BBC BLOGS - World Cup Motty
« Previous | Main | Next »

Motty's greatest World Cup players

Post categories:

John Motson | 12:38 UK time, Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Welcome to World Cup Motty.

I am delighted to announce I will be filing daily reports from my 10th World Cup finals in South Africa this summer here on the BBC Sport website.

You will also be able to follow me on Twitter. I will be sharing my favourite goals, players and match commentaries from previous tournaments with you leading up to the big kick-off on 11 June.

In the meantime, here's my choice for the five greatest footballers to have graced the World Cup finals (For UK users only).

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


Comments

  • 1. At 1:08pm on 18 May 2010, The United Way wrote:

    My 5:
    Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Fontaine.

    Honourable mentions: Moore, Yashin, Eusebio, Cafu, R. Carlos, Ronaldo (R9), Zidane, Muller, Charlton, Zico, Klinsmann, Jairzinho.

    And after this summer, hopefully: Rooney!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:18pm on 18 May 2010, KingsParkRangers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 1:18pm on 18 May 2010, portland wrote:

    Charlton? and no Zidane? the usual bias from our great 'free' press

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:32pm on 18 May 2010, Vox Populi wrote:

    Motty went for Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Bobby Charlton for anyone wondering.

    I will go only on tournaments that I've seen in my lifetime, so from 1986 onward I will say Maradona, Roberto Baggio, Matthaus, Zidane and Ronaldo for a more modern 5 greatest players at the tournament.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 1:35pm on 18 May 2010, izy25 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 1:51pm on 18 May 2010, Kenjamon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 1:56pm on 18 May 2010, Kenjamon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 2:00pm on 18 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    I don't think 5 is enough to represent the 'greatest world cup players' Also, Ronaldo (of Brazil) must surely be rated higher then both Charlton and Cruyff. No disrespect to Charlton and Cruyff but Ronaldo's record speaks for itself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 2:04pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 2:10pm on 18 May 2010, K-Dogg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 2:12pm on 18 May 2010, bluechief wrote:

    not sure about the argument for Cruyff's inclusion. So he captained a team to the final? So did Zidane. And Zidane did it towards the end of his career in a team that was more Total Cr*p than Total Football. He also actually WON a world cup...

    saying that they were good managers too doesn't improve their claims as the greatest players...

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 2:16pm on 18 May 2010, Kunzvi wrote:

    My top 5? Well being born in the Mid 80's im a bit of a late generation fan so definitely there won't be any Peles, Maradonas, Cryuffs and Eusebios, simply because I didnt see them play. I think its only fair to judge based on what I have actually witnessed.

    1. Zidane - when all the old people are dead and Maradona and Pele are forgotten, he will rightly claim his place as the world's best ever player.

    2. Ronaldo (Brazil)- The world's greatest number 9 ever.

    3. Romario - US 94 anyone??

    4. Dunga - The greatest box to box midfielder.

    5. Luis Figo - Pure class playing in a limited Portuguese side who have always exceeded expectations.

    You can't deny the Brazilians their moment of glory. The have won 2 of the last 4 World Cups I have watched!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 2:18pm on 18 May 2010, Andy wrote:

    Come on, be serious now John. Charlton but no Ronaldo?!
    Ronaldo, was not only frighteningly good, but is currently the top scorer in world cup history! The others i expected beforehand, so a bit pointless im afraid to say. How about a top 5 of the last 20 years to make it a bit more interesting?

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:19pm on 18 May 2010, BigKoko2004 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 2:19pm on 18 May 2010, jonnywalker769 wrote:

    I can accept your judgement Motty on four of these players but to include that downright cheat Maradona as a footballer who "graced" the World Cup, at pretty much any time, is too much and an insult to the integrity of the other great players mentioned here. Sure he was a fantastic player but he hasn't an ounce of "grace" in him, as has been showed by his behaviour off the field and in management since he retired.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:24pm on 18 May 2010, Luke Cloherty wrote:

    Surely Zidane must be there over Charlton and Cruyff. A World Cup winner and the finest player of his generation, also the focal point of 2006's final for the wrong reasons maybe, but I certainly feel he should be included.

    This list favours players from 1958 - 1990 and nobody thereafter. Give it 20 years and people will start remembering players of this generation.

    I would have Pele, Maradona, Beckenbauer, Zidane and Ronaldo (Brazil). These are players who set every WC they played in alight at some point. Ronaldo and Zidane both played in 3 and won 1. Cruyff played in 1 and didn't even win it. Fine player but not in multiple WCs. More so for Barcelona.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:27pm on 18 May 2010, jonnywalker769 wrote:

    Following my gentle rant about Maradona, you got to admit that Motty's other choices are spotty on. All World Cup winners, except Cruyff who gets there in my book as he revolutionised how to beat a player with complete ease and little apparent effort. Won stacks of other honours.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:28pm on 18 May 2010, confiseur wrote:

    Gordon Banks?...gotta have a goalie...and my lord what a keeper he was.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 2:32pm on 18 May 2010, mikestar01 wrote:

    Top 5 is very hard, given the amount of top quality players that have played at the world cup. Also, what's the critera for the "greatest" most wins? Most goals?

    I think Ronaldo (Brazilian) has to be in the top 5. Maybe we should make it top 10 or 20...

    http://www.football-journo.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 2:42pm on 18 May 2010, cocothered wrote:

    All time X1

    Schmeichel

    Breitner
    Beckenbauer
    Moore
    Maldini

    Ardiles
    Overath

    Cruyff
    Pele
    Maradona

    G Muller

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 2:43pm on 18 May 2010, Nick wrote:

    Where are all the now-traditional complaints from Non-Uk Users, whining that they can't watch the video?!

    I love to read them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 2:50pm on 18 May 2010, TT wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 23. At 2:56pm on 18 May 2010, On the eighth day Eboue took over wrote:

    Can't find the comment from the Beeb saying the reason overseas users can't watch it is down to 'regional rights issues' beyond their control. Example given was that the Beeb pay for rights to show the clips in the
    UK but can't be expected to pay expensive rights for other countries as well.

    Fair enough.

    However, the Beeb I believe has the rights to show the World Snooker. So why was that not available outside the UK? I can understand TV Licence issues but I can't watch the Beeb even if I want to (apart from world news...hooray). How about suggesting a 'pay per view' system to overseas users for certain sporting events/tv shows etc?

    At least just put the final on or something...

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 2:56pm on 18 May 2010, jonnywalker769 wrote:

    With all due respect to BBC why is it taking so long to post our comments. Hardly worth bothering.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 2:57pm on 18 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    shahid, Bobby had more hair, and never got sent off in the final of the World Cup

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:58pm on 18 May 2010, guyastral wrote:

    The 5 greatest World Cup players if you're not Motty:

    Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Ronaldo, Müller


    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 3:15pm on 18 May 2010, Sirmattsway wrote:

    Diego Maradonna was heavily using drugs, caught using drugs, addicted to Cocaine and cheated his fellow professionals by doing so. May have been very talented with the football but in my opinion his career is massively tarnished. Definitely agree with Pele, Cruff, Charlton etc though. Legends of the game.

    It amazes me how people can give him such legendary status of other top sportsmen over the years who have not done such things. Especially when there are so people in sports over the years, including recently like Mutu, Dwayne Chambers, Marion Jones etc who have tested positive for banned substances and are now hated. And they didn't do Cocaine either!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 3:31pm on 18 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    'Zidane - when all the old people are dead and Maradona and Pele are forgotten, he will rightly claim his place as the world's best ever player'

    'Dunga - The greatest box to box midfielder'

    Etc

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Utter drivel from someone barely old enough to know who Maradonna is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 3:34pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    12#

    5. Luis Figo - Pure class playing in a limited Portuguese side who have always exceeded expectations.

    --------------------------
    They had, on paper, a good squad in 2002 and yet were pleading with South Korea to throw the last group match to avoid a shock elimination at the hands of USA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 3:41pm on 18 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    Following my gentle rant about Maradona, you got to admit that Motty's other choices are spotty on. All World Cup winners, except Cruyff who gets there in my book as he revolutionised how to beat a player with complete ease and little apparent effort. Won stacks of other honours.

