Most Overrated Footballers of All Time
In the history of football, there have been lots of great footballers who got the credit they deserved from football fans and the media. But on the other hand, we’ve seen some football players who were not good enough to get that much attention and simply, they were overrated. Although ranking the most overrated footballers can always lead to controversies between football fans, here we did our best to pick the top players that can be deemed the most overrated footballers of all time based on different reasons.
It must be explicitly noted that because someone is on the list doesn't imply that they are not a good footballer. Stay tuned for the list and after you’re finished reading the article, let us know what you think about these names.
Most Overrated Footballers of All Time
Get ready to see some of your favorite names in our list of the most overrated footballers of all time!
40. Emile Heskey
The formidable Englishman is a powerful, solid forward who has the potential to be an effective striker. Heskey never gained real stability in his career, however, and during 2000/2001 he struggled to repeat his 22 goals for Liverpool, with his best ever since he collected to be 14.
Emile Heskey had his overrated label exemplified when he was picked over a number of talented attackers for the England team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and then disappointed.
39. Javier Pastore
When he's in full air, he looks so majestic so it's no surprise that Javier Pastore does have many adoring fans in the football community.
Having played for Huracan in his home Argentina, and afterwards Palermo in Italy, he took another jump in his career with a switch to French giants PSG in 2009 for a heavy €42 million.
Despite playing a unique, marvellous game, Pastore didn't become a middle-class star in Ligue 1 as many thought he would.
Nor did he establish himself as a permanent member of the Argentinian National Team. He is now playing for AS Roma in Serie A, hoping for a better future.
38. Alexander Hleb
The Belorussian has experienced a stellar season with Arsenal in 2007/2008, his first adequate and successful campaign for the Gunners. Hleb has scarcely been recognized at World Football ever since. The midfielder quit Arsenal with a quest for greater things but eventually he couldn’t make a real impact at Barcelona because of his lack of consistency and skills.
He ended up playing for several clubs on loan, including Birmingham and VFL Wolfsburg. After Barcelona refused to extend his contract, he went to PFC Krylia Sovetov Samara in Russia. He is simply overrated.
37. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
The Netherlands striker is a skilled player. Huntelaar had flourished with Ajax and SC Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie, scoring 66 goals in 98 games. In the top leagues, though, the dominant striker failed, struggling to establish himself in La Liga and Serie A with the likes of AC Milan and Real Madrid.
Huntelaar's lack of form and goals in Italy and Spain resulted in a switch to the German Bundesliga with Shalke 04 at which Dutch international had around 7 good years.
36. Miguel Veloso
The Portuguese footballer is regarded as one of Portugal's best midfielders, but the 34-year-old strives for consistency and is suspected to be having issues with attitude. In the bigger, competitive leagues like the Premier League and Spain, several analysts have thought Veloso would be unable to make an impression. Today Veloso is hardly getting attention with Italian outfit Verona.
You might also like: Facts You Need to Know about Ronaldo’s Girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez
35. Robbie Keane
The Irishman has inspired Tottenham but has failed to restore an effective touch of scoring in recent years. When they acquired the forward in 2008, Keane retained £19 million from Liverpool, but the bad form of the forward mostly during season saw him stay with Liverpool for just six months before getting back to Tottenham for just over half the price. The Irish international has since struggled to produce impressive moments and after signing for LA Galaxy, he last played for ATK Football Club in India.
34. Lukas Podolski
The German player has long been hailed as the next biggest footballer but Podolski has struggled to fulfil these claims, frequently competing in the German League. Lucas Podolski, who cost over £ 10 million for Bayern Munich, disappointed at Munich amid his reported talent and then was sold back to FC Koln. He then moved to Arsenal and now he is playing for Antalyaspor in Turkey. He is one of the most overrated footballers of all time that has won the World Cup.
33. Scott Carson
An Englishman who has been a legend of the English football, despite his propensity to make frequent mistakes and positioning failures, is still considered a good and solid keeper. Carson may have long been famous for England's stunning success against Croatia in the Euro 2008 qualifying. The former West Bromwich Albion shot-stopper suffered a series of mistakes that ultimately saw Croatia win and succeed, although England missed the famous competition. Right now he is on loan from Derby County at Man City.
