Who is the best playmaker ever

Hello and welcome to my personal ranking of the 10 best playmakers of all time. In order to complete my opinion-forming, I spoke to many colleagues, which, however, made me even more insecure: Although the first 3-4 were often similar, the 5-10th place was discussed passionately.
One or the other of you are probably missing some top-class players on this list who were outstanding footballers, but rarely or never played in the classic playmaker position. A good example is Luis Figo, who should not be missing on any list of the best footballers of all time, but was more in the right midfield and the right wing, but rarely acted as a classic 10-man.
At the end of the blog I will also go into some of these players again, there will also be double occupations, otherwise some of the best leaders and thinkers of the round leather would not have been mentioned.

I start the list in reverse order:

Place 10.

Pavel Nedved

18 national and international titles are on his impressive business card, each of which has made him a great success. But it wasn't the titles that made him an absolute crowd-pleaser at Lazio Rome and Juventus Turin, it was more his casual way of playing football - without starry air - which also earned him a lot of sympathy from generic fans.

In footballing terms, gifted with the rare gift of both feet and equipped with a Czech horse lung, his combative attitude was always exemplary. As soon as he appeared with the ball at his foot in the penalty area, this triggered a major alarm in the opposing goalkeeper, as he could shoot from any position thanks to his accuracy. The fact that he then went to the second division with Juve at the proud football age of 34 - thanks to the forced relegation - although there were offers from several European top clubs, made him immortal with the Italian record champions. Europe's footballer in 2003 ended his active career at Juventus Turin after 524 first division games and 91 appearances in the Czech national team in 2009, where he currently works as a manager.

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9th place.

This is the first time that two players appear who, in my opinion, should not be missing from this list, but the competition at the top was so strong that I have listed them together here:
The playmaker of the reigning world champion Andres Iniesta and the blonde angel Bernd Schuster
Completely different in their kind, on and off the field, but also both equipped with incredible ingenuity.


Bernd Schuster

A rebel like he is in the book, and not just as a footballer. The 1980 European champion was what you would call a sloppy genius. Equipped with outstanding skills, he only did what was necessary or did not always call up his full potential. Nevertheless, after two years at 1.FC Cologne, it is enough for the former Augsburg player to play for FC Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, among others.
In his active career, he was not a great friend of the media world, but today you can often see him as a football expert, e.g. with one-two. The Spaniard by choice remains true to his game philosophy as a coach, currently he is employed by FC Malaga. His name is mentioned again and again when it comes to a possible successor for the federal model, I tell my national coach.

Andres Iniesta

I put Andres Iniesta at his side, the head and man behind the very successful Spanish national team. It is primarily thanks to him that, after more than 40 years without a title, Spain was once again at the top as European champion in 2008 and as world champion 2 years later. He manages like no other to put his teammates in the limelight and still not neglect his own goal threat.
One can confidently call him Barca's veteran where he has been chasing goals and titles since the B-youth to win an impressive 20 titles with the Catalans. Due to his unspectacular style of play, he was overshadowed by Messi and Ronaldo for a long time in honors, all the greater the joy when he was European Footballer of the Year in 2012. With increasing age he has to pay tribute to his exhausting style of play and is injured more and more often.

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8th place

(Double occupied again)


Ronaldinho

Born as Ronaldo de Assis Moreira in Brazil is certainly the biggest bird of paradise in this illustrious group of top playmakers. Hardly anyone manages to project his good mood and his Brazilian zest for life onto the field like the two-time world footballer without losing even a bit of effectiveness.
His best and most successful time was clearly at FC Barcelona, ​​where he played from 2003 to 2008, but towards the end of his time he was more of a talking point due to his lack of physical fitness and his antics off the field. Since he no longer played a role with the current Bayern coach Guardiola, he moved to AC Milan in 2008 where he could no longer find his old strength. Only his move back to Brazil in the autumn of his career brought him back to your footballing roots and into the orbit of Selecao.

He is one of those footballers who can play their opponents dizzy in a confined space.


Roberto Rivelino - one of the best if not the best Brazilian playmakers next to Pele ... almost unknown in Europe, he took part in three world championships and played alongside Rivellino, Pelé, Tostão, Jairzinho, Gérson and Co. with whom he got along almost blindly . No less than Diego Maradona ennobled him as his role model thanks to his almost perfect technique and his gifted left foot. Unfortunately, it was not possible for him to compile an extensive collection of titles, which, however, does not detract from his popularity in Brazil. As a little boy who made it to the top from a poor background, he tries today as the owner of several football schools for street children to give back a lot of his happiness.

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7th place

Wolfgang Overath

Probably the most underrated German midfielder, he played for FC Köln from 1963 to 1977, where he later tried his hand at being president. Overath was the head of the German national team, which in 1974 deservedly became world champion in their own country. Despite some outstanding players like Beckenbauer, Netzer, Bohnhof and many more. He managed to put his stamp on this team, but not through filigree football art, but through his exemplary will to fight and irrepressible commitment with which he repeatedly carried away the whole team. He was a fighter and director at the same time, which is currently rarely found. Even today he is regarded as a role model for intrigue and down-to-earthness.

