Exactly who is the best footballer of all-time is always a topic of hot debate. However, as it’s difficult to compare players from different eras, and as everyone has their own favourite type of player be it goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or striker – here at betting Gods we’ve put together a team of who we think were the best players in their positions. But feel free to disagree with us and post your views below.
Goalkeeper – Lev Yashin
Nicknamed the Black Spider after taking to the field dressed entirely in black in the 1958 World Cup, Yashin wowed a global audience with his commanding presence and athletic abilities. He kept over 270 clean sheets, saved over 150 penalties, and is the only goalkeeper to have been awarded the Ballon d’Or.
Defender – Cafu
The most capped Brazilian International was a huge hit at club and international level. He won two Copa America and two World Cups, captaining Brazil to victory in 2012. He was also voted South American player of the year in 1994.
Defender – Paolo Maldini
Maldini was comfortable at left-back or centre-back, and filled those roles over 25 years at Milan in a spell that saw him collect 26 trophies. He played for Milan until retiring aged 41, and also captained Italy 74 times in his 126 international appearances.
Defender – Franz Beckenbauer
Der Kaiser, as he was affectionately known, was an elegant sweeper whose leadership qualities on the pitch earned him global respect. He played 103 times for Germany, and is one of only two footballers to have won the World Cup as a player and a manager. He also won 3 consecutive European Cups between 1974 and 1976, and scored an impressive 64 goals in 439 appearances for Bayern Munich.
Defender – Bobby Moore
The best defence ever is completed by Bobby Moore, who captained England to World Cup glory in 1966. Pele said he was the best defender he’s ever faced – which has to be the highest praise of all.
Midfield – Diego Maradona
Maradona may not have endeared himself to the world with his “Hand of God” goal, yet his other goal in that game against England was voted the best goal of the century – and rightly so. A genius on the pitch, he went on to captain Argentina to victory in that World Cup, and scored 259 goals in 491 domestic appearances, as well as 34 international goals.
Midfield – Zinedine Zidane
The Frenchman is regarded as one of the most gifted players of all-time, and one of the most complete midfielders ever to play the game. He scored twice to help France to World Cup victory in 1998, and was voted FIFA World Player of the year on 3 occasions.
Midfield – Johan Cruyff
Cruyff burst on to the scene with tricks galore – and even had one named after him with the now globally accepted Cruyff Turn. He won 8 Dutch Titles and 3 European Cups with Ajax, and 3 Ballon d’Ors. He also won La Liga in his first season at Barcelona.
Midfield – Alfredo Di Stefano
The Argentinean was nicknamed the Blond Arrow, and he was blessed with pace, skill and power. It was a combination that saw him score in all 5 of the European Cup Finals that Real Madrid won consecutively in the 1950’s, and he scored a total of 216 goals in 282 appearances.
Striker – Lionel Messi
The Argentinean with magic in his boots needs little introduction, and it’s no wonder that he is the only player to have won 5 Ballon d’Ors. He’s loved worldwide due to his mesmerising brilliance with the ball at his feet, and also for the fantastic attitude he shows on the pitch. Having scored 55 goals in 113 appearances for Argentina, he has sadly retired from international football, but will hopefully continue to wow crowds with the amazing abilities that have seen him score 312 goals in 345 games for Barcelona.
Striker – Pele
Loved the world over for his desire to play the “Beautiful Game” and his humanitarian quests, Pele is still the player who has scored the most goals ever in football – an amazing 1,281 goals in 1,363 games in all matches. Arguably the greatest player of all time, he has been awarded the Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur for his services to football.