Although it is not a country with great relevance at the football level, throughout history some stars have signed for American teams, most of them as an end to a sporting race full of successes. This is a list of some of the great soccer players who played in the United States. Names that have marked an era in football and that one day gave American fans great afternoons, which are more and more every day.
The Great Lord of Football, Pelé
No football fan worth his salt never forgets the name of Pele, who has it linked to this sport. For something, he is the best player of all time.
After playing all his sports life in the Brazilian Santos, he retired, but a series of bad investments left him near the point of ruin. There were many teams that he wanted to receive back to the king, but he decided to play at the Cosmos in New York, where he spent 3 years. There is no doubt that part of the taste in the United States for football, which today is much more than before, is due to the years that Pele spent making fans enjoy.
Just the year in which Pele was retiring for the second and last time, one of the best defenses in history, Franz Beckenbauer, arrived at the Cosmos. He played in this team for 5 years, interspersed with a return to Germany to play in Hamburg. It was in the United States where he also finished his career as a footballer, after 105 games and 19 goals, numbers that are not bad for a defender. Cosmos won 3 leagues with him as a player.
The captain of the English team world champion in 1966 went to the United States and played in two teams, first in the San Antonio Thunder and then in the Seattle Sounders. One of the English players who have finished their career in this country after becoming legends, both in their clubs and in their national team.
Another of the great British footballers of renown, who stood out for playing at Manchester United and later at Real Madrid, also finished his sports career in the United States. The Galaxy Angels aroused great expectations when David Beckam first put on the team’s shirt.
His American journey was full of ups and downs. He was assigned to Milan, where he showed that there was still football in his boots. He returned to Los Angeles the following season, and again to Milan in the middle of the year to prepare for the World Championship and be in the national team. An injury truncated this idea and after recovering again played with the Galaxy. His career ended at PSG, where he wanted to play for free and dedicate his salary to social works, although he was not left. The last game he played received a great ovation by the fans and their teammates.
Another historic English player for his club. He also played in Los Angeles Galaxy, like Beckam. He retired after two years as a player in the American team.
The one who is possibly the best Dutch player of all time, as well as one of the best in the world, said in Los Angeles, although a few years before the Galaxy existed. Johan Cruyff was in the Aztecs and later moved to Washington where he wore the elastic of the Diplomats in the late 70s and early 80s. Then he fed his legend as a coach.
When Manchester founded its franchise in New York, the first of the players who signed was David Villa. Although it was a newly formed team for a new league, before playing there it was ceded in Melbourne. At the time of writing this article, Villa continues to play in the United States as a New York striker.
The one that was one of the main gunboats of France also retired in the United States, specifically in the Red Bulls of New York. He spent four seasons playing and proving that he was still a great player.
Also Read: Best Brazilian Players in Football History
The Cosmos was renewed and wanted to sign one of the best players who have played in the League. Raul delighted New York fans a season in the second division of the United States, to retire later. He is considered the best player in history, in addition to having an enviable medal winner, both in clubs and in the national team.
Other great players passed through the United States, such as Gordon Banks, Alessandro Nesta or Frank Lampard among others. Most of those we have mentioned were Europeans, although other South American stars who played in teams from the old continent also had their time in this country.