Best Portuguese Soccer Players Of All-Time

7 Best Portuguese Soccer Players Of All-Time

Portuguese soccer can proudly claim to have cultivated some of the most talented soccer players stretching back numerous generations.

Since the rise of Europe’s game during the 1950’s, a handful of athletes have been revered as true world beaters, both on the continent and towards the very highest levels of international soccer.

But who are the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time?

7. Deco


Sensational playmaker Deco is one of the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time. He featured most notably for Porto along with spells at Barcelona and Chelsea – winning seven domestic titles, two La Liga honours along with the Champions League twice in 2004 and 2006.

Deco made his international debut in 2003, representing his country across an eight-year period and winning a total of 75 caps. He was named Portuguese Footballer of the Year two times and formed part of the team that reached the 2004 European Championship final.

6. Ricardo Carvalho

Ricardo Carvalho

Ricardo Carvalho represented sides across some of Europe’s major leagues including Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid. He made 610 club appearances, claiming eighteen major honours including three Premier League trophies and the European Cup with Porto in 2004.

Amongst the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time, Carvalho secured 89 international caps for Portugal across a period of thirteen years, scoring five times and was amongst the side that famously won 2016’s European Championship.

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5. Rui Costa

Rui Costa

Rui Costa is one of the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time. The attacking midfielder played for some of the biggest teams in European soccer such as Benfica, Fiorentina and AC Milan – finding the net 97 times in 684 club appearances.

Costa made his Portugal debut in 1993, going on to win 94 caps and scoring 26 goals for his country. He featured at a host of international tournaments and was an integral part of the national team’s Euro 2004 campaign where they unexpectedly lost to Greece in the final.

4. Fernando Peyroteo

Fernando Peyroteo

Across a spectacular career, prolific forward Fernando Peyroteo played 344 times for Sporting CP and scored a remarkable 544 goals – his ratio of 1.62 goals per game amongst the best strike rates in the game’s history.

As one of the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time, Peyroteo only represented his country twenty times across a period where international soccer was decimated by World War Two. Yet he repeatedly won the Bola de Prata, an honour for the Portuguese League’s top goalscorer, an impressive six times in total.

3. Figo


Amongst the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time, epic playmaker Luis Figo made his international debut in 1991, representing the national team at four major tournaments and scoring 32 goals in 127 appearances. He won the award for Portuguese Footballer of the Year across five consecutive years from 1995 to 2000 and also the Ballon d’Or in 2000.

Figo played 792 times throughout his club career for Sporting CP, Barcelona, Inter Milan and a highly controversial period at Real Madrid following his move from the Nou Camp. He won over twenty domestic honours including four La Liga titles and the Champions League in 2002.

2. Eusebio


Legendary Striker Eusebio spent the majority of his playing career at Portuguese side Benfica, making 440 appearances and scoring an immense 473 goals – still revered as one of the sport’s greatest ever talents. He claimed eleven Primeira Liga titles, was named the league’s top goalscorer on seven occasions and the European Cup’s most prolific striker three times.

Eusebio is amongst the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time. He earned 64 caps for his country and scored 41 goals. Arguably his finest international performance came during the 1966 World Cup with Portugal finishing third in the competition. That same year Eusebio scored twelve times in as many games for his country. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 1965.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Undoubtedly one of the best Portuguese Soccer players of all-time is the immovable Cristiano Ronaldo. The unstoppable forward has played most notably for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. He has made over 1000 club appearances to date, scoring a record-breaking 877 times, whilst winning a quintet of Champions League titles and five Ballon d’Or awards.

Ronaldo has earned nearly 250 caps and is Portugal’s all-time top scorer with a tally of almost 150 goals. He has featured in every major international tournament since debuting in 2003, driving his country to victory at the 2016 European Championships and the Nation’s League in 2019. He was even named Golden Boot winner at Euro 2020 following five goals across the competition at the age of 36!

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