Most Popular Soccer Players – Ronaldo, Beckham, Mia Hamm, Brandy Chastain

If you type those words into your search engine, the answer you will get right now is probably going to be: Cristiano Ronaldo. With looks that rivals super star, David Beckham and the talent to boot, Ronaldo is a superstar soccer standout that actually can play the game. Like most little boys, he started playing when he was young, around age eight but really started to be noticed two years later. Now, at the relatively advanced age of twenty-two, Ronaldo has racked up 53 goals in over 200 matches. Impressive numbers at any age.

And what about Beckham? His move from the UK to Los Angeles was supposed to spark US interest in the sport of soccer. He is one good looking man, but his injuries may well keep him from really making the sport as popular here as it is worldwide. His professional career began at sixteen when he started played for the Manchester United team. He was asked to join Britain’s World Cup Team in 1997. Even when he is not playing soccer, Beckham is a popular figure, his endorsement deals and stunning good looks make him very, very well known.

For me, the word «soccer» will always make me think of Mia Hamm. Her stats are impressive and not just when compared to women- her stats are phenomenal across the board. Mia started playing at age 12 and just three years later played with the US National Team- making her the youngest to ever play for her country at that level. She is one of only two women listed on soccer great Pele’s list of » The 125 Best Soccer Players of All Times» and has won the FIFA Player of the Year Award twice. ( In 2001 and 2002). Hamm scored 158 goals in 275 matches in her career and played in the Women’s World Cup twice (1991 and 1999). She was also a member of the gold medal Olympic team in 1996. On a personal level, Mia Hamm has always been described as the quiet, and unassuming member of the team. She is an excellent role model, especially for young women who are bombarded with images of scantily clad, morally bankrupt pop stars.

Of course, if we are going to talk about Mia Hamm, we have to talk about Brandy Chastain as well. Even people who could not tell a soccer ball from a bocce ball knows who Brandy is. After a thrilling victory, a triumphant Ms. Chastain whipped off her top, revealing her sport bra and sparking a veritable media frenzy. Over 90,000 people were in attendance for that event, not to mention the people watching at home and the countless replays. It has been on a variety of sports related count downs, including «Best Sports Moment Ever» to name just one. Not only did she spark interest in soccer for young girls, but the sale of sports bras jumped dramatically.

Every sport has their popular stars. They are not always the flashy players, or the best looking. Sometimes they are the players that bring something extra to the sport and to the world around them. A little touch of class, or a generous soul. Those are the players that win hearts and then keep them forever.

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