Old great players lists (esp. 1950s - 1970s) ?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by PuckVanHeel, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011

    Recently I encountered a late 1987 book published and made by the RAI (the Italian BBC).


    I wouldn't say it is particularly good (some obvious foreign players like George Best look to be missing to me while his ManUnited team-mates are mentioned) but there are two good things about it.

    One is that of the Italians Riva, Altafini (Brazilian-born), Meazza, Piola, Boniperti, Facchetti and Zoff are 'universally' regarded as great.

    Ofc we already knew, say, Rivera had his detractors with not so flattering nicknames as 'l'abatino' invented for him (personally I'm a fan; I recognize he offered close to zero in defense but was very good in making himself available, technically brilliant and was in his best seasons a productive player but funnily clearly not so when he won the BdO).

    The other good thing is the long chapter on Pelé and Cruijff, with commentary by figures as Bearzot, Trapattoni, Conti and Rivera too on what makes them special figures in the history of the sport, and how/why they are good.
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  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    There's quite a bit of variability in Italian opinion it seems. Rivera being a prime example: can be he ends up getting the verdict as the best, or misses out on being a 'top group' certainty. I think with the various options (many good ones, no completely obvious ones it might be argued) it's sort of understandable though, so not just down to some aspect of Italian mentality or whatever. As we were saying before Baresi is another example of this variability among sources, 'electorates' etc.
  3. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    El Gráfico 1966
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  4. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
  5. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Nice find schwuppe.

    I think both pages are from the same article, and one top 10 list is probably an author's choice (or the magazine's choice) and the other compiled after a public poll, perhaps conducted by the magazine? A bit like how World Soccer offered 100 Players of the Century and then had the readers vote for top 10s to produce a readers top 100 too....

    I guess the Spanish speakers can help explain details anyway too.

    It is about the best, or greatest, players in Argentine football to date (domestic, and perhaps considering NT displays I think) anyway I can understand.
  6. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    Juvenal was one of the main writers in El Grafico. He gave his opinión on the first list (votes), as a knowledgeable journalist and first-hand observer (at live), and his personal list on the top-10 players at argentine league is in the end.

    Juvenal, included only Cracks into it, defined as a complete players: skills, intelligence, physical form, attitude, etc.

    For example, Juvenal excluded Rossi, because he needs another who run for him, excluded Carrizo, due to get nervous at games with hoy environment.
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  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011

    I saw an idiosyncratic one from 'Trouw', also from 2004. I thought briefly about it and concluded it would be nice to share because many names and suggestions pass by.

    I'll translate the descriptions:

    Edson Arantes do Nascimento, in short Pelé, was and is King Football. As a player to understand. He never had the ambition to become a trainer. That's a good thing too, because he suddenly showed up last week ...

    The FIFA world football federation exists this year a century and in this connection Fifa asked Pelé to compile a list with the best hundred still alive players. Strange question, anyway. If Fifa wants to celebrate something in honor of the centenary, why not immediately have a century of top football caught? Apparently this was too difficult for Pelé. Hundred names were not enough for him either, he put 125 on paper. Pelé gave his own country the most honors (fifteen names), France and Italy also did well with fourteen pieces and no less than thirteen names were selected for the Netherlands. Because he probably could never keep them apart, Pelé chose René and Willy van de Kerkhof and on the other hand he overlooked Wim van Hanegem. It was clear after ten minutes; Pelé had indeed spoken for himself, that's fine.

    No then mr. Pelé. We sit down for four days and mess up the half-bookcase and entire archive. The result is a top hundred of a century Fifa: living and dead footballers mixed together. There he goes! (In brackets the interland period of the chosen ones.)

    100. Dennis Law (Scotland, 1959/1974). For a long time the image of Danny Kaye. Dennis also liked jokes. And also a glass. Scored on the assembly line, especially for Manchester United. In Italy, Torino did less well.

    99. Jair Ventura Filho 'Jairzinho' (Brazil, 1965/1974). Had the extraordinarily difficult task to follow the legendary Garrincha. Still managed completely at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Quick right winger, which scored plenty. In Europe, at Olympique Marseille, he could not find his way.

    98. Juan Schiaffino (Uruguay and Italy, 1944/1958). Ultralong career. Came in 1942 as a seventeen-year-old in the first team of Penarol Montevideo. Was almost forty when he stopped with AS Roma. AC Milan paid in 1954 more than 600000 guilders for this goal creator.

    97. Jesper Olsen (Denmark, 1980/1990). Small, handy little man. When Jesper felt like it, really no full-back could stop him. He showed this at the Danes, at Ajax and at Manchester United.

    96. Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria, 1993 / present). Amazingly good, technically inimitable player. For Kanu the expression 'the ball on a string' is not sufficient. Kanu has glue on his shoes.

    95. Paul Gascoigne (England, 1989/1996). Antisocial with extreme football talent. He often behaved like a pig and looked like that in the end.

    94. Jan Koller (Czech Republic, 1997 / present). How is it possible that a boy who is on the eye only suitable for basketball can play football so well? Technically and tactically very strong.

    93. Silvio Piola (Italy, 1935/1952). The player stayed extremely long at the top. In 1929 he made his debut as a 16-year-old boy for Pro Vercelli. In 1935 he played his first international match and only in 1952 his last. As a center-forward he was very important in 1938 for world champion Italy.

    92. Arthur Friedenreich (Brazil, 1914/1935). Son of a German father and a Brazilian mother. As a mulatto, he made football accessible to colored people in Brazil. Unbelievable productive striker: 1329 officially registered goals.


    Thank you, good readers, for all your tips and suggestions. When to process all recommendations, it becomes a Top-500. Let me tell you some who did not make it to the Top 100: Peter Shilton, Eddy de Neve, Paolo Maldini, Paolo Rossi, Kick Smit, Antonio Carbajal, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Billy Wright, Igor Belanov, Jan van Beveren, David Kipiani, Gerhard Hanappi, Morten Olsen, Robert Pires, Frantisek Planicka, Hugo Sanchez and Hector Chumpitaz. Sorry gentlemen, but I'll continue the questionable list for you (in brackets the period of the international career)

    91. Stjepan Bobek (Yugoslavia, 1946/1956). Technically ingenious, productive inside-forward. The great man in the Yugoslavian team of state amateurs who won Olympic silver at the 1948 and 1952 Games. Made for Partizan Belgrade 403 goals in 468 games.

