The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Chile

Icon of occuation in country

This page contains a list of the greatest Chilean Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 118 of which were born in Chile. This makes Chile the birth place of the 29th most number of Soccer Players behind Mexico and Australia.

Top 10

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

Photo of Iván Zamorano

1. Iván Zamorano (1967 - )

With an HPI of 67.53, Iván Zamorano is the most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages on wikipedia.

Iván Luis Zamorano Zamora (American Spanish: [iˈβan samoˈɾano]; born 18 January 1967) is a Chilean former professional footballer who played as a striker. Along with Marcelo Salas, Leonel Sánchez and Elias Figueroa he is regarded as one of Chile's most recognized footballers. He was a member of the Chilean national team and played in the 1998 World Cup and four Copa América tournaments. He played for several clubs, notably Spanish clubs Sevilla and Real Madrid C.F. as well as Italian club Inter Milan. He won the 1994–95 La Liga title and was the season's top scorer with Real Madrid. He also won the UEFA Cup with Inter Milan. A powerful and prolific goal-scorer, he was particularly renowned for his strength and ability in the air, with many of his goals coming from headers.In 2004, Zamorano was selected among the FIFA 100, a list of the best living football players in the world compiled by Pelé. Zamorano was nicknamed Bam Bam and Iván el Terrible.

Photo of Elías Figueroa

2. Elías Figueroa (1946 - )

With an HPI of 67.20, Elías Figueroa is the 2nd most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Elías Ricardo Figueroa Brander (born 25 October 1946, in Valparaíso) is a Chilean former football player. Figueroa played as a defender for several clubs during his long career, notably his hometown club Santiago Wanderers, Brazilian club Internacional and Uruguayan club Peñarol. He also represented Chile 47 times, appearing in three FIFA World Cups, in 1966, 1974, and 1982. Regarded by many as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game, Figueroa was noted for his elegant style of play, his composure in the centre of defense and his ability to cut out opposition attacks and immediately launch counterattacks from the back with his passing. He was also praised throughout his career for being a gentleman on and off the pitch. He was twice awarded the Bola de Ouro, the Brazilian Player of the year award whilst playing for Internacional in 1972 and 1976. He was also awarded the South American Footballer of the Year three times in a row by Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was named Best Player in Uruguay in 1967 and 1968, and Best Player in Chile in 1977 and 1978. After retiring, he was named one of the world's 125 best living football players by Pelé in 2004, and was also voted 8th best South American and 37th best player in the world of the 20th Century by the IFFHS in 1999. In March 2011 he revealed that he was considering entering the FIFA Presidential election.

Photo of Leonel Sánchez

3. Leonel Sánchez (1936 - )

With an HPI of 66.82, Leonel Sánchez is the 3rd most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Leonel Guillermo Sánchez Lineros (born 25 April 1936 in Santiago de Chile) is a retired Chilean professional footballer who played as a striker on the left wing. Leonel Sánchez is considered one of the best Chilean footballers in history, and the best left winger of all time in his country. He is also recognized as one of the Best South American Footballers of the 20th Century and one of the great forwards in the history of the FIFA World Cup. Was goalscorer of the 1962 FIFA World Cup where Chile achieved a historic third place in the largest global event for national teams, was part of the ideal eleven of the World Cup and was awarded the Golden Boot and the Bronze Ball from FIFA. He was also included in the top 100 players of the history of the World Cups by FIFA. At the continental level he was part of the ideal eleven of the América Cup 1956, where together with the Chile national football team he won a runner-up. In addition Conmebol included him among the best specialists of free throws in history in South America.Considered one of the best Chilean players in history —especially in the position of forward, which he held throughout his career— and one of the club's greatest idols Universidad de Chile, where he was one of the leaders of the Blue Ballet era (1959-1969), is remembered for having been the leader of the Chilean team that He was third in the 1962 FIFA World Cup, a tournament in which he was also one of the top scorers. In La Roja, Leonel Sánchez is the seventh all-time top scorer with a total of 24 goals and 13 assists.His performances both at the Universidad of Chile and in the national team made him position himself and be chosen by the IFFHS as the 40th Best South American Footballers of the 20th Century, surpassing several international references such as his compatriot Iván Zamorano, the Brazilians Domingos da Guia and Ademir Marques de Menezes, the Uruguayan José Pedro Cea and the Argentine Raimundo Orsi.

Photo of Arturo Vidal

4. Arturo Vidal (1987 - )

With an HPI of 65.23, Arturo Vidal is the 4th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.

Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo (Spanish pronunciation: [aɾˈtuɾo eˈɾazmo βiˈðal ˈpaɾðo]; born 22 May 1987) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Chile national team. His displays during his time at Juventus led him to be nicknamed Il Guerriero ("The Warrior"), Rey Arturo ("King Arthur") and La Piranha by the Italian press due to his hard-tackling and aggressive, tenacious style of play.Vidal started his career with Colo-Colo, where he won three Chilean Primera División titles. He relocated to Europe, where he joined Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen and played there for four seasons. He then moved to Juventus in 2011, where he became widely recognized as one of the best midfielders in world football. At Juventus, he won the Scudetti in all four of his seasons and also was integral for them in reaching the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final. Vidal was named to the ten-man shortlist for the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award following his performances. On 28 July 2015, Vidal returned to the Bundesliga, joining Bayern Munich and won three consecutive Bundesliga titles. After three years at Munich, he signed for La Liga giants Barcelona, where he won his eighth straight league title. Vidal has earned 119 caps for the Chile national team since his debut in 2007, playing in the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Copa América tournaments, as well as the Copa América Centenario, the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, helping his nation to Copa América victory in 2015 and 2016.

Photo of Alexis Sánchez

5. Alexis Sánchez (1988 - )

With an HPI of 63.33, Alexis Sánchez is the 5th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 67 different languages.

Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈleksis ˈsantʃes]; born 19 December 1988), also known simply as Alexis, is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Chile national team. He is popularly dubbed "El Niño Maravilla" (The Wonder Child).Sánchez began his career as a youth player for Cobreloa at age 17, before relocating to Italy to play for Udinese in 2006. He won consecutive league titles in loans spells to Colo-Colo and River Plate. In 2008, he returned to Udinese and became an integral member of the team. After three seasons in at the club, Sánchez moved to Barcelona in a transfer worth €30 million (£25 million), becoming the most expensive Chilean player of all time. In his first season at Barcelona, Sánchez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and David Villa. The trio scored a total of 82 goals the following season, as the club won the 2012–13 La Liga. In 2014, Sánchez transferred to Premier League side Arsenal, where he quickly established himself as the figurehead of the team, winning the FA Community Shield, as well as the FA Cup on two occasions, and scoring in both finals. After lacking "inspiration" at the direction of the club, he signed for rivals Manchester United in a swap deal in 2018. Sánchez signed for Inter Milan on loan in August 2019 before joining the club permanently a year later.Sánchez has been a full international for Chile since 2006 and has earned 136 caps, making him the team's most capped player of all-time. With 45 goals, he is the country's all-time leading goalscorer. He has represented his nation at two editions of the FIFA World Cup, four editions of the Copa América, and one edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup. He played an instrumental role in helping Chile to reach the final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, while further leading the side to their first international victory at the 2015 Copa América, scoring the winning penalty in the final against Argentina. He later contributed to a repeat of this triumph, aiding in the side's retention of the trophy and winning player of the tournament at the Copa América Centenario.

Photo of Marcelo Salas

6. Marcelo Salas (1974 - )

With an HPI of 63.17, Marcelo Salas is the 6th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

