Brazil soccer players are not made, they are born. Ask most children what they want to be when they grow up and you will hear a variety of responses, like a doctor or policeman.
In Brazil, you will hear a common theme: they want to be a soccer player. It is seen by many as the way to escape from poverty, but only a few reach their dream. Their dedication and determination are what makes them great.
Brazil has seen an abundance of talent come up through the ranks to make the country the biggest winners in the history of soccer. Some of them have lent their talent to other European teams but they are still recognized as Brazil's players. Among those outstanding players are a few who are truly remarkable and will never be forgotten.
No list of names of Brazil soccer players would be complete without mentioning the person who is considered as the greatest player in the history of the game. Born Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, he became a legend not only in Brazil, but throughout the world of soccer. He came in second for the title of greatest player of the century.
Pele came from a poor family in Tres Coracos and was taught to play soccer by his father. He shined shoes to earn money as a teenager. He was discovered when he was only eleven years old and made his first goal in his first game when he was only sixteen. It was said then that he would be the greatest soccer player that ever lived.
At seventeen, he helped Brazil win its first World Cup by scoring two goals in the final game. He went on to help Brazil win more titles. He was known for his speed and ability to control the ball and the ability to shoot accurately with either foot or his head.
Manoel Francisco dos Santos was born on October 28, 1933 in Pau Grande, Brazil, Garrincha should never have been a soccer player, much less one of the great Brazil soccer players. He had problems with one of his feet and was almost crippled; his left leg was shorter than the right one and turned out while the right one turned inwards.
As with many young kids in Brazil, he played soccer throughout his childhood but he had no intention of becoming a professional player. By the time he was twenty, he was married with a child.
He had been signed as a youth to play for SC Pau Grande and was signed at twenty to play for Botafogo where he shined as an athlete. He played in the World Cup in 1958 and 1962, helping Brazil to win their first two titles.
Garrincha was plagued with alcohol problems, which led to him playing for many different teams in a short time after leaving Botafogo. His career ended in 1972; during his last years, he suffered problems in his marriage and finances. He died from liver disease when he was only forty-nine years old.
In spite of his problems and the lackluster status of his last years in soccer, Garrincha is still known as one of the great Brazil soccer players and as the boy who should never have been able to play.
Ronaldinho is one of the modern day greats in the list of Brazil's soccer players. His performance at the 2002 World Cup made him a household name to many outside Brazil who were unfamiliar with him.
Ronaldinho was born into a soccer family; his older brother played soccer for Gremio. He also joined the youth team with Gremio and had some excellent games where he drew the attention of the national squads.
After having issues with getting a work permit and a problem with his unfocused lifestyle, he was finally signed with Paris Saint German. After his performance in 2002, he got a contract offer from Barcelona. He won the player of the year award in 2004 and 2005 and still remains an outstanding player with the team.
Another current soccer player, Ronaldo has established a name for himself as one of the great athletes. He is currently playing with the Corinthians, but has been with several European teams.
Ronaldo was born in a poor neighborhood and he was named after the doctor who was present at his birth. As with many poor Brazilian children, he played soccer in the streets as his main source of recreation.
By the time he was fourteen, Ronaldo had made it to a youth team. He caught the eye of Jairzinho, who was a former World Cup player. He recommended young Ronaldo to Cruzeiro, where he played for one season and scored twelve goals in fourteen games. He went to PSV Eindhoven in 1994 and scored an impressive forty-two goals in forty-six appearances.
At seventeen, he played in his first World Cup, helping Brazil take another title. He continued to play with Eindhoven until he was noticed by Barcelona. His impressive goal-scoring continued and earned him player of the year in 1996. When he went to play with Milan, he again won the award in 1997.
After a long recovery from a knee injury, Ronaldo helped Brazil win their fifth World Cup title in 2002 and again won that year's Player of the Year award. He joined the Spanish team, the Real Madrid where he broke the record for most goals in a World Cup tournament by scoring fourteen goals.
After another knee injury, he ended up training with a Brazil team before signing with the Corinthians. He is recognized as one of the greatest Brazil soccer players of all time.
Soccer is more than a game to the people of Brazil; it is a way of life. It is a cause for celebration even when there is not much to celebrate. Great Brazil soccer players through history are the reason for the celebrations.
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