If there’s one football team that has captivated the eyes of viewers, it’s the Brazil national team. Brazil are the only team who have qualified for every single World Cup, dating all the way back to 1930, and they’ve produced some of the best players in the sport’s history. You can hardly walk through the streets of a Brazilian city without seeing a ball being kicked or a game of football taking place.
With such a rich footballing heritage, Brazil always has a star player in their team. We’ve picked out who we think are the top five Brazilian players of all time.
International Debut: vs. Spain (12th September 1990)
International Caps: 142
International Goals: 5
Cafu will be remembered as one of the greatest right-backs of all time. He’s the most capped Brazilian player in history and also played in three consecutive World Cup finals, between 1994 and 2002, captaining the side to success in his final one. He’s a two-time World Cup winner and won an incredible 16 of his 21 tournament matches.
International Debut: vs. Latvia (26th June 1999)
International Caps: 97
International Goals: 33
Ronaldinho will be remembered as a magician, with a mesmerising talent for dribbling as well as some phenomenal skill whilst on the ball. He was an integral part of Brazil’s World Cup winning team in 2002, mostly remembered for his 40-yard free kick against England, which knocked them out of the tournament in the quarter finals. He became the best player in the world at Barcelona and won FIFA’s World Player of the Year award back-to-back, in 2005 and 2006.
International Debut: vs. Chile (18th September 1955)
International Caps: 50
International Goals: 12
Despite being born with a deformed spine, one leg shorter than the other and both legs bowed, Garrincha wowed Brazilian fans like few others in the nation’s history. He’s a two-time World Cup winner, back in 1958 and 1962, with the second tournament showcasing the best of his talent. He won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in Chile in 1962. He lost just once in a Brazil jersey, with that defeat coming in his 50th and final international appearance.
International Debut: vs. Argentina (24th March 1994)
International Caps: 98
International Goals: 62
Ronaldo will be remembered as one of the greatest strikers of all time. Despite an injury blighted career, the Brazilian still won two World Cups and a whole host of other awards. He was Brazil’s star player in the 2002 tournament and was named World Player of the Year on three separate occasions.
International Debut: vs. Argentina (7th July 1957)
International Caps: 92
International Goals: 77
Pele is widely considered to be the greatest footballer who has ever lived. He scored 1,279 career goals, the highest of any player recognised by FIFA and is the only three-time World Cup winner.