The Top 250 Players of All-Time: 230-221

In February 2013 up in the attic bedroom of our student house, Gareth ThomasBen Jones and Ollie Jackson after another prolonged football debate decided it was time we did something about the question, 'Who is the best player in the World?'. Housemate Liam suggested setting out to find the greatest 50 players of all time, this swiftly grew to 100, 150 and 200 before we settled on 250. Our original website www.top250.webs.com is still there to answer the debate but we furthered our work to blogging about the beautiful game starting up www.thefootballhistoryboys.blogspot.com.

If you missed 240-231 - Click here!



230. Landon DONOVAN



POSITION: Midfielder; 

NATION: USA - 154 (57); 

CLUB(s): Bayer 04 Leverkusen II (GER), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER), San Jose Earthquakes (USA), Los Angeles Galaxy (USA), Bayern Munich (GER), Everton (ENG); 

CLUB HONOURS: 5x MLS Cup, 1x Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, 2x MLS Supporters' Shield; 

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 4x CONCACAF Gold Cup

“He takes command of things, and he knows how to motivate players who aren’t in his caliber. He demands perfection, but he does it in a way that’s not negative. He’s always upbeat, and he’s always encouraging.”
Dennis O'Neill - Donovan's High School teacher



229. Emlyn HUGHES

POSITION: Defender / Midfielder;

NATION: England (62/1);

CLUB(s): Blackpool, Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rotherham United, Hull City, Mansfield Town (All ENG), Swansea City (WAL); 

CLUB HONOURS: 4x Football League First Division, 1x FA Cup, 1x League Cup, 3x FA Community Shield, 2x UEFA European Cup, 2x UEFA Cup, 1x UEFA Super Cup

"We had a partnership going while he was learning the game and he got the Crazy Horse tag from the crowd because he ran everywhere, which at times wasn't good for an older player like me!...He had great leadership qualities and to win the European Cup in successive years was an amazing achievement."
Former Liverpool Striker Ian St. John


For more on Liverpool from the 1970s read our blog - "The Greatest Team Ever? Bob Paisley's Liverpool"



228. Paulino ALCANTARA

POSITION: Forward;

NATION: Spain (5/6); 

CLUB(s): Barcelona (SPA), Bohemian Sporting Club (PHL); 

CLUB HONOURS: 2x Pyrenees Cup, 5x Copa del Rey, 10x Campionat de Catalunya, 2x Philippines Championship

"This supreme striker was also one of the first players to write memoirs about his football career, and a statue of him stands to this day outside the headquarters of the Philippine Football Federation. A century may have passed since his glorious debut, but Alcantara - one of the beautiful game’s early greats – remains well worth remembering."
FIFA.com

For more on Paulino and his Barcelona side - Read our blog The Crest Dissected: FC Barcelona



227. Stan MORTENSEN

POSITION: Forward;

NATION: England (25/23); 

CLUB(s): Blackpool, Bath City, Arsenal, Hull City, Southport, Lancaster City (All ENG); 

CLUB HONOURS: 1x FA Cup 

"Perhaps England's most unsung legend in the modern day, Mortensen is arguably one of the nation's greatest players scoring 23 goals in 25 international matches. His hat-trick at Wembley in 1953 is to this day the only 3 goal tally in an FA Cup final. The Mortensen story is incredible as just 10 years previous he had been a wireless operator in the RAF!"
Ben Jones - The Football History Boys




226. Carlos VALDERRAMA

POSITION: Midfielder

NATION: Colombia (111/11)

CLUB(s): Union Magdelena, Millonarios, Deportivo Cali (All COL), Montpellier (FRA), Real Valladolid (SPA), Independiente Medellin, Atletico Junior (Both COL, Tampa Bay Mutiny, Miami Fusion, Colorado Rapids (ALL USA);

CLUB HONOURS: 1x French Cup, 2x Colombian League, 1x MLS Supporters' Shield 

"I remember Valderrama playing against [Paraguayan goalkeeper Jose Luis Felix] Chilavert and [Argentine defender Diego] Simeone, as if he was a lion about to devour them. He was defending the Colombian colours. That is why he achieved what he achieved, and that is why he is the undisputed captain, the leader" 
Edgar Vittorino 






225. DIDI

POSITION: Midfielder;

