Top Footballers by Country
Who is the best footballer from each country in the world? That’s a very big question. If you’re a football fan, you will surely know that, for example, the top Brazilian footballer is Pele, or the top Argentinian footballer, is either Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi. But what about other countries?
Who is the best Afghan football player, for instance, or who is the best footballer from Bolivia? In fact, there are more than 190 countries in the world, and neither we can or have the authority nor it is within our readers’ patience to mention all country’s best footballers here.
Who are the best footballers from each country in the world?
Of course, we try to cover as many nations as possible and that includes not only top nations in the football world but also those that are often overlooked and you might be curious to know about their best footballers. Our criteria for picking a footballer as the
best footballer from each country
we mention here is the number of trophies a footballer has won - both individual and club or international ones and by a wide margin in regard to other footballers in his nation - and the fact that a footballer is a legendary one or not.
Based on these criteria there might be more than one top footballer for some countries. It’s no bad since the best footballers from each country mentioned here are somehow or other at the same level and naming one and overlooking the other may give rise to controversy, especially when it comes to top nations in the world of football. So, we, here, both mention legendary and best current soccer players from each country.
Unlike some other nations which there might be some argument about who really is their top footballer of all time, Brazil’s top footballer of all time is by no doubt Pele. Some people even call him the best footballer ever in the history of football. Pele is not only a legendary footballer but also has set a number of individual records during his career.
One of these records is the Guinness world record of most career goals which belongs to Pele with 1283 goals. In fact, he’s the only footballer in the world to have scored more than 1000 goals, but again, they say Pele has only officially scored 767 goals and is among the top scorers in football history not the top scorer ever - he’s actually the third top scorer in football history. We should also here name other footballers like Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Zico as top Brazilian footballers ever, though they are not as big as Pele.
Argentina (Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi)
Both of’em have won a number of individual and club trophies withLionel Messi
having a greater share of club trophies than Maradona, but and by no means, this is going to deprive Maradona from being the top Argentinian footballer in history.
Just for your information both Maradona and Messi have won more than 40 individual trophies and titles during their footballing careers and both of’em have also won at least one Ballon d'Or trophy during such time with Messi having won the same prize six times during his career which is more than those of any other footballer in history.
Despite all this, he’s not still as big a footballer as Maradona. And we should also here name Gabriel Batistuta, Javier Mascherano, Daniel Passarella, Sergio Aguero, Mario Kempes, and Claudia Caniggia as other top Argentinian footballers.
Germany (Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Gerd Muller)
Although there are a number of top German footballers like Jurgen Klinsmann, Miroslav Klose, Sepp Maier, Phillip Lahm, Michael Ballack, and Lother Matthaus, not mentioned above in the title, the trio above are remembered as the top legendary German footballers in history, in fact, alongside Sepp Maier.
It is not the trophies they have won during their careers that counts but the sole fact of them being legendary German footballers, although the trophies they have won are also more or less as many as the trophies other top German footballers mentioned above have won. All the three served the top German club, Bayern Munich, during their careers and even Gerd Muller was namedBundesliga
top scorer in 7 seasons.
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France (Michel Platini, Zinedine Zidane)
Two top French footballers in the history of football: Michel Platini andZinedine Zidane
. Who doubts they are not the top footballers of their country? In fact, no one, despite the fact that there have also been other top French footballers like Thierry Henry, Didier Deschamps, Eric Kantona, and Lilian Thuram.
Zinedine Zidane is one of the most and perhaps the most decorated French footballer in the history of football with more than 50 club and individual trophies won both as a manager and player, while Michel Platini is the three-time winner of the Ballon d'Or trophy in 3 consecutive years, namely 1983, 1984, and 1985, just to name one of his more-than-30 trophies that he won during his career.
Italy (Gianluigi Buffon, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero)
Again a trio; we and probably all football fans know thatGianluigi Buffon
is the best goalkeeper Italy has ever had in history. He has won more than 40 individual awards - actually more than any other Italian goalkeeper in history - and has set more than 60 records more than 5 of them alone relate to the number of clean sheets he has collected.
And Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero? They are also among the most decorated and indeed the most beloved Italian footballers ever with although not as many records as Buffon but more than 10 records each. We should here also name the legendary goalkeeper, Dino Zoff, Franco Baresi, Roberto Baggio, Paulo Maldini, Paulo Rossi, and Fabbio Cannavaro as some of the other top Italian footballers.
England (David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Sir Bobby Charlton)
If you just consider the number of trophies and titles won plus the number of records set, then no other footballer in English football is in front David Beckham. Even among the trio mentioned above, David Beckham has won more club trophies and individual titles and has set more records plus that he’s also the winner of some orders and special awards even more than Sir Bobby Charlton.
And after Beckham come Wayne Rooney and Sir Bobby Charlton as the top English footballers ever. They have also won a number of individual titles and club trophies plus that Sir Bobby Charlton is one of the few English footballers to have won the Ballon d'Or trophy - actually in 1966.
However, naming these three doesn’t mean that English football has not produced other great footballer like Michael Owen - also one of the English footballers to have won the Ballon d'Or trophy, Frank Lampard, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, and Gary Neville.
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Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Eusebio)
If we were to name the
best current soccer player from each country
, then we would surely name Cristiano Ronaldo as the best current Portuguese footballer. But in general, the trio mentioned above in the title are the best Portuguese footballers concerning the number of trophies they have won.
