While soccer is a team sport, individual moments of brilliance are a regular occurrence. Also, the round-leather game can cultivate great partnerships between duos.
The partnership may be a central defensive pair, midfield duo, strike partnership, a pair of full-backs, or even wingers on opposing sides of the pitch.
These partnerships between two players will be so perfect and a delight to watch for viewers.
In this piece, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 best partnership duos in the history of soccer. Here are the best duos in soccer history.
1. Pele & Garrincha (Brazil)
Arguably the greatest attacking duo in soccer history, Pele and Garrincha won two FIFA World Cup titles for Brazil.
Both are among the best-attacking players that have ever graced a football pitch.
With Pele and Garrincha on the pitch together, Brazil did not lose a single game.
The Selecao were unbeaten in 40 matches featuring the duo on the pitch, winning 35 and drawing 5!
2. Xavi & Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
Xavi and Iniesta both came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and played together in the greatest era of both Barcelona and Spain.
They were both integral to Barca and La Roja’s lovely tiki-taka system. The duo had an exceptional chemistry on the pitch.
Xavi was the pass master, boasting incredible passing accuracy, while Iniesta had quick feet and vision, as well as immense dribbling skills and a knack for scoring crucial goals.
Together, they were unstoppable. Both of them achieved a lot together, winning every available trophy with Barcelona and Spain.
3. Dwight Yorke & Andy Cole (Man Utd)
Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole are arguably the Premier League’s most fondly remembered partnership, one in which two footballers worked in sublime synchronization.
Manchester United signed Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa for a then club-record £12.6m in the closing stages of the 1998 transfer window. He was brought in to support the existing strikers in Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Teddy Sheringham.
Cole and York immediately struck a brilliant partnership at Old Trafford. The most memorable moment from the duo came in a thrilling 3-3 draw vs Barcelona at Camp Nou in the Champions League.
United’s second goal will forever be in the memory of their fans. Yorke’s dummy of Roy Keane’s pass deceived the Barcelona defense and allowed the ball to find the feet of Cole, who created further space with an instinctive one-two with Yorke. Cole then made no mistake with the finish after receiving the return pass!!!
Ultimately, both combined to score 53 goals across all competitions at the end of the 1998/99 season as Manchester United won a historic treble of Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League.
York and Cole combined for another 43 goals between them the following season and backed up their 1998/99 EPL title success with two more in 1999/2000 and 2000/01.
4. Ferenc Puskas & Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskas were born within 9 months of each other, and both played together for Real Madrid for 6 seasons.
The soccer world was treated to a wonderful exhibition of skill from the inspirational goal-scoring duo. Puskás was the perfect foil for Di Stefano.
They led Real Madrid to 5 European Cups (now UEFA Champions League) in a row, among other titles.
Puskas was known for his powerful left foot and goal-scoring ability, while Di Stefano was a versatile player with excellent dribbling and passing skills.
5. Bebeto & Romario (Brazil)
Romario and Bebeto are two opposite characters, but both worked together as a potent pairing as Brazil conquered the world in 1994 to win the FIFA World Cup for a then-record fourth time.
The telepathy between both attackers was devastating as they scored goals and created sensational attacking combinations.
Bebeto and Romario inspired Brazil to triumph on the world stage, with their prolific partnership ranking amongst the best in the annals of football history.
Moreso, Brazil were unbeaten across the 23 fixtures in which the duo shared the pitch.
6. Arjen Robben & Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery — known to the Bayern Munich faithful as “Robbery” — wreaked havoc on Bayern’s flanks during their time together in Germany.
Together, the duo racked up 268 goals and 284 assists between them.
Robben was known for his speed, dribbling skills, and his ability to cut inside from the right flank and score goals with his left foot.
While Ribery was a versatile player with excellent dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. He played on the left flank and was known for his ability to take on defenders and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Robben and Ribery were a terrible nightmare for opposition teams and will surely go down in history as one of soccer’s greatest double acts.
7. Nemanja Vidić & Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd)
The center-back partnership of Nemanja Vidić and Rio Ferdinand was the bedrock of Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest Manchester United team between 2007 to 2011.
This team secured three consecutive Premier League titles during these years.
Furthermore, the team reached three UEFA Champions League finals during this period but could only win one — no thanks to Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side then.
The duo were rock-solid at the back for the Red Devils. Vidic had the vision to intercept tackles and was supreme in aerial duels. Ferdinand, on the other hand, was brilliant on the ball, could pass well, and had the ability to get the ball forward.
Both center-backs were one of the greatest of all time.
8. Thierry Henry & Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
The mixture of longevity, understanding, success, and quality ranks Thierry Henry & Dennis Bergkamp among the greatest duo partnerships in soccer history.
Their team at Arsenal is said to be one of the best soccer teams of all time.
The elegant Bergkamp was a classy creator, while Henry was a goal-scoring machine, and both thrived in their respective roles.
Together, they worked in tandem and combined to score 200 goals between them in the Premier League during their time together.
During their time in North London, Bergkamp, and Henry helped Arsenal to two FA Cups and two Premier League titles — most famously the “Invincibles” campaign of 2003/04.
9. Ronaldo & Rivaldo (Brazil)
Rivaldo and Ronaldo de Lima combined to devastating effect to lead Brazil to FIFA World Cup glory in 2002. The duo were a formidable offensive force in South Korea/Japan.
Rivaldo was an excellent playmaker and created chances out of nowhere, while Ronaldo was a clinical finisher — ending the tournament with an incredible 8 goals.
The combination of those two — complimented by Ronaldinho — was too hot for the world to handle.
Interestingly, both Ronaldo and Rivaldo have each scored some of the greatest hat-tricks in soccer history.
10. Gennaro Gattuso & Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan & Italy).
Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso played in midfield together at AC Milan. The Italian pair won two Champions League titles, among others, during their 10 years together.
They were also part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning squad. The duo were more than just teammates; they were brothers on and off the pitch.
Gattuso’s fighting spirit and incredible work rate complimented Pirlo’s elegance, technique, unique touch, and extraordinary vision.
They both won everything there is to win together both at club and international levels.
- Kenny Dalglish & Ian Rush (Liverpool)
- Franz Beckenbauer & Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck (Bayern Munich/West Germany)
- Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
- Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
- Raul & Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid)
- Paolo Maldini & Alessandro Costacurta (AC Milan)
- Frank Lampard & Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
- Lionel Messi & Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
- Cristiano Ronaldo & Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
- Lionel Messi & Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
- Fernando Torres & Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).