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 63.54, Jean-Pierre Adams is the most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages on wikipedia.
Jean-Pierre Adams (10 March 1948 – 6 September 2021) was a French professional footballer who played as a centre-back. He was capped 22 times for France in the 1970s, and at club level, he played Division 1 football for Nîmes, Nice and Paris Saint-Germain. From March 1982 until his death in September 2021, he was in a coma as a result of mistakes made during a hospital operation.
With an HPI of 56.21, Patrick Vieira is the 2nd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.
Patrick Vieira (born 23 June 1976) is a French professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Premier League club Crystal Palace. He is widely considered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. Vieira began his career at Cannes, where several standout performances garnered him a move to Serie A club Milan, though he had limited first-team playing time. In 1996, he relocated to England to join fellow countryman Arsène Wenger at Arsenal for a fee of £3.5 million. During his nine-year stint in the Premier League, Vieira established himself as a dominating box-to-box midfielder, noted for his aggressive and highly competitive style of play, an attitude that also helped him excel as captain of the club from 2002 until his departure in 2005. He was named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year for six consecutive years from 1999 to 2004. He helped Arsenal achieve a sustained period of success during his time at the club, where he lifted four FA Cups and three league titles, including one unbeaten. He then returned to Italy, playing for Juventus, but quickly departed after the club was relegated as punishment for its part in the Calciopoli scandal. He then signed for Inter Milan, where he consecutively won four league titles, before featuring for Manchester City, where he won another FA Cup before retiring in 2011. Vieira featured at senior level for much of his international career, representing France over a period of 12 years, where he also spent some part as captain. He played in the final in his nation's victorious campaign at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and featured heavily as the team also won Euro 2000. He also appeared for France at the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004, in the side that finished runners-up in the 2006 World Cup, and at Euro 2008. Vieira was used sparingly by France in the latter stages of his career, and he retired from international competition in 2010, after amassing 107 appearances for the side. Following retirement, Vieira transitioned into coaching, and took charge of the academy at Manchester City in 2013. He departed two years later to sign for Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC. He subsequently returned to France to manage Ligue 1 club Nice in 2018, but was dismissed in 2020 after a string of poor results. He was then appointed manager of Crystal Palace in July 2021.
With an HPI of 54.10, Patrice Evra is the 3rd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.
Patrice Latyr Evra (born 15 May 1981) is a French football coach and former professional player. Originally a forward, he primarily played as a left-back. Evra served as captain for both Manchester United and the France national team. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised Evra for his leadership, also describing him as one of the best left-backs in Europe.The son of a diplomat, Evra was born in Senegal and arrived in Europe when he was a year old. Evra started his career with Italian club Marsala. The following season, he joined Monza, but returned to France a year later to play for Nice where he was converted into a full-back. In 2002, he joined Monaco and was part of the team that reached the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final. Evra's performances for Monaco culminated in a move to English club Manchester United in January 2006 where he went on to win a collection of trophies including five Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League. In 2014, he joined Italian side Juventus before moving to Marseille in January 2017; however, he was released in November 2017 after being banned from UEFA competition for seven months for kicking a fan prior to a UEFA Europa League match. Following a short-term contract with West Ham United in February 2018, Evra retired from professional football in July 2019. Evra is also a France international. He participated in five major international tournaments for France: the 2008, 2012 and 2016 UEFA European Championships, winning a runners-up medal at Euro 2016; and both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. Ahead of the 2010 World Cup, Evra was named captain of the national team by manager Raymond Domenech. At the tournament, he appeared in two group matches, although France had a poor campaign that saw the players go on strike after a first-round elimination. The incident resulted in Evra, for his role as captain, being suspended from national team duty for five matches. He returned to the squad and enjoyed a successful 2014 World Cup in Brazil under Didier Deschamps as France reached the quarter-finals. Evra was named to the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions and the FIFPro World XI and the UEFA Team of the Year. In France, he was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and included in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year. In September 2019, while completing his professional coaching badges, Evra returned to his former club Manchester United as a trainee coach at the club's academy.
With an HPI of 52.42, Sadio Mané is the 4th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.
Sadio Mané (born 10 April 1992) is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Senegal national team. Considered one of the best players in the world and amongst the greatest African players of all time, he is known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed. Mané began his professional career with Ligue 2 club Metz at age 19, but he departed after a solitary season to join Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a fee of €4 million, winning a league and cup domestic double in the 2013–14 season. Later that summer, Mané transferred to English club Southampton for a club record fee of £11.8 million. There, he set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick, scored in 176 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in 2015. Mané signed for fellow Premier League club Liverpool in 2016, for a reported fee of £34 million. He helped the side reach back-to-back UEFA Champions League Finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter. He also finished as the league's joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season, winning the Premier League Golden Boot. Mané then helped end Liverpool's 30 year league title drought by winning the 2019–20 Premier League. In October 2021, he scored his 100th Premier League goal, becoming the third African to reach the landmark. Mané finished fourth for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, and in the Best FIFA Men's Player he ranked fifth in 2019 and fourth in 2020. At international level, Mané has registered 33 goals in 91 appearances for Senegal since his debut in 2012, and currently ranks as his nation's all-time top goalscorer, and third in all-time appearances. He represented Senegal at the 2012 Olympics, as well as the 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. In the 2019 tournament, Mané helped Senegal to a runners-up finish, and a year later, was named African Footballer of the Year. In the 2021 final, Mané scored the winning kick in the penalty shoot-out to give Senegal their first Africa Cup of Nations title and he was also named the Player of the tournament. Mané also represented his nation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in their second ever appearance in the competition.