José Marcelo Salas Melinao (American Spanish: [maɾˈselo ˈsalas]; born 24 December 1974), nicknamed El Matador ("The Killer" due to his goalscoring celebrations), El Fenómeno and Shileno, is a retired Chilean footballer who played as a striker. Salas is considered the best striker in the history of Chile and one of the best football players of all time. He stood out during the 1990s and 2000s in clubs such as Universidad de Chile, River Plate , Lazio and Juventus. He was captain of the Chilean national team and the top scorer – scoring 45 goals in total: 37 goals for the Chile national football team (4 in World Cups, 18 in World Cup qualification processes and 15 in friendlies) and 8 goals with the Chile Olympic football team. He played in Chile, Argentina and Italy, winning titles with each club he joined. The IFFHS ranked him as the 31st best South American player of the 20th century, the 19th best South American forward of the 20th century and the 3rd best South American forward of the 1990s (integrating the podium with Brazilians players Ronaldo and Romário). He was considered one of the best footballers in the world during the second half of the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century. In 1997 he ranked 3rd as the "best forward in the world" (after players Ronaldo and Gabriel Batistuta) and he was ranked 5th in the “Best Forward” category in the RSS Award for the best footballer of the year, in 1998 and 1999. In addition, in 1996 and 1997 he was considered the "best striker in America", where he was part of the Ideal Team of America. He was also awarded as the South American Footballer of the Year in 1997. He was included in "10 highest figures" contest in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. In 2013 he was awarded as the "7th best south-American footballer in history" ("Bleacher Report" magazine). He was also chosen within the "10 best scorers in the history of South American football" In 2019, he was included in the "50 great South American footballers of all time", ranking, positioning himself in 27th place.A powerful and tenacious forward, with good technique, who was well-known for his deft touch with his left foot, as well as his aerial ability, Salas had a prolific goalscoring record throughout his career. He is considered (along with Leonel Sánchez) the greatest player in the history of Universidad de Chile, and icon for the football team River Plate of Argentina(he's a member of the historic ideal eleven) and one of the greatest foreign players in Lazio's history.Between 1997 and 2001 he was considered one of the best forwards in the world, constantly compared to Ronaldo and Gabriel Batistuta. He was also occasionally compared to Diego Maradona, Pelé and Gerd Müller. After a friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium, where Salas scored the two goals, the English press headlined: "Olé, Olé, Olé... Salas is the new Diego Maradona" and after scoring two goals in the first game of the 1998 FIFA World Cup against the Italy national team, the Spanish press headlined: "His header in the dispute with Fabio Cannavaro recalled somehow Pelé's memorable jump over Burgnich in the 1970 World Cup final".On 16 December 1998 he integrated the Rest of the World National Team in a match played at the Stadio Olimpico against Italy national football team, in celebration of the centenary of Italian Calcio. Salas entered the second half, replacing Gabriel Batistuta.He played for the Chilean national football team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, where he scored four goals in four matches, leading his team to the second round of the competition. Additionally, Salas played for the Chile national football team at two Copa América tournaments, helping his team to reach fourth place in the 1999 edition of the tournament.

Photo of Carlos Vidal

7. Carlos Vidal (1902 - 1982)

With an HPI of 62.96, Carlos Vidal is the 7th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Carlos Vidal Lepe (24 February 1902 – 7 June 1982) was a Chilean football forward who represented the Chilean national team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Fernando Riera

8. Fernando Riera (1920 - 2010)

With an HPI of 62.49, Fernando Riera is the 8th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Fernando Riera Bauzá (27 June 1920 – 23 September 2010) was a Chilean professional football player and manager, patriarch of Chilean football.

Photo of Guillermo Subiabre

9. Guillermo Subiabre (1903 - 1964)

With an HPI of 62.30, Guillermo Subiabre is the 9th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Guillermo Subiabre Astorga (25 February 1903 – 11 April 1964) was a Chilean footballer. During his career he played for Colo-Colo (1927–1934), Santiago Wanderers, and the Chile national football team. He also participated in the 1928 Summer Olympics and in the 1930 FIFA World Cup.At Colo-Colo, Subiabre played as a striker for eight seasons, six of which were part of the amateur period and two of which were part of the professional period. In 1934, he was recognized as a lifetime honorary player for Colo-Colo.

Photo of Claudio Bravo

10. Claudio Bravo (1983 - )

With an HPI of 61.44, Claudio Bravo is the 10th most famous Chilean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Claudio Andrés Bravo Muñoz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈklawðjo ˈβɾaβo]; born 13 April 1983) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Real Betis and the Chile national team. He started playing with Colo-Colo and moved to Real Sociedad in 2006, appearing in 237 official games with the latter club. Barcelona signed him for €12 million in 2014, and he won the treble and the Zamora Trophy in his first season. In the summer of 2016, he moved to Manchester City, where he won several titles. After four years in England, he returned to Spain, signing for Real Betis. Bravo is Chile's third-most capped player with 126 total appearances, behind only Alexis Sánchez and Gary Medel. He represented the nation in two World Cups, a FIFA Confederations Cup and five Copa América tournaments. He captained his side to victory at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the latter competition.

Pantheon has 118 people classified as soccer players born between 1896 and 1994. Of these 118, 87 (73.73%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Iván Zamorano, Elías Figueroa, and Leonel Sánchez. The most famous deceased soccer players include Carlos Vidal, Fernando Riera, and Guillermo Subiabre. As of October 2020, 35 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Víctor Morales, Ernesto Chaparro, and Jorge Toro.

Living Soccer Players

Go to all Rankings

Deceased Soccer Players

Go to all Rankings

Newly Added Soccer Players (2020)

Go to all Rankings

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