The debate over who is the greatest soccer player of all time is seldom a cordial one. This opinion is baked into the minds of soccer fans over their ‘G.O.A.T.’ is.
Of course, there are plenty of factors that come into play over who someone considers truly great. Home country is a major factor. Brazilians lay claim that Pele is the greatest ever because he is the best player to don the famous yellow kit.
Then there are trophies. One of Pele’s biggest claims to greatness is the fact that he is the only player to win three World Cups in his career. It speaks to the longevity of his career, and his impact to produce on the biggest stage. In Argentina, many fans consider Diego Maradona the greatest player ever because he seemingly single-handedly brought Argentina the 1986 World Cup.
However, recency certainly plays a role. Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo light up the ‘GOAT’ debate in the modern era. Their dueling careers atop the world game make fans born in the 1990s and 2000s believe that these two are, by far, the greatest soccer players of all time.
Finally, people’s personal preference as to what makes a player great comes into question. Is it all about goals? Perhaps playmaking and assists take the cake? Or, some people are not all about the statistics. How impactful was a midfielder in each game they played? Did this club or country have so much success because of a rock at the back?
Who is the greatest soccer player of all time?
We want to know who you believe is the greatest player to grace the game.
Personally, as a 23-year-old that started truly watching soccer around Euro 2008 or the 2010 World Cup, Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time. Of course, my bias lies with my Barcelona fandom. Plus, I never watched players like Pelé, Maradona, Cruyff, Maldini or Zidane. Therefore, my ‘GOAT’ debate was always between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Undoubtedly, some of you will say Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest of all time. That, like any of the other aforementioned players, is a fair argument to make.
Be sure to mention what moment or game this player put together that really made him or her stand out for you when you think about the greatest soccer player of all time.
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