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10 People who changed football for good

  • Some individuals have shaken up the football world and stamped their influence on the sport over the years.
Liam Flin
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Mar 2019, 14:54 IST

There are so many ways an individual can get involved in a sport like football, from meticulous management to prickly punditry. The beautiful game is full-to-bursting with colourful characters, some who’ve captured the hearts of the sport’s following and some who’ve assumed the role of the pantomime villain.

One thing’s for certain though, there are some individuals who have quite simply shaken up the football world and stamped their influence on the sport. Some argue that these people are regarded as pioneers, who have shaped the footballing landscape into what it represents today.

Here then is a look at ten individuals who have changed football for the better.

#1 Pele

Pele won three World Cups

Where better to start than with the undisputed king of football. Even with the barnstorming heroics of little Lionel and crafty Cristiano, Pele, for most, still remains the greatest player to ever grace the sport.

Three World Cup titles and more than 1,000 professional goals to his name, the Brazilian won pretty much every competition he could, doing so while exhibiting electric energy and unprecedented skill at the same time. Every time he put on the yellow jersey of his beloved country, incredible things were expected.

It’s not only his playing ability which renders him such a revolutionary, though. Amidst a time when physicality was the focal point of football, Pele can be viewed as the catalyst for the free-flowing, attacking style of football we bare witness to today. His frame was not the most physically imposing by any means but, like his Argentine counterpart Messi, he capitalised on a low-centre of gravity and quick feet to redefine the way football was played. 

On top of that, his work with the New York Cosmos and success in the USA enabled a country renowned for its hostility and dislike towards the sport to reevaluate football as a whole and ‘soccer fever’ quickly swept the nature, courtesy of ‘The King Pele’.

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Published 06 Nov 2016, 13:49 IST
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