    90. Franco Baresi (Italy, 1982/1994). Masterly central defender. A player like Danny Blind, but even better. Led the relatively unorthodox ideas of AC Milan from the back. He had to sell his ideas to the national team in a less spectacular way.

    89. Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain, 1985/1998). Ice rabbit. Quiet. Reliable for ten years. Never spectacular. Basque. Edwin van der Sar squared.

    88. Hughie Gallagher (Scotland, 1924/1935). In 1928 the attack leader of the surprising English champion Newcastle United. His finest hour he experienced at Wembley, also in 1928: England-Scotland 1-5.

    87. Rik Coppens (Belgium, 1949/1959). Rebellious fishmonger from Antwerp. Sublime attacker too. When Belgium lost 9-1 to the Netherlands in the Kuip on October 4, 1959, he ran out of the field with a laugh. What a fools, that selection committee! It was his last international match right away, but Coppens could not care.

    86. Sören Lerby (Denmark, 1978/1989). Very nice Dane, but his colleagues sometimes thought otherwise. For Lerby, football was war. Strong body.

    85. John Charles (Wales, 1950/1965). Scored everywhere. At Leeds United. At Juventus. Again at Leeds United. At AS Roma. And also for Wales. Also a gentleman in the field.

    84. Gregorz Lato (Poland, 1971/1982). Real top attacker, but in Lato's time Polish footballers did not have the right contacts and agents. Only Lokeren in Belgium fell to the bald sprinter.

    83. Guillermo Stabilé (Argentina, 1929/1936). At the World Cup of 1930 behind Domingo Tarasconi and Manuel Ferreira the third center-forward for from the Argentine team. Due to injuries from competitors, Stabilé got his chance. With eight goals he immediately became top scorer. And idol.

    82. Liam Brady (Ireland, 1974/1990). Velvet left leg. Successful at Arsenal and Juventus. In the Irish team of Jack Charlton he felt less at ease between all kinds of donkey workers.

    81. Jan Ceulemans (Belgium, 1977/1991). Strong on the ball, effective and a real chef in the field. Already very good at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, absolute top at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

    80. Joachim Streich (East Germany, 1969/1984). 'I am the best', Streich said, and you had to have guts to say that in the GDR. Joachim Streich was the best: 102 international matches, 55 goals!

    79. Kenny Dalglish (Scotland, 1972/1987). Scottish eccentric introvert. Heavy dialect, barely understood. Did his business in goals at Celtic and Liverpool and later also had success as a trainer.

    78. Ernst Happel (Austria, 1947/1958). Football wonder, no language wonder. As a player and as a trainer he was actually the same, that is to say: a great tactical thinker.

    77. Rob Rensenbrink (Netherlands, 1968/1979). Graceful and productive left sided forward. Did what his feelings told him. At Anderlecht he was greater than with the Oranje. Had to score in the World Cup finals of 1978 just before time. Then he had become almost the equal to Cruyff.


    To be continued
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #158 PuckVanHeel, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    To begin with, a few good to excellent suggestions that have been made: also Fernando Hierro, Roy Keane, Gaizka Mendieta, Teofilo Cubillas, Peter Schmeichel, Daniel Passarella, Zico, Ian Rush and Zvonimir Boban do not come. Because I see even better players for the Top-100. For example the following fifteen (in brackets the period of the international career):

    76. Ladislao Kubala (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Spain, 1946-1961). Productive inside right that did not suffer from patriotism. In 1946 he debuted as an international for Czechoslovakia, in 1948 for Hungary and in 1953 for Spain. Popular guy in the nightclubs of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Barcelona, but no matter what time he made it, he scored his goals if fit.

    75. Coen Moulijn (Netherlands, 1956-1969). 'Coentje is better than Gento from Real Madrid', said national coach Elek Schwartz. The idol of Rotterdam saw himself as an inner player, but luckily his trainers thought different about this. A greatness of a left winger.

    74. Roberto Rivelino (Brazil, 1965-1978). Velvet strategist. Director on the field. Especially in the sublime Brazil of 1970 at least as good and important as Pelé.

    73. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany, 1976-1986). Technically fine attacker. Distanced himself at Bayern Munich and the German team from the many factory sausages.

    72. Sandro Mazzola (Italy, 1963-1974). Would Sandro become just as good as his father Valentino, who died in 1949 with Torino in a plane crash? Sandro got a little better in our view.

    71. Emilio Butragueno (Spain, 1984-1992). 'The Vulture' of Madrid. If there was something to be gained in 'the sixteen', then Butragueno was immediately included.

    70. Lothar Matthaus (Germany, 1980-2000). Irritating boy. But, to be honest, football was a fit to him.

    69. Dejan Savicevic (Yugoslavia, Montenegro, 1986-1999). What a technique. What a control on the ball. What an overview. At his top at AC Milan, but also at Red Star Belgrade already a jewel of a footballer.

    68. Duncan Edwards (England, 1955-1958). More than Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards was seen as the man who would become England's best footballer. But Edwards was one of the dead men of Manchester United in the 1958 air disaster. Charlton survived the crash at Munich airport and became world champion eight years later.

    67. Fritz Walter (Germany, 1940-1958). Already international when Germany played with the swastika on the white shirt. Surprising world champion in 1954. When, with that title, the war was really over for millions of Germans. Walter became a symbol for those people.

    66. Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria, 1987-1999). Real crack. Always wanted the ball, because Hristo felt as the impetus and the goal-scorer by excellence. Immediately outraged when he did not get the ball. Immensely popular in Sofia and in Barcelona.

    65. Kevin Keegan (England, 1973-1982). Looked like a trotter, but could play football very well. Led the game of Liverpool and England.

    64. Alan Simonsen (Denmark, 1972-1986). Little ball virtuoso. Was third behind Kenny Dalglish (second) in 1983 and Michel Platini (first) in the election European footballer of the year. Stood six year earlier two steps higher.

    63. Gheorghe Hagi (Romania, 1983-2000). Everywhere he played, he determined for a large part the image of the competition. Superior overview, perfect ball control.

