Six Of The Best Soccer Players Ever



The most popular sport in the world, soccer is played by people of almost every age, race, nationality and religion around the globe. Whether it’s a pickup game between 10-year-olds in the middle of Haiti or a Premier League game in Manchester, emotions and effort always run high, and every goal and stop is cause for celebration.

In honor of the Women’s World Cup and the ambitious level of play the world is watching unfold, here are six of possibly the best soccer players ever.

1. Pele

The undisputed king of soccer and the gold standard of play against which every other player will forever be measured, Pele was a Brazilian soccer player of such legendary prowess, that, if he were still playing today, the vast majority of soccer-related bets placed through BCLC’s (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) Sports Action service would favor him, regardless of handicapping, point spreads, or personal loyalties. His total goal count, including unofficial friendly matches and tour matches, is 1281 goals in just 1363 games, a feat for which he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, and while his numbers are staggering, it was the spectacular way he scored goals that made him an international star. He won three World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970 — something no other player has ever done.


2. Marta

Pele himself called her “Pele in a skirt,” and when you watch Marta, another Brazilian soccer player competing in the Women’s World Cup, it’s eerie how fitting the comparison is, because she is a true master of all aspects of the game. She has been awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times from 2006 to 2010, and she led the Brazilian national team to two silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. In the 2007 Women’s World Cup, she was the top scorer, winning the Golden Boot award and the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player. She is currently the Women’s World Cup all-time leading goal scorer with 15 goals.


3. Mia Hamm

Arguably the most famous and celebrated female soccer player ever, Mia Hamm can lay claim to putting U.S. women’s soccer on the international map, and it could be said that she put women’s soccer as a whole on the international map as well. The FIFA Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002, Hamm also won two World Cups and Two Olympic gold medals. In addition, she held the record for the most international goals scored ever — in either men’s or women’s soccer — until American Abby Wambach broke her record in 2013 by scoring her 159th goal.


4. Lionel Messi

At only 27, Lionel Messi is the captain of his Argentine football team and the second-highest paid soccer player on the planet. Many consider him to be the best striker in soccer history, which is fitting considering that he holds a number of impressive “only’s” and “first’s” including:

* The only player ever to be the top-scorer across four Champions League campaigns in a row

* The first player ever to win four FIFA World Player of the Year/Ballons d’Or

* The youngest player to reach 200 La Liga goals

* The all-time leading goal scorer in La Liga

* The most consecutive goals ever scored in La Liga


5. Abby Wambach

The world-record holder — for men and women — for the most international goals scored at 167, Abby Wambach is currently playing in her fourth World Cup, where she is chasing Marta’s record of 15 World Cup goals. A gold medal-winner in three different Summer Olympics, she has also been named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year a total of six times, and she was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012.


6. Cristiano Ronaldo

A forward for Real Madrid, 30-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is also team captain for Portugal. He has won the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or awards three times, and he has also won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. By age 28, he had already scored his 400th career senior club goal, and he is often ranked as the best player in the world. The teams he plays for routinely win often and win big, which is why, to date, the teams he’s played for have won:

* Three Premier Leagues

* One La Liga

* Two UEFA Champions League

* Two FIFA Club World Cups

* One UEFA Super Cup

While everyone’s list of the best soccer players in the world looks a little different, it’s hard to argue with the six included here, given their past dominance or ongoing dominance on the world’s stage.

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