World football Best Brazilian Football Players Top 15

Best Brazilian Football Players Top 15

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Brazil houses many of the planet’s skilled soccer athletes, ranging from Pele to Neymar; their impact and input have molded international soccer. Learn about the statistics and achievements of the fifteen best Brazilian football players.

15 Best Brazilian Football Players Of All Time

Here are the top 15 elite football players from Brazil. You can also read more and find out who the best football countries in the world are.

Roberto Carlos

  • Full Name: Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha
  • Birthdate: April 10, 1973
  • Birthplace: Garça, São Paulo
  • Position: Left-back/defender

Roberto Carlos began playing professionally with Palmeiras, a team from Brazil. Soon after, major European clubs became aware of his abilities.

In 1995, he transferred to the Italian team Internazionale but achieved greater success with Real Madrid where he was active in 370 matches over 11 years.

Roberto Carlos also was part of the Brazil national team, playing in 125 matches and getting a World Cup title in 2002.


This football player from Brazil was most known for his free-kick technique.

He had a magical left foot that could curve the ball in an extraordinary way, which was very difficult for many goalkeepers to handle.

Cafú – One of the Best Brazilian Football Players

  • Full Name: Marcos Evangelista de Moraes
  • Birthdate: June 7, 1970
  • Birthplace: Itaquaquecetuba, São Paulo
  • Position: Right-back/defender

Cafú began playing football professionally with São Paulo FC in 1989, yet he became widely recognized internationally after moving to AS Roma.

He would later also play for AC Milan. In 1994, Cafú won the award of South American football player of the year.

In addition to this distinction, he maintains the record for the most participation with Brazil’s national football team and has helped secure victory in two World Cup championships.


  • Full Name: Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira Gomes
  • Birthdate: April 19, 1972
  • Birthplace: Recife, Pernambuco
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder

Rivaldo has had a rough start in life. He was raised in a low-income area where he and his siblings sold food on the street to earn money.

When he was 16, the local team Santa Cruz de Recife found him. To go to his football training, he walked 12 miles every day because buying a bus ticket was too expensive for him.

With gratitude, his effort was fruitful, and he achieved a move to FC Barcelona where he had much success and won many trophies.


  • Full Name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
  • Birthdate: April 22, 1982
  • Birthplace: Gama, Federal District
  • Position: Midfielder

Like many football players from Brazil, Kaká was part of some very good teams in Europe.

He is best recognized for his time with AC Milan, during which he played seven seasons and secured five championships, including the Club World Cup and UEFA Champions League.


He played for the Brazilian national team in three World Cup tournaments and won one of them. After playing in Europe, Kaká joined the Orlando City team in MLS and was with them for three years. He then made public his decision to retire in 2017.


  • Full Name: Jair Ventura Filho
  • Birthdate: December 25, 1944
  • Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro
  • Position: Attacker

Jairzinho was raised in a Rio de Janeiro favela, and football served as his means to flee from the real world.

Fortunately for him, he improved a lot and got an opportunity to play with Botafogo – this is the professional football team from where he comes.

Jairzinho was part of a golden generation of the Brazilian national football team. He won the 1970 World Cup alongside Brazilian football players such as Pelé and Rivelino.


  • Full Name: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
  • Birthdate: February 5, 1992
  • Birthplace: Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo
  • Position: Left winger

Neymar is the first Brazilian football player on this list still active.

He is regarded as one of the top professional football players in this century, that is why Paris Saint-Germain from France spent a surprising sum of 222 million euros ($230 million) to buy him from Brazil in the year 2017.

Neymar won two championships of La Liga, got three Copa del Rey awards, secured one title in the Champions League, and accumulated several other victories across leagues in Brazil and France.


In the World Cup of 2022, Neymar achieved his seventy-seventh goal for Brazil’s football team, tying him with the famous Pelé. As he continues to play, he will likely surpass others and become the highest goal scorer for Seleção.

