Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona: Ranking the greatest footballers ever

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Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Pele or Diego Maradona?

The GOAT debate is always a fiercely contested topic in any sport.

Be it Tennis, Golf, or Formula 1, partisan fans, furnished with facts and records, are always ready to plead the case of their chosen superstar.

However, there is perhaps nowhere that the question is more ruthlessly debated than in the opinionated halls of football Twitter culture.

Fans have gone to war in the last few years, producing every statistic and record in the book to try and prove that their model of belief, that their camp, is the one true king.

In truth, it is a debate that may never truly be settled and could easily rage on into eternity.

Even with that in mind, we would hate to miss out on all the fun so we thought we would throw a match into the powder-keg by having our own go at ranking the greatest players of all time.

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Enter Giveaway

Not in the conversation

It’s not often you’ll see the likes of Wayne Rooney on the bottom rung of any tier maker, but, with the competition at hand, the simple truth is that these lads didn’t quite match-up.

They have still enjoyed truly astonishing careers and probably aren’t all that fussed about missing out on GOAT status.

Wayne Rooney, Frank Rijkaard, Manuel Neuer, Carles Puyol 

Amazing 

Another gaggle of supreme footballers who, in their primes, we’re on top of the world. However, in the context of this ranking, we feel they just haven’t done quite enough to be ranked alongside some of the the names to come.

Roberto Carlos, Romario, Luis Figo, Gianluigi Buffon, Carlos Alberto, Raul and Rivaldo

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Exceptional 

We perhaps wouldn’t have much room to argue if you claimed that some of these lads had been hard done by with their position.

But when you consider the calibre of the competition they are up against and casting all emotion aside, there was simply nowhere else for them to go.

Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Bobby Moore, Cafu, Lothar Matthaus, Michel Platini, Zico, Socrates and Roberto Baggio, Gianluigi Buffon 

Elite 

The only way we can justify the inclusion of some of the greatest footballers to ever play the game in the third tier is by asking you to read on just so you can see what they were up against.

Ronaldinho, Sir Bobby Charlton, Thierry Henry, Peter Schmeichel, Eusebio, George Best, Lev Yashin, Marco van Basten, Iker Casillas and Garrincha.

Legendary

Maybe you’ll begin to cut us a little more slack for some of earlier picks when you cast your eyes on the list of immortal names.

Alfredo Di Stefano, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Ferenc Puskas, Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cruyff, Ronaldo, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller

GOAT 

Scoff if you must, but we simply couldn’t find a way to justify placing any of these four in a separate category.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are modern-day behemoths while Pele and Diego Maradona were the epitome of the ‘beautiful game’.

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