The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous 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 Soccer Players.
With an HPI of 61.83, Didier Drogba is the most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 78 different languages on wikipedia.
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (French pronunciation: [didje dʁɔɡba]; born 11 March 1978) is an Ivorian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he has scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club's fourth highest goal scorer of all time. Drogba was named Chelsea's greatest ever player in a poll of 20,000 fans conducted by Chelsea FC Magazine in 2012, and he was also named in the Chelsea team of the 2010–2020 decade by Chelsea's fans in 2020. He is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time and was noted for his physical strength, speed, ability in the air, powerful and accurate strikes, and ball retention. Drogba was named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the award in 2006 and 2009. He is also the player with the most runner-up appearances (4), most third place finishes (3), and most times in the top three (9). After playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans, and signed his first professional contract aged 21. After finishing the 2002–03 season with 17 goals in 34 appearances for Ligue 1 side Guingamp, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, where he finished as the third highest scorer in the 2003–04 season with 19 goals and helped the club reach the 2004 UEFA Cup Final. In July 2004, Drogba moved to Premier League club Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. In his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. His displays saw him named in the FIFA World XI for 2007. In March 2012, he became the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals. Just two months later, he scored in Chelsea's 2012 FA Cup Final win over Liverpool to become the first (and as of 2017, the only) player to score in four separate FA Cup finals. He also played in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in which he scored an 88th-minute equaliser and the winning penalty in the deciding shoot-out against Bayern Munich. After spending 6 months with Shanghai Shenhua in China, and one and a half seasons with Turkish club Galatasaray where he scored the winning goal in the final of the 2013 Turkish Super Cup, Drogba returned to Chelsea in July 2014. With a career record of scoring 10 goals in 10 finals winning 10 trophies at club level, Drogba has been referred to as the "ultimate big game player". He joined Canadian club Montreal Impact in 2015 as a Designated Player and played 41 matches over two seasons, scoring 23 goals. Drogba became a player–owner for Phoenix Rising of the United Soccer League in 2017, and retired a year later at the age of 40. On April 21 2022, he was inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.An Ivory Coast international between 2002 and 2014, Drogba captained the national team from 2006 until his retirement from the Ivory Coast team and is the nation's all-time top goalscorer with 65 goals from 105 appearances. He led the Ivory Coast to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament, and also scored their first goal. He later captained the Ivory Coast at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He was part of the Ivory Coast teams that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012, but were beaten on penalties on both occasions. On 8 August 2014, he announced his retirement from international football. In 2018, Drogba retired from professional football at the age of 40.Active in social issues in Africa, Drogba played a vital role in the peace process in his home country. In 2007 he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, and in December 2018 he became Vice President of the international organization Peace and Sport.
With an HPI of 53.82, Yaya Touré is the 2nd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.
Gnégnéri Yaya Touré (born 13 May 1983) is an Ivorian professional football coach and former player who played as a midfielder. Touré aspired to be a striker during his youth and has played centre-back, including for Barcelona in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final. However, he has spent the majority of his career as a box-to-box midfielder for club and country, where he has been regarded as one of the world's best players in his position. One of the greatest African players of all time, Touré was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.Touré began his playing career at Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas, where he made his debut at age 18. His performances attracted attention from Europe. He had stints with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos and Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007. He played over 100 matches for the club and was part of the historic 2009 Barcelona side that won six trophies in a calendar year. In 2010, Touré moved to Premier League club Manchester City, where he scored a number of key goals, most notably the only goals in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final and final. He also helped City earn their first league title in 44 years. Touré earned 100 caps for the Ivory Coast from 2004 to 2015, representing the nation at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. He also represented them in six Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while captaining them to victory in 2015. He is the younger brother of fellow footballer Kolo Touré, who was his teammate at Manchester City and for the national team.
With an HPI of 49.09, Kolo Touré is the 3rd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.
Kolo Abib Touré (born 19 March 1981) is an Ivorian professional football coach and former player. He played as a defender for Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Celtic and the Ivory Coast national team. He is currently a first team coach at Leicester City as well as a member of the coaching staff for the Ivory Coast national team. Beginning his career at ASEC Mimosas, Touré moved to Arsenal in 2002, where he made 326 appearances for the club and was a member of the 03–04 'invincibles' side. In 2009, he moved to Manchester City, where he was joined a year later by his younger brother, Yaya Touré, helping City earn its first league title in 44 years. In 2013, Touré was transferred to Liverpool. He is one of the eight players who have won the Premier League with two clubs, having won it with Arsenal and Manchester City. He also won the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup with Celtic. He remains to date the African player with the most Premier League appearances (353 in total).Touré is the second-most capped player for the Ivory Coast, with 120 appearances from 2000 to 2015. He represented the team at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Touré also represented the Ivory Coast at seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments between 2002 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while winning in 2015.
