Pele's Top 125 Players Ever In 2004 Includes One Surprise Still Playing Today
In 2004 FIFA asked Pele to pick the 100 best players of all time in the FIFA 100 so naturally the Brazilian picked 125 players, reminiscent of how he remembers his goal tally. One player who was a surprise in the list is still playing.
Pele is definitely one of the best players of all time. Sure a lot of his goals came in Brazil and then in America and the number seems to have been steadily going up every year despite the fact he's 77 but there's still no doubting he's one of the best ever.
Our all time FIFA XI, as in the game, is probably closer than Pele's list:
So when FIFA were celebrating 100 years of existing, and allegedly about that long of exchanging brown envelopes, in 2004 it turned to Pele to pick the best 100 players of all time.
Now I don't know about you but I'd struggle to name the top 100 players of now never mind of all time! Pele also struggled and picked 125 and of those only two are still playing.
As per Dream Team there's one extremely predictable name still playing in the guise of Gianluigi Buffon. However former Inter Milan midfielder Emre is a shock inclusion and someone we didn't expect to be playing still.
The 37 year old midfielder, who once played in the Premier League for Newcastle, is still playing in his home country of Turkey and is part of a title fight as part of İstanbul Başakşehir's side.
After playing for Fenerbache from 2013-2015 he moved across Istanbul in 2015 and now Basaksehir are just one point behind Fener and Galatasaray in the race for the Super Lig title.
Just why Emre is on the list of 125 players is another matter. Sure in 2004 he was a pretty decent midfielder and part of Inter Milan's side that reached the Champions League semi-final but best of all time? Come on.
At the time the FIFA 100 was criticised and people reckoned it was very politically motivated, after all would anyone else have had Hidetoshi Nakata, El Hadji Diouf, Hong Myung-bo, or Emre in their list or were they politically motivated to have people from all over the world in the list?
It's nice to know Emre is still playing at a decent level though, although let's just hope he's not getting caught up in any racism storms.