    62. Eric Cantona (France, 1987-1994). Rebel. Philosopher. Advertising boy. Fighter boss. But above all a big player. Was worshiped in France, but especially in Manchester.

    They were also weighed and found too light: Steve Bloomer, Arie Haan, Jef Jurion, Just Fontaine, Nandor Hidegkuti, Johan Neeskens, Ademir, Gordon Banks, José Augusto, Ronald Koeman, Geoff Hurst, Edgar Davids, Eric Gerets, Jean Tigana. All of them class football players, not of that, but not good enough.

    61. Zbigniew Boniek (Poland, 1976-1988). As fiery as his hair. Director, goalgetter. Always Polish football was based on discipline; Boniek was just crazy about the adventure.

    60. Abe Lenstra (Netherlands, 1940-1959). Could everything with the ball. A wonder of technology. Was quick, but preferably let the others walk. Found in principle the selection committee of Oranje some nitwits.

    59. Didi (Brazil, 1952-1964). Shaped with the Brazilian national coach Vicente Feola in 1958 the 4-2-4 system. In this new approach, was the strategist in the midfield.

    58. Preben Elkjaer-Larsen (Denmark, 1977-1988). Runner and goal scorer. Had a compelling character, which came in handy, because he gladly demanded the ball. Big mouth.

    57. Raymond Braine (Belgium, 1925-1939). Scoring was his biggest hobby. He already earned money with football as an amateur and when that became a problem he decided to become a professional footballer at Sparta Prague.

    56. Beb Bakhuys (Netherlands, 1928-1937). The separation in the middle of the narrow head gave him a demonic look. And he was a devil in the sixteen. Goals made Bakhuys always and everywhere. He did not always live the serious life of a sportsman.

    55. Max Abegglen (Switzerland, 1922-1937). Very good for a long time. Was called Max and Xam in Switzerland. A club later received its double name: Xamax Neuchatel.

    54. Luis Suarez (Spain, 1957-1972). Great tactician. Went to Italy in the early sixties and that was unusual for a Spaniard. Won cheerfully with Inter Milan the European Cup at the expense of Real Madrid. They liked that very much at Barcelona, the Spanish club of Suarez.

    53. Tommy Lawton (England, 1939-1949). Head, beat the man, clang in, shoot, score. That was Tommy Lawton. Few central defenders could handle him.

    52. Ricardo Zamora (Spain, 1920-1936). The first real 'Wonder goalkeeper'. At the World Cup of 1934 in the quarter final so good against Italy, that the Italians decided to demolish him.

    51. Dragan Dzajic (Yugoslavia, 1964-1979). Ball virtuoso. All European top clubs wanted this left winger, but Red Star and the football association in Belgrade held him.

    50. Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia, 1954-1966). Put out the lines and always kept the overview. Only when the best of his game was finished, he was allowed to raise some money from the authorities in Prague in Belgium: at Crossing Molenbeek, a club of nothing.

    49. Bobby Moore (England, 1962-1974). Golden boy. As a young player the captain of the English team, but strangely enough never bought by a top club. West Ham United, Moore's club, usually ended around tenth place.

    48. Mario Corso (Italy, 1961-1971). Beautiful left leg. Rebellious footballer of the otherwise business minded Inter. Challenging player with the always sagging stockings. Loved to taunt a full-back.

    47. Dixie Dean (England, 1927-1933). Also seventy years after his top time still a household name in England. Made most of his many goals with the square head. Produced sixty (!) goals for Everton champion in the season 1927-1928 in 42 league matches. A never-to-improve record, of course. A few more Dixie Dean figures: 473 goals in 502 league matches, 37 hattricks, 18 goals in 16 international matches.
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  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Very good, but also not in the top 100: Nestor Combin, Frans Thijssen, Richard Hoffmann, Jimmy Greaves, Günther Netzer, Jan Wouters, Jean Nicolay, Dé Kessler, Ernst Ockwirk and Nilton Santos. The following fifteen have made it in the contestable list (in brackets the period of the international career)

    46. Michael Laudrup (Denmark, 1982-1998). Technically of high quality. Great scoring power. Went from top club to top club and was at many places a success.

    45. Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands, 1990-2000). Can come out strange around the corner. At the 1998 World Championships, he slammed the nubs on a Yugoslav and made a beautiful historic goal against Argentina. The ball is his best friend. Fifteen years of Orange could have been. But alas: no boy who finds it exciting to sit in a training camp for a month with all sorts of weird guys. Loves seriously. Reads books.

    44. Pol van Himst (Belgium, 1960-1974). As a boy of seventeen he ran experienced Oranje-cracks like Roel Wiersma, Tonny Pronk and Kees Kuijs completely crazy. Later handed out the sheets as a director on the midfield. Defeated in 1972 by Johan Neeskens. We spoke of shame, but not Van Himst. Neeskens went to the World Cup.

    43. Georgi Asparouhkov (Bulgaria, 1962-1970). Suddenly the star player from Sofia was dead. Damaged. His grave became a place of pilgrimage and the authorities did not like that, because sports heroes had to understand that the sport served the sanctuary state. And not the individual.

    42. Raymond Kopa (France, 1952-1962). Velvet ball treatment, player for the true enthusiast. Father of a disabled child. That put him out of balance. Brooder.

    41. Giacinto Facchetti (Italy, 1963-1977). The first offensive back in Europe, who was recognized as such. Long, graceful appearance. Could just as well defend as build up and that was special. Scored goals.

    40. Raul Gonzales (Spain, 1996-present). At Real Madrid no star of the genre Zidane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Figo and Roberto Carlos. More a silent force, but an institute nevertheless.

    39. Willem van Hanegem (Netherlands, 1968-1979). As a young player rejected by Ajax coach Rinus Michels. Too slow! Oops, Michels was very wrong here, he admitted in 1974.

    38. Giuseppe Meazza (Italy, 1930-1939). Meanwhile, the San Siro stadium bears his name. That in itself says enough about this productive inside forward and double world champion.

    37. Leonidas (Brazil, 1932-1946). The Pelé of the thirties. Went as a substitute to the World Cup of 1938 in France, but got a chance and scored on the assembly line.

