Player Features

Barça boasts the most players in a Top-10 list of the greatest Europeans of all time

The magazine Four Four Two, known for creating football rankings, has released its list of the 100 best European footballers of all time. Notably, FC Barcelona has the most players in the Top-10, with three. Juventus also has three stars on the list, but Barcelona stands out for having the most memorable legends in the history of European soccer. The editor acknowledges that the rankings are subjective, with Cristiano Ronaldo topping the list ahead of Johan Cruyff. Here’s the top 10:

Saint Etienne/Juventus

Michael Platini

“Platini had a remarkable club career, winning the European Cup and multiple league titles with Nancy, St Etienne, and Juventus. However, his true legacy lies in his international achievements. An attacking midfielder known for his technique and skill, Platini led France to victory in the 1984 Euro Cup with nine goals in five games. His three consecutive Ballon d’Or trophies from 1983 to 1985 showcase his impact on football.”

FC Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez

“Xavi played a crucial role in Barcelona’s success from 2008 to 2012. His tactical intelligence and precise passing were instrumental in guiding the team to victory. He also contributed to Spain’s European Championship wins and World Cup triumph. Xavi is one of three players to have been in the top three for the Ballon d’Or multiple times.”


Paolo Maldini

“Maldini’s 25-year career with 1,028 appearances for club and country is truly remarkable. Spending every season with AC Milan, he showcased immense ability by excelling as a right-footed player in the left-back position.”

Bayern Munich

Gerd Müller

“When it comes to pure finishers, Gerd Müller stands out as the top dog. Known as the original number 9, Müller was a true goal-scoring machine who earned the nickname Der Bomber for his ability to find the back of the net with incredible consistency. Between 1964 and 1979, the German legend scored an impressive 565 goals in just 607 games for Bayern Munich. But what’s even more remarkable is his performance on the international stage: in 62 appearances for West Germany, Müller netted a jaw-dropping 68 goals, including eight hat-tricks. His illustrious career includes a World Cup, a European Championship, three European Cups, and a Ballon d’Or.”

Manchester United

Bobby Charlton

“Bobby Charlton is widely regarded as the greatest player in English history. A key member of the Busby Babes, Charlton’s crowning moment came when he lifted the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. He later helped Manchester United secure the European Cup in the same stadium a few years later. Charlton was known for his powerful shots with both feet and his ability to dribble past defenders effortlessly.

FC Barcelona

Andres Iniesta

“While it may seem a bit biased to say, it’s undeniable that Iniesta’s passing skills and close ball control are exceptional. His tactical awareness always kept him ahead of his opponents. He scored crucial goals in key moments, like in the 2010 World Cup final against Holland and in the 2009 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. Iniesta, a versatile playmaker, was praised for his balance, ball control, and agility in tight spaces. Playing alongside Lionel Messi, Xavi, and Sergio Busquets at Barcelona certainly helped him shine. Iniesta is the only player in history to be named man of the match in a World Cup final, a European Championship final, and a Champions League final.”

Bordeaux/Juventus/R. Madrid

Zinedine Zidane

“Ah, Zizou. It’s hard to believe that a man so tall and slender could be so graceful and elegant on the football field. His steps were precise, his ball control was elite, and his mind saw things on the field that others couldn’t even understand. Yes, he was a flawed genius, as seen in his headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final, but then again, aren’t all creative types a bit flawed? He won the 1998 Ballon d’Or, France won the World Cup, and he lifted many trophies during his time at Juventus and Real Madrid. Hampden Park, Scotland, showcased the peak of Zidane’s illustrative quality. In the Champions League final, with the ball launched into the night sky by Roberto Carlos on the left wing in the 45th minute.”


Franz Beckenbauer

“Der Kaiser won everything between 1972 and 1976: three Bundesliga titles, three European Cups, the World Cup, the European Championship, and two Ballon d’Ors. Beckenbauer, a natural leader, led his Bayern Munich and Germany teams to finals and trophies thanks to his dominant ability. He started in midfield before pioneering the modern ‘sweeper’ role, a position he is credited with inventing in attacks. Beckenbauer scored 98 goals in 754 club appearances, showcasing his brilliance, calmness, and composure even in high-pressure situations with his unmatched game reading.”

Ajax/FC Barcelona/Feyenoord

Johan Cruyff

For the younger generations, Johan Cruyff will always be remembered for that iconic turn he made during the 1974 World Cup. For the older folks, he is known as the ultimate footballer. Cruyff was a true genius. Technique isn’t just about being able to juggle a ball 1,000 times. Anyone can do that with practice. It’s about being able to pass the ball with precision and speed to your teammate’s foot. It’s no wonder that Cruyff is considered one of the most influential figures in football history, given his impact as both a player and a coach. Starting as a center-forward, Cruyff would drop deep and move around to disrupt defenders. He unintentionally became the first false number 9, influencing modern players even today. His technical skills were unmatched, dribbling past opponents with grace and scoring goals with ease, often not getting the credit he deserved. But it was his intelligence that truly set him apart from the rest.

Sporting Portugal/Man U/R. Madrid/Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the last few years of his career, things may not have gone all that well for Cristiano Ronaldo: Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d’Or to virtually end the debate about who is the greatest player of all time, with the Argentinian also adding a World Cup trophy. But, despite being surpassed by his footballing nemesis, the Portuguese striker and his achievements simply cannot be overlooked when it comes to the greatest European players of all time.

This content has been translated and adapted from the Spanish version of the digital newspaper

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button