Probably the most football-crazy country Brazil has gifted the world with some of the greatest showmen ever to set foot on a football. So, let’s find out who the top 10 Brazilian football players are.
Brazil is the only country who have qualified for every world cup tournament until now. It is also the only one to win the coveted trophy five times. Even though there have been contributions from several passionate people, the players could be the most crucial part of the nation’s success.
Whenever a Brazilian player touches the ball, the scenes that flash through the spectator’s eyes are – Ginga, Joga Bonito, rainbow flicks, and many more. Without further ado, let’s get started.
10. Neymar Jr. (2009 – Present)
Neymar started his professional career with Santos, the same club that Pele represented for most of his career. Well, that’s not the only fact that binds them both as Neymar is the second-highest top scorer for his country with 71 goals, just behind Pele’s 77 goals. The forward has won one Confederations Cup and an Olympic Gold medal in international football. His vital contributions to his country suggest why he has taken up the 10th spot in the top 10 Brazilian football players of all time.
Neymar is one of the most skilful players in the modern game. However, that hasn’t stopped him from being clinical in front of the goal. He has more than 260 club goals and over 160 assists. His effortless rainbow flicks and dribbling abilities are famous among modern football fans.
Despite all the accolades, the only issue haunting Neymar is his injury-prone body. He hasn’t retired yet; hence It remains to be seen how far he can advance in the top 10 Brazilian football players of the all-time list.
9. Kaká (2001 – 2017)
Ricardo Kaká, famously known as ‘Kaka‘, makes it to the 9th spot in our top 10 Brazilian football players of the all-time list because of his incredible abilities, including exceptional passing, effortless dribbling, playmaking, long-range shooting etc. Even though Kaka operated in the attacking midfield area, he was as good a goalscorer as a playmaker. He won two Confederations Cup and one world cup for his nation.
Starting with Brazilian side São Paulo, Kaka gathered momentum and rapidly advanced in his club career. Even though Real Madrid signed him in 2009, he couldn’t deliver his best which was only seen at AC Milan. Kaka’s trophy cabinet comprises one Champions League, 1 Scudetto, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 La Liga and many more. He was the last person to win a Ballon d’Or (2007) before the Messi-Ronaldo era started.
8. Roberto Carlos (1991 – 2015)
Roberto Carlos has earned the 8th spot in our top 10 Brazilian football players of all time. He started as a forward, but he settled in the full-back role as his career progressed. But, he was known for his aggressive playing style from his position and is considered one of the best left-back players of all time.
Carlos’ other unique ability includes his powerful free-kick technique, which was even effective 50 yards away. Carlos has scored 97 goals and has set up 122 more, which suggests the kind of playmaking role he played from the left-back position. He won one Confederations Cup, two Copa America and the 2002 world cup with his nation.
7. Zico (1971 – 1994)
Arthur Antunes Coimbra, also known as ‘Zico‘, grabs the 7th spot in the top 10 Brazilian football players of all time. Apart from being a creative player, accurate passer and clinical finisher, he was also an effective free-kick taker. He has scored 101 direct free-kicks, which is the most by any player.
Zico scored 48 goals in 71 official matches, making him the 5th highest goalscorer for his country. Despite all the accolades, he never won the world cup and is considered the best Brazilian footballer of all time, never to win the World Cup.
6. Sócrates (1973 – 2004)
Brazilian legendary midfielder Sócrates picks the 6th spot in our top 10 Brazilian football players of all time. He was considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation due to his incredible vision, game awareness, long passing and game reading skills.
Even though he never won a world cup, he captained the Brazilian side, including Zico, Falcão, Toninho Cerezo, and Éder. In 2004, Pele named Sócrates on the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
5. Garrincha (1951 – 1972)
Pele’s compatriot Garrincha holds the 5th position in our top 10 Brazilian football players on the all-time list. His real name is Manuel Francisco dos Santos, but people knew him as Mané Garrincha. He was an energetic winger with exceptional dribbling skills, making him a crucial threat for opponent defenders. He helped his nation win two World Cup titles (1958 and 1962) and became the top scorer in the 1962 championship.
4. Romário (1985 – 2009)
Romário is considered one of the most lethal strikers ever to set foot on a football pitch. His hunger for goals and determination to outperform opponent defenders drive him to achieve incredible feats. Playing with Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Barcelona, Valencia, and Al Sadd, Romário secured more than 750 goals, putting him in the top modern-day goalscorers’ basket. He helped his nation win a silver Olympic medal, a Copa América, and a FIFA World CUP.
3. Ronaldinho Gaúcho (1998 – 2015)
Probably the greatest showman the footballing world has ever seen, Ronaldinho takes up the 3rd position in the top 10 Brazilian football players of all time. Whenever ‘Ronnie’ set foot on a football pitch, he was more interested in enjoying the match rather than winning it. Sometimes his skills humiliated opponent defenders in front of the whole world.
Playing with top teams like Grêmio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, Ronaldinho secured 197 goals and 163 assists. His peak was short-lived because of his destructive habits off the pitch, but his best years were amusing for the fans because he allowed them to enjoy the sport as much as possible.
He scored 33 goals in 97 matches for his country and secured 1 Under-17 World Cup champion, 1 Confederations Cup, and 1 World Cup.
2. Ronaldo (1993 – 2011)
The Brazilian Ronaldo, or the ‘R9’, is considered one of the greatest strikers of all time. Due to his incredible contributions to the game, we have put him in the 2nd spot of the top 10 Brazilian football players on the all-time list. Ronaldo’s breathtaking pace, world-class dribbling, and lethal shooting skills made him special. When in the mood, he used to destroy the opponent’s defence for fun.
A modern-day great, Ronaldo has scored 295 goals and 76 assists in his club career. For Brazil, he has scored 62 goals and has helped his team win two Copa América, 2 World Cup and 1 Confederations Cup.
1. Pelé (1956 – 1977)
Whenever Brazilian football is discussed, one player that can never be excluded is Pele. Considered to be one of the greatest football players ever, Pele won three world cups for his country, and in each tournament, he played a crucial role. His current international goal tally stands at 77, which is also the highest for any Brazilian. He spent most of his career at Santos FC.
It is believed that Pele has scored a total of 1,282 in his entire career, but the stat is still debatable. Still, with all the accolades he has achieved for his country, Pele stands tall in the no. 1 spot of the top 10 Brazilian football players of all time.
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