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Top 10 best soccer players in Argentina of all time

While the two number 10 greats have made history with Albiceleste, this nation has been fortunate to possess a plethora of incredible talents over the years. With two World Cup championships and three additional appearances in the final, Argentina stands among the elite of international football. Moreover, three players like Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Gabriel Batistuta have become icons of the sport, known worldwide instantly. But who is the greatest? Here, bestsoccertips will share the top 10 best soccer players in Argentina through the following article!

Ranking of the best Argentine soccer players

10. Fernando Redondo

Elegant, sophisticated, and immensely talented, Fernando Redondo was one of the stars of the 1990s, commanding the midfield for both Argentina and Real Madrid. Indeed, at the Santiago Bernabeu, this deep-lying midfielder is remembered as one of the finest foreign players ever to grace the hallowed halls of the club.

Best soccer players in argentina: Fernando Redondo
Best soccer players in argentina: Fernando Redondo

Despite his abilities, Redondo’s international career was marred by disputes with coaches, notably in 1998 when Daniel Passarella cited his long hair as the reason for excluding him from the national team. The midfielder only appeared 29 times for Argentina but still left his mark alongside Maradona, Batistuta, and Claudio Caniggia.

9. Angel Labruna

The great elder statesman of Argentine football, Angel Labruna was a member of the famous ‘Machine’ forward line of River Plate, and during his 20-year tenure with the Monumental club, he won no fewer than 9 Primera Division titles, alongside luminaries such as Jose Manuel Moreno, Adolfo Perdernera, Felix Loustau, and Di Stefano.

Argentina soccer best players: Angel Labruna
Argentina soccer best players: Angel Labruna

Labruna was unfortunate to see much of his career coincide with periods when Argentina declined to participate in the World Cup, with his sole experience in the tournament coming in 1958 when the 39-year-old forward was summoned to compensate for the absence of Omar Sivori, Humberto Maschio, and Alfredo Angelillo, who had moved to Italy and decimated the Albiceleste squad.

However, he did secure two titles with his country, lifting the Copa America in 1946 and 1955, while he continued to excel as a coach for his beloved River before his untimely passing in 1983.

8. Daniel Passarella

Daniel Passarella was the inspirational captain of Argentina during their 1978 World Cup triumph. It’s easy to be intimidated by such a brash personality, both on and off the field, but his towering presence demanded respect from both friends and foes alike.

Best argentine soccer players: Daniel Passarella
Best argentine soccer players: Daniel Passarella

Passarella was an exceptional defender, known for his uncompromising ability to intercept the ball, matched only by his outstanding goal-scoring prowess – 144 goals in 447 club appearances, with an additional 22 goals in 70 caps for Argentina.

He’s also renowned as the only Albiceleste player to have won two World Cup winner’s medals, although he was an unused substitute in 1986 amidst continuous conflicts with Diego Maradona.

7. Ubaldo Fillol

Ubaldo ‘El Pato’ Fillol played almost his entire 30-year goalkeeping career in Argentina, with brief stints abroad at Atletico Madrid and Flamengo. While he achieved remarkable success at club level, winning no fewer than seven championships at River Plate as well as the Supercopa Sudamericana crown at Racing at the age of 38, it’s his heroics with the Albiceleste that helped him earn the accolade of the nation’s finest-ever shot-stopper.

Best argentina soccer players of all time: Ubaldo Fillol
Best argentina soccer players of all time: Ubaldo Fillol

Fillol featured prominently in the 1974, 1978, and 1982 World Cups, with his athleticism and agility playing a crucial role in the previous successful campaign on home soil. He was particularly famed for his penalty-saving prowess, thwarting a total of 25% of the penalties he faced.

6. Gabriel Batistuta

Gabriel Batistuta may not boast the all-around talent of some other names on this list, but when it comes to pure finishing ability, the former Fiorentina and Roma striker had very few equals.

His remarkable tally of 56 goals in just 72 international appearances helped Batistuta become Argentina’s all-time leading scorer until his retirement in 2005, a record only surpassed by Lionel Messi.

Argentina's best soccer players: Gabriel Batistuta
Argentina’s best soccer players: Gabriel Batistuta

‘Batigol’ also remains the only player in history to score a hat-trick in two different World Cup tournaments, while his trophy cabinet includes two Copa America titles and a Scudetto with Roma, fueled by his 20 goals during the historic 2000-01 campaign.

