The 20 Best Soccer Players From Portugal

Best Soccer Players From Portugal: Portugal has produced many talented soccer players over the years, and several of them have gone on to become some of the best players in the world. From the legendary Eusébio in the 1960s to the current global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese players have made their mark on the sport. Other notable players from Portugal include Fernando Couto, Fernando Chalana, and Paulo Futre, all of whom were instrumental in the success of the Portuguese national team. In recent years, Portugal has also produced a new generation of talented players, such as Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, and Diogo Jota, who are making their mark on the global stage.

Best Soccer Players From Portugal

Here are the 20 Best Soccer Players From Portugal.

20. Ricardo Carvalho

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

Ricardo Carvalho is often overlooked when talking about great players, but he truly deserves more recognition. He was an excellent defender who made a name for himself during his successful years at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

However, he is considered a legend in his home country because of his outstanding performances for Porto and the national team. Jose Mourinho, who coached Porto, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, always relied on Carvalho and considered him an essential part of his teams.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
895

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 2016

19. Fernando Chalana

  • Full Name: Fernando Albino de Sousa Chalana
  • Date of Birth: 10 February 1959
  • Height: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
  • Position(s): Winger

Fernando Chalana is a former Portuguese football player and coach. He was a midfielder and started his career at Benfica when he was 16 years old in 1975. He played for Benfica until 1984, winning the national title five times and the Portuguese Cup three times during that period.

At the age of 18, Chalana also made his debut for the Portuguese national team in a World Cup qualifying match against Denmark in 1976. In 1984, he had an impressive performance in the European Championship in France, which caught the attention of the Bordeaux team. He moved to Bordeaux that summer but suffered a serious injury and only played 10 games, scoring one goal.

Chalana returned to Benfica in 1987 but his career was declining. He stayed at Benfica until 1990, playing in 47 games and scoring eight goals. He played his last match for the Portuguese national team in 1988. After his playing career, Chalana became a coach and in 2008, he coached Benfica, taking over from José Antonio Camacho.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
272

18. Fernando Peyroteo

  • Full Name: Fernando Baptista de Seixas Peyroteo de Vasconcelos
  • Date of Birth: 10 March 1918
  • Position(s): Striker

Born in Angola, which was then a Portuguese colony, he later moved to Portugal and began playing football in the youth team of Sporting Lisbon. During his time at Sporting, he was discovered and personally trained by Hungarian coach József Szabó, who dedicated special training sessions to him.

He was part of the famous Sporting Lisbon quintet known as Cinco Violinos, along with Jesus Correia, Albano Narciso Pereira, Manuel Vasques, and José Travassos. Together, they brought success to Sporting Lisbon for around thirty years in the mid-20th century. From 1937 to 1949, Peyroteo emerged as a prominent striker for Sporting Lisbon, scoring an impressive 331 goals in just 197 league games. This record still stands unbeaten, despite being challenged by players like Eusébio, who scored 317 goals in the championship.

On October 5, 1949, he played his farewell game in football at the young age of 31. Afterwards, he began training with Belenenses for what was intended to be his final season as a professional player, but it ultimately ended without any significant achievements.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
2014

17. João Pinto

  • Full Name João Manuel Vieira Pinto
  • Date of Birth 19 August 1971
  • Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

João Vieira Pinto is a retired Portuguese soccer player. He played as a forward and attacking midfielder and is considered one of the best players of his generation in Portugal. Vieira Pinto played for several clubs throughout his career, including Sporting Lisbon, Porto, and Benfica.

He was also a key member of the Portuguese national team, representing his country at three European Championships and one World Cup. Vieira Pinto is currently a television commentator for soccer matches.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
8123

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
FIFA U-20 World Cup: 1989, 1991
UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up: 1994
UEFA European Under-18 Championship runner-up: 1988, 1990
UEFA European Under-16 Championship runner-up: 1988

16. João Moutinho

  • Full Name: João Filipe Iria Santos Moutinho
  • Date of Birth: 8 September 1986
  • Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

João Moutinho is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for AS Monaco in the French Ligue 1 and the Portuguese national team. Moutinho is a midfielder known for his technical skills and passing ability.