Both Figo and Eusebio have won more or less the same number of trophies asRonaldo
with Eusebio also being considered as a legendary footballer. These are the three top Portuguese footballers, however, that doesn’t mean Portugal hasn’t seen other top footballers in its history; footballers like Rui Costa, Bruno Fernandes, Deco, Jao Moutinho, Joao Felix, Pauleta, and Joao Pinto.
Spain (Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas)
Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Iker Casillas; these are the top Spanish footballers and also the most decorated ones, although not by a wide margin compared to other top footballers from Spain. That actually means Spain has produced some other top players than the ones mentioned in the title like Raul, Sergio Ramos, Fernando Hierro, Carlos Puyol, Fernando Torres, Pep Guardiola, and Andoni Zubizaretta.
However, the top Spanish footballers mentioned in the title have won more trophies and titles not to mention that Iker Casillas is also among the Spanish footballers with the most number of records if he’s not the one with most records. In fact, in terms of the records set, we could call him the Spanish Buffon! He set 27 records during his recently-ended career some of which he shares with the great Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon.
Uruguay (Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani)
Top Uruguayan footballers, Diego Forlan,Luis Suarez
, and Edinson Cavani have won more titles and trophies than any other Uruguayan footballer, especially Luis Suarez who has won more individual trophies than the other two top Uruguayan footballers, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani.
Luis Suarez has actually won 38 individual titles and trophies but he has never won a Ballon d'Or trophy during his career. His best record concerning the top-rated trophy is finishing fourth in 2016.
Sweden (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)
By far the best Swedish footballer ever, although there are also other great Swedish footballers in history like Henrik Larson, Thomas Ravelli, Gunnar Nordahl - he’s actually thetop AC Millan scorer of all time
with 221 goals scored for them, Martin Dahlin, and Thomas Brolin.
We say “by far” because the number of individual trophies and titles Ibrahimovic has won is actually around 5 times higher than the number of trophies other top Swedish footballers have won. He really deserves to be the top Swedish footballer ever!
Netherlands (Johan Cryuff)
With Lots of and lots of trophies and titles to his name both as a manager and player, Johan Cryuff is undoubtedly the best footballer Netherlands has ever seen. He’s indeed one of the legendary footballers as big as Pele and Maradona, and in some belief, he’s even the greatest footballer the whole world has ever seen.
Although Cryuff is a big name in the Dutch football, that doesn’t mean Netherlands has not produced other great footballers. In fact, the following footballers are also among the
top Dutch footballers
, but they are not as big as Cryuff: Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Edwin van der Sar, Frank Rijkaard, and Ruud Gullit.
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USA (London Donavan)
The best American footballer in terms of the number of individual trophies won, London Donavan is also one of the best players the American major league, MLS, has ever seen. Although Donavan never won a European league title or cup with the European teams he served during his career, the number of individual titles and trophies he collected are by far higher than other American footballers.
Maybe Donavan is the best American footballer ever, however, the American football has also produced other great like Clint Dempsey, Christian Pulsic - he served Chelsea during his career, Michael Bradley, and Brian McBride.
Finland (Sami Hyypia, Jari Litmanen)
Top Finnish footballers in terms of the number of individual trophies won and one more factor; just guess! That is the number of trophies they have won with top European clubs. Of course, Jari Limanen is in front of Sami Hyypia in both regards, however, Sami Hyypia is also in front of the rest of Finnish footballers in the same regards.
Jari Litmanen servedLiverpool
and Ajax during his career; with the former he won 5 trophies and with the latter 5 league titles and 9 cups and trophies. This is as Sami Hyypia won a total of 10 cups and trophies only with Liverpool.
Cameroon (Samuel Eto’o, Roger Milla)
Several Cameroonian footballers have played in major European leagues, but to play in a major European league and win the league title is another story! This is what actually the top Cameroonian footballer, Samuel Eto’o, has done: He won threeLa Liga
titles with Barcelona and one Serie A title with Inter Milan plus a number of other Spanish and Italian cups and trophies with the same teams.
Eto’o has also won the most number of individual trophies and titles. And why do we name Roger Milla as one of the top Cameroonian footballers? Because not only he’s a legendary Cameroonian footballer but also he has won a number of trophies and titles not less than other Cameroonian footballers if not more.
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Denmark (Peter Schmeichel, Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup, Christian Eriksen)
Among the four top Danish footballers mentioned above Peter Schmeichel has won the most number of individual titles and club trophies, although not by a wide margin. He’s one of the legendary Danish footballers and indeed the best goalkeeper Denmark has ever had with more than 20 individual titles to his name - actually 28 - one of which is Save of the Decade in 1997.
Schmeichel also won 23 club trophies during his career 15 of which were with the Premier League club, Manchester United. We have also Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup and Christian Eriksen as top Danish footballers here with 13, 17, and 21 individual titles and 14, 11, and 8 club trophies respectively. And these club trophies were actually won with top European clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Ajax, andTottenham Hotspur
Poland (Robert Lewandowski)
By far the
best Polish footballer
ever, Robert Lewandowski has won more individual and more club trophies than any other Polish footballer. In fact, the number of individual trophies and titles Lewandowski has won are around 5 times more than other Polish footballers.
has actually won more than 50 individual trophies and titles among which are 8 Polish Footballer of the Year titles 7 of them are consecutive. Although Robert Lewandowski is the best Polish footballer ever in history, that doesn’t mean Poland has not produced other great footballers; footballers like Zbigniew Boniek, Kazimierz Deyna, and Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Hungary (Ferenc Puskas)
The top Hungarian footballer both in terms of the number of individual and club trophies won, Ferenc Puskas is a passed footballer who managed to win more than 20 individual trophies and titles during his career. He also won 5 La Liga titles and 5 Spanish cups during the time he servedReal Madrid
No other Hungarian footballer has won as many trophies as Puskas, although there are two other Hungarian footballers who are somehow near Puskas in terms of the trophies won: Florian Albert and Gyorgy Sarosi with 19 and 13 individual titles respectively.
