Top 5 Brazilian footballers of all time
Brazil is the most successful footballing nation in the world. They have won five World Cups, which is more than any other nation has managed to so far, and also produced more prodigious footballers than any other country in this world.
They have also won the under-17 and under-20 World Cups more than any other nation and won the Copa America on nine occasions.
It’s often said that a common Brazilian breathes football and any defeat to the national team in a major tournament is considered to be a disaster of epic proportions. The national team, popularly known as the Selecao, stands for the hopes and dreams of millions of Brazilians.
A lot of Brazil’s footballers have dazzled the football world with their luster. It’s very difficult to pick the five greatest footballers to have come from this South American country. Nevertheless, we have tried to come up with a list which probably does justice to the great footballing tradition and history of Brazil.
Zico remains one of the greatest footballers to have never won a world cup. He shone for the Brazilian club, Flamengo and also for the national team. He was the best footballer in Tele Santana’s brilliant Brazilian team of 1982 World Cup which won many a heart but failed to win the ultimate prize.
Their 2-3 loss to a dour Italian team remains a case for the students of the game as it depicted the ultimate battle between two teams with contrasting styles.
Zico was a great dribbler, a very good passer and quite capable of scoring goals as well. He scored 476 goals in 699 matches in his club career. He also scored 48 goals in 71 matches for the Brazilian national team. He was the quintessential #10 - an ideal playmaker and a top-class attacking midfielder.
His brilliant skills came to the fore when Flamengo toyed with the mighty Liverpool team in the Intercontinental Cup final in 1981. Zico inspired Flamengo to a 3-0 win in that match and reaffirmed his status as the best player in the world.
Zico won a quite a few honors in his career. He managed to win the Brazilian Serie A title thrice, the Copa Libertadores once and the Intercontinental Cup once in his career. He also won the World Player of the Year award in 1983. He went on to become a successful manager at the end of his playing career and still continues to serve the game.