    36. Gunnar Nordahl (Sweden, 1942-1949). Great as an amateur with the Swedish team at the Olympic Games in 1948. Great as a royal paid professional at AC Milan. Made 35 competition goals in the season 1949-1950. In Italy! That year, Nordahl's compatriots Gunnar Gren and Niels Liedholm together also made 36 for Milan. One of the best club strikers we have seen.

    35. Rivaldo (Brazil, 1993-present). Knows more about the ball than psychology. At the 2002 World Cup did not know how stupid and detestable his attempt was to sew an ear to the Turk Hakan Unsal. Rivaldo pretended Unsal kicked the ball hard in his face. There was no question of it, not even close, but the poor Turk was sent away. Bah, nasty ball magician Rivaldo! Greater for Brazil than for his clubs.

    34. Luis Figo (Portugal, 1991-present). Excellent outside right, technically of a very high level. But also a world class whiner. The back who blows to a stationary Figo sees him immediately fall over.

    33. Oleg Blochin (Soviet Union, 1972-1988). Ice rabbit. Product of the clinical football education of Lobanowski. Did what he was asked, but sometimes added more than the minimum.

    32. Garrincha (Brazil, 1958-1967). Bird of paradise born in the jungle. Crippled legs as a toddler. The hoop legs brought him fame, which he could not bear. Alcoholic, children everywhere, stranded relationships and finally the early, lonely death.

    Last 31 names in the next post (tomorrow).
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  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #160 PuckVanHeel, Feb 13, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    So here the rest of the idiosyncratic Trouw list, as it appeared in print. It at least gives an idea about players close to home. Germany and Italy have not a player in the top 10, but are both included more often than Argentina.

    Not even José Léandro Andrade in the top-100. After all, could a wing-half in the twenties and thirties really be the all-crucial player? Did not the marvelous Uruguayan team have much bigger players? Was Andrade in the media bigger thanks to the fact that he was the only colorist in his team and was also as a singer in nightclubs extra particular? The following sixteen have made it (in brackets the period of the international career)

    31. Florian Albert (Hungary, 1959-1974). Long the first man for Hungary and Ferencvaros. Saw the game for the others, but did not forget himself either. So he also scored frequently.

    30. Gianni Rivera (Italy, 1962-1974). Fine-looking lightweight. Divided opinions but when Rivera hit the ball, all the angels sang. Won many international accolades with varying input.

    29. Lev Yashin (Soviet Union, 1954-1967). All in black, including black cap. Goalkeeper with the longest arms. Penalty killer par excellence. Ideal billboard and ambassador for the communists.

    28. Uwe Seeler (Germany, 1954-1970). Was four World Cups long the hope of Germany. And rarely disappointed. Small acrobat who scored from all positions. People's hero from Hamburg, charming. Spectacular.

    27. Michel Platini (France, 1976-1987). Velvet kicking technique. Few free kicks from Platini did not lead to consternation in the opposition. When he was the French national coach at the European Championships in 1992, the graceful player of yesterday suddenly turned out to be a frightened, boring man.

    26. Ruud van Nistelrooij (the Netherlands, 1998-present). On the road to the top. Has the footwork of Van Basten and also his productivity. Great goalscorer, underrated provider. Wonderful sportsman. An example.

    25. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary / Spain, 1945-1962). Fantastic left leg. Scored everywhere. Did not always live as the true sportsman. In his last European Cup-years for Real Madrid, his belly was already clearly visible under the royal white.

    24. Matthias Sindelar (Austria, 1926-1937). The most beautiful attacker in the Wunderteam of Austria. Suffering from severe depression. Feared the future among the Nazis and decided that he no longer wanted to live, or was killed. Shortly before, he played his last international match.

    23. George Best (Northern Ireland, 1964-1978). Ladies, alcohol and magic on the wing.

    22. George Weah (Liberia, 1984-1999). A leader in everything. Wherever he played, Weah set the tone everywhere. Strong body, goalgetter by nature. Put a lot of his money in the national football team of his torn country. Icon of his time.

    21. Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine, 1996-present). Rare accuracy for both his national team and AC Milan. How many chances will he miss per season? Five? Six?

    20. Faas Wilkes (Netherlands, 1946-1961). He had the panache of a latino, the phlegm of a Briton. He kept himself far away from rakes on the Dutch polder field of honor. When the Netherlands was still an amateur football country, Wilkes already rose to great heights of fame in both Italy and Spain.

    19. Stanley Matthews (England, 1935-1957). Was very good for a long time. He played professional football until his fiftieth. Right winger of the old stamp, that is to say: lots of gliding movements, tricks and of course a measured cross for the middle front.

    18. Mario Coluna (Mozambique / Portugal, 1955-1968). Always managed the midfield on behalf of Benfica and Portugal. Crucial player. Great game insight, beautiful kick.

    17. Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic, 1992-present). Training beast that controls all aspects of football. Score yourself and let others score. Only recently playing at a top team, but valuable for some while.

    16. Roberto Carlos (Brazil, 1992-present). Sublime left back. Defensive okay, offensively great. Defenders fear his aimless free kicks loaded with dynamite.

    Out of dissatisfaction with the lack of historical football knowledge by Pelé his personal idea, this list was started up a month and a half ago. No hard feelings though, the Brazilian phenomenon is number 1.

    15. Franz Beckenbauer (Germany, 1965-1977). Beautiful posture. Started as a midfielder - also internationally - and later played as a libero nice weather amidst the water carriers. Isn't always wise in his actions, but when intuition meets his natural habitat a magnet for success.

    14. Ruud Gullit (Netherlands, 1981-1994). What a force, what an impressive figure. Even when he was not in shape - like at the European Championships in 1988 - he remained very important. Outstanding player for two very different sides during Serie A's heydays.

    13. David Beckham (England, 1996-present). In the British media game, the football of this A-brand hardly seems important. Unfortunately. Beckham may not seem very smart in the average, his football know-how is not up for discussion here. England's most accomplished player since Keegan?

    12. Thierry Henry (France, 1997-present). Scored for Monaco and scores for Arsenal and France. And always on the basis of sound technique, speed, insight and flexibility. Pure class.

    11. Bobby Charlton (England, 1958-1970). Survived as a young player in Munich the air disaster with Manchester United. There was a doubt about his football career, but his perseverance brought him back to the top. The balder the better. Very kind person.

