble football has ever seen, Maradona guided a very average Argentina to 1986 world cup glory and scored two of the best goals in history of football in the process. Maradona’s name is often mentioned in the same breath as Pele when we talk about greatest soccer players of all times. Maradona unlike Pele played most of his club career in Europe with FC Barcelona and Italian outfit Napoli.
On the basis of his peak years and his sheer ability to dribble with the ball, he has to be up there as one of the greatest footballers to have every played the game.
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Bechenbauer is one of the most gracefull footballers of all times, he was not only immensely talented but he revolutionized the game. Usually played as a centre back but it was his ability on the ball as he brought ball out of defense into attacks (known as libero) which made him success. He had hugely successfull career with both his national team (Germnay) and club team (Bayern Munich).
His international career was nothing but a success, reaching world cup 1966 final and winning the world cup in 1974 beating netherlands in the final with their “total football” brand. He also win European championship with Germany in 1972. He was not only a great player but a visionary who would go on to have massive success as a coach with Bayern and Germany as well.
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Zidane rose to fame with ability to control games in french football with Bordeaux where he spent 4 years before moving to Juventus in 1996 where his career really took off. Zidane scored those two beautiful headed goals in the 1998 world cup final against Brazil and won France their very first world cup title and he won the “golden ball” best player in the competition. In his very first season with Juventus he won the Italian League title and than helped Juventus win it again next season. Juventus reached final of champions league twice in Zidan’s first two years with the club but lost on both occassions. Than came the biggest transfer in football history as he moved from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001.
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Just like Lionel Messi, Ronaldo might go up a few places in the greatest players of all times list by the time he hang up his boots. Currently 32 year old and still going strong at the top of his powers. Ronaldo is one fit athlete who started his career in Portugese team Sporting playing as forward who had pace and wide range of skills to bamboozle defenders. Manchester United saw the talent and signed him up at first opportunity. Ronaldo graced the premier league in 2003 and showcased his talent with outrageous fast step overs and other skill (often frustrating his team mates). But with in a couple of years he was matured and putting up top notch performances for United.
Unlike Messi he can stake a claim to be one of the greatest players in international football and he now tops the scoring charts for his national team and that too by a margin.
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Di Stefano is widely regarded as the greatest Real Madrid player of all times, he scored in 5 consecutive European cup finals for Real Madrid winning all 5 of them in a era dominated by Real Madrid in 1950s. He played in qualifying matches of 1962 world cup but a injury prevented him to participate in what would be his last chance of being part of world cup in 1962.
With Real Madrid his ability to score goals from midfield helped the team to become one of the most successful of that era. Scoring 216 goals in just 282 matches for Real Madrid made him all time top scorer for the team at the time. Winning 5 european titles where his record of 49 goals in just 58 matches stood for decades when Raul broke it in 2005.