Soccer is a global sport with quality players spread out across the world, but the highest paid soccer players usually play in one of the five biggest leagues in Europe – Ligue 1 (France), Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), and Serie A (Italy).
There are other popular football leagues in the world, such as the MLS in the United States and Liga Apertura in Mexico, but player contracts in these two leagues normally don’t compare to those in Europe. That’s why you’ll see most of the highest paid soccer players in Europe!
When a player signs a contract with a football club, at least in Europe, they are given a base salary that’s paid weekly – regardless of whether they play that week or not. Players also have opportunities to make more money based on bonuses, endorsements, and international play.
Who Are the Highest Paid Soccer Players Today?
It’s no coincidence that the highest paid soccer players are also the most talented, skilled, and popular soccer players today. Both on and off the field, these players garner a lot of attention and it results in record-breaking weekly salaries, plenty of endorsements, and overall stardom.
If you want to be considered among the highest paid soccer players today, you need to rise to global fame. While that’s easier for soccer players compared to other athletes, especially considering how popular the sport of soccer is around the world, it’s still a difficult thing to do.
We spend all day watching these talented soccer players do what they do best, but have you ever wondered who the highest paid soccer players are in 2022? Most of the names won’t surprise you, but there will be a few that pique your interest. Anyways, let’s take a look!
25. Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling is an English winger for Manchester City in the Premier League. He made his senior debut in 2012 and spent three years with Liverpool, scoring 18 goals in 95 appearances. Since transferring to Manchester City in 2015, he has scored 85 goals in 211 appearances.
He has won 11 major trophies with Manchester City, including back-to-back Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019. In 72 national appearances for England, Sterling has 18 goals.
24. Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish is an English winger for Manchester City in the Premier League, joining the team in 2021. The transfer from Aston Villa was worth a reported £100 million, the most ever for an English player – a record once held by Sterling. His salary is expected to continue to rise.
Grealish made his senior debut with Aston Villa in 2012, scoring 29 goals in 185 appearances up until 2021. He has two goals in 13 appearances with Manchester City since the transfer.
23. Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku is a Belgian striker for Chelsea in the Premier League, joining the team in 2021. He previously played for Inter Milan (47 goals), Manchester United (28 goals), Everton (68 goals), West Bromwich Albion (17 goals), and Anderlecht (33 goals), making his debut in 2009.
He has played for the Belgium national team since 2010 and has scored 68 goals in 101 appearances. His 68 goals is the most by a Belgian player and he continues to add on to it.
Marcelo, also known as Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior, is a left back for Real Madrid in La Liga. He has been with the team since 2007, scoring 26 goals in 378 appearances. In that time, he has won 22 major trophies with Real Madrid, including four UEFA titles and five La Liga titles.
He also won the Confederations Cup with Brazil in 2013, making 58 appearances for Brazil’s national team and scoring six goals for his country. He last played for team Brazil in 2018.
21. Thomas Müller
Thomas Müller is a German striker for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, a team he originally joined back in 2008. Over the past 13 years, he has made 400 appearances with the team and scored 134 goals in that time. He also has 29 major trophies to his name with Bayern Munich.
In fact, Müller is Germany’s most decorated footballer of all-time with 30 in his career – 29 with Bayern Munich and one with Germany (2014 World Cup winner). That’s a lot of trophies!
20. Raphaël Varane
Raphaël Varane is a French centre-back for Manchester United in the Premier League, joining the team in 2021. He has played nine games for the team thus far, dishing a game-winning assist in his debut. He previously played for Real Madrid (236 games) and Lens (23 games).
Throughout his 10-year career with Madrid, Varane won 19 major trophies – including two more with France. He’s expected to continue that success with Manchester United in the near future.
19. Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho is an English winger for Manchester United in the Premier League, joining the team in 2021 – along with Varane. He already played in 16 games for Man U, scoring his first goal with them on November 23, 2021. He scored his first Premier League goal five days later.
Sancho previously played for Borussia Dortmund – a German team – from 2017-2021, scoring 38 goals in 104 appearances. The future is bright for this 21-year-old football player.
18. Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong is a Dutch midfielder for Barcelona in La Liga. He made his senior debut with Willem II in 2015, but only made two appearances before transferring to Jong Ajax – where he scored eight goals in 46 appearances. He spent the next three years with Ajax in Eredivisie.