Australia (Tim Cahill)
While there are other top Australian footballers like Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell why do we name Tim Cahill as the best Australian footballer ever? You know what? Because not only Tim Cahill has had a number of achievements other Australian footballers including Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell hasn’t but also he has won more individual titles than any other Australian footballer.
However and despite the fact we mentioned above, still Australian footballers like Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer, and Mathew Ryan could be considered as the second best Australian footballers because they have also gained a number of both club and individual trophies and titles during their careers.
South Korea (Son Heung-min, Park Ji-sung, Cha Bum-kun)
The three top South Korean footballers with two of them having served top Premier League clubs likeManchester United
and Tottenham Hotspur and the other one having earned a number of individual and club trophies as a manager, in fact, almost more than any other South Korean footballer ever.
Son Heung-min and Park Ji-sung; these are the two top South Korean footballers who have served Premier League clubs during their careers with Son Heung-min having won more individual trophies and titles than any other South Korean footballer and Park Ji-sung in front of him concerning the number of club trophies he has won most of which he has actually won with Manchester United.
And as mentioned above, the other South Korean footballer who has won the most number of individual titles and club trophies and set three records in South Korean football is Cha Bum-kun.
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Paraguay (Roque Santa Cruz)
The best Paraguayan footballer in terms of the number of club trophies won and the top European clubs served, Roque Santa Cruz has actually served the top Premier League club, Manchester City, and the top Bundesliga club,Bayern Munich
, during his career.
He has won 13 club trophies with Bayern Munich and 7 Paraguayan Primera Division titles with Paraguayan clubs which sums up to 20 club trophies and is almost more than the club trophies any other Paraguayan footballer has won.
However, in terms of the individual titles, we should say there are other Paraguayan footballers like Jose Cardozo, Salvador Cabanas, and Oscar Cardozo who have won more individual titles than Santa Cruz - though not by more than 5 titles - but none of these players served a Premier League or Bundesliga club during their careers let alone winning a trophy with them.
China (Wu Lei, Zheng Zhi)
If you just consider the number of club and individual trophies won, we should say Zheng Zhi is the best Chinese footballer ever. He has won 15 individual titles and 20 club trophies during his footballing career which is altogether more than any other Chinese footballer. And what has Wu Lei done to deserve to be one of the best Chinese footballers in history?
Besides Wu Lei has won the same number of individual titles as Zheng Zhi, many Chinese believe that he opened a new chapter in the Chinese football by becoming the first Chinese footballer ever to score against the top La Liga club, Barcelona - he actually came on as a substitute for Espanyol in a game againstBarcelona
in January 2020 and equalized the game by scoring a goal at 88th minute. However, considering only the club trophies won, there are other Chinese footballers like Sun Jihai, Feng Xiaoting, and Gao Lin who are in front of Wu Lei.
Greece (Angelos Charisteas, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Mitroglou, Antonis Nikopolidis)
Picking the best Greek footballer ever based on the number of trophies won is not an easy job, since top Greek footballers have won more or less the same number of trophies. So what is our criteria here? Both having played for top European clubs and won trophies with them and the number of individual titles. If we consider the latter, then the best Greek footballer will be Kostas Mitroglou with 5 individual titles - more than the titles any other top Greek footballer has won.
If we consider the former - we mean having played for major European clubs and won trophies with them, then Angelos Charisteas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos come first since both have played at least half of their careers if not more for top European clubs likeAjax
, Werder Bremen, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, and they have won almost all their club trophies with the aforementioned clubs.
And what about Antonis Nikopolidis? He’s the best goalkeeper Greece has ever had. He has won more than 20 club trophies indeed with Greek clubs and was named Greek Best Goalkeeper in 8 seasons 7 of which was consecutive. This is the record not yet broken by any other Greek goalkeeper.
Belgium (Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard)
In terms of the number of individual titles won, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are the best footballers Belgium has ever had. These two have won more than 30 individual titles and also a handful of league titles and cups with the top Premier League clubs,Manchester City
and Chelsea and also Real Madrid and Lille.
However, these are not the only great players Belgium has ever produced. Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, and Thibaut Courtois have also won a number of individual titles during their careers, and although not as much asKevin De Bruyne
and Eden Hazard, they are very close and in this regard could be called the second top Belgian footballers ever after De Bruyne and Hazard.
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Norway (Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Martin Ødegaard, Erling Haaland)
Just like top Greek footballers, top footballers from Norway have also won more or less the same number of individual titles and club trophies, however the trio mentioned above in the title have won more individual trophies than other top Norwegian footballers.
And among these three Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the only one who served the top Premier League club, Manchester United, and for a period of 11 years making 235 appearances and scoring 91 goals for them in the process. That means he was almost a key player for Manchester United and not the type kept on subs bench.
Romania (Gheorghe Hagi)
The best Romanian footballer ever, Gheorghe Hagi has won more individual titles than any other Romanian footballer in history - actually around 20 - and also the number of club trophies he has won is more or less the same as the number of trophies other top Romanian footballers have won.
