Nicknamed The Golden Boy, Diego Maradona is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time. Thanks to his popularity and controversial personal life, which includes drug abuse issues and addiction to cocaine, Diego Maradona became a world-renowned counterculture icon. He was also an iconic figure in popular culture.
Amongst the greatest footballers of all time, Zinedine Zidane led France to victories in the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. Later, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year took up the position of Real Madrid manager and carved yet another success story by winning major titles like Champions League and UEFA Super Cups.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. Widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, he played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times. He retired in 2011 and has since established himself as a successful businessperson.
A football coach, Thierry Henry began his career as a player with Monaco team and later also played for Arsenal and Barcelona. A lethal striker, he became a record goal scorer for both France and Arsenal. He played a crucial role in the French victory in 1998 FIFA World Cup and Arsenal’s win in Premier League and the FA Cup.
A football addict from beginning, Pep Guardiola went on to become a key player with the Barcelona and the Spanish National team. He played a crucial role in winning major titles like the La Liga and an Olympic gold medal. After retiring as a player, he became a coach and is widely regarded as one of the world's best coaches.
Eric Cantona is a French actor, filmmaker, and former football player. During his playing career, Cantona was a key player for the popular football club Manchester United and is often credited with reviving the club's reputation as a footballing force. Nicknamed King Eric by Manchester United fans, Eric Cantona continues to enjoy an iconic status within the club.
Italian footballer Francesco Totti is known for his 25-year stint with Roma. Nicknamed “The Golden Boy” and “The Gladiator,” he led Roma to win the Serie A and the Coppa Italia. He was also part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning Italian team. He was named to Pele’s FIFA 100.
Gary Lineker is a British former football player who currently works as a sports broadcaster. Considered one of the greatest British strikers of all time, Gary Lineker is the third-highest goal-scorer for England. During his 16-year playing career, Lineker never received a red or yellow card, due to which he was honored with the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1990.
Patrick Vieira is a football manager and former footballer. Vieira, who was an important member of the France national team, is currently serving as the manager of Crystal Palace Football Club which competes in the Premier League. Widely regarded as one of the best players of his time, Vieira helped his team win its first FIFA World Cup in 1998.
A major force behind Brazil’s World Cup win in 2002, Roberto Carlos was born into a poor peasant family and grew up working on his family farm. He soared to fame during his 11-season stint with Real Madrid, winning four La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues with them.
Alfredo Di Stéfano was an Argentine-born Spanish football player and coach. Counted among the greatest football players of all time, Di Stéfano is remembered for his association with Real Madrid, where he played a major role in the club's domination of La Liga and the European Cup during the 1950s. In 2004, he was included in Pele’s FIFA 100 list.
Paolo Maldini is an Italian former professional footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders. He played primarily as a left-back and central defender and was affiliated with Milan and the Italian national team. Currently, he is serving as the technical director for Milan. He is also the co-owner of the USL Championship club Miami FC.
Didier Deschamps is a French former professional football player turned manager. He played as a defensive midfielder for many clubs, such as Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea, and Valencia. He was also a French international. He began his managerial career in 2001 and has been the manager of the France national team since 2012. Former tennis player Nathalie Tauziat is his cousin.
Former Norwegian football player, Ole Gunnar Solskjær was one of the most successful players of Manchester United and scored 126 goals for it. He famously scored the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final to secure a treble for the Manchester United. Post retirement, he began his coaching career and is currently the manager of Manchester United.
Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, Bobby Charlton was an important member of the England national football team that emerged victorious at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Ballon d'Or, Charlton received a knighthood in 1994.
Carlo Ancelotti had humble beginnings as a midfielder in Italian club football. He was part of the Italian national squad in two World Cups and one UEFA Euro, and is one of three managers who have won the UEFA Champions League thrice, twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid.
Known to fans as The Maradona of the Carpathians, Gheorghe Hagi is considered the most successful Romanian footballer of all time. An attacking midfielder, he began his career with FC Constanța, before playing for teams such as Real Madrid, Brescia, and Barcelona. Post-retirement, he managed the Romanian team.
French former footballer Lilian Thuram, who is now a renowned author, with books on racism such as White Thinking to his credit. His 142 appearances for the French national team made him the most capped player of his country, while he was part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning squad.
Ruud Gullit is a Dutch former football player. Considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, Gullit was known for his versatility as he could play as an attacking midfielder, forward, or midfielder. During the 1988 UEFA European Football Championship, he led his national team to its first title.
Patrick Kluivert was one of the star Dutch footballers of his time who played as a striker for clubs such as Ajax, Barcelona, and AC Milan. The UEFA Euro 2000 Golden Boot winner has also managed teams such as Netherlands and Cameroon. He later held administrative positions at Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.
Alessandro Del Piero is an Italian former football player. Renowned for his creativity, he is often counted among the best players of his generation. He is also widely regarded as one of Italy's greatest players of all time. A prolific goal-scorer, Del Piero scored 346 goals during his playing career, making him the second-highest Italian goal-scorer of all time.
Javier Zanetti is an Argentine retired professional football player. He is best known for his contribution to Inter Milan's successful 2009–10 season, during which the club achieved a treble. Counted among the greatest players of his generation, Javier Zanetti also helped his national football team win a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Italian professional football coach and former player. Andrea Pirlo, is currently the head coach of football club Juventus. As a player, he was known for his ball control. He retired after playing 116 matches for the Italian national football team. He was elected into the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Legendary Croatian former footballer Davor Šuker has also headed the Croatian Football Federation as its president. His illustrious career saw him spend successful stints at both Real Madrid and Arsenal. He was also part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup third place-winning Croatian squad and remains Croatia’s all-time top goal-scorer.
Michel Platini is a former football player, administrator, and manager. Widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time, this French footballer won the prestigious Ballon d'Or award three times during his glorious playing career. Michel Platini also played a key role as France's national team coach before he was banned from football by the FIFA Ethics Committee.