He joined Barcelona in 2019 and has scored six goals in 82 appearances since. He has won three major trophies in his career, but you can expect that to increase with Barcelona.
17. David Alaba
David Alaba is an Austrian centre-back for Real Madrid in La Liga. He made his senior debut with Austria Wien II in 2007 and played 33 games for Bayern Munich II before being called up to Bayern Munich in 2010. He spent the next 11 years with them, scoring 22 goals in 281 games.
Alaba joined Real Madrid in 2021 and already has one goal in 18 domestic appearances. He’s one of the best defenders of his generation and has won 29 major trophies in his career.
16. Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho is a Brazilian winger for Barcelona in La Liga, but is expected to transfer to the Premier League very soon. He began his senior career with Inter Milan in 2008 and spent five years with the club – though he was loaned to Vasco da Gama and Espanyol in that time.
He then spent five years with Liverpool before joining Barcelona, though he played for Bayern Munich on loan for one year. He has won 11 major trophies in his career, and counting.
15. Luka Modrić
Luka Modrić is a Croatian center midfielder for Real Madrid in La Liga. Between 2003-2008, he played for Dinamo Zagreb, Zrinjski Mostar, and Inter Zaprešić to begin his senior career. Over that time, he scored 38 goals in 134 domestic games and also began playing for Croatia in 2006.
In 2012, Modrić earned his big break when he signed with Real Madrid. He has been with the team ever since, scoring 20 goals in 279 domestic games. He has played 643 career games.
14. Jan Oblak
Jan Oblak is a Slovenian goalkeeper for Atlético Madrid in La Liga. He has been with the team since 2014, making 248 domestic appearances in that timeframe. Between 2009 and 2014, he played for Benfica, Beira-Mar, Benfica B, Olhanense, União de Leiria, and Rio Ave.
In his career, Oblak has played in 439 games and has won seven major trophies. He was named Slovenian Footballer of the Year six times, four of which were consecutive.
13. Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne is a Belgian midfielder for Manchester City F.C. in the Premier League. He has been with the club since 2015, scoring 47 goals in 192 domestic games. He previously played for Genk, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, and VfL Wolfsburg between 2008 and 2015.
Throughout his career, he has played in 513 games and scored 120 goals – including 198 assists. He has won 17 major trophies, including German Football of the Year in 2015.
12. David de Gea
David de Gea is a Spanish goalkeeper for Manchester United in the Premier League. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has been for the past 5+ years. He began his senior career in 2008 with Atlético Madrid, but eventually joined Manchester United in 2011.
He immediately replaced retiring goaltender Edwin van der Sar and now has 584 career games played, most of which with Man U. He has 193 career clean sheets and 12 major trophies.
11. Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann is a French forward for Atlético Madrid in La Liga. He began his senior career with Real Sociedad from 2009-2014, scoring 46 goals in 180 domestic appearances. He spent the next five years with Atlético Madrid, scoring 94 goals in 180 domestic appearances.
After 74 games with Barcelona, Griezmann has been on loan to Atlético Madrid for the past 12 games. He has over 580 career games played, 227 career goals, and 101 career assists.
10. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is estimated to make around $29 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s a Belgian winger for Real Madrid in La Liga and is the current captain of Belgium’s national team. He joined Madrid in 2019 and already has five goals.
Hazard previously spent seven years with Chelsea, scoring 110 goals in that span. With 606 career games played, he has accumulated 165 goals, 159 assists, and 10 major trophies.
9. Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale is estimated to make around $32 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s a Welsh winger for Real Madrid in La Liga, joining the team in 2013. Since then, he has also spent two years on loan with Tottenham Hotspur.
Bale holds a record with six Welsh Footballer of the Year awards, including four consecutive. In 538 career games played, he has 183 goals, 152 assists, and has won 25 major trophies.
8. Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba is estimated to make around $34 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s a French midfielder for Manchester United in the Premier League. He joined the club in 2016 and has 38 goals and 51 assists ever since.
Pogba previously played with Juventus from 2012-2016. In 420 career games played, he has accumulated 75 goals and 98 assists. He won 16 major trophies in his young career thus far.
7. Andrés Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta is estimated to make around $35 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He is a Spanish midfielder for Vissel Kobe of the J1 League in Japan. He’s one of the greatest soccer players of all-time in the tail end of his career.