Hagi is among the few Romanian footballers who served both top La Liga clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, during his career, if not the only one. Despite this, we cannot say he is the only great footballer from Romania. These are some other top footballers from Romania: Gheorghe Popescu, Miodrag Belodedici, Dan Petrescu - he has won more trophies than Hagi as a manager, and Cristian Chivu.
Ghana (Michael Essien)
Top Ghanaian footballer both in terms of the number of individual titles and club trophies won, Michael Essien may be behind some other top Ghanian footballers like Samuel Kuffour and Kwadwo Asamoah by one club trophy but no other Ghanaian footballer including the two top ones mentioned above has won as many individual and club trophies altogether as him.
The other top Ghanaian footballer - in fact former Ghanian footballer - who has won as many individual titles as Essien but not as many club trophies as him is the 56-year-old Abedi Ayew Pele; and, not all his club trophies have been won with European clubs while Essien has won all his club trophies with top European clubs.
The other two top Ghanaian footballers worthy to be mentioned here are the ones mentioned above: Samuel Kuffour and Kwadwo Asamoah. These two have won more club trophies than Essien but not as many individual titles as him.
Nigeria (Jay Jay Okocha, John Obi Mikel, Nwankwo Kanu)
If you consider only the individual titles won as a factor, we should say Jay Jay Okocha is the best Nigerian in front of almost all Nigerian footballers with 15 individual titles if not in front of all of them. But if you consider the club trophies won - we mean club trophies with top European clubs, then first Nwankwo Kanu and then John Obi Mikel are in front.
The two top Nigerian footballers mentioned above - we mean Nwankwo Kanu and John Obi Mikel - have won around 10 club trophies with top European clubs, Chelsea, Ajax, Inter Milan, andArsenal
. They have also won a handful of individual titles but not as many as Jay Jay Okocha. And if we were to name the best current soccer player from each country in this post, we could name Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi, and Victor Moses as the top current Nigerian footballers.
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Egypt (Mohamed Salah)
By far the
best Egyptian footballer
ever, Mohamed Salah has won more than 30 individual titles during his career which is at least 3 times higher than the number of individual titles other top Egyptian footballers have won. And most of these titles are European including Premier League and Liverpool ones.
is actually an Egyptian footballer of European caliber. They call him “the Egyptian Messi” for the magic he creates on the pitch. He’s also proved a prolific goalscorer for Liverpool. Salah is indeed a world-class footballer and maybe the only world-class footballer Egypt has ever had.
Qatar (Akram Afif)
In terms of the individual titles won, Akram Afif is the best Qatari footballer with 10 titles one of which is Asian Footballer of the Year in 2019. However if we consider the number of club trophies won, other names Abdelkarim Hassan, Almoez Ali, and Karim Boudiaf come into play.
The three Qatari footballers mentioned above have actually won more club trophies than Akram Afif, especially Karim Boudiaf who is by 10 trophies in front of Afif, however, he has won no individual titles and if you add Afif’s individual titles to his club trophies then both have won the same number of titles and trophies in total.
Austria (David Alaba)
The best Austrian footballer both in terms of the number of club trophies and individual titles won; except for two years thatAlaba
served Austria Wien II and Bayern Munich II, he’s been serving Bayern Munich for all his career; actually from 2010 on. So, no wonder that he has won all his 23 club trophies with the same club.
And what about his individual titles? The number is 22, and the nearest Austrian footballer to him in this regard is Hans Krankl with 14 individual titles. Krankl alongside the passed Austrian footballer, Ernst Happel, whose trophies as a manager exceed any other Austrian footballer who worked as a manager after his retirement, could be called the second top Austrian footballers after David Alaba.
Algeria (Riyad Mahrez, Yacine Brahimi)
Not so many Algerian footballers have played in major European leagues while they have also collected a number of individual titles and club trophies except forRiyad Mahrez
and Yacine Brahimi. These two are actually the best footballers Algeria has ever had.
The number of club trophies and individual titles Mahrez and Brahimi have won in total are more than other top Algerian footballers, though not by a wide margin, and these two have served top European clubs, Manchester City, Leicester City, and Porto, for at least half of their careers if not more. Of course, we have other top Algerian footballers like Madjid Bougherra who have served top European clubs but they have not managed to collect as many trophies and titles as Mahrez and Brahimi.
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Mexico (Hugo Sanchez)
Top Mexican footballer in terms of all the individual titles and club trophies he collected both as a manager and player plus that Sanchez is considered as one of the legendary footballers Mexico has ever had. He served the top La Liga club,Real Madrid
, for seven years and won 10 trophies with them.
The nearest footballer to Sanchez in terms of the number of top club trophies won is Rafael Marquez with 12 trophies won with Barcelona - even more than Sanchez, though he has earned far less individual titles than him, and the nearest footballers to Sanchez in terms of the individual titles won are Javier Hernandez and Andres Guardado with 16 and 19 titles won respectively. We should also here name Jorge Campos as one of the beloved Mexican footballers though he won not much trophies or titles during his career.
Colombia (James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao, Carlos Valderrama, Rene Higuita)
In terms of the number of individual titles won, James Rordiguez should be called the best Colombian footballer ever, however, while Radamel Falcao has fewer titles to his name, he has set a number of records no Colombian footballer has ever broken with one of which being Colombia’s all-time top scorer with 35 goals.