    _______________________________________________________

    I didnt see your rant about Maradonna, but I assume you are saying he should not be in the list. More drivel, he is the greatest player of all time, only Pele comes close. There is a reason those two always appear in these lists, because they are the best. Simple.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 3:59pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    I would have Pele, Maradona, Beckenbauer, Zidane and Ronaldo (Brazil). These are players who set every WC they played in alight at some point. Ronaldo and Zidane both played in 3 and won 1. Cruyff played in 1 and didn't even win it. Fine player but not in multiple WCs. More so for Barcelona.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I totally agree here. Motty is showing his age by a long way. The game has improved hugely in the past 20 years and yet no-one from this era is in motty's top 5????

    To miss Ronaldo is a glaring error from Motty - highest scorer in WC finals history including 2 in a final. Including charlton shows his bias towards England - how can he justify that?

    Poor. I think I will make this the last article of his that I read!

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 4:04pm on 18 May 2010, Onofrio Sanfilippo wrote:

    My top 5 World Cup Players, is based on their impact in tournaments and would be

    1. Pele
    2. Maradonna
    3. Beckenbauer
    4. R. Baggio
    5. Zidane

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 4:07pm on 18 May 2010, Steve Tudor wrote:

    I am constantly amazed at the inability of the people who comment to understand that blogs are about opinion and it's okay for it to be a different opinion to them. It's shocking how wound up people get!

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 4:08pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    I cant see why anyone would pick Cruyff over Zidane? This is a blog about World Cup players remember.

    Zidane had it all - Skill, Bottle, Bad Temper - Truly world class and utter legend!

    I reckon getting a couple of red cards in WC's makes him even more of a legend.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 4:12pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 4:12pm on 18 May 2010, NormalforNuneaton wrote:

    As this blog is called Motty's greatest World Cup players he presumably picked the 5 players he considered to be the greatest World Cup players. Whilst you may not agree with his choices for whatever reason, you can't possibly say he's wrong.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 4:13pm on 18 May 2010, NormalforNuneaton wrote:

    As I'm not a new member and have posted on several BBC blogs over recent months why am I being pre-moderated? Ridiculous.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 4:20pm on 18 May 2010, kEITH wrote:

    Charlton????

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 4:23pm on 18 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 4:33pm on 18 May 2010, leedsaidan1979 wrote:

    tgtaxi ... figo? 1 half decent at best tournament in 2006 does not make him an all time great at the world cup. Why do people put brazilian in brackets when mentioning ronaldo as a world cup great, come on we all know its the brazilian the other guy has done nothing on a world stage

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 4:40pm on 18 May 2010, ZQLE170 wrote:

    I've never really understood all the fuss about Pele particularly. It is my opinion that he was one of the greatest players and would make the top 5, but not undisputedly "the" greatest. I wasn't lucky enough to be alive to see him play, but watching the highlights and reading widely I cannot help but think his status is down to a mix of awe of the way the great Brazilian teams played, nostalgia and the need to pick out a central figure accordingly. Would Brazil have won all three World Cups in 1958, 62 and 70 without Pele? Unquestionably, the answer is "yes", which is why I think Maradona was the greatest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 4:40pm on 18 May 2010, portland wrote:

    Andrew (comment 25). Not sure if charlton is better player based on not being sent off in a world cup final but i'll give it to you on the hair bit - charlton beats zidane in that

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 4:46pm on 18 May 2010, bhastings wrote:

    The first world cup I saw was 1990, when despite a bit of genius to setup the winning goal against Brazil, Diego Maradona was definitely in decline. I will only include players from the tournaments I've seen.

    For those reasons my 5 would be:
    Roberto Baggio (His goal against Czechoslovakia in 1990 is up there with the very best and he almost single handedly got Italy to the finals in 1994.)

    Lothar Mattheus (Pure class in the heart of midfield for West Germany's win in 1990, controlled games and scored great goals.)

    Romario (Undoubtedly the star of USA '94)

    Zinedine Zidane (Carried the hopes of a nation in 98 and excelled, just as brilliant in 2006 until a moment of madness.)

    Gheorghe Hagi (Had he played for one of the bigger nations we'd be talking about him amongst the very best ever.)

    Others who got close to my list Batistuta, Ronaldo & Stoichkov

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 4:58pm on 18 May 2010, adampsb wrote:

    Why doesn't Motty provide captions so those of us with no video access know who hsi 5 are.

    Best 5 world Cup songs

    http://adampsb.blogspot.com/2010/05/world-cup-theme-songs.html

    Check it out

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 5:00pm on 18 May 2010, SIR CATMAN wrote:

    WELL AT LEAST THERE'S NO NO BOBBY MOORE, GARY LINEKER OR GEOFF HURST, SO ITS NOT QUITE THE USUAL LEVEL OF BIASED GUFF FROM MOTTY.

    THERE ARE 4 PLAYERS WHO SIMPLY MUST BE IN THE TOP 5 IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT IMPACT ON A WORLD CUP - MARADONA, PELE, ZIDANE AND RONALDO.

    CONTENDERS FOR THE 5TH SPOT WOULD BE CRUYFF, BECKENBAUER, MULLER, FONTAINE, MILLA, ROMARIO, GARRINCHA, KEMPES......

    BUT FOR ME ITS JAIRZINHO FOR HIS 1970 EXPLOITS.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 5:02pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    22. At 2:50pm on 18 May 2010, TT wrote:
    Why are scottish people so bitter and angry and think the whole world is against them? - its soooo boring

    ================================
    How come you guys publish comments like this while anything saying Motty is biased in his choice of Bobby Charlton gets modded?

    What's Motty gonna do next week? The five worst reffing decisions? Included will be Sol Campbell's disallowed goal against Argentina and the assault on Battiston in 1982 will be omitted, I guess.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 5:08pm on 18 May 2010, brommo73 wrote:

    I honestly dont see how Ronaldo compares to Cruyff??!! Does a great goalscorer make a great player, and lets not forget players like Krol, Haan, Neeskens, Brehme and Breitner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 5:09pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    25. At 2:57pm on 18 May 2010, Andrew wrote:
    shahid, Bobby had more hair, and never got sent off in the final of the World Cup
    =============================
    Maybe if played in the 1970 World Cup Final he might have been. Sir Alf was saving him for the semis but it all went Pete Tong.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 5:10pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    As this blog is called Motty's greatest World Cup players he presumably picked the 5 players he considered to be the greatest World Cup players. Whilst you may not agree with his choices for whatever reason, you can't possibly say he's wrong.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree with you to a certain extent - noone's opinion can be wrong.

    The problem here is that Motty is putting his biased opinion above the facts. The facts are that Ronaldo has scored the most world cup finals goals and should therfore be considered in the top 5. He played in 2 consecutive finals - which his team would not have played in were it not for his goals.

    Do you see where I am coming from here? Yes he is entitled to his opinion but to ignore something so blatantly obvious as this shows that there is a bias towards the england legend. Which takes it from being an interesting piece to a poor piece.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 5:31pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    I am constantly amazed at the inability of the people who comment to understand that blogs are about opinion and it's okay for it to be a different opinion to them. It's shocking how wound up people get!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am amazed at how people can ignore facts and put their opinions 1st.
    "Yes I know Ronaldo is the greatest world cup finals goalscorer and has played in 2 finals but actually I think Charlton was better"

    There are no facts to back up his opinion so the only justification I can think of is that he is english.

    See my point?

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 5:31pm on 18 May 2010, dave ritchie wrote:

    At the time of writing this (17:30) there are still comments waiting to be approved from 16:40 – almost 2 hours behind, exceptionally poor BBC, why are you so so so slow – is it going to be the same during the finals – if so think I will just have to stick to Robbos new blog!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 5:33pm on 18 May 2010, hakuna_matata wrote:

    Here's my top five
    1. Pele
    2. Maradonna
    3. Beckenbauer
    4. Zidane
    5. Ronaldo

    Top five England players i'm backing to shine this year:
    1. W Rooney
    2. J Milner
    3. A Cole
    4. P Crouch
    5. F Lampard

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 5:37pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    Zidane.

    No one else has a song about a felony committed on his property.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 5:49pm on 18 May 2010, shiraz wrote:

    The exclusion of Zidane is curious to say the least. The finest player, even almost a world winner towards the end of his career.

    If there was a choice for a Sub in this list, my vote would go to Roger Milla. Clinical finishing and a tormentor of the opposition

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 5:54pm on 18 May 2010, AScottishGooner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 56. At 6:02pm on 18 May 2010, Simon White wrote:

    Maradona was a cheat. Pure and simple. To include him is a disgrace.

    Where is Jairzinho - the only player to score in every round of the world cup ?

