Brazil is known as the “nation of soccer” and has hosted the World Cup twice. The Brazilian national team is the only team to have won the World Cup on four different continents, and the team’s colors are yellow and green shirts with blue shorts. Numerous Brazilian soccer players have smashed records and performed admirably in various events.
Over the years, the globe has witnessed some of Brazil’s most outstanding players from multiple generations. Brazilian soccer is characterized by sophistication, elegance, and skill. This has always been their defining quality. Brazil has had an inexhaustible supply of players who have brought national pride.
Legendary Brazilian players introduce a unique and beautiful soccer style to the global game that has captured people’s hearts for years. Here, we shall discuss the most iconic Brazilian soccer players.
Table of Contents
- 1. Pelé – Brazilian Soccer Legend
- 2. Ronaldo De Lima – “Il Fenomeno”
- 3. Garrincha – “Little Bird”
- 4. Roberto Carlos – “The Bullet Man”
- 5. Zico – “The Little Rooster”
- 6. Rivaldo – “Bandy-legged Genius”
- 7. Jairzinho – The Hurricane For Scoring Limitless Goals
- 8. Romário – “The Little One”
- 9. Neymar – “Joia” or “O joia”
- 10. Cafu – “The Express Train”
- 11. Ronaldinho – “Gaucho”
- 12. Everton Soares – “Onion”
- 13. João Pedro – Football’s Young Talent
- 14. Falcão – “The Tiger”
- 15. Rodrygo Goes – “Lightning”
- 16. Sócrates – “Doctor Socrates”
- 17. Clodoaldo – A Legendary Defensive Midfielder
- 18. Léo Júnior – “Helmet”
- 19. Roberto Firmino – “Bobby”
- 20. Waldyr Pereira – Also Known As Didi
1. Pelé – Brazilian Soccer Legend
The first Brazilian soccer legend we wish to discuss is Pele, the king of soccer.
His actual name is Edson Arantes did Nascimento, born on October 23, 1940. He is 1.73m tall. Pele is the son of Dondinho, a player for Fluminense. From 1954 to 1956, he led Bauru Athletic Club youngsters to three state championships in Sao Paulo.
In 1956, he was sent to the seaside city of Santos to play for Santos FC. After that, he began his soccer career with professional clubs. After leaving Santos, the “king of soccer” played for the New York Cosmos Club and the Brazilian national team.
In 1974, he formally announced his retirement and left the field. In a total of 1,363 matches, he has scored 1,281 goals. Pele has always been the king of soccer in the world and the hearts of fans, even though he has been retired for an extended period.
2. Ronaldo De Lima – “Il Fenomeno”
Ronaldo De Lima is the only player given the nickname “Alien.” Ronaldo was born in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 18, 1976. He has been familiar with street soccer since birth. Despite his youth, he had a deep affinity for the ball.
Ronaldo was called up to the Brazilian team at 18 and won the 1994 World Cup. Ronaldo was on the list of “the top young players in the FIFA world” at 20. By 1997, Ronaldo had earned numerous individual honors throughout the global soccer community. In 1997, he won the European Golden Ball and World Player of the Year awards.
In 1998, at 22, Ronaldo and the Brazilian club successfully defended their 1998 World Cup title in France. In addition, Ronaldo De Lima played for Inter Milan, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, all of which are renowned European clubs. The legendary Brazilian soccer player confirmed his retirement on February 14, 2011.
3. Garrincha – “Little Bird”
Garrincha is the most renowned figure in Brazilian soccer history. Born in 1933, he passed away in 1983. Although he was gone forever, the former Garrincha soccer player left behind marks that would last forever.
From 1958 until 1962, he played for the Brazilian club as a winger. This iconic soccer player is renowned for his exceptional dribbling abilities and successful career with the national team and Botafogo club.
Even though Garrincha played for a middleweight club and never in Europe, he and his colleagues accomplished several remarkable feats throughout his career. Most notable are the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. Together with Pele, he helped Brazil win the 1962 World Cup. Garrincha is also included in the list of legendary Brazilian soccer players.