    10. Vivian Woodward (England, 1903-1911). Stayed convinced amateur, but played with the pros in the English A-team. As an amateur international he taught the football-evolving continent and for that reason he can not be praised high enough.

    9. Marco van Basten (Netherlands, 1983-1992). Killer for the big occasion, great influence. Unlikely good in the small space. Most strikers are taking a step back, but Marco was always at the forefront in his unfortunately too short career. Was maybe more of a club player than an international one, apart from the great European Championships in 1988.

    8. Ronaldo (Brazil, 1994-present). As a boy of seventeen a sensation at PSV. Ten years later he is still. Nowadays he is there to score and not much more. Atomic weapon.

    7. Eusebio (Mozambique / Portugal, 1961-1973). Wonderful goal scorer. One of the first successful Africans in Europe, with international appeal. A gentleman on the field. Outstanding peaks for club and country.

    6. Romario (Brazil, 1987-2001). That we could see this technical super striker for a few years in the Netherlands! Bravo Philips. Two objectives: scoring and having fun. Didn't drink, didn't smoke, but doesn't love training and violated all the other professional conventions. Makes it all the more puzzling he scored almost 1000 goals.

    5. Alfredo di Stefano (Argentina, 1947-1961). Had everything: strong technique, overview, score with both feet and with the head. Director and goalgetter in one person.

    4. Diego Maradona (Argentina, 1977-1994). Made Argentina in 1986 on the basis of his inimitable style more or less single-handedly world champion. Afterwards proved the football mainly bad services. Great child. Addicted crap. Only person who still believes in Fidel Castro.

    3. Zinedine Zidane (France, 1994-present). A joy to watch. As he plays, football seems easy. Others might think different but remains a pleasant person outside the field. An example for getting your timing and moments right.

    2. Johan Cruijff (Netherlands, 1966-1977). On 7 September 1966, I saw him debuting as an international against a strong Hungary team. He was immediately the best and remained that always and everywhere. Often doubted and challenged, but so far not proven wrong.

    1. Pelé (Brazil, 1957-1971). Well, why Pelé on number one? Because either way there can only be one King Football. Pelé became world champion three times, hence. Words cannot describe the athletic miracle.

    edit: despite the idiosyncrasy, or because of this, it might be possible to compare this to VI's 2017 list (see who is in both, which players closer to home).
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  11. ChizzyChisnall

    Feb 2, 2017
    AC Siena
    Is this in order? Surprised that Roberto Carlos is top 20 material.
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #162 PuckVanHeel, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    So here is the summer 2017 list, not to be confused with FourFourTwo from the same year that was highly similar but had some changes (for example placing Bergkamp higher than Henry while VI had it the other way).

    The names that are the same are made bold. The names that had a significant portion of their case after halfway 2004 have an asterisk (12 names). The ones that are mentioned in 2004 but not included in the top 100 have three asterisks:

    100. Cantona
    99. Stoichkov
    98. Matthaus

    97. Van der Sar *
    96. Neymar *
    95. Leonidas
    94: Preud'homme
    93. Van Hanegem
    92. Facchetti

    91. Giggs *
    90. Krol
    89. Hugo Sanchez ***
    88. Robben *
    87. Luigi Riva ***
    86. Paolo Falcao
    85. Fontaine ***
    84. Rijkaard
    83. Dzajic
    82. Hagi
    81. Denis Law

    80. Sivori
    79. Jose Andrade ***
    78. Duncan Edwards
    77. Masopust
    76. Allan Simonsen
    75. Bergkamp
    74. Sandro Mazzola
    73. Florian Albert

    72. Teofilo Cubillas ***
    71. Jimmy Johnstone
    70. Neeskens ***
    69. Gerson
    68. Banks ***
    67. Dixie Dean
    66. Schmeichel ***
    65. Keegan
    64. Pedernera
    63. Passarella ***
    62. Rummenigge
    61. Zoff
    60. Nordahl
    59. Jairzinho

    58. Scirea
    57. Roberto Baggio ***
    56. Roberto Carlos
    54 (joint). Iniesta *
    54 (joint). Xavi *
    53. Nilton Santos ***
    52. Rivellino
    51. Laudrup
    50. Schiaffino
    49. Blokhin

    48. Kempes
    47. Didi
    46. Thierry Henry
    45. Sindelar
    44. Walter
    43. Baresi

    42. Maldini ***
    41. Gianluigi Buffon *
    40. Dalglish
    39. Djalma Santos
    38. Hidegkuti ***
    37. Neuer *
    36. Rivera
    35. Gullit
    34. Luis Suarez Miramontes

    33. Gento *** (in write-up)
    32. Matthews
    31. Ibrahimovic *
    30. Netzer ***
    29. Paolo Rossi ***
    28. Kopa
    27. Moreno
    26. Socrates
    25. Moore
    24. Valentino Mazzola *** (in write-up)
    23. Eusebio
    22. Carlos Alberto
    21. Giuseppe Meazza
    20. Charlton
    19. Yashin

    18. G. Muller
    17. Ronaldinho *
    16. Platini
    15. Zico ***
    14. Puskas
    13. Romario
    12. Best
    11. Garrincha
    10. Van Basten
    9. Beckenbauer
    8. Zidane

    7. Cristiano Ronaldo *
    6. Ronaldo
    5. Di Stefano
    4. Pelé
    3. Cruijff
    2. Maradona

    1. Messi *

    The VI list is a more conventional one, but it is possible to see a few swaps that have been made.

    Voetbal International made a case for Preud'homme, but left out any of the usual big five (Coppens, Mermans, Van Himst, Van Moer, Ceulemans) while Trouw inserted Braine too (not Mermans and Van Moer).

    Robben replaces Moulijn. The five Dutch names that are the same in both form the top six for VIs top 50 (minus Robben).

    Rivaldo is supplanted by Ronaldinho, who indeed reached his apex with Brazil and Barcelona slightly later. Thierry Henry had been a big (and previously useful) player at the big stages for a little longer.

    The one list 'liked' (or rated) Gerd Muller while the other rated the more spectacular Uwe Seeler highly (and liked his personality). Some would say he was more all-round too. Did his work in four World Cups and clearly individually accomplished, but a near-empty trophy cabinet.

