Sports

The Best Soccer Players from Brazil 

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Updated April 23, 2020 77.6k votes 9k voters 207.3k views 264 items

List Rules Soccer players born in Brazil or who played on the Brazilian national team.

These are the greatest Brazilian soccer players of all time according to soccer fans from around the world. It is home to some of the best footballers in the world, with many stars playing for teams all across the various American and European leagues. In fact, the most famous soccer player of all time, Pelé, hails from Brazil. But who else makes it on this list of the greatest Brazilian soccer players? See how fans voted below. If you don’t agree with them, vote for your favorite football stars or rerank the list to your liking. Please no American football players.

Searching to see where a particular player is ranked? Use the search box at the top of the list to find them! In Brazil, soccer is by far the most popular sport, with five FIFA World Cup championships under its belt. It most recently won in 2002, with a team captained by Cafu. However, it was Ronaldo that won Brazil that final, along with a Man of the Match award. So where does Ronaldo rank among the other great Brazilian footballers? Or more importantly, is he as good as or better than Pelé?

You can click on the names of these popular soccer players from Brazil in order to get more information about each one, including a short biography and positions played. If you're a sports lover then you can use this list of the greatest Brazilian soccer players ever to discover some new athletes that you might really enjoy watching.
list ordered by
1
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
poroporo20 added Forward and Midfielder from Três Corações, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈɛtsõ (w)ɐˈɾɐ̃tʃiz du nɐsiˈmẽtu]; born 23 October 1940), known as Pelé ([peˈlɛ]), is a Brazilian retired professional ...more

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#451 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time #678 of 1,344 The Greatest Minds of All Time #49 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

2
Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
poroporo20 added Forward from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Ronaldo is a Portuguese and Spanish equivalent of the name Ronald. Notable people known as Ronaldo include: Ronaldo (Brazilian footballer) (born 1976), Ronaldo Luís Nazário de ...more

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#1,343 of 1,344 The Greatest Minds of All Time #408 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time

3
Ronaldinho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Forward and Midfielder from Porto Alegre, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁonawˈdʒĩɲu ga'uʃu]) or simply Ronaldinho, is a Brazilian former professional ...more

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#359 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #359 of 477 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

4
Garrincha is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Right Wing and Midfielder from Magé, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Manuel Francisco dos Santos (28 October 1933 – 20 January 1983), nicknamed Mané Garrincha, best known as simply Garrincha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡaˈʁĩʃɐ], "little bird"), ...more

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#606 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #125 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #5 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

5
Rivaldo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
poroporo20 added Forward and Midfielder from Paulista, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Rivaldo Vítor Barbosa Ferreira (born 19 April 1972), known as Rivaldo (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁiˈvawdu]), is a Brazilian former professional footballer. He played mainly as an attacking ...more

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#1,282 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #50 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #155 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

6
Romário is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Forward from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Romário de Souza Faria (born 29 January 1966), known simply as Romário (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁoˈmaɾiu]), is a Brazilian politician who previously achieved worldwide fame as a ...more

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#340 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #33 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #15 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

7
Zico is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Playmaker and Midfielder from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Portuguese pronunciation: [aʁˈtuʁ ɐ̃ˈtũnis koˈĩbɾɐ], born 3 March 1953 in Rio de Janeiro), better known as Zico ([ˈziku]), is a Brazilian coach and former footballer, who ...more

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#419 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #56 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #15 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

8
Kaká is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Midfielder from Gama, Federal District, Brazil

Nationality: Italy, Brazil

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (Brazilian Portuguese: [hiˈkaɾdu iˈzɛksõ duˈsɐ̃tus ˈlejt͡ʃi]), born 22 April 1982, commonly known as Kaká (Portuguese: [kaˈka] (listen)) or Ricardo ...more

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#421 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #44 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #83 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

9
Roberto Rivelino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
BaruchLalaev added Midfielder from São Paulo, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Roberto Rivellino (also Rivelino, Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁoˈbɛʁtu ʁiveˈlĩnu]; Italian: [roˈbɛrto rivelˈlino]; born 1 January 1946) is a former Brazilian professional footballer. He was one of ...more

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#429 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #741 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #19 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

