Most Famous Players in Soccer History: During its more than 120 years of history, the NFL has discovered and showcased some of the best athletes in the world. There have been so many incredible players that it was very difficult to narrow this list down to 7.
All of these players have changed the game in some way, whether as a founder of the league, someone who raised the bar, or someone who changed lives on and off the field.
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7 Most Famous Players in the American Soccer History (NFL)
1. Jim Thorpe
Not only is Jim Thorpe believed to be one of the most influential soccer players of all time, but he is also believed to be one of the greatest sportsmen of the modern era. Thorpe was the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal, he played professional basketball, professional baseball, and professional American soccer. He was also a movie star.
Thorpe played for one of the top teams in the NFL and was also a coach on that team. We don’t have many records of his time in the NFL, but we do know that he was named to the 50th-anniversary team and twice to the soccer team.
Thorpe was believed to be heavily involved in founding the NFL.
2. Jim Brown
One of Brown’s most impressive accomplishments was that he was invited to the Pro Bowl every year he played in the NFL. He is a 4-time NFL MVP and was an NFL champion in 1967.
He was named to the 50th-anniversary team, the 75th-anniversary team, and the 100th-anniversary team.
He was the first player to rush 10,000 yards. He also holds the NFL record for ‘rushing yards’ game average: 103 yards per game.
Brown also spent some time as a professional boxer and actor. Without a doubt, it is one of the greatest of all time. He was the first big star of the NFL.
3. Walter Payton
Walter Payton was named on both the 75th and 100th anniversary of NFL teams and was a 5-time All-Star Pro. He is widely regarded as one of the best Rushers the NFL has ever seen. It has also been named as one of the 100 Greatest (Chicago) Bears of All Time. He won Superbowl XX with the Bears.
After Payton’s death, the NFL named its ‘Man of the Year’ award in his honor. One of the greatest honors they could bestow. The NFL wanted to celebrate his charity and volunteer work, as well as the way he played.
4. Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice is widely regarded as the best receiver in NLF history. He has been inducted into the college soccer hall of fame and the NFL hall of fame since his retirement.
He spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and won three Superbowl titles with them. Rice is the only player in NFL history to receive more than 20,000 yards, he also holds the record for all-purpose touchdowns: 208. He is a 13-time Pro Bowl player. He was also named to the NFL 75th and 100th-anniversary teams.
5. Tom Brady
There is no doubt that Tom Brady is the best player currently playing in the NFL and many believe that he is the best of all time.
Brady has 7 Superbowl titles, 5 Superbowl MVP awards, and 3 NFL MVP awards. He was unanimously named to the NFL’s 100th-anniversary team. He is a 14-time Pro Bowler. He has the records for most career wins, most touchdown passes completed, most career pass attempts and has won the Superbowl with two different teams.
With 21 seasons under his belt, Brady has made it clear that he has no intention of retiring anytime soon.
6. Payton Manning
We thought it was unfair to mention Brady without mentioning his notorious rival Payton Manning. The couple’s careers coincided between 2001 and 2015 when Manning retired.
Manning will go on to be one of the all-time greats, but his career was definitely overshadowed by Brady. While many think that this rivalry led to Brady being the incredible player he is today, we’d be interested in what Manning might have accomplished if Brady hadn’t shown up.
Either way, Manning will be remembered as part of the biggest rivalries in the NFL and for the beautiful soccer, he used to play. Manning has only one record left that Brady has yet to break: 5 NFL MVP awards, Brady currently has 3.
7. John Madden
It’s hard to think of someone who has had more of an impact on NFL culture than John Madden and the Madden games.
After a successful coaching career, during which he won the Superbowl with the Oakland Raiders, Madden took to comment. During his time as a commentator, he worked for all four major networks.
EA chose Madden to be the face of its first soccer game, the game was such a huge success that EA now releases annual updates to the game. And the game keeps making it to the bestseller list year after year.