Football Players

Football players are the sports persons who play football on the professional level. Football is a team sport that involves kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. There are many types of football such as American football, Canadian football, association football, rugby league and rugby union. Football is a very popular sport, a fact proven by the presence of 250 million association football players in the world. Football players across the world attract huge fan followings and are often elevated to iconic levels. The glamorization of football is not without reason—football players are among the best paid sports persons and earn considerably more than professionals in other sports. Professional football players start playing early on in their childhood for local clubs and play for several small teams before getting selected for high-ranking teams. Individuals with a deep passion for the game coupled with a love for physical activity make ideal football players. A highly competitive sport, football requires the players to be in peak physical as well as mental conditions; the game is as mentally stressful as it is physically exhausting. Browse this section to explore about the life and works of various famous football players from all over the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
104
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 5, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Funchal, Portugal

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes. He is a versatile attacker capable of playing on either wing as well as through the center of the pitch. He has the distinction of being the first European to score 100 international goals.

 2 Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
119
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: June 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina

Considered one of the best football players in the world and a prolific goal scorer, Lionel Messi has shattered and created numerous records in his playing career. Regarded by another soccer legend, Diego Maradona, as his successor, the Argentinian superstar is also one of the world’s highest paid athletes.

 3 Neymar

Neymar
61
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: February 5, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mogi das Cruzes, State of São Paulo, Brazil
Amongst the best football players in the world presently, Neymar is a part of Brazil national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain. The prolific goal scorer debuted with Santos and played for Barcelona before joining PSG in a deal that made him the world’s most expensive player. He led Brazil national team to its first Olympic gold medal in 2016.

 4 Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan Ibrahimović
47
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: October 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Malmo, Sweden

Swedish professional footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović currently plays as a striker for Serie A club A.C. Milan. Widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, he is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world.  He is Sweden's all-time leading goalscorer. He is a brash person and has been involved in several violent incidents with teammates.

 5 David Beckham

David Beckham
54
Famous As: Former English Footballer
Birthdate: May 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, England
David Beckham is a former English footballer who was football superstar on-field and a heartthrob off-field. A former player for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Milan, among others, Beckham was a free-kick specialist, a brilliant crosser of the ball and the first English player to win league titles in four countries. His passion for football, charisma and fashion style have made him an international sensation.  

 6 Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho
30
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Porto Alegre

Regarded as one of the best football players of all time, Ronaldinho played a crucial role in Brazil’s victory in 2002 FIFA World Cup. Later, he helped FC Barcelona win two La Liga and a UEFA Champions League title. The two time FIFA world Player of the Year, who retired in 2018, was known for his technical skills and creativity.

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 7 Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale
39
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: July 16, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales

The charismatic Welsh footballer player, Gareth Frank Bale played for Southampton football club and Tottenham Hotspur extensively before joining Real Madrid in 2013 for a fees that exceeded Christiano Ronaldo’s earlier record fee. Known for his speed and accuracy, Gareth Bales is also the captain of Wales national team and plays for Tottenham Hotspur, on loan from Real Madrid.

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 8 Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski
32
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: August 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland

Considered one of the best football players in the world, Robert Lewandowski plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and leads the Poland national team as its captain. Known for his exceptional goal scoring ability and striking skills, Lewandowski has earned several accolades including Polish Player of the Year title for eight consecutive years. Besides, he is also a venture capitalist.

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 9 Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez
11
Famous As: Uruguayan Footballer
Birthdate: January 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salto, Uruguay

Controversy’s favorite child Uruguayan professional Luis Suarez has been in the news for an infamous handball and also for biting opponents. He now plays for Atlético Madrid and has previously represented Barcelona and Liverpool, winning 19 trophies in his career to date. He is Uruguay's leading goalscorer of all time.

 10 Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon
24
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Carrara, Italy
Gianluigi Buffon is an Italian footballer, often considered the greatest goalkeeper of all time. The first goalkeeper to receive the Golden Foot Award, Buffon was included in Pelé's FIFA 100 list in 2004. He is also well-known for his charity work; in 2019, he was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations' World Food Programme.
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 11 Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney
37
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: October 24, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Croxteth, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Regarded as one of the best football players of the current era, Wayne Rooney is the record goal-scorer for the Manchester United FC and England national team. Originally a boxer, Wayne continues to pursue boxing as a recreational activity. Wayne has been controversy's favorite child for many years now; from allegations of infidelity to legal issues, he has faced them all!

 12 Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry
19
Famous As: French football Coach
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Les Ulis, Essonne, France

A football coach, Thierry Henry began his career as a player with Monaco team and later also played for Arsenal and Barcelona. A lethal striker, he became a record goal scorer for both France and Arsenal. He played a crucial role in the French victory in 1998 FIFA World Cup and Arsenal’s win in Premier League and the FA Cup.

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 13 Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane
21
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Castellane, Marseille, France

Amongst the greatest footballers of all time, Zinedine Zidane led France to victories in the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. Later, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year took up the position of Real Madrid manager and carved yet another success story by winning major titles like Champions League and UEFA Super Cups.

