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Best Brazilian Strikers of All Time

Saturday30 January 2021 | 16:30
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Brazil has produced some of the best strikers who have challenged perceptions of what was possible on a football pitch. Read on to find out more about the best Brazilian strikers of all time.

If asked about football, what would be the name of the first country that comes to your mind? The answer would probably be Brazil, the country where the concept "football" is a synonym for the word "life". People breed, hoping the child will someday be playing for the national team and become a prominent player.

Every single street is a football pitch for the youth, playing matches and considering them as important as a World Cup match. People breathe football instead of air in Brazil. Brazilian footballers are known to have the best skills on the ball and technical abilities.

The national team is the most decorated national teams in the world by winning 5 World Cups,9 Copa Americas, 4 FIFA Confederations Cup as well as 4 Panamerican games cups. If we are to name

the greatest Brazilian footballers of all time

, it will take a long time.

Hence, Brazilian football is known for its incursive style of play that has helped them secure so many glories and made them be loved by so many football lovers all around the world.

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Best Brazilian strikers of all time:

Here is a list of the best Brazilian strikers of all time, whose scoring, dribbling, and pace have engraved their names in the history book of the sport.

Neymar Junior Da Silva

  • Full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

  • Place of birth: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

  • Position(s): Forward

Date of birth:

5

February 1992 (age 29)

Height:

1.75

m (5 ft 9 in)

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnio, born 5 February 1992, known as

Neymar

, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for

Ligue 1

club

Paris Saint-Germain

and the

Brazil national team

.

Neymar is regarded to be one of the best football players in the world in the last decade, and one of the best strikers in Brazil history. The Brazilian forward made a name for himself at the club Santos, where he made his debut at the age of 17.

Neymar made 134 appearances for the Brazilian club, scored 70 goals and provided 34 assists, that is a brilliant record for a player between the ages 17 to 21. The Young talented player helped his club claim 1 Brazilian Cup, 1 Recopa Sudamericana and 1 Copa Libertadores.

Neymar was known to have one of the most promising futures when he moved to Barcelona in 2013. Although his first season in Europe did not go on well, he managed to continue his outstanding performance in the following season, when Barcelona won their second treble under Luis Enrique in 2015.

Neymar finished as the best scorer both in UEFA Champions league and in Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) that season and played one of the most pivotal roles in one of the best seasons in the club's history. He has won a total of 2

La Liga

titles, 3 Spanish Cups, 1 Spanish Super Cup, 1 FIFA Clubs World Cup, 1 UEFA Super cup and a Champions League during his 4 years at camp Nou, where he scored 105 goals and provided 76 assists in 186 appearances for Blaugrana.

Eventually, Neymar left

Barcelona

in 2017 with an all-time record-braking fee of 222 million Euros to join Paris saint-German, the club he currently plays for. He has played in 100 games for PSG so far, and has scored 81 goals as well as providing 46 assists.

Moreover, he has helped the club secure 3 League 1 titles, 3 French Super Cups, 2 French Cups and 2 French League Cups. He was named the League 1 player of the year in his debut season, helped the club win the 2020 domestic quadruple and reach their first ever Champions League final in the very same year.

Furthermore, Neymar Jr has a luminous individual career with Brazilian national teams as well. He has made 103 appearances for the Brazilian national team and has scored 64 goals, which means he is the second all-time top scorer in the national team, and will probably break Pele's record, who has scored 77 goals, soon enough.

Neymar finished the 2011 South American championship tournament as the top scorer and Brazil won the cup. Moreover, he was a key player in winning the 2013 Confederations Cup where he won the Golden Ball of the tournament. In addition, he captained the Brazilian team in 2016 Olympics where they won the gold medal for the first time. He has also taken part in 2 World Cups.

 Neymar has excellent chance-creating abilities, stunning pace and amazing dribbling skills. His touch, vision, passing and finishing has made him one of the best players in the world and indubitably one of the

greatest Brazilian strikers of all time

.

Heleno De Freitas

  • Date of birth: 12 February 1920

  • Place of birth: São João Nepomuceno, Brazil

  • Date of death: 8 November 1959 (aged 39)

  • Place of death: Barbacena, Brazil

  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

Heleno de Freitas (12 February 1920 – 8 November 1959) was a Brazilian footballer, who played as a forward.