Iniesta had an illustrious and decorated career with Barcelona from 2002-2018. He has played over 780 career games, scoring 82 goals and dishing 161 assists. He has 42 major trophies.
6. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski is estimated to make around $35 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He is a Polish striker for Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga and has been with the club since 2014. He’s one of the best strikers of all-time.
In 236 domestic games with Bayern Munich, he has 222 goals. He has played in over 660 career games, scoring 489 goals and 163 assists. He also has 40 major trophies to his name.
5. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah is estimated to make around $41 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s an Egyptian forward for Liverpool in the Premier League, but is also captain of Egypt’s national team. He has been with Liverpool since 2017.
Salah is one of the best players in the world right now. He has played in over 482 career games since 2009, scoring 225 goals and 112 assists. He also has 19 major trophies to his name.
4. Kylian Mbappé
Kylian Mbappé is estimated to make around $43 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s a French forward for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 that began his senior career with Monaco from 2015-2018, scoring 16 goals in 41 games.
He was loaned to PSG in 2017 and his transfer was made official in 2018. In 264 career games played, Mbappé has scored 180 goals and 111 assists. He also has 24 major trophies.
3. Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr. is estimated to make around $95 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. Born Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, he’s a Brazilian forward for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1. He is easily one of the best players in the world.
He began his senior career with Santos and eventually moved on to Barcelona before settling in PSG. In 452 career games played, he has 265 goals, 205 assists, and 31 major trophies.
2. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is estimated to make around $110 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s an Argentine forward for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 – forming a powerful trio with both Neymar Jr. and Mbappé. He joined the club in 2021.
Messi spent the previous 17 years with Barcelona as he rose to fame. In 802 career games played, Messi scored 678 goals and dished 409 assists. He won the Ballon d’Or seven times.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is estimated to make around $125 million this year from both football salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. He’s a Portuguese forward for Manchester United in the Premier League. He joined the team in 2021, but also played with the club from 2003-2009.
Ronaldo has been one of the biggest names in football for almost two decades. In 918 career games played, Ronaldo has 688 goals and 301 assists. He won the Ballon d’Or five times.
Who Are the Highest Paid Soccer Players of All-Time?
Due to the ever-growing popularity of the sport, football contracts – much like what we’re seeing in other professional sports – continue to rise as well. Every year, we see soccer players rake in more money than the year before and it makes you wonder – when will these numbers plateau?
At the rate we’re seeing today, football contracts may never plateau and it seems like the sky’s the limit. We’re already seeing that as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have seen their net worth rise to over $500 million – making them two of the richest athletes in the entire world.
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Outside of Ronaldo and Messi, there are a number of soccer players with high net worths – including David Beckham, Dave Whelan, Alexandre Pato, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, Francesco Totti, Pele, and Eden Hazard. They each have a net worth above $100 million.
25 of the Best Soccer Players of All-Time
Soccer wouldn’t be the most popular sport in the world if it weren’t for the stellar play of the best soccer players of all-time. Through the years, they have helped revolutionize how the game is played and are viewed as pioneers in the history of soccer — or football, as most people call it.
While modern-day soccer was invented in the 1860s, similar sports and games date back as early as the 2nd century in China. It wasn’t until the 1900s that soccer started gaining popularity worldwide with the first FIFA World Cup taking place in 1930. The sport has exploded since then.
And if you didn’t think soccer was popular, try this on for size — the World Cup Finals pulls in an average of 500+ million viewers and more than half the population will tune into the World Cup each year. For reference, the Super Bowl pulls in an average of around 100 million viewers.
Who Are the Best Soccer Players of All-Time?
The best soccer players of all-time knew how to draw a crowd. They knew how to dictate the field, always brought their A-game, made their teammates better, and frequently put on a show for the fans. If it weren’t for the best soccer players of all-time, it wouldn’t be as popular as it is.
Over the past 150+ years, we’ve witnessed thousands of soccer players test their skill at the professional level. While they all had aspirations of being considered one of the best soccer players of all-time, only a select few were good enough and consistent enough to earn that title.
As we rank the 25 best soccer players of all-time, we’re going to touch base on both male and female soccer players that have helped revolutionize the sport with their spectacular play. It’s only right, especially since both genders have played an important role in the history of soccer.
