#TFHB100 Players of All-Time: 10-6

To mark our 4th birthday, we have decided once more develop a list of the greatest players of all-time. In our infancy, we attempted to countdown the top 250 players through a public vote. However, over the past year a new poll was created gaining a far greater number of votes from almost 50 countries around the world! Alongside the public vote is a judging panel made up of:
Football has been pivotal to the last 100 years of history and players from all areas of the globe have become heroes, villains and even symbols of national identity in the process. Without further ado - here is The Football History Boys - Top 100.


D.O.B: 21.03.80
Image result for ronaldinho barcelona
Place in #TFHB250: 18

Nation: Brazil

Club(s): Gremio; PSG; Barcelona; Milan; Flamengo; Atletico Mineiro; Queretaro; Fluminense

League Apps (Goals): 440 (167)

International: 97 (33)

Campeonato Gaucho; Campeonato Carioca; Campeonato Mineiro; Copa Libertadores; Recopa Sudamericana; UEFA Intertoto Cup; La Liga x2; Supercopa de Espana x2; UEFA Champions League; Serie A; Copa America; FIFA World Cup; FIFA Confederations Cup; Olympic Bronze Medal

Individual: FIFA 100; FIFA World Cup All-Star; FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball/Boot; FIFA World Player of the Year 2004 2005; Ballon d'Or 2005; Onze d'Or 2005; UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 2006; FIFA World XI x3; UEFA XI x3; Golden Foot; South American Footballer of the Year; Brazilian Football Hall of Fame

Image result for ronaldinho brazilThe Football History Boys:
An interesting one. For Gareth and I, our school lives were dominated by this magical Brazilian forward. For about three years there was no one better, no one even came close to Ronaldinho. Sitting in a boring science lesson, I can remember creating our 'Dream XIs' with the Selecao man always the first name on any teamsheet. Perhaps the greatest example of his talent was shown at the Bernabeu in front of a capacity crowd of Madridistas, when Dinho took apart a defence featuring some of the world's greatest defenders for 90 minutes. Two goals and a standing ovation later - his legacy was secured for decades to come. Surely nothing could stop him. Then came the World Cup in 2006. It was inevitable that Brazil would walk the title - with Kaka, Ronaldo and Adriano alongside him, there would be no competition. However, no one could predict the lackluster attitude of the Brazilians as they whimpered out in the quarter-finals to Zidane's France. Ronaldinho's form dropped as a new star, Lionel Messi, took his place as the king of the Blaugrana. Nevertheless, perhaps testament to the Brazilian's ability - in 2013 - a Copa Liberdatores success and a South American Player of the Year proved that timeless line - Form is temporary; Class is permanent'.

Lionel Messi:

“Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barça. It was a bad time and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing. In the first year, he didn’t win anything but people fell in love with him. Then the trophies started coming and he made all those people happy. Barça should always be grateful for everything he did.”

Laurent Blanc:
“I played against him when he first came to Europe to play for Paris Saint Germain in 2001 and even then you could tell he would one day become the best player in the world. He has unbelievable skill and so many tricks in his repertoire.”

David Beckham:
“There was a period in Ronaldinho’s time at Barcelona where he was almost unplayable. Effortless, relaxed, always with a smile on his face, he’s a genius with the ball. I love Brazilian football and he is one of the best ever players from that country.”

9. George BEST

D.O.B: 28.10.33
Image result for george best

Place in #TFHB250:

Nation: Northern Ireland

Club(s): Manchester United, Jewish Guild, Stockport County, Cork Celtic, Los Angeles Aztecs, Fulham, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Hibernian, San Jose Earthquakes, Sea Bee, Hong Kong Rangers, Bournemouth, Brisbane Lions, Osborne Park Galeb

League Apps (Goals): 604 (239)

 37 (9)

Honours: Football League First Division x2; FA Charity Shield x2; European Cup

Individual: FWA Footballer of the Year; Ballon d'Or 1968; English Football Hall of Fame; BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award; FIFA 100; PFA Team of the Century; Golden Foot

The Football History Boys:

case of what could have been. Arriving at number 9 in the #TFHB100, no one can question that the man from Belfast could have finished even higher. If the Beatles epitomised the swinging 60s in terms of music, then Best was football's answer. Often dubbed the 'Fifth Beatle', he simply took the game by storm as Manchester United became Europe's premier club at the end of the decade. Alongside other greats like #79 Denis Law and #37 Bobby Charlton, success was a given to this immensely talented side. Just 5 years later however, all of this was slowly falling apart. The departure of Sir Matt Busby and the lure of alochol was too much for Northern Ireland's favourite son to balance alongside his declining footballing career. The question in years to come will be, 'What will he be remembered for?' The English game's greatest player or playboy? For us, nothing should completely tarnish such a mesmerising career of over 600 league games. Quite simply he was incredible." 

Image result for george best black and whiteDenis Law:
"You think of Maradona, and you think of di Stefano and Puskas in my day. There have been many great players but Bestie was definitely up there. He will be remembered for all the magnificent ability that he had and he was definitely one on his own.

