Football is the game of passion and footballers are perhaps the most beloved among all kinds of athletes in sports. However, it’s not just love the legendary footballers earn, when they spend some quality time on the football pitch. The great footballers not only earn everyone’s respect, attention and admiration, but also some huge amount of money and fame along with. But this may not always be the scenario after the retirement. Lots of things tend to change when they are not playing on the fields anymore. Sometimes the circumstances become so drastic and dramatic that the footballers have to take jobs which they could never have dreamt of. The Dutch international footballer, Berry Van Aerle choose to be a postman after his retirement. However, not all end on that path, specially the special ones. Some become legends for decades, or even for centuries.
Yes, our today’s article is about them, about the all time football legends. Here, we have made a list of top 10 all time football legends. Some of the list may be dead, but their legends remain still. Please, give your constructional comments about this list.
Top 10 all time football legends
10. Lev Yashin (Russia, Goalkeeper)
Lev Yashin,” the black spider” is considered to be the best goalkeeper in the history of football. He is renowned for his amazing reflexes, dominating figure between the bars and his superior athleticism. Lev Yashin represented Soviet Union from 1954 to 1967.
Unlike modern footballers, Lev Yashin spent his entire career playing for Dynamo Moscow. In his career, the spider stopped astonishing 150 penalty shots which is the highest among any other goalkeepers. He is the only goalkeeper in the history of football to be awarded European footballer of the Year in 1963. His contribution with the Soviet Union national team is remarkable as USSR won 1956 summer Olympics and 1960 European Championship. In the modern era of football, only two goalkeepers , Iker Casillas of Spain and Gianluigi Buffon of Italy have come close to his achievements.
We are very much proud to put him in the list of top 10 all time football legends.
9. Eusebio (Portugal, Forward)
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, the Portuguese forward attained the nickname “Black Panther” for scoring predatory goals. The legendary Eusebio scored a stunning total of 733 goals in 745 competitive matches. What an amazing ratio that is!! It is the record that every striker can aspire to. His speed, technique and powerful right footed shots amazed the football world with dignity.
Eusebio led the Portugal team to the third place in 1966 world cup and not only that he won the prestigious Golden Boot award with 9 goals in that world cup tournament. Eusebio was also well known for his humble behavior. He saluted Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks to mark his acknowledgement admiring their goalkeeping skills. When was the last time you saw that kind of gesture from the modern age footballers???
8. Marco Van Basten (Netherlands, Forward)
Marco Van Basten, the famous Dutch footballer is a well-known figure for his spectacular volleys, his soccer intelligence and strength on the ball. Van Basten won European Footballer of the Year 3 times, 1988, 1989 and 1992 accordingly. He won FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992 as well.
Van Basten’s greatest success in the international level was marked in European Championship 1988. With his 5 goals, he was tournament’s top scorer. In that tournament, his hat-trick against England and a spectacular volley against Soviet Union in the finals made him one of the legends. Netherlands went on and won the Euro 1988 trophy.
He scored a total of 218 goals in 280 matches. The record may not be as great as Eusebio’s , but he did it with a career shortened by numerous injuries.
7. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary, Forward)
Ferenc Puskas, the Hungarian forward was as lethal as Eusebio. His predatory instinct in front of the net made him the master of the game. Having played for Real Madrid and Budapest Honved, Puskas has scored a total of 514 goals in 529 matches, almost a 1:1 ratio!
His goal record for Hungary National team is even better, 84 goals in 85 matches! In 1954, Puskas was nominated for the European Player of the Year. He led his team to the finals of 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, only to lose to the West Germans in the final.
6. Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina, forward)
This great Argentine footballer was the catalyst to the domination of Real Madrid in the European Cup in the 1950’s. Stefano was given the nickname “Saeta rubia” (Blond arrow) and he was worth it. His tactical intelligence, stamina and versatility made him one of the legends of soccer. In total 512 competitive matches Di Stefano netted 377 goals. His glory also included his participation in Real Madrid’s five back to back Spanish League title triumphs.
Although, he didn’t have a good international record, his remarkable 5 European Cups and 2 FIFA Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959 was more than enough to give him a place in our list of top 10 all time football legends.
5. Michel Platini (France, midfielder)
Michel Platini, the former French footballer had proudly put his mark as a part of “carré magique” (The magic square in French). Platini was famous for passing ability, his vision and amazing free kicks.
He scored a record 9 goals in 1984 European Championship. Under his leadership, France also went on to win the 1984 Euro. Throughout the career, Platini scored a total of 224 goals in 432 matches. That’s an outstanding record for any midfielder. In his list of achievement, there are 3 FIFA Ballon d’Ors, which is the highest individual award a player can win. He bagged 41 international goals in 72 appearances for France.
Platini grabs No 5 position on our list of top 10 all time football legends.
4. Franz Beckenbauer (Germany, Defender)
Der Kaiser (The Emperor), as people call the German legend Franz Beckenbauer. With his strong leadership skills and graceful style to play, he remains as the true Emperor in German football. He is one of the two footballers to have ever won the World Cup both as a player and a coach. Beckenbauer led Germany won the World Cup in 1974 and as a coach with Germany he lifted the Cup in 1990.
Two FIFA Ballon d’or and three consecutive European Cups were among his many achievements. You can clearly understand how difficult it was for a defender at that time.
3. Johan Cruyff (Netherlands, Midfielder)
Johan Cruyff is most well-known for being a pioneer of “Total Football” in Dutch National team. Close dribbling, awesome technical ability and fearsome pace with the ball were some of his talents people still admire. Although Cruyff played primarily as a playmaker, he would drift to different positions to confuse the opponents. For a while, he could be a center forward and also drop back to a deep lying midfield position when situation calls for it.
He is another legend who has won FIFA’s prestigious Ballon d’Or three times. There are 291 goals in his bag by appearing 520 games. For the Dutch National team, he scored 33 goals in 42 matches. It is interesting to note that, the Dutch never lost a match in which Johan Cruyff has scored. He played as an integral part of Dutch side when they coasted to the finals against West Germany in 1974 World Cup. The famous “Cruyff Turn” was named after this football legend.
2. Diego Maradona (Argentina, Forward)
Diego Maradona is one of the deadliest Argentine strikers of all time. His infamous “Hand of God” goal against England was one of the historic events in world football. Apart from all these controversies, his dribbling with the ball and his relentless pace amazed all football fans.
In 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona lifted the trophy, defeating the strong West German side. His performance in that tournament was awarded by naming him the best player and presenting him the Golden Boot award.
Maradona scored a total 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina National team.
No one can forget his spectacular goal against England when he took the ball from midfield and dribbled from the center to score.
In his club career, Maradona has scored 258 goals in 492 matches. He was bit like a nomad as he played for 6 different clubs in his entire football career. Perhaps you can attribute that to his character as he always gets in trouble with either coaches or even teammates.
1. Pele (Brazil, Striker)
Yes, here we are! Pele, the most legendary soccer player in the football history. Brazil’s pride and the national hero scored a stunning total 1281 goals in 1363 matches.
He is truly the goal machine. People call him “The Black Diamond” or even “ The king of football’. He played for Santos for almost the entire career. With Santos he has a host of titles and he is the record holder in the number of Hat-tricks scored, which is 92!
Pele is the only player in the football history to win three World Cups, he won all of them with style. In 1966 world cup, he was brutally fouled and Brazil were eliminated in the first round of the competition. He came back in 1970 World Cup and was awarded “Player of the Tournament’.
Pele is the living legend of football and here in our list of top 10 all time football legends, Pele is the leader of them all.