    The then record cap holder Zubizaretta (and most Primera Division games in history) is replaced by numerous goalkeepers, including the one mentioned in his write-up.

    Giggs replaces Beckham. Beckham had indeed an argument to be the most internationally accomplished English player since Keegan; in the way he was (moderately) successful outside his comfort zone, was a main protagonist in an EC/CL win, starring role in a qualification campaign.

    Ibrahimovic is in there instead of Shevchenko and other folks.

    Any more of those instances?
    carlito86 and PDG1978 repped this.
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    And here the comparison with Pelé his personal list for living players in 2004 (the inspiration behind this 'odd' attempt). So no Walter or Yashin (for ex.) as potential options.


    Gabriel Batistuta
    Hernan Crespo
    Mario Kempes
    Diego Maradona
    Daniel Passarella ***
    Javier Saviola
    Omar Sivori
    Alfredo Di Stefano
    Juan Sebastian Veron
    Javier Zanetti


    Jan Ceulemans
    Franky van der Elst
    Jean-Marie Pfaff


    Carlos Alberto
    Roberto Carlos

    Djalma Santos
    Nilton Santos ***
    Zico ***


    Hristo Stoitchkov


    Roger Milla


    Elias Figueroa
    Ivan Zamorano


    Carlos Valderrama


    Davor Suker

    Czech Republic (and former Czechoslovakia)

    Josef Masopust
    Pavel Nedved


    Brian Laudrup
    Michael Laudrup
    Peter Schmeichel ***


    Gordon Banks ***
    David Beckham
    Bobby Charlton
    Kevin Keegan

    Gary Lineker
    Michael Owen
    Alan Shearer


    Eric Cantona
    Marcel Desailly
    Didier Deschamps
    Just Fontaine ***
    Thierry Henry
    Raymond Kopa

    Jean-Pierre Papin
    Robert Pires ***
    Michel Platini
    Lilian Thuram
    Marius Tresor
    David Trezeguet
    Patrick Vieira
    Zinedine Zidane

    Germany (and former Federal Republic of Germany)

    Michael Ballack
    Franz Beckenbauer
    Paul Breitner
    Oliver Kahn
    Juergen Klinsmann
    Sepp Maier
    Lothar Matthaeus
    Gerd Muller
    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
    Uwe Seeler


    Abedi Pele


    Ferenc Puskas


    Roy Keane ***


    Roberto Baggio ***
    Franco Baresi
    Giuseppe Bergomi
    Giampiero Boniperti
    Gianluigi Buffon
    Giacinto Facchetti
    Paolo Maldini ***
    Alessandro Nesta
    Alessandro Del Piero
    Gianni Rivera
    Paolo Rossi ***
    Francesco Totti
    Christian Vieri
    Dino Zoff


    Hidetoshi Nakata

    Korea Republic

    Hong Myung-Bo


    George Weah


    Hugo Sanchez ***


    Marco van Basten
    Dennis Bergkamp
    Johan Cruyff

    Edgar Davids ***
    Ruud Gullit
    Willy van de Kerkhof
    Rene van de Kerkhof
    Patrick Kluivert
    Johan Neeskens ***
    Ruud van Nistelrooy
    Rob Rensenbrink

    Frank Rijkaard
    Clarence Seedorf


    Jay-Jay Okocha

    Northern Ireland

    George Best




    Teofilo Cubillas ***


    Zbigniew Boniek


    Rui Costa
    Luis Figo


    Gheorghe Hagi

    Russia (former Soviet Union)

    Rinat Dassaiev


    Kenny Dalglish


    El Hadji Diouf


    Emilio Butragueno
    Luis Enrique


    Emre Belozoglu
    Rustu Recber


    Andriy Shevchenko


    Enzo Francescoli


    Michelle Akers
    Mia Hamm
  14. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Shocking gap between Van Basten and Gullit, if you compare it to the 'internet opinion'.

    I think I mentioned this multiple times about Zlatan. His CL KO round performances/record is so terrible, I actually couldn't believe that's possible for a player of his quality. Really left me speechless.
    Doesn't have any excuses like playing for weak teams either.
  15. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Leeds United AFC
    Comparing VI's Top 100 to FourFourTwo's, which came out around the same time in 2017, there are 12 changes. Five involve adding Dutch or Belgian players.

    Krol for Breitner
    Neuer for Maier
    Robben for Ibrahimovic
    Cantona for Batistuta
    Gerson for Coluna
    Edwards for Charles
    van Hanegem for Seeler
    Falcao for Varela
    Cubillas for Kocsis
    Leonidas for Cafu
    van der Sar for Lahm
    Preud'homme for Zanetti

    In PDG's compiled Top 100, aggregated from BigSoccer posters and updated recently, there were 20 names that do not appear in either the VI or FourFourTwo list:

    Friedenreich, Zizinho, Tostao, Rivaldo, Kaka
    Klinsmann, Sammer
    Totti, Cannavaro
    Sarosi, Bozsik

    Another ten players who do not feature in any of the above lists:

    Sastre, Passarella
    Zamora, Casillas

    In addition, no Polish players appear anywhere.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #166 PuckVanHeel, Feb 16, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
    It came out later... And Ibrahimovic is in both list.
    Better to say is that - unsurprisingly - FourFourTwo took out Robben and inserted Lahm at a similar rank.

    Passarella is in the VI attempt.
  17. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Leeds United AFC
    #167 peterhrt, Feb 16, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
    So he is. Cubillas also. That means there are 11 changes not 12.

    Passarella is in both lists too.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  18. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Leeds United AFC
    VI includes eight goalkeepers, FourFourTwo has six, and PDG's compilation five.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Maybe I can say something about that on another thread (have to think whether that adds something meaningful). In the main I wanted this thread to be about 'old' lists (from 2004 is just okay).

    I tried my best here:

    Van Basten himself commented Gullit was possibly more accomplished in the various leagues, while he was in his element in a tournament setting. He also emphasized it is accurate to see them as a trio, who together lost very few games if they all completed the match, and Rijkaard was a very able and individually accomplished footballer too (MvB did not say this but Rijkaard has many goals and assists in final matches and semi finals).