    My 5:
    Pele, Zidane, Jairzinho, Cryuff Ronaldo

    As with Cryuff I well recall spending football lessons shortly after the world cup on my backside trying to copy THAT Turn

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 6:07pm on 18 May 2010, Trebor wrote:

    By far the best player I have seen in my life is Bobby Charlton. I appreciate younger people are going to question him being in the list because it is always difficult to understand the adulation of players only seen at their best in black and white but take it from me he was a genius:
    it was a delight seeing him ghosting round players, his shots with either foot were as hard as I have ever seen and he was never sent off or got a yellow card - a supreme player for all time. Look at some of his goals on YouTube you will get some of the flavour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 6:08pm on 18 May 2010, Kunzvi wrote:

    29. At 3:34pm on 18 May 2010, The Dude Abides wrote:

    12#

    5. Luis Figo - Pure class playing in a limited Portuguese side who have always exceeded expectations.

    --------------------------
    They had, on paper, a good squad in 2002 and yet were pleading with South Korea to throw the last group match to avoid a shock elimination at the hands of USA.
    ---------------------------

    Still it doesn't take away Figo's brilliance as an induvidual. Besides, trying to judge him based on their stupidity as a whole team to want Korea to throw away a match is a bit nonsensical. Adn I am glad you say on PAPER, because you and I both know paper doesn't play football. In all fairness Figo stood out and was better than most of them (other contenders for number 5). Do we agree on that one?

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 6:11pm on 18 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    Yes he is entitled to his opinion but to ignore something so blatantly obvious as this shows that there is a bias towards the england legend. Which takes it from being an interesting piece to a poor piece

    ______________________________________________________________

    Excellent stuff from the bitter Scotsman

    'Freedom!'

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 6:31pm on 18 May 2010, confiseur wrote:

    AScottishGooner wrote:

    Wrong - not an ounce of bitterness in me my friend. We dont think the world is against us at all - In fact I know that we are loved by many all over the world.

    Its a pity we cant say the same for england.

    .........................................................................

    Well...I have lived for more than 20 years abroad and have been treated with the utmost courtesy and respect wherever I have been and have many friends from all over the world...including Scotland...

    Please have a little more respect for other peoples views, just because Motty chose Bobby Charlton does not entitle you to abuse him or others.

    I am English and chose Gordon Banks...not because he is English but because I think he was by far the best keeper I have ever seen...

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 6:33pm on 18 May 2010, drddoom wrote:

    going on world cups what about rossi in 82, baggio 90/94,gerd muller 14 goals in 2 world cups compared to ronaldo 15 in 4. all great players , i think its a bit silly to say who is or was the greatest as each player be it pele, maradoona, zidane or ronaldo all contributed in making every world cup they played in special.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 6:33pm on 18 May 2010, Hyperstar wrote:

    Bet this won't appear until Tomorrow

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 6:35pm on 18 May 2010, confiseur wrote:

    If it was Motty's greatest World Cup players...with a beautiful wife.... it has to be Gary Lineker at no.1 lol

    She goes shopping in the village I live most Saturdays,she is an absolute stunner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 6:45pm on 18 May 2010, Peterl wrote:

    Anyone who saw Cruyff in the 74 world cup
    would have them in their team. He didn't win it
    but the dutch team took football 2 a new level.
    He wouldn't be out of place with his skills today.
    If he was up 4 sale as a current player u couldn't
    put a value on him!

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 6:48pm on 18 May 2010, Hibee5 wrote:

    Massive bias towards players at their peak in the 50s-80s.

    While Pele and Maradona are shoe-ins, and Beckenbauer has a strong claim, to have Charlton above Ronaldo is ridiculous. Similarly Baggio and Zidane dazzled in more than 1 WC, and then there are the players from the great Italy and Uruguay teams in the early 20th century.

    Sort it out Motty!

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 6:51pm on 18 May 2010, MadBandit wrote:

    Just to throw a little spanner into everyone's thinking... how about looking at a few defenders too.
    All these flair players going forward and making the headlines is great and there is maybe 10 attaching players that people with throw a blanket over and argue as to who should and shouldnt be included...
    Goalkeepers - Grosics, Banks, Schmeichel, Trautmann, Yashin, Zoff or Buffon?
    Defenders - Cannavaro, Baresi, Beckenbauer, Wright, Breitner, Moore or Passarella?
    But also in an attacking sense Platini and Eusebio, Zico and Scifo.

    But yes, the ultimate question is not who, but WHAT defines the greatest players?! As the games has changed over the last 80 years since the World Cup first began, has the criteria to be classed as the greatest changed as well?

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 6:52pm on 18 May 2010, Rubel Rafael wrote:

    Current top 5 potential:

    Messi, Ronaldo, Klose (He gets stuff done when it matters), Villa and Torres.

    I would say Rooney, but as we all know, England will flop harder than Berbatov!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 6:56pm on 18 May 2010, Squirtypot wrote:

    I was (just about) around to see Pele play and definitely Maradona who I rate as head and shoulders (and hand)above Pele et al. The fact that he had a recreational drug problem doesn't diminish his achievements. He was the best. Mutu was rubbish for Chelsea probably largely because of his drug problem which is partly why he's despised.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 7:05pm on 18 May 2010, I_only_post_to_moan wrote:

    28. At 3:31pm on 18 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:
    'Zidane - when all the old people are dead and Maradona and Pele are forgotten, he will rightly claim his place as the world's best ever player'

    'Dunga - The greatest box to box midfielder'

    Etc

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Utter drivel from someone barely old enough to know who Maradonna is.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you.
    Born in the mid-80's so at most likely to remember 4 tournaments.
    Dunga? Really?

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 7:06pm on 18 May 2010, ArchieA wrote:

    One of the greats for me is Karl-Heinz Rummenigge of West Germany. He played in three World Cups, netted nine times, and captained his country to two finals - and this despite being knackered with injury for two of the three tournaments. Like all the greats, he was a big game player. When the Germans sensationally lost to Algeria (despite Rummenigge's goal) and needed a do-or-die victory in 1982 against Chile, he popped up with a hat-trick. When they needed inspiration during the semi-final, he dragged them back to 3-2 and drove them on to penalties, and when dead and buried in the '86 final, he notched a critical goal to set up a brave fightback. A class act.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 7:18pm on 18 May 2010, Pedsta wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 7:29pm on 18 May 2010, Uncle Walt wrote:

    ZQLE170 @ 41

    "Would Brazil have won all 3 world cups in 58, 62 and 70 without Pele the answer is unquestionably yes"

    If that is the case then please explain what happened to Brazil in 1966 when Pele was kicked out of the tournament.

    TGtaxi @12
    Learn some respect and then stop contradicting yourself.

    "I think its only fair to judge based on what I have actually witnessed.

    1. Zidane - when all the old people are dead and Maradona and Pele are forgotten, he will rightly claim his place as the world's best ever player."

    You say you will only judge based on what you have witnessed then say zidane will rightly claim his place as the worlds best ever player. Maradona, Pele and the like will never be forgotten the same applies to Zidane, all are rare talents.

    Subterranean
    Agreed with your modern picks, can add them to Motty's to make a top 10.


    Maradona still a great player irrespective of the other stuff. Don't think cocaine is a particularly performance enhancing drug, probably did more damage than good to his football career. I actually those that are slating Maradona for the drugs have a bit of a double standard as Gascoigne and Best are still held in high esteem for their football yet both were alcoholics.

    Not seen the video but I too am surprised to read that Jack Charlton made the 5.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 7:31pm on 18 May 2010, jchubeta_aBridgeTooFar wrote:

    Bobby Charlton!??

    He is an odd choice, and I don't care if its because he has won a WC. Charlton, in my view, wasn't even the best player in that tournament, surely that was Eusebio! Bobby Charlton would not even count among the 10 best players to have won or competed in a WC. Well, its Motty's opinion, so fair enough.

    Seeing that everyone has named the usual suspects, who have every right and reason to be named ( Zidane, Ronaldo, Maradona, Cryuff, etc), I will name an alternate 5:


    Baggio ( Magnificent in USA 94, single handedly taken the Italian team to the finals with 5 goals scored, some of which were crucial, like the 2 goals that broke Nigerian hearts in the 2nd round)

    Cannavaro ( Class defending through-out the tournament, and especially against Germany. Cue the last gasp tackle to deny Podolski a sure goal. Classy even without his partner in crime Nesta, who was injured most of the tournament)

    Cafu (4 World Cup appearances for Brazil. Enough said)

    Kempes

    Zoff

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 7:58pm on 18 May 2010, Uncle Walt wrote:

    How about a shout out for Materazzi as well not only did he keep Zidane quiet in the last final, he played him off the park.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 8:07pm on 18 May 2010, Pedsta wrote:

    [sigh]

    Motty really is losing it!! Either that or age really is playing tricks on his memory.

