The 10 Best Portuguese Players In History

Best Portuguese Players In History: Portugal has been, for many years, a football powerhouse that has not had much luck at the big events. However, it has been the cradle of true football legends despite not having a powerful local league like Germany, Spain or England.

Best Portuguese Players In History

For this reason, today, we have made an effort to devise a ranking of the Portuguese players in history. Thus, we can analyze its impact on football today and review some myths of the beautiful game during the race.

10. Pepe

  • Full Name: Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira
  • Date of Birth: 26 February 1983
  • Place of Birth: Maceió, Brazil
  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Centre back

The player who opens our ranking is none other than the well-known former Real Madrid defender, Pepe. Despite his violent attitudes, cold thinking, it is impossible not to mention a player of his stature in a ranking of this style. In fact, the last years in the white team were exempt from any wayward attitude and he has been one of the best center-backs in the world. Also best Portuguese players in history.

Despite not being Portuguese by birth, Pepe has deservedly earned being mentioned among the great legends of Portuguese sports. Both at the club level and in the Portuguese National Team, he has won important titles.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
2007– Portugal 1227

Among Its Achievements and Milestones We Can Highlight The Following:

  • Fourth player with the most appearances in the history of his national team: 113 games.
  • Champion of the Euro 2016.
  • Champion of the first UEFA Nations League in history (2019).
  • Three-time UEFA Champions League champion (2014, 2016, 2017).
  • Intercontinental Champion with Porto (2004).
  • Winner of 8 national titles with Porto.
  • Winner of 7 national titles with Real Madrid.

9. Ricardo Carvalho

  • Full Name: Ricardo Alberto Silveira de Carvalho
  • Date of Birth: 18 May 1978
  • Place of Birth: Amarante, Portugal
  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Centre back

Ricardo Carvalho is, without a doubt, one of the best Portuguese players in history. This defender stood out mainly thanks to his fruitful years at Chelsea and his good years at Real Madrid.

However, he is a legend in his country for what he achieved with Porto and the national team. For José Mourinho he was a fixture both at Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid when he was a coach for both teams.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
2003–2016 Portugal 895

Among Its Achievements We Can Highlight The Following:

  • Champion of the UEFA Champions League with Porto (2004).
  • Eurocup Champion (2016).
  • Tenth player with the most games in the history of his national team (89).
  • Three-time champion of the Premier League (04-05, 05-06 and 09-10).
  • League champion in three countries (Real Madrid, Porto and Chelsea).

8. Vitor Baia

  • Full Name: Vítor Manuel Martins Baía
  • Date of Birth: 15 October 1969
  • Place of Birth: Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

He is one of the best Portuguese goalkeepers of all time and also best Portuguese players in history. Vítor Baía who played a large part of his career at Porto . In the Portuguese colossus he became a legend, being crucial in the titles achieved by the dragons.

He had a short but very fruitful period at FC Barcelona, achieving four national titles as culé. He is one of the greatest idols and references of the Portuguese club.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1990–2002 Portugal 800

Among His Great Achievements We Can Highlight:

  • Winner of 24 national titles with Porto.
  • Champion of the UEFA Champions League (2003-2004), UEFA Cup (2002-2003) and Intercontinental (2004) with Porto.
  • Winner of 4 national titles with FC Barcelona.

7. Pauleta

  • Full Name: Pedro Miguel Carreiro Resendes
  • Date of Birth: 28 April 1973 (age 48)
  • Place of Birth: Ponta Delgada, Portugal
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Pedro Carreiro Resendes, or, as he was popularly known, Pauleta, was an incisive, efficient and unbalancing striker who gave the team many years of good play.

In Spain he is fondly remembered for what he achieved with Deportivo de la Coruña, and also stands out at Paris Saint-Germain when the French club was not a millionaire club. One of the best Portuguese players in history.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1997–2006 Portugal 8847

Among His Great Achievements We Can Highlight:

  • Champion LALIGA with Deportivo Coruna ( ‘Super Dépor’).
  • Second top scorer in the history of Portugal (47 goals in 88 games).
  • Runner-up of Euro 2004
  • PSG’s third all-time top scorer

6. Paulo Futre

  • Full Name: Paulo Jorge dos Santos Futre
  • Date of Birth: 28 February 1966
  • Place of Birth: Montijo, Portugal
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Winger

Paulo Futre is, without a doubt, a living legend of Atlético de Madrid . He is considered by all to be one of the best Portuguese players in history of mattress and is a reference for all the fans. However, how could it be otherwise, he is another outstanding player on this list who has achieved success with Porto.

As a player, he was a winger with a lot of verticality, a lot of goal and a lot of individual talent.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1983–1995 Portugal 416

Among His Main Achievements And Trophies We Can Find:

  • Champion of the European Cup with Porto (1987).
  • Winner of two Copa del Rey with Atlético de Madrid (1991 and 1992).
  • Champion Series AC Milan (1996).
  • 1987 Silver Ball.

