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The Top 50 Most Influential Footballers Of All Time Have Been Named

Adnan Riaz

| Last updated 

The Top 50 Most Influential Footballers Of All Time Have Been Named

Viv Anderson has been named as one of the most influential footballers of all time alongside the likes of David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

The 65-year-old ex-defender enjoyed a prolific club career and lifted two European Cups under legendary former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.


Anderson, who ended his decade-long spell at Nottingham Forest in 1984, went on to play for the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday at club level.


However, the Nottingham Forest legend forever etched his name in the history books by becoming the first black player to represent England.

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FourFourTwo compiled the star-studded list of football legends, which included the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Antonin Panenka, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff.


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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

They added that the former defender’s England shirt from his first appearance against Czechoslovakia in 1978 is displayed at the People's History Museum in Manchester.

Beckham made the top 50 alongside fellow Manchester United legends Eric Cantona and George Best.


FourFourTwo pointed to the 46-year-old Inter Miami president’s success both on the pitch and off it, saying he was “arguably the biggest-ever English celebrity footballer.”

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Posted below are the 50 most influential footballers in the long-running history of the sport, according to FourFourTwo.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

40. Ronaldo

39. Cristiano Ronaldo

38. Ronaldinho

37. Andrea Pirlo

36. Pele

35. Antonin Panenka

34. Neymar

33. Manuel Neuer

32. Hidetoshi Nakata

31. Thomas Muller

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

30. Lionel Messi

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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

10. Amadeo Carrizo

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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: David Beckham, Franz Beckenbauer, Eric Cantona, Johan Cruyff, Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Football, Diego Maradona

Adnan Riaz
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