Latino players have been in demand throughout the history of soccer, as they bring an additional flair to the game and it is not usually associated with players from other parts of the world. Here are some of the top Latino players in the history of the sport.
Diego Maradona is often remembered in the English speaking countries for his infamous 'hand of the God,' but he is more than just about one incident. The iconic footballer is still regarded as one of the best players in the world.
While there would be inevitable comparisons with Pele, it is fair to say that Maradona achieved a lot of success at club level and had reasonable success at international level by helping Argentina to their last World Cup title till date - in 1986. The success achieved by the forward with a small physical stature was so huge that he was named alongside Pele as the FIFA player of the 20th century.
Pele is often referred to as the greatest footballer the world has ever seen. His personal claim of more than 1000 goals in club football may not be backed up by official statistics, but there can be no doubt that he transformed the Brazil into one of greats on world stage.
Pele did not have a career in European football, but he made up for this lack of numbers by managing to win the World Cup an incredible three times. He ended up making 92 appearances for the national team. Pele was so successful during the middle of the 20th century that France Football recently published a revaluation that granted him with seven Ballon d'Or awards, while retaining the original list of winners.
Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the greatest of the modern generation players, while there is even an argument about the little Argentine being considered as the best in the world. Such has been his immense achievements in the game - at a time when the opposition are at their best thanks to the presence of media technology and physical improvements in the players.
Messi has practically owned the FIFA Ballon d'Or award in the last decade as he has managed to win five titles - a record. Few expected him to have such immense success while standing at just 5 ft 7 in, but he has managed to become the greatest player in Barcelona's history. His biggest disappointment would be the lack of honours with Argentina. His teams are often the favourites in OddsDigger bets online.
Uruguay managed to win the first ever World Cup title, and it was largely down to the incredible leadership skills of Jose Nasazzi. The defender captained Uruguay to the World Cup 1930. He clearly galvanised the team with his fiery attitude. Nasazzi was no stranger to suspensions from the game, and he even served 12 months on the sidelines for hitting a referee.
His leadership was so strong, while his game was also in a similar stature. He was a no-nonsense defender who played his club football for Bella Vista and Nacional. While he did not win huge individual awards, he certainly helped to put Uruguay on the international football map.
South Americans hold Arsenio Erico in high regard, as he is seen as a player who is on similar level as Alfredo di Stefano of Real Madrid. Erico still holds the record for the most number of goals in the Argentine first division. His 295 goals largely came while playing for Independiente. During the 1930s, Argentina were thought to possess one of the best domestic divisions in South America, but their star was not a local hero. Instead, he was Paraguayan Erico. He has a stadium named after him as a tribute to his decade-long service in Argentina.
The world may have seen the best of Ronaldinho only for a handful of years, but the Brazilian had already demonstrated to the world that he was a talent of mesmerising propositions. He played the game with a smile, while also terrorising opposition with his amazing skills on the ball at the same time. This deadly combination meant that he was loved by supporters irrespective of their allegiance. A huge amount of success for Ronaldinho came in the span of a few years, as he managed to win the likes of the World Cup with Brazil and the Champions League with Barcelona.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Ronaldo is considered as one of the greatest strikers in the game so much so that he was even branded with the title 'The Phenomenon.' Ronaldo scored goals wherever he played and he remains as one of the few top stars to have represented Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid along with Milan rivals - Inter Milan and AC Milan. Ronaldo almost single-handedly helped Brazil when the two World Cup titles, while he remained as the top scorer in the World Cup finals for a long time.