Ahead of Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Pelé has been voted the greatest footballer of all-time.

The three-time World Cup winner scored 727 goals during his glittering 21 year career, including 77 for Brazil in 92 appearances.

Widely regarded as football’s first superstar, he is still the youngest player ever to appear in a World Cup final featuring in the culmination of the 1958 tournament aged just 17.

Dan Korn, vice-president of programming for History said: “History’s special season of football programming aims to ignite an entertaining debate on what were the ultimate historic moments of the sport, who stands as the best player in history, which coaches most shaped the game – and much more.”

England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain, Bobby Moore finished sixth, ahead of ex-Barcelona and Holland star Johan Cruyff, who came seventh.

Moore’s ’66 teammate, Sir Bobby Charlton, finished eighth and was joined in the top 10 by ‘Golden Balls’ David Beckham and current Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane.

 

passion.”

Top 40 greatest footballers of all time:

1. Pelé

2. Lionel Messi

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

4. George Best

5. Diego Maradona

6. Bobby Moore OBE

7. Johan Cruyff

8. Sir Bobby Charlton CBE

9. David Beckham OBE

10. Zinedine Zidane

11. Thierry Henry

12. Franz Beckenbauer

13. Eusébio

14. Kenny Dalglish MBE

15. Ronaldinho

16. Ryan Giggs OBE

17. Gary Lineker OBE

18. Paul Gascoigne

19. Ronaldo

20. Steven Gerrard MBE

21. Denis Law CBE

22. Dennis Bergkamp

23. Alfredo Di Stéfano

24. Ferenc Puskás

25. Wayne Rooney

26. Sir Tom Finney CBE

27. Michael Owen

28. Michel Platini

29. Jürgen Klinsmann

30. Lothar Matthäus

31. Marco van Basten

32. Mohamed Salah

33. Bryan Robson OBE

34. Lev Yashin

35. Gareth Bale

36. Zlatan Ibrahimović

37. Franco Baresi

38. Xavi

39. Kevin De Bruyne

40. Gianluigi Buffon

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