10 best European players in history: Ronaldo takes the top spot, surpassing a group of legendary players

Recently, the prestigious sports magazine 442 announced the best European players in history. This list came not long before Euro 2024 took place, and immediately attracted attention. Famous players familiar to fans such as David Beckham (ranked 52nd), Luka Modric (ranked 18th), Thierry Henry (ranked 15th) all participated.

Below are the Top 10 best European players in history selected by 442.

10. Michel Platini (France)

In 1984, Platini had a “divine” performance to help France win the title at Euro 1984. Even though he played in midfield, Platini still managed to bag 9 goals in just 5 matches. In the club shirt, Platini also made a strong impression at Nancy, St Etienna and most prominently at Juventus.

Platini won 3 consecutive Golden Ball titles from 1983 to 1985. Unfortunately, he decided to leave football in 1986 when he was only 32 years old. If he continues to play football, Platini may pocket a higher ranking.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 1.

9. Xavi (Spain)

Barca in the period 2008-2012 was considered the best team in football history. Xavi is an indispensable pillar. With a creative mind and excellent tactical vision, Xavi at his peak brought a transforming, extremely unpredictable midfield.

During his career, Xavi pocketed 2 Euros, 1 World Cup, and won every title possible with Barca. If it weren’t for Messi and Ronaldo being so excellent, Xavi would definitely have owned the Golden Ball title.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 2.

8. Paolo Maldini (Italy)

Maldini has a 25-year career with more than 1,000 professional matches for club and national team. The certainty Maldini created in defense helped AC Milan become the most formidable team in Europe for a long time. In the 1987/1988 season, his team only had to concede 14 goals.

In the club shirt, Maldini has won every major title possible. However, unfortunately he has never once lifted the title of World Cup or Euro champion.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 3.

7. Gerd Muller (Germany)

Muller is one of the most feared goalscorers in world football. Between 1964 and 1979, he scored 565 goals in 607 appearances for Bayern Munich. More notably, during that period, teams in Germany focused on being solid in defense and it was not easy to score goals.

During the West German national team season, Muller scored 68 goals in 62 matches, including 8 hat-tricks. During his career, Muller has won one World Cup, one Euro, 2 European Cups (precursor to the European Cup), and a Golden Ball.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 4.

6. Bobby Charlton (England)

Sheet 442 rates Charlton as the greatest English player. He was an important factor in helping the Three Lions win the 1966 World Cup at home. Not long after, Charlton and MU won the European Cup.

During his time as a player, Charlton made the opponent’s defense miserable with tricky dribbles and missed shots. He won the Golden Ball in 1966 and was runner-up twice.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 5.

5. Andres Iniesta (Spain)

Iniesta is one of two players on this list who is still playing. At the age of 40, the Spanish legend is still playing football for a club in the UAE.

Like Xavi, Iniesta is the nucleus of Barca’s midfield with a series of memorable victories, notably the 6-goal win in 2009. In the national team, Iniesta also shines brightly. It was he who scored the goal in stoppage time to help Spain overcome the Netherlands to win the 2010 World Cup.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 6.

4. Zinedine Zidane (France)

Zidane seems to have magic on his feet, captivating generations with his delicate touches and genius handling situations.

It was Zidane who led the French team to win the 1998 World Cup. That same year, he also won the Golden Ball title. In 2006, even though he was no longer at his peak, he was still strong enough to help his team reach the finals before making an unforgettable headbutt into Marco Materazzi’s chest. His most memorable goal is probably the unbelievable volley in the 2002 C1 Cup final against Leverkusen.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 7.

3. Frank Beckenbauer (Germany)

In just 5 years from 1972-1976, Beckenbauer won a collection of titles that everyone dreams of, including 3 Bundeslia, 3 European Cups, World Cup, Euro and 2 Golden Balls.

At that time, he was an iron shield in the defense, making even the best attacking players at that time feel bored. Not only that, Beckenbauer also shattered the notion that defenders only need to know how to defend. During his entire career, he scored up to 98 goals, often making favorable passes that opened up opportunities for his teammates.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 8.

2. Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)

Cruyff is the soul of the Total Attack style of football that once terrorized teams around the world. He and the Netherlands reached the World Cup final. In the club shirt, Cruyff won three consecutive European championships with Ajax. He himself also pocketed 3 Golden Ball titles.

Later, after retiring, he continued to be successful as a director. He helped Barca win a memorable treble in the 1991-1992 season.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 9.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

There is not much debate about Ronaldo’s talent. Up to now, Ronaldo has pocketed nearly 900 official goals, a record in world football. It’s worth mentioning that during the first years of his career, CR7 played in the midfield.

In terms of titles, not many players can surpass the Portuguese superstar. Up to this point, CR7 has pocketed 5 C1 Cups, 5 Golden Balls, and won the Euro 2016 championship. More importantly, Ronaldo is still showing incredible performance at the age of 39 with a performance of more than 50 goals/season. In Euro 2024, Ronaldo is still called up to the Portuguese squad, promising to re-establish memorable achievements in the past with the whole team.

10 cầu thủ châu Âu xuất sắc nhất lịch sử: Ronaldo chễm chệ ngôi đầu, vượt mặt dàn cầu thủ huyền thoại - Ảnh 10.

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