The Most Famous Association Football Player: Ranking the Legends

Choose the association football player you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 07:01
Step into the world of football fandom and make your voice heard with StrawPoll's latest electrifying ranking: "Who is the most famous association football player?" From the legendary Pelé to the magisterial Messi, we've got the biggest names that have graced the pitch, and now it's up to YOU to decide who truly stands above the rest. With thousands of passionate fans already casting their votes, the battle for the top spot is fierce, and every vote counts. So, whether you're a die-hard Ronaldo supporter or a firm believer in the greatness of Zidane, don't miss your chance to shape history and crown the ultimate football icon. And hey, if you think we've missed a worthy contender, don't hold back – suggest your favorite, and let the beautiful game's finest talents vie for glory in the most exhilarating poll on the planet. Dive in, and may the best player win!

Who Is the Most Famous Association Football Player?

  1. 1
    Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, having won numerous individual awards and leading Barcelona to multiple championships.
    Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional football (soccer) player widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. He is known for his incredible dribbling skills, agility, and ability to score goals. Messi plays as a forward for FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. He has won numerous individual awards, including multiple FIFA Ballon d'Or titles.
    • International Caps: Over 140 caps for Argentina
    • Nationality: Argentine
    • Club: FC Barcelona
    • Position: Forward
    • Height: 1.70 meters
    Lionel Messi in other rankings
  2. 2

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Ronaldo is another player frequently in the conversation for greatest of all time, with a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards and multiple Champions League titles.
    Cristiano Ronaldo is a popular face in the world of professional football. He is a Portuguese professional footballer who is considered one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo has gained fame for his exceptional skills, athleticism, and goal-scoring ability.
    • Birth Date: February 5, 1985
    • Nationality: Portuguese
    • Current Club: Juventus
    • Position: Forward
    • Height: 1.87 meters
    Cristiano Ronaldo in other rankings
  3. 3
    Considered by many as the greatest footballer of all time, Pele won three World Cups with Brazil and scored over 1,000 goals in his career.
  4. 4
    Diego Maradona
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Maradona is another player often mentioned in the GOAT conversation, having led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 with his famous "Hand of God" goal.
    Diego Maradona in other rankings
  5. 5
    Zidane is a former French player who won multiple Champions League titles with Real Madrid and led France to World Cup victory in 1998.
    Zinedine Zidane in other rankings
  6. 6
    A Dutch legend who helped revolutionize the game with his "Total Football" philosophy, Cruyff won three Ballon d'Or awards and led Ajax and Barcelona to multiple championships.
    Johan Cruyff in other rankings
  7. 7
    Franz Beckenbauer
    Sven Mandel · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Beckenbauer is a German icon who won the World Cup as both a player and a coach, and helped Bayern Munich win three consecutive European Cups in the 1970s.
    Franz Beckenbauer in other rankings
  8. 8
    Not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian Ronaldo won two World Cups with Brazil and scored over 400 career goals.
  9. 9
    The Mozambique-born Portuguese striker scored over 700 career goals and led Portugal to third place at the 1966 World Cup.
  10. 10
    A Northern Irish winger who played for Manchester United, Best was known for his skillful dribbling and flashy style.
    George Best in other rankings

Missing your favorite association football player?


Ranking factors for famous association football player

  1. Achievements
    The player's individual and team achievements, such as world cup wins, league titles, and individual awards.
  2. Skills
    The player's overall skill level in the game, including speed, agility, dribbling, shooting accuracy, and ball control.
  3. Impact
    The player's impact on the game itself and the sport's popularity as a whole. This includes their contribution to their team's success and their popularity among fans globally.
  4. Longevity
    The player's consistent performance over a significant period of time.
  5. Media Exposure
    The player's media exposure through branding, sponsorships, advertisements, and social media.
  6. Legacy
    The player's lasting impact on the sport and their influence on future generations of players.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous association football player. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Footballer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Footballer once every 24 hours. The rank of each Footballer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous association football player

Association football, also known as soccer, is the world's most popular sport, with an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide. It is played in nearly every country and has produced some of the most iconic athletes in history. When it comes to the most famous association football player, the list is long and varied. From legends like Pele, Diego Maradona, and Johan Cruyff, to modern-day stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there are countless players who have left their mark on the game. But who is the most famous of them all? That's a question that has been debated for decades, and one that continues to generate plenty of discussion and controversy among fans and experts alike. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the top contenders for the title of the most famous association football player, and explore what makes them so special.

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