    Maradona did NOT fail his drugs test after the the scream goal (which was against Greece. He failed said test after the Nigeria game.

    Cruyff did NOT miss the '78 World Cup because he was 'worried' about his personal security. He declined to attend as a protest against the dictatorship that was governing Argentina at the time.

    As for his omission of Zidane, Ronaldo etc. What do you expect from someone with such an inherent England bias. I'm just surprised he hasn't included more English players in his top

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 8:16pm on 18 May 2010, gino wrote:

    no phil neville je im shocked

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 8:19pm on 18 May 2010, DANN wrote:

    charlton over zidane, must be dreaming

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 8:20pm on 18 May 2010, DANN wrote:

    charlton over zidane, must be dreaming

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 8:34pm on 18 May 2010, Red Chilli Devil wrote:

    Amazed by the number of discounting Maradona because he cheated and yet will stand by Zidane, one of the best players ever, but also inclined to cheat (elbowed a few in his time).

    In my opinion the top five players:

    1. Garrincha
    2. Maradona
    3. Pele
    4. Ronaldo
    5. Lev Yashin, greatest goalie of all time.

    Just an opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 8:52pm on 18 May 2010, writtenbyfansforfans wrote:

    Gutted! I can't watch any of them as I am in Germany, one thing I do miss about the UK!

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 8:55pm on 18 May 2010, EasternBuddie wrote:

    Pele
    Maradona
    Baggio
    Zico well if Motty is allowed a weird one :)
    Rossi and if he's allowed a cheat

    Incidentally if we are taking people who only played in 1 WC how about Just Fontaine who scored in one tournament only 2 fewer goals than Ronaldo has scored altogeher

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 9:04pm on 18 May 2010, Zeemo wrote:

    Mottys entitled to his opinion as has given reasons for his choices. Fair enough.

    My 5 -

    1 - Pele - Knew where the goal was. Scored over 1000 goals at professional level and won 2 world cups.

    2 - Maradona - naturally gifted, all the skill in the world. Won the world cup and like Pele, played in an era when you would get kicked and punched off the park before the ref even had a word with the defender that was marking you, let alone book him, and yet the pair of them still made things happen!!

    3 - Zidane - Played AND scored in 2 world cup finals,won 1 and lost 1. Great player also, first touch was second to none!

    4 - Ronaldo - Most goals in world cups, scored 2 in a final. Played in 2 finals, won 1 and lost 1. In his prime was quick as lightening and arguably the most fouled player ever!!!

    5 - Garrincha - A bit before my time but I've seen some photage and read up on the him and I tell you what, this guy was/is a legend!! World cup winner in 1958 and 1962 and when Pele came along he was actually called the 'new Garrincha'!!

    Thats my five. My opinion! Briefly explained as well.

    Others to mention - Beckenbauer, Muller, Matthaues, R. Baggio and Maldini. Performed in more than 1 world cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 9:40pm on 18 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #58 tgtaxi

    yes, i too am glad that i said Portugal had a good team on paper because that is the opposite of "limited". The Portugal team in the period 2000-2004 had some excellent players such as Figo, Rui Costa and Sergio Conceicaio (sic) and were considered to be a golden generation and therefore if anything they underperformed rather than exceed expectations in both the Euros and the World Cup in those years (although to be fair to the 2000 Euro side they did come up against a truly great French team).

    Yes, I agree Figo was an excellent player but he showed none of this in the 2002 or 2006 world cups. My lasting memory of him is how quickly he went to ground in the 2006 QF against England. He took a dive in less than three minutes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 9:46pm on 18 May 2010, FoxesofNuneaton wrote:

    Motty is choosing who is saw as his top 5 and you cant argue with them.
    Ronaldo and Zidane maybe missing but lets face it, Mottys seem a lot of World Cups than anyone else on here.
    Zidane's 'incident' in 2006 is why Motty have have excluded him, he did wreck a glittering career with a stupid thing like that.
    As for Ronaldo, he did score Goals but they werent against the top teams, msot of them were countries that had no hope in chance of going far so maybe again Motty didnt choose him because Pele scored against everyone, Ronaldo never scored against England did he?? Or France even?
    Germany...ok they were strong but that was just it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 9:52pm on 18 May 2010, Michaelamichael wrote:

    Paul Gascoigne in 1990 was super. i say he would have been even bigger a player if we had won it (if he had made it to final). Paul Gascoigne was brilliant that World cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 9:53pm on 18 May 2010, Grant wrote:

    Very interesting reading that, especially the inclusion of Charlton. Take off yer English specs Motty. England played every game at Wembley when they 'won' in '66, got help from the ref and 'scored' a goal that didn't cross the line. None of your players from '66 are even close to the top five World Cup players of all time! Okay rant over, here's mine.....

    1. Pele - i've seen so many videos of him and his Brazil side of 1970. Just so awesome, you could almost include all of them!! Pele was simply a one-off phenomenon.

    2. Zinedine Zidane - a modern day legend (despite his head butt on Materazzi who probably deserved it anyway) who inspired two French WC teams to exceed all expectations.

    3. Diego Maradona - i'm including him reluctantly as he almost single handedly dragged a poor Argentina side to the '86 WC! The England game being the highlight!!

    4. Zico - the first WC i really remember watching was '82 in Spain and i remember Zico (and to a lesser extent Eder) being the most skillful player I had ever seen. Awesome free kicks, curving and bending the ball like nothing i'd ever seen! Only Paolo Rossi's hat-trick could rob them of going all the way.

    I'd love to put Kenny Dalglish or Dave Narey but i'll refrain....could be Cruyff, Zoff or Muller but i'm going to plump for....

    5. Ronaldo - obviously the Brazilian one, scored every type of goal and lots of them! He had pace, vision, guile and lots of tricks making him a nightmare for defenders. Two tremendous WC's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 9:56pm on 18 May 2010, RobVilla wrote:

    OK - Pele was the best player in World aged 17. He was still the best player in the World aged 30. How many of the others were? None. They were all in their mid-20's. His record speaks for itself, especially in the World Cup.

    That said my own 5 - 1982 onwards would be the following and have deliberatly limited to 1 player per country for balance

    Maradona (86/90 though he did nothing much in 78/82), Mattheus (86/90), Maldini (90/94), Ronaldo (98)(though 2002 was an awful tournament quality-wise)and Zidane (98 and some of 06)

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 10:27pm on 18 May 2010, simplygregguk wrote:

    Motty is entitled to share his opinion and i feel his reasons he has given justify each of his inclusions!

    A top 5 is incredibly hard, but i can only choose those i have seen properly....

    Ronaldo
    Maradonna
    Zidane
    Baggio
    Pele

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 10:45pm on 18 May 2010, Brian Brady wrote:

    Poor Bob seems to be getting a fair bit of stick because it seems impossible that an England player could be considered as one of the best players of all time! Only England player to be in 4 WC squads, 2 QF's and a winner in the 3 that he played in, European Footballer of the Year, 49 international goals. If you can give me a more consistent, effective attacking midfielder in the 1960's I'll be happy to bow to them. Oh, and it was his goals that took out Eusebio's Portugal.
    And Jeez, he couldn't half smack a ball!
    By the way, I'd have had Zidane and Ronaldo in their as well!

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 10:47pm on 18 May 2010, shakyBLUESAINTBLUE wrote:

    If we are talking skillful, impact types then I'd go for in order. Garrincha, Jairzinho, Pele, Cruyff, Maradona.Would have loved to have seen them in the same team, but have seen them all play in world cups, and it does not matter when they played, or what they won.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 10:55pm on 18 May 2010, Gary wrote:

    Based on performance alone, the best player ever to play in a world cup is....................

    Nicky Butt

    Fact

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 10:57pm on 18 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Pele and Maradona are untouchable on the list. Only saw the former at the end of his career but Maradona was just immense.

    Ronaldo? A big, powerful force of nature in his prime but to be among the 'greats' IMO he was/ is too one-dimensional. Zidane is better in my view, a more rounded player.

    Cruyff? Great player but the Romanian Georgi Hagi (who replaced Diego at Barca) was better.