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Rank 6

Ferenc Puskas

Here the opinions of the alleged football experts differ somewhat, not because of his footballing skills - there is no question about them - but because of what he was now; a storming attacking midfielder or a striker coming from the second row? I have discussed a lot about it here and in my circle of friends, but ultimately the decisive factor was the fact that, as the founder of the shirt number 10, he is a synonym for real playmakers.


Born in Budapest in 1927, Puskas already played in the men's team at Kispest at the age of 15, where his path quickly led upwards. After the takeover and renaming of the club by the Hungarian Ministry of Sport, he got the rank of major, which is what the nickname "the galloping major " brought in, but without ever having actively served in the military.
In the following years he won every imaginable national championship with his club and was the mainstay of the legendary golden elf the Hungarians, who were considered unbeatable for a long time, had not lost 32 competitive games in a row and won the gold medal in Helsinki in 1952.
After the Hungarian uprising in 1956, Puskas immigrated abroad due to the uncertain political situation, which earned him an 18-month ban from FIFA. Although he was already 30 years old at the time and was not in the fittest condition, after his suspension in 1958 he managed to sign a contract with Real Madrid with the help of an old companion. Actually already in the autumn of his career he became an absolute top performer and close friend of di Stefano, with whom he won the national championship cup, the Spanish championship and the world cup several times in the following years.
In 1969 he ended his active time as a footballer and then as a coach 19! to train different teams. Unfortunately he died in 2000 after a long illness.

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5th place

Michel Platini

In 1973, the three-time European Footballer of the Year made his debut in the French premier league at FC Nancy. In the years that followed, he led the team to unprecedented splendor and was quickly seen as the great hope of French football. Due to disagreements within his club, he moved to Saint Entienne in 1979, but with rather moderate success, so that he gave the first votes that stamped him as an eternal talent and believed to recognize that he was not up to the pressure.

In the following years he was supposed to give the lie to all his critics when he moved to the old lady in Italy, although he did not immediately kick off at Juve, but after biting through in the first year despite many envy and media headwinds, he was he can no longer be stopped. Thanks to an outstanding shooting technique, especially with his precise free kicks and an all-round view of his teammates, he quickly became a superstar and one of the most noticeable footballers of the 80s under coach Trapptoni. The rise of Juve to the elite circle of the most impressive club teams in the world was closely linked to his name. After finishing his active career, he became national coach without ever having coached a club team either before or after. Today he is the undisputed President of UEFA and the archenemy of Blatters.

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4th place

Johan Cruyff and Günter Netzer
Here I couldn't decide who I would put higher, also or precisely because both were playing football at the same time, let's start with the guest


Hendrik Johannes Cruyff

The great old man of Dutch football, who came from the famous Ajax Amsterdam management team and was supported by Rinus Michels, built a completely new team around the rather skinny Cruyff. Ajax began to train much more professionally, so that he gradually increased in strength and assertiveness. Cruyff was not the heart of this team, but also the direct link to the coach who gave him all playful freedom. He thanked him with a previously unknown overview and an accuracy of fit that hardly any other player could show up to now. Even a new coach at the Ajax bench and an accompanying system change did not throw him off his feet and Ajax celebrated with them King Johan one of the most successful times in the club's history.
In 1973 the next logical step was when he followed his mentor Michels to Barcelona, ​​although Barca were bobbing around as a relegation candidate and at the bottom of the Spanish table at the time. This should change under the playmaker Cruyff and Barca even managed to win the championship before the - at the time - untouchable royal from Madrid. His style fit perfectly into the Catalonian way of life and quite a few saw in him a compatriot. To this day he is considered an institution in Barcelona and his word carries weight.
After rather moderately successful guest appearances in North America and at Levante in Spain, he wanted to end his career in Rotterdam at the age of 43, but he was again in top form and won the championship and cup with Feyernood.
This incredible playing career was followed by a no less successful coaching career at Ajax Amsterdam and FC Bracelona, ​​where he also provided professional structures outside the field, both clubs and their youth work still benefit today from his clear ideas.
I lean out of the window and say that Dutch football, Ajax Amsterdam and also FC Barcelona would not have the status today without this charismatic football expert Johan Cruyff.

Günter Netzer

A footballer as straight as the parting of his side. Gladbach's ingenious playmaker and thus significantly involved in the best time in Borussia history, when they collected five championships and two cup wins from 1970-1980.

Netzer's precise and deadly passes from the depths of the field are still reserved for very few footballers. Additionally equipped with a hard shot, the ball often took trajectories that were physically impossible. Nobody could give the ball such a twist as Netzer, who was already extremely eccentric and women-loving at the time.

