The 100 best football game players of all time: 100-91
When a manager has to cull between two excellent players in the same position, theBig Book of Football Cliches says we must always refer to this “selection headache” equally a “good problem to have”.
Having weeks trying to narrow down every male footballer ever into a list of 100, we atFourFourTwo now realise just what nonsense that is. Selection becomes near-impossible puzzler as yous realise just how many outstanding footballers there have been, across continents and across decades.
Frankly, we could practise another list of 100 great players not to even make the cut. Simply in the end, we’re had to selection the players nosotros feel were the most influential in their detail era, the near memorable, the players who awed us with their talent and their achievements. In brusk, the 100 greatest footballers always. Feel complimentary to permit us know your thoughts @FourFourTwo
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100. Gheorghe Hagi
With one of the odder career trajectories among modern-24-hour interval greats, Hagi spent the best part of a decade as an impossibly prolific attacking midfielder in Romania’s top flight, earlier two hit-and-miss years at Existent Madrid and later a similar spell at Barcelona.
Sandwiched between his time at the 2 Spanish giants was a heartwarming 2 years in Italy, where he was office of Mircea Lucescu’south ‘Little Romania’ contingent at Brescia. He endured relegation in his showtime season but stayed loyal to the social club despite amend offers, and fired them back into Serie A.
Aged thirty and supposedly winding down towards retirement, he joined Galatasaray, where he spent a laughably fruitful one-half-decade cementing living-legend condition and hoovering upward some other 10 medals.
The states 94, when Romania reached the quarter-final of the World Loving cup (knocking out Argentine republic on the manner), inspired by Hagi and his magical left human foot.
99. Mario Kempes
Only four Argentines take been crowned as superlative scorer in La Liga, and Kempes is one of them. He was feared as a burly and effective striker for Valencia, scoring at will, especially in 1976/77 and 1977/78. Kempes besides led the club to a European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph in 1980.
Withal, he is best known for his explosive finishes during the 1978 World Cup on home soil. He nabbed vi goals and was elevation scorer of the tournament.
How about scoring two goals in a Globe Cup final for a highlight? Kempes netted twice confronting Holland, including the all-important winner in extra time.
The baby of Brazil’s final Earth Loving cup-winning squad without getting onto the pitch, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite grew up in the shadows of samba superstars before emulating them on his own path. He won the terminal Ballon d’Or before the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly dominated football and dazzled with his unbelievable vision and typically Southward American dribbling skills.
Milan fans adored him. There was zippo that Kaka couldn’t do with the brawl at his anxiety, every bit he danced his way through defences and led this great club to summits. Injuries ravaged his time at Real Madrid but the mystique of this man is articulate: he’due south simply one of the most talented footballers of the modern age, with iconic moments across his career.
An era-defining brandish against Manchester United in the Champions League semi-finals, with the whole world watching. Violent apart one of the greatest-e’er England sides singlehandedly was as shocking as it was captivating.
97. George Weah
So far, Africa’south but Ballon d’Or recipient, George Weah is at present president of Republic of liberia. He’s always led from the forepart.
King George was a tornado of a footballer and one of the most thrilling footballers in total pelt ever to play the game. He could take on swathes of defenders and smash by them with electric pace, while his finishing, technical power and creativity were all superb. He lit upwardly Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, winning titles and plaudits a plenty to get one of the most influential and beloved African footballers ever to play the game.
A fabled solo goal confronting Verona in which Weah barely looked similar he was breaking a sweat while frolicking through the entire opposition backline. It typified his grade, bluster and frightening individual ability: practice you know how difficult that was to practise in 1990s Italy?
96. Javier Zanetti
If he’s not the finest right-back the world has seen, he may have remained a globe-grade performer for longer than any other individual on this listing.
During nineteen years at Inter, which followed his early club career in Argentina and came amongst some of the Milan side’s about volatile years, he made a club-record 858 appearances and won 16 trophies before retiring aged 40. The stamina and footballing brain that made him such an outstanding full-back were complemented past a technical power that meant he also afterward excelled in midfield.
