In most cases, soccer does not blend very well with great intellectual pursuits but the following are an exception:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 in 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.