Who is the GOAT of Football? Ranking the greatest football players of all time

Who is the goat of football?

Just like oxygen is a must for humans to survive, football is the same for a lot of people when it comes to sports. Hundreds of millions of people have a profound interest in football. There are ample numbers of top footballers who have always been the hot favorites for most of us. Since you are reading this article, you must also be a hardcore football lover. Aren’t you? But here, we won’t talk about football. Instead, we will talk about who is the GOAT of football. 

Many of us may not be familiar with the term: “Goat of Football.” If you are unfamiliar with sports, this term may be a bit of a conundrum. It does not refer to any “Maaah” of the farms.

So, what is the meaning of “GOAT” in football?

The word “GOAT” is an acronym for “Greatest of All Time.” It is a big title tagged to those individuals deemed undisputed masters in their sports. This term is mainly associated with the sports industry. In the music industry, you will also find some of the top singers considered the GOAT. As ridiculous as it sounds, the title is a pretty big deal to get tagged with! 

In this article, we highlight the origin of the term GOAT and answer the most debatable question within the football community – Who is the GOAT of football?

GOAT Meaning and Origin

G.O.A.T refers to “Greatest of all time”. Not many people can claim to be G.O.A.T, but those who are tilted as G.O.A.T are the greatest of all time in their respective fields. Players like Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Tom Brady, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and LeBron James are often referred to as GOAT players.

Learn about who is the god and king of football.

The history of GOAT

The idea of GOAT was popularised in the 20th century when the world-famous heavyweight boxing champion, GOAT Muhammad Ali, defeated Sonny Liston. It was in 1964 when he declared himself the greatest of all. 

This GOAT association became very famous, and this catchphrase revisited Muhammad Ali after he knocked out George Foreman in 1974. As the name suggests, the term “GOAT” was also applied to extraordinary contemporary contemporaries who excel in their respective sports fields.

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Who is the GOAT of Football?

When it comes to answering who is the GOAT in football, two players’ names pop up in recent years – Ronaldo and Messi.

Messi plays for Barcelona, whereas Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid. The nature of the football game is quite alluring, and there is no difficulty in calling or measuring the athletes as per their abilities to be a GOAT. In reality, the argument does not stop. It is because the success of both Ronaldo and Messi is unfathomable.

Who is the GOAT of Football? Messi or Ronaldo

Messi and Ronaldo have won the Ballon d’Or award. It is one of the world’s best awards, given to the sportsman who is considered the best in the world on five occasions. Getting this award is more than anything else to prove who is the best! Furthermore, Messi has edged things like the European Golden Shoe, which he has scooped five times to Ronaldo’s four. On the other hand, Ronaldo outshines Messi 5-4 in the Champions League titles. Frankly, the gauge of discerning the title of being the GOAT is very neck-to-neck when these two names are concerned.

Many countries have highlighted the extraordinary playing capabilities of Ronaldo. On the other hand, Messi has also won an Olympic Gold medal at the senior level and the Under 20 World Cup. 

Both these players have outlasted the tag of being the GOAT. At the World Cup in 2018, Messi posed as a live goat in Paper Magazine, and Ronaldo fashioned the goatee at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi

  • 96 goals with Barcelona and Argentina
  •  50 goals with the best assistance with 15 assists in one season
  •  All-time FC Barcelona Legend
  • A South American Legend
  • Most Ballon d’Or In History
  • Most Golden Boots in History

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • 438 games, 451 goals
  • 30 goals in minimum for every season game
  • 8 Hat-tricks
  • A Real Madrid & Man Utd Legend
  • Most Official Goals in History
  • Most International Goals in History
  • A Global Sporting Legend

With the achievement of Messi and Ronaldo, how does one decide who is the GOAT of football? Luckily Dr. Tom Crawford, an Oxford Mathematician, has tried to sort out the debate with maths!

Who is the GOAT of Football? Explained using Math

Dr. Tom Crawford, an Oxford Mathematician started by shortlisting the top 10 football players. The list was created based on players who have won Ballon d’Or trophies. Furthermore, he determined who scored the highest in the sorted seven categories to grab a position in the top 10 of the GOAT indexing. 

There were seven key aspects considered to point to these top 10 players:

  1. Club titles
  2. International titles
  3. Goals for your club
  4. Goals for your country
  5. Ballon d’Or trophies
  6. Records
  7. Z- factor seasons 

The Verdict – Who is the G.O.A.T?

Cristiano Ronaldo took the top spot, while Messi and Pele joined the following positions. The surprising factor is that Maradona is ranked as the 9th best footballer. 

Here are the rankings of the top 10 G.O.A.T players in football, according to G.O.A.T index:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. Lionel Messi
  3. Pele
  4. Ferenc Puskas
  5. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
  6. Marco Van Basten
  7. Alfredo Di Stefano
  8. Michel Platini
  9. Diego Maradona
  10. Johan Cruyff

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Top 10 GOATs in Football: The Unforgettable Heroes

The achievements of the top football players are phenomenal. They have significantly shaped the modern era of football. It has improved the quality of the players, the game, and the popularity of sports across the globe. The following are the quick profiles of the Top 10 GOATs of football, according to the G.O.A.T index by Dr.Tom Crawford:

Who is the GOAT of Football? Top 10 players

Cristiano Ronaldo – 100% G.O.A.T index

Ronaldo is hands-down a superhero for young and adults alike. He won the best titles in the various top-flight leagues. He is known for his great goal-scoring ability. Among 438 games, he has scored 451 goals, which is the most recorded in history. He won championships of every colour with his national team and clubs. 

Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or more than once. For the record, Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player of all time. At the Royal Club, Ronaldo became the real goal machine. In total, he won four European Championship titles; in history, no club has ever won so many titles in football.