Heleno has played for numerous clubs in his career, but he is mostly known for his spell at Botafogo where he managed to score 209 goals in 235 games for the Brazilian club, most of which has been scored with head.

Later he spent one year in

Boca Juniors

and came back to Brazil in 1949 to play for

Vasco de Gama

, and win the Campeonato Carioca with them.

He went on to play for the Colombian club Atletico Junior before returning to Brazil in 1951, to spend a very short spell at Santos and then joining America-RJ , where he played in only one game for them, and was sent off because he had insulted his teammates.

Moreover, he has an average of scoring more than 1 goal per match for Brazilian national team, by scoring 19 goals in 18 games between the years 1944 and 1948. De Freitas is considered as one of the best forwards in Brazil history due to his elegance and perfectionism. He was a tall talented striker with excellent vision, speed and technique.

However, he was a rebellious player who would lose his temper easily and this characteristic causes him many problems with his opponents, teammates, coaches etc. Yet, he is regarded as one of the

best Brazilian strikers of all time

.

Leonidas da Silva

  • Full name: Leônidas da Silva

  • Date of birth: 6 September 1913

  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Date of death: 24 January 2004 (aged 90)

  • Place of death: Cotia, Brazil

  • Position(s): Centre forward

Leônidas da Silva (6 September 1913 – 24 January 2004) was a Brazilian association footballer and commentator, who played as a forward.

Leonidas is regarded as one of the most remarkable players of the first 50 years of the 20th century, and of the best greatest strikers in Brazil history. He played for several clubs during his professional career including Sao Cristovao, Botafogo,

Flamengo

, Sau Paolo, Vasca de Gama with which he won the Rio State championship, Penarol etc.

Moreover, he has won two more Rio State championships with Botafogo and Flamengo. Moreover, he is one of the players that are credit for being the inventor of bicycle kick by doing it in 1932, and when he did it in the 1938 World Cup, the referee was not sure if this was not a foul with regard to the rules.

Furthermore, he has scored 21 goals in 19 matches for Brazilian national team, and was the top scorer of the 1938 FIFA World Cup and helped his team reach the 3rd place and received the Golden Ball of the tournament as well. He was known as "Black Diamond" due to his agility and scoring abilities.

He was placed the 8th best Brazilian player of the 20th century by IFFHS (International federation of football history & statistics). The legendary striker is deservedly one of the

best Brazilian forwards of all time

.

Ademir de Menezes

  • Full name: Ademir Marques de Menezes

  • Date of birth: 8 November 1922

  • Place of birth: Recife, Brazil

  • Date of death: 11 May 1996 (aged 73)

  • Place of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Ademir Marques de Menezes (8 November 1922 – 11 May 1996), best known as Ademir de Menezes, was a Brazilian footballer, regarded as one of the best center forwards in the history of the Brazil national team.His nickname was "Queixada", which means "jaw".

Ademir is one of the most talented goal scorers in the history of football and one of the best Brazilian strikers of all time. He finished the 1950 FIFA World Cup as the top scorer of the tournament. However, he could not prevent his national team from losing the final match to

Uruguay

.

Ademir has taken part in 4 Copa Americas and scored a total of 13 goals in 18 games, including a hat-trick in the final match in 1949 against Paraguay. Moreover, he claimed the Panamerican champion ship with Brazil in 1952 as well.

According to different sources, he has scored 32 goals in 39 appearances for his national team. Furthermore, he has scored 462 goals in 432 matches in domestic league tournaments, which is a very bright record.

In addition, Ademir has spent most of his career with Vasco da Gama, the club which he played for in two spells, where he has scored 301 goals in 429 appearances and has helped them secure 5 Rio State League championships.

Moreover, he won another mentioned cup with Fluminense in 1946. He was renowned for his pace and strength with the ability to make powerful shots with his both feet. In addition, he was an amazing dribbler who could deceive the opponents with sudden changes in his speed while having the ball and his stunning finishing capability. He is one of the

best strikers in Brazil history

.

