Five of the Most Skillful Soccer Players of All Time
The best soccer teams these days have the benefit of tactical genius from head coaches such as Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti. But it is the incredibly skillful soccer players that attract the fans – and remind us of why we fell in love with the game in the first place. Let’s look at the five most skillful soccer players to ever play the game.
People read sportsbook reviews to find out where to bet on the top players and marvel at the talents at their disposal. We tend to concentrate on the technical and tactical side of the game, but there is always room for a little bit of individual skill – and these five were some of the best ever.
A lot of soccer fans like to argue about who the greatest soccer player is – and currently, they come down on one of two sides. The Messi vs. Ronaldo debate will continue but we like to appreciate both for how they play the game. But for sheer skill, Lionel Messi has to be on our shortlist.
Arriving in Barcelona as a boy, Messi soon became the most important part of an incredibly talented team. He led Barca to countless trophies and only left for PSG due to financial reasons. From mazy dribbling to pinpoint free kicks, Messi has it all.
The second name on our list is another Argentinian legend, Diego Maradona. As controversial as he was skillful, Maradona played for Barcelona and Boca Juniors in his time. But it is his performances for Serie A side Napoli and the Argentina national team that he is best remembered.
Maradona’s close control had to be seen to be believed – and he was regularly described as a magician with the ball. His goal against England at the 1986 World Cup will go down as one of the best ever. Napoli recognized his importance, renaming its stadium the Diego Armando Maradona after his untimely death.
Bringing the tricks from the street game to the top soccer leagues around the world does not always come off. But Ronaldinho is probably in a league of his own for his talents, being arguably the most skillful soccer player of all time. Playing with a smile on his face, Ronaldinho epitomized Brazilian soccer.
But Ronaldinho also won trophies. His personal honor list includes a World Cup, a Champions League triumph, as well as FIFA Player of the Year awards and a Ballon D’Or. Also not one to escape controversy, Ronaldinho nevertheless will be remembered as a God with the soccer ball at his feet.
We mentioned the seemingly eternal debate surrounding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But there is one player that was universally regarded as the greatest of all time until fairly recently. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, universally known as Pelé, burst onto the scene as a teenager and remained successful until the day he retired.
His skills bamboozled defenses in the 1950s and he carried on being the center of attention for decades. He was virtually the face of US soccer when he joined the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, but had only played for Santos up until that point. He will forever be remembered for his performances in the canary yellow of Brazil.
Our final name on the list is one that sometimes gets overlooked when these types of debates come around. Maybe it is because he never came anywhere close to winning anything on the international stage – or that he virtually retired from the game at a relatively young age. Whatever the reason, George Best does not always get the respect he deserves.
Best is another player that was known for his off-field antics almost as much as the way he could play soccer. Nicknamed the fifth Beatle for his style and lifestyle, it should also be remembered that his two-footed ability with the ball for Manchester United made him one of the very best.