Best footballers in America
Bastian Schweinsteiger’s time at Manchester United has come to an end, with a move to Chicago Fire now subject to a medical.
This adds to the illustrious list of talent to have played in the United States, a country that has always attracted big name players.
So, in light of this, FootyOn have compiled a list of the 10 best footballers to have played in America…
Carlos Alberto (New York Cosmos/California Surf)
Alberto was captain of perhaps the greatest national football team during Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning tournament.
His goal in the final is argued by many to be the greatest scored at a world championship tournament.
During two spells at the New York Cosmos and California Surf, he won the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship four times and the Eastern Division, National Conference the same number.
Eusebio (Boston Minutemen/Las Vegas Quicksilvers/New Jersey Americans)
Nicknamed the Black Panther, the Mozambique-born Portugal player is widely regarded as one the game’s greatest.
The marksman netted an incredible 317 goals in 301 league games while at Benfica, winning 11 Primeira Liga titles and a European Cup.
Eusebio played for four North American sides in three years, including a spell with Canada’s Toronto Blizzard.
Gerd Muller (Fort Lauderdale Strikers)
Bayern Munich’s all-time leading scorer with 525 goals from 573 appearances went in search of sunnier climes when he called time on his trophy laden 15-year Munich spell.
The World Cup winner spent three seasons in Florida, playing 71 times and netting 38.
His former club Bayern are 10/3 with BetVictor to win the Champions League this term.
Bobby Moore (San Antonio Thunder/Seattle Sounders/Carolina Lightnin’)
Famed for his superb reading of the game and ability on the ball, Moore captained England in their 1966 triumph.
After playing the majority of his career at West Ham United, he had a spell at Fulham before heading abroad.
Moore also played for Danish club Herning Fremad, now Midtjylland.
Franz Beckenbauer (New York Cosmos)
Arguably the greatest defender the game has seen, the World Cup winner (both as a player and manager) was probably still the game’s best when he moved to the New York Cosmos in 1977.
He spent three years there before heading back to Germany with Hamburg, but then subsequently re-joined the Cosmos for another season in 1983.
Beckenbauer played over 130 games for the Cosmos, winning the NASL three times.
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Finishing his career as both Arsenal and France’s all-time leading scorer, the complete forward left Barcelona in 2010 for the Big Apple.
Henry played a total of 122 games over four years, finding the net 51 times, lifting the MLS Eastern Conference twice and the Supporters Shield once.
Kaka (Orlando City)
Another former Ballon d’Or winner, Kaka switched to Floridian side Orlando from AC Milan in 2014.
A Champions league winner in Europe, the Brazilian World Cup victor joined a newly formed franchise.
Kaka is still the highest paid player in MLS history, rumoured to be earning around $7,500,000 a year.
Johan Cruyff (Los Angeles Aztecs/Washington Diplomats)
Few have influenced the game as much as Cruyff did as a player or indeed a manager.
After winning the European Cup three times with Ajax, he moved to Barcelona where he was soon adored by fans.
Five years after arriving in Spain, Cruyff headed to the US to play for the Los Angeles Aztecs and Washington Diplomats, staying for just two years.
George Best (Los Angeles Aztecs/Fort Lauderdale Strikers/San Jose Earthquakes)
Exceptional with both feet, with mesmerising dribbling and lightening pace, Pele once said Best was “the greatest player in the world.”
After 11 years at Manchester United, which featured a European Cup win in 1968, Best played for a multitude of different clubs.
The Northern Irishman enjoyed the lifestyle in America and often dazzled spectators with his unique ability on the ball.
Pele (New York Cosmos)
Perhaps the best ever, after 18 years at Santos where he netted 619 in 638 domestic games, he switch to the New York Cosmos in 1975.
A three-time World Cup winner, Pele’s move was a landmark moment for US football.
He stayed two years in the Big Apple, recording 31 strikes in 56 outings.