Greatest Football (Soccer) Players Before Pelé


The Top Ten

1 Alfredo Di Stefano Alfredo Di Stefano

The only disagreement with the list maker is that there was no better player after Pele.
But I have to congratulate him for his new images as they present legends of the most popular sport in the world.

It may come across that way but this list wasn't set out go say that Pele is the best player. It was made because of not only how great he was but also how much of an icon and standout player he was. Also thank you. - ParasN2000

The greatest players before and after Pelé were Argentinian. - ParasN2000

2 Ferenc Puskas Ferenc Puskas Ferenc Puskás was a Hungarian footballer and manager, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

Greatest Hungarian player ever. - ParasN2000

3 Lev Yashin Lev Yashin Lev Ivanovich Yashin, nicknamed the "Black Spider" or the "Black Panther", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game.

He was awesome - Metal_Treasure

4 Garrincha Garrincha Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known by the nickname Garrincha, was a Brazilian footballer who played right winger and forward.

oh, yes! - Metal_Treasure

5 Stanley Matthews Stanley Matthews

Sir Stanley Matthews was an English football player. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing football, as well as being the first winner of Ballon d'Or. His professional career lasted 33 years playing as an outside right.

6 Eusebio Eusebio Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was a Portuguese footballer who played as a striker. Eusébio is considered by many as one of the greatest footballers of all time. During his professional career, he scored 733 goals in 745 matches.

He was a legend - Metal_Treasure

7 José Manuel Moreno José Manuel Moreno

Nicknamed 'El Charro', Moreno was the first Argentinian football legend. He was an inside forward and played in 5 differend countries winning 12 top league championships.He's regarded among the best 5 South American football players of 20th century.

8 Giuseppe Meazza Giuseppe Meazza
9 Ricardo Zamora Ricardo Zamora
10 Juan Alberto Schiaffino Juan Alberto Schiaffino

Best Uruguayan player ever.

The Contenders

11 Jacinto Quincoces Jacinto Quincoces
12 Héctor Scarone Héctor Scarone

The best player of the first great team in football history, the National team of Uruguay of the 20s (two Olympic gold medals, winner of the first World Cup).

13 José Leandro Andrade José Leandro Andrade

Nicknamed 'The Black Marvel' Andrade was an Uruguayan deffensive midfielder. He played for clubs in his country and Argentina and was member of the first great team in football history, the National team of Uruguay of the 20s: two gold Olympic medals, the first World Cup and three Copa America. He was recognised as being the first black international football player to play Olympic football. He was also nicknamed The Black Pearl, a name later used in reference to Pelé.

14 Didi Didi

Waldyr Pereira most known as Didi was a real legend of Brazilian football. He participated in 3 World Cups, won 2 and was the best player of one (1958).
He's regarded by many in the 5 best Brazilian players of all times with Pele, Garrincha, Zico and Ronaldo.

15 Josef Bican Josef Bican

He scored 1,468+ total goals in his career, 805+ of them in official matches. At least 36 more official goals are to be verified increasing his numbers.He's the first of all times (second in total goals is G.Muller with 1,461 and in official matches Romario with 772).
When Pele scored his 1,000th goal (1969),Franz Binder (one of the few with more than 1,000 goals) said that 'if Pele scored 1,000 goals, then Bican had scored 5,000(! ). Bican was asked about this comment and said :'who would believe me if I say that I have scored 5,000 goals? '
Josef Bican was awarded the Golden Ball by IFFHS as the greatest scorer of the 20th century.

16 Imre Schlosser Imre Schlosser

He was the first Hungarian icon and he is regarded as the best player of the world of the 1910s.
A very prolific forward scored 417 top division goals and he's still the second best of all times (since retired in 1928).

17 Arthur Friedenreich Arthur Friedenreich

He was the first Brazilian icon and one of the greatest scorers in football history. 'The Tiger' scored a total of 1,329 goals in 1,239 caps in his 26 year career. This is unofficially reported,but if it's true he's the 3nd in football history after Bican and Muller.

18 Fritz Walter Fritz Walter

One of the greatest German players, maybe the second best after Beckenbauer.
Best player of the National team of his country that won the 1954 World Cup.
He was elected by FIFA as the best German player of 20th century.

19 György Sárosi György Sárosi
20 Sándor Kocsis Sándor Kocsis
21 Tom Finney Tom Finney
22 Raymond Kopa Raymond Kopa
23 Obdulio Varela Obdulio Varela
24 Arsenio Erico
25 Ademir Marques de Menezes Ademir Marques de Menezes
26 Adolfo Pedernera Adolfo Pedernera
27 Leonidas da Silva Leonidas da Silva

One of the greatest players and scorers of the first half of 20th century, top scorer of the World Cup of 1938. He was elected also the best player of the Cup, though his team didn't manage to get to the final.

28 Zizinho Zizinho
29 Matthias Sindelar
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