The history of the World Cup is marked by an enormous amount of player power. Some legends were born to play, some were chosen before they could even kick a ball. Here are five individuals who made our list of the most influential player’s of all time.

5. Lionel Messi

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With over 200 goals to his name, he is no stranger when it comes to scoring points. He won the Ballon d'Or in 2005 but did not get many first-team opportunities. On May 6th he became the world all-time leading scorer with his 94rd goal against England at Wembley Stadium. He also scored six other goals that day. Other than those two against England on June 12th Messi scored 10 goals for Barcelona on their famous winning streak on June 13. This was followed by five goals on July 7th as well as three more that month.

Messi was named Ballon d’Or in 2006 for a third time after scoring twice in Portugal’s 4-0 win over France in Porto vs Manchester United in Seville that same year. Also receiving two gongs from Fifa in 2007, 2008 & 2009.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Since leaving Juventus in the summer of 2006, Cristiano Ronaldo had quite the prolific career. As soon as he started, he was immediately noticed by English fans as the top-scorer for Portugal. His tally of 54 top-scoring goals is equal with Cristiano Di María’s tally (54) which makes him second only behind Thierry Henry’s tally.

His biggest goal came on his debut against Argentina in September 2006 against whom his country is still technically at war. Although Brazil have been eliminated from qualifying for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. At least one point scored in each of his previous appearances, this includes a brace in a friendly against Mexico in December 2006.

In his nine years with Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored 17 goals, making them 14 times in the Champions League or La Liga and as many times in domestic competitions.

3. Thomas Müller

We know how hard it can be to win the World Cup. To do so without being nominated is nothing short of a miracle! But it does take exceptional players to go there. And, if you ask us who the best is to have played for Germany at the 1958 U20 World Cup. That title is given to none other than Müller!

Müller came into the national team in 1960. Not only did he win multiple titles but he earned five medals along the way. First, coming close in 1986. Then he won the Golden Victory for Europe at Euro 88. Afterward, he also won silver in 1982 and bronze for 1985. In the final match up against Israel in Moscow he scored in a 6-0 rout with seven goals in total.

He won a treble in 1988 with wins over Italy while collecting titles like Player of the Tournament, Young International Player of the Year, Goal of the Century Award, Best Women’s Team and Youth National Coach of the Year.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Just like Ronaldo with 17 goals, in his 8 years as a club we can look no further than Cristiano Ronaldo with 25 goals in just 26 games. His first appearance was in August 2000 in a 3-0 home victory over Fiorentina against Italy. Two weeks later, he recorded another hat trick with victories over Arsenal, Valencia, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Napoli. For 2002, he recorded three goals for Spain (two penalties and one converted), including a hat trick against Turkey.

When the international break came around, Portugal took possession of the lead once again, but only managed to score two goals that evening. While then, Uruguay and Brazil were able to score twice! A few days later, the legendary forward returned from his vacation. He scored yet another hat trick. Three nights later, Ronaldo beat Sweden 2-1 on home soil and was named MVP, Golden Boy, European Footballer of the Year and Sport Star of the Year. His stats were huge too. The Portuguese star scored 50 goals in 66 matches for club and country.

While still trying to chase the Golden Boot, it should not be forgotten that Ronaldo is already chasing down David Beckham, Sergio Aguero, Neymar and Roger Federer. Only Ronaldo (22 goals) has ever scored more than the rest of them combined!

1. Messi

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Now at number 1, what a player Lionel Messi was! Of course, people may say that Lionel Messi’s ‘Messi’ is Spanish. Maybe now you get why when Messi scored a hat trick against Sweden and got two goals against Finland and Russia. But that’s not the reason we made our decision in favor of Messi. Yes, his greatest ever goal came on his 11th appearance in a competitive game. One night that summer, Messi was awarded the Golden Ball award. It is one of the biggest awards in football and is seen as something to aspire to and show off. No wonder he thought to take a nap right after.

With 23 goals for Barcelona, that equates to 16 goals in all competitions. Without question, he deserves the highest praise on this list of most assisted player’s. Especially considering this is the moment where most footballers spend every Saturday afternoon. Even though nobody knows how many times Messi has been assisting the team or how many assists were given, there’s no doubt about this man being deserving of such accolades. From what other players have said, he certainly earned his place as the greatest player the sport has ever known.