The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Argentina

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This page contains a list of the greatest Argentinean Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 580 of which were born in Argentina. This makes Argentina the birth place of the 8th most number of Soccer Players behind Germany, and Italy.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Argentinean Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Argentinean Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Argentinean Soccer Players.

Photo of Diego Maradona

1. Diego Maradona (1960 - 2020)

With an HPI of 78.80, Diego Maradona is the most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 141 different languages on wikipedia.

Diego Armando Maradona (Spanish: [ˈdjeɣo maɾaˈðona]; 30 October 1960 – 25 November 2020) was an Argentine professional football player and manager. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, he was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. An advanced playmaker who operated in the classic number 10 position, Maradona's vision, passing, ball control, and dribbling skills were combined with his small stature, which gave him a low centre of gravity and allowed him to manoeuvre better than most other players. His presence and leadership on the field had a great effect on his team's general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. In addition to his creative abilities, he possessed an eye for goal and was known to be a free kick specialist. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname El Pibe de Oro ("The Golden Boy"), a name that stuck with him throughout his career. Maradona was the first player to set the world record transfer fee twice: in 1982 when he transferred to Barcelona for £5 million, and in 1984 when he moved to Napoli for a fee of £6.9 million. He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys during his club career, and is most famous for his time at Napoli where he won numerous accolades and led the club to Serie A title wins twice. Maradona also had a troubled off-field life and his time with Napoli ended after he was banned for taking cocaine. In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. In the 1986 World Cup quarter final, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history for two different reasons. The first goal was an unpenalized handling foul known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble past five England players, voted "Goal of the Century" by voters in 2002. Maradona became the coach of Argentina's national football team in November 2008. He was in charge of the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before leaving at the end of the tournament. He then coached Dubai-based club Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League for the 2011–12 season. In 2017, Maradona became the coach of Fujairah before leaving at the end of the season. In May 2018, Maradona was announced as the new chairman of Belarusian club Dynamo Brest. He arrived in Brest and was presented by the club to start his duties in July. From September 2018 to June 2019, Maradona was coach of Mexican club Dorados. He was the coach of Argentine Primera División club Gimnasia de La Plata from September 2019 until his death in 2020. He was ranked as the third best all time football player by FourFourTwo.

Photo of Alfredo Di Stéfano

2. Alfredo Di Stéfano (1926 - 2014)

With an HPI of 77.46, Alfredo Di Stéfano is the 2nd most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 75 different languages.

Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfɾeðo ðjesˈtefano]; 4 July 1926 – 7 July 2014) was a professional footballer and coach who played as a forward, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. Nicknamed "Saeta Rubia" ("Blond Arrow"), he is best known for his achievements with Real Madrid, where he was instrumental in the club's domination of the European Cup and La Liga during the 1950s and 1960s. Along with Francisco Gento and José María Zárraga, he was one of only three players to play a part in all five European Cup victories, scoring goals in each of the five finals. Di Stéfano played international football mostly for Spain after moving to Madrid, but he also played for Argentina and Colombia. Di Stéfano began his career at Argentina's River Plate aged 17, in 1943. For the 1946 season he was loaned to Club Atlético Huracán, but he returned to River in 1947. Due to a footballers' strike in Argentina in 1949, Di Stéfano went to play for Millonarios of Bogotá in the Colombian league. He won six league titles during the first 12 years of his career in Argentina and Colombia. Following his signing by Real Madrid he was an integral part of one of the most successful teams of all time. He scored 216 league goals in 282 games for Real (then a club record, since surpassed by Raúl, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema), striking up a successful partnership with Ferenc Puskás. Di Stéfano's 49 goals in 58 matches was the all-time highest tally in the European Cup. The record has since been surpassed by several players, including the aforementioned Real Madrid trio. Di Stéfano scored in five consecutive European Cup finals for Real Madrid between 1956 and 1960, including a hat-trick in the last. Perhaps, the highlight of his time with the club was their 7–3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 final at Hampden Park, a game many consider to be the finest exhibition of club football ever witnessed in Europe. He moved to Espanyol in 1964 and played there until retiring at the age of 40.Di Stéfano was awarded the Ballon d'Or for the European Footballer of the Year in 1957 and 1959. He is currently the seventh highest scorer in the history of Spain's top division, and Real Madrid's fourth highest league goalscorer of all time. He is Madrid's leading goalscorer in the history of El Clásico, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Spain by the Royal Spanish Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. He was voted fourth, behind Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Johan Cruyff, in a vote organized by France Football magazine which consulted their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players (in September 2009, he said Di Stéfano was the best player "ever"). In 2008 Di Stéfano was honoured by both UEFA and Real Madrid with a special Presidents' award issued by FIFA at a ceremony in Madrid, where a statue was also unveiled. Then UEFA President Michel Platini called Di Stéfano "a great amongst the greats" while contemporaries Eusébio and Just Fontaine suggested that he was "the most complete footballer in the history of the game".

