Some players can create a goal out of nothing. Some have the vision to open up defenses. Others are more than happy to remain in the background and let others take the glory. When you think of the world’s greatest soccer players, names like Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho immediately come to mind. These legendary stars knew how to dazzle fans with their incredible dribbling and passing abilities. Here we have compiled a list of the top 5 most skilled football players of all time.
1. Ronaldinho – the most skilled football player of all time
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born March 21, 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho (Brazilian Portuguese) or Ronaldinho Gaucho, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer and also the current ambassador for the Spanish club Barcelona. He played not only as an attacking midfielder but also as a forward or a winger. Often considered one of the best players of his generation Ronaldinho won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d’Or. He was renowned for his technique, tricks, dribbling, overhead kicks, no-look passes, and also free kicks and was described as skilled by nature. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to Pelé.
Ronaldinho began his career with Gremio before spending most of his successful career at European clubs: Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Milan. He then returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro before moving to Mexico to play for Querétaro and then back to Brazil to play for Fluminense.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
He is often considered the best player in the world and also widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo has won five Ballons d’Or as well as four European Golden Shoes, which are records for a European player. In addition, he has won 29 trophies in his career, including six league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League. A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for most official goals scored in Europe’s top-five leagues (414), the UEFA Champions League (120), the UEFA European Championship (9), as well as for most assists in the UEFA Champions League (34) and the UEFA European Championship (6). He has also scored over 700 goals in his senior career for club and country.
Born and raised on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart when he was 15. He underwent surgery to treat his condition and began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP before signing with Manchester United at age 18 in 2003.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was a Brazilian footballer born in Tres Coracoes, Brazil, on October 23, 1940. He is considered the most successful domestic league goal scorer of all time, with 541 goals in 560 games. Pele is one of the top players of all time. In addition, he is the only player to win three World Cups with Brazil. He was also named Football Player of the Century by FIFA.
Pele grew up impoverished in Bauru, Sao Paulo, and earned extra money working as a servant in tea shops as a child. In 1956 he joined Santos FC at age 15 and made his senior team debut a year later at 16. He won his first major title at age 17 when he helped Santos win the Campeonato Paulista championship.
Pele quickly became an international star and three-time World Cup champion (1958, 1962, 1970). He is also the record goalscorer for Santos FC with 643 goals in 656 games. Furthermore, he led them to two consecutive Copa Libertadores titles in 1962-63. In Brazil’s 1-0 win over Czechoslovakia in the 1962 World Cup Final, he scored his 1,000th career goal.
Zidane was an elite playmaker. He was popular for his elegance, vision, ball control, and technique. He played as a midfielder for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid. Zidane also won two Serie A league titles with Juventus. Then he moved to Real Madrid for a world-record fee of $75 million in 2001. Moreover, in each of his first three seasons at the club, Zidane won the UEFA Champions League and became FIFA World Player of the Year in 2003, after winning La Liga in his first season with Real Madrid. Later that year, he captained France to victory at UEFA Euro 2000, and in the final, he scored twice against Italy.
In 2004 he was on the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. Zidane received three Player of the Year awards during his career; he won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 1996. After retiring from playing football, he became an assistant coach at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti for the 2013–14 season.
He came through Santos’ youth academy and made his professional debut at age 17. Neymar won the South American Footballer of the Year award, in 2011 and 2012. He also won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. And he came forth for the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2015 for his performances. Furthermore, he starred for Brazil during their gold medal campaigns at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Neymar was transferred to PSG for €222 million. It made him the most expensive player in history, as well as the first player to be transferred for over €200 million. His contract with PSG continues until June 2022. He also has a sponsorship deal with Nike, earning around $11 million per year, including bonuses. In addition, he earns $14 million per year from sponsors like Volkswagen, Santander, and Red Bull.
Read also: Soccer players who died on the field
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