Vava

  • Full name: Edvaldo Jizídio Neto

  • Date of birth: 12 November 1934

  • Place of birth: Recife, Brazil

  • Date of death: 9 January 2002 (aged 67)

  • Place of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

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

Edvaldo Jizidio Neto was regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, and one of the best Brazilian strikers of all time. Vava has played in a total of 20 matches for Brazilian national tea and has scored 15 goals. Vava has won the World Cup twice in 1958 and 1962, and was the joint top scorer of the tournament in 1962 and won the Golden shoe.

He scored 2 goals in the 1958 World Cup final match, and 1 goal in the final of 1962 WC. Thus, he became the first player to have ever scored in 2 different World Cup finals and to this day, only Zinedine Zidane, Pele, and Paul Breitner have managed to do so. He has played for the some clubs such as club Sport Recife, Vasco da Gama, Atletico Madrid and Palmeiras.

However, his only remarkable club achievement is his 2 championship in the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) with

Atletico Madrid

in 1960 and 1961.

Vava is unquestionably one of the

greatest strikers in Brazil history

, as he was a natural goal scorer both for his clubs and national team. Furthermore, he is and inductee to the Brazilian Football Museum hall of fame.

Rivaldo

  • Full name: Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira

  • Date of birth: 19 April 1972 (age 49)

  • Place of birth: Recife, Brazil

  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder / Forward

Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, born 19 April 1972, known as Rivaldo, is a Brazilian former professional footballer. He played mainly as an attacking midfielder but also as a second striker.

Rivaldo is regarded as one of the

best Brazilian strikers of all time

, best players of his generation and arguably one of the best players ever. His career is mostly known for his bright spell at Barcelona from 1997 to 2002, where he helped the club secure two consecutive La Liga titles in 98 and 99, 1 Spanish Super Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.

Most notably, he won the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA best player of the year award in 1999, due to his astonishing performances for Blaugrana. Rivaldo has scored 129 goals in 235 appearances for Barcelona, which makes him the 93rd top scorer in the history of the club.

Moreover, he managed to claim 1 more UEFA Super Cup, 1 Italian Cup and the Champions League title in 2003 with AC Milan. Rivaldo has also played in Greece for Aek and Olympiacos, and has won 3 Greek league titles and 2 Greek Cups with the latter. Later on he had a spell in Asia with the Uzbek Club Bunyodkar and some other clubs until he hung his boots in 2015.

Rivaldo was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the World cup in 2002 and the Copa America in 1999. Furthermore, he has made 75 appearances for Brazil and has scored 35 goals, meaning he is the 7th top-scorer of the national team.

He had a superb creativity and skill on the ball, and was renowned for his astonishing bicycle kicks, one of which was scored to complete one of the best hat-tricks in June 2001 in the last minute against

Valencia

that qualified Barcelona for the Champions League.

Rivaldo had excellent dribbling abilities and could use feints brilliantly. Moreover, he was a great assists provider and was an expert in taking free-kicks. He is indubitably one of the best Brazilian forwards of all time with regard to the luminous career of his.

Tostao

  • Full name: Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade

  • Date of birth: 25 January 1947 (age 74)

  • Place of birth: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

  • Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)

  • Position(s): Forward / Attacking midfielder

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 doctor.

Tostao is considered as one of the best Brazilian striker of all time, who has spent most of his career in the club Cruzeiro. He has also played for America-MG and Vasco da Gama. His nickname "Tostao" means "Little Coin".

The legendary striker has scored 249 goals for Cruzeiro and is their all-time top scorer. He has also helped them win the Brazilian League in 1966. Moreover, he finished the Campeonato Mineiro as the top scorer for three consecutive years.

Furthermore, he has made 54 appearances for Brazilian national team and has scored 32 goals, including participating in 2 World Cups. Tostao win the 1970 World Cup and scored 2 goals in the tournament.

It was unfortunate for him that he had to retire at the age of only 27, due to some sight problems that first occurred when a ball hit his face. After retirement, he went on to become a medical doctor, but he returned to football world as a journalist and a pundit on TV years later. Although he was not strong in the air since he did not have a tall and strong physical stature, he was an agile and hard-working player with astounding balance and dribbling skills. He is widely known as one of the

best forwards in Brazil history

due to his creativity, sight, passing and amazing playmaking abilities.

