Skip to main content

The Top 250 Players of All-Time: 100-91

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 is still there to answer the debate but we furthered our work to blogging about the beautiful game starting up

Missed the last installment? Here it is!


100. Claude MAKELELE

POSITION: Midfielder; 

NATION: France (71/0); 

CLUB(s): Stade Brestois (FRA), Nantes (FRA), Marseille (FRA), Celta Vigo (SPA), Real Madrid (SPA), Chelsea (ENG), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Ligue 1, 2x La Liga, 2x Supercopa de Espana, 1x UEFA Champions League, 1x UEFA Super Cup, 1x Intercontinental Cup, 2x Premier League, 1x FA Cup, 2x Football League Cup, 1x FA Community Shield, 1x Coupe de France

"Very rarely are football terms named after the footballers themselves, one example is of course the famous Cruyff turn, but the most famous of our generation is “The Makelele Role”.  The Cruyff turn epitomizes the skill and the footballing brain of its inventor, but total football’s most famous man has an unlikely successor. Claude Makelele’s role at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho when they won the Premier League title was named after its inventor."

99. Edwin VAN DER SAR

POSITION: Goalkeeper; 

NATION: Netherlands (130/0); 

CLUB(s): Ajax (NED), Juventus (ITA), Fulham (ENG), Manchester United (ENG)

CLUB HONOURS: 4x Eredivisie, 3x KVNB Cup, 3x Johan Cruijff Shield, 2x UEFA Champions League, 1x UEFA Cup, 1x UEFA Super Cup, 2x UEFA Intertoto Cup, 4x Premier League, 2x Football League Cup, 3x FA Community Shield, 2x FIFA Club World Cup

"Schmeichel was a warrior you know? He lambasted every defender in front of him, so aggressive. But Edwin was so calm, which was fantastic for our defenders, but he was very different in the dressing room... There was a magnificence and calmness about him and he was great for our players... I just wish I'd got him when Schmeichel decided to leave." Sir Alex Ferguson

98. Samuel ETO'O

POSITION: Forward; 

NATION: Cameroon (112/55) (As of March 2014)

CLUB(s): Real Madrid (SPA), Real Mallorca (SPA), Barcelona (SPA), Inter Milan (ITA), Anzhi Makhachkala (RUS), Chelsea (ENG)

 CLUB HONOURS: 3x La Liga, 2x Copa Del Ray, 2x Supercopa de Espana, 3x Champions League, 1x Serie A, 2x Coppa Italia, 1x Supercoppa Italia, 1x FIFA World Club Cup

 INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 2x Africa Cup of Nations, 1x Olympic Gold Medal

"Whatever you say about Samuel Eto'o, he knows where the goal is. Cameroon's record marksman, Eto'o was a serial scorer for Mallorca and Barcelona before joining Inter Milan in the summer of 2009. Work rate, aggression and an eye for goal are the key attributes of a player not afraid to voice his opinion and speak out against perceived injustices. Eto'o is the only African to have scored in two Champions League finals, having lifted the trophy with Barcelona in 2006 and 2009." Stewart Coggin,


POSITION: Goalkeeper; 

NATION: Northern Ireland (119/0)

CLUB(s): Watford, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal (All ENG)

 CLUB HONOURS: 2x FA Cup, 2x Football League Cup, 1x UEFA Cup

"Northern Ireland have always had a reputation of producing first class goalkeepers, but very few people would dispute that Pat Jennings is the probably the finest of them all. Jennings glittering career spanned an amazing 22 years during which time he built up a reputation of not only being the best goalkeeper in Britain but undoubtedly in the world." Northern Irish Football Association
96. Jimmy GREAVES

POSITION: Forward;  

NATION: England (57/44); 

CLUB(s): Chelsea (ENG), Milan (ITA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), West Ham United (ENG), Brentwood (ENG), Chelmsford City (ENG), Barnet (ENG), Woodford Town (ENG)