And why do we name Carlos Valderrama and Rene Higuita here? Because both are legendary Colombian footballers who linger in the minds of football fans for years to come! Don’t forget that Valderrama is also one of thebest footballers the major American league, MLS, has ever seen
, and Higuita is the inventor of the “scorpion kick” which saved Colombia from conceding a goal against England in a friendly.
Scotland (Sir Kenny Dalglish, Ally McCoist, Denis Law)
All the three could be called legendary Scottish footballers, especially Sir Kenny Dalglish who is not only a “Sir” but also has won a number of club trophies with Liverpool and Celtic - actually 31 trophies which is more than the number of trophies any other Scottish footballer has ever won - and also a handful of individual titles and a number of club trophies with Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers as a manager. In this regard, the only Scottish manager in front of him is Sir Alex Furguson with more than 30 club trophies.
And why do we name Ally McCoist and Denis Law here? Both these legendary Scottish footballers have won around 10 individual titles which is more than the titles other top Scottish footballers have won plus that Ally McCoist won 19 club trophies during his career. And Denis Law? Although he has not won as many club trophies as Ally McCoist, he’s the only Scottish footballer in history to have won the Ballon d'Or trophy - actually in 1964.
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Chile (Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, Marcelo Salas)
With 19 individual titles and 18 club trophies to his name,Arturo Vidal
is indeed the best Chilean footballer ever in history plus that he’s also among the top Chilean footballers who have played most of their careers for top European clubs. In fact, from the 18 club trophies Vidal has won 15 have been won with top European clubs, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Juventus.
Although Vidal is the best Chilean footballer in terms of the number of individual titles and club trophies won, that doesn’t mean Chile hasn’t produced other great footballers. In fact, there are two other great Chilean footballers, namely Alexis Sanchez and Marcelo Salas, who have won almost the same number of individual titles as Vidal and are only behind him by a narrow margin concerning the number of club trophies won.
They could actually be called the second top Chilean footballers after Vidal. And we should also here name Ivano Zamorano and Claudio Bravo as two other great Chilean footballers with the latter very near to the top Chilean footballers mentioned above in terms of the club trophies won with top European clubs.
Croatia (Luka Modric, Davor Suker)
In terms of the number of individual trophies won, these two footballers - we mean Luka Modric and Davor Suker - are the top Croatian footballers ever especially Luka Modric who is in front of not only other
top Croatian footballers
but also Davor Suker by a wide Margin - he actually won more than 50 individual titles during his career.
Modric is also the winner of Ballon d'Or trophy in 2018 while there were still candidates like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s also still Croatia’s all-time top scorer in International arenas with 45 goals.
And Davor Suker? He has won more individual trophies more than any other Croatian footballer. Yet there are other top Croatian footballers like Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandžukic that although they are behind Suker in terms of the number of individual trophies won, they have won more club trophies with top European clubs than Suker.
Switzerland (Stephan Lichtsteiner, Xherdan Shaqiri)
For sure a player who has played in top European leagues like the Premier League, Bundesliga, and Serie A is at a higher level than a player who has won many trophies with his home country clubs but has never played in one of major European leagues. Based on this, we can say Stephan Lichtsteiner is the top Swiss player ever with 19 club trophies he has collected with Juventus, Arsenal and Lazio - 16 of these trophies he has earned withJuventus
And after Lichtsteiner it is actually Xherdan Shaqiri with 13 club trophies won with Bayern Munich and Liverpool who comes next as the best Swiss footballer. There are also other top Swiss footballers who have played in major European leagues, although they have not won as many club trophies as Lichtsteiner and Shaqiri. They are Stephane Chapuisat with 7 trophies won with Borussia Dortmund, Stephane Henchoz with 7 trophies won with Liverpool and Celtic, and Granit Xhaka with 6 trophies won withArsenal
Japan (Hidetoshi Nakata, Shinji Kagawa, Shunsuke Nakamura)
In terms of the number of individual trophies won which not all of them are within Japanese football Hidetoshi Nakata is in front of any other top Japanese footballer with 19 titles. Of course there is another former Japanese footballer named Kunishige Kamamoto who has won 38 individual titles but since he is not a modern-day footballer, has only served one Japanese club - no European club, and all his individual titles are earned within Japanese football we just exclude him as a foremost top Japanese footballer, though he’s still considered as one of the top Japanese footballers of all time.
It is noteworthy to mention that Nakata won one Serie A title withAS Roma
and one Coppa Italia with Parma. And what about the other two footballers? - we mean Shinji Kagawa and Shunsuke Nakamura. Both of them have won a handful of club trophies with top European clubs and a number of individual titles, though not as many as Nakata.
Shinji Kagawa has won 8 individual titles and 6 club trophies with Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund, while Shunsuke Nakamura has won 14 individual titles and the same number of trophies with Celtic.
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Turkey (Hamit Altıntop, Hakan Sukur, Metin Oktay)
Each of these top Turkish footballers are ahead of other top Turkish footballers in one respect. If you consider the club trophies won with top European clubs and also the top Turkish club, Galatasaray, then Hamit Altıntop is in front of any other Turkish footballer with 18 club trophies 7 of which he won with Galatasaray and the rest 11 with top European clubs, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich andSchalke 04
If you consider the number of club trophies won only with Galatasaray, then Hakan Sukur is in front with 16 trophies won with the top Turkish club; he has also won a handful of individual titles including Turkish Super League top scorer in 3 seasons. And finally, if you consider the number of individual titles won, then Metin Oktay is in front with 13 titles won one of which is Galatasaray all-time top scorer with 352 goals. He was also named Turkish Super League top scorer for 6 times which is a record not yet broken by any other Turkish footballer.
