In the world of football, right-footed players predominate. Most teams have more players who prefer to use their right foot than those who prefer to use their left. Despite being in the minority, two left-footed players, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi are regarded as two of the best of all time.
Top 4 right-footed players
Take those two out of the equation, and the rest of the list is dominated by right-footed players. Even today, the majority of the world’s elite players are right-footed. As a result, it is difficult for them to stand out from the crowd, and it takes something special for them to be recognized. Without further ado, here are four of the greatest right-footed players.
Number 4: Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is arguably the most graceful footballer of all time. After winning the World Cup with France that year, the Frenchman won the Ballon d’Or in 1998. He became a national icon when he scored two goals in the final against odds-on favorite Brazil when he was only 26.
At times, Zidane made football appear too simple. He was a playmaker known for his vision, elegance, and technical prowess. Zidane was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000, and 2003, in addition to winning the Ballon d’Or in 1998.
Except his bizarre headbutt on Marco Materazzi, which earned him a red card in the 2006 World Cup final, Zidane relished big moments. When Real Madrid signed him in 2001 for a staggering €77 million, he became the most expensive footballer.
During his career, he won two Serie A titles, one La Liga title, one Champions League title, one World Cup, and one European championship.
Number 3: Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is nothing short of a game-changing figure in the beautiful game. Cruyff has had a greater impact and influence than any other player in the game’s history. He introduced the ‘total football’ philosophy to the Dutch national team, Barcelona, and Ajax, and had a stellar individual playing career.
Cruyff received three Ballon d’Or awards during his career, in 1971, 1973, and 1974. He was Ajax’s most important player as they won three European Championships and eight league titles. He played for Barcelona, winning the La Liga title and the Copa Del Rey.
Cruyff is responsible for La Masia as we know it today, and he also had a successful managerial career. He was a dynamic playmaker with great vision and the ability to pick killer passes. The fluid football that his teams were accustomed to playing benefited from having a genius like Cruyff on the team.
He’d drop deep to carry the ball forward and direct play in the offensive half. Cruyff was an innovator, and his agility, speed, acceleration, and spatial awareness distinguished him as a one-of-a-kind, world-class athlete. He was also a member of the best team never to win a World Cup, as the Netherlands finished runners-up to West Germany in 1974, capping off an incredible run.
Number 2: Pele
Pele, a Brazilian legend, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He won three World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He is regarded as one of the greatest goal scorers in the game’s history, and he is the only player to have scored more than 1200 goals in his senior career.
Even as a teenager, Pele was able to rise to the occasion. At the age of 17, he became the World Cup’s youngest goal scorer. He scored twice as Brazil defeated Sweden in the 1958 FIFA World Cup final.
Pele’s participation in the 1962 World Cup was limited to one game due to injury. He made up for it eight years later, leading a dominant Brazilian team to World Cup glory. He was awarded the Golden Ball for being the best player in the competition.
Pele also had a successful club career with Santos and the New York Cosmos. He had 643 goals in 659 games for Santos before leaving for the New York Cosmos after 18 years of service.
Because of his proclivity for scoring spectacular goals and mesmerizing trickery, Pele is credited with connecting the phrase “The Beautiful Game” with football.
Number 1: Cristiano Ronaldo
No right-footed player has ever remained at the top of the game for as long as Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football. Ronaldo is also the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer.
He is still phenomenal at 36 years old and has an unrivaled ability to come up clutch when his teams need him the most. Ronaldo burst onto the scene as a flashy young winger for Sporting Lisbon. Sir Alex Ferguson spotted the talented youngster and quickly signed him to Manchester United.
Ronaldo would develop from a tricky young winger capable of moments of magic to one of the best in the business over the next few years. In 2008, he received his first Ballon d’Or. But it was at Real Madrid that Ronaldo cemented his place as one of the all-time greats.
In 438 appearances for Real Madrid across all competitions, he scored an almost unbelievable 450 goals. In 906 appearances across all competitions, Ronaldo has scored 683 goals and provided 230 assists in his senior club career.
With either foot, the Portuguese international can unleash a barrage of shots. His burst of speed, movement, intelligence, agility, and aerial prowess is unrivaled. With Real Madrid, he won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, and four Champions Leagues.
He won three Premier League titles, one Champions League title, one FA Cup, and two League Cups while at Manchester United. With Juventus, he also won the Scudetto twice.
Ronaldo is 36 years old, but he is still one of the best players on the planet. He is arguably the greatest right-footed player of all time, having won five Ballon d’Ors.