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5 greatest Puma-sponsored footballers of all time

Pele Australian Tour Press Conference
Pele Australian Tour Press Conference
Sayan Chatterjee

Besides Nike and Adidas, Puma is one of the top three brands in the world of football. Originating from Germany, Puma was formed in 1948 when the Dassler brothers chose to go their separate ways in the sports industry business. Puma has a leaping black puma as their logo and are famous for their unconventional designs.

Puma is famous for manufacturing boots, gloves, accessories and sports apparel, among other things. The German brand has risen to prominence in the last few years with their goal of signing top footballers across the globe. Currently, many football stars like Neymar, Sergio Aguero, Antoine Griezmann and many others are associated with Puma.

Despite being just behind Nike and Adidas in terms of popularity, some of the greatest footballers of all time were associated with Puma over the years. On that note, let's take a look at

Five of the greatest Puma-sponsored footballers of all time


#5 Luis Suarez

Atletico Madrid v Liverpool FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League

One of the deadliest strikers in the modern era, Luis Suarez needs no introduction. El Pistolera has racked up over 400 goals in his career, which showcases his brilliance in front of goal. He has also claimed the European Golden Shoe twice in his illustrious career, beating the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Suarez made his name during his tenure at Liverpool, where he almost singlehandedly led the Reds to a Premier League title. Following his move to Barcelona in 2014, the Uruguayan helped the Catalan giants win numerous trophies, including a continental treble.

👏 After hitting the 500 goal milestone, Luis Suarez has given away 500 Puma footballs to youth teams in the different cities where he has played in his career. https://t.co/Z3s8qxqbTt

Suarez then moved to Atletico Madrid after spending six years at Barcelona. The 34-year old helped Diego Simeone's team win a La Liga title last campaign.

Suarez is the face of Puma Future 2.1 and currently remains one of their biggest sponsors.


#4 Johan Cruyff

Red Carpet - 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards
Red Carpet - 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards

Johan Cruyff was one of the all time greats, who helped 'Total Football' reach its peak with his caliber and intelligence. For his incredible impact, he was awarded three Ballon d'Ors in his playing career before leaving an incredible mark on the game as a coach.

Cruyff guided Ajax and Barcelona to unprecedented success during his tenure. Under his leadership, Ajax went on to win three consecutive European Cup titles. Meanwhile Barcelona won the La Liga title with the Dutch legend in their team.

As a complete footballer, Cruyff was extremely influential for his teams. Cruyff won the Golden Ball in the 1984 World Cup. But his nation failed to cross the final hurdle and ended up as runners in the tournament.

Rudolf (Puma) & Adi (Adidas) Dassler were siblings and bitter rivals. In the ‘74 World Cup, Adidas supplied the Dutch kit, but Puma made Johan Cruyff’s boots. The team’s shirts all had the three stripes of Adidas - except Cruyff’s, he refused and had only two stripes on his shirt https://t.co/UjjXUtZfn1

Cruyff was forever associated with Puma and preferred their custom made Puma King boots.

#3 Lothar Matthaus

Italy v Croatia - Group C: UEFA EURO 2012
Italy v Croatia - Group C: UEFA EURO 2012

Lothar Matthaus remains one of the most complete midfielders of all time. He excelled in his roles as a defensive midfielder, centre-back, box-to-box midfielder and even as an attacking midfielder during his tenure. The German legend was versatile enough to play in almost any position and left a lasting legacy with his nation and his clubs.

Matthaus bagged over 200 goals for the clubs he played for, featuring mostly for Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. In his 20-year long career, he also earned 150 caps for his nation, scoring 23 goals. He was pivotal to the German side which won the World Cup in 1990 after being a key member for them for over a decade.

Blessed with immaculate passing range and tackling abilities, Matthaus started out as a defensive midfielder. He also featured as a centre-back at Bayern Munich and as an attacking midfielder for Germany. He won seven Bundesliga titles with the Bavarians and one Serie A for Inter.

Matthaus first signed for Puma in 1978 and was an avid Puma user throughout his career.


#2 Diego Maradona

WORLD CUP FINAL 1986
WORLD CUP FINAL 1986

One of the most favored names in the debate for the greatest of all time, Diego Maradona needs no introduction. He was in a league of his own, dragging Argentina almost singlehandedly to a World Cup triumph in 1986.

Because of his rebellious nature on and off the pitch, Maradona is celebrated as a God by many across the globe. In the 1986 World Cup, the Argentine genius scored five goals including the greatest goal in the tournament's history and 'Hand of God' against England.

Maradona's exploits with his nation have made him immortal and his legacy is yet to be touched, even by Lionel Messi. In addition to that, he also left an incredible mark during his tenure at Napoli and Barcelona.

Diego Maradona signing autographs during a PUMA promotional event, Munich, 1982. (Photo: imago/WEREK) https://t.co/Wx3ftVXysa

Puma was the official sponsor of Maradona in 1980s and they also released Puma 10 to show their love for the Argentine. Puma's iconic football boot, Puma King Torero, was released again which Maradone wore in his first World Cup.


#1 Pele

Pele of Brazil
Pele of Brazil

With countless records to his name, Pele is arguably the greatest of all time. The Brazilian allegedly bagged over 1000 goals during his career, which is a testament to his caliber.

Pele remains the only player in history to be a part of three World Cup winning sides. He led Brazil to three FIFA World Cup triumphs in his illustrious career. For his exploits, the Brazilian legend was awarded an honorary Ballon d'Or award in 2013.

Puma once paid Pele US$120,000 To Tie His Shoes During The 1970 FIFA World Cup. One of the greatest marketing strategies ever. https://t.co/d36QiZm5ME

Pele was Puma's biggest sponsor in the early days and popularized Puma King boots.

Edited by Aditya Singh

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