5. Omar Sivori

Another iconic figure who became a superstar both domestically and internationally, Omar Sivori first rose to prominence at River Plate. He even earned the privilege of having a stand named after him at the club’s home ground, the Monumental.

Best soccer players in argentina: Omar Sivori
Best soccer players in argentina: Omar Sivori

Remarkably, this dangerous forward lifted league titles in six consecutive seasons, three with River and three more in Serie A with Juventus. He also played a pivotal role in Argentina’s Copa America triumph in 1957, as part of a team many consider to be the greatest Albiceleste side ever to grace a major tournament.

4. Mario Kempes

Prior to the emergence of Maradona as Argentina’s iconic figure on the World Cup stage, Mario Kempes stood as the nation’s foremost hero in football’s grandest tournament. Selected as the sole overseas-based player by Cesar Luis Menotti for the 1978 World Cup campaign, Kempes validated the coach’s decision with an extraordinary display, netting a total of six goals throughout the tournament, notably scoring twice in the final showdown against the Netherlands to secure Argentina’s victory.

Argentina soccer best players: Mario Kempes
Argentina soccer best players: Mario Kempes

Beyond his remarkable World Cup achievements, Kempes enjoyed a prolific career, tallying over 300 goals across various competitions. Such was his impact and legacy that the largest stadium in Cordoba, Argentina now proudly bears his name, serving as a perpetual tribute to the province’s most illustrious footballing son.

3. Alfredo di Stefano

Entering history as Real Madrid’s greatest player of all time is no small feat. But Alfredo di Stefano truly was a superstar in his day, leading the Merengues to an astonishing 5 consecutive European Cups in the tournament’s early days, setting an unmatched milestone.

Best argentine soccer players: Alfredo di Stefano
Best argentine soccer players: Alfredo di Stefano

Though playing at the highest level only briefly in his native Argentina before moving to Colombia and then Spain, Di Stefano achieved remarkable success. River Plate saw successive Primera titles during his time at the Monumental, while his sole experience with the Argentina national team saw him score six goals in six matches to help Albiceleste win the 1947 South American Championship, precursor to the Copa America title.

2. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is not just a great footballer but a historical figure, his works not only rewriting the annals of greatness but also illuminating the profound significance of becoming an exceptional football player worldwide, with a unique ball-handling technique that no one can match. Messi’s excellence may be a phenomenon we may never see repeated in subsequent generations of players.

Best argentina soccer players of all time: Lionel Messi
Best argentina soccer players of all time: Lionel Messi

However, despite leaving a clear mark in the history of football, for Argentina, glory still eludes him, leaving Messi feeling incessant pressure. The absence of a major title remains a heavy burden on this star’s shoulders. Perhaps, the upcoming Copa America, if Messi decides to return, will be the last opportunity for him to end that painful journey with the national team, while the dream of winning the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 still burns fiercely within him.

1. Diego Maradona

While Diego Maradona continues to captivate attention with his antics post-retirement, it is on the football pitch where he left an indelible mark in Argentine football. His heroics in the 1986 World Cup, including the unforgettable second goal against England, mean he has carved a place in the nation’s history as their greatest player to date.

Best soccer players in argentina: Diego Maradona
Best soccer players in argentina: Diego Maradona

Simultaneously, he also attained idol status at Napoli due to his role in the club’s transformation, clinching the Scudetto in the late 1980s. The age-old debate of Maradona versus Messi as Argentina’s greatest player rages on. Both are legends, but Maradona’s success in the World Cup has elevated him above the man who leads Albiceleste currently, at least for the moment.


In summary, the top soccer players from Argentina encapsulate the essence of footballing greatness, each leaving an unforgettable legacy on the sport. From Mario Kempes’ heroics in the 1978 World Cup to Diego Maradona’s iconic moments in 1986, and Lionel Messi’s ongoing quest for international glory, these players have not only shaped the history of Argentine football but have also captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Their talent, dedication, and achievements serve as a testament to the enduring power of the beautiful game, inspiring countless generations of players and fans alike. Argentina’s soccer heritage is enriched by the contributions of these legendary figures, whose names will forever be etched in the annals of football history.

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