Soccer has given us many outstanding soccer players. We have gathered the best players of their era who have made an incredible contribution to the development of soccer through their play achievements and are among the top players in the history of soccer.
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Maradona is not just a soccer player but a legend of Argentine and world soccer. Many fans and experts rank him above Pele, and the debate over who is the best soccer player in history is still raging.
The peak of his career came during the period of play for Napoli, where he moved in 1984 from Barcelona for a record, for that time, 7.6 million dollars. Together with the Neapolitans, Maradona twice won gold in the Italian championship and, in 1986, won the World Cup as part of the national team of Argentina. In Naples, there are still murals with the image of Diego, and fans fondly remember his game.
Maradona is a national symbol of the whole of Argentina, and about the “hand of god” there is almost everyone from birth. “Hand of God” was called one of the most famous goals in the history of soccer, which Maradona scored against England in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. This goal was counted through the inattention of referees, but for fans, it became a symbol of Maradona’s “divine” game.
Unfortunately, after the end of his career, he became famous for his love of drugs and alcohol. Diego told journalists more than once that his worst idea in life was trying drugs.
Let’s go back to Europe and remember another legend. Zidane played for several French clubs, but his world fame came from playing for Juventus Turin and Real Madrid. As part of Juventus, he twice won the Italian championship and once won the Italian Super Cup. In 1998, as part of the French national team, won the World Cup and in 2000, the European Championship.
- In 2001, “Zizou”, for a record for that time of 75 million euros, went to Real Madrid, where he continued to “burn” at the highest level. “Real” won the Spanish Championship, twice the Spanish Super Cup and the Champions League.
- In 2006, France stopped one step away from the gold medal of the World Cup, and to be more precise – in one blow. It was after a headbutt to Marco Materazzi’s chest that Zidane was removed from the pitch. After this match, Zizou ended his playing career.
The popular feint, the “Marseille roulette”, is often called “Zidane’s feint”. It was he who brought the execution of this element to perfection.
Portugal is a little west of France, where Ronaldo is from. Since he is a player of our modern times, most of us have seen him play and know his accomplishments. For those who don’t know, here are the most significant ones: 5 Golden Balls, over 800 career goals, top scorer in soccer history in official matches, 5-time Champions League winner, and 2016 European Champion. Demonstrates simply incredible physicality over the years.
At the end of 2022, Ronaldo became a player for the Al Nasr team from Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid soccer player in the world. His salary is about 200 million euros a year.
The younger generation remembers him as the FIFA president who lost his position due to a corruption scandal involving the scheduling of the World Cup in Russia. However, as a player, Platini showed incredible soccer. For this, he is considered one of the best players in the history of soccer. Michel – the European champion in 1984, won three consecutive Ballon d’Ors, 30 years ahead of Messi, and was twice recognized as the best player in the world.
He is undoubtedly a legendary soccer player who has tarnished his name and credentials with corruption schemes.
There is no soccer personality in Germany more legendary than Franz Beckenbauer. He is considered the best defender of the 20th century and was also the first to invent the role of a soccer “libero” – a free defender.
The player twice won the Golden Ball. In 1972, as captain of the national team of Germany, won the European Championship, and in 1974 – the World Cup. He won the European Cup three times in a row at club level, playing for Bayern Munich.
Again, let’s move to modern times, as this ranking is not possible without Messi. Purposely did not put him next to Ronaldo. Messi is an icon of contemporary soccer.
At the moment, he has 7 “Golden Balls”. We can’t even imagine yet when that record will be broken. He spent almost his entire soccer career in Barcelona, where he set just an incredible number of records: record holder for the number of “Golden Ball” – 6, record holder for the number of “Golden Boot” – 6, top scorer in the history of Barcelona – 672 goals, top scorer in the history of the Spanish championship – 474 goals.
In July 2021, Messi became a free agent, and the club’s difficult financial situation made it impossible to conclude a new contract. On August 10, 2021, Messi officially became a PSG player.
By 2022, Messi had won all possible trophies, except for the World Cup at the club and national team levels. As a player of the Parisian club, in 2022, won the coveted World Cup, the only trophy missing from the legend’s piggy bank.
Let’s move far back, about 60–70 years from modern times. In the post-war period, in Spain, people enjoyed the game of a soccer player whose name still flashes in the news.
He joined Real Madrid when he was 31 years old. The president of the club, the last, did not want to take in the team, but in the end, did not complain. For 262 matches, the guy scored 240 goals, and all this after 30 years. This guy’s name was Ferenc Puskás.
During his career, he scored 84 goals in 85 matches with the Hungarian national team and 378 goals in 371 games with Hungarian Gonved. Puskás is the winner of three European Champions Cups.
Fifa recognized him as the top scorer of the 20th century, and in 2009, founded the award named after Puskás for the season’s best goal.