Although he has a remarkable record, he still hasn’t secured a World Cup trophy for Brazil. Since starting in 2010, he’s participated in more than 100 matches for his country’s team. We look forward to him playing more games and hopefully claiming his inaugural global championship.


  • Full Name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
  • Birthdate: March 21, 1980
  • Birthplace: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
  • Position: Attacking midfielder

After he became known in Europe, many were impressed by his amazing ability to dribble and do tricks with the ball. Defenders did not like to face him, and I can see the reason for that.

This football player from Brazil spent ten years in Europe, where he was part of the teams Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona and AC Milan.

In addition to winning in the national leagues and the UEFA Champions League, he can also include a World Cup triumph on his list of achievements.


  • Full Name: Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira
  • Birthdate: February 19, 1954
  • Birthplace: Belém, Pará
  • Position: Midfielder

Sócrates might not be the first Brazilian football player you think of, likely because he stopped playing professionally following the 1986 World Cup, where he was the captain of Brazil’s team.

He is called ‘O Doctor,’ meaning ‘the Doctor’ in Portuguese, because he plays football professionally and works as a doctor.


Doctor participated in 63 games representing his country, but sadly he never captured a World Cup victory.

A title he did win was South American football player of the year in 1983. Sócrates passed away on December 4, 2011, at the age of 57.


  • Full Name: Romário de Souza Faria
  • Birthdate: January 29, 1966
  • Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro
  • Position: Attacker

When Romário was 19 years old, he started playing professional football for Vasco da Gama, the team from where he comes in Rio de Janeiro.

His performance got attention, and they chose him for Brazil’s national team to participate in the 1988 Olympics.

The Olympics were the moment he got recognized because, after them, PSV Eindhoven from Netherlands decided to purchase the player from Brazil.

He stayed with PSV for five years, in that time, he scored 98 goals and got three championships in the league and one national cup victory.

In 1993, Romário moved to play for the big Spanish club FC Barcelona and he was there for two years. He won the World Cup of 1994 playing for Brazil’s team in that time too.

Rómario stopped playing football in 2010, and since 2015, he has been serving as a senator for the state of Rio de Janeiro.


  • Full Name: Roberto Rivellino
  • Birthdate: January 1, 1946
  • Birthplace: São Paulo City, São Paulo
  • Position: Midfielder

His name, Rivellino, does sound like it is from Italy, and that’s correct. He is the child of Italian people who immigrated to Brazil.

Although his career finished in 1981, he remains regarded as a top Brazilian football player.

He contributed to Brazil’s victory in the 1970 World Cup, participating in almost all matches and scoring thrice.

He spent his entire football career in the Brazilian Serie A before moving to play for Al-Hilal, a club in Saudi Arabia, where he stayed some years until deciding to retire.

Following his career in professional football, Rivellino maintained a connection with the sport by taking up roles as both a commentator and coach.


  • Full Name: Arthur Antunes Coimbra
  • Birthdate: March 3, 1953
  • Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro
  • Position: Attacking midfielder

Zico is commonly regarded as one of Brazil’s finest football talents. His skill was such that he earned the nickname ‘the white Pelé.

He is recognized too as a top footballer globally who has never claimed victory in the World Cup. Although he never won a World Cup, this does not imply his trophy cabinet is empty.

During his professional time, Zico has won five team championships and more than 15 personal awards, such as being named the World Football Player of the Year in 1983.


  • Full Name: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
  • Birthdate: September 18, 1976
  • Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro
  • Position: Attacker

It is important to note that this football player from Brazil is recognized as one of the greatest players ever. 

Ronaldo has been named World Football Player of the Year three times, and they call him ‘O Fenômeno,’ which translates to ‘The Phenomenon.’

Like Romário from Brazil, Ronaldo – one of the best Brazilian footballers also moved from Brazil to join the Dutch team PSV and was quite successful there.


Several years later, when he was 20 years old, he became a player for FC Barcelona and during the Europacup II final, his goal determined the victory.

