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 59.18, Teófilo Cubillas is the most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages on wikipedia.
Teófilo Juan Cubillas Arizaga (Spanish pronunciation: [teˈofilo kuˈβiʎas]; born 8 March 1949) is a Peruvian former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He was selected as Peru's greatest ever player in an IFFHS poll, in which he was also included in the world's Top 50. He is considered by many as the maximum reference of Peruvian football and one of the best South American players in history. He was renowned for his technique, shooting ability and free kick ability. He was considered one of the best players in the world of the 1970s and the best in his position of the decade only behind the Dutch Johan Cruyff. Among his main achievements are the FIFA awards for the best young player and the bronze boot in Mexico 1970, as well as the silver boot and member of the ideal team of Argentina 1978, he was also champion and best player of the 1975 Copa América. He is regarded one of the best attacking midfielders in the history of football.Nicknamed El Nene (The Kid), he was part of the Peru national football team that won the 1975 Copa América. He helped Peru reach the quarter finals at the 1970 FIFA World Cup and again at the 1978 World Cup and was elected the South American Footballer of the Year in 1972. He was characterized as an attacking midfielder gifted with exquisite technique, power, change of pace, dribbling ability and great goalscoring ability. His medium and long-range free kicks were famous for the precision with which he executed them. On the field of play, he also stood out for his sportsmanship: he was never sent off. He is the midfielder most goalscorer (10 goals) and with the best goal average (0.77) in the history of the Soccer World Cup, one of the 4 top free kick scorers in the history of the Soccer World Cup together with Pelé, Beckham and Rivelino, he was a five-time candidate for "best South American footballer of the year" in (1971, 1972 -winner-, 1975, 1977, and 1978). And together with Batistuta he is the 3rd highest Latin American scorer in World Cup history, after Ronaldo and Pelé.At the club level, he is the second highest historical scorer for Club Alianza Lima (167 goals). He is also the top scorer for the "Blue and White" club in the history of the Copa Libertadores, the fourth top foreign scorer in the history of FC Porto (66 goals), the top scorer in the history of Fort Lauderdale Strikers (65 goals) and the eighth all-time top scorer in the Peruvian League (167 goals). He was the top scorer in the Copa Libertadores in 1972, scoring 6 goals and is the Peruvian soccer player with the best average goal score in European competitions, scoring 72 goals in 122 games, achieving an average of 0.59 goals per game, and the one that scored the most goals in a season European, scoring 36 goals in 39 games in the season 1975-76 with the FC Porto. He is also the highest-scoring midfielder in the history of FC Porto. Worldwide, the IFFHS, in 2008, awarded Cubillas 268 goals in 469 official matches in First Division Tournaments, placing him as the seventh midfielder highest scorer of the history of football, surpassing other greats in the world such as Platini (207), Roberto Baggio (205), Gullit (175), Rivaldo (229), Zidane (95) and Maradona (259), in addition to being the second South American midfielder with the most goals in history, only behind Zico. During his long career there are 615 games and 338 goals. He was chosen by FIFA as the 2nd "Best Young Player" in the history of the World Cup, beating cracks of the stature of Beckenbauer, Flórián Albert, Owen and Enzo Scifo, as well as one of the 100 best players in the history of the World Cup by the same institution in 2018. At the continental level, it was included in the historical ideal eleven of the Copa América according to the official site of the continental competition in 2015.Moreover, he is one of the only three players to score five or more goals in two different World Cups, the other two being Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller. Noted for his free kicks, he is considered one of the best free kick specialists of all time.Cubillas has been awarded South American Footballer of the Year in 1972 - beating Pelé in the votes and is a member of the Maracanã Stadium hall of fame. In 2004 he was named in the list of the 50 Best Players of the 20th Century and one of the best South American footballers 20th century by the IFFHS - that same year he was named to the FIFA 100 list compiled by Pelé. In 2008, the Sports Illustrated magazine included him in the ideal eleven of the last 50 years of South American football along with Pelé, Maradona, Garrincha and others continental soccer legends. In 2019 he was included by the prestigious British magazine FourFourTwo among the 100 best footballers in the history of football, ranking 66. He is also one of the 50 player most voted as Best footballer of the century in all the historical rankings that were made at the end of the 20th century.
With an HPI of 52.24, Claudio Pizarro is the 2nd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.