Lionel Messi – 94% G.O.A.T index

One of the most popular players in the world, Messi, is listed as #2 in the GOAT index. He won many championships in Spain. Furthermore, Messi is the winner of many Golden Shoe awards in history and most of the Ballon d’Or with 96 goals while playing for Barcelona and Argentina. He was also regarded as the king of football in 2021 for winning the Ballon d’Or.

There is a different kind of emotion among the fans of Messi, which was evident every time he won his titles. There is never-ending love for Messi that makes him an ideal GOAT of football.

Pelé – 85% G.O.A.T index

What can be said about this man? Pelé is one fantastic football player. He won three World Cups. He played in Europe and in his career, to date, he has scored 77 international goals. His career with Santos playing at the World Cup was the most exciting time of his life. He later played for the Cosmos in the United States. 

This event turned this Anti-Soccer country into a new ground for sports that are worth mentioning. He is a significant contributor to countries’ participation in football after he started it!

Did you know Pelé is regarded as the God of football? Know why

Ferenc Puskás – 57% G.O.A.T index

As per GOAT indexing, Puskás is one of the finest and greatest players of all time. The sad news is that this incredible player died in November 2006.  He was a spectacular goal-scorer for Real Madrid. Many great players have come into football after him, but the sincerity, hard work, and dedication that he has shown toward his love for football remain incomparable.

He scored 84 goals in his 85 appearances for Hungary. He won titles in Hungary, and later Maradona’s two league titles with Napoli made him the most famous.

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima – 52% G.O.A.T index

The most famous Brazilian, Ronaldo, is in the top 5 GOAT players. He is like a phenom and the winner of various football titles in Brazil, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. 

He is the best of all footballers, scoring 62 goals, and is the third-highest goal scorer on the national team. Due to knee injuries, the star player had setbacks in his football career. He was a superstar in the late 1990s among the younger generation.

Marco Van Basten – 44% G.O.A.T index

One of the greatest players, Marco Van Basten, is known for his outstanding playing skills. In reality, he only played 280 games, where he scored the most memorable 218 goals. He won an array of titles at the club level, such as Ajax and AC Milan.

He played in only one World Cup, in 1990. His football career ended due to severe injuries to the ankle that made the board terminate the most promising player on the team. 

Alfredo Di Stéfano – 37% G.O.A.T index

He is one of the best players in the whole world and is considered to be listed in the GOAT Index. It was during his time that Argentina’s forward was electric. He scored 216 goals while playing in 286 games. 

He is one of the few soccer players who has represented three countries, including Columbia, Spain, and Argentina. There is no player or person in the whole world who would not consider him the legend of all time.

Michel Platini – 33% G.O.A.T index

Another unique name is Platini, who is in GOAT indexing. He is a much more polished player than many others. For instance, he was a dominating force at Juventus. He won various league titles, such as the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. 

Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times in his entire career in football. He is one of the perfect contenders for the GOAT index. He scored 41 times in 72 games and played from 1976 to 1987. Currently, he is in some corruption cases, which has upset many of his fans. 

Diego Maradona – 31% G.O.A.T index

One of the greatest mysteries of the sport is Diego Maradona. He had a fantastic football career, making him extremely popular among people across the globe. As per the GOAT index, Maradona, at the height of his career, won two Italian championships, with the lowest-level clubs in Italy.

He single-handedly won the World Cup for Argentina in 1986. He officially has 34 goals in 91 games played and overall has 259 goals in international competitions. After four years, Diego was a finalist in Italy in 1990.

Johan Cruyff – 30% G.O.A.T index

In the year 1978, Cruyff’s achievements were significant to the point, that he was the greatest player of his time. He was a midfielder attacker from the Netherlands and was a legend at Barcelona and Ajax. 

His achievements were 33 goals in 48 matches, which was unbelievable then. His career was far away from the soccer spotlight, and he played many years in the old NASL. He is an example of a football player with a marginal career. 

These players have extensive playing techniques. They are phenomenal players who have made a mark in the league and stolen the hearts of game lovers. 

So, ultimately, who is the GOAT of football? Christina Ronaldo is the G.O.A.T of football. For many football fans, this is still up for debate. It is very tough to answer because of their phenomenal performance. Comment below and let us know who according to you is the G.O.A.T of Football and why!

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Who is the GOAT of football? FAQs

Who is the No. 1 GOAT? 

Ronaldo and Messi have similar trophies and championships, and it isn’t easy to rate one as the GOAT. There are a lot of debates circling over who is the GOAT of football between Ronaldo and Messi. According to the G.O.A.T index by Dr. Tom Crawford, Christina Ronaldo is the G.O.A.T of football.

Who is the king of football skills? 

Among all of them, Pele is often regarded as the king of football skills.

Why is football called the “GOAT”?

The phrase “Greatest of All Time,” or GOAT, is considered in football because of the phenomenal players who have played over time and made football the top game. It is true that because of players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, Maradona, and more, football remains the ultimate game of all time, played in more than 200+ countries.

Who is the best goal-scorer of all time?

The god of football, Pele, is the best goal scorer of all time with a record of 1,200+ goals. His official recorded goals are 765, and he has a world record of 50 years now. Another top player, Imre Schlosser, was the first footballer to score 500 goals. Later Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have the most number of goals.

Does every country play football?

The one sport which is mainly played in 226 countries around the globe is football. The popularity of this game is enormous among game lovers. There are 35 countries where soccer (football) is not a top game, and one is the United States.

Who is the No. 1 player in football?

As per records, Lionel Messi has seven Ballon d’Or, which makes him one of the top players in 2022.

Who is the best striker in football?

The list of the best football strikers includes Erling Haaland, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Darwin Nunez, and Gabriel Jesus.

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