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Jairzinho

  • Full name: Jair Ventura Filho

  • Date of birth: 25 December 1944 (age 77)

  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

Jair Ventura Filho, born 25 December 1944, better known as, is a retired Brazilian footballer.

Jairzinho is widely considered as one of the best strikers in Brazil history. He spent most of his career in the Club Botafogo. However, he has played for some other clubs such as Cruzeiro,   Noroeste, the Venezuelan club "Portuguesa", the Bolivian club Jorge Wilstermann, as well as having a 2 year spell at Europe with Marseille.  

The Brazilian legend won the Copa Libertadores in1976 with Cruzeiro, 1 Venezuelan league title in 1977 with Portuguesa, and 1 Bolivian League title in 1980 with Wilstermann. Furthermore, Jairzinho has scored 33 goals in 81 matches for Brazilian national team, helping them winning the 1063 Panamerican games and 1970 World Cup, where he scored 2 goals and played a pivotal role in the championship campaign.

Regarded as one of the best Brazilian strikers of all time, he had exceptional finishing ability, lightning pace and astonishing dribbling skills. Moreover, his most remarkable feature was his strength, so much that it was said that it would take 3 men to take him off.

Romario

  • Full name: Romário de Souza Faria

  • Date of birth: 29 January 1966 (age 55)

  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Romário de Souza Faria, born 29 January 1966, known simply as Romário, is a Brazilian politician who previously achieved worldwide fame as a professional footballer.

Romario is widely regarded as one of the best goal scorers of all time, greatest Brazilian strikers of all time one of the best players ever. He has played for numerous clubs within his career, but he made a name for himself mostly due to his achievements with Brazilian national team. He has scored 55 goals in a total of 70 appearances for Selecao.

He is the 4th all-time Brazil national team top scorer. He won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil, and was named the player of the tournament and received the Golden Ball. Moreover, he was awarded the FIFA Player of the year award in the same year.

Moreover, Romario won 2 Copa America trophies in 1989 and 1997, as well as 1 Confederations Cup in 1997. The talented goal scorer spent 5 years in Netherlands, playing for

PSV Eindhoven

, where he helped them achieve 3 Eredivisie titles, 3 Dutch Cups and 1 Dutch Super Cup by scoring the astonishing number of 165 goals in 167 matches for the team, including having finished the Eredivisie as the top scorer twice.

He moved to Barcelona in 1993 to become a part of the Cruyff's dream team, where he won a La Liga title and finished he league as the top scorer with 30 goals in 33 matches in his first season.  Romario went on to play for some other clubs like Valencia and Vasco da Gama, and helped the latter secure the Brazilian League title in 2000.

Cruyff once described him "a genius of the goal area" as he had a superb eye for goal, he was a prolific striker with outstanding decisive moves and technical ability. He is deservedly one of the greatest strikers in Brazil history as he has finished 10 different tournaments as the top scorer.

Garrincha

  • Full name: Manuel Francisco dos Santos

  • Date of birth: 28 October 1933

  • Place of birth: Magé, RJ, Brazil

  • Date of death: 20 January 1983 (aged 49)

  • Place of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 6 1⁄2 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

Manuel Francisco dos Santos (28 October 1933 – 20 January 1983), nicknamed Mané Garrincha, best known as simply Garrincha, was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a right winger.

Mane Garrincha was a brilliant and one-of-a-kind dribbler who was regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian strikers of all time, and one of the best players that have ever existed. The legendary forward spent most of his career with the Brazilian club Botafogo.

He is very popular in Brazil since he has played vital roles in winning 2 consecutive World Cups in 1958 and 1962. Especially, when he led the team to win the cup in 1962 when Pele got injured and he finished the tournament as one of the top scorers with 4 goals.

Moreover, he won the Golden Ball of the tournament which made him the first player to have won the World Cup, the golden boot and the golden ball altogether. Brazil never lost a match while having both Garrincha and Pele on the field.

He is an inductee in the Brazilian hall of fame as well. Furthermore, he was named in the FIFA World Cup all-time team in 1994. Regarded as one of the best Brazilian strikers of all time, he was renowned for his vision, skills on the ball, feints and especially, his outside-of-the-foot corner and free-kick shots.