Claudio Miguel Pizarro Bosio (American Spanish: [ˈklawðjo piˈsaro]; born 3 October 1978) is a Peruvian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He is currently serving as Club Ambassador for Bayern Munich. He was captain of Peru's national football team, being its fifth highest scorer. He is widely considered as the greatest representative of Peruvian football in Europe. He is the highest scorer and most successful Latin American football player in the history of German football. He is the all-time top scorer of SV Werder Bremen, the ninth top scorer in the history of Bayern Munich and the sixth top scorer in the history of the Bundesliga and its second top scorer in the 21st century. He is also among the 20 top scorers in the history of UEFA club competitions and is the seventh highest South American scorer in European football history. His professional debut came in 1996, with Deportivo Pesquero. In 1998, he joined Alianza Lima, where he won a Peruvian Primera División, being highlighted as the best player of the season. In 1999, he was signed by Werder Bremen from the Bundesliga. Just one year later, he was chosen as the newcomer player of the championship and was included in the ideal team of the 2000–01 season. In 2001, he signed for Bayern Munich and the following seasons he won one Intercontinental Cup, 2 Bundesligas, 4 DFB-Pokale (German Cups), 2 DFL-Ligapokale (German League Cups) and the DFL-Supercup (German Super Cup). In addition, he was the top scorer in the DFB-Pokal in the 2004–05 and 2005–06 editions. In 2007, he signed for Chelsea F.C. scoring on his debut and achieving runner-up in the Premier League at the end of the season. In 2009, he returned to Bremen, where he was champion of the 2008–09 DFB-Pokal and the unofficial 2009 German Supercup, in addition to becoming top scorer in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. In 2012, he was hired again by Bayern Munich, winning the UEFA Champions League, the Club World Cup, the European Super Cup, the DFL-Supercup, three Bundesligas and two DFB-Pokale, thus becoming the foreign player with most titles in the history of Bayern Munich, a total of 18. In mid-2015, he returned to Werder Bremen. In 2017, he was hired by the 1. FC Köln, from which he separated a year later to return to Werder Bremen. Pizarro is the Peruvian football player with the most goals scored and games played in Europe and in German football. He is the second highest foreign scorer and sixth all-time historic scorer in the Bundesliga (197 goals). He is also the Latin American football player with the most goals scored and titles won in the history of German football. He is the ninth all-time top scorer for the DFB-Pokal (34 goals), top scorer for Werder Bremen (153 goals), the ninth all-time top scorer for Bayern Munich (125 goals), the tenth historical scorer of the UEFA Europa League (24 goals) and the fifth historical scorer of Peru's national football team (20 goals). He is also the foreign player with the most games played in the history of Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal. Pizarro is considered an idol by Bayern Munich's fans and a legend of Werder Bremen's, teams for which he scored more than 100 goals each. As well as being one of the players with the most seasons played in the history of the German league, Pizarro is also the oldest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga (at over 40 years old). He is regarded as a living legend of the Bundesliga, being compared to other German football legends like Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller. In international competitions, he is the fourth highest Latin American scorer in European Cups (Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League) with 48 goals, ranking only behind Lionel Messi, Alfredo Di Stéfano and Sergio Agüero. With the Peru national football team he is the fifth highest scorer with 20 goals and the tenth with the most matches (85). With the senior team, he achieved the third place at the 2015 Copa América. He also participated in the 2004 and 2007 Copa América.
With an HPI of 50.09, Luis de Souza Ferreira is the 3rd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Luis Emilio de Souza Ferreira Huby (born October 6, 1908 in Lima – died September 29, 2008 in La Punta) was a football forward player from Peru who played for Universitario de Deportes.
With an HPI of 49.95, Teodoro Fernández is the 4th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Teodoro "Lolo" Fernández Meyzán (20 May 1913 – 17 September 1996) was a Peruvian professional footballer who played as forward. All his football work was carried out as a player of the Universitario de Deportes of the Peruvian First Division. He was champion, best player and top scorer in the 1939 Copa América. He is the top idol of Universitario de Deportes and Peruvian First Division.Fernández is the most emblematic player in the history of club Universitario de Deportes for which he played his whole career, winning six times the Primera División Peruana. Although he sporadically reinforced other clubs in friendly matches, clubs such as Alianza Lima and Colo-Colo, Fernández never represented a club other than Universitario in official competitions. Known as "El Cañonero" ("The Cannoneer") due to his excellence as a centre-forward and his strong shooting, Fernández was the Primera División Peruana top-scorer seven times.
With an HPI of 48.74, Héctor Chumpitaz is the 5th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Héctor Eduardo Chumpitaz Gonzáles (American Spanish: [ˈektoɾ ˈtʃumpitas]; born April 12, 1943, in Cañete) is a former footballer from Peru. Voted one of the greatest defenders of all times, among the 30 best defenders in football history and included within the 100 best players in the history of the Soccer World Cup by FIFA in 2018. He is also a member of the Historic Ideal Team of Copa América by CONMEBOL. In addition to being the seventh South American defender with the highest score in soccer history, after scoring 65 official goals. Considered by FIFA as one of the best South American defenders of all time, he is also one of the greatest exponents in the history of Peruvian football. He worked in the defense position. He spent most of his career at Universitario de Deportes and Sporting Cristal. He currently has a soccer school named as him, where he is dedicated to training minors. He was regarded one of the best defenders in the world during the late 60s and early 70s and is considered one of the 4 best South American defenders of all time along with Elías Figueroa, José Nasazzi and Daniel Passarella. With great defensive skills, excellent reading of the game, possession and distribution of the ball and an imposing leader role, he became one of the most legendary figures of Universitario de Deportes, a club with which he achieved 5 times the Peruvian League and was a finalist in the Copa Libertadores in 1972. In addition to having won three other national titles with Sporting Cristal, Chumpitaz is remembered for having been captain of the American team that played a friendly match against the stars of Europe, among them were Giacinto Facchetti, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, Johan Cruyff —who was the captain of Europe, among other figures. It is there that the nickname El Capitán de America (America's Captain) is gained. At the national team level, for almost fifteen years he was the captain and great defensive bulwark of the Peruvian national football team that won the Copa América 1975 and reached the quarterfinals in the Soccer World Cup of Mexico 1970 and Argentina 1978. Chumpitaz is considered one of the greatest South American defenders of all-time and was named to the list of best World Cup players of all time by Terra.com in 2006. He was elected the 35th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2000.