    Charlton? Don't think so Motty really don't but you are always allowed your favourites. Great player but even in his prime not as good as Jimmy Johnstone (who may have went with Scotland in 1974 can't remember now).

    Beckenbaur? Spot-on!



    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 10:59pm on 18 May 2010, peter wrote:

    the best team ever would be schmeichel. baresi maldini,moore,beckenbauer,cruyff,zidane,garrincha,best,maradon,pele,zico beat that then.

    Pada

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 11:05pm on 18 May 2010, afootballfan wrote:

    What of Bergkamp?!

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 11:05pm on 18 May 2010, richard wrote:

    Ronaldo is the greatest world cup player ever, mottys forgets people like cafu and rivaldo, figo, zidane, Cruyff, oliver Karne, R. Baggio, batistuta, carlos, raul. These are modern greats but motty could of choosen any 1 of these but no he stuck in the past.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 11:27pm on 18 May 2010, BlueNotBirmingham wrote:

    In no specific order:

    1. Pele
    2. Diego Maradona
    3. Ronaldo
    4. Cafu
    5. Zinedine Zidane
    6. Romario
    7. Franz Beckenbauer
    8. Gerd Muller
    9. Roberto Baggio
    10. Fabio Cannavaro

    This list is based on individual performance/team achievements in World Cups.

    Mentions to: Cruyff, Eusebio, Garrincha, Puskas, Carlos Alberto, Matthaus and Jairzinho.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 01:15am on 19 May 2010, Damienmarc666 wrote:

    I'm sure Motty is entitled to his opinion. The amount of abuse he is getting is staggering, despite 1) it being his opinion, and 2) the fact that he's a very respected football man who know's his game, and his longevity proves that.
    This list isn't about facts and figures so all those of you arguing for the inclusion of Ronaldo, cool your boots. I'm only 25 so '94 was the first WC I can really remember, and so players like Ronaldo are the one's I've grown up watching and I still wouldn't include him. Yeah, he scored goals, but he wasn't exciting to watch. Cruyff on the other hand... wow. I've looked him up in clips and he is phenomenal to watch, absolutely mesmorising, and he totally set the tone for the greats to come like the Zidane's, Ronaldinho's, Hagi's.
    As for his inclusion of Charlton, I'm too young to remember him playing, and only really have seen the clips of him in Motty's video, but the few clips of him on there look great, and the fact that he's still England's top goalscorer speaks volumes. I can understand his inclusion even if I don't necessarily agree with it.
    People really need to chill out and give Motty the respect a man of his football knowledge deserves. Ok, you might not agree with him, get over it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 02:57am on 19 May 2010, dindin66 wrote:

    #97 AGREE!!!
    A lot of whining unqualified people here venturing a mere puff opinion,
    not all mind.

    It's alright to have an opinion, but to attach it with an attack on the
    integrity of the fellow, is a bit much. The fact of the matter is that
    seemingly there have been subjectively many great players over the
    years.

    I am sure Motty in making his considered opinion thought of a set of
    criteria to measure his greats by, that's why he obviously did not pick
    Zidane, nor Ronaldo. If you want objective criteria how about causally
    linking:

    1. Footballing record. (Appearances, red cards, yellow cards, sending
    offs, Goals scored etc...)
    2. Ability to be a central focus to/for the team.
    3. The number of universally recognised outstanding games they played in.
    4. Their influence, not just upon the footballing field but to their
    nation and to the world at large.
    5. The character and how that character enriched the game of football, to
    a wider public audience otherwise disinterested in football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 03:16am on 19 May 2010, Nin wrote:

    All this criticism John is getting for picking the older players of his generation is entirely hypocritical when people are putting forward ridiculous names like Fat Ronaldo and Figo.

    OK Pele and Maradona are shoe-ins for this list and anyone who argues otherwise is a fool.

    Charlton in the Top 5 doesn't sit well with me, Bobby Moore should have been the first name included if an English player is mandatory.

    Now as great as Cruyff was, I think his legacy is hurt by only having played in 1 World Cup, and being that this list is about Great World Cup players and not simply Great Players, he'll be my sacrificial lamb. His replacement has to be Zidane, who also damaged his own legacy with his last act but the fact is France wouldn't have won in 98 and they certainly wouldn't have gotten to the final in 2006 without him.

    Beckenbauer as last choice is fine. The Rolls Royce of defensive midfielders and the guy who innovated that position.

    All in all, aside from Pele, none of their respective teams would have won the world cup had these players been missing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 07:47am on 19 May 2010, UpTheToffees wrote:

    Interesting debate - so many to choose from but cannot argue against including Maradona, Zidane and Pele.

    How about the forgotten man of 1990? ... Toto Schillaci.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 08:21am on 19 May 2010, Tomwin wrote:

    #43
    Gheorghe Hagi was an awesome player - the shining light in the Romanian team. He couldn't run...but what a left foot!

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 08:27am on 19 May 2010, Thedude wrote:

    My 5 are,

    Paul Robinson (goolie)
    wes brown
    Stewart downing
    emile heskey

    have to include a manager so,

    Steve mclaren.

    That's the back bone of a world beating team.

    Cheers

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 08:40am on 19 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #102.

    Steve mclaren never managed a team at the world cup. However Ally McLeod did. So stick him in insteadd.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 09:02am on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    If Maradonna and Pele were English, Scotsmen would not put either of them in their top 5

    Fact

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 09:33am on 19 May 2010, didas wrote:

    No Ronaldo? Part of 2 world cup winning teams(94 2002), top goalscorer ever (15 goals) - come on Motty, why is Charlton ahead of the great Ronaldo??

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 09:37am on 19 May 2010, Antmanbrooks wrote:

    3. At 1:18pm on 18 May 2010, shahid wrote:

    Charlton? and no Zidane? the usual bias from our great 'free' press

    ======

    Always one, just because he has an alternative view to you he's bias? If he was that bias he'd have gone for 5 English players surely. Have a think about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 09:43am on 19 May 2010, cameron murray wrote:

    Just for post #20

    I cannot view this, even though I'm still in yorkshire.
    was suggested last week that this is possibly due to my employers having their servers offshore. - This may be correct, as I have found out servers are indeed based offshore - Alderney - still UK -

    Anyway - please please please - Cruyff cannot be included for just 1974, even though he was the greatest player I have ever seen in the flesh (I'm 44)

    Don't forget - it's Motty's PERSONAL CHOICE.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 09:50am on 19 May 2010, mattthegooner wrote:

    even if you havent seen footage of them reading reports from respectable football observers (brian glanville,kier radnege,tim vickery and a wonderfull book by jonathan wilson:inverting the pyramid ) motty should have included one or more from this lot:mathius sinderlar(austrian wunderteams star)ferenc puskas(magnificent magyars and real madrids's star)garrincha (won 62 world cup almost on his own after pele was injured) and my personal pick for the top five,alfredo di stefano (spain and real madrid maestro) so.............

    1.maradona
    2.pele
    3.di stefano
    4.puskas
    5.beckenbauer

    not sure why the big deal with cruyff.tactically he was up there but he had a master for a manager in rinus michels. Maradona ahead because all the others played in wonderfull teams full of other great players.Maradona took a very average Argentina team to glory in 86 and then repeated the trick with Napoli 2 years later wiping the floor with juve,milan and inter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 09:56am on 19 May 2010, BlueNotBirmingham wrote:

    "players like Ronaldo are the one's I've grown up watching and I still wouldn't include him. Yeah, he scored goals, but he wasn't exciting to watch. Cruyff on the other hand... wow. I've looked him up in clips and he is phenomenal to watch"

    Well you've just proven yourself wrong... Player like Ronaldo you've seen LIVE. Players like Cruyff, you've seen HIGHLIGHTS of. Therefore the highlights of Cruyff are going to look much better than the 90mins of Ronaldo live because they are HIGHLIGHTS!!!

    To call Ronaldo "not exciting" is absolutely ridiculous, seriously, if you're going to eatch highlights, watch one of him, the man had it all, speed, power, technique, skill and a brain to top it all off.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 09:59am on 19 May 2010, fraac wrote:

    Joe Jordan surely.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 10:26am on 19 May 2010, sportmad69 wrote:

    Even though I'm not a mad football fan but a mad sports fan I have to comment about this article yes it is too difficult to come up with just the five best players in the world cup it should be top ten I think its way too difficult and players from the latter eras have to be included. However for me the undisputed top plyer of world cup history is Pele he had a team around him which was in its golden era that could turn a game on its head or just grip the game for the whole of the game without breaking a sweat just by pure skill level alone.

