5 Players Who Changed Football Forever

Football, one of the most popular sports in the world, has its own history, rich with plays, but more importantly, players who have made their impact and some who still are. There have been a plethora of great names in the history of football, many of who have made changes that you might not even comprehend, due to their intricacy.

Rest assured, however, that there are plenty of footballers who have left a mark on football, changing it in one direction or another. Here are some of those players, as the list would most likely be far too long to include all of them.

Pele

Pele is the Brazilian with the happiest approach to the game. He brought so much joy to football and remains one of its best players, no matter the modern stars who seem to have much better statistics. Statistics are not important if you do not bring anything new to the game. Pele brought his passion, love, and interest, helping spread football to the United States, a nation that wasn’t very keen on the sport, or rather, they hated it, for their own reasons. Pele bridged that gap and later in his career, played for the New York Cosmos. While football in the US was atrocious at the time, Pele played his part in making it a lot better, which it is nowadays.

Maradona

Diego Maradona, the late Argentinian great, was a player to behold. Decades apart, Maradona and Pele are always in talks about who is the greatest footballer ever. During the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, it was Maradona who scored the famous Hand of God goal against England, cementing his place in the history of the sport. 

He is also famous for things other than football, like his antics, raving, and a strange ability to rapidly gain and lose weight. Even though he had his moments in public, in football, he remains a legend.

Cruyff

Johan Cruyff was a player to watch in the 70s. Playing for the Netherlands, the Oranje, he popularized and was the first to put into practice a new style of football, also known as Total Football. While that was developed by someone else, Rinus Michels, Cruyff was the one to put it into action, helping the Netherlands reach two consecutive finals but also two consecutive runner-up spots in two World Cups, the 1974 and 1978 ones.

Platini

The French, Michel Platini, with the most goals out of everybody in a European Championship, is currently banned from football, but was a great passer and scorer in his prime, most notably during the 1980s.

Ronaldo

Ronaldo Nazario led Brazil to multiple victories, most notably during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo is also the second footballer with the most scores in World Cups, sitting at 15. It was like that until recently, Miroslav Klose beat his record by a single goal. Regardless, the original Ronaldo brought something new to the game, a very goofy attitude with an amazing ability to score. 

Football has had many great stars over the years and these are but some of them who impacted the game.