50 of the greatest players from the 1980s

Despite unfortunately being defined by a handful of major incidents off the pitch – such as the Hillsborough and Heysel Stadium disasters and several bouts of severe football hooliganism – the 1980’s nonetheless provided the Beautiful Game with many incredible moments we certainly still cherish today.

From the old fashioned curly perm and Chuckle Brothers-esque moustache combo, to the notoriously short-shorts and classic black & white boots we’ve all come to expect from such a bygone era, this was a time in which real footballing skill was truly starting to take over.

As Brazil wowed supporters worldwide via their traditional brand of attacking flair, the likes of France and Holland among several other international powerhouses continued to excel both collectively, and on an individual level.

So then, in response to all the amazing technical brilliance and raw passionate spirit from the sport’s many die-hard followers achieved throughout this memorable decade, here are 50 of the best footballers to ply their trade in the 1980s…

50. Rafael Martin Vazquez


49. Bernd Schuster


48. Soren Lerby


47. Toninho Cerezo


46. Thomas Ravelli


45. Jorge Burruchaga


44. John Barnes


43. Careca (Antonio de Oliveira Filho)


42. Enzo Francescoli


41. Harald Schumacher


40. Falcao (Paulo Roberto)


39. Alan Hansen


38. Pierre Littbarski


37. Neville Southall


36. Bruno Conti


35. Jan Ceulemans


34. Eder (Alexio de Assis)


33. Rudi Voller


32. Manuel Amoros


31. Junior (Leovegildo Lins da Gama)


30. Andreas Brehme


29. Rinat Dasayev


28. Marco Tardelli


27. Jean Tigana


26. Ian Rush


25. Graeme Souness


24. Alain Giresse


23. Preben Elkjaer


22. Bryan Robson


21. Jean-Pierre Papin


20. Glenn Hoddle


19. Paulo Futre


18. Igor Belanov


17. Enzo Scifo


16. Ronald Koeman


15. Emilio Butragueno


14. Gary Lineker


13. Paolo Rossi


12. Zbigniew Boniek


11. Frank Rijkaard


10. Hugo Sanchez


9. Lothar Matthaus


8. Zico


7. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge


6. Franco Baresi


5. Marco van Basten


4. Ruud Gullit


3. Socrates


2. Michel Platini


1. Diego Maradona