Captaining Inter to the Treble in 2010, which ended their 45-year wait to regain the European Cup.
95. Djalma Santos
Nominated by former team-mate and compatriot Pele in his listing of the 125 greatest footballers, the ii-time World Cup champion was the first Brazilian to collect 100 international caps. He started but one game in the 1958 Earth Loving cup but was notwithstanding chosen as the best full-back of the tournament. So that must take been some display.
Along with left-back Nilton Santos, Djalma Santos rarely held back, starting the Brazilian tradition of attacking defenders and providing a template for the position’s futurity.
In the final of the 1962 World Loving cup confronting Czechoslovakia, Santos set up the final goal scored past Vava for Brazil.
94. Luis Figo
1 of the well-nigh idolised and despised players in history – even past the same set of fans at dissimilar points in his timeline.
Luis Figo was the archetype of what a Galactico should be, and then it shouldn’t exist a surprise that Real Madrid moved heaven, Earth and the laws of nature to larn him. Deft, fragile and graceful, while capable of unpredictability – as England institute out from his long-range stunner at Euro 2000 – Figo was a player of brilliance and consistency. His 106 assists are the second-most in La Liga history, behind Lionel Messi.
Landing the 2002 Champions League alongside his star-studded mates against Bayern Munich. Encounter: paying big money for your rivals’ players works.
93. Sandor Kocsis
Arguably the greatest header of a ball ever, Kocsis scored at incredible rate. He found the cyberspace 75 times in 68 games for his national side, winning the Olympic tournament in 1952, and averaged more than than a goal-per-game in his seven seasons at Honved, winning 3 league championship titles.
Kocsis moved to Barcelona in 1958 and won La Liga in his first ii seasons in Catalonia, although his spell there was sadly interrupted by injuries.
Kocsis was the top scorer with eleven goals at the 1954 Earth Cup, where a majestic Hungarian squad should accept won the trophy, but lost to West Germany in the final.
92. Peter Schmeichel
Before new-fangled tactics compelled goalkeepers to dash towards the halfway line and behave as ersatz playmakers, Schmeichel was the king of the keepers, the prototypical elite-level goalie. Everything that contributed to preventing a goal he had in abundance: size, presence, assailment and the unyielding ability to bellow his back iv into shape.
Most of all, though, he was just then hard to score by. His ‘starfish’ method became famous and was responsible for countless point-blank chances going inexplicably unconverted. Besides as but being huge, his reflexes were astoundingly quick – and not just once a shot had been taken but before, too: he’d smother the ball at a striker’south feet earlier the player had even realised he was through on goal.
Hoovered upwards medals every bit a stalwart of Alex Ferguson’southward first great Manchester United side, merely none will accept meant as much or been as spectacularly improbable as his European Championship win with a hastily assembled Denmark side in 1992.
91. Giacinto Facchetti
In the 1970 Earth Loving cup Final, Brazil saw the future. He was playing at left-dorsum for the opposition, whoO Canarinho were busy chirapsia 4-ane at the fourth dimension.
Italia’southward Giacinto Facchetti invented the mod full-back. Converted by Inter coach Helenio Herrera from a centre-forward into a right-footed left-back, Facchetti provided the deep-lying attacking thrust in a defense-first catenaccio system which dominated Italian football from the mid-1960s for 3 decades.
“Those who copied me copied me wrongly,” Herrera later said of his Inter side. “I had Picchi equally a sweeper, yes, but I too had Facchetti, the offset full-dorsum to score as many goals as a forrard.”
In an 18-flavor career comprising 629Nerazzurri appearances and 75 goals, Facchetti won 4 Serie A titles, two European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and Euro 68 with Italy. Forget Carlos Alberto, Roberto Carlos or any other buccaneering Brazilian: this is where the full-back as a weapon began.
Being part of the first Italian side to defend the European Cup in 1965.
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