The 월드컵 is the stage for the greatest football players in the world, but over the years, who have been it’s stars and who gets your vote for the greatest World Cup Player ever?
For me there are only four players who I would include on a shortlist of the World Cups greatest players. Starting at the back my choice would be the incomparable Gordon Banks of England and if you remember the save he made from Pele in the game between England and Brazil in the World Cup of 1970, you’ll understand why I’m nominating Gordon. He had tremendous ability, was capable of the most amazing reflex saves but could also read the game to an extent where he made it look easy – the true sign of a real master.
Another amazing player with a real ability to stroll the pitch and make it all look so easy even on the biggest stage of them all was the late Bobby Moore. He had great leadership skills which helped England to win the World Cup on home turf in 1966. Without his drive and leadership, I doubt they would have recovered from the late German equaliser which took the final to extra time, and then onto that famous World Cup victory.
Another choice would be Franz Beckenbauer, the German who led his team to victory in the 1974 World Cup. He won over 100 caps for his country and captained the side in over 50 matches, playing in 3 World Cups and collecting Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to ensure a complete collection. I’ve never seen a player make it look so easy and so comfortable, he seemed to have all the time he needed whenever he needed it.
My next choice would be the incomparable Diego Maradona of Argentina who played in 21 games across 4 World Cups and was at such a peak of his powers in 1986 that he came as close as any player ever has to winning the World Cup single handed! He was also responsible for what I consider to be the greatest goal to ever grace a World Cup game, in the game against England when he collected the ball deep in his own half and proceeded to ghost through what seemed like the entire England team before slotting the ball over an surprised Peter Shilton. Sheer Genius.
My final choice is the player I consider the best World Cup player ever – Pele of Brazil. The most complete and amazing footballing machine with no apparent weaknesses. Witness the header that forced that amazing save from Gordon Banks in the 1970 World Cup to the fact that he appeared in 4 World Cups and won three of them, scoring 12 goals along the way. Many consider the team of 1970, of which he was an integral part, to be the greatest team the world has ever seen. A master of football and an ability that will probably never be equalled.