The top 100 greatest footballers have been unveiled, with Cristiano Ronaldo third, Pele fourth and Neymar not on the list at all

THE debate surrounding the greatest footballer of all time is dividing fans around the world.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele and Diego Maradona are often the names touted as the best to ever lace a pair of shoes.

Ronaldo and Messi have been fighting as two of the greats for more than a decade

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Ronaldo and Messi have been fighting as two of the greats for more than a decadePhoto credit: Getty

But there are plenty of other names in the conversation too, including Zinedine Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo, Gerd Muller, Johan Cruyff and George Best.

And what about other current players who are still active?

Will Neymar make the top 100? What about Real Madrid legend Luka Modric?

Here SunSport goes into detail, reflecting on FourFourTwo’s top 10 – with the larger 100 names listed below.

10) Ronaldo

That "original" Ronaldo is considered one of the best strikers of all time

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The “Original” Ronaldo is considered one of the best strikers to have ever played this gamePhoto credit: Action Images – Reuters

Brazilian Ronaldo is one of the deadliest and most devastating forwards to ever play this game.

He scored 352 goals in 518 club appearances for clubs such as Barcelona, ​​Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

But he also scored a staggering 62 goals in 98 games for his country, 15 of them at the World Cup.

9) Ferenc Puskas

Puskas was the best player in a wonderful Hungarian team in the 1950s and 60s

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Puskas was the best player in a wonderful Hungarian team in the 1950s and 60sPhoto credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Hungary’s best player of all time – Ferenc Puskas was so good that he was subsequently named Fifa’s ‘best goal of the year’.

The legendary attacking midfielder has scored 242 goals in 262 games for Real Madrid.

And he also scored a rather paltry 84 goals in 85 games for the Hungarian national team – including twice in the famous 6-3 win over England in 1953.

8) Franz Beckenbauer

Beckenbauer was instrumental in Germany winning the 1974 World Cup

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Beckenbauer was instrumental in Germany winning the 1974 World CupPhoto credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

German icon Franz Beckenbauer revolutionized the role of a defender in the 1970s when his ability to carry the ball from behind changed the way people viewed the game.

In 1972 he won the European Championship with the Federal Republic of Germany, followed in 1974 by the World Cup.

And with FC Bayern Munich he won four Bundesliga titles in five years.

7) George Best

Best's incredible natural talent made him a generational superstar

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Best’s incredible natural talent made him a generational superstarCredit: PA:Empics Sport

Admired by many as the most talented player ever produced in Britain.

George Best scored 179 goals in 470 games for Manchester United, winning the league twice and the 1968 European Cup.

His skill and ability with the ball was something football fans had very rarely seen – and we haven’t seen it much since.

6) Johan Cruyff

Cruyff was revolutionary in the way he played the game

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Cruyff was revolutionary in the way he played the gameCredit: Corbis

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff was a visionary in his style of play and then rose to fame.

But the forward was focused on him as a player, winning eight league titles with Ajax and helping them win three consecutive European Cups between 1971 and 1973.

He also won a league title with Barcelona but narrowly missed winning the Netherlands’ first World Cup in 1974 when West Germany beat them in the final.

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5) Zinedine Zidane

Zidane is widely regarded as France's greatest player of all time

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Zidane is widely regarded as France’s greatest player of all timePhoto credit: Getty

Zinedine Zidane has left his legacy as a Juventus, Real Madrid and France player.

Many will remember the genius for his volley in the 2001 Champions League final.

But for French fans, he will go down in history as the man who propelled them to glory at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

4) Pele

Pelé is the only player to have won the world championship three times

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Pelé is the only player to have won the world championship three timesPhoto credit: Getty

To date, Pele is the only player to have won the World Cup three times – in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

He spent most of his 18-year club career at Brazilian club Santos, where he scored an impressive 643 goals in 659 games.

But his 77 goals in 92 games for Brazil is perhaps his most impressive statistic – given his unparalleled international career.

3) Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has to settle for third place in this list

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Ronaldo has to settle for third place in this listPhoto credit: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 700th club goal of his career on Sunday night and continues to claim he is the best player of all time.

The Portuguese superstar has won five Champions Leagues, seven national league titles and five Ballon d’Ors.

He also triumphed with his country at Euro 2016 and holds the record for most international goals with 117 in 191 appearances.

