What does it mean to be a “cool” footballer?

You must first be one of the best in the game. There must be evidence that you know how to read what is happening, respond proactively, while keeping your head cool most of the time.

The coolest players are leaders on the pitch. They inspire others to go above and beyond as the team surges forward to secure a victory. 

Here is our list that includes the best of those that have the “cool” factor today. 

#1. Cristiano Ronaldo

This footballer started his career at age 16 when his manager promoted him from Sporting CP’s youth squad. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the best to play the game of all time, making a name for himself at Manchester United. He also established his greatness while playing for Real Madrid and Juventus.

#2. Pele

Pele started at the age of 16 as well, making his domestic debut for Santos FC. Unlike the other best players of this era, he remained at his home club for almost the entirety of his career. He would also work to establish soccer in America, joining the New York Cosmos for two seasons during the NASL era. 

#3. Andrea Pirlo

Pirlo played the majority of his career in Italy, continuing the trend of making his professional debut at the age of 16 for Brescia. He became the club’s youngest player to make an appearance in the top flight. Pirlo would then go back for a year with the youth team before breaking into the senior squad for good during the 1996-97 season. He transferred to New York City FC in 2015 to make 60 appearances in MLS. 


#4. Zinedine Zidane

Most people remember this footballer for his graphic headbutt of Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final. Italy would go on to win the tournament in penalty kicks. Despite the violence, he would win the Golden Ball for the tournament. He has also gone on to be a dominating manager, leading Real Madrid to consecutive Champions League finals before retiring.

#5. Kylian Mbappe

The youngest member of the coolest soccer players of all time list, Mbappe made his professional debut at 16 as well. He helped Monaco achieve their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years, then promptly transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for over $200,000. He also became the youngest French player in history to score in the World Cup in the 2018 competition. Growing up, he always said that his idol was Cristiano Ronaldo – and wanted to pattern his game after the best of all time.

The world’s game offers many different levels of “coolness” that can be seen at every level. Whether you get involved at the youth level as a coach, stay engaged with the sport as a player, or manage one of the best teams in the world, you will not find a closer family than those who live and breathe football.