Czech Republic (Petr Cech, Pavel Nedved)
Few goalkeepers make it for the best footballer their country has ever had; Petr Cech is one of them. He’s also one of the best goalkeepers Premier League has ever seen and with the number of records he has set - around 30 - we’d better call him the Czech Buffon not to mention that he has won more than 40 individual awards among them are three Premier League Golden Glove trophies, and also a number of club trophies with Arsenal andChelsea
- actually 20. He’s indeed the best goalkeeper Czech Republic has ever seen.
And Pavel Nedved? He’s one of the two Czech footballers to have been awarded the Ballon d'Or trophy; actually in 2003 - the other is a passed Czech footballer named Josef Masopust who was awarded the top football prize in 1962. The number of individual titles Nedved has won - most of which within major European leagues - are actually higher than any other top Czech footballer, indeed after Petr Cech.
And the same is with the number of club trophies he has won with top European clubs which is actually a few times higher than other top Czech footballers’. Nedved is in truth the second top Czech footballer after Petr Cech who although is in front of other top Czech footballers by a wide margin in terms of the number of titles and trophies won, he himself is behind Petr Cech by a wide margin, too, in the same regard.
Ukraine (Andriy Shevchenko)
The winner of Ballon d'Or trophy in 2004, Andriy Shevchenko is the top modern-day Ukrainian footballer with a number of individual titles and club trophies not many Ukrainian footballers have ever achieved. In fact, there are two other footballers who are in front of Shevchenko in a respect: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk who has won more club trophies than Shevchenko - some of which with the top Bundesliga club, Bayern Munich, and Oleg Blokhin who has won more individual titles than Shevchenko and also is the winner of Ballon d'Or trophy in 1975.
However, Tymoshchuk is behind Shevchenko in terms of the number of individual trophies and Blokhin is an old-day footballer who has never played in major European leagues. In fact, all his club trophies and individual trophies have been won within Ukrainian football. This is as both Shevchenko and Tymoshchuk have played for top European clubs, namelyAC Milan
and Chelsea (Shevchenko) and Bayern Munich (Tymoshchuk).
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Iran (Ali Daei, Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia)
Among the top Iranian trio named above, Ali Karimi has won more individual titles. In fact, he has won more individual titles than any other top Iranian footballer. They called him “the Wizard” some time during his play time for the magic he created on the pitch. And Ali Daei is in fact considered as the top Iranian footballer ever not only by Iranian people but also internationally although he has won less trophies than Ali Karimi.
Mehdi Mahdavikia is also another Iranian footballer mostly famed for his organized play style. Although he did not play for Bayern Munich unlike Ali Karimi and Ali Daei, he’s still considered as one of top Iranian footballers. Here, we should also name Ali Parvin and Nasser Hejazi as Iranian legendary footballers and Ahmadreza Abedzadeh as one of the best goalkeepers Iran has ever had if not the only one.
Saudi Arabia (Sami Al-Jaber, Majed Abdullah)
Sami Al-Jaber is actually the top Saudi Arabian footballer in terms of the number of club trophies he has won. He actually won 24 trophies with the top Saudi Arabian club, Al-Hilal, during his play time. He has also a handful of individual titles to his name including the Arabian Footballer of the Year in 2001.
And Majed Abdullah? He’s behind Sami Al-Jaber in terms of the number of club trophies won, but in terms of individual titles, with 20 titles to his name, he’s not only in front of Sami Al-Jaber but also other Saudi Arabian footballers. He’s considered as one of legendary Saudi Arabian footballers and was named Saudi Premier League top scorer for six seasons during his playing time.
Tunisia (Tarek Dhiab)
If you place your faith in the number of individual titles and club trophies won within one’s own country football league system, then the Tunisian retired footballer, Tarek Dhiab, could be considered as the top Tunisian footballer in history. He has only won 3 individual titles, but this is as other Tunisian footballers haven’t won even that few number of titles.
Also Dhiab has won 11 club trophies within Tunisian football which is one of the highest among the top Tunisian footballers. And if you consider playing in major European leagues as a factor, then we should name two other Tunisian footballers, namely Radhi Jaidi, and Hatem Trabelsi, as the top Tunisian footballers since they have served top European clubs likeSouthampton
, Manchester City and Ajax. Radhi Jaidi has won 16 club trophies within Tunisian football and Hatem Trabelsi is honored with 6 Dutch trophies with Ajax.
Bulgaria (Hristo Stoichkov, Dimitar Berbatov)
Both in terms of the number of individual titles and club trophies won, the legendary Bulgarian footballer, Hristo Stoichkov, is in front of any other Bulgarian footballer, and in this regard, could be called the best footballer Bulgaria has ever had. He’s one of the footballers honored with the Ballon d'Or trophy - actually in 1994 - and is the only footballer in the history of football to have won both European and Asian editions of the Cup Winners Cup.
But if you’re just looking for a modern-day
top Bulgarian footballer
, then Dimitar Berbatov wins the day for sure. In terms of the individual titles he’s only by 5 or 6 titles behind Hristo Stoichkov and although the number of club trophies he has won are half of those of Hristo Stoichkov, almost all of them have been won with top European clubs, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bayer Leverkusen. This is as almost all Stoichkov’s club trophies were won with the top European club, Barcelona, and the Bulgarian club, CSKA Sofia.
