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Ronaldo, the fourth man

Cristiano Ronaldo comes fourth in the list of greatest footballers around the world

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of 11 players.

The 59-year-old World Cup winner is frequently mentioned in the longstanding debate over ‘football’s GOAT’ alongside fellow legend Pele , Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo .

And on this occasion, Maradona walked away with the ultimate bragging rights after beating Messi to the top spot.

Fans over at Ranker had their say on the best of the best football has ever seen, with Barca captain Messi finishing second.

Legendary Brazilian Ronaldo, who Messi called the best striker of all time , took home the third spot in the rankings.

Juventus superstar Ronaldo fell short of making the top three and finished fourth, while Brazil icon Ronaldinho rounded off the top five.

Italian legend Andrea Pirlo shockingly finished in the top spot of Ranker’s previous rankings for the best footballer of all time .

But the former Juventus and AC Milan star has tumbled down to 10th in the latest update to the rankings.

Posted below are the top 50 footballers of all time, according to fans.

50. Rivaldo

Rivaldo Vítor Barbosa Ferreira, known as Rivaldo, is a Brazilian former professional footballer. He played mainly as an attacking midfielder but also as a second striker. Often considered one of the best players of his generation, Rivaldo is also regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

49. Peter Schmeichel

Peter Bolesław Schmeichel, MBE is a Danish former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and was voted the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper in 1992 and 1993.

48. Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a winger. He is known for his dribbling skills, speed, crossing ability and his accurate, long-range, left-footed shots from the right wing.

47. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer and captain for Championship club Derby County. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he has also been used in various midfield roles.

46. Eusebio

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira GCIH GCM was a Portuguese footballer who played as a striker. Eusébio is considered by many as one of the greatest footballers of all time. During his professional career, he scored 733 goals in 745 matches.

45. Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp is a Dutch former professional footballer, who until 21 December 2017 was the assistant manager at Ajax. Originally a wide midfielder, Bergkamp was moved to main striker and then to second striker, where he remained throughout his playing career.

44. Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé was an Argentine professional footballer and coach. He is regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, and is best known for his achievements with Real Madrid, where he was instrumental in the club’s domination of the European Cup and La Liga during the 1950s.

43. Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Poland national team. He is renowned for his positioning, technique and finishing, and is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation.

42. Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos is a German professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the German national team. Kroos plays mainly as a central midfielder, but is also used as a defensive midfielder or deep-lying playmaker.

41. Kaka

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. Owing to his performances as a playmaker at Milan, Kaká is widely considered one of the best players of his generation.

40. Philipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm is a German retired professional footballer who played as a right back or defensive midfielder and spent much of his early career playing left back. He was the captain of Bayern Munich, having led them to numerous honours including the 2013 UEFA Champions League as part of the Treble.

39. Luis Suarez

Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team.

38. Luis Figo

Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo OIH is a Portuguese retired professional footballer who played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before retiring on 31 May 2009. He won 127 caps for the Portugal national team, a record at the time but later broken by Cristiano Ronaldo.

37. Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Popularly dubbed “San Iker” for his ability to produce spectacular saves, Casillas is widely regarded by many to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and by some, as the greatest ever.

36. Gareth Bale

Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Wales national team.

35. Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto’o Fils (born 10 March 1981) is a Cameroonian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. In his prime, Eto’o was regarded by pundits as one of the best strikers in the world, and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the African Player of the Year a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010.

34. Ferenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskás was a Hungarian footballer and manager, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was the son of former footballer Ferenc Puskás Senior.

33. Romario

Romário de Souza Faria, known simply as Romário, is a Brazilian politician who previously achieved worldwide fame as a professional footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, he is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

32. Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio is an Italian former professional footballer who mainly played as a second striker, or as an attacking midfielder, although he was capable of playing in several offensive positions. He is the former president of the technical sector of the Italian Football Federation.

31. Manuel Neuer

Manuel Peter Neuer is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper and captain for both Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.

30. Cafu

Marcos Evangelista de Morais, known as Cafu, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a defender. With 142 appearances for the Brazil national team, he is the most internationally capped Brazilian player of all time.

