5) Andrés Iniesta
You cannot mention Xavi without talking about Andrés Iniesta. Iniesta was an absolute magician in his own right, he won everything that Xavi won and then some.
His dribbling ability, his close control, and his passing range all made him a World-Class playmaker. Iniesta made the Ballon d’Or podium multiple times during his career and also won the UEFA Player of the Year award in 2012 when the Messi v Ronaldo rivalry was at its peak, which is no easy feat.
Iniesta is still going strong with Vissel Kobe in Japan, he is surely one of the greats of the game.
4) Zinedine Zidane
“Give me Zidane and 10 pieces of wood and I’ll win you the Champions League.”
-Sir Alex Ferguson
Zizou was a Ballon d’Or winner who did not need individual accolades to speak for his footballing ability. Marseille turns, chops, and body feints. Zidane was a player who knew every trick in the book. He won everything in his storied career but that was a given when you possess that sort of quality.
Zidane won everything in club football with Real Madrid and Juventus. His strike in the 2002 Champions League final is still one of the best. Zidane also won the World Cup, the European Championships, and the Confederations Cup with the France national team.
3) Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is widely regarded as one of the biggest innovators of the beautiful game. He was a man who revolutionized two different clubs as a manager and as a player.
Johan Cruyff was a flawless footballer. He also invented a move now widely known as “The Cruyff turn”. Cruyff won three European Cups as a player and one as a manager among other trophies.
2) Diego Maradona
“El Pibe de Oro” Diego Maradona is in the Upper Echelon of Footballing Legends. Diego is arguably the greatest dribbler in the history of the game, a player who mesmerized not only the spectators but also his opponents. Every time Diego stepped his feet on a football pitch people knew they were in for a treat.
Maradona’s 1986 World Cup Campaign where he spearheaded Argentina to the promised land is still regarded as the best in history. Diego also won Napoli the only two Serie A titles in their history.
1) Lionel Messi
From one iconic Argentine to another, we were always going to mention Lionel Messi in this list. What could we possibly tell you about the Little Magician that you don’t already know?
Passing? Check. Dribbling? Check. Creativity? Check. Goals? Check. Trophies? Check.
Six Ballon d’Ors, four Champions League titles, and a plethora of domestic trophies but we would be here all day if we were to mention all of his accolades.
Lionel Messi is the quintessential football player and that’s all we need to say.