30 Best International Players of All Time

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30 Best International Players of All Time
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Selecting the 30 greatest footballers from the long history of international football has resulted in a shortlist packed full of nothing but the most illustrious names.

Traditional powerhouses Brazil, Italy and Germany are heavily represented. World Cup success, though it is a major factor, is not the only criteria used in judging a player's impact at international level. Gabriel Batistuta, for example, the top goal scorer for his country and a consistently brilliant performer over a long period of time, edges out fellow Argentine Mario Kempes, who won a World Cup but played fewer games and scored 46 fewer goals.

To make this Top 30, players must be regarded as among the very best to have played for their own country, something which is usually, but not always, born out in statistics such as caps won or goals scored.

Club form and achievements are not considered, which has resulted in some major omissions (see the next slide), but every name who has made the final cut is an undoubted giant of the game.

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