10 Top Greatest Captains In Football History

The role of a captain in football is often overlooked, as they do not possess as much decision-making power as that of a manager.

However, a manager can only layout tactics and formations outside the field; on the football pitch, those plans need to be executed and improvised by the captain.

That is where the leadership ability of players come in as they strive to lift their teammates, especially when the chips are down.

What kinds of players can become a great captain? In football history, many great players have led their teams to succeed with their unique qualities.

Today,  Let’s pick your top 10 Greatest Captains in football history:

  • Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas is the only captain in the history of the game to have lifted eight different major trophies, namely; La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, Champions League, European Super Cup, Club World Cup, World Cup and the European Championships. 

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  • John Terry

Emerging at a young age, Terry has shown remarkable consistency and an exceptional reading of the game in his 445 games for the club. Terry also captained England for a total of five years before retiring from international football.

  • Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini captained Italy for eight years and AC Milan for 12, and was renowned for his leadership skills, earning him the nickname “Il Capitano”, or ‘The Captain’. 

  • Didier Deschamps

As a captain, Deschamps is one of only three men to have lifted the Champions League, the World Cup and the European Championship trophies. He was made Marseille captain in 1992 and became the youngest man to ever lift the Champions League a year later, at the age of 23.

  • Roy Keane
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He was appointed as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005 because of his aggressive and highly competitive style of play. he won 7 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Champions League.

  • Steven Gerrard

Gerrard has led the Liverpool team through an era which could politely be described a rough patch.As a captain he is both vocal and able to lead by example on the pitch.

  • Francesco Totti

 Francesco Totti is commonly referred to as the ‘King of Rome’, Totti has spent his entire 23-year career at Roma, where he leads both the all-time goal scoring and appearance charts. Still going strong at 38, Totti has 240 goals for Roma in 582 games.

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  • Diego Maradona

If it is a captain’s job to inspire and lead by example then there can be no better example than Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup.

  • Carles Puyol

Puyol retired after 15 years of first team football at Barcelona and a decade as club captain. Puyol played 392 games for Barca, in which he won six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, six Spanish Supercopas, three Champions Leagues and 2 European Supercups.

  • Franz Beckenbauer

As a captain, Franz Beckenbauer won every trophy going at both club and international level. In total, Beckenbauer won five Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, three European Cups, one Cup Winners’ Cup and one Intercontinental Cup at club level. He also won FIFA World Cup 1974 for West Germany.

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