People Who Have Influenced the Sport of Soccer | Andrew Elsoffer | Soccer

Andrew Elsoffer
2 min readJan 9, 2023

Millions of people watch sporting events known as football or soccer worldwide. It has a substantial social impact. Some of the best players in the world don’t always have the best inspirational qualities. However, their actions and words can still resonate through the ages. Some people significantly influence the game through their efforts on the pitch. Others have a huge influence due to their lives off the field.

Johan Cruyff

The attacking wizard was instrumental in forming the Total Football movement in the Netherlands. Due to his technical skills, his tactical understanding is often overlooked. Nowadays, teams still follow a similar style of play that he helped pioneer. His impact on the Dutch teams he played on shows how vital his tactical understanding was. He also played a massive role in the formation and success of Barcelona.

Kalusha Bwalya

Due to the recent news about Godfrey Chitalu’s impressive goalscoring exploits, the country has been in the news. However, the country’s football identity credit should go to Bwalya. In 1993, Bwalya was one of the individuals who survived a plane crash that killed most of his teammates and coaches. He helped the team get back on track and qualify for the African Cup of Nations. He then became the head coach of the national team. He is currently serving as the president of Zambia’s Football Association.

Jean-Marc Bosman

Bosman was instrumental in changing players’ contracts and transfer dealings during the 1990s. He did this after his contract with Standard Liege had already ended. After a long process, the courts ruled that the player had the right to negotiate with other clubs. This ruling gave players more power over contracts and clubs to sign them on free transfers. It also gave agents more opportunities to make money from their work.

David Beckham

It can be hard to believe that so many people follow David Beckham’s every move in his career. His name, achievements, and experience playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world have all contributed to the sport’s popularity. Although his popularity in the US will only be determined in the future, Beckham has already significantly impacted the game in other countries.

If Diego Maradona has the majority of the world believing he’s the greatest player ever, then some other countries would be in Pele’s corner. Even decades after he won the World Cup, Pele continues to have a massive impact on the game and the people of Brazil. He is constantly referenced whenever a new great player is discovered.

Originally published at on January 9, 2023.



Andrew Elsoffer

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Andrew Elsoffer is a soccer coach, community leader, and outdoorsman. Learn more @