    Even with all this he still stood out also unlike Maradonna who I'm sure still did a good share of grunt work Pele laid on many good chances for his fellow team mates one of them a famous one that is played and replayed because of the supreme quality of the set up play for a fantastic goal. Possibly no one has made an instant impact in the way Pele did when he first made the team for Brazil at the age of just 17 more or less unheard of back then in the late fifties as it was then.

    Also in watching a documentary about the guy which focused on him and the 1970 world cup and the 'golden wonder' team they had then of players just packed with skills and much younger arguably fitter players. Here was a 33year old as I think he was then who could have been thought of in those days as over the hill especially in this time of lesser known nutrition and training techniques running around like a madman scoring and providing opportuniites for goals.

    Also he had a dictatorship (motivator or pressure) on his back threatening him to get results and he took this all on his shoulders and still got the team and himself to play a style of winning football that may never be bettered as something to watch and thrill over. In fact the footage is limited still of all his best achievements but even so you have to take the word of the other best players in the world at the time calling him the best at the time and there was a virtual roll call of the best.

    Ronaldo though a great goal scorer did not have the work ethic of Pele and provide for his team as Pele managed to and even though Maradonna was a great playmaker it can be argued that both teams the both of those players were in were not the best that their repective countries have ever produced. This is unlike Pele and he still shone through as one of the best in the team at the 1970 world cup.

    Also take into account that he was arguably the first world 'super player' and had that riding on his shoulders and was arguably the first to have to cope with that mantle and here you have a awesome achievement throughout his whole career. I dont have much in the way of stats of goal scored but I'm sure he must be favourable at least in comparison with most and even though Ronaldo is a great player he does tend to be around the goal area and take rather than creat though of course goals are hard to come by whatever you do.

    Pele's skill level was rigjht up there with Maradonna and as mentioned above his work rate was more than Ronaldo and perhaps Maradonna. For me he is the best of the lot. I'm sure he was awarded so on a awards for this quite recently as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 10:47am on 19 May 2010, BlueNotBirmingham wrote:

    "Here was a 33year old as I think he was then who could have been thought of in those days as over the hill"

    Actually he was 29, at his very peak.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 11:00am on 19 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #111.

    If Pele was 17 in 1958. How old was he 12 years later?

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 11:10am on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #111

    absolutely

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 11:12am on 19 May 2010, rseman wrote:

    For those people who are giving Charlton a bashing - several of the Brazil team from 1970 (arguably the greatest side ever) have actually said that Banks, Charlton and Moore would have got into their side. I read this in a book I had in like 1997 where the journalist/author went and talked to people like Pele, Gerson, Cloadoaldo, Rivellino, Tostao, Carlos Alberto etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 11:16am on 19 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #104
    If Maradonna and Pele were English, Scotsmen would not put either of them in their top 5
    Fact
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No its your opinion and using the word 'fact' does not make it one! Now that is a 'fact'!

    Most Scots like English players and don't mind at all where people come from but can get very tired of the continual media hype ad nauseum. Its not surprising is it? If you had to listen to Scots commentators for years (a hypothical scenario given that this never happens even on the BBC) going on and on about their team maybe you would understand that. After all take a look at the amount of anti-Scottish views expressed by people on the BBC political blogs at the election..and Gordon Brown was only in power for a few years!!




    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 11:18am on 19 May 2010, rseman wrote:

    108 I can see why you would have Di Stefano in your list but Motson's list was of players who affected the World Cup which Di Stefano didn't. In fact I don't think he ever played a game in the tournament. Di Stefano is famous for what he did at club level much in the same way that George Best is. However he is without doubt there amongst the true greats.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 11:19am on 19 May 2010, beautifulbarrettboy wrote:

    I love these blogs, great fun! You could adopt a point system ala the following to determine greatness but sometimes people just know for instance when something great is happening. Yes Cryuff may not have won the WC but he invented a turn! You could have 3 points for tops scorer, 5 points for best player, 6 points for winning the cup, 7 points for innovation or something amazing (cryuff turn, maradonas goal vs england, ronaldos toe-poke v turkey etc etc)

    Im gonna bottle it and have a top 10 and then say why my top 5 are who they are....


    10.Paolo Rossi(78 & 82)
    9.Zico(82 & 86)
    8.platini(82 & 86)
    7.R Baggio(90,94 & 98)
    6.Eusebio(66)


    5. Cryuff(1974)- Invented a turn. Amazing, elegance, intelligence, speed,skill, goals and leadership and stood out in a fine team.


    4.Zidane(1998,2002,2006)- Was the obvious creator in a strong and determined host nation and played brilliantly in the final. 2002 was an injury enforced let-down. 2006 was his indian summer, before the headbutt he had illuminated games vs spain and brazil and scored high pressure penalties vs portugal and Italy.

    3.Ronaldo(1994,1998,2002,2006)- A legend. Was hacked to bits in games vs Morrocco,Denmark and Holland but still managed 4 goals and 3 assists. Was immense in the Semi v Holland.2002 was his redemption. Creating havoc in almost every game after 2 years of injury hell. Truly jaw-dropping. 2006, although out of shape and not fully fit, he responded to the boo boys by setting THE record and still got 3 goals and 1 assist.

    2.Maradona(1982,1986,1990,1994)-1982 similarly to Ronaldo, battered and eventually bullied out by Gentile. Still got 2 goals and showed his sublime skills.1986 was as close to perfect as a player could get. 4 great goals(2 of them awesome) tormented Uraguay, Italy, England & Belgium and provided the tournament winning pass. 1990 again meant a good shoe-ing from defenders, best moment was assisting Caniggia v Brazil or maybe Italy. Overall though looked in decline.1994 one last hurrah was halted by the steroids, not his fault but argentina looked capable up till then of going far. Brilliant goal v Greece.

    1. Pele-1958 amazing emergence of a star.With great finishes and play v sweden & france.1962 scored an amazing goal v mexico before being hobbled. In `66 the same happened but Brazil couldnt cope without him. 1970 he was the attacking fulcrum of a galaxy(rivelino, Tostao,jairzinho) of talent. Just superb, his feint v Uraguay, his long range attampt v Czechoslovakia, his playmaking v England,Italy & Peru. Scored a free-kick, a volley and a great header. The best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 12:04pm on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    If you had to listen to Scots commentators for years (a hypothical scenario given that this never happens even on the BBC) going on and on about their team maybe you would understand that. After all take a look at the amount of anti-Scottish views expressed by people on the BBC political blogs at the election..and Gordon Brown was only in power for a few years!!

    ___________________________________________________________

    Right, lets get this straight.

    English commentators will go on about their team because its their team, they are English.

    Don't bring politics into this, first opportunity to winge about and you Scots will take it!

    'look at the amount of anti-Scotish views on the BBC...' Do me a favour!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 12:05pm on 19 May 2010, sportmad69 wrote:

    112. At 10:47am on 19 May 2010, BlueNotBirmingham wrote:
    "Here was a 33year old as I think he was then who could have been thought of in those days as over the hill"

    Actually he was 29, at his very peak.

    113. At 11:00am on 19 May 2010, The Dude Abides wrote:
    #111.

    If Pele was 17 in 1958. How old was he 12 years later?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Your right there of course gentlemen you'll have to forgive me there written in a very big rush in work so didn't put that together. Also he was the youngest to win the world cup in his team at 17 (1958) and won three world cups a record then and perhaps still now I can get stats as well lol - cheers guys.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 12:14pm on 19 May 2010, Dewaldens wrote:

    think cruyff is questionable, not for his football abilities by any means, but if he only went to one world cup and hasnt won it, i think he isnt one of top 5, not infront of zidane anyway, he scored 2 in 98 final, then when france went into next tournament as champions zidane was injured for 1st 2 games, and we all saw what happened to french there, and the next year when he was fit, he took them to the final and won player of tournament, and these were his last ever games of football, shame about him stickin the head in materazzi, but this is all opinion which all mottys is too, which i obviously respect

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 12:50pm on 19 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #119

    Best to address the point with the semblence of a coherent argument. There I've done you a favour and best of luck with that. Your post? Pure dead minter!

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 1:26pm on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #122

    'pure dead minter'

    why are so many Scottish people unable to speak proper English?

    give me your address and I'll send you a few English flags to put on your car, outside your house etc. I know all this is just an act and you'll be supporting Capello's boys come the 12 June.

