Brazil has achieved the most success as national football team in the FIFA world cup history. Brazil national team won five world cups namely, 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. This year 2014 FIFA world cup is going to be hosted by Brazil. They qualified without playing the play offs. The national team currently ranking no 1 in World Football Elo Rating and 6 in the FIFA world ranking, they will be hard competitors for rest of the nations. They are the only team to have won the world cup in four different continents. Throughout the history Brazil has become the land of great footballers who had influenced the football world profoundly.
I am going to discuss about the top 10 Brazilian footballers of all time. Choose your favourite one among them…
The late Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira played for Brazilian national football team from 1979 to 1986. The attacking mid fielder earned his nick name ‘ Doctor Socrates’ as he was a MD in medicine. He scored 22 goals in his 60 appearances for the Brazil national team.
9. Roberto Carlos:
Roberto Carlos started his career as a forward but spent most of the time as a left back. He is well known for his powerful free kicks. From 1992 to 2006 he played for Brazilian national football team with 11 goals in 125 matches.
This attacking mid- fielder won the FIFA world player of the year in 2005 and 2005. For the Brazilian national team he has scored 33 goals in 97 matches. Being an integral part of 2002 Brazilian national team, his greatest achievement was winning the world cup. Starring alongside with Ronaldo and Rivaldo in an attacking trio, he was named in FIFA world cup all star team.
Cafu made himself the most internationally capped male Brazilian player in the history. He is the only player to appear in the three world cup finals-1994, 1998 and 2002. From 1990 to 2006 he played for the Brazilian team and scored 5 goals in 142 appearances. Cafu remains in our list of great Brazilian footballers of all time with dignity.
As a powerful winger, Jairzinho was a member of the legendary Brazilian national football team that won the 1970 FIFA world cup. During the tournament he scored in every match that Brazil played. He was nicknamed as ‘ the Hurricane’. He played in three consecutive world cup, 1966, 1970,1974. Jairzinho played as an asset for Brazilian national team from 1964-1982. During this time he scored 33 goals in 81 appearances.
Zico is commonly called as ‘ the white Pele’ and he is considered as the most skilful finisher of all time for Brazil. He is possibly the best player of the world in late 70s and early 80s. Pele said about Zico,
“throughout the years, the one player that came closest to me was Zico”.
He scored 48 goals in 71 official appearances for Brazil. So in my counting, Zico is certainly one of the best Brazilian footballers of all time.
Romario is a former Brazilian footballer, manager and current politician. He was a part of the Brazilian national team wining FIFA world cup in 1994. He is one of the most prolific strikers and clinical finishers in the football history. He was particularly deadly in one-on-one versus goalkeeper. He is in the 5th position in FIFA player of the century. Romario won FIFA world player of the year and world cup golden ball in 1994. He is the third highest goal scorer for his national team after netting 55 goals in 70 appearances. He is the one of very few strikers to surpass 1000 goals’ landmark in total of any international competition.
Ronaldo won FIFA world player of the year three times and he is the one among the three who have won that honour. He is the second highest goal scorer for the national team as he scored 62 goals in 98 matches. As a part of the Brazilian squad he won 1994 and 2002 world cup. In 1998, he was awarded Golden ball. In 2006 he became the highest goal scorer in the world cup history after scoring his 15th. Commonly called ‘ the Phenomenon’, Ronaldo played as a powerful Brazilian striker played for his nation from 1994 to 2011.
Garrincha playing as a right winger and forward in the Brazilian national team and probably the best dribbler with ball in the football history. Garrincha won the FIFA world cup in 1958 and 1962 with a devastating performance. In 1962 world cup when Pele was out due to injury , he was the only one led the Brazil to victory. He won Golden ball and Golden boot in that tournament. From 1955 to 1966 he played for the Brazil national team and scored 12 goals in 50 matches.
Now comes the no 1, the greatest amongst the greats, Pele. In 1999 Pele was voted World Player of the century. Not only that, in 2013 he received FIFA Ballon d’or Prix D’honour. Pele, “ The Black Pearl” is currently holding Guiness world record of total 1281 goals in 1363 league games. He is hailed as a national hero in his native Brazil. This world known attacking mid-fielder won three world cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970 for the national team. From his 92 appearances he bagged 77 goals for Brazil. American President Ronald Regan said about Pele,
“My name is Ronald Reagan, I’m the President of the United States of America. But you don’t need to introduce yourself, because everyone knows who Pelé is.”
What a remark it was! Yes, Pele is the no 1 in this list of great Brazilian footballers of all time..