Best Soccer Players of All time By National Team | Soofootball (2023)

So many great players have represented their respective nations and led them to Glory. This article reviews the best Soccer Players of all time by National team (not Club Football).

In this case, the performance of players at their respective clubs doesn’t count.

We currently live in a football world where more attention is placed on Club Football. Football fans hardly follow international football closely as much as they follow club football competitions.

This content gives international football the attention it deserves by highlighting the Best Soccer Players of All Time from the national team’s perspective.

Before going further, it is important to know the criteria for selecting the Best Soccer Players of All Time.

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How The Best Soccer Players of All Time By National Team are Rated by Soofootball

While goals are one of the easiest metrics for selecting the best players, it is not the fairest.

Selecting based on Goals scored will only favor attackers and affect midfielders, Defenders, and Goal Keepers badly.

Our Yardsticks for selecting the best international players of all time are;

  1. International Cap: International Caps are a good and fair representation of the impact of a player on the National team. This favors players in any position as it is not Goal-biased.
  2. International Trophies: Team efforts are always better than individual efforts. So, one good way to evaluate the impact of an International footballer is the number of team accolades won.

Based on these two yardsticks; International Cap and Trophies won, find below a list of the soofootball’s Best Soccer Players of All Time by National Team:

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List of 10 Best Soccer Players of All time By National Team

Ronaldo Delima

Ronaldo Delima is also known as the ‘el phenomenon’. He was a beast for the Brazil National team since he debuted in 1994 under coach Carlos Alberto.

El phenomenon scored a total of 64 goals in his international career even though injuries cut short his career.

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In summary, Ronaldo won 2 World Cups and Copa Americas apiece with Brazil and won 98 international caps in his illustrious career. This makes him one of the Best Soccer Players of All Time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is truly one of the most recognized Football Icons. He is known for his Goal scoring instincts at the club level and the Portuguese National team.

Ronaldo has scored over 100 goals in his illustrious international career – a very rare stat for even the most prolific goal scorers.

Though goals are not considered a factor in determining our Greatest International Footballer of all time, the need to emphasize how prolific Ronaldo is important.

Ronaldo has won just the European Championship (2016) in his career with the Portuguese National team, but this is enough to put him on this list, considering that the team is average.

In addition, Ronaldo has amassed over 160 international Caps in his career with the National team.

No wonder Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s highest goal scorer and second best in La Liga history.

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Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta’s International career with Spain is summarized in the most important goal of his career at the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

Iniesta earned his first cap in 2006 under Luis Aragones and earned 131 international caps for Spain.

Apart from the World Cup glory in 2010, Iniesta won the European Championship 2 times.

Undoubtedly, Iniesta is one of the Best Soccer Players of All Time by the National team.

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It is important to mention that Iniesta is the most decorated midfielder ever.

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Zinedine Zidane

Zidane is one of the greatest ever Icons in French Football. Some sections of football fans see him as the symbol of the French National Team.

The French National team won the 1998 World Cup in France, and Zidane was an integral part of the team. Zidane also won the Euro Cup with France in the year 2000.

He earned a total of 108 international caps before his retirement in 2006.

Today, Zidane is one of the few football managers who won the Champions league as a player and coach.

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Gerard Pique

Since his introduction to the Spanish National team in 2009, Pique has been an essential member of the Squad. He is arguably one of the Best Soccer Players of All Time.

Pique won the World Cup in 2010 and the 2012 Euro Cup. He has also earned over 102 international caps so far.

Given his achievements and consistency with the National Team, it is no surprise to find Pique on the list of Greatest International Footballer ever.

Pique’s partnership with Sergio Ramos for Spain is one of the best in football history.

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Kaka is one of the most revered attacking midfielders in his prime. He was an important member of the Selaco Team in his time.

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Since his debut for the Brazil National team in 2002, he earned 92 international caps and won the World Cup in 2002 and the Confederations Cup in 2005 & 2009.


His real name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, but he is popularly known as Ronaldinho. He was an important part of the Selaco Team that won the 2002 World Cup in Korea.

Ronaldinho earned 97 International Caps during his international career and won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, 2005 Confederations Cup, and the 1999 Copa America.

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Wherever football is mentioned as a sport, Pele is one name that is hard to forget. He is a true Football Icon who is known for scoring relentlessly.

Actually, some sections of football fans consider him to be the Best Soccer Players of All Time.

In addition to his Goalscoring exploits for Brazil, Pele won the World Cup 3 times in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

During his playing time, Pele represented Brazil 93 times and scored 77 goals.

