Lionel Messi: Barcelona star beats Pele, Maradona in top 50 greatest footballers

Lionel Messi: Barcelona star beats Pele, Maradona in top 50 greatest footballers

- Lionel Messi is arguably one of the greatest players who ever grace the football pitch

- Latest ranking by UK outlet FourFourTwo puts the Barcelona star No.1 in top 50 greatest footballers

- Countryman Diego Maradona and Brazilian legend Pele are second and third respectively

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UK based outlet FourFourTwo has named Barcelona star Lionel Messi ahead of countryman Diego Maradona as well as legendary Brazilian Pele in the top 50 greatest footballers of all time.

Despite inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 as well as his superb show of class for Italian side Napoli during his playing career, Maradona was left in the second position.

However, he would still be delighted as he is ahead of arch rival Pele who clocked 80 years October 23, with FFT describing the Brazil icon the most complete footballer.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is fifth on the list as late Dutch footballer Johan Cryuff beat the Portuguese star to the fourth position.

However in the top 50, expectedly, Brazilian stars dominate as there are 11 ex-Samba stars who made the list including Ronaldinho.

The highest British player is George Best in 14th, while Bobby Charlton who lands in 19th spot.

Below are top 50 greatest footballers according to FourFourTwo.

50. Xavi

49. Nilton Santos

48. Michael Laudrup

47. Rivellino

46. Juan Alberto Schiaffino

45. Oleg Blokhin

44. Didi

43. Fritz Walter

42. Matthias Sindelar

41. Gianluigi Buffon

40. Kenny Dalglish

Lionel Messi: Barcelona star beats Pele, Maradona in list of top 50 greatest footballers
Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer ever, according to FourFourTwo. Photo: Kristy Sparow
Source: Getty Images

39. Nandor Hidegkuti

38. Gianni Rivera

37. Ruud Gullit

36. Paco Gento

35. Luis Suarez

34. Stanley Matthews

33. Gunter Netzer

32. Paolo Rossi

31. Juan Manuel Moreno

30. Lothar Matthaus

29. Raymond Kopa

28. Socrates

27. Bobby Moore

26. Valentino Mazzola

25. Carlos Alberto

24. Ronaldinho

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23. Eusebio

22. Lev Yashin

21. Romario

20. Paolo Maldini

19. Bobby Charlton

18. Giuseppe Meazza

17. Gerd Muller

16. Zico

15. Franco Baresi

14. George Best

13. Marco van Basten

12. Michel Platini

11. Garrincha

10. Ronaldo

9. Ferenc Puskas

8. Zinedine Zidane

7. Franz Beckenbauer

6. Alfredo Di Stefano

5. Cristiano Ronaldo

4. Johan Cruyff

3. Pele

2. Diego Maradona

1. Lionel Messi

Meanwhile, earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo has sent a brilliant birthday message to Argentine legend Diego Amando Maradona who clocked 60 on Friday, October 30.

Ronaldo trolled the celebrant Maradona saying the legend is the number one, but after Cristiano.

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