These were the five footballers who defined the game for the generations to come!
5. Hristo Stoichkov
Hristo was the brightest star of the Golden Bulgarian generation. Stoichkov was one of the deadliest strikers who had phenomenal skills. Hristo will always be remembered as one of the best strikers of all time. A Ballon d’Or Winner in 1994, the Bulgarian was named by Pele as one of the greatest living footballers of all time. In 455 games he scored 220 goals for his club and nation, a feat that won him the award of Bulgarian Player of the Year an astounding five times in a row. Hristo was powerful, physically strong and technically gifted player, Stoichkov was also known for his sudden acceleration coupled with small dribbles at immense speed. He certainly redefined the way football was played!
Eusebio was probably the first African born footballing superstar. Eusebio was also possibly the best European footballer of his time. Eusebio was completely ahead of his times, he was a 21st century prototype striker. Eusebio was a striker who could leave defenders trailing in his wake with a fearsome right foot and sudden bursts of speed, he brought up Portugal on the football map with his performances. He was a complete treat to watch and his energy levels, speed and passion for the game was truly unmatched!
3. Johan Cryuff
Johan was one of the gentleman footballers of all time. A true sportsman who had all the qualities and yet was grounded. A three time Ballon d’Or, Cryuff not only revolutionized Dutch football but he also showed that he was one of the greatest footballers of all time.
He was so influential to the game that he became an integral part of a football philosophy known as Total Football explored by Rinus Michels. It contained an influential tactical theory of football in which any outfield player could take over the role of any other player in a team.
Apart from his great dribbling abilities, the Dutch legend was also well known for his switching of positions throughout the field. Cryuff created his own style of football with his ability to pop up wherever he could on the field for his team and he truly modernized the game!
2. Diego Maradona!
If football today is known as a global worldwide sport today, it is because of a few players who defined the game to its best and Diego is one such legend who actually made this game lovable and famous worldwide. On the field, Maradona was just a treat to watch. Maradona was a footballer who was known for his exceptional vision, passing, ball control, dribbling, sudden bursts of speed, lightning fast reflexes and most importantly for his flamboyance on and off the field, Maradona has been a role model for a whole generation of football lovers all across the globe. Maradona truly personified the game’s spirit of joy and adventure. Diego had the ability to dribble past anyone and everyone and also score goals at his will!
Still many argue and think on it that, whether Football as a game was bigger or was Pele bigger than the sport itself. Who knew that in the 1958 World Cup, a 17 year and 239 day old Brazilian striker would emerge as probably the greatest prodigy of all time. With his lightning pace, effortless grace, immense poise, impressive power and most importantly supreme intelligence, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, fondly known as Pele, is probably one of the greatest footballers the game has ever witnessed. Not only did Pele win everything with the Brazil team, he also inspired a whole generation of youngsters across the world through his performances. It was and it still is very difficult to imagine a striker who scored goals with such ease, irrespective of the pedigree of the opposition. Pele has also won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Pele is also the only player in the world to achieve such a feat, Pele also holds the Guinness World record for being the highest goal scorer of all time, scoring a stunning 1281 goals in 1363 games.
Note- The article is contributed by http://footyjokes.net/