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Diego Maradona

This list cannot be complete without the mention of the Great Diego Maradona.

He is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever footballers of all time, especially for the Argentine National team.

Maradona won 90 caps for Argentina and led them to the World Cup glory in 1986

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Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller is one of the Greatest ever German Players of all time. During his career, he scored 68 goals in just 62 appearances for the German National team.

Muller won the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.

No wonder Muller made our best international 11 of all time.

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Lionel Messi

Messi is arguably the Greatest Footballer of All Time. But before now, the common downside of Messi’s career is not being able to win a major trophy with Native Argentina.

However, things are now different as he won the 2021 Copa America in grand style and the Finalissima in 2022.

The Argentine superstar has played over 150 matches for Argentina and has scored 70 goals.


Understandably, many great footballers did not make this list.

Don’t forget that the criteria for choosing are winning at least a trophy with the senior National team AND having a decent number of international appearances.

Overall, this content highlights some of the Best Soccer Players of All Time from the National team perspective.

Do you think there is one player missing n this list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box.

Further Reading:

(Video) Creating The Best Football Player of all time…🔥

  • Pele Vs Maradona: Who Was Really Better?
  • Unpopular Opinion: The Best Football Academies In Europe
  • Ranked: The Best Barcelona Players of All Time
  • Messi Vs Ronaldo Stats: A Classic Head to Head Battle


Who is the 1 best soccer player of all time? ›

Rounding out this list is Pelé, who even FIFA has deemed the greatest of them all. The Brazilian forward, who operated as a second striker, is recognized by Guinness World Records with the most goals scored of all time with 1,279 in 1,363 games for both club and country, including friendlies.

Who is the No 1 player in football history? ›

Lionel Messi (PSG)

There's no doubt about it that Ronaldo and Messi will go down in history among the top three best football players of all time, alongside the late great Diego Maradona, but while Ronaldo's role has been boiled down somewhat, we're still witnessing the full-fat version of Messi.

Who is the 4 best player in the world? ›

  • #1. Lionel Messi (PSG & Argentina) (Total Football Goals: 769) ...
  • #2. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona & Poland) (Total Football Goals: 564) ...
  • #3. Kylian Mbappe (PSG & France) (Total Football Goals: 229) ...
  • #4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United & Portugal) (Total Football Goals: 815) ...
  • #5. ...
  • #6. ...
  • #7. ...
  • #8.
27 Oct 2022

What nation has the best soccer players? ›

If we take into account the sporting level of teams where the footballers played, Brazil is still in first place with a football players' production index of 1.6 million (6.8% of the total).

Who scored 87 goals in one match? ›

The First man to score 87 goals in one match . Even the Referee was scared to book him . Oh yes and he has a brother who currently plays for Crystal Palace.

Who is No 1 Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Messi is the all-time leading goalscorer in La Liga and also has the record for the most assists but Ronaldo is the all-time top goalscorer and assist provider in the Champions League, yet the pair of them are the first two players to score 100 goals in Champions League history.

Who is the king of football now? ›

Lionel Messi is the king of football in 2022 after his stupendous previous season where he ended with 41 goals and 17 assists and then went on to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for the 2021-22 season.

Who is goat of football now? ›

Football's GOAT is a matter of continuous debate within the community, but the consensus in recent years has narrowed the question down to one of two players: Ronaldo or Messi.

Who is the king of football all time? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo - The King of Football.

Who is the No 1 skillful player in the world? ›

#1 Neymar Jr.

It takes a great deal of confidence in one's abilities to pull off skills like that at the highest level of the game.

Who is the most skillful player in the world? ›

Pele. Apart from being widely regarded as who is the most skilled player in the world, Pele is also regarded as one of the sport's most skilled players.

Who is the best striker? ›

Top 10 Best Strikers in the World
  • Romelu Lukaku (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Ciro Immobile (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Harry Kane (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Erling Haaland (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Kylian Mbappe (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Robert Lewandowski (last 2 seasons): ...
  • Karim Benzema (last 2 seasons):
14 Sept 2022

Which country is best in sports? ›

The 10 Most Athletic Countries in the World
Athletic RankCountry NameBest Countries Overall Rank
3South Africa31
6 more rows
24 Feb 2016

Has any player scored 1000 goals? ›

Brazilian soccer great Pelé scores his 1,000th professional goal in a game, against Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium. It was a major milestone in an illustrious career that included three World Cup championships.

Who scored 3 goals in 70 seconds? ›

Who scored a hat trick in 70 seconds? Alex Torr, a player in a Sunday league, scored three goals in the shortest time ever. Referee Matt Tyers validated the goals and said he had never seen anything like it in his career.