    My personal view was and is MvB is a step up with then Gullit and Rijkaard as great players in their own right, and sitting next to a Rensenbrink, Bergkamp etc. This is largely also how it was seen back then (as shown & commented before), looking at the various surveys and polls.

    It's also funny all three are around 1.90 meters; fitting for a country that has the tallest people on earth (some domestic and foreign 'experts' say this is not an advantage for modern day football).

    Re: 'internet opinion' someone like PDG had always a respectable distance between them, but yes, as many people (if not more) do not.

    Yes this has been mentioned a few times. Zlatan has a great league record (critics would say he did it rarely in one of the top two/three leagues) and also can get a pass for Sweden and what he showed there when it clicked (vs Spain, Italy - excellent goals too). His continental record is however as flawed as a Batistuta or Romario before him (while he got many 'tries' and attempts for this), arguably more so. From a technical perspective he was one of the best Europeans of his generation playing at that level, I'd say, maybe a bit too individualistic for a modern striker at an established elite team.
    schwuppe repped this.
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    So I received another fine work.


    'The fabulous history of football players - the 1000 biggest footballers' by Thibert and Rethacker, two long time France Football journalists and editors.

    Photos on the cover show Michel Platini; Lucien Gamblin (the one holding a cup); a photo capturing Puskas, Di Stefano and Kopa; the inescapable Pelé of course; Johan Cruijff; and Diego Maradona in his vintage Le Coq Sportif shirt.


    Rethacker wrote a few of the Ballon d'Or write-ups as well. For example:


    The book is separated by era (which is, as they say, arbitrary). I'll start with 1987-1994 and then work back. Before the list of names the introduction for each era will be posted as well.
    carlito86, PDG1978 and comme repped this.
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    This is the introduction for 1987 - 1994:

    The latest artists

    The last years of this History bring us to a contemporary period where the acceleration of the economic-media phenomena has caused football in a dangerous escalation towards violence, greed, calculation, even corruption and cheating.

    In this world and in this tumultuous game, talented players and teams are struggling to survive. The AC Milan of Sacchi, Barcelona of Cruyff, Santana in Brazil, Maturana in Colombia - defenders of the offensive and football-show, have maintained a ray of hope.

    Gullit, Van Basten, Valderrama, Bebeto, Romario, Baresi, the virtuoso Yugoslavs, managed to survive the storm. But will they resist for a long time, these isolated revolutionaries, in a machine that uses them quickly and burns them slowly.

    Football-business is ruthless for some footballers, genius that it consumes in a few years. If he is not careful, he will kill the last artists and die with them ... leaving only mass football, that of children, veterans, amateurs, that remains eternal.

    Show Spoiler

    Les derniers artistes

    Les dernières années de cette Histoire nous aménent à une période contemporaine où l'accéleration des phénomènes économico-médiatiques a entrâine le football dans une escalade dangereuse vers la violence, l'âpreté du gain, le calcul, voire la corruption et la tricherie.

    Dans ce monde et dans ce jeu tumultueux, les joueurs et les équipes de talent ont du mal à survivre. Le AC Milan de Sacchi, le Barcelone de Cruyff, le Brésil de Santana, la Colombie de Maturana, défenseurs de l'offensive et du football-spectacle, ont maintenu une lueur d'espoir.

    Gullit, Van Basten, Valderrama, Bebeto, Romario, Baresi, les virtuoses yougoslaves, ont réussi à surnager dans la tempête. Mais résisteront-ils encore longtemps, ces révolutionnaires isolés, au sein d'une machine qui les use rapidement et les brûle à petit feu.

    Le football-business est sans pitié pour les footballeurs de génie qu'il consomme en quelques années.

    S'il n'y prend pas garde, il tuera les derniers artistes et mourra avec eux... ne laissant place qu'au football de masse, celui des enfants, des vétérans, des amateurs, qui lui, demeure éternel.
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    This one has a heavy French representation, therefore players who played in France are marked with an asterisk.

    1987 - 1994:

