These are the best-of-breed players whose names have become synonymous with football. These are the legends whose fame is not bound by time and space.
Here’s our tribute to the greatest football stars who have redefined the game with their unique style and unquestioned sportsmanship.
Pele’s football pedigree is undeniable. With his deft touch, dribbling skills and incredible goal scoring ability, he brought two of Brazil’s first three world cup victories. With more than a thousand goals to his credit, Pele is the undisputed czar of football.
Name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
Birthplace: Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Number of goals: 1120
Johan Cruyff was named the European Footballer of the Year three times (1971, 1973, 1974] which is a record jointly held with Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten. Cruyff remains the most famed proponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football, explored by Rinus Michels and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff
Birth Date:25 April 1947
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Number of goals: 371
Michael Platini is a stellar figure in French soccer history. Widely regarded as one of the most elegant midfielders of his generation, Michael is famous for his superb game tactics and exceptional coaching abilities.
Name: Michel François Platini
Birth Date: June 21, 1955
Birth Place: Jœuf, France
Number of goals: 312
Gifted with incredible game technique and the ability to move the ball with great accuracy, Diego Maradona won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina almost single-handedly.
Name: Diego Armando Maradona
Birthday: 30 October 1960
Birthplace: Villa Fiorito, Buenos Aires
Number of goals: 307
From being the world’s highest-paid footballer in 2004 to twice being the runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year, Beckham is the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches. He has been the most popular captain of England football team from 15 November 2000 until the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, during which he played 58 times.
Name: David Beckham
Date of Birth: May 2, 1975
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London
Number of goals:115
As a brilliant and fluid forward, Ronaldo became one of international soccer’s great stars of the 1990s and Brazil’s biggest soccer hero since Pele.
Name: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Birth Date: 22 September 1976
Birthplace: Bento Ribeiro, Brazil
Number of goals: 336
An outstanding player of his generation, Zinedine Zidane led France to World Cup glory in 1998 and to the European Championship in 2000. Zidane is famous for his winning goals in the 1998 World Cup Final and the 2002 Champion’s League Final. Zidane was named European Footballer of the Year in 1998, and FIFA World Footballer of the Year in 1998, 2000, and 2003.
Name : Zinedine Zidane
Date of Birth: June 23, 1972
Place of Birth: Marseille, France
Number of goals: 122
Regarded as one of the most gifted footballers of his generation, Ronaldinho has been awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice (2004, 2005). Winner of the European Footballer of the Year award and the FIFA Pro World Player of the Year award (2005, 2006), Ronaldinho is famous for his speed, strength and the skill to make the impossible look so easy on the field.
Name: Gaucho Ronaldinho
Birth date: March 21, 1980
Birth Place: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira on in Porto Alegre.
Number of goals 164
Kaka is widely considered as one of the best footballers of his generation, often drawing comparisons in style and ability to other great footballers as Michel Platini, Sócrates, Zico, and Pelé. His footballing style is unique as he has the technique of a Brazilian and the physical qualities of a European.
Name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
Birth Date: April 22, 1982
Birthplace: Brasília, Brazil
Number of goals: 125
Touted as one of the most promising soccer star of this genera ration, Ronaldo won his first UEFA Champions League title in 2008, and was also named player of the tournament. He was also named the FIFPro World Player of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United’s first Ballon d’Or winner in 40 years.
Name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of Birth: 5th of February 1985 (Monday)
Place of Birth: Funchal (Madeira island, Portugal)
Number of goals: 124