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Cristiano Ronaldo and the Greatest World No. 2s in Football History

Every generation of football is blessed with some brilliant players.

From the Diego Maradonas to the Peles, to the Zidanes and Messis, every generation has players that are simply the greatest. Every generation has names that are synonymous with the sport itself, and their legacies will go down in the record books forever.

However, every generation also has that “other guy”—the one that is brilliant and world-class but just isn’t as well-reputed or praised as much as other guys in the generation.

They are the No. 2s in world football, if you like. The second-greatest player in a generation.

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of these with his constant second-place finishing to Lionel Messi. But who else, throughout history, can be considered a No. 2?

Read on and find out.

When we think of Brazil’s incredible triumph at the 1970 World Cup, we automatically think of one name—Pele. Yet the reality is that as good as Pele was, Brazil’s success at the World Cup wasn’t as much down to the youngster as it was the brilliant players he had around him.

The midfielder was the brains and orchestrated the entire 1970 World Cup—thought to be the the lynchpin for their incredible success at the tournament.

And whilst Pele might have left him out of his 125 greatest footballers, Gerson must be recognized here as one of the original No. 2s.

Pele’s success was all thanks to Gerson, yet you’ll never hear the story told like that.

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