Football is a game that continually evolves due to both technology and the popularity. New technology brought new gear and equipment, as well as training regimes. The increased popularity of this game brought large amounts of money into the play, and it turned players into celebrities.
This might be a good thing in one sense, but many people believe that it changed this game for worse. The best football players played during the time when the primary drive for players was the desire to play and to win, not to earn a lot of money and gain multi-million contracts with sponsors. That age of beautiful and passionate football gave birth to many legends whose only goal was to play as best as they can.
Football legends whose stories will last forever
Everyone can probably guess which player will be the first in this article. No, it isn’t Maradona, we are talking about Pele. This Brazilian player was a goal machine in his own time and in 1363 matches he scored 1281 goals. He also holds the record of the number of scored hat-tricks, and that is 92. He is also the only player that won three World Cups. It all started in 1966 when he couldn’t play due to fierce foul. On that Cup, Brazil was eliminated at the very beginning of the competition. Four years later he returned to Brazil and won his first World Cup.
Pele is not alone at the top; Diego Maradona is in his company. With number ten on his back, he scored 34 goals in only 91 games for Argentina. His total count is 258 goals in 492 matches in various competitions. One of his most spectacular goals was against England when he went solo from midfield to the goal and scored, dribbling half of the enemy team in the process. He played for six clubs throughout his career due to his personality as he always got in trouble with other players and coaches.
European football mega-stars
Europe had its share of football legends from the time when football was beautiful. Good Examples of those players are Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff.
Beckenbauer, also known as The Emperor (Der Kaiser), was German defender whose elegant style and leadership abilities transcended time. He excelled both in the club football and international level. He is known as only one out of two people who won the World Cup as a player and as a coach. When he finished playing career, his brilliance allowed him to become a successful coach.
Joan Cruyff is a Dutch player who is known as the founder and practitioner of the Total Football. This type of playing included close dribbling, high pace with the ball and also extreme technical abilities. He wasn’t just another playmaker; he was a brilliant player, who changed his playing position to confuse opponents. He could play as deep lying midfielder for half a game and then start and play the second half as a center forward. This versatility is something that people still admire.