32. Marouane Chamakh
The Moroccans succeeded in the French league for Bordeaux all without scoring a massive number of goals a season before transferring to Arsenal in 2010. After a brilliant start, the striker simply collapsed, unable to play well for the Gunners. Confidence and fatigue were seen as key factors why Chamakh lapsed, but he had never been able to get back to his good days and retired from football at Cardiff City.
31. Julio Baptista
After some outstanding seasons for Sevilla during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons in La Liga, Julio Baptista was never able to live up to his apparent ability and skills. With seasons of playing for Real Madrid, AS Roma and Arsenal, the Brazilians had struggled to succeed as a regular scorer. While the forward possessed impressive strength, he was so often clumsy and slow. He eventually retired from football at CFR Cluj.
You might also like: Top Hottest Female Soccer Players in the World
30. Sergio Ramos
Back in 2009, the iconic Italian defender, Paolo Maldini, named Sergio Ramos as his likely successor. As mentioned by Salvatore Landolina of goal.com, he told Marca that the Spaniard would be the next big thing in the world of defenders:
My successor is Sergio Ramos. He’s young, and he's got all the things to become my successor. He’s fast, strong, and he's got a good technique. He’s young and he's got a lot of years ahead of him. He’s part of a fantastic club in Real Madrid. My recommendation to him is to play in the centre of the field as I did.
Since then, Ramos has proved to be a respectable defender, both on right and in the middle, but he also makes some bad mistakes sometimes. When he decides to retire from football, Real Madrid supporters will recall him lovingly, but it is doubtful that he will be recognized as one of the greatest of all time. One thing for sure is that Ramos definitely can be considered as one of the most overrated footballers of all time.
29. Mark Van Bommel
The once talented central midfielder has been something of a rose thorn. Dirty, reckless challenges and a lackluster attitude is no longer the player who earned the respect of the football world many years ago. Van Bommel experienced several bad seasons with Bayern Munich, which ended in his arrival at AC Milan. After a not so good season in Serie A, he went back to PSV and retired from football in 2013.
28. Peter Crouch
The gangly attacker has a sluggish and offensive side, despite being reluctant to impose his physical, commanding presence too much. A rather prolific goalscorer, fans are also disappointed with him for his failure to regularly get involved.
Crouch is known to have personality issues and has graced a variety of various clubs throughout his career and eventually retired from professional football at the 2018-2019 season.
27. Edin Dzeko
The Bosnian attacker does possess some amazing stats, especially with German team VfL Wolfsburg, which involves 36 goals in 46 matches during the 2008/2009 season. However, after transferring to Manchester City in January for a huge fee of £ 27 million, Dzeko has appeared off the mark and slow in the English Premier League. In the 2015–16 season, he moved on a €4 million loan with an €11 million option to buy to Italian giants AS Roma.
26. Abou Diaby
The formidable French footballer was once billed as the next Patrick Vieira, which left Arsenal fans very hopeful for his future. However, the Arsenal career of him was riddled by inconsistencies. The central midfielder failed to achieve consecutive solid performances, had a reckless offensive side that has cost Arsenal several times. In July 2015, after being released from Arsenal for around a month, he signed for the French side Marseille. Mainly due to injury problems, on 25 February 2019, he announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.
25. Steven Gerrard
It is entirely clear that why Liverpool fans worship Steven Gerrard. A loyal servant to Liverpool for more than 15 years, he was the driving factor behind the club's several joyful occasions in that period of time; most prominently guiding them to triumph in the 2004/05 Champions League at Istanbul.
However, Steven Gerrard’s performances for England National Team have exposed some weaknesses in his game which suggested that he may not be the all-conquering monster he often was presented as being.
A lack of tactical control, and a tendency for the extraordinary when anything straightforward would do, means that the lion-hearted and hard-running player will often ruin his manager's life by going off script He eventually moved to LA Galaxy and retired from playing football after a season.
24. Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing first after being signed to Liverpool from Aston Villa on a €20 million transfer. As a winger, he has a willingness to be unreliable and invisible in the matches, Downing isn't so good in front of goal too. After years of playing for the likes of Liverpool, West Ham, Middlesbrough and Blackburn, he is now a free agent at the age of 36.
23. Joe Cole
To be honest, injuries certainly badly affected Joe Cole, but after failing to make an impression on Liverpool, he went on a loan to play for French side Lille for a season. The former England international, was a fast and versatile playmaker, but his inconsistent performances led him to retire from football in the US.