With an HPI of 48.12, Mario de las Casas is the 6th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Mario de las Casas Ramírez (born 31 January 1905 – death 10 October 2002) was a Peruvian football defender who played for Peru in the 1930 FIFA World Cup and the 1935 Campeonato Sudamericano.
With an HPI of 47.20, Alberto Gallardo is the 7th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.
Félix Alberto Gallardo Mendoza (28 November 1940 – 19 January 2001) was a Peruvian football player and manager.
With an HPI of 46.69, Paolo Guerrero is the 8th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
José Paolo Guerrero Gonzales (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse paˈolo ɣeˈreɾo ɣonˈsales]; born 1 January 1984), known as Paolo Guerrero, is a Peruvian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club Avaí and the Peru national team. Forging his career in Germany, Guerrero started at giants Bayern Munich, before making his name at Hamburger SV, scoring 47 goals across eight Bundesliga seasons. His greatest successes came in Brazil, where he scored the winning goal of the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup Final for Corinthians. With 38 goals in 107 matches for Peru since debuting at 20, Guerrero holds the honour of being the highest goalscorer for his national team. He has represented them at five Copas América and one World Cup. He led them to third place in the 2011 and 2015 Copas, and to runners-up in 2019, finishing as top scorer in all three of these tournaments. He is also the top scoring active player in the Copa América. He was one of 59 nominees for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or, becoming the first Peruvian to receive that recognition. He's also the oldest Peruvian player to appear in a World Cup, at the age of 34 and 177 days. In 2021, the IFFHS included Guerrero in their best South American team of the last decade, being recognized as the best South American center forward between 2010 and 2020 (joining the podium with Neymar and Sergio Agüero). In addition, he was voted the "best centre forward in America" in 2012 and 2017 by the newspaper El País, based on the opinion of some two hundred journalists from the region. He has also been named included by CONMEBOL in the teams of the tournament for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Copas América.
With an HPI of 46.64, Hugo Sotil is the 9th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Hugo Alejandro Sotil Yerén (born 18 May 1949) is a Peruvian former professional football player. Nicknamed El Cholo, he played as a striker or midfielder. Together with Teófilo Cubillas and Héctor Chumpitaz, he was one of Peru's most recognized football players of the 1970s. He also was a popular player in Peru, and a biopic on his life was released in that decade. He was a member of the Peruvian team that won the 1975 Copa América and reached the quarterfinals in Mexico 1970 and Argentina 1978. "Cholo" Sotil was a skilled forward, with great dribbling. He also played as attacking midfielder and was a great assistant of football, due to the large number of goal passes he offered to his teammates. He made his professional debut in 1967, standing out with Deportivo Municipal and became one of the most popular players in Peru. In 1973 he gained international fame by signing for FC Barcelona forming a historic attacking duo with the Dutch star Johan Cruyff winning the Spanish League in his first season after 14 years of drought for the Catalan club. He became the first Latin American player to wear the "10" for FC Barcelona. Carrying the number 10 on his back in addition to getting 2 league runners-up and one in the Copa del Rey after 4 seasons with the Barça shirt. In 1977 he returned to Peru and became two-time national champion with Alianza Lima in 1977 and 1978. In 1973 he joined the starting team of the America National Team that faced the Europe team of Cruyff, Eusébio and Facchetti The match ended 4 to 4, and Sotil scored the third goal for his team, then in a penalty shootout the American team won 7 to 6. That night he played alongside other South American figures such as Rivelino, Morena, Brindisi, Asparagus, Cubillas and others. He was international with the Peruvian team, with which he played two editions of the Soccer World Cup: those of 1970 and 1978, where he reached the quarterfinals in both World Cups. On a continental level, he won the Copa América in 1975—, where he scored the only goal of the final match against Colombia, giving the Inca team the title of Champions of America. Hugo Sotil has been one of the most popular athletes in his country, to the point that in 1972, he starred in a film directed by Bernardo Batievsky (his great admirer) entitled Cholo.
With an HPI of 46.56, Alberto Soria is the 10th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Alberto Soria Ortega (born 10 March 1906) was a Peruvian football defender who played for Peru in the 1930 FIFA World Cup.
Pantheon has 93 people classified as soccer players born between 1900 and 2000. Of these 93, 64 (68.82%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Teófilo Cubillas, Claudio Pizarro, and Héctor Chumpitaz. The most famous deceased soccer players include Luis de Souza Ferreira, Teodoro Fernández, and Mario de las Casas. As of April 2022, 23 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Lizardo Rodríguez Nue, Juan Seminario, and Alberto Denegri.
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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 22 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.