AI Ranks 10 Best Players of All Time as Messi v Ronaldo Goat Debate Rages On

AI Ranks 10 Best Players of All Time as Messi v Ronaldo Goat Debate Rages On

Fred Kennedy
September 18, 2023 at 3:08 PM
  • Opinion has always remained divided on who the greatest footballer of all time is
  • Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are widely regarded as the GOATs of their era
  • Brazil great Pele and Argentina legend Diego Maradona are also among the greatest

Artificial intelligence has ranked the top 10 best players of all time in a move that could end the never-ending debate on who the football GOAT truly is.

For the longest time, football fans, pundits, and even footballers themselves have been divided on ranks top among the greatest footballers of all time.

That debate has often pitted Cristiano Ronaldo and his football nemesis, Lionel Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during the Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during the Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein.
Source: Getty Images

The two icons have dominated the football scenes for years, thanks to their longevity, individual success, and sheer talent.

To put their dominance into perspective, the duo has won an incredible 12 Ballon d'Or awards between them, with Messi carting home the prestigious award a record seven times, per Sporting News.

For many years, opinion has remained divided on who between Messi and Ronaldo is the greatest footballer ever.

AI ranks the top 10 best players

Research by AI platform, ChatGPT has seemingly put this debate to rest after ranking the top 10 best players of all time.

According to the ranking, cited by The Mirror, the crown belongs to Brazil great, Pele, whom AI contends is the best footballer there ever was.

Pele enjoyed an illustrious football career that saw him score over 1,000 goals and win the FIFA World Cup on three occasions.

In the ranking, Messi could only manage a third-place finish behind fellow countryman, Diego Maradona, with Ronaldo ranked fourth.

Below are the top 10 best players of all time, per AI:

10. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary)

The legendary Hungarian striker scored more than 700 goals during his illustrious football career. Puskas plied his trade with Real Madrid at the club level and won five league titles with them.

9. George Best (Northern Ireland)

Best is widely regarded as one of the best wingers in the history of football, he is a legendary figure at Manchester United and has a statue outside of Old Trafford.

8. Zinedine Zidane (France)

The former France international ranks eighth in the list of the best players of all time. Zidane was part of the Les Bleus squad that won the 1998 World Cup.

7. Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)

The German is the only defender on the list. Beckenbauer had a spectacular career with Bayern Munich, with whom he won four Bundesliga titles and three European Cups.

6. Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain)

Di Stefano was teammates with Puskas at Real Madrid. Just like the Hungarian, the Spaniard was equally incisive in front of the goal as he scored over 450 goals for the La Liga club.

5. Johan Cruyff (The Netherlands)

The Dutchman won an incredible three Ballon d'Or awards during his career. He played for Ajax and Barcelona during a legendary career.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

The Man United and Real Madrid forward needs no introduction. Ronaldo has won nearly every available trophy to win for any footballer and at 38, is going even stronger in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Nassr.

3. Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Messi has enjoyed a successful football career spanning more than 20 years. His most successful stint came with Barcelona, where he spent the better part of his journey.

2. Diego Maradona (Argentina)

Maradona is best remembered for his incredible dribbling skills (and his infamous 'Hand of God' goal). He played a central role in Argentina's World Cup triumph in 1986.

1. Pele

Is this a case of saving the best for last? Pele is the only player among the 10 who never played in Europe, spending his entire club football career in his home country with Brazilian club, Santos.

When Greenwood chose Messi or Ronaldo

Previously, Sports Brief reported on Mason Greenwood being asked his GOAT opinion before the start of the 2021-2022 campaign as a promising youngster.

He had to answer who he felt the better player was: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He gave his verdict on the eternal football GOAT debate in July 2021.

Fred Kennedy photo
Fred Kennedy
Lionel MessiWorldCristiano Ronaldo