22. Paul Scholes
Given the numerous statements calling Scholes an outstanding player and his ludicrous trophy collection, perhaps there is an explanation to why he never won the Player of the Year with Man United. Paul Scholes was voted twice in the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year.
21. Karim Benzema
Real Madrid veteran attacker Karim Benzema is leading the front line at one of the greatest clubs in the history since 2009, but he's never been swept up in superstar status, despite having been given plenty of chances to do so.
Benzema creates the impression that he is a superior athlete instead of a normal footballer, and often his mentality seems to have set him down. Real Madrid chose to drop Gonzalo Higuain and to keep Benzema, one of the most overrated footballers of all time at the team.
20. Danny Welbeck
The 29-year-old was once one of the best young attackers in England, but he has yet to develop a successful, clinical aspect to his game. The Englishman was highly regarded by Sir Alex Ferguson, but he couldn't develop in Man United as much as the club liked and after two loan spells at Preston North End and Sunderland he signed for Arsenal for a £16 million fee.
Welbeck is currently playing for Watford.
The Brazilian footballer, who cost Real Madrid £ 20 million and Manchester City £32.5 million, was never been able to play consistently in the world's best football leagues. The winger has all the techniques in the game, but he can be sulky, fragile and anonymous lots of times. The now 36-year old Brazilian winger is currently a free agent after being released from Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir. We think there could not be a list of most overrated football players of all time without Robinho’s name in it.
18. Kevin-Prince Boateng
While Kevin-Prince Boateng possesses a tremendous amount of talent and a perfect physique for a football player, he is too often unimpressive at the pitch.
Part of the dilemma may be that no coach has yet found his optimal position. He seems to have the technique of being an attacking player, but he's never shown enough creativity or integrity to place himself as the real No. 10.
Nor does he have the effort and determination to be a world-class defender or box-to-box midfielder. TIt took AC Milan 3 years to conclude that Boateng will not fit into their squad. After playing for many clubs like Schalke 04, Las Palmas and Sassuolo, he is now playing on loan for Turkish club Beşiktaş on loan from Fiorentina.
17. Hidetoshi Nakata
Widely regarded as the greatest player in Japanese football history, he will still be recognized for his part in helping Roma win the Serie A title in 2001.
That being said, he was never even a regular player on any of the teams he played at the height of his career. For both of his two seasons at Roma, he struggled to play over 15 league matches, though he was in and out of the regular Parma and Fiorentina sides. Nakata can be considered as one of the most overrated players in the football history of Asia.
16. David De Gea
Sir Alex Ferguson paid a massive sum to bring the young Spanish goalkeeper to Old Trafford in 2010. David De Gea was acquired as a proper successor for the legendary Edwin van der Sar, who retired from professional football at the end of that season.
With a massive reputation as the next best goalkeeper in the football world, the 20-year-old was unimpressive during his debut at Man United. However there is no denying that over the recent years he has improved very much, and is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but he is slightly overrated.
15. Carlos Tevez
One of the most overrated soccer players of all time, Carlos Tevez has always been a "people's champion" in Argentina as a symbol of Boca Juniors and a staple of the impoverished streets of regional Buenos Aires.
His tenure at the club had plenty of ups and downs, to say the least, with numerous impressive displays punctuated with frequent bust-ups with his coaches.
His record for Argentina National Team has never been impressive, containing much more frustration than success. This never stopped supporters and media sources in Argentina shouting for his presence in Albiceleste's roster each time a big tournament was rolling around.
With "Carlitos" good times with Juventus, he went back to Boca and after a short spell at china, he is now playing his last football games for Boca Juniors.
14. Tomas Rosicky
The Czech playmaker has been unable to perform well for the Arsenal middle line in his last seasons and after missing half of his last season at Arsenal because of an injury, On 30 August 2016, he announced that he is getting back to his old club Sparta Prague, where he retired from football the very same season. The once talented playmaker lost the pace and touch from his early days in the German Bundesliga and his Arsenal career.
13. John Obi Mikel
Every now and then known as a dirty midfielder, Mikel is a good midfield player, but, like his former teammate Petr Cech, his skills and attributes are too highly rated. A sometimes unreliable and unpredictable passer, the former Chelsea midfielder has been deemed as one of the most overrated footballers in the Premier League history.
