top 10 Brazilian footballers of all time

The Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of Brazil: Here's a quick look at the best Brazilian players in the history of football - Brazilian football players' legends.

top 10 Brazilian footballers of all time
top 10 Brazilian footballers of all time

best Brazilian soccer players of all time

  • Who is the best player in Brazil's football history?
best Brazilian footballers, Brazil holds the record for the most FIFA World Cup titles with 5 championships. It's not an exaggeration to say that Brazilian football has produced dozens of skillful players and stars who shone both with the national team and in their domestic or European clubs. Selecting the top 10 names in the history of Brazilian football is an incredibly challenging task for any coach or analyst. We apologize to all the other stars not mentioned here, top 10 Brazilian footballers.

  • Top 10 Brazilian footballers in the world
  1. Pelé.
  2. Zico.
  3. Ronaldo.
  4. Romário.
  5. Garrincha.
  6. Leônidas da Silva.
  7. Sócrates.
  8. Jairzinho.
  9. Roberto Rivellino.
  10. Roberto Carlos.

top 10 Brazilian footballers

Indeed, Brazil has a rich history of football greatness, and narrowing down the list of top players is a difficult endeavor due to the sheer number of talented individuals who have contributed to the country's football Brazil, Introducing Top 10 Legendary Brazilians in Football.

top 10 Brazil footballers, In this article, we will get to know the most famous football players from Brazil who, thanks to their immense talent, managed to overcome their circumstances and become some of the best football players in the world - the top 10 greatest Brazilian footballers:

10. Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos was Considered among the top 10 Brazilian Footballers, Brazil wasn't known for producing exceptional defenders throughout its rich football history, but Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, nicknamed "The Bullet Man," was a standout that defied convention in Brazilian football. Over his fourteen years with the Seleção (1992-2006), he introduced a new face to Brazilian defense, characterized by his significant effectiveness in repelling opponents' attacks while also participating in the offensive play and scoring goals. He was also known for his powerful left foot and unstoppable free-kicks that goalkeepers found difficult to stop.

He scored 11 goals in 125 international matches and won the Copa America in 1997 and 1999, the Confederations Cup in 1997, and the World Cup in 2002 with Brazil. He began his international club career in 1995 with Inter Milan in Italy, and the following year, he moved to Real Madrid in Spain. He enjoyed 11 glorious seasons there, winning the domestic league four times, the local Super Cup three times, the UEFA Champions League three times, the UEFA Super Cup once, and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.

Afterward, he won the Turkish league title twice with Fenerbahçe before returning to Brazil this season. He was awarded the European Golden Shoe in 2008.

9. Roberto Rivellino

He is the son of an Italian immigrant hailing from the town of Macchiagodena in the province of Isernia. A midfielder and dangerous left-winger, he was known for his powerful left foot and his unique "flip-flap" dribbling style. He played 92 international matches between 1965 and 1978, scoring 26 goals. He participated in the World Cup tournaments of 1970 in Mexico, 1974 in West Germany, and 1978 in Argentina. He scored three goals in each of the first two World Cups but didn't find the net in the third. He retired after helping Brazil win the 1970 World Cup and finishing fourth in 1974 and third in 1978.

His club career spanned 16 seasons (1965-1981), including 13 seasons with the clubs Corinthians and Fluminense. He scored 194 goals in 629 matches. He concluded his career in Saudi Arabia with Al-Hilal, leading the team to three consecutive Saudi Arabian league titles and one cup championship in 1980. He was chosen as the second-best player in Brazil by the Brazilian football magazine "Placar" and was awarded the Silver Ball in 1971 when he was with Corinthians.

Corinthians honored him by including his name in the club's Hall of Fame. Later, he also coached the Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse in 1994.

8. Jairzinho

His real name is (Jair Ventura Filho), and he was a skillful winger and exceptional playmaker known in Brazilian football, particularly between 1964 and 1982. This period saw his representation of the Brazilian national team, during which he played 81 matches and scored 33 goals. He participated in three World Cup tournaments in 1966, 1970, and 1974, scoring 9 goals, including 7 that led Brazil to the runner-up position in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, where they fell behind the prolific German striker Gerd Müller. Additionally, he scored two goals in the 1974 World Cup.

He was, however, excluded from the 1978 squad by the renowned coach Cláudio Coutinho. In terms of his club career, he played for a total of 22 seasons, moving between clubs like Botafogo, Cruzeiro, Noroeste, and Vasco da Gama in Brazil, Jorge Wilstermann in Bolivia, 9 de Octubre in Ecuador, and a short stint in France with Marseille.

