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 62.90, José Nasazzi is the most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 40 different languages on wikipedia.
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.
With an HPI of 62.70, Alcides Ghiggia is the 2nd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
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.
With an HPI of 61.80, Héctor Scarone is the 3rd most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 37 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.
With an HPI of 61.78, Juan Alberto Schiaffino is the 4th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 41 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.
With an HPI of 61.32, José Leandro Andrade is the 5th most famous 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.
With an HPI of 60.71, Héctor Castro is the 6th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Héctor Castro (29 November 1904 – 15 September 1960) was a Uruguayan football player and coach. He scored Uruguay's first ever goal in a World Cup against Peru at the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930 a tournament they would go on to win.
With an HPI of 59.63, Luis Suárez is the 7th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 96 different languages.
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Uruguayan Primera División club Nacional and the Uruguay national team. Nicknamed El Pistolero ('The Gunman'), he is known for his passing, finishing and comfort with the ball. Suárez is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest strikers of all time. Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes, an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, and the Pichichi Trophy. He has scored over 500 career goals for club and country.Suárez began his senior club career at Nacional in 2005. At age 19, he signed for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007. There, he won the KNVB Cup. In 2011, Suárez signed for Premier League club Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season. In 2014, he equalled the goalscoring record for a 38-game Premier League season and won his first European Golden Shoe. That summer, Suárez moved to Barcelona in a transfer worth £64.98 million (€82.3 million), making him one of the most expensive players.Dubbed MSN, Suárez was part of a dominant trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, winning the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in his first season. In his second season, he won the Pichichi Trophy and his second European Golden Shoe, becoming the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He also led La Liga in assists, becoming the first player to do so in both goals and assists in league history. With Barcelona, Suárez won ten additional trophies, including three La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey. He signed for Atlético Madrid in 2020, winning his fifth La Liga title in his debut season.At international level, Suárez is Uruguay's all-time leading goalscorer, and has represented his nation at three editions of the FIFA World Cup and four editions of the Copa América, as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. He was named in the 2010 World Cup All-Star Team and won the 2011 Copa América, where he was awarded Best Player. Outside of his football credentials, Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career, including a goal-line handball against Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, biting opponents on three occasions, accusations of and admitting to diving, and being found guilty by the FA in 2011 of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
With an HPI of 59.53, Pedro Cea is the 8th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
José Pedro Cea (1 September 1900 – 18 September 1970) was a Uruguayan football player as a striker and coach.
With an HPI of 58.72, Enrique Ballestrero is the 9th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.
Enrique Pedro Ballesteros Griffo (18 January 1905 – 11 October 1969) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as a goalkeeper.He was a member of the Uruguay squad that won the 1930 FIFA World Cup. He played in all four matches of the tournament, including the final win against Argentina.
With an HPI of 58.19, Obdulio Varela is the 10th most famous Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 32 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 258 people classified as soccer players born between 1890 and 2001. Of these 258, 180 (69.77%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Luis Suárez, Diego Forlán, and José Santamaría. The most famous deceased soccer players include José Nasazzi, Alcides Ghiggia, and Héctor Scarone. As of April 2022, 30 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Julio Morales, Severino Varela, and Juan Masnik.
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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.