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.


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]

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]


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

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  2. Mellor, David (5 March 2004). "Sing up for Ken, a true Blues man". Evening Standard Ltd. p. 77.
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  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.