Besides his football skills, Ronaldo was famous for another reason. In the 2002 World Cup, he showed up on the field with a unique hairstyle – his head was completely shaved except for a small half-moon shape at the front.

We can’t be sure it was because of his new hairstyle, but in the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldo scored goals in both the semifinal and final matches, helping his nation secure the World Cup victory.


  • Full Name: Manuel Francisco dos Santos
  • Birthdate: October 28, 1933
  • Birthplace: Magé, Rio de Janeiro
  • Position: Attacker

Garrincha’s tale is a complex one; he was an amazing footballer who won many awards, and he also secured victory in two World Cups during the years 1958 and 1962.

However, his achievements had a cost. Outside of football, Garrincha drank a lot and had several car crashes. This Brazilian soccer player passed away in 1983 as a result of cirrhosis.

This Brazilian football player continued to hold a unique position in Brazilian football supporters’ hearts, as demonstrated by the many who attended his funeral.

His first team’s stadium, Esporte Clube Pau Grande, is still named after him: Mané Garrincha.

Marta – The Best Female Brazilian Football Player To Date

  • Full Name: Marta Vieira da Silva
  • Birthdate: February 19, 1986
  • Birthplace: Dois Riachos, Alagoas
  • Position: Attacker

Now, after all these male football players from Brazil, it’s time for a female. Marta has played professional football since 2000 and participated in five world cups as part of Brazil’s Women Football Team.

She has won many personal awards, and it is important to say that Marta was recognized as the Best FIFA Women’s Player from 2006 through 2010, and again in 2018.


Marta has greatly influenced women’s football over the last twenty years and is a role model for many girls all around the world.

Pelé – The Best Brazilian Football Player

  • Full Name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
  • Birthdate: October 23, 1940
  • Birthplace: Três Corações, Minas Gerais
  • Position: Attacker

Last in this list, but certainly not of less importance, is Pelé, who stands as one of the most well-known figures from Brazil.

He is considered the best football player from Brazil. In his youth, Pelé often played football in the streets; that’s where he learned how to play.

When he was 15, he started playing for the professional football team Santos and spent most of his career there. Despite being just 15 years old, he succeeded in scoring during his initial match.

It soon was evident that Pelé was different from the others. He demonstrated this in his first World Cup in 1958, at 17.

Brazil triumphed in the competition, so Pelé became the youngest-ever winner of the World Cup. This Brazilian player would secure victory in three world cups altogether – a record that remains unbroken until now.

Pelé, after nearly twenty years of playing with Santos, moved to play for New York Cosmos. He spent two years there before he stopped playing professional football.

Over the last few years, Pelé has had problems with his health. In 2021, they took him to the hospital for a tumor in his large intestine, and then again in November of 2022, he went to the hospital one more time.

On the 29th of December, 2022, Pelé, who is considered one of football’s all-time bests, passed on in the company of his loved ones.

Conclusions of Best Brazilian Football Players

Brazil has a strong history in football, giving rise to many famous Brazilian football players who have each added something special to the game worldwide. 

Players like Pele with his important successes and Neymar with his current skill show great talent, hard work, and love for the game that make them real symbols of football from Brazil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered the best Brazilian football player of all time❓

Pele is widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian football player ever.

Which Brazilian football player has won the most World Cups❓

Pele, with three World Cup titles to his name.

Are there any Brazilian female football players on the list of greats❓

Yes, Marta Vieira da Silva, commonly known as Marta, is celebrated as one of the best female Brazilian football players.

How many Brazilian players have won both the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup❓

Notable players like Cafú, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo have achieved victories in both prestigious tournaments.

Who holds the record for the most appearances in the Brazilian national team❓

Cafú holds the record with the most appearances for Brazil’s national football team.

Which Brazilian player is known for his exceptional free-kick technique❓

Roberto Carlos is famous for his powerful and accurate free-kicks.

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