Football is an important sport for fans in many countries all over the world. The World Cup for this sport is viewed by millions, even by those whose countries aren’t even a part of it. Of course, it is the football players who make the game so existing, especially when we consider the best of the lot. These are the players that make football worth watching year after year, with their exhilarating plays, their reactions, and much more.
The 90s was an especially important decade for the game, with some excellent goals and very passionate fans. However, one might argue that it was the legendary players that really made the 90s a golden era for the game of football.
Rounding up the very best football players from the 90s decade is a challenging task. There are a lot of individuals who might fit the bill, but we can only discuss a limited number of them. Let’s get started below:
Dejan Savicevic was born in Podgorica, Montenegro. He headed the Montenegrin FA for no less than 16 years, which isn’t a mean feat. His impressive achievements include 56 caps in 13 years, but he really made his name by helping the Serbian Red Star Belgrade win the European Cup in 1991.
This victory led Savicevic to Milan the following year. He stayed there for several years, winning the 1994 Champions League and three Serie A titles. His playing skill earned him the nickname ‘Il Genio’ or ‘The Genius’ in Milan. This player’s fame lasted for a long time even after the 90s ended, with his image even being used on a stamp in his country.
Some might say that Abedi Pele could be ranked as the greatest African footballer in the history of the game. He earned the Man of the Match title in the 1993 Champions League final, even though he was a losing finalist back in 1991. Pele eventually became a well-known playmaker in football, with some great attacking players such as Chris Waddle and Eric Cantona.
After winning the 1982 African Cup of Nations, Pele would go on to captain Ghana until he retired from international football in 1998. From the start of the 90s decade, he was also given the title of African Footballer of the year for three years in a row. If someone feels like football is the world’s best sport, they should know about Abedi Pele.
Interestingly, Robert Prosinecki seems to have gotten off to a promising start as a professional footballer. His first coach, Miroslave Blazevic, even said “If this lad makes it as a professional footballer, I’ll eat my coaching certificate”.
While the prediction of the coach was inaccurate, it turns out that his words weren’t throwing shade on Robert Prosinecki playing ability. They were actually criticizing his temperament; while Prosinecki was a stellar playback, he was also known to be a playboy and a chain smoker.
However, his magic with the football meant that this player was an essential part of more than one team. He had no less than three league titles under his belt along with the European Cup as well. In 1990, he was named the best young player of the World Cup at the Red Star Belgrade. In 1991, he was also placed fourth for the World Player of the Year.
After that, Prosinecki became a part of Real Madrid and played with them for three seasons. He then had a one-season stint in Barcelona. Most football fans still have a lasting memory of Prosinecki as part of Croatia in the 1998 World Cup.
Dennis Bergkamp might be classified as both a playmaker and a second striker, and is generally considered to be an overall memorable player. He was a part of the Arsenal team in the 90s, but is probably the most remembered for ensuring the success of Arsene Wenger.
In Serie A, Dennis Bergkamp embraced the concepts of individual training regimes and proper nutrition. He also spread this knowledge to his teammates in Arsenal. Not only was he a skilled and gifted player, but his playing was enhanced by a deep commitment and lots of dedicated practice.
Those who knew him well said that everything just had to be absolutely perfect for Dennis Bergkamp, even during training sessions. While he had a good sense of humor, he wouldn’t allow jokes to come between him and football.
A lot of Zidane’s successes were seen at the end of the 90s’ decade and after that. However, there’s still a lot of evidence from his 90s’ games that showed fans the sensational player he was.
Zidane’s whole stint with Madrid, the World Cup, and the Euro 2000 are his main highlights in the 1990s.
Zidane was also named the Man of the Match in the World Cup in France. Additionally, he won the Ballon d’Or and the titles of the FIFA World Player of the year. It is said that his playing style creates space in the field even when there is seemingly none. No matter how Zidane got the ball, he can deal with it and get the whole team out of trouble.
Football is just an important game in Canada as it is anywhere else. They also have their own 90s football legends, with Alex Bunbury being one of the top names in that category.
Bunbury played the forward or striker position and was known for being a clinical finisher. That means he gave a goalie quite a hard time when he had the ball at his feet. He scored several goals for both the country as well as his club, ranking 4th on the all-time top goal-scoring list in Canada.
Bunbury also played in Portugal, getting the title of the Top Foreign Player of the Year in that country in 1994. He mainly played for Maritimo during his professional career of 13 years. He also resented the national team of Canada for 11 years. After the 90s ended, Bunbury became a football manager.
In the 1998 to 1999 campaign, Bunbury managed to score no less than 15 goals. This helped his team to achieve the tenth position.
Gascoigne was potentially the most skilful football player in England. However, by the time the 1990s ended, both his career and personal life were on the way to destruction. This was mainly due to his addiction issues and immature behaviour.
While this player showed his talent at the World Cup in 1990, he never really settled down with Lazio in Italy. After his joining in 1992, he started gaining weight and becoming more prone to injuries.
In his first couple of seasons in Scotland, Gascoigne scored around 27 league goals. His natural ability at his game temporally managed to disguise the spiralling into disrepute and an irrecoverable disrepair. Just a few examples of his problematic behavior include punching reporters, belching on a microphone while being on live television, and insulting a club owner. While his brilliant moments are preserved on film and still enjoyed by fans, the story of his career is a regretful one.
While many football players are mostly remembered for their one great play or one moment of glory, football fans tend to remember Roberto Baggio for his biggest mistake. This might seem a bit harsh, but Baggio did cost his team the World Cup in 1994. This was after he played 56 matches for Italy and became the joint 4th highest goal scorer for the national team. Unfortunately, despite being a star performer, he missed the penalty in the final against Brazil in 1994.
Baggio was a gifted player, and renowned for his goal scoring, dribbling, and free kicks. He’s also still remembered as being one of the greatest football players in the history of the game. He earned the title of FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993, and came forth for the FIFA Player of the Century in 1999.
His unfortunate penalty in 1994 might have overshadowed his career, especially when we consider how he was mostly playing with an injury. In fact, Baggio states in his autobiography that he was only completely fit for about 2 or 3 games for each season. With this in mind, one can say that Baggio was a warrior as well as a star player.
All the football greats who dominated in the 90s might not be discussed above. However, this list could be a starting point for those who want to look up the best football players in the world. If you found this discussion interesting check out these fathers and sons duos that are known for their contribution to world football.