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Ranking the 5 greatest male footballers Brazil have produced

Brazil's national team celebrate their Olympics Gold medal
Brazil's national team celebrate their Olympics Gold medal

A nation that lives and breathes football, Brazil ruled the footballing world for decades prior to their decline in the 2010's. The South American nation is renowned for playing the most exhilarating, attacking and flamboyant brand of football the world has seen.

Brazil goes into most major tournaments as favorites to win the competition or the team that fans look forward to seeing the most.

The country has produced some of the greatest players the sport has ever seen. To this day, it continues to play host to some of the most talented footballers in the world.

The South American nation has become a massive hub of talent over the years. Scouts from different clubs spread across the world flock to Brazil in a bid to procure the next big talent.

They do not have the greatest league in the world, the most money, or the best facilities. But Brazil continues to produce individuals that seem to have been born to play the beautiful game.

Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup a record five times, the FIFA Confederations Cup a record four times, and the Copa America on nine occasions. Over the course of the country's rich history in football, they have produced several individuals that have developed into some of the greatest players of all time.

On that note, let's take a look at the 5 greatest players Brazil has produced

#5 Romario

Romario of Brazil and Dino Baggio of Italy
Romario of Brazil and Dino Baggio of Italy

During the peak of his career, Romario was considered to be one of the most deadly strikers in world football. The footballer-turned-politician was prolific for Brazil, scoring 56 goals in just 70 appearances for his country.

Romario led Brazil to glory at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where he scored five goals. He also guided his country to the 1987 and 1989 Copa America titles. The forward was known for his speed, dribbling ability and his trademark toepoke finish.

At club level, Romario scored an incredible 128 goals in just 149 games for PSV. He was also a part of Johan Cruyff's 'dream team' at Barcelona during the 1980s.

#4 Garrincha

Manuel Francisco dos Santos, more commonly known as Garrincha, played a vital role in Brazil's 1958 and 1962 World Cup victories. Garrincha became Brazil's talisman in the absence of Pele owing to injury during the 1962 World Cup. He put in a number of scintillating performances to lead his country to victory.

Garrincha was the first player to win the Golden Ball, Golden Boot, and the World Cup in the same tournament. He was renowned for his remarkable ball control, imagination, dribbling skills and feints on the wing. The former Brazil star's direct style of football allowed the likes of Pele to flourish.

The winger made just 50 appearances for Brazil due to a knee injury which plagued him during the latter stages of his career. He contributed twelve goals while donning the Selecao jersey.

#3 Neymar

Neymar looks on during Brazil's match against Peru in the 2021 Copa America
Neymar looks on during Brazil's match against Peru in the 2021 Copa America

The 'Golden Boy' of Brazil, Neymar has become his country's new talisman since making his international debut in 2010. Neymar, who was just 17 at the time of his debut, is now the second-highest goalscorer in the history of Brazil football. His record stands at 68 goals in 107 national team appearances.

Neymar led Brazil to glory at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013, where he finished the tournament as the second highest goal-scorer. He also guided Brazil to the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on home soil, but was ruled out of the game due to injury. Many believed that Brazil were demolished 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals due the to the absence of Neymar.

The 29-year-old was also the captain of the Brazil team that won the Gold Medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

#2 Ronaldo

Ronaldo Nazario at the preliminary draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup File photo of Pele
Ronaldo Nazario at the preliminary draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup File photo of Pele

'Il Fenomeno,' or more commonly known as Ronaldo, is without a doubt one of the greatest strikers the world has ever seen. The buck-toothed assassin mesmerized defenses and oppositions with his dribbling, speed, passing, and finishing. He inspired generations of footballers to become strikers and copy his style of play.

Ronaldo redefined modern football with his forward play. Unfortunately, recurrent knee injuries prevented him from becoming the greatest player of all time. Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals, and is the third-highest all-time goalscorer for his national team.

The striker was also a member of the Brazil squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He almost single handedly led Brazil to the final of the 1998 World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball. Ronaldo led Brazil to victory at the 2002 World Cup as well by scoring an astonishing eight goals, and won the Golden Boot award.

Ronaldo held the record for the most goals at the FIFA World Cup with 15, until he was surpassed by German striker Miroslav Klose during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, he also led Brazil to victory in the 1997 and 1999 Copa America.

#1 Pele

Pele is considered by many as the greatest of all-time in world football
Pele is considered by many as the greatest of all-time in world football

Widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, Pele revolutionized the game of football with his style of play. He led his country through a phase of dominance that no team has managed to achieve since. To this day, Pele remains one of the most popular figures in world football.

During his international career, he led Brazil to glory at three FIFA World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970. The record made him the only player to win three World Cups. Pelé is Brazil's all-time leading goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 games.

His career total of 1,2 goals in 1,363 games, which included friendlies, is recognized as a Guinness World record. During the peak of his career, Pele was the highest paid athlete in the world.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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