4. Roberto Carlos – “The Bullet Man”
Roberto Carlos is one of Brazilian soccer’s most legendary soccer players. The former soccer player, born on April 10, 1973, at Garça, São Paulo, Brazil, was a left-back for Real Madrid and Brazil throughout his playing career. Carlos played significantly for Inter Milan and Real Madrid, where he earned legendary status.
With his fast defense and quick left-footed shot, he has established himself at home to win four La Liga crowns and three titles. He has played over 500 games for Real Madrid and won the UEFA Champions League.
The defender has represented his nation 125 times (second on the list of all-time appearances) and has won the World Cup in 2002 and the Copa America in 1997 and 1999. These triumphs are added to the record book. His involvement in club soccer places him among the finest Brazilian players.
5. Zico – “The Little Rooster”
Former Brazilian soccer player and coach Zico. Fans have dubbed him “White Pele.” The former soccer player was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 3, 1953, and was the finest player of the 1980s. In 88 appearances with the Brazilian national team, he scored 66 goals.
He competed in the World Cup in 1978, 1982, and 1986; however, he has never won it with his teammates. Still, Zico is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian soccer superstars.
The well-known Selecao star is renowned for his excellent assists and goals for a center midfielder. He led the Japanese national team from 2002 to 2006 after his playing career ended, leading the group to the 2004 Asian Cup championship.
6. Rivaldo – “Bandy-legged Genius”
Rivaldo is an indispensable name in the list of Brazilian soccer legends. His full name is Rivaldo Vtor Borba Ferreira, born in Recife, Brazil, on April 19, 1972. He played midfield for Barcelona and AC Milan before. He left a lot of positive impressions in the hearts of the spectators with his spirited performance on the field.
Rivaldo has had a distinguished career, representing 14 clubs in six nations. However, he played his most excellent soccer for FC Barcelona and AC Milan. In 235 appearances for Barcelona, he scored 129 goals and gained worldwide recognition.
Rivaldo’s most successful soccer career was playing for the Barcelona club. He and the squad won the title in 1997/98 and 1998/99. In 1999, the former player from 1972 won the European Ballon d’Or and Player of the Year. Moreover, he won the UEFA Champions League in 2003 with AC Milan.
7. Jairzinho – The Hurricane For Scoring Limitless Goals
Jairzinho, full name Jair Ventura Filho is a former player who plays as a striker for the Brazilian national team. On December 25, 1944, he was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Jairzinho, who won the 1970 World Cup with Brazil as a right winger, is commonly referred to as a No. 10 in soccer.
Zagallo notes that Jairzinho’s role was never precisely defined. In 1959, he started his Botafogo career as a makeshift center forward, moved to the right wing, and finally matured into the second striker position.
He represented the Brazilian national team in three FIFA World Cup finals; He was also a member of the Selecao that was crowned world champion in 1970 because Jairzinho became a good partner with Pele and Tostao. Not only did he excel at the national team level, but the soccer legend Jairzinho also won many trophies for the Botafogo club, with the Copa Libertadores and Cruzeiro titles.
8. Romário – “The Little One”
In the past, Romario was a nightmare for opposing defenses. On January 29, 1966, he was born in Rio de Janeiro, which is located in Brazil. This Brazilian soccer icon scored a sensational goal at the 1994 World Cup that tore the opponent’s net and left a lasting effect on the crowd. During that season, he dominated the field.
Romario has amassed more than one thousand goals in his professional career, which has spanned over twenty years. The forward has played for Vasco Da Gama, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, and Valencia throughout his career.
Romario was a part of Brazil’s World Cup-winning squad in 1994 when he had considerable success while not having much success with his club. Also representing Brazil, he won the Copa America in 1989 and 1997 and the Confederations Cup in 1997.
9. Neymar – “Joia” or “O joia”
Neymar is, without a doubt, one of the most talented players in the world. His birth date is February 5, 1992, and he was born in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil. His full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior.
Neymar has won titles everywhere he has played, and in 2017 he became the most expensive signing in soccer history when Paris Saint-Germain purchased him for 222 million euros. He is the second-leading scorer for his nation with 64 goals.