With an HPI of 48.64, Salomon Kalou is the 4th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.
Salomon Armand Magloire Kalou (born 5 August 1985) is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a forward and winger for Djiboutian club Arta/Solar7. He previously played for Feyenoord from 2003 to 2006 and Chelsea from 2006 to 2012. While at Chelsea, he won numerous honours, including the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, four FA Cups and the League Cup. Upon the expiry of his contract at Chelsea, he moved on a free transfer in July 2012 to Lille, where he spent two seasons before moving to Hertha BSC for an undisclosed fee. He played 172 games and scored 53 goals in six seasons in the German capital. A full international for the Ivory Coast since 2007, Kalou amassed 93 international caps and represented his country at two FIFA World Cups, six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2008 Olympics. He was part of their teams that won the continental title in 2015 and came runners-up in 2012.
With an HPI of 48.02, Basile Boli is the 5th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.
Basile Boli (born 2 January 1967) is a Ivorian-born French former professional footballer who played as a defender, and a current television sports presenter. He spent the majority of his career with Auxerre and Marseille before ending his career with spells at Scottish club Rangers, at Monaco, and at Japanese side Urawa Reds. At international level, he made 45 appearances and scored one goal representing the France national team.
With an HPI of 47.68, Gervinho is the 6th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.
Gervais Yao Kouassi (born 27 May 1987), known as Gervinho, is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Greek Super League club Aris and the Ivory Coast national team. Gervinho began his career at ASEC Abidjan and Toumodi, before moving to Belgium in 2004 to play for Beveren. Between 2007 and 2011, he played in the French Ligue 1, initially at Le Mans and then at Lille. In his final season in France, he helped his club win the league and the Coupe de France. He was sold to Arsenal in 2011 for £10.8 million and moved to Roma in 2013 for €8 million. In January 2016, Gervinho moved to Hebei China Fortune. In August 2018, he joined Parma Calcio 1913 Gervinho has made over 80 appearances for the Ivorian national team from his debut in 2007, scoring 23 goals. He was part of their squads at five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and two World Cups.
With an HPI of 46.66, Laurent Pokou is the 7th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Laurent N'Dri Pokou (10 August 1947 – 13 November 2016) was an Ivorian footballer who played as a striker. He notably played for French club Stade Rennais F.C.
With an HPI of 45.00, Seydou Doumbia is the 8th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.
Seydou Doumbia (French pronunciation: [sɛdu dumbja]; born 31 December 1987) is an Ivorian professional association footballer who last played as a forward for Maltese Premier League club Ħamrun Spartans.After beginning his career in the Ivory Coast and Japan, he arrived in Europe in 2008 to play for Swiss club Young Boys, where he was the top scorer and player of the year in the Swiss Super League in both of his seasons. In 2010, he signed for CSKA Moscow for a reported fee of €15 million, where he won six domestic honours and was twice the Russian Premier League's top scorer. He was transferred to Roma in 2015, and spent much of his tenure out on loan, including the 2016–17 season at Basel, where he won the league, Swiss Cup and was top scorer for a third time. Doumbia made his international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2008. He was part of their squads at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2015, winning the latter tournament.
With an HPI of 43.91, Emmanuel Eboué is the 9th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
Emmanuel Eboué (born 4 June 1983) is an Ivorian former professional footballer who played as a right back. Formed at ASEC Mimosas, he moved to Europe to play for Belgium's Beveren in 2002. He spent most of his career, from 2005 to 2011, with Arsenal of the Premier League, playing 214 games, including the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. Later he moved to Galatasaray, where he played regularly and won five domestic honours in Turkey. Eboué made his international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2004, eventually earning 79 caps by 2013. He was part of their squads at five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and two World Cups.
With an HPI of 43.63, Didier Zokora is the 10th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.
Déguy Alain Didier Zokora (born 14 December 1980) is an Ivorian former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. He represented the Ivory Coast national team for 14 years, beginning in 2000, and is currently the nation's most capped player. He now serves as an assistant manager at AFAD Djékanou.
Pantheon has 88 people classified as soccer players born between 1947 and 2002. Of these 88, 83 (94.32%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré, and Kolo Touré. The most famous deceased soccer players include Laurent Pokou, Ibrahim Touré, and Cheick Tioté. As of April 2022, 8 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Laurent Pokou, Christian Kouamé, and Simon Deli.
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