As young lads, we all wanted to be professional footballers. Few make it this far, and even fewer can truly be called football legends. Here’s our ten.
Feel free to add your own football legends in the comments section.
Few would argue against Pele being the greatest of all time. From his early days as a 17-year-old superstar to being part of one of the World Cup’s greatest ever teams, he is Brazil’s all-time top scorer. In his entire career, he scored over 1200 goals.
2- Lionel Messi
Those lucky enough to live through this golden era of football have witnessed some magical moments. Not least from surely the greatest player of our times. His contribution was immense in helping Barcelona to establish themselves as one of the greatest football clubs of all time as they completely dominated the European scene. World Cup glory has so far eluded him.
3- Diego Maradona
A tough player and one who was never afraid to get physical if necessary. His incredible skill allowed him to get away with many things. Skills which other, lesser-skilled players, have not. He led his club Napoli to their only two Serie A titles but his crowning moment was when he grabbed World Cup Glory in 1986.
4- Zinedine Zidane
Another physical player but a real game-changing one. He was feared by his opponents. His skills are the stuff of legends. Despite not being known for his ‘headers’, it was two of those that enabled France to grab World Cup success in 1998. He also led Real Madrid to victory in the European Cup.
5- Franz Beckenbauer
It’s not often a defender is named as one of the all-time greats but this is why Beckenbauer shone through. He was a master at gathering pace and setting up attacks from the back and even managed to score five World Cup goals and tasted success in that very competition in 1974.
6- Johan Cruyff
He played in what has often been described as one of the most fluent, skillful, attacking teams of all time- The Dutch. Throughout the 70’s he inspired the team to victory and whilst there were no World Cup trophies, he won three European Cups in a row with Ajax.
He was born bow-legged but still managed to fight his way to the top of a very skilled and competitive game. His skill at dribbling past opponents was a sight to behold. He took over from an injured Pele in 1962 and led Brazil to World Cup glory.
8- George Best
His legendary skills and confidence to take on and beat the best players in the world on the pitch was slightly overshadowed by his early retirement from the sport and off-pitch demons.
9- Cristiano Ronaldo
One of the most athletic players of the modern era, Ronaldo is never afraid to take a shot on and succeed where many would fail. He has the ability to transform a game in a split second and continues to impress. The chances are there is still plenty more magic to come.
He sadly passed away in 2014 but his legend will live on. He scored nine goals in the 1966 World Cup and 733 times in total during his career.