He won the Copa Libertadores with his local club Santos at age 19 2015 was the year the striker earned a triple with FC Barcelona. He now averages 1.22 goals per match with Paris Saint-Germain. He guided them to three national titles and the UEFA Champions League final the previous season. In 2013, he won the Confederations Cup while playing for Brazil after making over 100 appearances.
10. Cafu – “The Express Train”
Cafu, also known as Marcos Evangelista de Morais, was born on June 7, 1970, in Itaquaquecetuba, So Paulo, Brazil. Cafu is a name that evokes memories of the Selecao players who accomplished great things during their careers. He possesses all the traits of a top-tier defender and a competent striker: he is decisive, assertive, excellent in competition, physically strong, and has a thorough defense.
Cafu has established himself as one of the top players in Brazilian soccer and has won every club and national championship. The renowned right defender has made 142 appearances for the Selecao, more than any other Brazilian player.
Cafu was a vital member of every squad he played for, winning the 1994 and 2002, 1997 and 1999 Copa America, and 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup. Cafu won the Serie A championship with Roma and Milan and the Champions League in 2006-07 with the Rossoneri.
11. Ronaldinho – “Gaucho”
Ronaldinho is one of the most legendary players in the sport’s history. He was born in Porto Alegre in, Brazil, on March 21, 1980. His virtuoso talent and effortless ball control have continued to inspire a generation.
Ronaldinho’s name has become one of the most recognizable in sport. He has played for some of the most prestigious teams in the world, including FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and AC Milan.
Ronaldinho won titles in Spain and Italy, the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in the 2005 – 2006 season, the World Cup in 2002, and the Ballon d’Or in 2005. In doing so, Ronaldinho has perpetuated the Brazilian tradition of winning every club and international soccer trophy possible.
12. Everton Soares – “Onion”
Everton Soares is one of the soccerers from Brazil. He was born in Maracana, Ceará, Brazil, on March 22, 1996. He was honored to represent the Brazilian national team in the Copa America 2019 event even though he is of average height and body.
That’s why he is often called by fans by the name “Little Onion” in Portuguese – this is a cartoon character. Everton Soares’ performances on the pitch always make fans happy and excited because they are impressive. After Neymar, Brazil lacks players with improvisational style and unique street ability.
However, his performance is what Brazilian soccer needs. How Everton touches, dribbles pass and scores reminded Brazilian supporters of a period when Selecao had so many talented players.
13. João Pedro – Football’s Young Talent
João Pedro whose full name is João Pedro Junqueira de Jesus. Born in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil, on September 26, 2001. He is renowned as a Brazilian soccer player who often plays as a forward for Watford. Joo Pedro’s performances with Fluminense in Brazil have been outstanding despite his young age.
Experts believe he is a Wonderkid who will bring great optimism to South American soccer. After 52 minutes of playing on the pitch as a regular squad member, he has shown his worth by scoring a monumental goal. Fluminese. This demonstrates that he is a perfect fit for the agile and versatile Brazilian striker who plays in front of the opponent’s penalty area.
14. Falcão – “The Tiger”
Paulo Roberto Falcão, a three-time Brasileiro winner with Internacional, was a vital player of the 1982 Brazil World Cup team that enthralled a worldwide audience under coach Telê Santana. He was born in Abelardo Luz in Brazil, on October 16, 1953.
Falcão, playing his usual box-to-box midfield position in the Brazilian midfield, scored three goals in five matches and was considered one of the tournament’s highlights.
He was playing for Roma in Italy at the time when the Santa Catarina-born great had earned the nickname “King of Rome” for his outstanding exploits. During his five-year stay in Rome, he helped the Giallorossi win two Coppa d’Italia crowns and the 1982-83 Serie A championship.
15. Rodrygo Goes – “Lightning”
His nickname, Rodrygo, most often refers to Rodrygo Silva de Goes. His birthday is January 9, 2001, and he was born in Osasco, Brazil. As a striker for Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team, he was born in Brazil and now represents that nation. He became the second-youngest Brazilian player in history to score a hat trick in the Champions League at 18.
