The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Belgian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 195 of which were born in Belgium. This makes Belgium the birth place of the 12th most number of Soccer Players behind Sweden and Uruguay.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Belgian Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Belgian 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 Belgian Soccer Players.

Photo of Jean-Marie Pfaff

1. Jean-Marie Pfaff (1953 - )

With an HPI of 70.53, Jean-Marie Pfaff is the most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages on wikipedia.

Jean-Marie Pfaff (born 4 December 1953) is a Belgian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper who spent most of his professional career with Beveren and Bayern Munich. Pfaff was capped 64 times playing for Belgium, and participated at the 1982 FIFA World Cup and 1986 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Photo of Paul Van Himst

2. Paul Van Himst (1943 - )

With an HPI of 68.90, Paul Van Himst is the 2nd most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Paul Van Himst (born 2 October 1943) is a Belgian former football player and a football manager who played as a forward, most notably for R.S.C. Anderlecht.

Photo of Michel Preud'homme

3. Michel Preud'homme (1959 - )

With an HPI of 68.09, Michel Preud'homme is the 3rd most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Michel Georges Jean Ghislain Preud'homme (born 24 January 1959), commonly known as Michel Preud'homme, is a Belgian retired footballer and manager who played as a goalkeeper. Currently, he is vice-president and sports director at Standard Liège. He was considered one of the world's best and most consistent goalkeepers during his professional career; he was the first winner of the Yashin Award as the best goalkeeper at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At club level, Preud'homme played for Standard Liège, Mechelen and Benfica. With Mechelen, he won the Belgian Cup in 1987, the Cup Winner's Cup and the European Super Cup in 1988 and the Belgian league title in 1989. He also won the Portuguese Cup with Benfica in 1996. He retired as a player in 1999, aged 40. For Belgium, Preud'homme was capped 58 times, from 1979 to 1995. Other than the 1994 World Cup, he also played in the 1990 tournament.

Photo of Jan Ceulemans

4. Jan Ceulemans (1957 - )

With an HPI of 66.92, Jan Ceulemans is the 4th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn ˈkøːləˌmɑns]; born 28 February 1957) is a Belgian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, Ceulemans was known for his stamina, aerial ability and technique. He was also known for his power, imposing frame and natural authority.He is his country's seventh most capped player with 96 international appearances. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys. This period saw the Belgium squad record some of their finest results, which include reaching the final of Euro 80 and fourth place at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Herbert Wimmer

5. Herbert Wimmer (1944 - )

With an HPI of 66.60, Herbert Wimmer is the 5th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Herbert "Hacki" Wimmer (born 9 November 1944 is a German former footballer who played as a midfielder. Besides winning five national championships and two UEFA Cups with his club side Borussia Mönchengladbach, he won the 1974 World Cup and the UEFA Euro 1972 with Germany. Wimmer started his playing career with lowly Borussia Brand (a place close to the city of Aachen). Between 1966 and 1978, he played in 366 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Mönchengladbach and scored 51 goals. With the club, he won five national championships (in 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, and 1977), the German Cup in 1973, and the UEFA Cup in 1975. Wimmer started out as a forward, but in Mönchengladbach, his role was primarily to cover defensively for the star of the team in this era, midfield playmaker Günter Netzer. His physical endurance, which earned him the nickname the Iron Lung, was one of his major assets. Wimmer was considered as a paragon of a player that never runs out of steam. As such, Jonathan Wilson, when writing for The Guardian in 2013, described him as a "destroyer," which is a type of holding midfielder whose role is mainly to help win back possession and distribute the ball to other players.Between 1968 and 1976, Wimmer also played in 36 matches for the Germany national team, where he scored four goals. With Germany, he won the 1972 European Football Championship – he scored the second goal in the 3–0 win in the final against the USSR – and the 1974 FIFA World Cup, where he took part in two matches.

Photo of Bernard Voorhoof

6. Bernard Voorhoof (1910 - 1974)

With an HPI of 64.84, Bernard Voorhoof is the 6th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Bernard Voorhoof (10 May 1910 – 18 February 1974) was a Belgian footballer, for 34 years the Belgium national team top scorer with 30 goals in 61 matches. He was joined by Paul Van Himst in 1972 who needed 81 matches to score the same number of goals. Both are now surpassed by Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard.

Photo of Eden Hazard

7. Eden Hazard (1991 - )

With an HPI of 64.64, Eden Hazard is the 7th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 80 different languages.

Eden Michael Hazard (born 7 January 1991) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger or attacking midfielder for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Belgium national team. Known for his creativity, dribbling and passing, he is considered one of the best players of his generation.Hazard is the son of two former footballers and began his career in Belgium playing for local youth clubs. In 2005, he moved to France, where he began his senior career with Ligue 1 club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club's academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. He became an integral part of the Lille team under manager Rudi Garcia. In his first full season, he became the first non-French player to win the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, and the following season became the first player to win the award twice. In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year, the youngest player to win the award.After making over 190 appearances and scoring 50 goals for Lille, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea in June 2012. He won the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the PFA Young Player of the Year in his second. In the 2014–15 season, Hazard helped Chelsea win the League Cup and Premier League, earning him the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players' Player of the Year awards. Two years later he won his second English league title as Chelsea won the 2016–17 Premier League. In 2018, he won the FA Cup, and was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI. He won the Europa League again with Chelsea in June 2019, then joined Real Madrid in a transfer worth up to €150 million, winning La Liga during his injury-plagued debut season. Having represented his country at various youth levels, Hazard made his senior debut for the Belgium national team in November 2008, aged 17, in a friendly match against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011. He has since earned over 110 caps, and was a member of the Belgian squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, and UEFA Euro 2020. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he captained Belgium to third place which was their best finish in history, receiving the Silver Ball as the second-best player of the tournament. Since 2015, he has been the captain of the team, which coincided with the time Belgium became world’s number one on men’s FIFA ranking for the first time.

Photo of Enzo Scifo

8. Enzo Scifo (1966 - )

With an HPI of 64.03, Enzo Scifo is the 8th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Vincenzo "Enzo" Daniele Scifo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛntso ʃˈʃiːfo]; born 19 February 1966) is a retired Belgian football midfielder. He has also managed the Belgium national under-21 football team and several Belgian club sides. He played for clubs in Belgium, France and Italy, where he won several domestic titles. At international level, he was a member of the Belgian national team, for which he appeared in four FIFA World Cups, being one of three Belgian players ever to do so.

Photo of Marc Wilmots

9. Marc Wilmots (1969 - )

With an HPI of 63.95, Marc Wilmots is the 9th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

Marc Robert Wilmots (born 22 February 1969) is a Belgian professional football manager and former player who recently managed the Iran national team and is now active at Raja CA. During his club career as attacking midfielder, he won trophies with KV Mechelen, Standard Liège and Schalke 04. He also represented the Belgium national team. Wilmots has also been a politician, having sat in the Senate for four years for the Mouvement Réformateur party.

Photo of Louis Van Hege

10. Louis Van Hege (1889 - 1975)

With an HPI of 63.79, Louis Van Hege is the 10th most famous Belgian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Louis Van Hege (8 May 1889 – 24 June 1975) was a Belgian footballer who played as an inside-forward.

Pantheon has 195 people classified as soccer players born between 1889 and 2001. Of these 195, 160 (82.05%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Jean-Marie Pfaff, Paul Van Himst, and Michel Preud'homme. The most famous deceased soccer players include Bernard Voorhoof, Louis Van Hege, and Raymond Braine. As of October 2020, 50 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Joseph Mermans, Arnold Badjou, and Léopold Anoul.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2020)

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