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 2:37pm on 19 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #122

    In English when you do sentences you should start them in capitals! But it’s great that you can put two of them together this time. Well done you. Mind and tell mummy!?!

    Teckle!

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 3:12pm on 19 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    123.

    'pure dead minter'

    why are so many Scottish people unable to speak proper English?
    --------------------
    Does this blog now come with audio?

    Re your post number 119. Learn to spell. You wouldn't know an apostrophe if it came up and bit you.

    As for English commentators, well the BBC is supposed to be impartial. After all, they weren't slow in telling off Des Lynam for referring to Ireland as "we".



    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 3:14pm on 19 May 2010, thackers wrote:

    Hi there,

    Xavi Hernandez will be the star man in South Africa, just like he was in the EURO 2008. I think all the nations should try and stop Xavi passing the ball and allowing space for his other team mates, I have been watching La Liga for the past 5-6 years and believe me Xavi is a deadly player, by rights he should be number 2 in the world ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

    If Spain win the World Cup this year and if Xavi has a good tournament, then he should definetly go down with the greats, he would be up there with the likes of Michel Platitni, Franz Beckenbauer etc.

    Xavi Hernandez is quite simply the Maestro of football, he knows where everyone is, his vision is fantastic, great awareness, his passing is nothing but perfection, can you think of a better player than Xavi in his role?

    Obviously I am wanting England to win the World Cup but i think Spain are going to take a lot of stopping, just look at their team.


    Iker Casillas - Is 1 of the best keepers in the world!

    Sergio Ramos - Loves to get forward, top defender and good in the air!
    Gerard Pique - Very solid!
    Carlos Puyol - MR reliable!
    Joan Capdevila - Same as Ramos but is not the quickest!

    Xavi Hernandez - The maestro of football!
    Andres Iniesta - Very quick feet and will cause problems!
    CESC Fabregas - Will do well wherever hes playing!
    David Silva - Has very good link up play!

    David Villa - Scores goals for fun but needs abit of discipline!
    Fernando Torres - Its hard to say what hes going to be like! [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 3:16pm on 19 May 2010, thackers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 3:17pm on 19 May 2010, jack halford wrote:

    For all of you who question Bobby Charlton,s inclusion.
    He would have made any World Team in any era. There was NOT a better midfield general in the world who could score with either foot and pass 40 metres with either foot on to a sixpence!
    His goal record is still unbeaten for England and that was from a midfielder. Beckham has not come close to that goal scoring record with more caps!
    I would put Bobby Moore in the same category as Beckenbauer. Players that have short careers do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Pele or Charlton. That is why I would question Cruyff and Maradona.
    Its all to do with personal preference but I would put Rivelino and Jairzhino above Cruyff and Maradona.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 3:32pm on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #122

    Mind and tell mummy!?!

    Seriously now, forget the football debate, I want to get to the bottom of this Scottish talk. What does the word 'mind' do in this sentence? It seems to have been placed there for no reason. I want to help you, communication is going to be important when you go to big school.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 4:10pm on 19 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #125

    No, there is no audio. The thing is, I have worked with many Scottish people and struggle with the pidgeon English many of them use.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 4:16pm on 19 May 2010, archBritishchris wrote:

    Wasn’t there a player called Eusebio who scored about 9 goals in a world cup, single handedly leading his team to the semi final. Outside of worlds cups, he also scored over 700 career goals.

    A couple of Brazilians haven’t been mentioned yet, Garrincha who won two world cups and was the player of the tournament in 1962 (scoring 2 goals in both the quarter and semi final). Could also mention Rivelino, Carlos Alberto, Didi (2 time world cup and 3 times European Cup winner), Ademir (8 goals) and Da Silva.

    How about Puskas (84 goals in 85 games for Hungary), Koksic (11 goals in 1954), Kopa (young player of tournament in 1954 and player in 1958, a record only he holds, also won 3 European Cups). Pele as a 3 time world cup winner and scorer of 12 goals, should be no 1.

    Ronaldo while having a good goal scoring record was pretty much a solid centre forward, there are more skillfull positions in football. Creative players have greater ability and produce many of the team’s goals. Not sure about Romario, he just poked in finishes. Zidane is a good player of his time, but he isn’t a great. A bit of a glory player without much substance for long periods of his career.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 4:25pm on 19 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #128

    Players that have short careers do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Pele or Charlton. That is why I would question Cruyff and Maradona.
    -----------------
    Maradona played in four world Cup tournaments.

    Van Basten had a short career. And so did George Best. Where do you rate them?

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 5:19pm on 19 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #130

    And what is their pidgin English like? Any better?

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 5:41pm on 19 May 2010, adamwhittard wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 135. At 5:45pm on 19 May 2010, U14334741 wrote:

    "Zidane is a good player of his time, but he isn’t a great. A bit of a glory player without much substance for long periods of his career."

    Scored in 2 seperate world cup finals (twice in one), a CL final and from attacking midfield. Pretty much dragged France to the last final on his own. How much more substance does a player need than that?!

    My 5 (purely World Cup): Maradona, Pele, Beckenbaur, Zidane, Baggio.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 7:00pm on 19 May 2010, RooneyRocksYourBox wrote:

    1. Gary Neville
    2. Phil Neville
    3. Zidane
    4. Ronaldo
    5. Maradona

    Of my time anyway...

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 7:25pm on 19 May 2010, MC wrote:

    Comments by numbers 11 and 34 are absolute tosh!
    Zidane better than Cruyff? You're having a laugh arn't you?! Zidane didn't have it all. He didn't have much speed, which Cruyff had in abundance, physically and mentally.
    Also I'd like to ask why is it Pele and Maradonna always get the 'Best' two ever, no matter what catagory?
    As I said in a previous blog with all of this 'Who's better who's bestest who's best?' shinanigins, that I saw Pele and Maradonna at their finest and Cruyff was better than either when at the peak of his game. The trouble with Cruyff was, being a very intelligent player, he spent a lot of time orchestrating movement all over the pitch, the referees too. Constantly arguing and dictating and later in his career he spent too much time thinking about other things rather than concentrating on football.
    Let's not forget that he was the dominant force in European champions football for 4 -5 years, something Maradonna and Zidane never achieved. With regards to the World cup, the Dutch got too cocky in the final, and this was against a proper German team playing as host nation. Anyway, if you're talking about french players, give me Platini any day!

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 7:42pm on 19 May 2010, Simon Hull wrote:

    Is there any chance of this video being put on the red button?

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 7:43pm on 19 May 2010, Ronaldinhos Left foot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 140. At 7:44pm on 19 May 2010, EEFAN99 wrote:

    My 5
    Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Owen, Ronaldo
    Cruyff only played in 1 tournament
    and how good was Owen when he played?
    98
    2002

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 8:06pm on 19 May 2010, Norman10 wrote:

    John, I'm afraid the inclusion of Charlton over Ronaldo shatters your hitherto impeccable credentials and credibility. Yes, Bobby was great, and I think he would make most people's top ten. But please come clean and admit that sentimentality for a home favourite clouded your judgement on the top five.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 8:34pm on 19 May 2010, Anthony Fleming wrote:

    The lack of Zidane is shocking Motty!! I know you desperately wanted an England player, but Charlton is not even in the same league. Zidane is the most amazing player I have ever seen, I even watched the video expecting to see some of his magic, and was so disappointed when I didn't!

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 8:37pm on 19 May 2010, theamazingwaldo wrote:

    Top 5 for me would be Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Ronaldo and Garrincha in that order. Pity the BBC hasn't produced a longer list covering the whole World Cup history. My top 100 would be:

    Goalkeepers

    Ricardo Zamora, Spain; Viliam Schrojf, Czechoslavakia; Lev Yashin, Russia; Gordon Banks, England; Dino Zoff, Italy; Sepp Maier, Germany; Oliver Kahn, Germany.

    Defenders

    Jose Nasazzi, Uruguay; Luisito Monti, Italy; Obdulio Varela, Uruguay; Djalma Santos, Brazil; Nilton Santos, Brazil; Giacinto Facchetti, Italy; Bobby Moore, England; Carlos Alberto, Brazil; Berti Vogts, Germany; Rudh Krol, Holland; Paul Breitner, Germany; Daniel Passarella, Argentine; Franz Beckenbauer, Germany; Wladyslaw Zmuda, Poland; Giuseppe Bergomi, Italy; Andreas Brehme, Germany; Franco Baresi, Italy; Cafu, Brazil; Paulo Maldini, Italy; Fabio Cannavaro, Italy; Hong Myung-Bo, South Korea; Lilian Thuram, France.