He has played for several clubs throughout his career, including Sporting Lisbon, Porto, and Wolves. Moutinho has also represented Portugal at numerous international tournaments, including the European Championships and the World Cup.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
1467

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 20162016
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19
FIFA Confederations Cup third place: 2017
UEFA European Under-17 Championship: 2003

15. Pauleta

  • Full Name: Pedro Miguel Carreiro Resendes
  • Date of Birth: 28 April 1973
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Pedro Carreiro Resendes, also known as Pauleta, was a skilled and successful striker who made a significant impact on the team for many years. He was known for his ability to score goals and create opportunities that caused problems for the opposing team. In Spain, he is well-remembered for his achievements with Deportivo de la Coruña.

He also stood out while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, even though the club was not as wealthy as it is today. He scored over 100 goals in all competitions for PSG. Pauleta also represented the Portuguese national team at two European Championships and one World Cup.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
8847

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2004

14. Paulo Futre

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

Paulo Futre is a true icon of Atlético de Madrid and is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. He is highly respected and admired by fans and is considered a role model. It’s no surprise that he achieved great success with Porto as well, as he is among the outstanding players on the list.

During his career, he played as a winger, known for his agility and ability to score goals. He possessed a remarkable individual talent that set him apart on the field.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
416

13. Diogo Jota

  • Full Name: Diogo José Teixeira da Silva
  • Date of Birth: 4 December 1996
  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
  • Position(s): Forward, Winger

Diogo Jota is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League and the Portuguese national team. Jota is a forward known for his pace and goal-scoring ability. He has played for several clubs throughout his career, including Pacos de Ferreira, Porto, and Wolves. Jota has also represented Portugal at various youth levels.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
2910

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

12. Ricardo Carvalho

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

Ricardo Alberto Silveira de Carvalho is a retired Portuguese professional soccer player. He played as a center-back and is considered one of the best defenders of his generation. Carvalho played for several clubs throughout his career, including Porto, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. He was also a key member of the Portuguese national team, representing his country at three European Championships and three World Cups. Carvalho is known for his technical skills, passing ability, and leadership on the field.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
895

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 2016

11. João Félix

  • Full Name: João Félix Sequeira
  • Date of Birth: 10 November 1999
  • Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Forward / Winger / Attacking midfielder

João Félix is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Atletico Madrid in the Spanish La Liga and the Portuguese national team. Félix is a forward known for his creativity, dribbling ability, and goalscoring potential. He began his professional career at Benfica, and later transferred to Atletico Madrid for a fee that made him one of the most expensive players in the world at the time. Félix has also represented Portugal at various youth levels.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
284

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

10. Ruben Dias

  • Full Name: Rúben dos Santos Gato Alves Dias
  • Date of Birth: 14 May 1997
  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Centre-back

Ruben Dias is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Manchester City in the English Premier League and the Portuguese national team.

Dias is a center back known for his defensive skills, leadership, and ability to organize the defence. He began his professional career at Benfica, and later transferred to Manchester City in 2021.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
442

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

9. João Cancelo

  • Full Name: João Pedro Cavaco Cancelo
  • Date of Birth: 27 May 1994
  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Full-back, wing-back

João Cancelo is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Manchester City in the English Premier League and the Portuguese national team. Cancelo is a right back known for his defensive skills, pace, and attacking ability. He has played for several clubs throughout his career, including Benfica, Valencia, and Juventus. Cancelo has also represented Portugal at various youth levels.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
417

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

8. Rui Patrício

  • Full Name: Rui Pedro dos Santos Patrício
  • Date of Birth: 15 February 1988
  • Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

Rui Patrício is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Wolves in the English Premier League and the Portuguese national team. Patrício is a goalkeeper known for his shot-stopping ability, command of his area, and distribution skills.

He began his professional career at Sporting Lisbon, and later transferred to Wolves in 2018. Patrício has also represented Portugal at various youth levels, and played a key role in the team’s triumph at the 2019 UEFA Nations League.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
1050

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 2016
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

7. Rui Costa

  • Full Name: Rui Manuel César Costa
  • Date of Birth: 29 March 1972
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Rui Costa is one of the Portuguese players who made a significant impact beyond the Iberian Peninsula. He was a mesmerizing midfielder who particularly excelled during his time at AC Milan, where he became a legendary figure after playing more than 150 games for the club. Prior to that, he began his career as a youth player at Benfica and also had a notable stint at another Italian club, Fiorentina.