Sir Alex Ferguson:
"George was unique, the greatest talent our football has ever produced, easily. Look at his scoring record – 137 in 361 league games, and a total of 179 in 466 United matches. That’s phenomenal for a man who didn’t get his share of gift goals that fall to specialist strikers. George nearly always had to beat men to score."

Diego Maradona:
"George inspired me when I was young. He was flamboyant and exciting. I think we were very similar players, dribblers who create moments of magic."


D.O.B: 18.09.76
Image result for ronaldo brazil inter
Place in #TFHB250: 10

Nation: Brazil

Cruzeiro; PSV; Barcelona; Inter; Real Madrid; Milan; Corinthians

League Apps (Goals): 343 (247)

 98 (62)

Campeonato Mineiro; Copa do Brasil x2; Campeonato Paulista; KNVB Cup; Johan Cruijff-Schaal; Copa del Rey; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; Supercopa de Espana x2; La Liga x2; Intercontinental Cup; UEFA Cup; FIFA World Cup x2; FIFA Confederations Cup; Copa America x2; Olympic Bronze Medal

Individual: FIFA World Player of the Year x3; FIFA 100; Ballon d'Or x2; Onze d'Or x2; European Golden Boot; Pichichi x2; Don Balon Award; Copa America Most Valuable Player; Copa America All-Star x2; FIFA World Cup Golden Ball; FIFA World Cup Silver Ball; FIFA World Cup Golden Boot; FIFA World Cup All-Star x2; UEFA Team of the Year; UEFA Team of the Year; FIFA World XI x2; BBC Overseas Personality of the Year; Golden Foot; Brazilian Football Hall of Fame; Serie A Player of the Decade; Real Madrid Team of the Century; Italian Football Hall of Fame

The Football History Boys:
"It is becoming a running theme with the top 10 - players which achieved greatness, but could have achieved even more. For Ronaldo, it was injuries - his career was plagued by them. Nevertheless, there was no one who could compete with the Brazilian at the turn of the millennium. Aside from Liverpool's team c.1998, he was the first player I can remember - he was literally phenomenal - a true superstar. The 1998 World Cup was his tournament, scoring 4 goals as he fired the Selecao to the final. Tragically for the team, he suffered a convulsive fit the night before the final versus hosts France - resulting in a subdued performance and a 3-0 defeat. A lot of players may have falling into the shadows - not Ronaldo. Il Fenomeno would go on to greater things - leading to a Golden Ball performance in Korea and Japan and securing his second World Cup trophy and a move to the Galacticos - Real Madrid. Just look at his individual honours - incredible. A true 'big-game player', he was the Man of the Match in the Copa America; World Cup; UEFA Cup; Confedrations Cup; Intercontinental Cup and Cup Winners' Cup finals - WOW."
Related imageThe Guardian:
"Nothing in sport excites like the emergence of a brilliant young player, such is the seductive infinity of potential. Ronaldo is easily the best of the past 30 years, possibly ever. The other Ronaldo and Messi were brilliant teenagers but had nothing like the same impact at that age. Only Pelé, Diego Maradona and George Best can really compare. In 1997, aged 21, Ronaldo became the youngest winner of the Ballon d’Or, a record he still holds. He received 38 votes for first place that year; nobody else got more than two. He also broke the world transfer record twice before his 21st birthday; Maradona is the only other player to break it twice at any age. “If it wasn’t for injury I think he would be talked about on the same level as Pelé and Maradona,” said the Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. “He had all the skills needed to be the best ever. He was like an alien because of what he could do on the pitch.” That is not an isolated view. Robson said: “Had he managed to stay free of injury, he had every chance of becoming the best footballer ever...There are players who have achieved more but nobody has yet replicated Ronaldo’s blend of skill, strength and astonishing speed. He brought the visceral thrill of the 100 metres to the football field. Every time he was involved in an attack it was like a starter pistol went off: on your marks, get set, goal."
Lionel Messi:
“Ronaldo was my hero. He was the best striker I’ve ever seen. He was so fast he could score from nothing, and could shoot the ball better than anyone”

"The first time I saw him play was at Cruzeiro. He was still a kid. It was in a game where he ended up scoring five goals. From that point on he showed he was truly a phenomenon."


D.O.B: 11.09.45

Image result for franz beckenbauer bayernPlace in #TFHB250: 5


 Bayern; New York Cosmos; Hamburg

League Apps (Goals): 572 (83)

103 (14)

Honours: Bundesliga x5; DFB-Pokal x4; European Cup x3; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; Intercontinental Cup; NASL x3; FIFA World Cup; UEFA European Championship

Individual: Ballon d'Or x2; German Footballer of the Year x4; FIFA World Cup Best Young Player; FIFA World Cup All-Star x3; FIFA XI; FIFA World Cup Silver Ball; FIFA World Cup All-Time Team; UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament x2; World Team of the Century; FIFA 100; Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award; Golden Foot; UEFA Euro All-Time XI

The Football History Boys:
Born just a week after the Second World War amongst the ruins of Munich, football was Franz Beckenbauer first real escape from the grim reality of post-war reconstruction in West Germany. Just 21 years later, Der Kaiser would reach his first World Cup Final, losing to England 4-2 but cementing his status as Europe's best defender. Captaining both club (FC Bayern) and country he would eventually compile one of football's most impressive trophy cabinets. Alongside Muller, Maier, Netzer and co. A World Cup and Euros marked unrivaled achievement at the start of the 1970s. What is most majestic about his career was his form for club as well, winning three successive European Cups, replicating the feat of the great Madrid and Ajax sides before them. He made the 'sweeper role' his own and is often the first name in any 'Greatest XI' defence. A great footballing mind - he achieved success at managerial level to rival his playing career. Is he the game's greatest ever defender? Definitely.

