Who is the greatest player of all time? Messi, Maradona & Ronaldo take part in Legends World Cup

Goal is inviting its readers to determine the finest footballer in history via a knockout tournament featuring 16 of the game's most iconic figures
Is Lionel Messi really better than Diego Maradona? Was Johan Cruyff a more complete footballer than Alfredo Di Stefano? And is it right that when most people nowadays hear the name 'Ronaldo', they immediately think of Cristiano rather than a certain Luis Nazario de Lima?

These are just some of the questions Goal is hoping you can answer for us in our new, interactive series: the Legends World Cup!

That's right, we are pitting the most famous figures in football history against one another in a knockout tournament to determine the greatest player of all time - and the best thing about the competition is that the victor will be decided by you!

Our panel of experts from across the globe has, after many, many hours of deliberation and debate, selected 16 participants and paired them off to create eight knockout matches - which we want our readers to vote on to determine who goes through to the quarters, last four and then the final.

First up, on Wednesday, March 23, Messi will take on his former Barcelona team-mate Ronaldinho, Dutch deity Cruyff will challenge Real Madrid icon Di Stefano, AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini will tackle Franz 'Der Kaiser' Beckenbauer and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will lock horns with the 'real' Ronaldo.

The following day, Pele, 'the King of football', will go toe-to-toe with the immortal Eusebio, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane will vie for the right to be called France's finest No.10 ever, Ferenc Puskas will face off with fellow striking sensation Marco van Basten before we conclude with a battle of the bad boys between Maradona and George Best.

Who will come out on top? Who will win the inaugural Legends World Cup? It's up to you to decide!


Wednesday 23 – Last 16:
Lionel Messi v Ronaldinho (0900)
Johan Cruyff v Alfredo Di Stefano (1000)
Paolo Maldini v Franz Beckenbauer (1100)
Ronaldo v Cristiano (1200)

Thursday 24 – Last 16:
Pele v Eusebio (0900)
Michel Platini v Zinedine Zidane (1000)
Ferenc Puskas v Marco van Basten (1100)
George Best v Diego Maradona (1200)

Friday 25 – Last 16 Results

Saturday 26 – Quarter-finals:
Messi/Ronaldinho v Cruyff/Di Stefano (0900)
Maldini/Beck' v Ronaldo/Cristiano (1000)
Pele/Eusebio v Platini/Zidane (1100)
Puskas/Van Basten v Best/Maradona (1200)

Sunday 27 - Quarter-final Results

Monday 28 – Semi-finals:
Messi/Ronaldinho/Cruyff/Di Stefano v Maldini/Beck'/Ronaldo/Cristiano (0900)
Pele/Eusebio/Platini/Zidane v Puskas/Van Basten/Best/Maradona (1200)

Tuesday 29 - Semi-final Results

Wednesday 30 – Final:
? v ? (0900)