With his youth soccer career ending in ’89, Zidane had been a master the sport for several decades. Born in France in 1972, the three-time FIFA world player of the year was renowned for his incredible technique and ball control. On the pitch from as early as 10 years of age, Zidane went from strength to strength making a name for himself all the way from his Cannes days up until he played for Real Madrid who paid a record fee of 150 billion Italian lire for him. Scoring some of the best goals in UEFA history his careers only notable scar was the infamous headbutt incident. Now managing the most recent team he played for, superstar factory Real Madrid, he continues his legacy by passing down his knowledge of the game to new talent.
It is tough to bring up the topic of modern soccer without its long running poster boy. Shooting to fame in the early 90’s, this Manchester United player was permanently a part of the games culture. With kids everywhere trying their best to be like him and adopting his varying hairstyles, his rise in popularity was nothing short of meteoric. Soon enough he became a pop culture icon as his 1999 marriage to pop star Victoria Adams created a tabloid sensation that still continues to today. On the pitch he was known for his unique ability to ‘bend’ shots, in fact this was so uniquely tied to him that it even spawned a saying and subsequent film Bend It Like Beckham in 2002. On the pitch he was still a favourite of fans and managers and captained several teams including his home country of England in several world cups. Still very much a conscious part of the publics mind, he is noted as beginning the craze of naming children after their place of conception, and having their names tattooed in another language. Now retired after a 20 year career, Beckham remains a brand name with plenty of clout and is no doubt one of the most memorable icons of the 20th Century.
Born Edson Arantes do Nasimento, this Brazillian football legend is better known by his nickname – Pele. Starting his entry into the sport at just 15 it was quickly recognised that he had something other players did not. With unprecedented skill at dribbling the ball, Pele was instrumental in advancing the play into the opponent’s half and baffling even the best players with his footwork. Known for his description of the sport as “The Beautiful Game”, Pele enjoyed soccer as much as fans enjoyed watching him perform. Highly decorated for his skill and stamina, the International Olympic Committee elected him as athlete of the century, which is an incredible feat for anyone involved in sport. Also granted the FIFA Player of the Century award in 1999, and with over 1200 goals scored in his career, its no surprise that someone of his skill and likeability is commonly regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.