This page contains a list of the greatest Congolese Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,880 Soccer Players, 47 of which were born in Democratic Republic of the Congo. This makes Democratic Republic of the Congo the birth place of the 58th most number of Soccer Players behind Iceland and Georgia.
The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Congolese Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Congolese 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 Congolese Soccer Players.
With an HPI of 53.70, Claude Makélélé is the most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 53 different languages on wikipedia.
Claude Makélélé Sinda (born 18 February 1973) is a French football manager and former professional player who played as a defensive midfielder. He is currently a youth coach and technical mentor at Chelsea, having formerly been the head coach of Belgian First Division A club Eupen.In his playing career, which ended at Paris Saint-Germain, Makélélé also played for Nantes, Marseille, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid and Chelsea. He won league titles in France, Spain and England, as well as the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League during his time with Real Madrid.Makélélé was a French international for 13 years, and was part of the France national team which reached the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also represented his nation at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, two UEFA European Championships and the 1996 Summer Olympics. Regarded as one of the greatest players in his position, Makélélé has been credited with redefining the defensive midfield role in English football, especially during the 2004–05 FA Premier League season, where he played a key role in helping Chelsea win the title with 95 points. In homage, the defensive midfield position is sometimes colloquially known as the "Makelele Role".
With an HPI of 47.93, Ndaye Mulamba is the 2nd most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.
Pierre Ndaye Mulamba (4 November 1948 – 26 January 2019) was a football midfielder from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. He was nicknamed "Mutumbula" ("assassin") and "Volvo".
With an HPI of 46.81, Steve Mandanda is the 3rd most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.
Steve Mandanda Mpidi (French pronunciation: [stɛv mɑ̃dɑ̃da]; born 28 March 1985) is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Ligue 1 club Rennes. Mandanda spent most of his professional career with Marseille, making over 600 appearances across all competitions in two spells with the club, and was voted Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year five times. Making his debut in 2008, Mandanda represented France at seven international tournaments: four UEFA European Championships (2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020) and three FIFA World Cups (2010, 2018, 2022), winning the tournament in 2018.
With an HPI of 43.92, Mwepu Ilunga is the 4th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Joseph Mwepu Ilunga (22 August 1949 – 8 May 2015) was a football defender from Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). His name is also written as Alunga Mwepu.
With an HPI of 43.77, José Bosingwa is the 5th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
José Bosingwa da Silva (born 24 August 1982) is a Portuguese former footballer who played as a right-back. An attacking fullback, his pace and ability to get up and down the flanks created problems for the opposition. He spent most of his professional career with Porto and Chelsea, winning 13 honours overall including the UEFA Champions League with both clubs: 2004 with the former and 2012 with the latter. A Portuguese international since 2007, Bosingwa represented the nation at Euro 2008 and the 2004 Summer Olympics, earning a total of 27 caps.
With an HPI of 42.91, Mbo Mpenza is the 6th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
Mbo Jérôme Mpenza (born 4 December 1976) is a Belgian former professional football player and coach, who played as a striker. He was capped by Belgium at international level, scoring three goals in 56 appearances. His younger brother, Émile, is also a former footballer who represented Belgium.
With an HPI of 42.29, Mavuba Mafuila is the 7th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Ricky Mavuba Mafuila Ku Mbundu (15 December 1949 – 30 November 1996) was a football player from Zaïre, nicknamed The Black Sorcerer. His son is Rio Mavuba, who was a French international footballer.
With an HPI of 42.20, Bwanga Tshimen is the 8th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Raymond Bwanga Tshimen (born 4 January 1949 in Élisabethville, Belgian Congo) is a former footballer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bwanga won the 1973 African Footballer of the Year while with TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi. During his playing days in the early and mid 1970s he was nicknamed "Black Beckenbauer" by the African and French press due to his playing style.Bwanga was voted the IFFHS Player of the Century for the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2000. In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.He is the cousin of fellow footballer Kazadi Mwamba.
With an HPI of 41.51, Blaise Nkufo is the 9th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Isetsima Blaise Nkufo (born 25 May 1975) is a Swiss former international footballer who played as a striker and current coach of Rino's Tigers in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League.He was born in Zaire and raised in Switzerland from the age of seven. Nkufo played professionally in Switzerland, Qatar, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, scoring 209 goals in 442 career league appearances. Nkufo was also a member of the Switzerland national team, having won 34 caps and scored seven goals. He played for them at the 2010 World Cup.
With an HPI of 40.79, Christian Benteke is the 10th most famous Congolese Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.
Christian Benteke Liolo (born 3 December 1990) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Major League Soccer club D.C. United and the Belgium national team. Benteke began his career at Standard Liège, playing a part in their 2008–09 Belgian First Division triumph. Following a season at Genk he was signed for £7 million by Aston Villa. He scored 49 goals in 101 matches for Villa across all competitions, including 19 Premier League goals in his debut season and helping them to the 2015 FA Cup Final, before transferring to Liverpool in 2015 for £32.5 million. He spent a single season at Liverpool, scoring a total of ten goals, before being transferred to Crystal Palace at the start of the 2016–17 season. Benteke has earned over forty caps for Belgium since making his debut in 2010. He missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup through injury, but was part of their team that reached the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2016, also featuring at Euro 2020.
Pantheon has 47 people classified as soccer players born between 1948 and 1999. Of these 47, 44 (93.62%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Claude Makélélé, Steve Mandanda, and José Bosingwa. The most famous deceased soccer players include Ndaye Mulamba, Mwepu Ilunga, and Mavuba Mafuila. As of April 2022, 11 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Mwepu Ilunga, Mavuba Mafuila, and Bwanga Tshimen.
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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.