The Best Soccer Players from the 20th Century

The Best Soccer Players from the 20th Century

This is a sensitive subject for any soccer fan, we know that, and apparently everyone has their own opinion, there is definitely no consensus about who is or who are the greatest soccer players in history, but there are certain names that you will find over and over again in fan forums and amongst sport critics, in this article I will talk about the best soccer players that started their careers in the 20th Century, lined up by their year of birth.


Eusebio da Silva, born in Portuguese Mozambique in 1942. His active years were from 1958 to 1978. He was known as “The Black Panther” and was, for decades, considered the greatest Portuguese soccer player. He was one of the first African players to make an impression in the international world of soccer and brought Portugal to the third place in the World Cup of 1966.


His given name is Edson Arantes de Nascimento, he was born in Brazil in 1940 and his active years were from 1953 to 1971. His name came in the spotlight when in 1958 World’s Cup at the  age of 17 young Pele scored six goals, giving Brazil its first World Cup victory, through his active years and until today his is known as the King of Soccer, a title he hardly earned with sublime efforts. He scored 1.283 goals in his career.


Hendrik Cruijff, Born in The Netherlands in 1947, his active professional years were from 1964 to 1984. Cruyff not only managed to inspire a whole generation of schoolkids to join soccer but also inspired several players to follow his famous movements and quick thinking. He gave the Ajax three won tournaments. After his retirement he also became a manager for his Original team, the Ajax. He passed away in 2016 after a long battle with lung cancer, due to decades of smoking.


Michel Platini, born in France in 1955, his active professional years were from 1973 to 1987. Was an European champion for Champions League tournaments and with his national team for the European Cup. He was a midfielder well known for being a great passer and an expert taking free kicks. He won three consecutive Ballon d’Ors.


Diego Maradona, born in Argentina in 1960, with an active career from 1976 to 1997. He is one of the greatest dribblers of all times. At the peak of his career he was by every mean untouchable, running around dribbling teams and national selections through his career. But his career as a player shattered when he failed his drug test for the 1994 World Cup.



Zinedine Zidane, born in France in 1972, his active professional years were from 1989 to 2006. He is now the manager of the Champions League team Real Madrid. And is known for being a champion across all levels from club tournaments to World Cups for his national team. As a player, he was most famous for his bad temper.


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