Image result for franz beckenbauer germanyESPN:
"In the Munich final, Beckenbauer starred as "the rook in the battle," as the German TV commentator would have it. Playing as a sweeper, in a role that he had helped to revolutionise over the course of a few years -- he was a deep-lying playmaker rather than the last line of defence -- Beckenbauer even headed the ball out of his box a few times, despite a famous reluctance to do so that some (jokingly) ascribed to his being worried about his hair. But there was plenty of his customary skill on the ball, too, of course. "Beckenbauer showed his genius," wrote Italian newspaper Il Giorno after the final."

Eric Cantona:
He was a leader of men, a dominant presence who could bring the ball out with grace and skill. But I tell you this: he broke my heart. As an eight-year-old, I watched the 1974 World Cup Final between West Germany and Holland and I was supporting the Dutch. I cried my eyes out when they lost. I was very sad, but now I understand all about the brilliance of the Kaiser."

Brian Clough:
“I once saw Franz Beckenbauer enter a restaurant and he did it the same way he played football: with class and authority.”

“Beckenbauer was one of the best I ever saw play.”

6. Cristiano RONALDO

D.O.B: 05.02.85
Image result for cristiano ronaldo real madrid zimbio
Place in #TFHB250: 11


Club: Sporting Lisbon; Manchester United; Real Madrid

League Apps (Goals): 477 (362)

136 (68)

Honours: Premier League x3; FA Cup; League Cup x2; FA Community Shield; UEFA Champions League x3; FIFA Club World Cup x3; La Liga; Copa del Rey x2; Supercopa de Espana; UEFA Super Cup; UEFA European Championship

 Ballon d'Or x4; FIFA World Player of the Year x2; UEFA Best Player in Europe x2; Onze d'Or; Bravo Award; European Golden Shoe x4; FIFA Puskas Award; FIFA World XI 2007-16; UEFA Team of the Year 2004, 2007-16; UEFA Club Footballer of the Year; UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament x3; UEFA Euro All-Time XI; PFA Young Player of the Year; PFA Player of the Year x2; FWA Footballer of the Year x2; PFA Team of the Year x4; La Liga Player of the Year; La Liga Team of the Season x3; BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year; ESPY Best International Athlete x2; Real Madrid All-Time Top scorer

The Football History Boys:
"Ridiculous. The man is ridiculous. What an incredible player. We are truly blessed in 2017 to be witnessing one of the greatest players of all-time in Cristiano Ronaldo. Born to modest surroundings in Madeira - he has since created a footballing legacy which will be fondly remembered for decades to come. Alongside his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi - he has taken the game to new levels and even greater heights year in, year out. At Manchester United, he slowly evolved into the World's best player, but it was his world record move to Los Blancos, Real Madrid which took him to greatness. 386 goals in 377 games speaks volumes. Perhaps what is most impressive with CR7 is his undoubted consistency over the last 7-8 seasons, constantly scoring over 50 goals and assembling one of the game's most illustrious trophy hauls, capped by the UEFA European Championship last year - a success which he regards personally as his greatest."  

Image result for cristiano ronaldo portugal zimbio
Real Madrid
"I am an ambitious player with only one objective: victory for my team"

Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who is destined to make history. Thanks to his immense natural talent, the Portuguese forward is a commanding leader for Real Madrid and his national team. Since he arrived at the Bernabéu from Manchester United, his goalscoring figures have just kept on improving to the delight of Madrid fans. He is now firmly established as one of the leading goalscorers in the history of the club and he wants to further improve the already illustrious lists of honours won by the greatest club of the 20th Century.

He has an insatiable appetite for goals, truly immense physical strength, lightning speed, a fierce shot with both feet and he is also a fine header of the ball, all of which make him a constant threat for opposing defenders."

"He has magic in his boots. The first thing you notice about him is that he is incredibly quick and very, very powerful for such a young man. He has great, close control and his technique is excellent. He believes he can do anything with the ball, and that confidence makes him very special indeed."

Ian Holloway:
"The kid makes you sick. He looks the part, he walks the part, he is the part. He's six-foot something, fit as a flea, good-looking - he's got to have something wrong with him.... Hopefully he's hung like a hamster! That would make us all feel better!"

Carlo Ancelotti:
"Cristiano is unique for his talent and professionalism – he is also extraordinarily consistent… [He] is an outstanding professional. He's committed to the team and the club, he doesn't talk much, but he is a leader."


Keep track of the list so far:

Keep tuned in to find out the next 10 in the #TFHB100 shortlist! Check out our judges' websites!!

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