5. Cristiano Ronaldo
Europe’s greatest ever goalscorer and a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo isn’t close to being finished yet. Along with Lionel Messi, his goalscoring exploits have made a mockery of those who have come before, and he’s set enough career records to fill a book: all-time top scorer for Real Madrid and Portugal, all-time top scorer in the Champions League and across all five top European leagues – records that he will be determined to extend.
Sir Alex Ferguson said he had never coached a more talented player, but talent alone isn’t what makes Ronaldo worthy of his position in this list. His mental strength, discipline, instinctive finishing, dead-ball prowess, and unrivaled focus elevate him above and beyond the vast majority.
Career highlight: In 2008, a towering Ronaldo header helped Manchester United to the Champions League title, leading him to his lifelong goal of being voted the best player in the world.