The Legends: Pele and Maradona

Pele and Maradona

When looking at the game of soccer you may not have to look very far into the past to see just who exemplifies the game as a whole and can truly be called the “All-Time Best.”

Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) was rated as the best player in the world. Only he and Diego Armando Maradona have received the honors of being the greatest players.

Pele – a name short in length but long in significance. Pele had an incredible eye for goal with deadly strike force and always glowed with confidence, even at such an early age. He was the first to play on three football World Cup winners. He is hailed in Brazil as a national hero and is an instrumental ambassador of the game. He played 1,345 games for Santos and scored 1,281 goals in his 22-year career. In 1974, the Pele was also nicknamed the Black Pearl which was considered a great honor by him. After Pele retired, he took his energy as an athlete and put it into his career as a global pitchman and ambassador for soccer.

It has been more than a quarter of a century since his last competitive game, yet Pele cannot visit any country without crowds flocking. When a reporter asked if his fame can be compared to that of Jesus Christ, Pele replied, “There are parts of the world where Jesus Christ is not so well known.”

Maradona, despite his controversies, was one of the most skillful players to ever play the game and he won several trophies for his teams. Maradona played in four World Cups for Argentina, steering them to success in 1986 where he was awarded with the Golden Ball award. Maradona had strength, could run with the ball and could withstand challenges, unlike players who can’t withstand challenges even where there’s no contact! These are his main attributes as highlighted these days, not only could he score goals with his unstoppable runs where he could take out a whole defense on his own, he was a team player too.

Maradona did however achieve similar goal-scoring feats to Pele; most notably one of the best ever was his 159 goals in 240 matches including a goal against England in a dazzling solo run voted as Goal of the Century in the 1986 world cup.

7 Most Popular Personalities in Soccer

by on August 30, 2009
in Uncategorized

Pele

If we go into the history of soccer we will discover a most enchanting fact that over the years the beautiful game of soccer has experienced a number of highly talented and colorful characters. In most cases, soccer does not blend very well with great intellectual pursuits but the following are an exception:

Pele

He is easily the most influential soccer player of all time. He won the world cup with Brazil a record three times. These days, he is very popular as a soccer ambassador. He greatly revolutionized the sport of soccer and made it the number one sport in the world. Pele while on the field developed a full range of assets which he utilized throughout his games.

Tostao

This young man won the world cup with Brazil in 1970. Now, he is one of the most influential soccer journalists in his native Brazil. This man combined soccer skills with huge intellectual endowments throughout his career and till now.

Sir Bobby Charlton

It is very rare to get knighted by the Queen of England simply because you play football. But he was not your average English footballer. He played an important role in the world cup success of 1966 for England and had a great career at Manchester United where he played an incredible 759 matches. Sir Charlton is undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time and is also arguably one of the top 3 soccer players in England.

Maradonna

This guy is a colorful but controversial character. He led Argentina to world cup glory in 1986 and remains an iconic figure in Latin American soccer circles. At present, he is the coach of Argentina’s national soccer team. No one did so much for his t-shirt. He played 91 matches and scored 34 goals. He is the flag of Argentine football.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker is one of football’s gentlemen. In his entire professional career, he didn’t receive a single yellow card. He scored a total of 244 goals from 462 games. He was awarded the OBE for his contribution to soccer and he also holds the record for top scorer in the 1986 world cup. He bowed out in the 1992 European Championship.

Zinedine Zidane

Forget the red card he was given in the final match of the 2006 world cup. Zidane remains a soccer hero anytime, anywhere. Zidane earned his reputation as one of the world’s best players with his peerless, often impossible-looking displays of technique and control.

David Beckham

He is one of the most iconic athletes. David Beckham is known especially for the power and accuracy of his free kicks. He played an important role to Manchester United’s six league championships and other accomplishments while on the team. He is the most famous English footballer of all time and the richest by far.

Past and present, these are some of the most influential players in the history of soccer.