5. Deco

  • Full Name: Anderson Luís de Souza
  • Date of Birth: 27 August 1977
  • Place of Birth: São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Deco is, without a doubt, one of the best Portuguese players in history. This talented attacking midfielder born in Brazil, but nationalized from Portugal, had a long and fruitful career in Europe and in his native Brazil.

However, in Spain, Deco is well remembered for his golden years at FC Barcelona , a club where he is fondly remembered.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
2003–2010 Portugal 755

At the time, he was recognized as one of the best players in the world and his milestones, achievements and trophies attest to his successful career:

  • Two-time UEFA Champions League champion (2003-2004 with Porto and 2005-2006 with FC Barcelona)
  • League champion in four countries (Porto, FC Barcelona, ​​Chelsea and Fluminense).
  • Champion of the UEFA Cup with Porto (2002-2003).
  • 2nd place in the Ballon d’Or (2004).
  • Runner-up of the 2004 European Championship.

4. Rui Costa 

  • Full Name: Rui Manuel César Costa
  • Born: 29 March 1972
  • Amadora, Portugal
  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

Rui Costa is one of the Portuguese with the greatest impact outside the Iberian Peninsula. This magical midfielder stood out mainly at AC Milan , a club in which he played more than 150 games and in which he is a legend. However, in addition to being a youth squad for Benfica, this great player made much of his career at another Italian club, Fiorentina.

Despite not having a record as great as that of the other players in this ranking, Costa’s pure talent has been something unrepeatable in Portugal.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1993–2004 Portugal 9426

Therefore, Among Its Achievements We Can Highlight:

  • Serie A champion with Milan (2004).
  • Champion of the UEFA Champions League (2002-2003) and the European Super Cup (2003) with AC Milan.
  • Winner of two Italian Cups with Fiorentina.
  • Runner-up of Euro 2004.
  • Seventh top scorer in the history of his national team (26).

3. Luis Figo

  • Full Name: Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo
  • Date of Birth: 4 November 1972
  • Place of Birth: Almada, Portugal
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

The player who takes third place in our ranking is none other than Luís Figo. This legendary player for Sporting Club, FC Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Inter Milan is well known worldwide for his media coverage.

At the time, Luis Figo was considered best Portuguese players in history, arriving at Real Madrid as one of the four galacticos. Despite his controversial departure from FC Barcelona and his episode in the classic with the pig’s head, Figo knew how to overcome everything and demonstrate his high level with the meringues.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1991–2006 Portugal12732

Among Its Achievements, Honors And Milestones We Can Highlight:

  • Ballon d’Or of the year 2000.
  • Champion of the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid (2002).
  • Two-time champion of the European Super Cup (1997 with FC Barcelona and 2002 with Real Madrid).
  • Winner of 9 national titles in Spain (5 with FC Barcelona and 4 with Real Madrid).
  • Winner of 8 national titles with Inter Milan.
  • Fourth top scorer in the history of the national team (32).

2. Eusebio

  • Full Name: Eusébio da Silva Ferreira
  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1942
  • Place of Birth: Lourenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

The panther of Mozambique, Eusébio was, unequivocally, the best player in the entire history of Portugal until the irruption of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. This talented forward stood out mainly at Benfica, a club where he managed to lift a large number of titles.

In the same way, with his team he achieved a historic third place in the World Cup, a milestone that has not been repeated so far. Historically, Eusebio is considered one of the best Europeans of all time and one of the 10 best players of the 20th century.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1961–1973 Portugal6441

Among His Achievements, Trophies and Recognitions We Can Find:

  • Winner of the 1965 Ballon d’Or.
  • Double winner of the Golden Boot (1968 and 1973).
  • Champion of the European Cup with Benfica (1961-62).
  • Winner of 16 national titles with Benfica.
  • Best Portuguese footballer of the 20th century.
  • Third top scorer in the history of his team (41).

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Full Name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  • Date of Birth: 5 February 1985
  • Place of Birth: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

At the top, from the highest of all, Cristiano Ronaldo stands out as the best player in the entire history of Portugal. This world-class star stood out from a very young age at Sporting until he was bought by Manchester United in 2003.

In the Mancuniano club he stood out to such an extent that he came to be considered the best in the world. This led Real Madrid to make the most expensive transfer in history in 2009, subsequently surpassed by other signings. With the whites, Cristiano Ronaldo showed the world everything he was capable of, enjoying his most golden years in the white institution. One of best Portuguese players in history.

For many, along with Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players of the 21st century and possibly one of the best in all of history.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
2003– Portugal 182115

Proof of This are his Infinite Recognitions, Titles and Awards That he has Accumulated to Date

  • Five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
  • Four-time Golden Boot winner: 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015.
  • Triple winner of the UEFA Best Player
  • Double winner of The Best
  • All-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.
  • Historical top scorer of the Portuguese team.
  • Champion of the Euro 2016.
  • Champion of the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
  • Top scorer in the history of Real Madrid (450).
  • Third all-time top scorer in football history.
  • Five- time UEFA Champions League (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018).
  • Triple champion of the European Super Cup (2014,2016,2017).
  • Champion League in three countries (Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus).

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