Best Soccer Players Of Each Decade

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Daniel96, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Daniel96

    Daniel96 Member

    Aug 12, 2011
    Australia, NSW
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Who are the best Soccer players of each decade, you can start with any decade year. But I'd rather you start from the 50s or before.

    Add around 3 players each decade so it can be the TOP 3 of each decade, but if theres another player you want to add then just add them.

    And put the players in order from best to least.

    Thanks :)
  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    As there haven't been replies to the original question I thought it might be interesting to extend the scope to top 30's (while still offering a top 3):

    I've had a go at doing so for the 40's&before, the 50's and the 60's and only included a player within one decade. The selected top 3 are in bold with their number in brackets and feasible candidates for the top 3 are in blue. I guess the likes of comme, Peru and Dearman may have some ideas about other names having done so much research but here's the players I've included:

    40's and before (some of them purely on reputation)
    Argentina - Jose Manuel Moreno, Adolfo Pedernera
    Argentina/Italy - Raimundo Orsi
    Austria - Matthias Sindelar, Franz Binder
    Austria/Czechoslovakia - Josef Bican
    Brazil - Ademir Marques de Menezes, Leonidas, Zizinho, Arthur Friedenreich
    Czechoslovakia - Oldrich Nejedly
    England - Stanley Matthews (1), Tom Finney (2), Tommy Lawton, Dixie Dean, Stan Mortensen, Wilf Mannion
    Germany - Fritz Walter
    Hungary - Gyorgy Sarosi, Ferenc Deak, Imre Schlosser
    Italy - Giussepe Meazza (3), Valentino Mazzola, Silvio Piola
    Paraguay - Arsenio Erico
    Scotland - Alex James, Jimmy McGrory
    Sweden - Gunnar Gren
    Uruguay - Jose Leandro Andrade, Hector Scarone

    Argentina/Spain - Alfredo Di Stefano (1)
    Argentina - Omar Sivori
    Austria - Ernst Ocwirk
    Brazil - Didi, Julinho, Nilton Santos, Djalma Santos
    Czechoslovakia - Josef Masopust
    England - Duncan Edwards
    France - Raymond Kopa, Just Fontaine, Roger Piantoni, Jean Vincent
    Germany - Helmut Rahn
    Holland - Faas Wilkes
    Hungary - Ferenc Puskas (2), Nandor Hidegkuti, Sandor Kocsis, Joszef Bozsik, Zoltan Czibor
    Soviet Union - Lev Yashin (3)
    Spain (previously Czechoslovakia/Hungary) - Ladislao Kubala
    Spain - Francisco Gento
    Sweden - Nils Liedholm, Gunnar Nordahl, Kurt Hamrin
    Uruguay - Juan Schiaffino, Obdulio Varela, Victor Rodriguez Andrade
    Wales - John Charles

    Brazil - Pele (1), Garrincha, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto, Rivelino, Tostao, Gerson, Amarildo
    Bulgaria - Georgi Asparoukhov
    England - Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Jimmy Greaves
    Germany - Uwe Seeler
    Holland - Coen Moulijn
    Hungary - Florian Albert, Ferenc Bene
    Italy (previously Brazil) - Jose Altafini
    Italy - Gianni Rivera, Sandro Mazzola, Giacinto Facchetti, Giovanni Trapattoni
    N.Ireland - George Best (2)
    Portugal - Eusebio (3), Mario Coluna
    Romania - Nicolae Dobrin
    Scotland - Denis Law, Jimmy Johnstone
    Spain - Luis Suarez Miramontes
    Yugoslavia - Dragan Dzajic
    (I included Trapattoni to get some opinions on how good he was but possibly I could replace him with someone like the Portuguese winger Antonio Simoes)

    I'll probably do somewhere between top 30's and top 60's for the other decades sometime, so there'll be some players listed for the 70's that did well in the 60's too.
  3. babaorum

    babaorum Member+

    Aug 20, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    Concerning France, let me add Benbarek for the 40's and before (Pele said once : if Pele is the king of football, then Benbarek is the god of it !) as well as Roger Marche and Robert Joncquet for the 50's.
  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Austria: Ernst Happel. Not just a great coach but also a great player. He is sometimes credited with forming a hybrid between the old centre-halve and libero as a player.
  5. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Actually me and Puck were discussing old French players by PM and I wasn't massively clued up on Ben Barek so any stories or info apart from the basic stuff would be welcome for both of us to read. I did look him up a bit when he was taken in Sheep Draft 2 but he's not a player I know very much about overall.

