The list of football players who have left their mark when it comes to the most popular sport on the planet is practically endless. We have tried to compile a list of the top three most famous players of our generation.
- Lionel Messi
The debate of who the GOAT is between our number one and number two never seems to end, but we feel that Messi should be at the top, and here is why. The thirty-one-year Argentinian forward who captains both Barcelona and his national team has won a record-tying number of Ballon d’Or awards – five of them (the same as our number two), as well as a record number of European Golden Shoes – again five.
He has won 33 trophies with Barcelona, the team he spent his entire career with, including six Copa del Rey, and four UCL titles. He is also the record-holder for the most goals in La Liga, El Clásico, a La Liga season and a club football season in Europe. Additionally, he also holds the record for most La Liga and the Copa América assists.
Messi is famous for being a predominantly left-footed player with a short stature which gives him superior agility. He is not only an incredibly prolific goal scorer, but he is also a playmaker due to his impeccably precise passing and vision, an excellent penalty kick taker, and very accurate free kick taker, as well. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also considered to be the best dribbler in the world.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
For some football enthusiasts Ronaldo is the GOAT, and we completely understand why. He has a record-tying number of Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes. He has a total of 26 titles, including five UCL titles, one Euros title, and five league titles.
He is the record holder for the most goals in Europe’s top five leagues, the UEFA Champions League, Euros, and most assists in the UCL and Euros, as well. To this day he has scored 687 goals in his professional senior career, which puts him in the sixth place on the best scorers list.
Even though he is a predominantly right-footed player, he is very strong with both feet and can play not only on either wing but also through the center of the pitch. He is also known as one of the fastest football players, with or without the ball. His teammates praise him for being a game changer due to his decisiveness and incredible goal-scoring ability, especially in high-pressure situations.
- Zinedine Zidane
Just like our numbers one and two, our number three was also regarded as the GOAT during his professional career as a football player. Nicknamed “Zizou,” Zidane is now a professional football coach who managed to win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles leading Real Madrid, the team in which he ended his professional career in 2006.
As a player, he was renowned for his technique, ball control, vision and elegance. His left-foot volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final is considered to be one of the best goals in the history of the competition.
One of his signature moves, sometimes called the “Zidane turn,” was a variation of the Marseille turn, a dribbling skill involving a 360 spin on the pitch while avoiding the opponent and retaining control of the ball.