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Top 5 Greatest Brazil Players Of All Time (Photos)

5. Garrincha

Manuel Francisco dos Santos, better known as Garrincha, was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a right winger for Flamengo and the Brazil national team.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, Garrincha is extremely popular in Brazil, where older football fans consider him to be better than Pelé.

Garrincha played an integral role in Brazil's 1958 and 1962 World Cup victories. In 1962, when Pelé got injured, Garrincha led Brazil to a World Cup victory with a dominating performance throughout the tournament. He also became the first player to win Golden Ball, Golden Boot and the World Cup in the same tournament. He was also named in the World Cup All-Star Team's of both 1958 World Cup and 1962 World Cup. Twenty seven years ago, he was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team. Brazil never lost a match while fielding both Garrincha and Pelé.

Twenty two years ago, he came seventh in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote. He is a member of the World Team of the 20th Century, and was inducted into the Brazilian Football Hall of Fame.

He died on 20 January 1983 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the age of 49.

4. Zico

Arthur Antunes Coimbra, better known as Zico, is a 68-year-old Brazilian coach and former footballer who played as a defensive midfielder for Udinese and the Brazil national team.

Often called the White Pelé, he was a creative playmaker with excellent technical skills, vision, and an eye for goal. One of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, Zico is the only player that scored the most goals from direct free kicks, with 101 goals.

Twenty two years ago, Zico came eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

With 48 international goals in 71 matches for Brazil, Zico is the fifth highest goalscorer for the Brazil national team. He was part of the Brazil squad at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups respectively. Zico is often considered one of the best players in football history not to have been on a World Cup winning squad. He was chosen as the 1981 and 1983 Player of the Year.

3. Cafu

Marcos Evangelista de Morais, better known as Cafu, is a 51-year-old retired Brazilian professional footballer who last played as a central midfieder for AC Milan and the Brazil national team.

With 142 international soccer appearances for the Brazil national team, he is the most internationally capped Brazilian player of all time. He played for his nation in four FIFA World Cups between 1994 and 2006, and is the only player in history to have appeared in three simultaneous World Cup finals, winning the 1994 and 2002 editions of the tournament, the latter as his team's captain where he lifted the World Cup trophy. With Brazil, he also participated in four editions of the Copa América, winning the title twice, in 1997 and 1999. He was also part of the Brazil squad that won the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup.

At club level, Cafu won several domestic and international titles while playing in Brazil, Spain and Italy. He is best known for his playing career at São Paulo, Roma and AC Milan, teams with which he broke many records.

Known for his pace and energetic attacking runs along the right flank, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian and South American players of all time.

Twenty years ago, Cafu was crowned South American Footballer of the Year, and in 2004, was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. He was also included in the FIFPro World XI in 2005, and in 2020 was included in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team.

2. Ronaldo

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, better known as Ronaldo, is a 45-year-old Brazilian former professional footballer who last played as a striker for Corinthians and Brazil national team.

Regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, Ronaldo has won three FIFA World Player of the Year and two Ballon d'Or awards.

Ronaldo started his professional football career at Cruzeiro and moved to PSV twenty seven years ago. He was signed to Barcelona in 1996, and at the age of 20, he was named the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year, making him the youngest recipient of the award. At the age of 21, he received the 1997 Ballon d'Or, and he remains the youngest recipient of the award. By the age of 23, Ronaldo had scored over 200 goals for club and country, however after a series of knee injuries and recuperation he was inactive for almost three years. Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2002 and won the 2002 to 2003 La Liga title. He played at AC Milan and Corinthians before retiring ten years ago having suffered further injuries.

With the Brazil national team, Ronaldo made 98 international appearances and scored 62 goals, the third highest goals for his national team. At the age of 17, he made history by becoming the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament, captained Brazil reach the final where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before kick-off. He won the 2002 FIFA World Cup where he starred in a front three with Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. Ronaldo scored twice in the final, and received the Golden Boot as the tournament's top goalscorer. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored his 15th FIFA World Cup goal, a FIFA World Cup record at the time. He also won the 1997 Copa América, where he was player of the competition, and the 1999 Copa América, where he was top goalscorer.

1. Pelé

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a forward.

Widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian player of all time, Pelé was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999 and voted World Player of the Century by IFFHS, and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His total goals of 1,279 in 1,363 matches, is recognised as a Guinness World Record.

With the Brazil national team, he won three FIFA World Cups, making history as the only player who has won three of these prominent titles. With 77 goals in 92 appearances, Pelé is also the leading goalscorer for Brazil. At club level, he is Santos' all-time top goalscorer with 643 goals from 659 matches.

His talent for scoring goals and spectacular style of play made him famous all around the world. His average statistics was almost one goal per game, and he excelled at the role of a striker and a playmaker.

After retiring professionally from football in 1977, he has been a football ambassador worldwide. This 80-year-old man has left a huge mark on the world of football, and to this day, modern players struggle to beat some of his records.

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Brazil Brazilian Garrincha Manuel Francisco dos Santos World Cup

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