Top 10 Greatest Brazilian Players of All Time

Top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time

Brazil is a country that lives and breathes football. The country has been through a lot. However, even through it’s ups and downs, football has remained a fundamental part of life in South America’s largest nation. The people of Brazil are very passionate for the sport. Brazilian footballers have often been adored, viewed as superhuman characters who possess the power to make one forget about life and dream about the beautiful game. This article focuses on the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

Brazil has produced some of the finest players to ever grace the game. These players have changed the perception of the game. They are known to be some of the most skillful players to ever set foot on the football pitch.

So. the main question is who are the best Brazilian football players of all time? And who is the best Brazilian footballer of all time?

Ronaldo, Pele, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo have been voted the four greatest Brazilian footballers of all time – with Pele claiming the top spot. TheFootballLovers have compiled a list of the top 10 Brazilian football players of all time.

The following is the list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time:

10. Neymar Jr. (2009 – Present)

Neymar Jr makes it to the list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time

Neymar Júnior makes it into the list of top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time. He is one of the most skillful players in the world. His dribbling skills, tricks, and play-making ability reminds everyone of his compatriot Ronaldinho. The main features of his game are his vision,

Neymar is the second highest goalscorer for his national team, only behind Pelé. He has scored 70 goals in 116 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18. He was a key player in Brazil’s victories at the 2011 South American Youth Championship, where he finished as leading goalscorer, as well as the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won the Golden Ball.

At age 30, the winger still has a long way to go to become the best Brazilian footballer of all time. But, it can be said that he is one of the best Brazilian players right now.

9. Kaká (2001 – 2017)

Kaká - Player profile | Transfermarkt

Making it on the 9th place on our list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time is Ricardo Kaká. Kaka is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He was most influential as a playmaker. He was well known for his creative passing, goal scoring and dribbles from midfield. Kaká has been described on the FIFA website as having the “capacity to glide almost effortlessly past opponents, provide defence-splitting passes and score consistently from distance.” He was known for his capability of scoring goals as well as creating and assisting them.

Kaká is underrated by so many people but we should not forget how talented he was. He was one of the best footballers of his time. In the 2007 Ballon d’Or ceremony, Kaká beat the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win his first-ever Ballon d’Or award. And to be fair, not many people have been successful in achieving that feat.

Kaka won the 2006-07 Champions League, the 2007 Super Cup and the Club World Cup 2007 with AC Milan. That AC Milan team consisted of some fine players, but Kaká was their heartbeat and driving power.

8. Roberto Carlos (1991 – 2015)

Roberto Carlos on THAT goal in 1997: "I was aiming for the 'A' in La  Poste... but it went miles away from that!" | FourFourTwo

Robert Carlos is one of the top 10 Brazilian football players and also one of the greatest defenders of all time. He had a rocket of a left-foot and could score even from 50 yards out. Not bad for a full-back, right?

He started his career in Brazil as a forward but spent most of his career as a left-back and has been described as the “most offensive-minded left-back in the history of the game”. The full-back was also a free kick specialist. Robert Carlos’ famous freekick when he scored past Fabian Barthez is simply mind blowing,

Robert Carlos won one World Cup with Brazil and three Champions League titles with Real Madrid, making him one of the top 10 best Brazilian soccer players of all time. Therefore, he claims the 8th spot on our list of top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

7. Zico (1971 – 1994)

Remembering Zico, The Greatest Brazilian To Never Win A World Cup

Arthur Antunes Coimbra, famously known as Zico, is one of the top 10 Brazilian soccer players of all time. He played as an attacking midfielder and often called the “White Pelé”. He was a creative playmaker, with excellent technical skills, vision and an eye for goal. Zico is considered to be one of the most clinical finishers and best passers ever. He is also widely regarded as the best Brazilian footballer of all time to never win the World Cup. 

With 48 goals in 71 official games, Zico is the fifth highest goalscorer for Brazil. This shows what a clinical presence he was in midfield. As stated on, Zico is the player that scored the most goals from direct free kicks, with 101 goals.

Zico was so important to the Brazilian national football team, Pele the great had to say this about him:

“Zico is the only one who resembles my playing method.”