He retired definitively in 1982 after winning the Copa Libertadores with Cruzeiro and securing around 7 local titles with Botafogo. He then shifted his focus to youth coaching, later becoming the coach of the Gabon national team between 2003 and 2005.

7. Sócrates

His full name is (Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira), and he holds a doctorate in philosophy. In fact, he is officially known as "Doctor Sócrates." He is considered one of the best playmakers and attack organizers in the history of Brazilian football. He played 63 international matches between 1978 and 1986, scoring 25 goals. He is famous for his partnership with his teammate Paulo Roberto Falcão, forming a formidable midfield duo during the 1982 World Cup in Spain and the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he scored two goals in each tournament.

Notably, he had a successful career spanning 15 seasons (1974-1989) with clubs like Botafogo, Corinthians, Flamengo, Santos, and Fiorentina in Italy. He scored a total of 76 goals in 157 matches, while creating numerous dangerous chances and plays during his football journey. Interestingly, in 2004, at the age of fifty, he decided to join the amateur team Garforth Town in the Northern Premier League in England. However, he only played a single match for them.

Currently, he works as a professor of physiotherapy at the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto in São Paulo.

6. Leônidas da Silva

If Brazilians and football historians agree that Pelé's era was a pivotal period in Brazilian football history, most of them also concur that Leônidas was the best Brazilian player before Pelé. This player, renowned with nicknames such as "The Black Diamond" and "The Rubber Man" due to his incredible agility, had limited chances to represent the Seleção, playing only 19 matches before World War II. However, during those matches, he scored 21 goals, including 7 goals that crowned him the top scorer of the 1938 World Cup in France. His coach at the time admitted that had he started Leônidas in the semifinal against Italy, Brazil might not have lost.

He is considered one of the pioneers of the "bicycle kick" maneuver. Leônidas didn't play outside Brazil during his career, except for a single season with Uruguayan giants Peñarol. He played between 1930 and 1950, moving between clubs such as São Cristóvão, Syrio / Libanes, Bonsucesso, Vasco da Gama, Sport Brasil, Botafogo, Flamengo, and São Paulo. He retired in 1950 and passed away in 2004 at the age of ninety.

5. Garrincha

His real name (Manuel Francisco dos Santos), became famous with the nickname "Garrincha," which means "little bird" in Portuguese. He was the key player in Brazil's victory in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, stepping in for Pelé and scoring four goals against England and Chile, putting him at the top of the scorers' list alongside five other players, including his compatriot Vavá.

He played 50 matches for the Brazilian national team over 11 years (1955-1966) and scored 12 goals. He participated in the World Cups of 1958 and 1962, both of which Brazil won, and in 1966, where they were eliminated in the first round. Known for his acrobatic and unconventional movements on the field, he overcame his physical challenges as one of his legs was shorter due to a childhood bout with polio.

Garrincha didn't play professionally outside of Brazil during his 19-year career (1953-1972). He played for clubs such as Botafogo, Corinthians, Portuguesa Carioca, Atlético Junior, Flamengo, and Olaria, scoring 240 goals in 615 matches. However, his final nine years were marked by financial and social crises that led him to substance abuse, and he passed away in 1983 due to liver cirrhosis.

4. Romário

When Brazil reclaimed the FIFA World Cup title in 1994 in the United States for the fourth time, ending a 24-year gap since their third victory, the key player of the tournament was Romário de Souza Faria. The diminutive striker left the giants of the global defense dizzy with his movements as he surpassed them and scored 5 goals that led Brazil to secure the championship. Notably, he also became the top scorer in the football competition at the 1988 Seoul Olympics when Brazil finished second behind the former Soviet Union.

Romário retired from international play for the Seleção in 2005, after a remarkable 18-year journey filled with matches, results, and achievements. During this period, he scored 55 goals in 70 international matches. However, he continued his club career for another 20 years, moving between clubs like Vasco da Gama, Flamengo, Fluminense, and América in Brazil, PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, Al-Sadd in Qatar, Miami in the United States, and Adelaide United in Australia. Throughout these various stages, he scored a total of 520 goals in 451 matches and left his indelible mark in the world of football, never missing an opportunity to win a title or championship along the way.

3. Ronaldo

"He's my successor and the heir of my football greatness," this is what Pelé said about Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, who is currently 37 years old and aiming to participate in the FIFA World Cup finals for the fifth time in his career, and the fourth time effectively. He has entered his sixteenth year with the Brazilian national team, amassing 97 matches and 62 goals. He is the historical top scorer of the World Cups with 15 goals, distributed as follows: 4 goals in 1998 in France, where he won the title of the best player, 8 goals in 2002 in South Korea / Japan, where he carried the trophy and was crowned as the tournament's top scorer, in addition to 3 goals in 2006 in Germany.

