Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes. He is a versatile attacker capable of playing on either wing as well as through the center of the pitch. He has the distinction of being the first European to score 100 international goals.
Controversy’s favorite child Uruguayan professional Luis Suarez has been in the news for an infamous handball and also for biting opponents. He now plays for Atlético Madrid and has previously represented Barcelona and Liverpool, winning 19 trophies in his career to date. He is Uruguay's leading goalscorer of all time.
Radamel Falcao is a Colombian football player who has been playing for the national football team since 2007. He is the all-time top scorer for the Colombia national team. Nicknamed The Tiger, Falcao is often counted among the greatest Colombian football players of all time. Radamel Falcao is also considered one of the best strikers of his generation.
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.
Considered one of the most successful African-origin footballers of all time, Eusébio, or the Black Panther, was born in the Portuguese Mozambique and grew up to represent the Portuguese national team as a striker. He also had a great stint with the club Benfica, having won the Primeira Liga with them 11 times.
Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué, who plays for FC Barcelona, is considered one of the world’s best centre halves. He is amongst the few players who have won the UEFA Champions League for two consecutive years, but for different teams. He also played a crucial role in the Spain national team’s victory in 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.
Widely considered one of the best Dutch soccer players of all time, Arjen Robben is known for his long-range shots, ball control, speed, and dribbling skills. He helped his national team reach the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which they lost to Spain.
Armenian professional footballer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan ,currently plays for Serie A club Roma and the Armenian national team. He previously played for Pyunik, winning four Armenian Premier League titles with them. Armenia's all-time top goalscorer, he has been named Armenian Footballer of the Year ten times. He is a polyglot and speaks eight languages.
Ivan Perisic is a Croatian football player who plays as a midfielder for the Croatia national football team and Tottenham Hotspur. Best known for his versatility, Perisic can play as an attacking midfielder, defender, or second striker. Ivan Perišić has represented his nation at important tournaments, such as the UEFA European Football Championships and World Cups.
Ángel Di María is an Argentine football player. An important member of the Argentina national team, Ángel Di María helped Argentina win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics by scoring the only goal of the gold medal match against Nigeria at the 58th minute of the match. Ángel Di María has also represented Argentina at three FIFA World Cups.
Adnan Januzaj is a Belgian football player who plays for the Belgium national team as a midfielder. In 2018, he helped his national team win the bronze medal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Adnan Januzaj is also currently a part of the Sevilla Fútbol Club.
Nathan Aké is a Dutch football player who plays for the Netherlands national football team and Manchester City. In 2019, he helped his national team win the runner-up trophy at the UEFA Nations League. Nathan Aké was also part of the Manchester City Football Club that won the Premier League in 2021 and 2022.
One of the most decorated Mexican footballers, Rafael Márquez, nicknamed El Káiser, was a star defender in his time. Starting his career with Atlas at age 17, he later played for teams such as Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls. His achievements include 4 La Liga and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.
Nicolás Otamendi is an Argentine football player best known for helping his national team win the 2021 Copa América in Brazil. He has also represented Argentina at two FIFA World Cups. Nicolás Otamendi has also helped Manchester City win two Premier League titles and one FA Cup. He has also won three successive Primeira Liga with Porto.
Born to a footballer father and a handball player mother, Bulgarian former footballer Dimitar Berbatov was no stranger to sports as a child. He made history as a striker and became Bulgaria’s leading goal-scorer of all time. He has also had a successful career with Manchester United, winning 2 Premier Leagues with them.
When it comes to great football managers, Jose Mourinho’s name comes right at the top. He is regarded as one of the most tactfully brilliant managers ever, even though his defensive style has at times been criticised. He has had great stints with Premier League clubs like Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Uruguayan footballer, Edinson Cavani, is the second-most highest scorer among Uruguayan internationals, next only to Luis Suarez. During his time in Italy, he was called El Matador for his composure while scoring goals. Although considered one of the best strikers of his generation, Cavani has been criticized for his relatively poor performance in important games.
Rui Patricio is a Portuguese football player who plays as a goalkeeper. He was part of the national team that won the UEFA European Football Championship title in 2016. He also helped his team win the UEFA Nations League in 2019. Rui Patricio has also represented his country in two World Cups.
Robinho is a Brazilian football player who was lucky and talented enough to be picked by Pelé as his heir apparent when the former was 15 years old. However, his career has been marked by inconsistency and Robinho is often accused of not living up to his potential. He has also been convicted of sexual assault by an Italian court.
Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Peter Crouch is best known for his signature “robot” celebration after scoring goals. He also played with Aston Villa and Liverpool, helping the latter win the the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. He also helped Tottenham gain a place in the UEFA Champions League.
Juninho Pernambucano is a Brazilian former football player. Renowned for his curling free kicks, Juninho is considered the greatest free kick-taker in football history; he holds the record for converting the maximum number of goals (75) through free kicks. On the personal front, Juninho speaks out publicly against racism in Brazil and doesn’t shy away from criticizing President Jair Bolsonaro.
Dutch footballer Memphis Depay is best known as a forward for Barcelona. Starting his senior career with PSV Eindhoven, he later also played for Manchester United and Lyon. He was also part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad and was the Eredivisie top scorer in 2014-15.
Carlos Tevez is an Argentine footballer who helped his national team win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. At the same event, Tevez won the Golden Boot, having scored eight goals in the tournament. With three South American Footballer of the Year awards under his belt, Tevez is one of the best Argentine footballers of his generation.
French footballer Yaya Sanogo has had an illustrious career so far, with stints at clubs such as Auxerre, Toulouse, and Arsenal. The 6’3” striker was also part of the squad that won France’s first FIFA U-20 World Cup and has also won the FA Cup for Arsenal.
Considered one of the best Japanese footballers ever, Hidetoshi Nakata is not just a 2-time Olympian but also a 3-time World Cup player. He has also been part of Serie A and Premier League. Known as Gioiellino, or Little Jewel, he is also a fashion icon, known for his quirky and colorful hair-dos.