Regarded as one of the best football players of all time, Ronaldinho played a crucial role in Brazil’s victory in 2002 FIFA World Cup. Later, he helped FC Barcelona win two La Liga and a UEFA Champions League title. The two time FIFA world Player of the Year, who retired in 2018, was known for his technical skills and creativity.
Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was named the Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS. He called football “The Beautiful Game” and was one of the world’s highest-paid athlete for a while. His 1281 goals in 1363 games is a Guinness World Record.
Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian racing driver. Widely considered one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, Ayrton had won the prestigious F1 World Drivers' Championship thrice. Following his fatal accident in 1994, several safety improvements were introduced to the sports' set-up; higher crash safety standards, redesigned tracks, and improved crash barriers became part of the sport.
Regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation, Kaká is a Brazilian retired football player. He is one of eight footballers to have won the Ballon d'Or, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Cup. Also known for his humanitarian work, Kaká has been working with the United Nations, as part of its World Food Programme initiative.
Brazilian MMA legend Anderson Silva began learning Taekwondo at 12. He holds the record of the longest reign by any UFC title-holder, being the middleweight champion from 2006 to 2013, and also has a record of 16 consecutive wins. He also has black belts in multiple martial art forms.
Rafael dos Anjos is a Brazilian-American mixed martial artist. A former UFC Lightweight Champion, dos Anjos is renowned for his aggressive approach, which often takes his opponents by surprise. Characterized by his strong takedown capabilities and physical strength, dos Anjos holds victories over popular martial artists like Robbie Lawler and Benson Henderson.
Brazilian footballer, Phillipe Coutinho, is hailed as one of the most talented midfielders and playmakers in the world. He has been a key player for Premier League clubs like Inter Milan, Liverpool, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He was a member of the Brazilian national team that won the 2019 Copa America.
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.
Italian-born Brazilian-origin footballer Thiago Alcântara grew up watching his footballer father Mazinho. The talented midfielder has played for teams such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich and now represents Liverpool and the national team of Spain. An injury prevented him from playing in the World Cup 2014.
14 Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva is a Brazilian professional footballer. He plays as a center-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the Brazil national team. He is counted among the best central defenders of his generation. He began playing football as a teenager and had a brilliant youth career. He made his international debut in 2008 and has appeared in seven major tournaments.
Brazilian footballer Marcelo Vieira, who now captains the Spanish club Real Madrid, is known as one of the world’s best left-backs. The Rio-born football star has previously had a successful stint with the Brazilian club Fluminense. He also won Brazil a team bronze and a team silver at the Olympics.
18 Royce Gracie
Brazilian MMA fighter Royce Gracie, part of the renowned Gracie family of mixed martial artists, won the UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 4 championships. He made the Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, popular, and holds the 7th degree red/black coral belt in the art.
Brazilian professional mixed martial artist Lyoto Machida is currently signed with Bellator MMA. He competes in the light heavyweight division. He was previously associated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The son of Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida, Lyoto began his training when he was just three. He has an MMA record of 26 wins from 36 matches.
21 Dani Alves
Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, better known as Hulk due to his strong built, is a Brazilian football player. He is currently one of the most important members of the Shanghai SIPG F.C., which competes in the Chinese Super League. Also a key player for Brazil, Hulk helped his national team win the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
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.
33 David Luiz
Brazilian-American MMA fighter Wanderlei Silva, or The Axe Murderer, is known for his stints with the UFC and the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships. He set a Pride record for the longest winning streak. He has also participated in Bellator MMA contests and heads the MMA training organization Wand Fight Team.