The 50+ Best World Cup Players of All Time

The 50+ Best World Cup Players of All Time

The FIFA World Cup – a spectacle that transforms players into legends. Whether it’s their jaw-dropping skills or match-winning goals, some have etched their names in the annals of history. 

In this celebration of footballing excellence, we’re rolling out the green carpet for the crème de la crème—the Top 50+ Best World Cup Players of All Time who have graced this planet’s grandest stage. 

From Pelé’s mesmerizing moves to Maradona’s hand of God and Zidane’s headbutt heard around the world, get ready to relive the moments that defined the beautiful game.

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Our List of The 50+ Best World Cup Players of All Time.

1. Pele

Pele – The best soccer player in the world ever, his World Cup story is studded with three titles (1958, 1962, 1970), making him the only player to win three World Cups. With 12 goals across 14 appearances, his impact on the sport is unmatched.

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2. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, most famous for his ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986, led Argentina to World Cup glory that year. Across four World Cups, his 21 appearances and 8 goals are etched in history.

3. Lionel Messi

What is Of Lionel Messi 2023?

Lionel Messi, a modern great, has dazzled in four World Cups as of 2023, with 19 appearances and 6 goals, known for his mesmerizing skills and crucial goals.

4. Ronaldo (Ronaldo de Lima)

Ronaldo de Lima – A two-time World Cup winner (1994, 2002), Ronaldo’s World Cup journey includes 19 appearances and 15 goals, holding the record for the most goals in the tournament’s history until 2014.

5. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane, known for both European brilliance and infamous headbutt, played in three World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006), making 12 appearances and scoring 5 goals, including two in the 1998 final.

6. Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer – ‘Der Kaiser’ led West Germany to victory in 1974 and appeared in three World Cups, making 18 appearances and scoring 5 goals, revolutionizing the sweeper role.

7. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappe – A World Cup winner at the age of 19 in 2018, Mbappe’s World Cup record includes 7 appearances and 4 goals, showcasing his exceptional speed and scoring ability.

8. Eusebio

Eusebio – The Portuguese legend scored an impressive 9 goals in just 6 appearances in the 1966 World Cup, leading Portugal to a third-place finish.

9. Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose – The all-time top scorer in World Cup history (as of 2023) with 16 goals, Klose’s record spans 4 World Cups (2002-2014) and 24 appearances.

10. Garrincha

Garrincha is known for his incredible dribbling, Garrincha played in three World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966), scoring 5 goals in 12 appearances, and was instrumental in Brazil’s 1962 victory.

11. Jairzinho

Jairzinho scored in every game of the 1970 WorldCup, totalling 7 goals in 6 appearances, a key factor in Brazil’s triumph.

12. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff – The Dutch master played in one World Cup (1974), making 7 appearances and scoring 3 goals, leading the Netherlands to the final with ‘Total Football’.

13. Just Fontaine

Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals in a single WorldCup, scoring 13 in 6 appearances in 1958

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14. Carlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto – The captain of the legendary 1970 Brazil team, Carlos Alberto made 14 World Cup appearances, scoring 1 memorable goal in the final.

15. Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro is a defensive stalwart, Cannavaro led Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, making 18 appearances across four World Cups.

16. Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin – The ‘Black Spider’ is the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or and made 13 appearances in World Cups for the Soviet Union.

17. Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore – England’s 1966 WorldCup-winning captain, Moore made 14 appearances in the tournament, known for his impeccable defending.

18. Paolo Rossi

Paolo Rossi – Rossi’s 6 goals in 1982, including a hat-trick against Brazil, led Italy to victory. He made 14 appearances across three World Cups.

19. Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller – ‘Der Bomber‘ scored 14 goals in just 13 appearances across two WorldCups (1970, 1974), a key player in West Germany’s 1974 win.

20. Xavi

Xavi – Central to Spain’s 2010 victory, Xavi made 15 appearances in WorldCups, known for his midfield mastery and precise passing.

21. Rivaldo

Rivaldo was a crucial player in Brazil’s 2002 victory, Rivaldo made 14 appearances and scored 8 goals in WorldCups.

22. Michel Platini

Michel Platini, a French midfield genius, made 14 appearances and scored 5 goals in World Cup tournaments.

23. Cafu

Cafu – The only player to appear in three consecutive World Cup finals (1994, 1998, 2002), Cafu made 20 appearances, winning twice with Brazil.

24. Lothar Matthaus

Lothar Matthaus, a German legend, made a record 25 appearances in World Cups, playing in five tournaments from 1982 to 1998.

25. Ferenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskas – A Hungarian icon, Puskas scored 4 goals in 5 appearances in the 1954 World Cup, leading Hungary to the final.

Other Players of Our List

  • 26. Thomas Muller
  • 27. Jurgen Klinsmann
  • 28. Gary Lineker
  • 29. Dennis Bergkamp
  • 30. Oliver Kahn
  • 31. Geoff Hurst
  • 32. Roger Milla
  • 33. Teofilo Cubillas
  • 34. Giuseppe Meazza
  • 35. Roberto Baggio
  • 36. Paolo Maldini
  • 37. Zico
  • 38. Bobby Charlton
  • 39. Landon Donovan
  • 40. Davor Šuker
  • 41. Diego Forlán
  • 42. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
  • 43. Hristo Stoichkov
  • 44. David Villa
  • 45. Michael Laudrup
  • 46. Michael Ballack
  • 47. Gheorghe Hagi
  • 48. Gianluigi Buffon
  • 49. Nílton Santos
  • 50. Djalma Santos
  • 51. Didi
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FAQs

Who was the best player in this World Cup?

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Who won the Golden Boot in the World Cup 2023?

Japan’s Miyazawa Hinata won the Golden Boot thanks to her five goals in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

Has Cristiano Ronaldo won the WorldCup?

Cristiano Ronaldo has never won a FIFA World Cup.

How many FIFA best player has Messi won?

Seven. Also checkBest Argentina Players Right Now

Who is the god that holds the WorldCup?

The trophies have featured the Greek Goddess Nike and two human figures. The original trophy — named Victory — featured Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, balancing a gold cup on her head. The current trophy features two abstract humans lifting the globe.

Who is the leading scorer in WorldCup history?

As of December 2022, Germany’s Miroslav Klose was the all time top goal scorer, scoring a total of 16 goals across four tournaments.

Who has the most Man of the Match in FIFA history?

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Who sold Maradona ball?

Ali Bin Nasser, the Tunisian former match official who refereed the quarterfinal game between Argentina and England in Mexico, owned the 36-year-old Adidas ball that was sold at Graham Budd Auctions in London for £2m ($2.37m)

Conclusion

In the end, our journey through the World Cup’s hall of fame is more than a stroll down memory lane. It’s a homage to the maestros who turned football into art.

These Top 50+ players aren’t just athletes; they are the heartbeats of nations, architects of dreams, and the undying spirit of the game we live for.

Each one a story of glory written on the lush greens of the world’s arenas, forever etched in our sport’s vibrant saga.

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