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Bolivia (Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno)
If not the best Bolivian footballer ever, Marco Etcheverry is indeed one of the greatest Bolivian footballers ever. In fact, in terms of the number of individual trophies and titles won Etcheverry is in front of any other Bolivian footballer.
However, in terms of the number of league titles and cups won the other footballer mentioned in the title above - we mean Jaime Moreno - is in front. He has won 12 league titles and cups while Etcheverry has won 10.
Russia (Andrey Arshavin, Lev Yashin, Igor Akinfeev, Andrei Kanchelskis)
These are actually the four top Russian footballers ever, and except for Andrei Kanchelskis, the rest three have won the most number of trophies and titles in Russian football, though Kanchelskis is not a no-trophy player too - he actually won a number of trophies during his career, though not as many as the three other.
And why do we name Andrei Kanchelskis as one of the top Russian footballers ever? Because he’s one of the few Russian footballers who played for thePremier League
club, Manchester United, during his career and even won 2 league titles and 5 other trophies and cups with them.
Ireland (Robbie Keane)
The most credited Irish footballer with the most number of individual titles won, Robbie Keane is often considered as the best footballer Ireland has ever had. He has won a total of 29 individual titles among which areTottenham Hotspur
Player of the Year and Celtic Player of the Year for 3 and 1 year respectively.
However, if you consider the number of club trophies won as a factor, then there are other top Irish footballers in front of Robbie Keane with some of them being Johnny Giles with 12 trophies, Martin O’Neill with 9 trophies - he has also won a number of trophies as a manager - and Mick McCarthy and Damien Duff with 7 trophies each.
Senegal (Sadio Mane)
By far the best Senegalese footballer ever;Sadio Mane
is actually a phenomenon in Senegalese football. He’s the winner of 23 individual titles which is by far higher than other top Senegalese footballers. The number of club trophies Mane has won are not also less than other Senegalese footballers if not more, and their significance is that more than half of them have been earned with the top Premier League club, Liverpool.
What Sadio Mane is for Senegalese football is just like what Mohamad Salah is for the Egyptian footballer. And the interesting fact here to notice is that both of them are currently serving Liverpool. If we are just to name some other top Senegalese footballers than Sadio Mane, then we should name El Hadji Diouf with 4 individual titles and 4 club trophies, and Papa Bouba Diop with 4 club trophies.
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Afghanistan (Balal Arezou)
We promised you to let you know about the best Afghan footballer and we have kept our promise. Here is the best Afghan footballer ever: Balal Arezou with 2 titles and one club trophy to his name. And yes! He’s the best Afghan footballer with these 3 titles, because other Afghan footballers have not even earned that number of titles.
Balal Arezou was actually named South Asian Games top scorer in 2010, won the Indian I-League title with the Indian club, Churchill Brothers, and also won the South Asian Football Federation Championship in 2013 with the Afghan national team.
Syria (Firas Al-Khatib)
Syria’s all-time top scorer with 36 goals who has also 13 individual titles to his name, Firas Al-Khatib also won more club trophies than any other top Syrian footballer - actually 16 trophies. So in any regard, Al-Khatib is the best footballer Syria has ever had.
You just admit that if you know that other top Syrian footballers couldn’t manage to win more than 4 individual titles during their careers. However, some top Syrian footballers could get near Al-Khatib at least in terms of the number of club trophies won; footballers like Jehad Al-Hussain with 12, Mosab Balhous with 10, and Belal Abduldaim and Aatef Jenyat each with 9 trophies.
Thailand (Teerasil Dangda, Theerathon Bunmathan, Kiatisuk Senamuang)
If you consider the number of individual titles won, then Teerasil Dangda is the best Thai footballer with 7 individual titles to his name, but if you consider the number of club trophies won, then Teerasil Dangda is behind the two other top Thai footballers mentioned above, namely Theerathon Bunmathan and Kiatisuk Senamuang, by a narrow margin.
While Teerasil Dangda has won 16 club trophies in total, the other two top Thai footballers, Theerathon Bunmathan and Kiatisuk Senamuang, have won 26 and 20 trophies respectively. These two have also won 6 individual titles altogether with the former getting a share of 4 and the latter a share of 2 of all these titles.
Peru (Teofilo Cubillas, Claudio Pizarro, Paolo Guerrero)
The best Peruvian footballer in term of the number of individual titles won, Teofilo Cubillas has won 25 titles during his career which is far more than other top Peruvian footballers. However, the number of club trophies the legendary Peruvian footballer has won are by far less than other top Peruvian footballers - at least the two top Peruvian footballers mentioned above.
Teofilo Cubillas won only three club trophies during his career one of which was with the top European club,Porto
, while Claudio Pizarro and Paolo Guerrero have won 18 and 9 trophies respectively with 20 of all these 27 trophies having been won with the top Bundesliga club, Bayern Munich. Among the trio mentioned above, Claudio Pizarro he has also set a handful of records in Bundesliga one of which is the top scorer in Werder Bremen history with 153 goals.
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India (Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia)
Two top Indian footballers one in respect to the individual titles he has won and the other the number of club trophies. Actually no other top Indian footballer has won as many individual titles or club trophies as these two. Sunil Chhetri has won 15 individual titles and 8 club trophies so far. He has also won 6 trophies with the Indian national team.