With an HPI of 51.04, Aliou Cissé is the 5th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.
Aliou Cissé (born 24 March 1976) is a Senegalese football coach and former player who is the manager of the Senegal national team. Cissé is best known for being the first Senegal captain to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2002 and the first Senegal manager to win the tournament in 2022 after reaching the final in 2019.Having begun his career in France, he later played for English clubs Birmingham City and Portsmouth. Cissé was a defensive midfielder who also, on occasion, played at centre back. Cissé has been the head coach of Senegal since 2015, having briefly taken charge of them following Amara Traoré's sacking, in a caretaker role in 2012. He was also the assistant coach of the under-23 side from 2012 to 2013, becoming head coach from 2013 to 2015.
With an HPI of 46.63, Papa Bouba Diop is the 6th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Papa Bouba Diop (28 January 1978 – 29 November 2020) was a Senegalese professional footballer. His preferred position was defensive midfield but he could also play as a centre back, where he previously played at Lens. Diop was considered a strong and aggressive player. His playing style and ability drew comparisons to Patrick Vieira. Diop spent much of his career in England, where fans nicknamed him "The Wardrobe" for his stature. He played for Fulham and Portsmouth in the Premier League, and won the FA Cup with the latter club in 2008. He also played top-flight football in Switzerland for Neuchâtel Xamax and Grasshopper, in France for Lens and in Greece for AEK Athens. Diop's second of a total of 11 international goals for Senegal came in a 1–0 victory over then-world champions France in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, in Senegal's first match at the FIFA World Cup. He also played at four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, finishing as runners-up in 2002.
With an HPI of 46.12, El Hadji Diouf is the 7th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf (French pronunciation: [ɛ.ladʒ.dʒuf]; born 15 January 1981) is a Senegalese former professional footballer. Throughout his career, Diouf played as a winger or a forward. Having started his professional football career in France with Sochaux, Rennes and Lens, Diouf finalised a move to Premier League side Liverpool prior to the 2002 FIFA World Cup for Senegal and went on to have a memorable tournament. He has also played in England's top flight for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers before a stint in the Scottish Premier League with Rangers. In 2011, he joined Football League Championship side Doncaster Rovers but was released at the end of the 2011–12 season following the club's relegation. He then moved to Leeds United where he spent two seasons. During his nine-year international career, he scored 21 goals in 69 caps, and also garnered considerable notoriety for a series of controversial incidents.
With an HPI of 46.01, Idrissa Gueye is the 8th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
Idrissa Gana Gueye (born 26 September 1989) is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Senegal national team. Starting his career at Diambars in his native Senegal, Gueye joined French club Lille's reserve side in 2008. He would go on to play for the side's first team from 2010 to 2015, winning a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in 2011, before moving to England with Aston Villa. A year later, he signed for fellow Premier League club Everton. In 2019, Gueye returned to France by signing for the reigning Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). He reached the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final with the club, but did not play in the match in which PSG lost. Gueye made his debut for Senegal in 2011. He was part of the Senegalese squad at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he played one match. He played for Senegal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. After a defeat in the 2019 final, he helped his country win the following competition's final in 2022.
With an HPI of 44.97, Ibrahim Ba is the 9th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Ibrahim "Ibou" Ba (born 12 November 1973) is a French former professional footballer who played as a right midfielder. Starting off his career with Le Havre in France in the early 1990s, he went on to represent clubs in Italy, England, Turkey, and Sweden before retiring at A.C. Milan in 2008. A full international between 1997 and 1998, he won eight caps for the France national team and scored two goals.
With an HPI of 43.98, Henri Camara is the 10th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Henri Camara (born 10 May 1977) is a Senegalese former professional footballer who played as a striker. Starting his career in the late 1990s, he went on to play professionally in France, Switzerland, Scotland, England, and Greece before retiring in 2018. A full international between 1999 and 2008, he won 99 caps for the Senegal national team and scored 29 goals. He represented his nation at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he scored two goals as Senegal reached the quarter-finals.
Pantheon has 73 people classified as soccer players born between 1948 and 2002. Of these 73, 71 (97.26%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Patrick Vieira, Patrice Evra, and Sadio Mané. The most famous deceased soccer players include Jean-Pierre Adams and Papa Bouba Diop. As of April 2022, 9 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Jean-Pierre Adams, Pape Sarr, and Famara Diédhiou.
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