FIFA 100

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Pele in 2008 Pele200802FabioRodriguesPozzebomAgenciaBrasil.jpg
Pelé in 2008

The FIFA 100 is a list of the world-renowned Brazilian striker Pelé's choice of the "greatest living footballers". Unveiled on 4 March 2004 at a gala ceremony in London, England, the FIFA 100 marked part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of football.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


The figure 100 refers to the 100th anniversary of FIFA and not the number of players listed, which is actually 125; Pelé had been asked to select 50 active players and 50 retired players, for a total of 100 players, but found it too difficult to limit the number of former players to just 50. [1] The list contains 123 professional male and 2 female players. At the time the FIFA 100 was selected, 50 of the players were still active, with the remaining 75 retired from the game.


Some football observers have questioned the selection methodology of the list. David Mellor, politician turned football pundit, wrote in his column in the Evening Standard that he felt the selections were politically motivated rather than made on purely footballing grounds. [2] He suggested that the selections looked as if they came from the pen of Sepp Blatter rather than Pelé. As evidence for this, Mellor noted the wide geographical spread of the selected players: a true selection would be more heavily biased to South America and Europe, he argued. Such assertions were also forwarded by BBC columnist Tim Vickery. [3]

David John Mellor is a British broadcaster, barrister, and former politician. As a member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister John Major as Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1990–92) and Secretary of State for National Heritage, before resigning in 1992. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney from 1979 to 1997.

<i>Evening Standard</i> Regional free daily tabloid-format newspaper in London

The Evening Standard is a local, free daily newspaper, published Monday to Friday in tabloid format in London. Since 2009 it has been owned by Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev. It is the dominant local/regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London finance. Its current editor is former UK Conservative Member of Parliament and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. In October 2009, the paper ended a 180-year history of paid circulation and became a free newspaper, doubling its circulation as part of a change in its business plan.

Sepp Blatter 8th President of the International Federation of Association Football

Joseph "Sepp" Blatter is a Swiss football administrator who was the eighth President of the FIFA from 1998 to 2015. He is currently serving a six-year ban from participating in FIFA activities.

One of Pelé's old teammates, the former Brazil midfielder Gérson, reacted to his omission from the FIFA 100 by tearing up a copy of the list on a Brazilian television programme. Marco van Basten and Uwe Seeler refused to take part in the project on a point of principle. [4]

Brazil national football team mens national association football team representing Brazil

The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the governing body for football in Brazil. They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916.

Gérson Brazilian footballer

Gérson de Oliveira Nunes, generally known as GérsonPortuguese pronunciation: [ˈʒɛʁsõ],, nickname Canhotinha de ouro is a Brazilian former association footballer who played as a midfielder. He won numerous national trophies with the club sides of Flamengo, Botafogo, São Paulo and Fluminense. He is widely known as being "the brain" behind the Brazilian Football Team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

Marco van Basten Dutch association football player and manager

Marcel "Marco" van Basten is a Dutch football manager and former professional football player, who played for Ajax and A.C. Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, as a striker. He is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He scored 300 goals in a high-profile career, but played his last match in 1993 at age 28 due to an injury which forced his retirement two years later. He was later the head coach of Ajax and the Netherlands national team.


Following is the list of the "FIFA 100" greatest living footballers as nominated by Pelé. [5] [6]

Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina

PlayerPositionDate of Birth
Gabriel Batistuta* FW 1969-02-01
Hernán Crespo*FW1975-07-05
Alfredo Di Stéfano FW1926-07-04
Mario Kempes FW1954-07-15
Diego Maradona FW/MF 1960-10-30
Daniel Passarella DF 1953-05-25
Javier Saviola*FW1981-12-11
Omar Sívori FW1935-10-02
Juan Sebastián Verón*MF1975-03-09
Javier Zanetti*DF/MF1973-08-10

Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium

Jan Ceulemans MF1957-02-28
Jean-Marie Pfaff GK 1953-12-04
Franky Van der Elst MF1961-04-30

Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil

Carlos Alberto DF1944-07-17
Falcão MF1953-10-16
Pelé FW1940-10-23
Júnior MF1954-06-29
Rivelino MF1946-01-01
Roberto Carlos*DF1973-04-10
Djalma Santos DF1929-02-27
Nílton Santos DF1925-05-16
Sócrates MF1954-02-19
Zico MF/FW1953-03-03

Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria

Hristo Stoichkov FW1966-02-08

Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon

Roger Milla FW1952-05-20

Flag of Chile.svg  Chile

Elías Figueroa DF1946-10-25
Iván Zamorano FW1967-01-18

Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia

Carlos Valderrama MF1961-09-02

Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia

Davor Šuker FW1968-01-01

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic

Josef Masopust MF1931-02-09
Pavel Nedvěd*MF1972-08-30

Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark

Brian Laudrup FW1969-02-22
Michael Laudrup MF1964-06-15
Peter Schmeichel GK1963-11-18