    I could easily have included Jonquet in my list rather than Vincent for example but on limited footage and info it's easier to be impressed by forwards/midfielders than defenders probably. I noticed Marche scored in the '59 game vs Spain you posted if I'm not mistaken (overlapping from left-back) from a Fontaine assist, while Jonquet seemed very competent and Vincent was lively and scored a nice goal.
  6. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I knew of his reputation and that he could score great goals at times too. Again, I think the number of defenders I included is low (moreso than will be for the following decades if I just do top 30's again) but apart from the liklihood of more easily being impressed by the legendary attacking players there's also the possibility the best defenders are indeed from more recent times. Like with Billy Wright for England, I know some games Austria played where they conceded 6 or 7 goals and that would seem a lot but the formations being played as well as the collections of top players some nations possessed would affect that. Of course other defenders like Baresi, Cannavaro and no doubt Moore and Beckenbauer also played in games where their team conceded a large number of goals but maybe less so in their primes and/or for thier International teams.
    Nasazzi of Uruguay is another defender that would seem to be a candidate for the 40's & before (actually the 30's mainly I think).
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011

    The highest he conceded was 6 goals against Germany in the 1954 World Cup at a very bad pitch, rainy day and I also read that the Austrian squad was tired/ill before the match but maybe some can clarify this. I do this out of the top of my head now because it was a book from the library. Anyhow, the coniditions weren't favourable, that is what I remembered ;)
  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, and they did win the 3rd place Play-Off vs a highly rated (though unmotivated?) Uruguay.
    The game vs Switzerland was also very high scoring all round, but another thing I was going to mention is that I think Austria were playing about the most attacking formation of all teams weren't they? With an attacking centre-half in Ocwirk and old-fashioned wing-halves too maybe? I'd have to check to be sure.

    Another player that might be considered as potentially Trapattoni's replacement for the 60's would be Paul van Himst of Belgium.
    I know Puck you said he is a player you're more familiar than with others such as Liedholm, but for me it's the opposite - I don't know and haven't seen very much of him at all apart from basic description and the fact he could be both an AM and a forward I believe.
  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    By whom were they highly rated? As far as I know, Austria was even a favourite to win the trophy, but can be that I overlooked Uruguay.

    Exactly and Happel could play as a centre-half as well. The game against Switzerland weared them out, yes, I remember it now.

    I can imagine. I bet something has been written about the gre-no-li era although I only read some basic things like the famous 7-1 match against Juventus and the other evergreen matches. I appreciate it if you know a source/book/video (i.e. highlights/games whereof you know they exist) whatever.
  10. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    You might not have seen this video:
    [ame=""]Nils Liedholm - YouTube[/ame]
    I also saw him playing in the '58 WC Final before the video was taken down unfortunately.
    There are some Milan highlight videos (mainly or exclusively goals) from the 50's also on Youtube.

