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The top 50 most influential footballers in history, identified and ranked


The top 50 most influential footballers in history, identified and ranked

Viv Anderson has been named the most influential footballer of all time, surpassing David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho.

The 65-year-old former defender had a successful club career, winning two European Cups under legendary former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.

Anderson, who left Nottingham Forest after a decade, went on to play for clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United, and Sheffield Wednesday.

The Nottingham Forest legend, on the other hand, made history by becoming the first black player to represent England.

FourFourTwo compiled the rankings, which put Anderson at the top of a star-studded list of football legends.

Anderson was “not a token pick” for the Three Lions, according to the football magazine, and he was widely expected to “become an England legend.”

They also stated that the former defender’s England shirt from his debut against Czechoslovakia in 1978 is on display at Manchester’s People’s History Museum.

Beckham was included in the top ten alongside Manchester United legends Eric Cantona and George Best.

FourFourTwo ranked the 46-year-old Inter Miami president sixth, citing his success both on and off the field, calling him “arguably the biggest-ever English celebrity footballer.”

According to FourFourTwo, the 50 most influential footballers in the sport’s long history are listed below.

50. Zinedine Zidane

49. Lev Yashin

48. Ian Wright

47. George Weah

46. Carlos Volante

45. Jamie Vardy

44. Francesco Totti

43. Kelly Smith

42. Matthias Sindelar

41. Nilton Santos

40. Ronaldo

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39. Cristiano Ronaldo

38. Ronaldinho

37. Andrea Pirlo

36. Pele

35. Antonin Panenka

34. Neymar

33. Manuel Neuer

32. Hidetoshi Nakata

31. Thomas Muller

30. Lionel Messi

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29. Bill McCracken

28. Stanley Matthews

27. Marta

26. Diego Maradona

25. Claude Makelele

24. Philipp Lahm

23. Andres Iniesta

22. Nandor Hidegkuti

21. Thierry Henry

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20. Mia Hamm

19. Gyula Grosics

18. Garrincha

17. Trevor Francis

16. Rio Ferdinand

15. Giacinto Facchetti

14. Eusebio

13. Alfredo Di Stefano

12. Johan Cruyff

11. John Charles

10. Amadeo Carrizo

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9. Eric Cantona

8. Jean-Marc Bosman

7. George Best

6. David Beckham

5. Franz Beckenbauer

4. Franco Baresi

3. Ossie Ardiles

2. Jose Andrade

1. Viv Anderson

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The top 50 most influential footballers in history, identified and ranked

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