25. Eusébio – Portugal
Eusébio is a Portuguese soccer player that was born in Mozambique. He dominated the soccer scene from 1957-1980, spending a majority of his career with S.L. Benfica in the Primeira Liga — the No. 1 league in Portugal. He started his career with the Sporting Lourenço Marques in 1957.
Throughout his 23-year career, Eusébio recorded 580 goals in 575 Club matches and 41 goals in 64 National matches. He almost led Portugal to a World Cup victory in 1966, but lost to England in the Final Four. Still, he led all players with nine goals in that year’s competition.
24. Christine Sinclair – Canada
Christine Sinclair played college ball at the University of Portland, scoring 110 goals in 94 matches. She would then go on to play for the Vancouver Breakers, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Gold Pride, Western New York Flash, and Portland Thorns — where she currently plays.
Throughout her illustrious career, Sinclair has scored 94 goals in 221 Club matches. She also has 10 goals in the World Cup and 33 goals in the Olympics. She most recently helped lead Canada to a Gold Medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — which actually took place in 2021.
23. Sun Wen – China
Sun Wen is a former captain of China’s national soccer team and appeared in four World Cups with the team. While they never won, she did help them win the Asian Cup four times and a Silver Medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She scored 106 goals in 163 National matches.
She had an incredible performance at the 1999 World Cup, scoring seven goals and being named the tournament’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot — top player and top scorer, respectively. From 1989-2002, she also scored 171 goals in 692 Club matches, mostly for Shanghai.
22. Paolo Maldini – Italy
Paolo Maldini is a legendary player, especially in the eyes of AC Milan fans around the world. He spent his entire 25-year senior career with the team and even spent his youth years playing for the team. To this day, he’s the technical director for AC Milan, so he hasn’t gone anywhere.
In 647 Club matches for AC Milan, Maldini scored 29 goals and helped his team win 25 trophies in total. The club eventually decided to retire his No. 3 jersey number after he announced his retirement in 2009. He also scored 7 goals in 126 National matches with Italy from 1988-2002.
21. George Best – Northern Ireland
George Best was recruited by Manchester United at the age of 15 and eventually signed with the team in 1962. It didn’t take long for Best to make the first team and he was a key contributor by 1965. Best scored 239 goals in 604 Club matches and nine goals in 37 National matches.
He made up one-third of what became known as the Holy Trinity of Manchester United — which also consisted of Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. He once scored six goals in one game, helped Manchester United win their first European Cup, and scored 179 of his 239 goals for the team.
20. David Beckham – England
David Beckham is one of the most iconic and well-known soccer players to ever play. He first played for Manchester United in 1992 and spent his first 11 years with the team before moving on to Preston North End, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Over his 21-year career, Beckham scored 97 goals in 523 Club matches and 17 goals in 115 National matches. He was key to Manchester United’s dominance in the 1990s, helping them win six Premier League titles and a European Cup. He was a household name by 1996.
19. Birgit Prinz – Germany
Birgit Prinz could score as well as anyone, which is why she’s featured on our list of the best soccer players of all-time. Her 14 career goals in the World Cup are the second-most among female soccer players and she won German Female Footballer of the Year eight times.
From 2000-2008, she not only won two World Cups with Germany, but she won three Bronze Medals in the Olympics. She has scored 128 goals in 214 career National matches and another 282 goals in 282 career Club matches. There aren’t many players that scored as much as her.
18. Homare Sawa – Japan
Homare Sawa won’t just go down as one of the greatest Asian soccer players ever, but she’ll go down as one of the best soccer players of all-time. She spent 24 years in club play, scoring 159 goals in 415 matches, and 22 years in National play, scoring 83 goals in 205 career matches.
Sawa began her career with NTV Beleza in Japan’s WE League, then bounced around for a while — playing stints with the Denver Diamonds, Atlanta Beat, Washington Freedom, and INAC Kobe Leonessa. Her 205 caps and 83 goals is the most by any other female Japanese player.
17. Ronaldinho – Brazil
Known for his flashy moves, incredible footwork, and ability to straight-up embarrass anyone that tried to defend him, Ronaldinho is certainly one of the best soccer players of all-time. In his career, he won the FIFA Player of the Year award twice and the Ballon d’Or award once.
Ronaldinho scored 205 goals in 511 Club matches from 1998-2015 and 33 goals in 97 National matches from 1999-2013. He helped lead Brazil to a World Cup title in 2002, a Confederations Cup title in 2005, and was captain of the bronze medal team during the 2008 Olympics.