6. Sócrates (1973 – 2004)

Sócrates, Brazil's footballing philosopher-activist - The Mail & Guardian

Sócrates was born in 1954 and was considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. His medical degree and his political awareness, combined with style and quality of his play, earned him the nickname “Doctor Socrates“. He was a talented and technical player, known for his great passes, precise long balls, and vision on the field. In fact, in 2004, Pelé named Sócrates in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.

Throughout his career, Sócrates won five state championships and played in two FIFA World Cups. Even though he has never won an international title, he served as a captain for Brazil National Team in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He played alongside Zico, Falcão, Toninho Cerezo, and Éder. Many consider them one of the greatest Brazilian national teams ever.

Sócrates remains on the list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

5. Garrincha (1951 – 1972)

19 Random Football Legends Slideshow Quiz - By JCW10

The use of nicknames is actually a common feature among Brazilian players and dates way back when. Garrincha’s real name was Manuel Francisco dos Santos, but he was frequently known as Mané Garrincha.  One of the best Brazilian players in history, Garrincha was lavishly talented and he is among the best dribblers in the history of the game. He was a man who embodied the football spirit around the world and was cherished by Brazil as a nation.

While Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Garrincha’s breathtaking displays from the right-wing frequently surpassed his colleague. Garrincha won two FIFA World Cups (1958 and 1962). He was also considered the best player and the top goal scorer in the 1962 championship.

Garrincha will forever remain on the list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

4. Romário (1985 – 2009)

🇧🇷 Romario | FIFA World Cup Goals - Lord Web

Romário is certainly among the top 10 best Brazilian soccer players of all time. Romário was a forward football player in Brazil, praised for his clinical finishing, having scored over 750 goals. He played for several teams in his career, including Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Barcelona, Valencia, and Al Sadd.

Only a few mastered the goal-scoring prowess of Romario. His career stats for the Brazil national team demonstrates how important he was to them during the 1990s, with 55 goals in 70 games.

As a member of the Brazil National Football Team, Romário won a silver Olympic medal, a Copa América, and a FIFA World CUP. He has also won a FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and Bronze Boot in 1994, as well as the FIFA World Player of the Year in the same year.

3. Ronaldinho Gaúcho (1998 – 2015)

Ronaldinho the team player - Eurosport

Ronaldinho Gaúcho was an attacking midfielder who played for Grêmio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan, the Brazil National Team, among others. He is remembered for his technical skills, creativity, dribbling ability, tricks, and ability to score.

Perhaps football’s most flamboyant showman, Ronaldinho was a special talent. By the age of 24, he already had a FIFA World Player of the Year award, a FIFA World Cup title, and several other accolades. He was also an integral part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team.

Ronaldinho would be even higher on this list were it not for a frustratingly nomadic latter half to his career. Needless to say, Ronaldinho is among the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

2. Ronaldo (1993 – 2011)

The story behind Ronaldo's 2002 World Cup haircut

Ronaldo is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. As a member of the Brazil National Team, he won two FIFA World Cups (1994 and 2002; runner-up in 1998), two Copa América, one FIFA Confederations Cup, and one Olympic bronze medal. He was also the youngest recipient of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, at 20 years old.

Ronaldo was an almost unplayable blend of speed, power, and skill, a fearsome No.9 who routinely blitzed defenders. He made 98 appearances for Brazil’s national team, scoring 62 goals for them. However, the moment he was always dreamed of, arrived in 2002 when Ronaldo returned to Brazil’s national team to score eight goals that won Brazil the fifth World Cup in their history.

The legacy of Ronaldo Nazario will always be remembered and he will always remain on the list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian football players of all time.

1.  Pelé (1956 – 1977)

Pele Politics Controversy Explained - Directors of the Netflix Documentary  Explain Pele's Political History

Who is the best Brazilian soccer player ever? It’s Pelé, who scored 1,282 goals in the entirety of his career. While that may be controversial and besides the point, Pelé will remain the most famous Brazilian soccer player.

Pelé may be superseded as the greatest football player of all time by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he remains the role model for many young Brazilians. With 77 goals in 92 appearances, Pelé remains to be Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Thus, it is without a doubt, that Pele makes it to the top of our list of the top 10 greatest Brazilian players of all time.

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