Soccer is by far the most popular sport in Brazil, with the country’s national football team even winning the FIFA World Cup as many as five times.
It’s no surprise that soccer is an important part of the South American country’s culture, being a source of national pride for its millions of fans.
As you will have guessed, Brazil has produced loads of brilliant soccer players as a result. However, there are so many that it can often be overwhelming and hard to narrow down. Who are the best Brazilian soccer players?
We’ve got the answers! In our fun guide below, we’ve got a list of the best Brazilian soccer players, with information on what makes each of them so great (see also ‘Best Netherlands Soccer Players‘).
The list isn’t in any necessary order, but you can take it that Pelé would be number one. Of course, he’s Pelé!
Best Brazilian Soccer Players
10. Vinícius Júnior
We’re beginning our list with a recent player, the astonishing Vinícius Júnior. Júnior is junior in name and nature, only being born as recently as 2000.
Yet, despite his amazingly young age, he has already made a name for himself as one of the best players in the world – and one of the best Brazilian soccer players as a result.
Júnior began his professional career at 16, playing for the Flamengo club, but it wasn’t long before he was transferred to Real Madrid. How much was the transfer? £38 million, an incredible record for a player under 18.
As you can tell, his skills were in high demand, thanks to his brilliant abilities in shooting and dribbling. On top of that, he has a rapid pace.
Not to be confused with the young Brazilian soccer player Gerson, Gérson is a famous former association soccer player from Brazil.
He had an impressive and varied career, but his main feat of success was playing a major part in bringing Brazil to success in the 1970 FIFA World Cup.
Géson played as a midfielder, but was one of the first midfielders to bring a more creative side to the role, focusing on passing more than taking possession.
He played 87 matches alone for Brazil’s national team, scoring 19 goals, but played (and scored) much more for the Botafogo and Flamengo teams.
Didi is definitely one of the most famous – and best – Brazilian soccer players there has been, with an impressive career in Brazil’s long history with the game.
In fact, he played for Brazil’s national team in three different FIFA World Cups, including the 1958 and 1962 ones where Brazil were the champions.
Position-wise, Didi excelled at being either a forward or a midfielder, showing his versatile talent.
Though he’s now a pundit for soccer, Rivellino had an impressive career as one of the best Brazilian soccer players, particularly famous for his ability to make long shots and accurate passes across long distances.
On top of that, he was also a master of control, with dribbling skills to match.
When it came to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Rivellino helped contribute to Brazil’s champion success.
Speaking of Brazil’s success in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Clodoaldo was also part of that famous team, even scoring the equalizing goal in the semi-final match that helped them reach that ultimate victory.
Clodoaldo played professionally between 1966 and 1974, where he displayed his dribbling skills, speed, and strength.
This is one of the earliest soccer stars in Brazil’s history, with Leônidas beginning his professional career as far back as 1930, after 3 years as a youth player.
He is considered one of the most important soccer players of the 20th century’s first half, not just for Brazil but the entire sport of soccer in general.
When it comes to representing Brazil internationally, Leônidas played for the national team in two World Cups, even scoring the most goals for the 1938 one.
One of the secrets to his success on the pitch was his fantastic agility, allowing him to move around very ably and quickly.
On top of that, he was the first player to make the bicycle kick (see also: How To Do A Bicycle Kick)popular, stunning Brazil the first time he used it and continuing to employ it throughout his career.
Returning to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Jairzinho is another one of the key players alongside Rivellino and Clodoaldo who helped to bring Brazil to its overall champion status.
In fact, he was the top sorcerer of that team, arguably being the key reason for their victory.
Speaking of goals, Jairzinho was famous for scoring them, earning him the nickname of “The Hurricane”. This was thanks to his skill and power, as well as his impressive speed.
Though he was best known for playing right wing, he did extremely well in other positions, such as striker and midifielder.
Now a soccer coach, Zico had a brilliant career as one of the best Brazilian soccer players beforehand.
His key period was towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, where he really displayed his talent for being a playmaker – which is probably what made him take so naturally to being a manager later in life.
On top of playmaking, Zico was talented at passing and vision.
Not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese soccer player, (see also: Best Colombian Soccer Players)Ronaldo is a retired professional Brazilian soccer star. He played for his country in 98 games, scoring as many as 62 goals.
When Brazil won the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he was not only on the team, but just 17 years old
Pelé is one of the most famous soccer players (see also: Best Argentinian Soccer Players ) in the history of the sport, and certainly the best Brazilian one. He holds a Guinness World Record for the most career goals ever, with 1,279. Need we say more?!
Soccer is Brazil’s very favorite sport, and the country has produced some of the greatest soccer players the world has ever (see also: Best American Soccer Players Ever)seen as a result.