NATION: Brazil (68/20); 

CLUB(s): Americano (BRA), Lençoense (BRA), Madureira (BRA), Fluminense (BRA), Botafogo (BRA), Real Madrid (SPA), Club Sporting Cristal (PER), São Paulo (BRA), CD Veracruz (MEX); 

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Brazilian Champion, 4x State Championship, 3x Tournament Home, 1x Colombia International Tournament, 1x Pentagonal Club of Mexico, 1x Copa Rio, 2x UEFA European Cup, 1x Ramon de Carranza Trophy; 

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 4x Copa Oswaldo Cruz, 2x O'Higgins Cup, 1x Pan American Games, 1x Atlantic Cup, 2x FIFA World Cup

“I was already in position out on the left wing, ready for kick-off, and I saw Didi walking slowly with the ball in his arms. I ran over to him, shouting in desperation, 'Come on Didi, we're losing!' He just said 'Calm down lad. We're still a better team than they are. Don't worry, we´ll turn this game around soon enough...And once we heard that, everybody suddenly calmed down. We equalised five minutes later and the rest is history. That's what Didi was like: he made everything seem easy."
Mario Zagallo


224. Gaetano SCIREA

POSITION: Defender

NATION: Italy (78/2)

CLUB(s): Atalanta, Juventus (Both ITA)

CLUB HONOURS: 7x Serie A, 2x Coppa Italia, 1x European Cup, 1x UEFA Cup, 1x UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, 1x UEFA Super Cup, 1x Intercontinental Cup;

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 1x FIFA World Cup 

"A quiet individual whose unique sportsmanship set him apart from his rivals for this spot in the line-up, his red-cardless career emphasises Scirea’s placidity and sportsmanship in an footballing era that was often famous for little of either."
Forza Italian Football's Sam Lewis - As part of his Serie A: All-Time XI blog!



223. Sylvain WILTORD

POSITION: Forward

NATION: France (92/26)

CLUB(s): Rennes (FRA), Deportivo (SPA), Bordeaux (FRA), Arsenal (ENG), Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Nantes (All FRA)

CLUB HONOURS: 4x Ligue 1, 2x Premier League, 1x FA Cup, 1x Community Shield;

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 1x European Championship, 2x FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA World Cup - Runner Up

How do you win over Arsenal's fans? Simple - score the goal which beats Manchester United and clinches the Double at Old Trafford. That's exactly what Sylvain Wiltord did in May 2002 as Arsène Wenger's side swept all before them on the domestic stage for the second time in four years. Wiltord never achieved 'legendary' status at Highbury but he will always have a place in the Arsenal supporters' hearts after converting the rebound when Freddie Ljungberg's shot was parried by Fabien Barthez on that glorious night."
Arsenal.com (Voted #33 in their countdown of the 50 greatest Arsenal players)



222. David GINOLA

POSITION: Forward;

NATION: France (17/3); 

CLUB(s): Toulon (FRA), Racing Club de Paris (FRA), Brest (FRA), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Newcastle United (ENG), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Aston Villa (ENG), Everton (ENG); 

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Ligue 1, 2x Coupe de France, 1x Coupe de la Ligue, 1x Football League Cup 

"It was one of the hardest games I ever played. I think it's the only time I've been happy to see my number come up to be substituted. He was running inside and outside me, and he was too strong. My body couldn't cope with the demands of that game."
Steven Gerrard




221. Jay-Jay OKOCHA

POSITION: Midfielder; 

NATION: Nigeria (75/14); 

CLUB(s): Borussia Neunkirchen (GER), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Fenerbahce (TUR), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Bolton Wanderers (ENG), Qatar SC (QAT), Hull City (ENG); 

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Oberliga Südwest, 2x Saarland Cup, 1x Fuji-Cup, 1x Chancellor Cup, 1x Ataturk Cup, 1x Trophee des Champions, 1x UEFA Intertoto Cup; 

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 1x African Cup of Nations, 1x Afro-Asian Cup of Nations, 1x Olympic Gold Medal

"As far as I can remember, we used to play with anything, with any round thing we could find, and whenever we managed to get hold of a ball, that was a bonus! I mean it was amazing!"
Okocha on growing up in poverty-stricken Nigeria

Want more on Nigeria's Old-Age Problem - read our piece here...

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