The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Uruguayan Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 226 of which were born in Uruguay. This makes Uruguay the birth place of the 11th most number of Soccer Players behind Netherlands and Sweden.

Top 10

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

Photo of Alcides Ghiggia

1. Alcides Ghiggia (1926 - 2015)

With an HPI of 72.28, Alcides Ghiggia is the most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages on wikipedia.

Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra (pronounced [ˈɡiddʒa]; 22 December 1926 – 16 July 2015) was a Uruguayan-Italian football player, who played as a right winger. He achieved lasting fame for his decisive role in the final match of the 1950 World Cup, and at the time of his death exactly 65 years later, he was also the last surviving player from that game.

Photo of Juan Alberto Schiaffino

2. Juan Alberto Schiaffino (1925 - 2002)

With an HPI of 71.40, Juan Alberto Schiaffino is the 2nd most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

Juan Alberto "Pepe" Schiaffino Villano (Italian pronunciation: [skjafˈfiːno]; 28 July 1925 – 13 November 2002) was an Italian-Uruguayan football player who played as an attacking midfielder or forward. A highly skilful and creative playmaker, at club level, he played for CA Peñarol in Uruguay, and for A.C. Milan, and Roma in Italy. At international level, he won the 1950 FIFA World Cup with the Uruguayan national team, and also took part at the 1954 FIFA World Cup; he later also represented the Italy national football team.He was ranked as the best Uruguayan footballer of all time by an IFFHS poll, and the 17th greatest player of the twentieth century.

Photo of José Nasazzi

3. José Nasazzi (1901 - 1968)

With an HPI of 70.95, José Nasazzi is the 3rd most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

José Nasazzi Yarza (24 March 1901 – 17 June 1968) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as a defender. He captained his country when they won the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930.

Photo of José Leandro Andrade

4. José Leandro Andrade (1901 - 1957)

With an HPI of 70.79, José Leandro Andrade is the 4th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

José Leandro Andrade (22 November 1901 – 5 October 1957) was an Uruguayan footballer who played at wing-half. He was nicknamed "The Black Marvel" (maravilla negra). During his prime he was regarded as one of the finest footballers in the world, contributing to the Uruguay national football team's domination of international football during the 1920s, winning two consecutive Olympic Gold Medals and then the first FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Héctor Castro

5. Héctor Castro (1904 - 1960)

With an HPI of 70.35, Héctor Castro is the 5th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Héctor Castro (29 November 1904 – 15 September 1960) was a Uruguayan football player and coach.

Photo of Héctor Scarone

6. Héctor Scarone (1898 - 1967)

With an HPI of 70.24, Héctor Scarone is the 6th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Héctor Pedro Scarone Beretta (26 November 1898 – 4 April 1967) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as inside forward. Scarone was considered one of the best players in the world during his time,. being nicknamed El Mago ("the Magician") due to his extraordinary skills with the ball.At club level, Scarone spent most of his career with Nacional, with which he won 21 official titles. He scored a total of 301 goals for the club in 369 appearances. Scarone holds the record of years played for Nacional, having spent 20 years with the club. He is also the 3rd. all-time Uruguayan Primera División with 163 goals, and the 2nd. all-time top scorer of Nacional (behind Atilio García) with 301 goals.With a height of 170cm and thin legs, Scarone was rejected by Nacional at the age of 15. He returned one year later, being accepted by the club but sent to the reserve team. Nevertheless, Scarone would be promoted to the senior squad after playing only five matches in the reserve team.Apart from Nacional, Scarone also played for Spanish side Barcelona, and Italian clubs Inter Milan and Palermo. He was the younger brother of another legend of Nacional, Carlos Scarone.

Photo of Pedro Cea

7. Pedro Cea (1900 - 1970)

With an HPI of 68.82, Pedro Cea is the 7th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

José Pedro Cea (1 September 1900 – 18 September 1970) was a Uruguayan football player as a striker and coach.

Photo of José Santamaría

8. José Santamaría (1929 - )

With an HPI of 68.32, José Santamaría is the 8th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

José Emilio Santamaría Iglesias (born 31 July 1929) is a retired football central defender and manager. He spent his 18-year career with Nacional and Real Madrid, winning a combined 17 titles including four European Cups with the latter club. Born in Uruguay, Santamaría represented both the Uruguayan and Spanish national teams. He later embarked in a managerial career, which included a two-year spell managing Spain.

Photo of Enzo Francescoli

9. Enzo Francescoli (1961 - )

With an HPI of 68.24, Enzo Francescoli is the 9th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Enzo Francescoli Uriarte (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈenso fɾanseˈskoli uˈɾjaɾte]; born 12 November 1961) is a former Uruguayan football player. Due to his elegant style of play, Francescoli was nicknamed "El Príncipe" ("The Prince" in Spanish, or "Le Prince" in French), and "El Flaco" due to his slender frame. A former attacking midfielder, he was considered an elite playmaker in a decadent period for the Uruguay national team. He played 73 times for the Celeste between 1982 and his retirement in 1997, making him the most capped outfield player in Uruguayan international football at the time. He represented his nation at two FIFA World Cups, in 1986 and 1990, also winning the Copa América in 1983, 1987 and 1995. At club level, Francescoli began his career with Uruguayan club Wanderers. In neighbouring Argentina, he played for River Plate. He was the leading scorer and a key player for the club's second Copa Libertadores title. Francescoli won a total of five Argentine titles in the six years in which he played for the club. He also enjoyed success in France with Racing Paris and Marseille, where his performances proved decisive as the team won the 1989–90 French Division 1. He later also had spells in Italy with Cagliari and Torino, before returning to River Plate, where he ended his career. Regarded as one of the best number 10s of his generation, and as one of Uruguay's and South America's greatest ever players, Francescoli was the only Uruguayan included by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living footballers in 2004, and he was also elected by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the sixth-greatest Uruguayan player and the 24th greatest South American player of the 20th century.

Photo of Obdulio Varela

10. Obdulio Varela (1917 - 1996)

With an HPI of 68.12, Obdulio Varela is the 10th most famous Uruguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Obdulio Jacinto Muiños Varela (Spanish pronunciation: [oβˈðuljo βaˈɾela]; September 20, 1917 — August 2, 1996) was a Uruguayan football player. He was the captain of the Uruguayan national team that won the 1950 World Cup after beating Brazil in the decisive final round match popularly known as the Maracanazo. He was nicknamed "El Negro Jefe" (The Black Chief) because of his dark skin and the influence he had on the pitch, especially during the unlikely victory over Brazil. He was of African, Spanish and Greek ancestry. Commonly regarded as one of the greatest classic holding midfielders, Varela was adept in defence and was renowned for his tenacity and leadership. He is regarded as one of the greatest captains in football history, and "he remains one of the biggest sporting heroes in Uruguay".

Pantheon has 226 people classified as soccer players born between 1890 and 1999. Of these 226, 163 (72.12%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include José Santamaría, Enzo Francescoli, and Diego Forlán. The most famous deceased soccer players include Alcides Ghiggia, Juan Alberto Schiaffino, and José Nasazzi. As of October 2020, 49 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Juan Carlos Corazzo, Julio Abbadie, and Roberto Porta.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2020)

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