    As for Uruguay, they were the reigning champions and had Schiaffino plus Varela and Victor Andrade and had beaten England and then gone to extra-time vs Hungary (without Puskas). I'm not suggesting they were favourites for the Cup though - surely Hungary were. I don't know which team was considered more of a favourite out of Austria and Uruguay but probably both were among the fancied teams.
  11. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    My attempt for the 70's (top 40):
    Argentina - Mario Kempes, Osvaldo Ardiles, Daniel Passarella, Ricardo Bochini
    Austria - Hans Krankl
    Brazil - Clodoaldo, Ademir Da Guia
    Chile - Elias Figueroa
    Denmark - Allan Simonsen
    England - Peter Shilton, Tony Woodcock, Trevor Francis, Kevin Keegan
    France - Dominique Rocheteau
    Germany - Franz Beckenbauer (2), Gerd Muller (3), Sepp Maier, Gunter Netzer, Berti Vogts, Wolfgang Overath
    Holland - Johan Cruyff (1), Johan Neeskens, Rob Rensenbrink, Ruud Krol, Johnny Rep, Rene van der Kerkhof, Wim van Hanegem
    Italy - Dino Zoff, Giancarlo Antognoni, Luigi Riva
    Peru - Teofilo Cubillas, Cesar Cueto
    Poland - Kazimierz Deyna, Wlodzmierz Lubanski, Gzregorz Lato, Robert Gadocha
    Scotland - John Robertson, Archie Gemmill
    Soviet Union - Oleg Blokhin
    Yugoslavia - Safet Susic

    If you're thinking any Italians are missing they might well be going to be included in the 80's (ditto Dalglish and probably Breitner).
    Including Ademir Da Guia reminded me that Domingos Da Guia could have been a defender like Nasazzi who'd be in contention for a place in the 40's&before list.
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    No Kenny Dalglish?
  13. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Gonna be in the 80's, but could just as well be chosen for the 70's I think.
    I also know that van der Kuijlen may be an option (possibly ahead of Rene van der Kerkhof or Johnny Rep) based on what you've told me and other Dutch sources but I haven't yet verified my info about him with my own viewing if that is indeed possible.
  14. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Arsenal FC
  15. Once

    Once Member+

    Apr 16, 2011
    IMO its too hard to make lists like you are doing them. Nice try though. Argentina could also include Houseman, Norberto Alonso and even Miguel Brindisi. Surely Brazil should include Rivelino and Zico...
  16. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Thanks, and yeah it's difficult and inconclusive plus we all have different exposure levels to different players and also different ratings of players we all know very well.

    I still think it's a worthwhile exercise though. Inevitably the World Cups have the biggest influence when judging 'foreign' players (Argentinian players for me, English ones for you maybe, Austrian ones for both of us or for a Spaniard etc etc). I made an exception for Bochini but those names you mentioned are probably worthy of consideration too - I would say though that 30 or 40 names worldwide over a decade isn't very many really.

    I put Rivelino in the 60's list, and Zico will be in the 80's list and I'm only naming each player in one list (to allow for more names overall). Like Dalglish, there'd be a case for those two Brazilians being in the 70's list though I agree - I got the impression they could be 60's&80's based on prime form even if only marginally better than in the 70's but you might feel different about that? Zico would be a top 3 candidate in the 70's too I would think.

    Falcao would be a similar case to those two maybe and actually if I don't extend the number of players for the 80's and 90's in retrospect I could've considered Toninho Cerezo for the 70's (and Paul Breitner too as a similar case). I see Cerezo was South American Player of the Year in the 70's, though I think all the footage I've seen of him was in the 80's or 90's (maybe he played in the 1978 England v Brazil friendly I saw highlights of but I don't recall him doing so).
  17. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I'll have a go at the 80's, 90's and 2000-now shortly but I'll just clarify now that I've considered players based on their peak only if they've been at it or close to it for a decent amount of time in the decade (so Redondo is to be listed in the 90's not the 00's, and Matthaus in the 80's not the 90's for example; the likes of Michael Owen and Raul could be in either the 90's or 00's really I think).