 14 Ronaldo

Ronaldo
13
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: September 18, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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 15 Pele

Pele
15
Famous As: Brazilian footballer
Birthdate: October 23, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tres Coracoes, Brazil

Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was named the Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS. He called football “The Beautiful Game” and was one of the world’s highest-paid athlete for a while. His 1281 goals in 1363 games is a Guinness World Record.

 16 Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson
13
Famous As: Former Manager of Manchester United
Birthdate: December 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Alex Ferguson is known for his 26-year tenure as the manager of the football club Manchester United, from 1986 to 2013. He won 38 trophies with the club, including 13 Premier League titles. The first English Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ferguson has also received the knighthood
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 17 Luka Modrić

Luka Modrić
13
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: September 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zadar, Croatia
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić has won 17 big trophies for his club. He had a difficult childhood, growing up amid the Croatian War of Independence. He has played for Tottenham Hotspur, and in 2018, he led Croatia to their first football World Cup final and won the Golden Ball.

 18 Kaká

Kaká
8
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: April 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brasília, Federal District

Regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation, Kaká is a Brazilian retired football player. He is one of eight footballers to have won the Ballon d'Or, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Cup. Also known for his humanitarian work, Kaká has been working with the United Nations, as part of its World Food Programme initiative.

 19 Andrés Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta
9
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: May 11, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fuentealbilla
Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta, who now captains the Japanese club Vissel Kobe, has had a 22-year stint with Barcelona, serving as a captain in three seasons and winning nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions Leagues. He scored the winning goal to help Spain win the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

 20 Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff
11
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: April 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 24, 2016
Dutch midfielder/forward Johan Cruyff pioneered the idea of Total Football, along with coach Rinus Michels. The first three-time Ballon d'Or-winner was known for his signature move, the Cruyff Turn. He made it to FIFA 100 and ranked second only to Pele in an official World Player of the Century poll.
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 21 Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker
17
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leicester

Gary Lineker is a British former football player who currently works as a sports broadcaster. Considered one of the greatest British strikers of all time, Gary Lineker is the third-highest goal-scorer for England. During his 16-year playing career, Lineker never received a red or yellow card, due to which he was honored with the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1990.

 22 George Best

George Best
11
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: May 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: November 25, 2005
Manchester United winger/midfielder George Best was the 1968 European Footballer of the Year and was placed sixth on the FIFA Player of the Century list. A skilled dribbler, the Northern Irish player was also known for his stunning good looks and his affinity for women and alcohol. 

 23 Francesco Totti

Francesco Totti
10
Famous As: Italian Footballer
Birthdate: September 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Italian footballer Francesco Totti is known for his 25-year stint with Roma. Nicknamed “The Golden Boy” and “The Gladiator,” he led Roma to win the Serie A and the Coppa Italia. He was also part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning Italian team. He was named to Pele’s FIFA 100

 24 Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer
7
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: August 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gosforth, England
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has also worked as a BBC football pundit and a football manager. The Euro 1996 Golden Boot-winner has also represented Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, winning the 1994-1995 Premier League with the latter. With 260 goals, he became the Premier League’s leading goal-scorer.

 25 Xavi

Xavi
7
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: January 25, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Terrassa, Spain
Former Barcelona footballer Xavi won multiple trophies with the team, such as the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Famous for his tiki-taka style, he also helped Spain win the FIFA World Cup in 2010. After playing for the Qatari club Al-Sadd, he began coaching the team.

 26 Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona
8
Famous As: Football player, Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marseille, France

Eric Cantona is a French actor, filmmaker, and former football player. During his playing career, Cantona was a key player for the popular football club Manchester United and is often credited with reviving the club's reputation as a footballing force. Nicknamed King Eric by Manchester United fans, Eric Cantona continues to enjoy an iconic status within the club.

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 27 Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini
9
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Paolo Maldini is an Italian former professional footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders. He played primarily as a left-back and central defender and was affiliated with Milan and the Italian national team. Currently, he is serving as the technical director for Milan. He is also the co-owner of the USL Championship club Miami FC.  

 28 Roy Keane

Roy Keane
8
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: August 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cork
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 29 Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel
5
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: November 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark

 30 Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao
13
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: February 10, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Santa Marta, Colombia
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 31 Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola
17
Famous As: Football player, Football Manager
Birthdate: January 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santpedor, Spain

A football addict from beginning, Pep Guardiola went on to become a key player with the Barcelona and the Spanish National team. He played a crucial role in winning major titles like the La Liga and an Olympic gold medal. After retiring as a player, he became a coach and is widely regarded as one of the world's best coaches. 

 32 Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio
8
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Caldogno
Italian former footballer Roberto Baggio is the only Italian to score goals in three World Cups, in 1990, 1994, and 1998. He was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993. Nicknamed “The Divine Ponytail" for his peculiar hairstyle, he also became the Goodwill Ambassador of the UN’s FAO.
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 33 Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton
7
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: October 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ashington, Northumberland, Englan

Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, Bobby Charlton was an important member of the England national football team that emerged victorious at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Ballon d'Or, Charlton received a knighthood in 1994. He is the second-highest goalscorer for England.

