Italy has given the world some of the best football legends. Here is a list of the best Italian Football players of all time.
Giuseppe Meazza (1930 -39, 53 caps, 33 goals)
Spanning a short career in football, this football did more than one can ever imagine. Although Italian football players are known for their defensive trait, this great player did better as an attacking player. In Inter Milan, also known as the San Siro, the stadium is also officially known as Stadio Guiseppe Meazza. He is famously called Pele in Italy.
Meazza played in Italy’s 1934 and 1938 World Cup winning teams and soon became a member of the exclusive club as he had won the greatest prize of football twice. He has a lifetime achievement of 33 international goals, that is also the second highest score in the Italian football history. He is undoubtedly the greatest Italian football player of all times.
Paolo Maldini (1988 – 2002, 126 caps, 7 goals)
Paolo Maldini is a football player par excellence and the term ‘legend’ falls short to describe him. He played as a stalwart at Milan for 25 years and then slowly rose to the international level. His tally of 126 caps was a ground-breaking record when he retired. Till today, no one has reached a tally of 74 as captain.
He played in four World Cups (1990, 94, 98 and 2002). He also played in three European Championships (1988, 96, 2000). He led Italy to be a part of the finals but lost against Zidane from France. He has appeared in many competitions such as the Serie A, the Champions League and also in Milan much more than any other player in history. He was ranked as the best left-back player ever in the ‘Top 10 left-backs of all times’ list.
Roberto Baggio (1988-2004, 56 caps, 27 goals)
Roberto Baggio has been playfully nicknamed ‘Divine Ponytail’ and is a player known for a penalty miss. He got famous when he missed the penalty in the 1994 World Cup final and made his country lose.
Yet, he bags a position in this list of Italy’s football legends, as he otherwise has had a magnificent career in football. He has scored over 300 career goals at a club level. He was the first Italian to get such a score in over 50 years. He has scored 27 international goals, which is the fourth highest in football history. He also won the Ballon d’Or and world footballer of the year award in 1993. He is the only Italian player who has scored at three world cups – 1990, 94 and 98. He has also been included in Italy’s Juventus’ and Brescia’s All-time XI teams.
Franco Baresi (1982-94, 82 caps, 1 goal)
This player is a famous Italian football player who made a striking debut only in 1990. He became a part of Italy’s famous victory in 1982, but he had not played in that tournament. He is ranked as the third best player in the ‘top 10 Central Defenders of All Time List’.
These four are the best Italy football legends of all time.