He was also the second youngest player in the history of European soccer. There is a chance that in the not-too-distant future, Goes may produce a significant number of surprising goals. And impressive displays when they were competing. And everyone hopes this soccer hero will one day become one of the most famous players to come out of Brazil.
16. Sócrates – “Doctor Socrates”
Since his untimely death in December 2011, much has been written about Sócrates’ many other qualities outside his soccering talent. However, as a soccer player, he was fantastic. He was born on February 19, 1954, in Brazil.
He is renowned for using the backheel pass, a previously uncommon technique that he used to great success. The goal he scored against the USSR in the 1982 World Cup illustrates his danger from both open play and set-pieces.
He became closely affiliated with Corinthians at the club level, spending six successful seasons. However, supporters of Fiorentina, Flamengo, and Santos also cherish the former Brazil captain.
Sócrates was a leader on and off the field, and his passionate opinions on topics outside of soccer won him a reputation as a profound thinker in all fields. Sócrates participated in sixty official matches for his nation, scoring 22 times.
17. Clodoaldo – A Legendary Defensive Midfielder
Clodoaldo is one of the finest defensive midfielders in the sport’s history. He won the World Cup in 1970. He was born in Aracaju, Brazil, on September 25, 1949. Clodoaldo is most recognized as a skilled defensive midfielder who provided remarkable calmness at the foundation of the team’s assault. His skill in marking was also well-known.
It would signal the end of his 25-year international career. In addition to his World Cup, Clodoaldo would win five state titles, a national championship (Roberto Gomes Pedrosa), and the Intercontinental Super Cup with Santos.
His 1970 semi-final goal against Uruguay was maybe the pinnacle of his 38 international appearances. However, he is most renowned for the video-recorded brilliance that led to perhaps the greatest World Cup goal of all time.
18. Léo Júnior – “Helmet”
The date of birth for Leovegildo Lins da Gama Junior was June 29, 1954. Júnior, a left-back with 70 caps for Brazil in the 1980s, was two-footed, skilled, a fantastic long-passer, and a feared set-piece taker. He was a vital member of the team for a whole generation.
He is most recognized, at least to an international audience, for his participation in all five matches for the Seleço in the 1982 World Cup. Despite failing in their quest for success, the squad is frequently considered one of the greatest soccer teams in history.
Júnior played a club-record 865 appearances for Rubro-Negro between 1974 and 1993, helping the team win a Copa Libertadores, an Intercontinental Cup, four Brazilian titles, and a Copa does Brasil. In 1992, at the age of 38 and playing as a midfielder, Júnior was chosen as the greatest player in the Brasileiro, a testimonial to his skill.
19. Roberto Firmino – “Bobby”
Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira was born in Maceió, Brazil, on October 2, 1991. Firmino is more than just a striker in a Liverpool jersey. Due to his ability to link up with surrounding satellites, drop deep into the midfield, and battle for the ball, the Brazilian star has become an integral element of coach Jurgen Klopp’s tactical approach.
The 29-year-old striker’s participation in the squad is a further advantage. Despite his current form downturn, Firmino has earned the faith of coach Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool’s road to winning the Champions League and the Premier League was greatly aided by former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim star. At the height of his career, Firmino was integral to the legendary three of Mohamed Salah, Firmino, and Sadio Mane.
20. Waldyr Pereira – Also Known As Didi
On October 8, 1928, Waldyr Pereira, commonly known as Didi, was born. Didi, a center midfielder for Botafogo, won the World Cup twice (1958 and 1962) and participated in the 1954 tournament.
“The Ethiopian prince,” as dramatist Nelson Rodrigues dubbed him, was renowned for his tenacity, serenity, and laid-back demeanor throughout his 62 foreign appearances. In Brazil, Didi won four Rio de Janeiro state titles (three with Botafogo) and one national championship in 1962.
In 1959–60, during a short run at Real Madrid, he received a European Cup winner’s medal. However, the Player of the Tournament medal he received in the 1958 World Cup will be remembered as his greatest accomplishment.