16. Michel Platini – France
Michel Platini is easily one of the most decorated, celebrated, and talented soccer players to ever represent France. His 41 goals in 72 National matches currently ranks fifth among French players all-time, though he was never able to lead his country to a World Cup title.
He spent 15 years with Nancy, Saint-Étienne, and Juventus, recording a total of 224 goals in 432 Club matches. He helped lead Juventus to the UEFA Super Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup, and league championship in 1984. He also led Serie A in goals scored in three different years.
15. Franz Beckenbauer – Germany
Franz Beckenbauer was successful as both a player (sweeper) and a manager. In fact, he’s the only person to ever win a World Cup as both a player and manager. He enjoyed an illustrious 20-year career as a player from 1964-1984, including 13 years with FC Bayern Munich.
As a defender, Beckenbauer scored 83 goals in 572 Club matches and 14 goals in 103 National matches. Since retiring as a player, Beckenbauer has managed the West Germany national team for six years, Olympique de Marseille for one year, and Bayern Munich for two years.
14. Ferenc Puskás – Hungary
Ferenc Puskás will go down as one of the most dangerous and consistent goal scorers in the history of the sport. Puskás scored 358 goals in 350 club matches for Budapest Honvéd from 1943-1956, then scored 156 goals in 180 club matches with Real Madrid from 1958-1966.
He also scored 84 goals in 85 national matches for Hungary from 1945-1956. He helped his teams win the European Cup three times, World Cup once, Spanish Championships five times, Spanish Cup once, Hungarian Championship four times, and Olympic Gold Medal once.
13. Alfredo Di Stéfano – Argentina
Known as Saeta Rubia (which translates to Blond Arrow), Alfredo Di Stéfano is one of the best soccer players of all-time. He dominated the sport with his gifted talent and skill from 1945-1966. He spent a majority of his career with River Plate, Millonarios, Real Madrid, and Espanyol.
Over his 21-year career as a player, Di Stéfano scored 376 goals in 522 Club matches and 23 goals in 33 National matches. He spent 11 years with Real Madrid from 1953-1964 and led the team to eight La Liga titles and five European Cups over that span. He was also a manager.
12. Michelle Akers – United States
Michelle Akers is one of the greatest female soccer players to ever play and helped spring the United States into dominance during the 1990s. She not only helped lead her country to a World Cup title in 1991 and 1999, but brought home a Gold Medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA.
Her 10 goals in six matches during the 1991 World Cup was the most of any player in that tournament, earning herself the Golden Shoe. In 2002, she was named FIFA Female Player of the Century and she was eventually inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.
11. Roberto Baggio – Italy
Roberto Baggio enjoyed an incredible 22-year career from 1982-2004. He was a key contributor for a number of different teams, including Vicenza, Florentina, Juventus, AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan, and Brescia. In 490 career club matches, Baggio scored 220 total goals.
He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1993, the same year he won the Ballon d’Or award, after scoring 21 goals in 27 matches with Juventus. Baggio also scored 27 goals in 56 national matches for Italy, making him the fourth-highest goal scorer in the history of the country.
10. Ronaldo – Brazil
Commonly known as ‘O Fenômeno,’ which translates to ‘The Phenomenon,’ Ronaldo is easily one of the best soccer players of all-time. He’s a big reason why Brazil was so dominant from 1994-2011, scoring 62 goals in 98 national matches and winning two World Cups with Brazil.
Ronaldo also won two La Liga titles with Real Madrid in 2002-03 and 2006-07. He scored 247 goals in 343 club matches, winning the Ballon d’Or award twice and being named the FIFA World Player of the Year three times. To this day, he’s the youngest recipient of both awards.
9. Johan Cruyff – Netherlands
Johan Cruyff was as much of an innovator as he was a contributor on the field. He invented his own football philosophy, which became known as Total Football. Under this philosophy, he helped AFC Ajax win three European Cups and won the Ballon d’Or award twice in the process.
After spending nine years with Ajax, Cruyff made the move to Barcelona. Using the Total Football philosophy, he helped lead them to a La Liga title and won his third Ballon d’Or award. Later that year, he led the Netherlands to the World Cup Finals, but lost to West Germany.
