Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it has seen some exciting games and, with them, some of the most talented players ever. Over several different tournaments, with teams ranging from international to intracontinental (mostly European), several players from different countries have been making and continue to make their mark in history and leave a lasting impact on the audiences who are delighted by their prowess. Here is a list of seven soccer players from across the spectrum of time who have made a lasting impression on the game.
This former player for the French national soccer team is best known for being an expert free-kick taker and an outstanding passer. He was an important member of the team that won the 1984 European Championship, having scored the second highest number of goals for his team at a stunning nine. He retired in 1987 and is sixty-three years old today.
Lionel Messi is arguably the most promising player in current times, with spectators and critics speculating that his career may even surpass that of the legendary Pele if it continues going at the same rate. He joined Barcelona at the tender age of 13 and skills in the present day are the talk of every soccer aficionado out there. Check here for the if you feel like following in Messi’s footsteps.
Also known by his nickname “Zizou”, Zinedine Zidane has been compared to his fellow countryman and former football player Michel Platini for several reasons ranging from his superior playing style to his nationality. has earned him suspensions from tournaments in the past, but he has redeemed himself in the years since with his achievements as manager of Real Madrid.
Diego Maradona is best known for his legendary dribbling skills, to the extent that one of his most famous goals has been nicknamed the “Hand of God” goal, which ended up being a major contributor to his team’s stellar performance in the year 1986. His skills also led his team to a UEFA Cup win in 1990. While he too had his struggles with tempers, his game playing skills leave no scope for debate.
Often compared to Lionel Messi for his game playing skills, Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has earned more than his share of critical acclaim among his peers and critics involved in the sport. He has a jaw dropping five Ballon d’Or awards to his name, along with four European scoring titles. In January 2014, he scored his 400th goal at the age of twenty-eight, and his career has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The British former soccer player is best known for his long-range marksmanship and his signature free kicking style. One of his shining moments in his career is the halfway line goal he scored against Wimbledon in the summer of 1996. Today, he has moved past the athletic arena and become an A-list celebrity with enormous commercial appeal and a lifestyle to rival that of Hollywood stars.
, more popularly known by his nickname Pele, is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. He entered the international soccer scene at the age of sixteen, and he was part of the Brazilian team, which eventually went on to win the tournament. Pele has a mind boggling one thousand two hundred and eighty-three career goals to his name, and remains, to this day, the youngest goal scorer for his country, Brazil. He won three FIFA World Cups along with his team, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, making him the only player to win three in his lifetime.
These legends will remain a part of football history and will serve as an inspiration to those who choose to follow in their footsteps. Eventually, the world will bring out more talented individuals who may surpass these great men and make a mark of their own, and football audiences around the world will be there to witness the magic.