Who is the greatest footballer of all-time?
This is a sporting question that will never, ever have a definitive answer due to the varying opinions of football fans around the world.
Those of the older generation prefer the likes of Johan Cruyff, Pele and Diego Maradona, while anyone who grew up in the 21st century will side with either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
The folks over at FourFourTwo have now decided to give their take on the age-old debate, the publication naming who they believe are the 100 greatest ever footballers in order.
While the likes of Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were snubbed, some of the game’s greats including Wayne Rooney (84th), Roberto Carlos (90th), Luka Modric (79th), Ronaldinho (26th) and Xavi (24th) made the prestige list.
See the top 20 below…
20. Andres Iniesta
19. Giuseppe Meazza
17. Paolo Maldini
16. Bobby Charlton
13. Michel Platini
12. Alfredo di Stefano
11. Gerd Muller
So, Iniesta finishes ahead of his former partner-in-crime at Barcelona Xavi, while defensive great Maldini takes his place among a pantheon of some of the game’s greatest offensive-minded players. Picking between Platini, Di Stefano and Muller must’ve been incredibly tough, but FourFourTwo’s final order seems pretty fair.
10. Ronaldo Nazario
9. Ferenc Puskas
8. Franz Beckenbauer
7. George Best
6. Johan Cruyff
5. Zinedine Zidane
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Diego Maradona
Despite scoring a record-extending 700th club goal in Manchester United‘s 2-1 win over Everton, Ronaldo has to settle for the bronze medal, with his eternal rival Messi taking the coveted gold and fellow Argentine legend Maradona scooping silver.
Pele’s place outside the top three will irritate some, but it’s impossible to please everyone, isn’t it?
Beckenbauer is the highest-ranked defender of all, while Zidane accepts the same accolade in the midfield department.
Overall, it’s a smashing 100-man list from renowned publication FourFourTwo.