It’s an established fact that the sport people play and watch the most in the world is football. Thus, football players have the greatest number of fans than those of other sports.
Some recent studies have shown that the five defining factors of Talent/Ability, Success/Trophies, Longevity, Fear Factor and Individual Brilliance, indicate that the 5 best football players of all times are Edson Arantes do Nascimento whom everyone knows as Pelé, Zinedine Yazid Zidane, Diego Armando Maradona, Lionel Andrés Messi and Franz Anton Beckenbauer.
Pelé played professionally in Brazil for two decades, winning three World Cups along the way, before joining the New York Cosmos at the end of his career. Named FIFA co-Player of the Century in 1999, he is a global ambassador for soccer and other humanitarian causes.
Zizou as his friends call him, joined Real Madrid’s behind the scenes team as an adviser and was named the club’s sporting director in 2011. The next year, the French soccer legend begun coaching at the Real Madrid’s youth academy taking the first step for a new career of calling the shots from the sidelines of his beloved game. As of 2016 he is back in the front lines taking over the managerial position of the Merenges.
Arguably the greatest dribbler football has ever seen, Maradona led a below expectations Argentina to the 1986 world cup glory and scored two of the best goals in the history of football in the process. Maradona’s name is often mentioned in the same breath as Pelé when people talk about the greatest soccer players of all times. However, unlike his Brazilian counterpart. Maradona spent most of his club career in Europe in the ranks of FC Barcelona and Napoli.
Lionel Messi is the apparent heir to the throne left vacant by Maradona. However the public opinion is divided on the issue. There are those who consider him as not even near being the best No. 10, and those who believe that he is even better than Maradona. The criticism about his appearances in the last two World Cups, especially the final Argentina lost from Germany did very little to help his reputation grow.
Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German former professional footballer and manager. Early in his playing career he was nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, dominance and leadership on the field. A part of the title was also attributed to his first name “Franz” being a reminiscent of the Habsburg emperors. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. A versatile player who started out as a midfielder, Beckenbauer made his name as a central defender and entered into legendhood when he played at the semi-final of the 1970 World Cup with a dislocated shoulder carrying his hand in a sling for most of the second half and overtime.
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