Who scored 7 goals in one match? ›

The last player in these leagues to score seven goals in a match was László Kubala in 1952 for FC Barcelona.

Who is the best free kick taker? ›

#1 Juninho Pernambucano – 77 free-kick goals

Known as the magnificent 7, Juninho was the best when it came to scoring from a dead-ball situation. The former Olympique Lyonnais legend and mid-fielder scored as many as 77 goals from set-pieces. Juninho is considered the greatest free-kick taker of all time.

Who is the better than Messi? ›

Ronaldo has scored 804 goals in 1106 games while Messi has scored 759 goals in 957 games. Ronaldo has played 149 games more than Messi in his entire career.

Who is better footballer than Messi? ›

The majority of players in a poll of former professional footballers believe Cristiano Ronaldo has had a better career than Lionel Messi.

Who is the number 1 GOAT of football? ›

Messi, who holds the record for most number of Ballon d'Or, with 7 wins, is also the only footballer to win the FIFA World Player, Pichichi Trophy and Golden Boot, all during his 2009/10 campaign, when the then 22-year-old won his first Ballon D'or, beating Ronaldo by over 240 points.

Who is the genius player of football? ›

12 Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona. He is also known as one of the greatest football players of all time.

Who is the world football top scorer? ›

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 117 goals in 191 matches and counting, has scored the most goals in international football in the men's game.

Who is best dribbler in football? ›

Lionel Messi is easily the best dribbler in the world. His ball control and ability to drive past defenders are beyond outstanding.

Who is the legend of the football? ›

Pele | Brazil

Regarded as the king of Football, Pele's exploits in international football are known to almost everyone. Pele is the only player in history to win three World Cups. He led the famous Brazilian national team to triumph in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

Which player has the most hat tricks? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the active player with most hat-tricks. Lionel Messi has scored 56 hat-tricks in his career for Barcelona and Argentina.

Who has the most fans in football history? ›

The answer is Real Madrid!

Like in 2021, also this year Real is the most followed football club in the world. Overall, the top 10 teams are the same as in 2021. There are only several changes in positions. Let's have a detailed look at the football clubs with the most fans in the world in 2022.

Who is the 3 best player in the world? ›

Wins by player
#PlayerThird place
1Cristiano Ronaldo1 (2019)
2Robert Lewandowski
3Lionel Messi1 (2020)
4Luka Modrić
4 more rows

Who is the king of dribbling in the world? ›

Ronaldinho, Franck Ribery, Lionel Messi and Neymar are a few of the illustrious names in this regard. The sport has since evolved to such an extent that even rookie players are challenging to dribble past.

Who is skillful Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Therefore, it seems that Messi's skills have been more highly recognized worldwide than Ronaldo's. This notion is reinforced by the fact that Messi also holds 15 world records, compared to Ronaldo's 13.

Who is the best penalty taker in the world? ›

The best penalty taker in the world currently is Cristiano Ronaldo with the Manchester United star converting 144 penalties successfully so far. Penalties often decide the outcome of a football game as it has the element of surprise.

Who is skilled player in football? ›

Skill positions in gridiron football are the positions that ordinarily handle the ball and are most responsible for scoring points. Offensive players such as quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers are typically considered skill positions, as are tight ends on occasion.

Who is the best winger? ›

So, without any further ado...
  • Best right-wingers in the world: 10. Antony (Manchester United) ...
  • Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) ...
  • Federico Chiesa (Juventus) ...
  • Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United) ...
  • Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) ...
  • Rodrygo (Real Madrid) ...
  • Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) ...
  • Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur)
4 Nov 2022

Which striker has the best defending? ›

#1 Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Firmino made 35 tackles and 10 interceptions last season in the Premier League.

Who are the best 5 players in the world? ›

Top 20 Best Football Players in the World
  1. Robert Lewandowski — Barcelona FC/Poland.
  2. Lionel Messi — Paris Saint-Germain/Argentina. ...
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United/Portuguese. ...
  4. Kevin De Bruyne — Manchester City/Belgian. ...
  5. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid/France. ...
  6. Neymar — Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil. ...
29 Sept 2022

Who is the 4th best player in soccer? ›

10. Erling Haaland
1Lionel MessiArgentina
2Cristiano RonaldoPortugal
4Robert LewandowskiPoland
2 more rows
26 Jul 2022

Who is the world Best Player 2022? ›

PARIS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Real Madrid's France forward Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d'Or award for the best men's player in the world on Monday, while Barcelona's Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas won the women's award for a second time.


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