Controversial list of 100 greatest footballers ever emerges ft, Ronaldo, Messi & Pele | OneFootball

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·14 de setembro de 2023

Controversial list of 100 greatest footballers ever emerges ft, Ronaldo, Messi & Pele

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  • A ranking of the 100 greatest footballers ever has sent the online world of football into a frenzy with some very debatable picks.
  • The omission of Wayne Rooney is crazy considering his career achievements and record-breaking stats.
  • Having Ángel Di María at 17th is bold, as he is not on the same level as Ronaldinho, Neymar, or Dennis Bergkamp.



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A graphic mustered up by GDC Media has sent the online world of football into a frenzy with some very debatable picks. Ranking the top 100 footballers to ever exist is, of course, a challenging task, but it’ll be back to the drawing board for the list-makers this time around considering the backlash they have received.

There is little chance that two football fans on the planet would produce identical lists, but there would certainly be common themes running throughout: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rubbing shoulders in the top three is one that springs to mind. However, it seems as if GDC Media have decided to completely ignore those themes and pull some names blindly out of a hat.

Without further ado, let’s get stuck into some of the biggest controversies with the list. Strap yourselves in, you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Bobby Moore below Virgil van Dijk

This decision is as farcical as they can get. Obviously, there is no doubt that Van Dijk is a terrific player but to have the Dutchman on a perch higher than Moore is a strange decision. Maybe recency bias has crept into their decision-making as they mulled over which players to include and at what position, but Moore’s 1966 history-making exploits are too difficult to ignore.

A mainstay at West Ham United, the Englishman played just under 550 times for the east Londoners and is one of the most notable England internationals, having captained the 1966 side to England’s only ever World Cup win to date. That - in itself - deserves a higher ranking than Van Dijk. And yes, we know that Van Dijk was an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s side reigning victorious in the Premier League and Champions League, but it’ll take much more than that to reach the echelons of arguably England’s best ever defender.

No Wayne Rooney

The omission of Rooney has done enough to irk fans of Manchester United. And understandably so, considering his career has so many aspects to it that can hold weight in any debate his name creeps up in.

In the 2000s, the fierce Englishman was an immovable object in arguably one of the best teams to ever play. Arriving on the scene fresh-faced and in the fashion he did for Everton and continuing his promise with him to Greater Manchester, the longevity of his career cannot be underplayed.

The five-time Premier League champions was the catalyst in much of what Manchester United achieved in those glory days and even carried his domestic form onto the international stage. Having starred for England on 120 times, the former Premier League icon managed to net 53 goals.

But that was no surprise given his record in front of goal for his domestic employers. In early 2017, Rooney’s inury-time free-kick etched his name further into Old Trafford folklore as he overtook Sir Bobby Charlton as the club’s all-time top goalscorer and ended his career in Manchester on 253 goals from 559 outings. Not forgetting his respectable 145 assists – he definitely deserves to be included in the list.

Ángel Di María 17th?!

While Di Maria has become a hugely underrated player of the modern era, to have him wedged in between with Lothar Matthaus and Garrincha is, erm, bold to say the least. The 35-year-old has recently returned to Benfica which is highly believed to be his swansong but has had the pleasure of strutting his stuff for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

While the list of teams (on face value) looks pristine, the Argentine has never exactly been the cover star, whereas the likes of Ronaldinho, Neymar, and Dennis Bergkamp – who are all below him – have been. Many would argue he doesn’t deserve to be on the list at all, let alone in the top 20.

Thierry Henry is way too low

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Henry, who registered 228 goals and 103 assists in 377 games in an Arsenal strip, is ranked 58th. France icon Henry is largely heralded as the best players to ever grace the Premier League and is often labelled as one of the best players full stop. Through his decorated career, he won a plethora of big-name trophies including the Premier League and the Champions and was a prominent figure at his respective teams during those triumphs.

The likes of Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Müller are above him. Come on. Both players have enjoyed glittering careers in Spain and Germany, respectively, but neither even come close to matching that of what Henry achieved. The 123-cap Frenchman was also a prominent figure for his nation, having scored 51 goals and adding a World Cup to his trophy cabinet.

Arturo Vidal ahead of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ruud Gullit

Don’t get us wrong, the Chilean enforcer is a brilliant midfielder in his own right - but ahead of the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Gullit? Very dubious. For reference, here are the rankings:

Vidal – 80th

Gerrard – 82nd

Lampard – 83rd

Still playing for Athletico Paranaense at the ripe old age of 36, Vidal has played for a host of top European clubs since making his senior debut for Colo-Colo 18 years ago. He spent the best part of his career at Juventus but also plied his trade at Bayern Munich and Barcelona and perhaps went under the radar due to the star-studded nature of said teams.

The English duo Gerrard and Lampard are likely to make many ‘Premier League all-time XI’s’. Lampard became the best free-scoring midfielder the Premier League has even seen and sits pretty in sixth on the list of the top Premier League goalscorers of all time.

His compatriot Gerrard, despite the lack of trophies, is praised for his innate leadership and on-field capabilities. Stevie could seriously do it all. From making a last-ditch tackle, to gliding past opposition, to coming up with a crucial moment in the final third - the Liverpool-born gem was the go-to guy.

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