Legendary Football World Cup Players Who Made History

legendary football world cup player

The FIFA World Cup, also called the Football World Cup, is an international association football contest between the senior men’s national teams of the members of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). It is the sport’s global governing body that holds the World Cup tournament every four years.

It is the most-watched sporting event across the Globe. It has made its name in almost every country. And each year, millions of FIFA lovers watch the tournament on their televisions. The live matches also attract a considerable audience in every country. Various footballers such as Pelé and Diego Maradona are considered legends in the history of football.

There are 22 football world cups held so far with the first one held in the year 1930. The tournament is hosted every four years in a different location or country. Statistically speaking, so far only 471 players have had the glory of lifting the trophy in the almost 100 years of footballing history.

The list does not only include champions who have won the FIFA World Cup but also those who made a lasting impression because of their performances.

It also includes some talented players who have played but not won a World Cup, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff, and Ferenc Puskás. Read below to get your hands on the full list of players and their achievements in the history of the Football World Cup.

Top Football World Cup Players in the History

1.   Pele – Brazil

Pelé is the only player in the History of FIFA who has won the World Cup three times. He has achieved around 77 goals in 92 games for Brazil, and 1,283 goals in 1,363 games in his total football career. The committee has even stated that if the Ballon d’Or had been awarded to non-Europeans before 1995, Pelé would have won the World Cup seven times.

Pelé made his first debut for Brazil in 1957. He played his very first match at the age of 16. During the 1958 World Cup, he became the youngest player to score, to get a hat-trick, and to play in the finals.

Although his career started with success, one incident in his life changed his destiny. In 1966, Brazil found the match difficult because of the strength of the defenders. Pelé managed to score in the 1st match of the game but was injured in the 2nd. He was hacked down and left crawling in the 3rd match. Brazil was removed from the game and Pelé quit the World Cup thereafter.

2.   Diego Maradona – Argentina

Diego Maradona was one of the greatest players in the history of the Football World Cup. His playing abilities such as sublime compact control, dribbling, passing, vision, and finishing have made him excel in his career. He was one of the most creative midfielders in his league and managed 34 goals in 91 matches for Argentina. Additionally, he won the Ballon d’Or in 1986 and 1990 and is usually considered one of the greatest players of all time.

3.   Franz Beckenbauer – Germany

Franz Beckenbauer established his football career as a sweeper. He was a ball-playing defender who anchored and organised the defence and swept the balls over the top. Beckenbauer had the greatest ability to push the ball into midfield and strike simultaneously. He scored 14 goals in 103 games for Germany and also won the Ballon d’Or twice.

4.   Paolo Rossi – Italy

Paolo Rossi was considered one of the most influential Football World Cup players in 1982. He was an optimistic striker who goaled at the right opportunity, with anticipation and positional senses. He always built himself to stand in the best positions to strike the goal. Rossi first played for Italy in the year 1977 and scored 20 goals in 48 games. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 1982.

5.   Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Funchal, Madeira Islands in the early 1985s. His mother Maria Dolores dos Santos and father José Dinis Aveiro have supported his career with all their hearts and will.

His dedication and love towards football has made him one of the highest-paid Football players in 2023. Though he has not won a Football World Cup, his talent has made him win multiple other trophies.

6.    Zinedine Zidane – France

Zinedine Zidane is one of the most famous players in the history of the Football World Cup. With dignity, talent, dream, and ball control he can make football look like an art. He won the Ballon d’Or in the year 1998 and scored 31 goals in 108 games for France. He played his first football game for France in 1994. However, at that time, they failed to qualify for the game. But, in the 1998 tournament, Zidane’s skills, creativity and class contributed throughout the match. He goaled twice in the final as they beat Brazil by 3-0 scores.

7.   Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is one of the world’s greatest footballers who won the Football World Cup at the age of 35. Formerly, his Argentina team’s performance was poor, despite his 100+ international goals and Golden Ball award. He is the only football player to win the award twice in FIFA history.

8.   Giuseppe Meazza

Giuseppe Meazza was one of the splendid pre-WW2 footballers. His talent and acquisition in dribbling, passing, vision, etc. have supported Italy as a competent striker and winger. His team was underperforming but this didn’t stop him from scoring, and he made 33 goals in 53 matches for the Azzurri.

Meazza cracked into the national team in the year 1930 when he was just 19 years old. However, Italy did not participate in the first Football World Cup that year. His international career was ruined because of World War 2.


In this blog post on the legendary Football World Cup players who have made history. We have discussed some of the greatest players with the skills, knowledge, and practice that made their name at the top of the league.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Who is the greatest player in the history of the Football World Cup?

Pele is considered the greatest player in the history of Football.

2.Has Messi won a Football World Cup?

Ans. Yes, Messi won the Football World Cup in the year 2022.

Also read: India’s 8th Asia Cup Crown in 2023

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