In contrast to Pelé, Ronaldo embarked on his international career at a young age, joining foreign clubs at the age of eighteen. He enjoyed a 14-year international professional journey with clubs like PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain, and Internazionale and AC Milan in Italy, before returning to Brazil with Corinthians. Notably, his journey began with Cruzeiro. Throughout this career, he scored 340 goals in 484 matches, securing victories in the Dutch Cup, the Spanish League, the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the continental Cup. He also claimed the Ballon d'Or award from France Football magazine twice.

2. Zico

His real name (Arthur Antunes Coimbra), was undoubtedly the star of Brazil during the 1980s. He played for the Brazilian national team between 1976 and 1988, scoring 52 goals in 72 matches, including 5 goals in the 1978 Argentina and 1982 Spain World Cups. He excelled greatly in the skill and artistic aspect, especially during his professional career spanning from 1971 to 1994, across clubs like Flamengo in Brazil, Udinese in Italy, and Kashima Antlers in Japan. He scored 193 goals in 334 matches and earned numerous local, international, and continental awards and titles individually. He was also chosen by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as one of the best players of the last century.

As a coach, his record is adorned with numerous titles and achievements. He won the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China with the Japanese national team, followed by securing the league and Super Cup in Turkey with Fenerbahçe in 2007. Afterward, he achieved a league and cup double in Uzbekistan with Bunyodkor in 2008, before concluding with winning the cup and Super Cup in Russia with CSKA Moscow in 2009. He is currently coaching Olympiacos in Greece this season.

1. Pelé

Is Pelé the best Brazilian player?
All football enthusiasts and experts agree that Edson Arantes do Nascimento (his real name) is the greatest player in the history of world football during the last century. In four appearances at the FIFA World Cup (between 1958 and 1970), this star carried the World Cup trophy three times, in the years 1958, 1962, and 1970. He exited the first round in 1966 after being heavily targeted by the defenders of Portugal and Hungary.

He scored 77 goals in 92 matches for the Brazilian national team between 1957 and 1971, including 12 goals in the four World Cups he participated in. He remained loyal to his club Santos, where he played for 14 seasons (1956 - 1974) and scored 474 goals in 438 matches. Then he played for two seasons with the American team (New York Cosmos) in the 1976 and 1977 seasons before retiring for good. He devoted his time to various charitable projects and appeared on the cinema screen in 13 films and numerous football commercials.

He was appointed as the Minister of Youth and Sports by the former Brazilian president (Fernando Cardoso) in 1995, and he was also bestowed the title of Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Top 50 Brazilian Players in Europe

top 50 Brazilian footballers of all time, According to the Brazilian website "Super Sport", top 50 legendary Brazilians in football:
  1. Neymar (Barcelona).
  2. Coutinho (Liverpool).
  3. Dani Alves (Juventus).
  4. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).
  5. Casemiro (Real Madrid).
  6. Fabinho (Monaco).
  7. Marcelo (Real Madrid).
  8. David Luiz (Chelsea).
  9. Alex Sandro (Juventus).
  10. Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid).
  11. Firmino (Liverpool).
  12. Talisca (Besiktas).
  13. Lucas Moura (PSG).
  14. Felipe Anderson (Lazio).
  15. Giuliano (Zenit).
  16. Ederson (Benfica).
  17. Tiquinho Soares (Porto).
  18. Thiago Silva (PSG).
  19. Jonas (Benfica).
  20. Felipe (Porto).
  21. Emerson (Roma).
  22. Gerson (Monaco).
  23. Fernando Marcal (Gangwon FC, French).
  24. Wagner Love (Alanyaspor, Turkey).
  25. Alex Telles (Porto).
  26. Éder Militão (Feyenoord).
  27. Dalbert (Nice).
  28. Bernardo (RB Leipzig, German).
  29. William Jose (Real Sociedad).
  30. Marquinhos (PSG).
  31. Fabinho Alves (Vitoria SC, Portugal).
  32. Wendell (Bayer Leverkusen).
  33. Dante (Nice).
  34. Deyverson (Alaves).
  35. Hilton (Montpellier).
  36. Marciel Mosur (Basaksehir, Turkey).
  37. Gomez (Watford).
  38. Luizao (Benfica).
  39. Willian (Chelsea).
  40. Marcelo (Besiktas).
  41. Fernandinho (Manchester City).
  42. Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk).
  43. Naldo (Schalke).
  44. Gabriel (Leganes, Spanish).
  45. Raúl Silva (Marítimo, Portugal).
  46. Raffael (Borussia Mönchengladbach).
  47. Miranda (Inter Milan).
  48. Andreas Pereira (Granada).
  49. Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich).
  50. Maxwell (PSG).

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