He participated in Euro 2004 and World Cup held in 2006 and 2010.
One of the most well-known German footballers, Oliver Kahn was a goalkeeper who represented his country from 1994 to 2006. He represented Italy in the World Cup 1994 and scored 5 goals for his team. He also played for clubs such as Nancy, Saint-Étienne, and Juventus. After the season of 1997 – 1998 season, Beckham was selected for England’s World Cup team. In 2003, he transferred to the United Manchester and scored 10 times in the first season. You can find him in the right wing of the Barcelona attack, trying to concoct a blend of speed and trickery to frustrate and get past multiple defenders. Platini was a free kick specialist, and scored 41 international goals and 224 goals for the clubs that he played for.
Weird: In 1998, Second Division club Jiul Petro?ani Ion sold Radu, a midfielder from Romania, to Valcea for 500kg of pork.
Sir Robert ‘Bobby’ Charlton was arguably the best midfielder and English player of all time. Besides coaching various countries and clubs, he also played for Flamengo, Udinese, and Kashima Antlers, for whom he scored 192 goals. He scored 49 international goals during his international career, and 208 club level goals for Manchester United, Preston North End, and Waterford.
Zinedine Zidane played as an attacking midfielder for France, and was a part of the team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. Known for the talent not easily found in the so many of the footballers, he is their hope for the glory. The Time magazine, in the same year, included Pelé in the list of 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century. Zico was a part of the ’80s Brazilian squad that was widely considered to be the best team Brazil ever produced. He is famous for his natural play and terrific control over the ball. Although, France beat Italy in the final match, they couldn’t stop Totti from lifting the Man of the Match title.
Michel Platini represented France from 1976 to 1987, and was also the coach of the team from 1988 to 1992. He is the current president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). In his long career, spanning 25 years, he scored 1,000 goals. During his career, Stoichkov earned global acclaim four times in a row. Their skills, timing and desire to shoot the ball in the net are still admired all over the world even when, they are no more on the field.
Amazing: In the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay, which was played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there was a record attendance of 199,854 spectators.
Pelé is the best footballer ever to play on the field. His goal, in the Premier League, scored against Arsenal, 5 days before he turned 17, made him the youngest scorer in the history of the league. His conversion rate was so good that he managed to score an average of one goal per game in his world cup matches. In the year 1957, at the age of 15, Pelé was included in the Brazil national team for the World Cup. This pre-Pelé era player was known as the Rubberman because of his elastic body. Diego Armando Maradona is an icon and hero for many footballers. Born in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he was influenced by another legend of the footballer, Zico. But in the same event, in the finals, he was involved in a controversial incident, in which he headbutted Italian defender Marco Materazzi. He was the first player to score 4 goals in World Cup soccer bout.
A terrific presence on the field, Lionel Messi, according to some, has reserved a spot for himself in the ranks of all time great players like, Pelé and Maradona. Many believed that Germany reached the 2002 World Cup finals not because the team was a great one, but because Oliver Kahn’s goalkeeping skills managed to keep Germany alive in the tournament. Throughout his career, Maradona enthralled his fans and the opponents with his extraordinary footwork and balance. Olympic Games 2008 held in China saw him win the gold medal for his country. In the FIFA World Cup (2006), David Beckham led the English football team. Top scorer of the tournament, Ronaldo helped the Brazilian team to win their 5th FIFA World Cup title.
Zico, whose real name is Arthur Antunes Coimbra, played for Brazil from 1976 to 1988. Nine of these goals were scored in three World Cups. This skillful footballer has won many awards and acclaims. Born on June 24, 1987, this Argentinian footballer has joined the Barcelona when he was 13 years old. He was one of the best forwards in all of Europe, and besides playing for his country, represented as many as 12 clubs throughout his career. His full name is Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. In all, he scored 23 goals for Italy and 194 goals for all the clubs that he played for.
This most beloved Italian footballer was included in the greatest living footballers list that was prepared by none other than the famous Pelé. He started his professional career with CSKA Sofia and later moved on to the FC Barcelona soccer club. In 2008, he partnered with the teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and won the Premier League and Champions league for his club, the Manchester United. He was named as the Italy’s Player of the Year in 2000 and in 2003. The highlight of this prestigious tournament was the goal, a 35 meter free kick, scored by the Ronaldinho against England. In the 2006 World Cup, he was the best player of the tournament, and won the ‘Golden Ball’ award. Although his full name is Manuel Francisco dos Santos, he earned the nickname of Garrincha, a term meaning ‘little bird’, for his playful behavior on the field. Even though he was involved in many controversies, on and off the field, he is still regarded as one of the greatest footballer of all time.
In 2000 – 01, Totti, another celebrated Italian football player, scored 13 goals and helped his favorite club, A.S. Born on February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Portugal, Cristiano was signed by Sporting Lisbon at the age of 10 years. He also played for Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos, and Hamburger SV, besides being the manager for West Germany, Marseille, and Bayern Munich.
Born on October 24, 1985 in Liverpool, England, this footballer has done wonders on the field. Brazil went on to win the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Most unfortunately, Baggio missed his penalty kick. Can you recollect his real name in full? His real name is Edison Arantes do Nascimento.
Born in Munich, Germany, Franz Beckenbauer was also known as Der Kaiser or The Emperor, simply because he was extremely elegant in his style of play. He received the ‘Golden Ball’ award after being chosen as the best player in the tournament. In 1991, Manchester United, signed this 16-year-old teenager for its youth squad. He joined the Portugal national team in August 2003, and scored 2 times for his country in Euro 2004. However, in the year 2002, as a member of Brazil squad for the FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored eight goals in only seven games. Currently, he is the coach of the national team of Iraq.
