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The six greatest players in the history of football


Football is the most popular sport in the world with several true heroes who have transcended the game itself as well as cemented their legacy in the heart of football fans forever. It has been no easy task to find who are the greatest players in the world of football, in this article, we have attempted to do that by narrowing down the selection into two main factors: the players’ form and natural ability when fit. Now, with 12bet, let’s have a look at the top six of the greatest players in the history of football.

Diego Maradona, Argentina

Full name: Diego Armando Maradona
Life: October 30, 1960 – November 25, 2020
Playing positions: Attacking midfielder, second striker

It can’t be denied that Diego Maradona`s talent was the greatest ever seen in football. Supremely talented and magical with his feet, Maradona could do amazing things with a ball that mortals could not even dream of. His passing and crossing were precise, his dribbling ability was mesmerizing, and his goal-scoring was unique. Maradona always played to win, and undoubtedly, he was the star of Argentina`s famous victory in 1986.

From attacking midfield, he scored 345 goals in 680 games and won the 1986 FIFA World Cup with his native Argentina and three domestic league titles as well as one Copa Del Rey and Supercopa Espana with Barcelona and one UEFA Cup with Napoli, which helped him to have an outstanding club career in Europe.

Pelé, Brazil

Full name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
Date of birth: October 23, 1940
Playing positions: Attacking midfielder, forward

Pelé is a Brazilian football legend, who is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. In the history of football, no player has won more FIFA World Cups than him! He won three World Cups, in 1958, 1962, and 1970, with his native Brazil, as well as two Copa Libertadores and five league titles.

Having scored an incredible 1,282 goals in 1,366 games, Pelé was Brazil’s ultimate goal-scoring machine and became the only player on the planet to score more than 1200 senior goals. Using his sheer power, pace, and dribbling ability, Pelé satisfied football fans with seeing him score all varieties of goals for fun.

Particularly, in 1970, when his national team dominated the World Cup tournament, Pelé cemented his legacy as the greatest football player of all time, winning the Golden Ball (Best Player) award for his performances.

Johann Cruyff, Netherlands

Full name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff
Life: April 25, 1947 - March 24, 2016
Playing positions: Forward, attacking midfielder

No player in the history of football has had as much impact as Johan Cruyff. Playing some beautiful football along the way, Cruyff had a distinguished career for both his Netherlands national team and clubs Ajax and Barcelona. Cruyff won the Ballon d`Or three times (in 1971, 1973, and 1974). He first created his legacy in Ajax, where he played an integral role and led from the front to guide the Dutch giants to three stunning European Championships and several league titles.

However, Cruyff is most famous in the modern era for the transformation he brought to Barcelona. Cruyff is really a cult hero, who guided the Catalan giants to their first league title. He also was the first person to have introduced the ethos of tiki-taka at the Camp Nou.

The last calling time on his incredible career was in 1984 when he guided Feyenoord to the league title. He was a true football legend who stayed at the very top level for an incredible two decades.

Michel Platini, France

Full name: Michel François Platini
Date of birth: June 21, 1955
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Credited with making France a superpower in the world of football, Michel Platini enjoyed a long and fruitful career for his native country. The diminutive player often reserved his best for the biggest matches, scoring 353 goals in 652 games with some crucial goals during his career. Platini won the Ballon d`Or trophy three years in a row (in 1983, 1984, and 1985).

He reached the peak of his game in 1984 when he guided his native France to the European Championship title. Having won league titles with Juventus and St Etienne, the Frenchman retired when he was still at the top in 1987. Platini is one of the all-time football greatest and has inspired a new generation of French footballers.

Zico, Brazil

Full name: Arthur Antunes Coimbra
Date of birth: March 3, 1953
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Zico is one of the greatest players in the football history of Brazil. Although he is not often ranked in the top lists of footballers due to his lack of achievements, it can’t be denied that he has such brilliant attacking moves and specialization in free kicks. Having played three World Cups from 1978 to 1986 under his native Brazil’s national football team, Zico won the hearts of millions of people.

Zico scored a total of 527 goals in 769 games, which makes him be regarded as a prolific goal-scorer. Moreover, as an attacking midfielder with great ability to produce unique shots and skills, Zico was also a remarkable creator of goals. He is always one of the most complete offensive players in the history of football by combining his talents with heading skill and free-kick mastery. Zico also won the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the European Cup, and four other league titles.

Zinedine Zidane, France

Full name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
Date of birth: June 23, 1972
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Zinedine Zidane, also known as Zizou, is a French football player who led his national team to triumph in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 European Championship as well as three league titles and one European Cup with two clubs Juventus and Real Madrid. He is most famous for his great physical strength, individual skill, ball control, and passing ability.

Demonstrating a character that can’t be seen in many other sportsmen, Zidane’s best performances were often seen in the most decisive games. He scored a total of 159 goals in 789 games. He retired from playing football after the 2006 World Cup and brought his football talent to management. As an assistant manager, he guided Real Madrid to three consecutive European Cups.

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