He quickly makes it clear that football is not a game among friends, but a tough business where everyone is themselves.
Today's sports commentator proved his absolute exceptional position in his last game for Borussia: In the cup final against the Rhenish rival from Cologne, he substituted himself and then scored the decisive winning goal to make it 2-1.
As the first German ever, he moved to the royal team from Madrid, where he also asserted himself and had an elementary share in two championships and a cup win. After a year with the Grasshopers from Zurich, he ended his career in 1977, which was marked by a man who never excelled with extreme willingness to run, but acted like no other on and off the pitch.

Head of probably the best national team of all time with the axis Beckenbauer, Netzer, Gerd Müller.
Regarding his later function as manager, it should be mentioned that he was the founder of the most successful time of the Hamburger Sport Verein and is still adored by the fans there today, although he never had the honor of wearing the diamond on his chest.

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place 3


Diego Amando Maradona

Or as he himself once said The Hand of God. The only 165 cm tall Maradona grew up in poor circumstances and showed his incredible talent early on, which quickly earned him the attention of the scouts. Equipped with an inimitable goal scoring and technical skills that had been looking for its equal since Pele, he was the dominant person in every team. His dribbles across the field are still big hits on Youtube and Co. After numerous championships and honors in Argentina, he moved to Europe to FC Barcelona in 1982, where he never really felt at home. In 1984 the until then internationally completely unknown SSC Napoli paid a record number of 24 million for the Argentine ball magician. To this day the rumors persist that the Camorra (local mafia) financed this deal. The Neapolitan fans quickly closed their hearts and he thanked them for the first championship in the club's history and other titles under his reign.
At the same time, he also created his own legend for the national team by leading them to the 1986 World Cup in unprecedented dominance; rarely has a World Cup finals been so shaped by a player as he was. Even Germany could not stop the Gauchos under his leadership and Rummenigge and Co. lost the final 3-2, deservedly. After a few more stops and escapades next to and on the Spielraum, including a mass brawl he initiated under the eyes of King Juan Carlos, he ended his active career in 1997.
As conspicuous as he was on the square, he also let it bang next to the square. From doping bans, drug abuse to tax evasion, he stepped into every faux pas he could find. Without daily training, he quickly gained weight and overexploited his body, which culminated in a heart attack in 2000. After a few visits to the rehab clinic, he seems to have his life under control today.
A gifted footballer who only came third in my statistics because, in contrast to the other playmakers, he was not the over-all strategist, which he almost completely forgot due to his technical brilliance.

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place 2


Zinidane Zidane

Certainly a surprise for many to find him in second place ahead of Maradona. The topic of this blog was decisive. The TOP 10 playmakers and in the ability to direct a team, to lead it and to put his strategic stamp on it, Zidane is, in my opinion, a tad better than the Argentine superstar. If the best footballer were to be sought, the order would certainly be different. This is just for explanation.


Zizou as he is affectionately known by his fans, his successful career began in France at AS Cannes and Girondins Bordeaux, until he moved to Juventus Turin in 1996, where he inherited the belated Platini. He led the old lady back to the top of Europe and national titles, before moving to Real Madrid in 2001 for the unbelievable sum of over 74 million euros. It was quickly seen that he was worth every euro and became part of the Galactic around such outstanding teammates as Luis Figo, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Raul, Roberto Carlos, and many more, who recognized him as the boss on the pitch without hesitation. Every game seemed like training to him, he played blind passes, stepped over, turned and shot as if it was the easiest thing in the world.
At the side of Henry, Barthez, Blanc and many other top French players, he led the Equipe Tricolore to the world championship title in 1998 in his own country and to the European championship title in 2000, where he prepared many important goals or scored himself.
3 x world footballers and countless national and international honors round off a career and make him one of the greatest in his field. Today Zidane works as an assistant coach in Madrid, where his four sons also play in various youth teams.

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1st place


Edison Arantes do Nascimento - or just Pele.

Just mentioning this name gives some (including myself) goose bumps. In all discussions about this list, however, there was never a doubt about the number 1. Not only the best playmaker of all time, also in my eyes the best footballer who was ever on the field!
Mohamed Ali is certainly the most famous athlete in the world, maybe a Netzer, Platini or similar is no longer familiar to today's youth, but everyone who has ever seen a football knows this exceptional Brazilian footballer.
What can I write that everyone doesn't already know ?!

  • 3 x soccer world champions
  • World footballer of the 20th century
  • athlete of the Century
  • etc.

Countless national and international titles and honors show the appreciation for this incredible ball artist.

In order to adequately appreciate and describe his career as a club and national player, it takes more than this blog and an amateur writer like me.
77 goals in 92 games wearing the Selecao jersey are unmatched to this day. Likewise, his goal rate of 0.94 goals in all of his competitive games doesn't even come close to reflecting what he was able to do with the ball.
I bow to a footballer who will probably never be there again.

Pele - the real number 1

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At the end a few words about footballers like Messi, Matthäus, Figo, and many more. who would appear in every best of list, but were not classified by me as classic playmakers and therefore do not appear in THIS list. I was unsure about Messi in particular, but classified him as a striker, like Baggio and di Stefano, so I definitely don't want to diminish the performance of these players.