29. Lev Yashin

Lev Ivanovich Yashin, nicknamed the “Black Spider” or the “Black Panther”, was a Soviet professional footballer, considered by many as the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the sport. He was known for his athleticism, positioning, stature, bravery, imposing presence in goal, and acrobatic reflex saves.

28. Gerd Muller

Gerhard “Gerd” Müller is a German retired footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box, he is regarded as one of the greatest players and goalscorers of all time.

27. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos García is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for and captains both Real Madrid and the Spanish national team as a centre back. He has also played as a right back.

26. Didier Drogba

Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team.

25. Francesco Totti

Francesco Totti Ufficiale OMRI is an Italian former professional footballer who played for Roma and the Italy national team primarily as an attacking midfielder or second striker, but could also play as a lone striker or winger.

24. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE is a Welsh football coach and former player. He is the manager of the Wales national team and a co-owner of Salford City. He played his entire professional career for Manchester United and briefly served as the club’s interim manager.

23. Steven Gerrard

Steven George Gerrard MBE is an English professional football manager and former player who manages Scottish Premiership club Rangers. He spent the majority of his playing career as a central midfielder for Liverpool, with most of that time spent as club captain, as well as captaining the England national team.

22. Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol Saforcada is a Spanish retired professional footballer. Mainly a central defender, he could also play on either flank, mostly as a right-back, and was regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation.

21. David Beckham

David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE is an English former professional footballer, the current president & co-owner of Inter Miami CF and co-owner of Salford City.

20. Neymar

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar Jr. or simply Neymar, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. He is widely considered as one of the best players in the world.

19. Raul

Raúl González Blanco, known as Raúl, is a Spanish football manager and former player who played as a striker. He is the current manager of Real Madrid Castilla. Raúl is considered one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid and regarded as one of the greatest Spanish players of all-time.

18. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Milan. Ibrahimović is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation. He is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world, having won 31 trophies in his career.

17. Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, more commonly known as Roberto Carlos, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who now works as a football ambassador.

16. Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German former professional footballer and manager. Early in his playing career he was nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, dominance and leadership on the field, and also as his first name “Franz” is reminiscent of the Austrian emperors.

15. Xavi

Xavier Hernández Creus, nicknamed Xavi, is a Spanish football manager and former player who is the manager of Qatar Stars League football club Al Sadd.

14. Thierry Henry

Thierry Daniel Henry is a French professional football coach and former player who is currently the manager of Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact.

13. George Best

George Best was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger, spending most of his club career at Manchester United. Named European Footballer of the Year in 1968, he is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

12. Luka Modric

Luka Modrić is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Croatia national team. He plays mainly as a central midfielder, but can also play as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder, usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker.

11. Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, Ufficiale OMRI is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Juventus. He is widely regarded by players, pundits and managers as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and, by many, as the greatest ever.

10. Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo Ufficiale OMRI (born 19 May 1979) is an Italian former professional footballer. Pirlo was usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield for both his club and national teams and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever exponents of this position due to his vision, ball control, technique, creativity and passing ability, as well as for being a free-kick specialist.

9. Andres Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Japanese club Vissel Kobe. He spent most of his career at Barcelona, where he served as the captain for three seasons.

8. Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was among the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century.

7. Johan Cruyff

Hendrik Johannes Cruijff OON was a Dutch professional football player and coach. As a player, he won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974.

6. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Yazid Zidane, popularly known in French as Zizou, is a French former professional football player who played as an attacking midfielder. He is the current manager of La Liga club Real Madrid.

5. Ronaldinho

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho or simply Ronaldinho, is a Brazilian former professional footballer and ambassador for Barcelona. He played mostly as an attacking midfielder, but was also deployed as a forward or a winger.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

3. Ronaldo

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian owner and president of La Liga club Real Valladolid and a retired professional footballer who played as a striker. Popularly dubbed “O Fenômeno”, in Portuguese, he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.

2. Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

1. Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona is an Argentine football manager and retired professional footballer. He is currently the coach of Argentine Primera División club Gimnasia de La Plata. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time.

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