Ronaldo Nazario

  • Full name: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

  • Date of birth: 18 September 1976 (age 45)

  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, born 18 September 1976, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian business owner, president of La Liga club

Real Valladolid

, and a retired professional footballer who played as a striker.

Not only is Ronaldo considered as one of the best forwards in Brazil history, but he is also widely known as one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo came to prominence at a very young age. To clarify the point, he is the youngest player to have won the FIFA Best player of the year award, by winning it in 1996.

The genius went on to win 2 More of the same trophy, as well as 2 Ballon d'Or awards, by winning it for the first time at the age of 21 in 1997, he is also the youngest player to have won the Ballom d'Or as well. He has played for Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona,

Inter Milan

,

Real Madrid

,

AC Milan

, and

Corinthians

.

Ronaldo had scored more than 200 goals by the age of 23, before a series of knee injuries began to stand in his way to do even more unrepeatable things. Ronaldo claimed a Brazilian Cup in 1993 before moving to Europe. Later, he won a Dutch Cup with PSV before joining Barcelona and helping them secure one UEFA Cups Winners' cup, 1 Spanish Cup and 1 Spanish Super cup and becoming the La Liga's best scorer of the season within only one year.

The gifted striker went on to win a UEFA Cup with Inter Milan. Moreover, he managed to win 2 LaLiga titles, 1 Spanish Super Cup 1 Intercontinental cup and 1 UEFA Super Cup with Real Madrid, as well as a further UEFA Super Cup with AC Milan and another Brazilian cup with Corinthians in 2009.

Ronaldo's international career is even brighter than his career with his clubs. He has won 2 World Cups in 1994 and 2002, having finished the latter as the top scorer of the tournament with 8 goals, and receiving the golden boot as the best player of the tournament.

Furthermore, he was the youngest player in the 1994 Brazil squad being only 17 years old. Moreover, Ronaldo has won 2 Copa Americas with Brazil in 1997 and 1999. He was named the player of the tournament in 1997 and the top scorer in 1999.

Being considered as one of the best Brazilian forwards of all time does not seem to be describing him enough, as he was an exception in the world of football. It is a pity that the injuries did not allow him to fulfill his tremendous potential. However, what he has done already is more than amazing.

Pele

  • Full name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento

  • Date of birth: 23 October 1940 (age 81)

  • Place of birth: Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil

  • Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

  • Position(s): Forward, Attacking midfielder

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, born 23 October 1940, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a forward.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento widely known as "Pele" is one of the players that are regarded as not only one of the

best Brazilian strikers of all time

, but the best player in the history of football. In 1999, Pele was named "The best player of the century" by the IFFHS, and was a joint FIFA Player of the century award alongside Diego Maradona.

He has scored a total of 1279 goals in 1363 matches (including friendlies), which is a Guinness record. Moreover, he is the only player in the history to have won the World Cup 3 times. He made his debut for Santos at the age of 15, and for Brazil at 16.

He is Santos's all-time top scorer with the wonderful record of 643 goals in 659 appearances. He led the club to win 6 Brazilian League titles, 2 Intercontinental cups and 2 Copa Libertadores.

He is also the all-time top scorer if Brazilian national team with 77 goals in 92 matches. Pele is known as a national hero in Brazil due to his achievements.

He was a marvelous player with astounding finishing ability, vision, dribbling skills, remarkable assist providing expertise and being a both-footed player, he was an adept in scoring with left foot as well as the right one.

The intelligent player spent a short spell in the American club

New York Cosmos

, and won a NASL SOCCER BOWL trophy with them. Eventually, he hung his boots in 1997 and the connector of the phrase "the beautiful game" to football left the green pitch to left a great legacy for the future generations.

His sunning performances have startled many people all around the world, making it insignificant to be in the list of the best Brazilian forwards of all time.

Brazil is a place for forwards. What we can say for sure, is that every single boy on the streets of the cities in Brazil may someday be prominent enough to be stated in such lists, as one of the best Brazilian strikers of all time. However, it seems very difficult to make a name for yourself, when almost everybody is incredible in the field.

 

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