Although Rui Costa’s career may not have spanned as long as some of the other players in this ranking, his pure talent was unmatched and something truly special in Portugal.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
9426

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Football Championship runner-up: 2004

6. Deco

  • Full Name: Anderson Luís de Souza
  • Date of Birth: 27 August 1977
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Deco is undoubtedly one of the most skilled players to have represented the Portugal national team. He was an exceptional attacking midfielder who was born in Brazil but became a Portuguese citizen. Deco had a successful and lengthy career in both Europe and Brazil.

In Spain, Deco is particularly remembered for his outstanding years at FC Barcelona, where he is still held in high regard. During his time there, he was recognized as one of the top players in the world. His numerous milestones, achievements, and trophies are proof of his successful career.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
755

5. Bernardo Silva

  • Full Name: Bernardo Mota Veiga de Carvalho e Silva
  • Date of Birth: 10 August 1994
  • Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder, winger

Bernardo Mota Veiga de Carvalho e Silva, known simply as Bernardo Silva, is a professional soccer player from Portugal. He currently plays for Manchester City in the English Premier League and the Portuguese national team.

Silva is a attacking midfielder known for his technical skills, vision, and ability to create goals. He began his professional career at Benfica, and later transferred to Manchester City in 2017. Silva has also represented Portugal at various youth levels, and played a key role in the team’s triumph at the 2019 UEFA Nations League.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
788

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA Nations League: 2019
FIFA Confederations Cup third place: 2017

4. Pepe

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

The player who tops our ranking is the renowned former Real Madrid defender, Pepe. While it is important to acknowledge his violent behavior in the past, it is impossible to overlook his stature as a player in this ranking. In recent years, however, he has displayed a more disciplined approach and established himself as one of the best central defenders in the world.

Although Pepe is not Portuguese by birth, he has rightfully earned his place among the great legends of Portuguese sports. He has achieved significant success both at the club level and with the Portugal National Team, winning important titles.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
1338

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 2016
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

3. Luís Figo

  • Full name: Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo
  • Date of birth: 4 November 1972
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Winger

The player who holds the third spot in our ranking is none other than Luís Figo. He is a legendary player who has represented Sporting Club, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan, and is widely recognized globally for his media presence.

During his prime, Luís Figo was regarded as one of the top players in the world. He joined Real Madrid as part of the famous “galácticos” group. Although his departure from FC Barcelona was controversial, including an incident where a pig’s head was thrown at him during a match, Figo managed to overcome these challenges and showcased his exceptional skills and performance with Real Madrid.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
12732

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship runner-up: 2004
UEFA European U-16 Championship: 1989
FIFA World Youth Championship: 1991

2. Eusébio

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

Eusébio, known as the Mozambique panther, was widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of Portugal until the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo. He was a highly skilled forward who made a name for himself primarily at Benfica, where he won numerous titles.

One of Eusébio’s notable achievements was leading his national team to a historic third-place finish in the World Cup, a feat that has not been replicated to this day. He is recognized as one of the greatest European players of all time and is often included in lists of the top 10 players of the 20th century.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
6441

Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
FIFA World Cup third place:1966

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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

Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of Portugal. He gained attention at a young age while playing for Sporting before being signed by Manchester United in 2003.

At Manchester United, Ronaldo excelled to the point where he was considered the best player in the world. Real Madrid then made a record-breaking transfer for him in 2009, although the record has since been surpassed by other signings. Ronaldo showcased his incredible abilities with Real Madrid and enjoyed his best years with the club.

Many people believe that Cristiano Ronaldo, along with Messi, is one of the greatest players of the 21st century and possibly one of the best in history. This is supported by the numerous awards, titles, and accolades that he has received throughout his career.

Goals For Portugal:

AppearancesGoals
205128

Cristiano Ronaldo Career Goals 2023: Total Career Analysis 2002-2023


Honours For Portugal:

HonoursYear
UEFA European Championship: 2016
UEFA Nations League: 2018–19

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