Flag of England.svg  England

Gordon Banks GK1937-12-30
David Beckham*MF1975-05-02
Bobby Charlton MF1937-10-11
Kevin Keegan FW1951-02-14
Gary Lineker FW1960-11-30
Michael Owen*FW1979-12-14
Alan Shearer*FW1970-08-13

Flag of France.svg  France

Eric Cantona FW1966-05-24
Marcel Desailly*DF1968-09-07
Didier Deschamps MF1968-10-15
Just Fontaine FW1933-08-18
Thierry Henry*FW1977-08-17
Raymond Kopa MF1931-10-31
Jean-Pierre Papin FW1963-11-05
Robert Pires*MF1973-10-29
Michel Platini MF1955-06-21
Lilian Thuram*DF1972-01-01
Marius Trésor DF1950-01-15
David Trezeguet*FW1977-10-15
Patrick Vieira*MF1976-06-23
Zinedine Zidane*MF1972-06-23

Flag of Germany.svg  Germany

Michael Ballack*MF1976-09-26
Franz Beckenbauer SW1945-09-11
Paul Breitner MF/DF1951-09-05
Oliver Kahn*GK1969-06-15
Jürgen Klinsmann FW1964-07-30
Sepp Maier GK1944-02-28
Lothar Matthäus MF/SW1961-03-21
Gerd Müller FW1945-11-03
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge FW1955-09-25
Uwe Seeler FW1936-11-05

Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana

Abédi Pelé FW 1964-11-05

Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary

Ferenc Puskás FW1927-04-02

Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

Roberto Baggio*FW/MF1967-02-18
Franco Baresi DF/SW1960-05-08
Giuseppe Bergomi DF1963-12-22
Giampiero Boniperti FW1928-07-04
Gianluigi Buffon*GK1978-01-28
Alessandro Del Piero*FW1974-11-09
Giacinto Facchetti DF1942-07-18
Paolo Maldini*DF1968-06-26
Alessandro Nesta*DF1976-03-19
Gianni Rivera MF1943-08-18
Paolo Rossi FW1956-09-23
Francesco Totti*FW/MF1976-09-27
Christian Vieri*FW1973-07-12
Dino Zoff GK1942-02-28

Flag of Japan.svg  Japan

Hidetoshi Nakata*MF1977-01-22

Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia

George Weah FW1966-10-01

Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico

Hugo Sánchez FW1958-07-11

Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands

Marco van Basten FW1964-10-31
Dennis Bergkamp*FW1969-05-10
Johan Cruyff FW1947-04-25
Edgar Davids*MF1973-03-13
Ruud Gullit MF1962-09-01
René van de Kerkhof MF1951-09-16
Willy van de Kerkhof MF1951-09-16
Patrick Kluivert*FW1976-07-01
Johan Neeskens MF1951-09-15
Ruud van Nistelrooy*FW1976-07-01
Rob Rensenbrink FW1947-07-03
Frank Rijkaard MF/DF1962-09-30
Clarence Seedorf*MF1976-04-01

Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria

Jay-Jay Okocha*MF1973-08-14

Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland

George Best MF1946-05-22

Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay

Romerito FW1960-08-28

Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru

Teófilo Cubillas FW1949-03-08

Flag of Poland.svg  Poland

Zbigniew Boniek MF1956-03-03

Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal

Eusébio FW1942-01-25
Luís Figo*MF1972-11-04
Rui Costa*MF1972-03-29

Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland

Roy Keane*MF1971-08-10

Flag of Romania.svg  Romania

Gheorghe Hagi MF1965-02-05

Flag of Russia.svg  Russia

Rinat Dasayev GK1957-06-13

Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Kenny Dalglish FW1951-03-04

Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal

El Hadji Diouf*FW1981-01-15

Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea

Hong Myung-bo*DF1969-02-12

Flag of Spain.svg  Spain

Emilio Butragueño FW1963-07-22
Luis Enrique*MF1970-05-08

Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey

Rüştü Reçber*GK1973-05-10
Emre Belözoğlu*MF1980-07-09

Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine

Andriy Shevchenko*FW1976-09-29

Flag of the United States.svg  United States

Michelle Akers MF/FW1966-02-01
Mia Hamm*FW1972-03-17

Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay

Enzo Francescoli FW/MF1961-11-12

See also

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  1. "Fifa names greatest list". BBC. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  2. Mellor, David (5 March 2004). "Sing up for Ken, a true Blues man". Evening Standard Ltd. p. 77.
  3. Vickery, Tim (8 March 2004). "Pele pays price for popularity". BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  4. Davies, Christopher (4 March 2004). "Pele open to ridicule over top hundred". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  5. "FIFA 100". Best Football Players Ever.
  6. "The Fifa 100". The Guardian. 4 March 2004.