And Bhaichung Bhutia? Although he has won half the individual titles as Sunil Chhetri’s - actually 8, he has won 23 club trophies - far more than Sunil Chhetri - and the same number of trophies Sunil Chhetri has won with the Indian national team (6). Except for two other top Indian footballers, namely Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Jeje Lalpekhlua, who could be considered the second top Indian footballers based on the number of individual titles and club trophies they have won, the rest of Indian footballers have not been that fruitful.
UAE (Omar Abdulrahman, Ahmed Khalil)
In terms of the individual titles won, no other top footballer from UAE is not even close to Omar Abdulrahman. He has won more than 20 individual titles and 12 club trophies with the top UAE club, Al Ain, and one with the top Saudi Arabian club,Al Hilal
which actually sums up to 13 club trophies.
The only top footballer from UAE who is in front of Omar Abdulrahman in terms of the number of club trophies won is Ahmed Khalil with 14 club trophies won so far. We should here also name Ali Mabkhout, Ismail Matar, and Amer Abdulrahman, as other top footballers from UAE, although they have not won as many individual titles or club trophies as the duo mentioned in the title.
Uganda (Dennis Onyango, Allan Okello, David Obua, Hamis Kiiza)
These four are actually the top footballers Uganda has ever had, however, in one respect, Allan Okello is in front of all of them. Despite his very young age - he’s actually 20 years old, Okello has won more individual titles than any other Ugandan footballer: 11 titles just in 4 years, and since he’s still young, he could even collect more titles and trophies and even become the best footballer Uganda has ever had.
It is noteworthy to mention that Okello has won 7 club trophies so far and again in four years which is only 4 behind the 11 trophies and 3 behind the 10 trophies that David Obua and Dennis Onyango collected during their footballing careers respectively.
It is also noteworthy to mention that Obua won no individual title and Onyango won only one during their careers. And what about Hamis Kiiza? Although he has not won any club trophy yet, he’s the winner of 6 individual titles one of which is Ugandan Player of the Year in 2011.
Wales (Gareth Bale, Ryan Giggs, Ian Rush)
Ryan Giggs is in fact the
best Welsh footballer
in the history of football. The number of club trophies he has won are by far higher than other Welsh footballers and the number of individual titles he has won, although only by a narrow margin compared to those of Garteh Bale, is still higher than any other Welsh footballer.
Giggs has actually won 37 individual titles which is only one higher than the number of individual titles Bale has won. So, considering that Bale is still in the business and playing, this record will probably be broken by him sooner or later.
Giggs actually won 34 club trophies with Manchester United during his playing time which is by far higher than the 14 trophiesGareth Bale
has won with Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur - this record is much harder to break! And Ian Rush? He’s indeed one of the legendary Welsh and Liverpool footballers despite the fact that he has won less individual titles than both Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs. Rush became Liverpool top scorer in 8 seasons and even won 19 club trophies with them which is higher than the 14 trophies Bale has won so far.
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Cuba (Osvaldo Alonso, Eduardo Sebrango)
Two top Cuban footballers with the most number of club trophies and individual titles won; specifically speaking, it is Osvaldo Alonso who has won more individual titles more than any other Cuban footballer, though he has only 5 individual titles to his name.
And concerning the number of club trophies won, Eduardo Sebrango is one of the Cuban footballers with the most trophies won if not the only one. He won 10 club trophies during his career which is even more than the 7 trophies Alonso has won so far, however, he won only one individual award during this time which is a Championship Golden Boot in 2008.
Uzbekistan (Server Djeparov, Maksim Shatskikh, Odil Ahmedov)
In terms of the number of individual titles won Maksim Shatskikh is in front of any other top Uzbek footballer with 11 individual titles. He was named Ukrainian Cup top scorer in three seasons and Uzbekistan Footballer of the Year for 4 years.
After him is Server Djeparov with 9 individual titles and the most number of club trophies an Uzbek footballer has ever won: 23. This is as Maksim Shatskikh won only 15 club trophies during his career. And we should here name Odil Ahmedov as one of top Uzbek footballers with 9 individual titles. He was named Uzbekistan Footballer of the Year for 6 years which is more than the times both Server Djeparov (2) and Maksim Shatskikh (4) were honored with the same title.
Iraq (Younis Mahmoud)
Undoubtedly the best Iraqi footballer ever, Younis Mahmoud has won more individual titles and more club trophies than any other Iraqi footballer. He’s the winner of 22 individual titles which is almost 2 times higher than the second best after him, Hussein Saeed, with 12 individual titles won, and almost 3 times higher than the third best after him, Nashat Akram, with 8 titles won.
Younis Mahmoud also won 17 club trophies during his career which is again more than any other Iraqi footballer and almost two times higher than the 9 trophies Nashat Akram has won. So, the nearest footballer to Younis Mahmoud in terms of individual titles and club trophies won are Hussein Saeed and Nashat Akram, however, there are also other top Iraqi footballers like Mohanad Ali, Ali Adnan Kadhim, and Alaa Abdul-Zahra, who have won 5 to 6 individual titles each; what other Iraqi footballers have never or rarely achieved.
Which Country Produces the Best Soccer Players?
That’s again another big question and needs a lot of authority to answer. Almost all nations have produced great footballers, however, clearly those that are considered as top nations in the world of football like Brazil, Italy, Germany, France, etc. have produced more great players than other nations.
So, the question,
which country produces the best soccer players
does not have a definite straightforward answer. Everyone thinks differently in this regard and based on the bias an individual has, the answer might be different. However, as we mentioned above, that’s clear that great nations in the world football like Germany, Brazil, and Italy have produced more great players than other nations.
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