12. Mario Balotelli
Super Mario is, without a doubt, a magnificent football player. Thousands of pages have been written about the Super Mario's exploits off the pitch and his dominance on it. He has long been spoken of as a remarkable talent, but Balotelli who is now 30 years old just failed to justify all the attention on more consistent performance.
10 years ago, Mario had indeed rated himself as the second world's best player, as stated by Marcus Christenson of The Guardian.
"There's only one who is a bit tougher than me: Messi," he said. "And most of them are behind me."
Ten years on, and few (aside from Mario himself) will place the now-experienced player in the top 50 players in the world. After changing more than 6 clubs during these 10 years, he is now a part of the relegated side Brescia and we have to wait and see which team he is going to play in the upcoming season.
11. Nicholas Anelka
The French star player has earned over £70 million in loan fees and has been to a variety of leagues in Europe because of his behaviour and his failure to deliver consistently despite some occasional brilliance. The attacker had some good performances at Chelsea but declined until retiring from football at Indian side Mumbai City FC in 2015.
10. Dimitar Berbatov
Many assume that Dimitar Berbatov could only perform well against the smaller sides and cannot have an impact on the big-name sides of England and Europe. As a natural goal scorer whose 20 Premier League goals were the most in the 2010-2011 season, the Bulgarian footballer was sold to Fulham on 31 August 2012. This move was the start of his career end which happened after his short spell with Kerala Blasters FC.
The presumption that Hulk was one of the best strikers of his best years appears to be more based on the fact that he got a big transfer fee before going to Zenit Saint Petersburg, scores the occasional impressive goals, is from Brazil and has a great name.
Yeah, Hulk was a good attacker, but just scoring 11 goals in 47 games for Brazil shows that he doesn't deserve to be considered one of the best strikers in the world.
8. Angel Di Maria
The Argentinian footballer cost Real Madrid £ 25 million, plus €11 million in incentives and considering his ability and pace, many believe that Di Maria dives too much or quickly drops the ball. Others have expressed their fear that the now 32-year-old PSG player is lazy and has some attitude issues.
7. Fernando Torres
There is no denying that Fernando Torres was a very good player. But, we say he is not worth £ 50 million, which is what Chelsea gave to him in 2011. Torres went on to score only 20 goals in 110 matches for Chelsea. He decided to retire from professional football at the Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
The Brazilian left-back is highly rated by Real Madrid and their supporters, but he is vulnerable to defensive errors, aggression issues, bad tackles and diving. The 32-year-old, though, has good skills, but it is often considered too overrated.
5. Samir Nasri
Nasri had the breakthrough season in 2010/2011, getting into the PFA Team of the Year despite having a bad form in the second half of the season. With 44 matches and 15 goals, the ex-French international was hailed as a superstar, but the inconsistency seriously troubled his career.
The 33 years old Nasri later moved to Manchester City and had some good seasons. He is now without a club after having a short spell with Belgian side Anderlecht.
4. Gael Clichy
Gael Clichy was once considered one of the greatest left defenders in the world and had a good career in the English Premier League. The Frenchman reached the PFA Team of the Year in 2007/2008 and has declined steadily since then.
Clichy is an unreliable defender who suffers from deficits in concentration and decision-making. After playing for Arsenal and then Manchester City, he signed for the Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir and is currently playing for them. After the Gunners announced that this summer Arsenal could no longer win trophies, amid his consistently bad results, he left Manchester City.
3. Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross is without a doubt one of the most overrated football players in the world. The English defender is an erroneous defender who constantly faces poor challenges and hard approaches, especially when his reckless defending seriously injured Ramsey's leg in February 2010. He is one of the longest servants of Stoke City and one of the reasons that we put him in our list of most overrated soccer players is the fact that despite all this hype around him, he had just one appearance for England National Team.
You might also like: Homosexual female players in football history
2. Dani Alves
Many claim that the Brazilian Dani Alves is a big defender, but some think that Alves is dirty and a professional diver. After leaving Barcelona he had some spells at Juventus and PSG and he currently plays for the Brazilian side São Paulo.
1. Sergio Busquets
Few would doubt that Sergio Busquets is one of the most overrated footballers of all time, but some say that he is the most overrated football player of the history. His bad passing skills and laziness might go overlooked at Barcelona, but in fact Busquets is overrated and has also been called the football's biggest diver.