Photo of Lionel Messi

3. Lionel Messi (b. 1987)

With an HPI of 70.85, Lionel Messi is the 3rd most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 166 different languages.

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi] ; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for and captains both Major League Soccer club Inter Miami and the Argentina national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record eight Ballon d'Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, and was named the world's best player for a record eight times by FIFA. Until leaving the club in 2021, he had spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and the UEFA Champions League four times. With his country, he won the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals in La Liga (474), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (eight), and most assists in La Liga (192) and the Copa América (17). He also has the most international goals by a South American male (106). Messi has scored over 800 senior career goals for club and country, and has the most goals by a player for a single club (672). Messi relocated to Spain from Argentina aged 13 to join Barcelona, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. He established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, and in his first uninterrupted season in 2008–09 he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football; that year, aged 22, Messi won his first Ballon d'Or. Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning four consecutive Ballons d'Or, making him the first player to win the award four times. During the 2011–12 season, he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer. The following two seasons, Messi finished second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo (his perceived career rival), before regaining his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble, after which he was awarded a fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015. Messi assumed captaincy of Barcelona in 2018, and won a record sixth Ballon d'Or in 2019. Out of contract, he signed for French club Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021, spending two seasons at the club and winning Ligue 1 twice. Messi joined American club Inter Miami in July 2023, winning the Leagues Cup in August of that year. An Argentine international, Messi is the country's all-time leading goalscorer and also holds the national record for appearances. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with his compatriot Diego Maradona, who described Messi as his successor. After his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup (2006), and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals: the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, the 2015 Copa América, winning the Golden Ball, and the 2016 Copa América. After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a third-place finish at the 2019 Copa América, and victory in the 2021 Copa América, while winning the Golden Ball and Golden Boot for the latter. That same year, Messi received a seventh Ballon d'Or. In 2022, he led Argentina to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he won a record second Golden Ball, scored seven goals including two in the final, and broke the record for most games played at the World Cup (26), later receiving his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or in 2023. Messi has endorsed sportswear company Adidas since 2006. According to France Football, he was the world's highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014, and was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019 and 2022. Messi was among Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, 2012, and 2023. In 2020 and 2023, he was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, with Messi being the first team-sport athlete to win the award. In 2020, Messi was named to the Ballon d'Or Dream Team and became the second footballer and second team-sport athlete to surpass $1 billion in career earnings.

Photo of Omar Sívori

4. Omar Sívori (1935 - 2005)

With an HPI of 68.12, Omar Sívori is the 4th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Enrique Omar Sívori (Spanish: [enˈrike oˈmaɾ ˈsiβoɾi], Italian: [ˈɔːmar ˈsiːvori]; 2 October 1935 – 17 February 2005) was an Argentine-Italian football player and manager who played as a forward. At club level, he is known for his successful time with Italian side Juventus during the late 1950s and early 1960s, where he won three Serie A titles among other trophies; he also played for River Plate in Argentina and Napoli in Italy. He made his international debut for Argentina, winning the 1957 South American Championship. Later in his career, he represented Italy and took part in some of the 1962 World Cup. After his retirement as player, he coached several teams in Argentina. Regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation and as one of the greatest football players of all time, Sívori was known for his outstanding skill, speed, goalscoring ability, technique, creativity, and his footballing talent was widely acclaimed. He won the South American Championship Best Player award in 1957, and the coveted European Footballer of the Year award in 1961. Sivori scored 432 goals in his career, including friendlies.

Photo of Mario Kempes

5. Mario Kempes (b. 1954)

With an HPI of 67.56, Mario Kempes is the 5th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.

Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾjo alˈβeɾto ˈkempes ˈtʃjoði], Italian: [ˈkjɔːdi]; born 15 July 1954) is an Argentine former professional footballer who played as a striker or attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, he finished as La Liga's top goalscorer twice with Valencia where he amassed 116 goals in 184 league games. At international level, Kempes was the focal point of Argentina's 1978 World Cup win where he scored twice in the final and received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. He also won the Golden Ball for the player of the tournament, making him one of only three players to have won all three awards at a single World Cup, along with Garrincha in 1962 and Paolo Rossi in 1982. Kempes won South American Footballer of the Year, Onze d'Or European footballer of the Year and World Cup Golden Ball in 1978. In 2004, he was named as one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA's 100th anniversary celebration. Kempes was nicknamed El Toro and El Matador.