10
Didi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
BaruchLalaev added Midfielder from Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Didi (Portuguese pronunciation: [dʒiˈdʒi]), popular nickname for Waldyr Pereira (8 October 1928 – 12 May 2001), was a Brazilian footballer who played as a midfielder or as a forward. He played ...more

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#413 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #776 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #22 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

11
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
KyleTurner added Forward from Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar Jr. or simply Neymar, is a Brazilian professional ...more

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#1,391 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #22 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #10 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

12
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Defender from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Carlos Alberto "Capita" Torres (17 July 1944 – 25 October 2016), also known as "O Capitão do Tri", was a Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the best ...more

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#532 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #756 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #25 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

13
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Defender from São Paulo, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Marcos Evangelista de Morais (born 7 June 1970), known as Cafu [kaˈfu], is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a defender. With 142 appearances for the Brazil national team, ...more

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#363 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #31 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #4 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

14
Sócrates is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, MD (19 February 1954 – 4 December 2011), simply known as Sócrates, was a Brazilian footballer who played as an attacking ...more

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#1,414 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #85 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #13 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

15
Jairzinho is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Midfielder from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Jair Ventura Filho (born 25 December 1944), better known as Jairzinho (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒaˌiʁˈzĩɲu]), is a retired Brazilian footballer. A quick, skillful, and powerful right winger, ...more

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#403 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #238 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #24 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

16
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Defender from Juazeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil, Spain

Daniel Alves da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈdɐ̃ni ˈawvis]; born 6 May 1983) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a right-back for São Paulo FC and captains the Brazil ...more

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#94 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #36 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time #32 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players

17
Tostão is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Tom Šmíd added Winger and Forward from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade (born 25 January 1947), generally known as Tostão, is a retired Brazilian footballer who played as a forward or attacking midfielder. He is a medical ...more

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#362 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #861 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #37 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

18
Leônidas da Silva ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Forward from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Leônidas da Silva (Portuguese pronunciation: [leˈõnidɐz dɐ ˈsiwvɐ]; 6 November 1913 – 24 January 2004) was a Brazilian association footballer and commentator, who played as a ...more

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#347 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #60 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time #479 of 1,234 Every Person Who Has Been Immortalized in a Google Doodle

19
Bebeto is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Forward from Salvador, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

José Roberto Gama de Oliveira (born 16 February 1964), known as Bebeto, is a Brazilian former professional football player who played as a forward. He entered politics in the 2010 ...more

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#106 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #105 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s #38 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

20
Paulo Roberto Falc&atild... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Tom Šmíd added Midfielder from Abelardo Luz, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Paulo Roberto Falcão, or simply Falcão (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpawlu ʁoˈbɛʁtu fawˈkɐ̃w̃]; born 16 October 1953), is a Brazilian former footballer and football manager. He is ...more

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#444 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #788 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #33 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

21
Gérson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Playmaker and Midfielder from Niterói, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Gérson de Oliveira Nunes, generally known as Gérson Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʒɛʁsõ], (born 11 January 1941 in Niterói), nickname Canhotinha de ouro (literally: ...more

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#857 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #52 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

22
Marta is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Marta Forward and Midfielder from Dois Riachos, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Marta Vieira da Silva (born 19 February 1986), commonly known as Marta ([ˈmaɾtɐ]), is a Swedish-Brazilian footballer who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League and the ...more

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#1,434 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #477 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #118 of 219 The Best Female Athletes of All Time

23
Gilmar Rinaldi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
BaruchLalaev added Goalkeeper from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Nationality: Brazilian

Gilmar Luís Rinaldi (born 13 January 1959 in Erexim, RS), is a Brazilian former footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and a current football agent of such players as Adriano. Gilmar ...more
24
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Defender from Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Djalma Pereira Dias dos Santos known simply as Djalma Santos (Brazilian Portuguese: [diˈʒawmɐ ˈsɐ̃tus]; also spelled Dejalma Santos), (27 February 1929 – 23 July 2013) was a Brazilian footballer ...more

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#461 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #839 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #322 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

25
Vavá is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Brazil
Tom Šmíd added Forward from Recife, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Edvaldo Jizídio Neto (12 November 1934 – 19 January 2002), commonly known as Vavá, was a Brazilian footballer who is widely considered one of the best strikers of his generation. ...more

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#371 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #850 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time #54 of 133 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time