CLUB HONOURS: 2x FA CUP, 2x FA Charity Shield, 1x European Cup Winners Cup

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 1x FIFA World Cup, 2x British Home Championships

"When Greaves played for England, he usually scored, amassing a hugely impressive tally of 44 goals in 57 games, including six hat-tricks – a record that stands to this day. In one five-game streak in 1960/61, he scored eleven goals. He was famous for always scoring on his debut, and his first national team appearance was no exception; he notched England’s only goal during a 4-1 defeat by Peru in May 1959." The Football Association

95. Guiseppe MEAZZA

POSITION: Forward;

 NATION: Italy (53/33); 

CLUB(s): Internazionale, Milan, Juventus, Varese, Atalanta (All ITA)

CLUB HONOURS: 3x Serie A, 1x Coppa Italia 

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 2x FIFA World Cup, 2x Central European International Cup

"Regarded as the greatest Italian player of all time, Giuseppe Meazza was much more than a football genius. With his triumphs on the pitch and his excesses off it, he was long seen as a symbol of social success in Italy, rising from a modest background to become a two-time world champion and legend of the game before giving his name to Milan’s famous football stadium. "Having him in your team meant you started every game 1-0 up,” his Italy team coach Vittorio Pozzo once said. “He was a born striker. He could read the game, understand situations and make the whole attack work by applying a concept of the game that was based entirely on technique.”

94. Roberto RIVELINO

POSITION: Midfielder;

 NATION: Brazil (92/26); 

CLUB(s): Corinthians (BRA), Fluminense (BRA), Al-Hilal (SAU)

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Torneio Rio-São Paulo, 2x Campeonato Carioca, 1x Saudi Premier League, 1x Saudi King's Cup


"The legendary and iconic Roberto Rivelino, born 1946 in Sao Paolo, featured in three World Cups for Brazil, including their third and most celebrated success in Mexico in 1970. Lining up alongside the likes of Pele, Carlos Alberto, Gérson, Tostao and Jairzinho, he played a key role in what is widely acknowledged as being the greatest football squad of all time. Lauded for his grace and style, Rivelino's dazzling array of moves, thunderous shooting and free-kicks, effortless distribution, quick-thinking and distinct control, secured his status not only as one of the best midfielders of his generation, but in the history of Brazilian football. He is credited with the invention of the 'elastico' (‘flip-flap’)."


POSITION: Forward;

 NATION: Netherlands (70/35); 

CLUB(s): Den Bosch (NED),  Heerenveen (NED), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Manchester United (ENG), Real Madrid (SPA), Hamburger SV (GER), Málaga (SPA)

CLUB HONOURS: 2x Eredivisie, 2x Johan Cruijff Shield, 1x Premier League, 1x FA Cup, 1x Football league Cup, 1x FA Community Shield, 2x La Liga, 1x Supercopa de España 

"A prolific goal-getter, Ruud van Nistelrooy’s scoring exploits at Old Trafford have safeguarded his place in United folklore. The Dutchman struck 100 goals in his first three seasons in Manchester. He overtook United legend Denis Law’s title as the club's all-time top scorer in European competition in his fourth term, and by the end of his fifth year at Old Trafford he’d reached 150 goals in fewer than 200 starts." Manchester United "Legends"

92. Lilian THURAM

POSITION: Defender;

 NATION: France (142/2); 

CLUB(s): Monaco (FRA), Parma (ITA), Juventus (ITA), Barcelona (SPA)

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Coupe de France, 1x Coppa Italia, 3x Supercoppa Italiana, 1x UEFA Cup, 2x Serie A, 1x Supercopa de España

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: 1x FIFA World Cup, 1x UEFA European Championship, 1x FIFA Confederations Cup

"For all the years spent refining his defensive technique with Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona, and his part in France's European Championship win in 2000, Thuram is probably best known for the two goals he scored in the 2-1 win over Croatia in the 1998 World Cup semi-final. These are commonly described as the 'most famous goals in the history of French football'." The Guardian

