Some of the most famous and well-known football players have to be Diego Maradona, Pelé, and Ronaldo, who are all names that any sports fan knows. However, plenty of other great football players from different eras, leagues, and teams are just as talented but just haven’t had the chance to become worldwide sensations yet. Here’s our list of some famous football players that you may not have heard of!


Albert Riera

Riera was a forward for Barcelona and played for Spain, making 60 appearances for his country. He won 2 Spanish leagues, 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, 1 FIFA Club World Cup and 2 Copas del Rey. In 1997 he moved to Newcastle United but left after six months due to family reasons. He returned to Barcelona 3 years later, where he went on to play several more seasons before retiring in 2005.


Frank Worthington

A great name in English football history, Frank Worthington was a tough-tackling midfielder who had a short spell with Leeds United in 1972. He also played for Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City (twice) and is most well known for his time at Nottingham Forest, for whom he played from 1977 to 1982. A fearsome presence on the pitch, it’s no surprise that Worthington picked up six England caps between 1972 and 1975 – famously captaining his country against West Germany in 1974.


Jimmy Greaves

Born on October 29, 1939, in Islington, Greaves was an English footballer who played for Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. He has been called one of the greatest goalscorers ever to play football. In 1960 he scored 44 goals for England — still a record today.


Frank De Boer

He is a former Dutch footballer and was most recently in charge as manager of Premier League club Crystal Palace from 2016 to 2017. He played primarily as a central defender but could play in several other positions and started his career as a forward. He began his career at Ajax, winning several honours, including four national titles. This continued at Rangers for whom Alex McLeish signed him, but after two seasons in Scotland, he returned to Ajax under Louis van Gaal’s management.


John Barnes

One of England’s finest players, John Barnes, was a whiz on either wing for Liverpool and Watford. He began his career with Watford in 1981 but became something special after he joined Liverpool in 1987. In 10 years at Anfield, Barnes made 350 appearances and scored 85 goals—including one in a memorable 4-3 win over Newcastle in 1988. The winger is also renowned for impressive footwork during England’s international matches. It’s impossible to describe how great he was!


Nigel Clough

He was born on June 13, 1965. Clough started his professional career at Burton Albion in 1983 before moving to Nottingham Forest two years later. In 1993, he became player-manager of Derby County and won promotion to Division One with them a year later. He retired from playing at 41 and guided Derby to fourth place in Division One during his first season as manager.