 34 Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero
8
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Conegliano, Veneto, Italy

Alessandro Del Piero is an Italian former football player. Renowned for his creativity, he is often counted among the best players of his generation. He is also widely regarded as one of Italy's greatest players of all time. A prolific goal-scorer, Del Piero scored 346 goals during his playing career, making him the second-highest Italian goal-scorer of all time.

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 35 Rivaldo

Rivaldo
6
Famous As: Former Brazilian Footballer
Birthdate: April 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paulista, Brazil
Brazilian former footballer Rivaldo is known for his powerful strikes and has had successful stints with the clubs Barcelona and Milan. He is the seventh-highest goal-scorer for Brazil and was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team. Post-retirement, he appeared in the film I Am Not Salvador

 36 Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé
43
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: December 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Regarded as one of the best footballers of the current generation, Kylian Mbappé became only the second teenager to score a goal in the final game of a World Cup. Known for his explosive speed and dribbling skills, Mbappé made an impact at a young age. Very mature for his age, he also believes in giving back to society.

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 37 Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah
33
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nagrig, Egypt

Egyptian professional footballer Mohamed Salah is considered one of the best players in the world. Known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed, he plays for the Premier League club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team. He has been named the CAF African Footballer of the Year twice. His fans and the press have nicknamed him "The Pharaoh."

 38 Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba
34
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 15, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lagny-sur-Marne, Seine-et-Marne

Paul Pogba is a prominent football player for the English club Manchester United; in 2016 he was transferred from Juventus to Manchester United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3 million, which remains the highest paid fee by any English club. Also an important member of the France national team, he helped France win the 2018 World Cup.

 39 Ruud Gullit

Ruud Gullit
8
Famous As: Former Dutch Footballer
Birthdate: September 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ruud Gullit is a Dutch former football player. Considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, Gullit was known for his versatility as he could play as an attacking midfielder, forward, or midfielder. During the 1988 UEFA European Football Championship, he led his national team to its first title.

 40 Harry Kane

Harry Kane
34
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: July 28, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Walthamstow, England
A brilliant striker known for his impressive ability to score goals, Harry Kane is an English football player who leads the national team of England and also plays for Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane has been named the Premier League Player of the Month six times and received the Golden Boot twice.

 41 Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard
28
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Louvière, Belgium

One of the best Belgian footballers of all time, Eden Hazard is also regarded as one of the best players of the current generation. Thanks to his ability to retain possession among other footballing skills, Hazard is often compared with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

 42 Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku
19
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: May 13, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp

Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian football player, is known for his goal-scoring abilities. He plays in the forward position and can also play as a winger. He has scored more than 50 international goals while playing for the men’s national team of Belgium. Inter Milan, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United are some of the clubs he has played for.

 43 Sergio Agüero

Sergio Agüero
15
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 2, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buenos Aires
Argentine footballer and Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero was the youngest footballer of the Argentine Primera División, at 15. From scoring two goals in the semi-final to help Argentina win the 2008 Olympic gold medal, to being the fourth-highest goal-scorer of Premier League, he has many feats to his credit.

 44 Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
21
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Considered a late bloomer in the world of soccer, Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot award when he scored the maximum number of goals during the 2019–20 Premier League season. Apart from his goal-scoring abilities, Jamie is also known for his direct approach and relentless running.

 45 Gerard Piqué

Gerard Piqué
19
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barcelona

Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué, who plays for FC Barcelona, is considered one of the world’s best centre halves. He is amongst the few players who have won the UEFA Champions League for two consecutive years, but for different teams. He also played a crucial role in the Spain national team’s victory in 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.

 46 Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho
16
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: March 25, 2000
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell, England

Jadon Sancho is an English professional footballer who currently plays for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. He is known for his technical skills as a winger and formidable pace. He started playing as a young boy and was part of the England youth team that won the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. 

 47 Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos
11
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camas, Seville

Spanish footballer, Sergio Ramos, is known for his defensive skills and also for his ability to play offensively and score goals. He plays for the Premier League Club, Real Madrid. Ramos was a member of the Spanish national side which won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010. 

 48 Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos
6
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: April 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Garça

A major force behind Brazil’s World Cup win in 2002, Roberto Carlos was born into a poor peasant family and grew up working on his family farm. He soared to fame during his 11-season stint with Real Madrid, winning four La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues with them.

 49 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
26
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laval, France

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a footballer who plays as a forward and is the captain of the Gabon national team. He is known for his pace and finishing and is said to be one of the best strikers in the world. He plays for the English club team, Arsenal. He has played for other clubs as well like AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.

 50 Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann
27
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mâcon

Antoine Griezmann is a French football player. A key member of the France national team, Antoine Griezmann helped his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup by scoring a goal and assisting another in France's 4-2 win against Croatia. Also an esports enthusiast, Griezmann launched an esports organisation called Grizi Esport in 2020.

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