8. Abby Wambach – United States
If it weren’t for Abby Wambach’s talent and leadership, the United States wouldn’t have won two Olympic Gold Medals and a World Cup title between 2001 and 2015. Wambach scored 184 goals for the United States in 255 national matches — the second most behind Christine Sinclair.
Wambach also scored 75 goals in 119 career club matches, but never spent more than two years with a club. She won six USSF Female Athlete of the Year awards, was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2019, and won the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year award.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
Not many players have had a bigger impact on modern-day soccer than Cristiano Ronaldo. He emerged as one of the most unique, interesting, and talented soccer players in the world in 2003 when he signed with Manchester United. He has 483 goals in 621 club matches (and counting).
Ronaldo also has 115 goals in 184 career National matches for Portugal. He’s a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner, seven-time Domestic League Champion, five-time Champions League Champion, and 32 total trophies in his 20-year career.
6. Zinedine Zidane – France
No one was more dedicated to mastering the fundamentals of the game than Zinedine Zidane. He knew how to control the tempo, maintain possession, and utilize his vision to get his teammates involved. His magic touch is something people still try to imitate to this day.
Zidane scored 95 goals in 506 Club matches and 31 goals in 108 National matches. He led France to a World Cup title in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He also helped lead Juventus and Real Madrid to a flurry of titles from 1996-2006. He’s a true legend in the sport.
5. Mia Hamm – United States
Mia Hamm was the face of the United States soccer team from 1987-2004, helping lead her country to two Olympic Gold Medals and two World Cup titles in her time with the team. She scored 158 career goals in 276 national matches — third-most among women soccer players.
Not only that, but Mia Hamm recorded the most assists by any United States female soccer player and ranks third in career matches for the US national team. She was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002, and was named USSF Athlete of the Year five times.
4. Marta – Brazil
No male or female player has scored more international goals for Brazil than Marta. She has scored 113 goals in 167 national matches and holds the record for most goals scored in the World Cup with 17 goals. No male or female has ever scored more goals at the World Cup.
Marta has been named FIFA World Player of the Year six times, including five-straight from 2006-2010. She also won two Olympic Silver Medals and holds a record for scoring a goal in five different Olympic games. She has received a great deal of praise from Pelé throughout her career.
3. Pelé – Brazil
When you think of the best soccer players of all-time, Pelé is one of the first players that comes to mind — no matter who you are. His name is one of the most recognizable in the entire sport and he left an enormous impact on the growth and development of the sport in the 1960s.
Pelé spent 18 years with Santos FC, finishing his career with the New York Cosmos. He was a goal-scoring machine, recording 650 goals in 694 Club matches and 77 goals in 92 National matches. He helped lead Brazil to three World Cup titles and scored 92 career hat tricks.
2. Diego Maradona – Argentina
Frequently known as El Pibe de Oro, Diego Maradona is undoubtedly one of the top-three male soccer players of all-time and easily lands in the top-five best soccer players of all-time. In 1981, he led Boca Juniors to a Primera Division title after scoring 28 goals in 40 Club matches.
Over his 21-year career, he scored 259 goals in 491 Club matches and 34 goals in 91 National matches. He helped lead Argentina to their first ever World Cup title and (from 1976-1997) spent time with Napoli, Barcelona, Sevilla, Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors, and Newell’s Old Boys.
1. Lionel Messi – Argentina
No soccer player — male or female — has the impressive resume that Lionel Messi has. He has dominated the sport ever since 2004 at both a club and national level. He scored 474 goals in 520 club matches with Barcelona and 80 goals in 157 national matches with Argentina.
He’s a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, two-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner, two-time UEFA Men’s Player of the Year winner, eight-time La Liga Best Player winner, 10-time La Liga Champion, and four-time Champions League Champion. He’s a one-of-a-kind soccer player.
We Salute the Best Soccer Players of All-Time!
The best soccer players of all-time are the reason many of us have tuned into what the sport has to offer — especially during the World Cup and Olympic Games. Seeing the best soccer players of all-time represent their country and respective teams is nothing short of poetry.
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are widely regarded as two of the best soccer players in the sport right now, they’re not the only ones that make the sport look good. There are plenty of other players — both young and old — that are making a name for themselves in the sport.
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For example, some of the best soccer players right now include Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Sam Kerr, and Vivianne Miedema. Who knows, maybe they’ll one day be considered some of the best soccer players of all-time!
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