Photo of Gabriel Batistuta

6. Gabriel Batistuta (b. 1969)

With an HPI of 65.45, Gabriel Batistuta is the 6th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Gabriel Omar Batistuta (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈβɾjel oˈmaɾ βatisˈtuta]; born 1 February 1969) is an Argentine former professional footballer. During his playing career, Batistuta was nicknamed Batigol ([batiˈɣol]) as well as El Ángel Gabriel ([el ˌaŋxel ɣaˈβɾjel]; Spanish for Angel Gabriel). Regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players in 2004.After beginning his career in Argentina in 1988 with Newell's Old Boys, followed by River Plate and Boca Juniors where he won titles, Batistuta played most of his club football with Serie A club Fiorentina in Italy; he is their all-time top scorer in Serie A with 151 goals. When Fiorentina was relegated to Serie B in 1993, Batistuta stayed with the club and helped them return to the top-flight league a year later. He became an icon in Florence; the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996, in recognition of his performances for the club. Despite winning the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana with the club in 1996, he never won the Serie A title with Fiorentina, but when he moved to Roma in 2000 for €36 million – the highest fee ever paid for a player over the age of 30 until Cristiano Ronaldo moved from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018 – he won the 2000–01 Serie A title. After a brief loan spell with Inter Milan in 2003, he played his last two seasons in Qatar with Al-Arabi before he retired in 2005.At international level, Batistuta was Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer with 56 goals in 78 official matches, a record he held until 21 June 2016, when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi. He participated in three FIFA World Cups, scoring 10 goals, making him Argentina's second top scorer in the competition after Messi, and the joint tenth-highest World Cup goalscorer of all time. Batistuta is the only player in football history to score two hat-tricks in different World Cups. With the Argentina national team he won two consecutive Copa América titles (1991 and 1993), the 1993 CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions, and the 1992 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Photo of Guillermo Stábile

7. Guillermo Stábile (1905 - 1966)

With an HPI of 65.41, Guillermo Stábile is the 7th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Guillermo Stábile (17 January 1905 – 26 December 1966) was an Argentine professional football player and manager who played as a centre forward. At club level, Stábile won two national championships with Huracán and played in Italy and France. He was the top scorer of 1930 World Cup, the inaugural iteration of the tournament. As manager, he led Argentina to victory at six South American Championships and Racing Club to three league titles.

Photo of Daniel Passarella

8. Daniel Passarella (b. 1953)

With an HPI of 64.97, Daniel Passarella is the 8th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

Daniel Alberto Passarella (born 25 May 1953) is an Argentine former footballer and manager, who is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time. As a player for Argentina, he was part of two FIFA World Cup–winning teams; he captained his nation to victory at the 1978 World Cup which Argentina hosted, and was also part of the winning squad in 1986. Although playing as a centre-back, Passarella was also a proficient goalscorer; at one point, he was football's highest-scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches, a record which was subsequently broken by Dutch player Ronald Koeman. In 2004, Passarella was named one of the 125 greatest living footballers by Pelé at a FIFA awards ceremony. In 2007, The Times placed him at 36th in their list of the 50 hardest footballers in history. In 2017, he was named as the 56th best player by FourFourTwo in their list of the 100 all-time greatest footballers. As a manager, he coached the Argentina and Uruguay national teams, among several club sides. After his playing and coaching career, Passarella also served as the president of River Plate for four years, after winning the elections in December 2009.

Photo of Helenio Herrera

9. Helenio Herrera (1910 - 1997)

With an HPI of 64.97, Helenio Herrera is the 9th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Helenio Herrera Gavilán (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈlenjo eˈreɾa ɣaβiˈlan]; 10 April 1910 – 9 November 1997) was an Argentine-French football player and manager. He is best remembered for his success with the Inter Milan team known as Grande Inter in the 1960s. During his managerial career, Herrera won four La Liga titles in Spain (with Atlético Madrid and Barcelona) and three Serie A titles in Italy with Inter. He also guided Inter to European glory, winning two consecutive European Cups, among several other honours. He is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.Herrera was arguably the first manager to collect credit for his teams' performances, in the process becoming a superstar in the world of football. Up to that time, managers were more marginal figures in a team. All teams throughout Europe were known for their headline-grabbing individual players, e.g. Di Stéfano's Real Madrid, whereas Inter during the 1960s is still referred to as Herrera's Inter.

Photo of César Luis Menotti

10. César Luis Menotti (b. 1938)

With an HPI of 64.23, César Luis Menotti is the 10th most famous Argentinean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

César Luis Menotti (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsesaɾ ˈlwis meˈnoti]; born 5 November 1938), known as El Flaco ("Slim"), is an Argentine former football manager and player who won the 1978 FIFA World Cup as the head coach of the Argentina national team. During his playing days, he played as a striker, most notably for Argentine clubs Rosario Central and Boca Juniors.


Pantheon has 655 people classified as Argentinean soccer players born between 1885 and 2005. Of these 655, 524 (80.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Argentinean soccer players include Lionel Messi, Mario Kempes, and Gabriel Batistuta. The most famous deceased Argentinean soccer players include Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stéfano, and Omar Sívori. As of April 2024, 77 new Argentinean soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Federico Sacchi, Juan Ramón Verón, and Norberto Méndez.

Living Argentinean Soccer Players

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Deceased Argentinean Soccer Players

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Newly Added Argentinean Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.