2) Diego Maradona

Argentinian legend Maradona just missed out on the top spot

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Argentinian legend Maradona just missed out on the top spotPhoto credit: Getty

Diego Maradona is second in this list, and yet he’s not even considered the greatest Argentine player of all time – amazing, really.

The South American magician almost single-handedly won the 1986 World Cup with some of the most remarkable performances you will ever see.

He also won two Serie A titles with Napoli in 1987 and 1990 – scoring 115 goals in 259 games for the Italian club – and is considered their all-time greatest player.

1) Lionel Messi

Messi tops the list as the best player of all time

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Messi tops the list as the best player of all timePhoto credit: AFP

It’s no surprise that Barcelona and Argentina legend Lionel Messi tops the list.

He has scored a paltry 691 club goals in 834 games, won 10 LaLiga titles, Ligue 1 and four Champions League titles – as well as a host of other accolades.

Messi also has a record-breaking seven Ballon d’Ors and won the Copa del Rey with Argentina last year.

Here is FourFourTwo's list of the 10 greatest players of all time

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Here is FourFourTwo’s list of the 10 greatest players of all time

The 100 greatest footballers of all time

FourFourTwo’s top 100 players of all time:

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Diego Maradona
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo
  4. pele
  5. Zinedine Zidane
  6. John Cruyff
  7. George Best
  8. Franz Beckenbauer
  9. Ferenc Puskas
  10. ronaldo
  11. Gerd Müller
  12. Alfredo di Stefano
  13. Michel Platini
  14. Zico
  15. Garrincha
  16. Bobby Charlton
  17. Paul Maldini
  18. Romario
  19. Giuseppe Meazza
  20. Andres iniesta
  21. Franco Baresi
  22. Marco van Basten
  23. Eusebio
  24. Xavi
  25. Carlo Alberto
  26. Ronaldinho
  27. Ruud Gullit
  28. Manuel Neuer
  29. Socrates
  30. Raymond Kopa
  31. Lev Yashin
  32. Lothar Matthäus
  33. Stanley Matthews
  34. Valentino Mazzola
  35. Matthew Sindel
  36. Luis Suarez (born 1935)
  37. Francisco Gento
  38. Bobby Moore
  39. Michael Laudup
  40. Roberto Baggio
  41. Kenny Dalglish
  42. Paolo Rossi
  43. Nandor Hidegkuti
  44. Gunter Netzer
  45. Gianluigi Buffon
  46. I have
  47. Rivellino
  48. Kevin Keegan
  49. Thierry Henry
  50. Nilton Santos
  51. Jose Manuel Moreno
  52. Oleg Blokhin
  53. Jairzinho
  54. Gaetano Scirea
  55. Dino Zoff
  56. Juan Alberto Schiaffino
  57. FritzWalter
  58. Daniel Passarella
  59. Gordon Banks
  60. Gianni Rivera
  61. Karl Heinz Rummenigge
  62. John Karl
  63. Dixie Dean
  64. Gunnar Nordahl
  65. Johann Neeskens
  66. Denis law
  67. Sandro Mazzola
  68. Dennis Bergkamp
  69. Jimmy Johnstone
  70. Ronald Koeman
  71. Omar Sivori
  72. Teofilo Cubillas
  73. Daniel Alves
  74. Eric Canton
  75. Jose Andrade
  76. cafu
  77. Frank Rijkaard
  78. Florian Albert
  79. Luke Modric
  80. Fontaine only
  81. Joseph Masopust
  82. Jimmy Greaves
  83. Hugo Sanchez
  84. Wayne Rooney
  85. Philipp Lahm
  86. Alan Scherer
  87. Alan Simonsen
  88. Sergio Busquets
  89. Christo Stoichkov
  90. Robert Carlos
  91. Giacinto Facchetti
  92. Peter Schmeichel
  93. Sandor Kocsis
  94. Luis Figo
  95. Djalma Santos
  96. Javier Zanetti
  97. George Weah
  98. cocoa
  99. Mario Kempes
  100. George Hagi

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6419551/top-100-greatest-footballers-cristiano-ronaldo-pele-maradona-messi/ The top 100 greatest footballers have been unveiled, with Cristiano Ronaldo third, Pele fourth and Neymar not on the list at all

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