Football players

Here are some of the true legends of football listed with articles that focus on their life and career highlights.

Brittish players

Bobby CharltonBOBBY CHARLTON
Born 1937, England
The Legendary Sir Bobby Charlton


George BestGEORGE BEST
1946-2005, Northern Ireland
George Best – El Beatle

German players

Franz BeckenbauerFRANZ BECKENBAUER
Born 1945, Germany
Franz Beckenbauer – The Sweeper


Gerd MüllerGERD MÜLLER
Born 1945, Germany
Gerd Müller – Der Bomber

French players

Michel PlatiniMICHEL PLATINI
Born 1955, France
Michel Platini – Le Roi


Thierry HenryTHIERRY HENRY
Born 1977, France
Thierry Henry – Bio and Career


Zinedine ZidaneZINEDINE ZIDANE
Born 1972, France
Zinedine Zidane – Bio and Career

Dutch players

Johan CruijffJOHAN CRUYFF
1947-2016, Netherlands
Johan Cruyff – Bio and Football Career


Marco van BastenMARCO VAN BASTEN
Born 1964, Netherlands
Marco van Basten – Dutch Football Star


Ruud Gullit en faceRUUD GULLIT
Born 1962, Netherlands
Ruud Gullit – The Black Tulip


Dennis BergkampDENNIS BERGKAMP
Born 1969, Netherlands
Dennis Bergkamp – an Football Artist

Portugese players

EusébioEUSÉBIO
1942-2014, Portugal
Eusébio – The Black Panther


Luís FigoLUÍS FIGO
Born 1972, Portugal
Luís Figo – The Lion King

Brazilian players

PeléPELÉ
Born 1940, Brazil
Pelé – The King of the Beautiful Game


GarrinchaGARRINCHA
1933-1983, Brazil
Garrincha – The Brazilian Dribbler


ZicoZICO
Born 1953, Brazil
Zico – Brazilian Football Legend


RomarioROMÁRIO
Born 1966, Brazil
Romario – the Brazil Footballer

Rest of the world

Lev YashinLEV YASHIN
1929-1990, Russia
Lev Yashin – The Black Spider


Alfredo Di StéfanoALFREDO DI STÉFANO
1926-2014, Argentina
Alfredo Di Stéfano – The Blond Arrow


Hugo SanchezHUGO SÁNCHEZ
Born 1958, Mexico
Hugo Sánchez – World Class Mexican Striker


Diego MaradonaDIEGO MARADONA
Born 1960, Argentina
Diego Maradona– El Pibe de Oro


Michael LaudrupMICHAEL LAUDRUP
Born 1964, Denmark
Michael Laudrup – Brilliant Danish Player


Zbigniew BoniekZBIGNIEW BONIEK
Born 1956, Poland
Zbigniew Boniek – The famous Polish player


Gianfranco ZolaGIANFRANCO ZOLA
Born 1966, Italy
Gianfranco Zola – A short biography


Hristo StoichkovHRISTO STOICHOV
Born 1966, Bulgaria
Hristo Stoichkov – The Dagger


George WeahGEORGE WEAH
Born 1966, Liberia
George Weah – King George

The criteria

Besides from being regarded as one of the best players in his era, the rule is that the player is no longer active in his career.
More players will be added on following updates.

Records

Most goals in a season

Lionel Messi made a record by scoring 91 goals in 2012, which makes him top scorer in a season in a top league in international football.

Most goals in a FIFA World Cup

The French football player Just Fontaine has the record with 13 goals in one World Cup. This happened in 1958 over six games.

Most FIFA World Cup victories

There are 14 players, all Brazilians or Italians, that more than once have been members of a team that have won the World Cup. Pelé is holding the record by being a part of the world champions team on three occasions. These twelve players have won the World Cup twice: Giovanni Ferrari, Giuseppe Meazza, Eralod Monzeglio, Gilmar, Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos, Vava, Didi, Zagallo, Garrincha, Zito, Ronaldo and Cafu.

Most goals in a UEFA European Championship

Michel Platini has the record with 9 goals in one European Championship. This happened in 1984 over five games.

Most expensive player

Gareth Bale became the most expensive player in terms of transfer fees then he was bought by Real Madrid from Tottenham for €118 million in 2013.

Most earning player

The figures of salaries are shifting and can vary according to source and if sponsorship money is included or not, but according to most sources Cristiano Ronaldo could be accounted as the player that earn the most money from his occupation.

Most Player of the Year awards

Over the years there have been two different awards: FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or. For some years the awards were merged which affects the total count. If only Ballons d'Or is counted Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten have won the most, three each. If only FIFA World Player is counted Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo has won the most, two each.

Football players ordered after year of birth

The table include the year of birth (and occasionally year of death) of famous ex-players.

Name Birth Death
Ricardo Zamora 1901 1978
Giuseppe Meazza 1910 1979
Stanley Matthews 1915 2000
Gunnar Nordahl 1921 1995
Alfredo Di Stéfano 1926 2014
Ferenc Puskas 1927 2006
Lev Yashin 1929 1990
Josef Masopust 1931 2015
Garrincha 1933 1983
Francisco Gento 1933  
Gordon Banks 1937  
Bobby Charlton 1937  
Pelé 1940  
Bobby Moore 1941 1993
Franz Beckenbauer 1945  
Gerd Müller 1945  
Eusébio 1945 2014
George Best 1946 2005
Johan Cruyff 1947 2016
Kenny Dalglish 1951  
Kevin Keegan 1951  
Zico 1953  
Mario Kempes 1954  
Michel Platini 1955  
Zbigniew Boniek 1956  
Gordon Strachan 1957  
Hugo Sánchez 1958  
Franco Baresi 1960  
Gary Lineker 1960  
Diego Maradona 1960  
Lothar Matthäus 1961  
Ruud Gullit 1962  
Emilio Butragueño 1963  
Marco van Basten 1964  
Jürgen Klinsmann 1964  
Michael Laudrup 1964  
Eric Cantona 1966  
Romário 1966  
Hristo Stoichkov 1966  
George Weah 1966  
Gianfranco Zola 1966  
Roberto Baggio 1967  
Fernando Hierro 1968  
Paolo Maldini 1968  
Gabriel Batistuta 1969  
Dennis Bergkamp 1969  
Tomas Brolin 1969  
Alan Shearer 1970  
Roy Keane 1971  
Luís Figo 1972  
Rivaldo 1972  
Zinedine Zidane 1972  
Ryan Giggs 1973  
Alessandro Del Piero 1974  
David Beckham 1975  
Francesco Totti 1976  
Thierry Henry 1977  
Miroslav Klose 1978  
Ronaldinho 1980  
Steven Gerrard 1980  
Kaká 1982