Bobby Charlton. He scored 27 goals, in all, for his national team. He played an influential role in club’s winning the Spanish Primera División. For his skills with the ball and the goal scoring capacity he is known as the King of Soccer. At the club level, he played for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid. The lethal combination of speed, strength and skills, and the irresistible urge to score made him the most expensive player of the 2009. Put on a display of his sublime talent in the 2010 World Cup.
Ronaldinho is another jewel from Brazil. In his debut match, Pelé scored two goals. At the age of 17, while playing for England against Australia, he scored and became the youngest Englishman to do so for his country. He was well-known for his free kicks, passing skills, and finishing, and scored 52 goals for his country. He is also known as the Phenomenon, because of his speed, dribbling and passion for scoring again and again. He was a part of the Brazilian team, for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was jointly hosted by Korea and Japan. Winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009 and 2010, Messi has won five league titles, and in the 2008 – 09 forming a triad with Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, scored 38 goals only to better the record, in next two seasons, to glorious 45 and 50. He shares the honor of representing the England in 3 World Cups with the 5 others, including Sol Campbell and Michael Owen.
There is no doubt that Ronaldo is one of the most celebrated players from Brazil, after Pelé. In 2009 and 2010, Rooney won Premier League for the United but, lost to Barcelona in the finals of Champions League. His career lasted for 26 years from 1975 to 2001. In his club’s history, he became the first footballer to scale the ladder of Under (16, 17, 18), B-team, and first team in a single season. After a span of 5 years, Beckham was finally selected for the Manchester United team. For Real Madrid, in 2010 – 11, he won the Copa del Rey and in La Liga, netted 40 times to create a record. A teammate of the legendary Pelé, Garrincha was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. Garrincha ranks second, after Pelé, in the list of best Brazilian soccer players.
Christian Vieri was an Italian center-forward, who was named by the great Pelé as one of the greatest living footballers ever. In 1992, his scintillating play was responsible for his club’s Championships League victory. He grew up in Brazil and honed his skills in its slums. At the age of 9, he joined the Everton club’s academy and in 2002, found himself as a FA Youth Cup finalist. He won the title of ‘European Footballer of the Year’ twice, He is only the second footballer to win the World Cup as a player and coach, and the only one to win it as a captain and coach. Francesco Totti is also known as the Prince and Er Pupone. He was a member of the French team that won the 1984 European Championship, and his nine goals in that tournament is still a record that has not been broken. He was chosen twice, for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
Hristo Stoichkov is thought of as the most successful Bulgarian soccer player. Kahn also represented clubs like Karlsruher SC II, Karlsruher SC, and Bayern Munich.
Maradona is the most celebrated Argentine football player. In 1999, Pelé was chosen as The Athlete of The Century, by the international Olympic committee. Ronaldo played for Brazil in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil lost to the French side in the final match. With his 7 goals in qualifiers, he took his team to 2006 World Cup, but couldn’t take it past the semi-finals. He bade good-bye to the field of soccer in 2003.
Astonishing: In 1973, Marcello Donadini, a referee from Italy had to be hospitalized, after a player who didn’t quite like his decision bit him on his back.
A true specimen of the present day footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro has everlasting stamina that leaves his opponents worried. Well-known for his fitness and stamina levels, he was a part of the English team that won the World Cup, whom he represented from 1958 to 1970. Christiano participated in the Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup in which, team Portugal exited in the quarter finals and the second round, respectively.
Famous soccer players, such as Pelé and Maradona are not only worshiped in their native places, but they are also idolized throughout the world. He represented France from 1994 to 2006, and in his 108 appearances, he scored 31 goals and was the play maker for hundred others. He started playing for his country in August, 2005, and participated in 2006 World Cup. He retired from football in 2004.
? Diego Maradona
? Franz Beckenbauer
? Hristo Stoichkov
? Michel Platini
? David Beckham
? Oliver Kahn
? Zinedine Zidane
? Leônidas da Silva
? Roberto Baggio
? Francesco Totti
? Christian Vieri
? Bobby Charlton
? Lionel Messi
? Wayne Rooney
? Cristiano Ronaldo
Leônidas da Silva
Statistic: Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, France, England, Italy, Germany and Spain are the only eight countries who have managed to win the biggest prize ever in soccer – the World Cup.
He is the man who shouldered the responsibility of giving the Brazilian football the solidity, it deserved. He is often compared to Pelé, and hence was fondly know as ‘White Pelé’. His skills included decisive and accurate passes and he was well-known for his powerful free kicks. For these clubs, he managed to score 95 goals in total.
His full name is David Robert Joseph Beckham. He scored against Romania and Belgium and got the team in the Finals. 2007 – 2008 season rejoiced in his 42 goals in 49 games, the Premier League and Champions League titles that he won for the Manchester United and FIFA World Player of the Year award. Italy lost to Brazil in the final match in penalty shoot out. In June 2005, Ronaldinho captained the Brazilian side to their second FIFA Confederations Cup title by beating Argentina in final match 4 – 1. Roma, to win the first league title, since 1983. It took him 18 domestic yellow cards, earned during 2003 – 05, to realize that not every provocation needs to be taken seriously. He played at a time when Germany was not unified, which is why he represented West Germany in 103 games, from 1965 to 1977. The most famous footballer of his time, Leônidas da Silva is also believed to the father of the Bicycle kick. Through Leônidas da Silva, in 1938 World Cup, soccer world came to know about the natural talent, techniques and the spirit of Brazilian football. Records at the end of the 2006 – 07 season showed 23 goals against his name in 53 appearances for the United and the first title in four seasons for his club. In the past, he has played for the Gremio, Paris SG, FC Barcelona soccer clubs. He was part of the Italian National squad in the Euro 2000 qualifiers
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