    Theophile Abega (Cameroon) *
    Philippe Albert (Belgium)
    Alemao (Brazil)
    Manuel Amoros (France) *
    Sonny Anderson (Brazil) *
    Jocelyn Angloma (France) *
    Philippe Anziani (France) *
    Luis Arconada (Spain)
    Aliocha Asanovic (Yugoslavia) *
    Faustino Asprilla (Colombia)
    Klaus Augenthaler (Germany)
    William Ayache (France) *
    Anthony Baffoe (Ghana) *
    Dino Baggio (Italy)
    Roberto Baggio (Italy)
    Vitor Baia (Portugal)
    Jose Maria Bakero (Spain)
    Franco Baresi (Italy)
    John Barnes (England)
    Rui Barros (Portugal) *
    Fabien Barthez (France) *
    Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina)
    Mehmed Bazdarevic (Yugoslavia) *
    Peter Beardsley (England)
    Bebeto (Brazil)
    Joseph-Antoine Bell (Cameroon) *
    Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands)
    Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy)
    Laurent Blanc (France) *
    Zvonimir Boban (Croatia)
    Alan Boksic (Croatia) *
    Basile Boli (France) *
    Zbigniew Boniek (Poland)
    John Bosman (Netherlands)
    Branco (Brazil)
    Rune Bratseth (Norway)
    Daniel Bravo (France) *
    Andreas Brehme (Germany)
    Thomas Brolin (Sweden)
    Guido Buchenwald (Germany)
    Emilio Butragueno (Spain)
    Claudio Caniggia (Argentina)
    Eric Cantona (France) *
    Careca (Brazil)
    Bernard Casoni (France) *
    Jan Ceulemans (Belgium)
    Stephane Chapuisat (Switzerland)
    Christophe Cocard (France) *
    Patrick Colleter (France) *
    Joel Corminboeuf (Switzerland) *
    Jean-Pierre Cyprien (France) *
    Martin Dahlin (Sweden)
    Marc Degryse (Belgium)
    Stephane Demol (Belgium)
    Marcel Desailly (France) *
    Didier Deschamps (France) *
    Lajos Detari (Hungary)
    Filip de Wilde (Belgium)
    Michel de Wolf (Belgium)
    Marcel Dib (France) *
    Eric Di Meco (France) *
    Youri Djorkaeff (France) *
    Jean-Luc Dogon (France) *
    Roberto Donadoni (Italy)
    Jean-Philippe Durand (France) *
    Jean-Luc Ettori (France) *
    Philippe Fargeon (France) *
    Albert Ferrer (Spain)
    Jean-Marc Ferreri (France) *
    Daniel Fonseca (Uruguay)
    Laurent Fournier (France) *
    Enzo Francescoli (France) *
    Paulo Futre (Portugal) *
    Paul Gascoigne (England)
    Bruno Germain (France) *
    Giuseppe Giannini (Italy)
    David Ginola (France) *
    Jerome Gnako (France) *
    Fernando Gomes (Portugal)
    Sergio Goycoechea (Argentina) *
    Xavier Gravelaine (France) *
    Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe)
    Georges Grun (Belgium)
    Josep Guardiola (Spain)
    Vincent Guerin (France) *
    Ruud Gullit (Netherlands)
    Faruk Hadzibegic (Yugoslavia) *
    Thomas Hassler (Germany)
    Gheorghe Hagi (Romania)
    Gaetan Huard (France) *
    Mark Hughes (Wales)
    Bodo Illgner (Germany)
    Julio Cesar (Brazil) *
    Sylvain Kastendeuch (France) *
    Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany) *
    Ronald Koeman (Netherlands)
    Jurgen Kohler (Germany)
    Antoine Kombouare (France) *
    Emil Kostadinov (Bulgaria)
    Bernard Lama (France) *
    Brian Laudrup (Denmark)
    Michael Laudrup (Denmark)
    Paul Le Guen (France) *
    Gary Lineker (England)
    Jari Litmanen (Finland)
    Bixente Lizarazu (France) *
    Rabah Madjer (Algeria) *
    Paolo Maldini (Italy)
    Roberto Mancini (Italy)
    Diego Maradona (Argentina)
    Rafael Martin Vazquez (Spain) *
    Bruno Martini (France) *
    Corentin Martins (France) *
    Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
    Michel Gonzalez Maria del Campo (Spain)
    Roger Milla (Cameroon) *
    Lubomir Moravcik (Czechoslovakia) *
    Carlos Mozer (Brazil) *
    Noureddine Naybet (Morocco) *
    Luc Nilis (Belgium)
    Pascal Olmeta (France) *
    Francois Omam Biyik (Cameroon) *
    Viktor Onopko (Russia)
    Stephane Paille (France) *
    Jean-Pierre Papin (France) *
    Bernard Pardo (France) *
    Gerald Pasi (France) *
    Reynald Pedros (France) *
    Abedi Pele (Ghana) *
    Christian Perez (France) *
    Emmanuel Petit (France) *
    Flemming Povlsen (Denmark)
    Robert Prosinecki (Yugoslavia)
    Oleh Protasov (Soviet Union)
    Claude Puel (France) *
    Rai Souza Vieira de Oliveira (Brazil) *
    Stefan Reuter (Germany)
    Ricardo Gomes (Brazil) *
    Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany)
    Frank Rijkaard (Netherlands)
    Brian Robson (England)
    Alain Roche (France) *
    Sergey Rodionov (Soviet Union)
    Romario da Souza Faria (Brazil)
    Faouzi Rouissi (Tunisia) *
    Wynton Rufer (New Zealand)
    Ian Rush (Wales)
    Moussa Saib (Algeria) *
    Hugo Sanchez (Mexico)
    Manuel Sanchis (Spain)
    Frank Suazee (France) *
    Dejan Savicevic (Yugoslavia)
    Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)
    Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)
    Enzo Scifo (Belgium) *
    Didier Senac (France) *
    Igor Shalimov (Russia)
    Ahmed Shobair (Egypt)
    Franck Silvestre (France) *
    Amara Simba (France) *
    Thomas Skuhravy (Czechoslovakia)
    Jacques Songo'o (Cameroon) *
    Luc Sonor (France) *
    Ruben Sosa (Uruguay)
    Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
    Dragan Stojkovic (Yugoslavia) *
    Yannick Stopyra (France) *
    Claudio Taffarel (Brazil)
    Mauro Tassotti (Italy)
    Joel Tiehi (Ivory Coast) *
    Pascal Vahirua (France) *
    Carlos Valderrama (Colombia) *
    Valdo Candido Filho (Brazil) *
    Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
    Hans van Breukelen (Netherlands)
    Philippe Vercruysse (France) *
    Frank Verlaat (Netherlands) *
    Gianluca Vialli (Italy)
    Pietro Vierchowod (Italy)
    Rudi Voller (Germany) *
    Chris Waddle (England) *
    George Weah (Liberia) *
    Roland Wohlfarth (Germany) *
    Jan Wouters (Netherlands)
    Anthony Yeboah (Ghana)
    Rashidi Yekini (Nigeria)
    Walter Zenga (Italy)
    Jacek Ziober (Poland)
    Gianfranco Zola (Italy)
    Andoni Zubizaretta (Spain)

    There is an unusually high representation of French (based) players, but on the other hand they were #2 in the UEFA coefficients for a while. There are also some players in that I'd place in the previous era (Arconada for example).

    Players receiving long texts are Amoros, Cantona, Gullit, Maradona, Papin, Van Basten. Ballon d'Or winners Matthaus and Baggio have ('normal') short texts (Matthaus 17 half-lines).
    comme repped this.
  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Somewhat surprising, still, is Zidane not in yet.
  24. Ariaga II

    Ariaga II Member

    Dec 8, 2018
    The French have a long history of overinflation and francocentrism. They are a very self-impressed lot on all walks of life.

    I guess this book is from 1994? The Zidane bandwagon didn't start rolling until the following year.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  25. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #175 PuckVanHeel, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

    Well there's a saying 'chauvinism' is a French word, but realistically the same can be said about (in particular) the English, Americans and Germans. They have that reputation too, with current facts and actions in history, to back it up:


    More so than Italians and Spaniards for sure, as a generalization.

    edit: something in support of you, the "ignorance index" :)

    Yes it is from early 1994, before the World Cup.

    Gives still a pretty accurate idea about how things were seen at the time (if they don't involve French/Francophone players). The recently compared Stojkovic, Scifo and Gascoigne are all in.

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