    As for Daniel's original question, I guess some people might disagree with my choice of the top 3 for each decade so it's only my own impression.
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I read once a book about Argentinian football. It had a chapter about Rene Housemann. It seemed that he was the Argentinian version of George Best: a couple of great seasons, one exceptional season but the drinking was fatal for him. Don't know of those couple of great seasons are enough to warrant an inclusion.
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    About the 1970s:

    Bathenay of France was an exceptional midfielder. He played very well in the European Cup campaigns, but lost a couple of times undeservedly in my opinion. Of St. Etienne, he was the player who caught my eye the most.
  20. burco

    burco New Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    How come Best is the second best player in the 60s above Eusebio and Garrincha?! I think the 60s belonged mainly to the 3 Portuguese-speaking players. This imo shows how Garrincha is underrated in Europe.
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I don't think so. Garrincha is actually a bit overrated thanks to his mythical status, his 'strange' personality and the background of him. Many European sources also mention that he was 'maybe better than Pelé'. His role in the 1962 world cup is maybe a bit under-lit though, some still attribute that cup wrongly to Pelé. If you ask me, that is pure politics. But the aura surrounding Garrincha is quite large. To be honest, I think that Eusebio is often underrated.
  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Fair point, and like I say I don't want to claim my opinion as the decider just because I'm doing the lists.
    My impression is probably that Best was the more complete, balanced player at his very best and I suppose if someone put Garrincha in the top 3 rather than Best it could be said that it shows how Best is under-rated in South America ;). To clarify, I didn't really consider longevity (including negative affects of alcohol etc!) a big factor personally wheras others might although Garrincha did have similar issues too. For sure, Garrincha was better in World Cups though ;). I did highlight him in blue because I appreciated his talent made him a top 3 contender (instead of Best or Eusebio) and that quite a few people would have opinions such as you do.
  23. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Here's the 80's list (I've split it into a provisional top 30 and an additional 30 with players that could be considered close to or even in the top 30 itself - I could've overlooked some definate contenders too when I was brainstorming those additional 30).
    NOTE - I think Paolo Rossi would be someone who could be considered for the 70's instead considering he was banned at the start of the 80's then wasn't close to his best for very long after the '82 World Cup (and maybe was declining from it already in some respects) - his exploits in that World Cup made me feel he should be associated with the 80's though even though he'd done very well in the '78 World Cup too:

    'Top 30':
    Argentina - Diego Maradona (1)
    Belgium - Vincenzo Scifo, Jan Ceulemans
    Brazil - Zico, Socrates, Falcao
    Cameroon - Roger Milla (considering 1990 too really!)
    Denmark - Preben Elkjaer
    England - Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, John Barnes
    France - Michel Platini (2), Jean Tigana
    Germany - Lothar Matthaus, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Pierre Littbarski
    Holland - Marco van Basten (3), Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard
    Italy - Franco Baresi, Gaetano Scirea, Paolo Rossi
    Mexico - Hugo Sanchez
    Scotland - Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen
    Soviet Union - Rinat Dasaev
    Spain - Emilio Butragueno
    Uruguay - Enzo Francescoli
    Wales - Neville Southall
    Yugoslavia - Dragan Stojkovic (nearly chose 90's)
    Additional 30:
    Argentina - Jorge Burruchaga
    Belgium - Eric Gerets
    Brazil - Careca, Junior, Toninho Cerezo
    Denmark - Soren Lerby
    England - Bryan Robson
    France - Alain Giresse, Manuel Amoros
    Germany - Bernd Schuster, Andreas Brehme, Paul Breitner
    Holland - Adri van Tiggelen, Ronald Koeman
    Hungary - Lajos Detari
    Italy - Pietro Vierchowod, Giussepe Giannini, Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Donadoni, Marco Tardelli, Bruno Conti, Antonio Cabrini
    Poland - Zbigniew Boniek
    Portugal - Paulo Futre
    Scotland - Graeme Souness
    Spain - Rafael Martin Vazquez, Michel
    Soviet Union - Igor Belanov, Alexander Zavarov
    Wales - Ian Rush
  24. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    90's now - again there will be other candidates that I could've overlooked in the additional 30 - I think Rudi Voller would've been better suited for the 80's but thought about him after posting that list and thought he should be included somewhere:
    NOTE - The closest decision between 1 and 2 and probably the 'top 3' there would be most disagreement about/most scope for many different choices ;)
    'Top 30'
    Argentina - Fernando Redondo, Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Caniggia
    Brazil - Ronaldo (2), Romario, Rivaldo, Jorginho
    Bulgaria - Hristo Stoichkov
    Croatia - Davor Suker
    Denmark - Michael Laudrup (1), Peter Schmeichel, Brian Laudrup
    England - Paul Gascoigne
    Finland - Jari Litmanen
    France - Eric Cantona, Bixente Lizarazu
    Germany - Jurgen Klinsmann, Matthias Sammer, Thomas Hassler
    Holland - Dennis Bergkamp
    Italy - Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, Gianfranco Zola
    Liberia - George Weah
    Portugal - Luis Figo (3), Rui Costa
    Romania - Gheorghe Hagi
    Spain - Fernando Hierro
    Wales - Ryan Giggs
    Yugoslavia - Dejan Savicevic
    Additional 30:
    Argentina - Juan Sebastien Veron
    Brazil - Aldair, Bebeto, Juninho Paulista
    Bulgaria - Yordan Letchkov, Krassimir Balakov
    Croatia - Zvonimir Boban, Alen Boksic, Robert Prosinecki
    England - Alan Shearer, Des Walker
    France - Jean-Pierre Papin, David Ginola, Marcel Desailly, Laurent Blanc
    Ghana - Abedi Pele
    Germany - Rudi Voller
    Holland - Marc Overmars
    Ireland - Roy Keane, Paul McGrath
    Italy - Alessandro Del Piero, Alessandro Costacurta, Giussepe Signori
    Nigeria - Jay-Jay Okocha
    Norway - Lars Bohinen
    Romania - Miodrag Belodidici, Dan Petrescu
    Russia - Andrei Kanchelskis
    Spain - Luis Enrique Martinez
    Sweden - Tomas Brolin
  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Now for the period 2000-now to finish. There would be many different candidates for the additional 30 probably and I haven't spent very long thinking through them. I wasn't sure about Rooney or Saviola for example (could have selected the likes of Silva or Tevez I suppose or Huntelaar who I've had to downgrade of late though I think he's now Holland's first choice or van Persie who I've had to upgrade of late etc etc). I haven't considered many of the youngsters with potential such as Eriksen, Hazard, Goetze, Ganso etc partly as I've not seen a lot of some of them and partly as they may not progress as assumed; ditto the likes of Pato/Pedro etc. I did include Neymar to please Daniel though ;) and because of his current form and reputation, and Thomas Muller with an impressive World Cup is in there too. Many feasible options for top 3 again I think though of highlighted Messi might be the most selected and some not highlighted might even be suggested eg Cristiano Ronaldo?:
    'Top 30'
    Argentina - Lionel Messi, Hernan Crespo
    Brazil - Ronaldinho (2), Kaka, Cafu, Robinho, Roberto Carlos
    Czech Republic - Pavel Nedved
    Cameroon - Samuel Eto'o
    England - David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard
    France - Zinedine Zidane (1), Thierry Henry (3), Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Lilian Thuram
    Holland - Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wesley Sneijder, Clarence Seedorf
    Italy - Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon, Alessndro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro
    Portugal - Cristiano Ronaldo
    Spain - Raul, Andres Iniesta, Xavi
    Sweden - Henrik Larsson
    Ukraine - Andriy Shevchenko
    Additional 30:
    Argentina - Javier Saviola, Pablo Aimar, Javier Zanetti, Juan Roman Riquelme, Sergio Aguero
    Brazil - Edmilson, Neymar
    Bulgaria - Dimitar Berbatov
    Czech Republic - Tomas Rosicky
    England - Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Sol Campbell
    Germany - Thomas Muller, Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose, Oliver Kahn
    Ivory Coast - Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure
    Portugal - Deco, Ricardo Carvalho
    Russia - Andrei Arshavin
    Spain - Fernando Torres, David Villa, Gerard Pique, Juan Carlos Valeron, Gaizka Mendieta, Ruben Baraja
    Uruguay - Diego Forlan

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