RANKED: The 25 Greatest Soccer Players Ever

9. Alfredo di Stefano

Before Pele, Maradona and Messi, we had Di Stefano. The Argentine of Italian descent eventually transformed himself from a poor boy in the countryside into one of the world’s most prolific scorers. We today view River Plate as a historically gigantic club residing in South America. Di Stefano is a big reason for the worldwide recognition. Starting as a youth player, Di Stefano exploded onto the scene. In stops with clubs in Argentina and Colombia, Di Stefano helped his clubs win six league titles. From there, a move to Spanish giant Real Madrid materialized.

In 11 seasons with the club, Di Stefano led Real Madrid to eight La Liga titles. He scored over 300 goals in less than 400 matches — giving him a truly ridiculous goal-per-game average. What made Di Stefano so impactful is the fact that he literally could play anywhere on the pitch at an exceptionally high level. He’s known for his goal-scoring prowess — though he also had transcendent skills as both a central defender and as a central midfielder, as well.

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