91. Roy KEANE

POSITION: Midfielder; 

NATION: Republic of Ireland (67/9); 

CLUB(s): Cobh Ramblers (IRE), Nottingham Forest (ENG), Manchester United (ENG), Celtic (SCO) 

CLUB HONOURS: 1x Full Members Cup, 7x Premier League, 4x FA Cup, 4x FA Community Shield, 1x UEFA Champions League, 1x Intercontinental Cup, 1x Scottish Premier League, 1x Scottish League Cup

"Sir Alex Ferguson labelled him the best he's ever worked with, aspiring footballers and Reds everywhere worshipped the ground he walked on: Roy Keane epitomised the unwavering spirit and desire to succeed Manchester United stands for. Few sportsmen lead from the front in the way Keane did, on and off the pitch - and the fact that more than 70,000 United and Celtic fans paid their tributes to him at his testimonial before he retired in June 2006 says it all. Images of him rallying the troops, covering every blade of grass in the process define the 1990s for United. He was not afraid to speak his mind in front of the media, particularly if he felt his colleagues were not reaching the high standards he expected." Manchester United "Legends"

Voted for by the public between Aug-Dec 2013

The rest of the #TFHBTop250-

Popular posts from this blog

Ardiles and Villa: Footballing émigrés | @RichEvansWriter

Military events in the South Atlantic – even at a distance of 8000 miles – had a profound impact on a celebrated pair of international footballers in the 1980s.  @RichEvansWriter  takes up the story: Ossie Ardiles & Ricardo Villa at Tottenham Hotspur When one thinks of footballers and war, images of khaki-clad figures of yesteryear tend to spring to mind – the kind of ‘moustached archaic faces’ that Philip Larkin details in his poem MCMXIV. However, footballers do not have to be participants to be affected by conflict. Indeed, as with any civilians, they may well be unwitting victims with no stake in political events beyond their control.  In certain instances, football risks turning into an extension of the battleground – where players, subject to barbarous words and threats, become targets of abuse. Such was the case in 1982 with Ricardo Villa and Ossie Ardiles – then both of Tottenham Hotspur – whose fates (at least in the short term) were determined by events unfolding on the o

The Crest Dissected - AS Roma

It’s been a good while since I’ve done a Crest Dissected but after a bit of a summer break and time at the BBC ( Cardiff and Swansea pieces) it’s time to get back down to TFHB writing! So following FC Barcelona , PSG , AS Monaco  and US Women’s Soccer this week I’m going to take a look at AS Roma and their intriguing history.  In the summer of 1927 an Italian Fascist, Italo Foschi , was behind the merger of three older Italian Football Championships clubs all based in Rome, Alba-Audace , Roman and Fortitudo . The purpose of the move was to compete with the well established clubs, especially in the Northern cities but Lazio were not behind the move meaning the Derby della Capitale rivalry was there from the beginning and Associazone Sportiva Roma was born. AS Roma immediately endeared themselves to the masses by taking on the capital’s colours, red and yellow, something Lazio did not consider as they favoured the greek myth of Olimpia and the colour blue. Romulus an

The Forgotten Brilliance of the Doncaster Belles

Doncaster Rovers men’s team have spent the majority of their existence in the third and fourth tiers of English football and currently their women’s side Doncaster Rovers Belles play in the FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands. In the modern game, it can be argued that there is not enough recognition that Doncaster Belles were one of women’s football's most successful sides with 21 major honours between 1976 and 1994. During this successful run they also finished runners-up in the National Division seven times, in the FA Women’s Premier League and Charity Shield twice and the Premier League Cup on three occasions. This included winning the league and FA Cup double in 1991-92 without losing a match before claiming the double again in 1993-94. Their dominance was underlined by reaching eleven FA Cup finals in 12 years between 1983 and 1994, lifting the trophy on six occasions. Notable players for the Belles included Karen Walker and Gill Coultard who were inducted into th