    Midfield

    Giuseppe Meazza, Italy; Oldrich Nejedly, Czechoslavakia; Fritz Walter, Germany; Mario Zagalo, Brazil; Raymond Kopa, France; Garrincha, Brazil; Nandor Hideguti, Hungary; Didi, Brazil; Leonel Sanchez, Chile; Gianni Rivera, Italy; Pak Doo Ik, North Korea; Josef Masopust, Czechoslavakia; Bobby Charlton, England; Gerson, Brazil; Wolfgang Overath, Germany; Johann Neeskens, Holland; Johann Cruyff, Holland; Osvaldo Ardiles, Argentine; Grzegorz Lato, Poland; Roberto Rivelino, Brazil; Michel Platini, France; Falcao, Brazil; Lother Matthaeus, Germany; Dunga, Brazil; Gheorghe Hagi, Rumania; Michael Laudrup, Denmark; Paul Gascoigne, England; Andrea Pirlo, Italy; Zinedine Zidane, France.

    Forwards

    Leonidas, Brazil; Silvio Piola, Italy; Matthias Sindelar, Austria; Hector Scarone, Uruguay; Guillermo Stabile, Argentine; Ademir, Brazil; Ferenc Puskas, Hungary; Nils Liedholm, Sweden; Helmut Rahn, Germany; Zizinho, Brazil; Just Fontaine, France; Sandor Kocsis, Hungary; Juan Schiaffino, Uruguay; Vava, Brazil; Eusebio, Portugal; Geoff Hurst, England; Pele, Brazil; Uwe Seeler, Germany; Mario Kempes, Argentine; Tostao, Brazil; Gerd Muller, Germany; Robert Rensenbrink, Holland; Teofilio Cubillas, Peru; Jairzinho, Brazil; Diego Maradona, Argentine; Paulo Rossi, Italy; Zico, Brazil; Marco Van Basten, Holland; Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Germany; Gary Lineker, England; Roberto Baggio, Italy; Romario, Brazil; Salvatore Schillaci, Italy; Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgaria; Roger Milla, Cameroon; Davor Suker, Croatia; Dennis Bergkamp, Holland; Jurgen Klinsmann, Germany; Ronaldinho, Brazil; Ronaldo, Brazil; Miroslav Klose, Germany; Rivaldo, Brazil.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 10:31pm on 19 May 2010, hedleybyrne wrote:

    Remember when 12 said Dunga?

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 11:39pm on 19 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #130

    ‘No there is no audio’

    ‘Classic’!!

    Don’t confuse ‘pigeon’ with ‘pigin’. Pigeons don’t like that.

    #129

    No, no you really can’t help me communicate.

    When you have managed to develop your arguments better maybe that would be a more appropriate time. I’ll think about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 11:42pm on 19 May 2010, TomkinsWorldClass wrote:

    Beckenbauer, MOORE, maradona, ronaldo (brazil), cafu.

    how did he not put in bobby moore? he is the greatest defender and captain of all time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 08:52am on 20 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #145

    Its either pidgin or pigeon but never pigin.

    I gave you a chance there and you blew it.

    Typical Scot.

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 09:23am on 20 May 2010, Steve wrote:

    Shame Motty did'nt name at least a world cup 11 instead of only 5...
    IMO how the hell can you name only 5...it is also about what era you are from which will give to some bias.
    People usually go for either..the era they are from, legend or who they have actually seen.
    For what it is worth here is my 5..based on the spine of a team..from goalkeeper to striker.
    1 YASHIN - GOALKEEPER (USSR)
    2 BECKENBAUER - DEFENDER (GERMANY)
    3 ZIDANE - MIDFIELDER (FRANCE)
    4 MARADONA - ATTACKING MIDFIELD (ARGENTINA)
    5 PELE - STRIKER (BRAZIL)

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 11:53am on 20 May 2010, noname1982 wrote:

    I am amazed at the people on here writing that Motty is biased towards Bobby Charlton. This is after all Motty's greatest world cup players, where he has chosen the ones he thinks are the best in his opinion. He is an Englishman which might explain the inclusion of Charlton in his selection. The idea of bias is completely stupid as it is his opinion. Of course people may disagree with this, but to comment that this is some kind of 'typical bias' from Motson is idiotic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 1:03pm on 20 May 2010, forevernever wrote:

    Baggio
    Ronaldo
    Hagi
    Stoichkov
    Muller

    There... I await the sarcastic comments...

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 1:10pm on 20 May 2010, oasisonehotspur wrote:

    Top 5 World Cup

    Pele - needs no explanation

    Bobby Charlton - England legend and instrumental in 66 triumph

    Maradona - like Marmite either love him or hate him, but undoubtably one of the greatest football talents ever and dominated the tournaments in the eighties and early nineties

    Paolo Rossi - Came from nowhere to almost single handedly win Italy the 82 World Cup. Scored 6 goals (including hatrick against Brazil in a memorable quarter final) and finshed with golden boot. Truly a remarkable story.

    Ronaldo (Brazil) - Joint all time top scorer ever. In his day there was no greater centre forward in the world. Last World Cup in Germany I saw him live against Japan in Dortmund. He was clearly unfit and offside for nearly the whole first half but still took his chances and scored two.

    This year, watch out for Tevez, Messi, Rooney, Kaka & Villa

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 1:19pm on 20 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #149

    Very fair comment.

    They are Motty’s picks and only his opinion, and a number of posts above make that clear. But I think it is also fair to say that people’s opinions do reflect their bias. I’m not using the word ‘bias’ in a negative way you understand, only to say that our opinions on players invariably reflect our own preferences, or our ‘bias’ for one player over another. Having evidence to back an opinion is important but as you can probably see from many of the disagreements above, that it can be ignored or given different perspectives. So for me Motty’s picks are a bit time-locked (or stuck in the late 70’s which is fair enough as he is a guy of a certain age) and while Charlton wouldn’t be in my top five, Motty is an England fan and his opinion is fair enough. I would choose Jimmy Johnstone but that is just my view and my 'bias'.

    #143

    Some list!

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 2:10pm on 20 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #152

    I know I could look it up but can't be arsed. How many world cup games did Jimmy Johnstone play in? How many WC goals did he score, how many WCs did he win etc?

    I'm fully aware what a great player he was but being a world cup debate, I'd like to know what his WC record is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 2:20pm on 20 May 2010, The El Dude Brothers wrote:

    #152

    Why would you choose Jimmy Johnstone? What did he do at the 1974 World Cup to set the tournament alight?

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 3:47pm on 20 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #154

    A purely sentimental choice tbh. Could easily have plumped for Denis Law who was there in 74 as well. Both were well past their best when they went and were taken for largely sentimental reasons and as reward for their long careers and loyalty. I've interpreted this (deliberately) broadly as a 'Greatest players at the WC', otherwise I may have gone for George Best if I knew he'd managed even to attend a WC game! Only saw him play when he was at Hibs and he was, despite all his problems, a different class of player.

    In the end I went for Johnstone over Law because the image of him being cheered and applauded in the Bernabeu by the Madrid fans during a game with Celtic still sticks in my mind.

    Sentimental reasons as I said.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 4:03pm on 20 May 2010, babychunder wrote:

    My choice for "the greatest players to grace the World Cup finals".

    1. Pele - peerless, a boyhood hero
    2. Maradona - worth it for the Hand of God goal alone
    3. Cristiano Ronaldo - great player, best is yet to come
    4. Yashin - fantastic goalie, best ever
    5. Eusebio - Europe's answer to Pele

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 6:12pm on 20 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    Thats end of the proper football debate then, as the Scots have taken over with their usual nonsense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 6:56pm on 20 May 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #157

    Click, click…!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 7:54pm on 20 May 2010, ghostof_Sindelar wrote:

    Have to say I think JM's about right with his top 5. My personal fave is Cruyff, I think anyone who saw the great man play would have him in the top 5. 74 was my first WC and I don't think I've seen a better player or more exciting team since (appreciate nostalgia can play tricks on the mind!). For people of a certain age Holland will always be a favourite 'other' team.

    The Rothmans Football Yearbook 1991 selected the following all-star team covering the World Cup 70-90 -

    Banks - Vogts, Moore, Beckenbauer, Facchetti - Ardiles, Pele, Platini - Cruyf, Muller, Maradona. Subs: Zoff, Krol, Passarella, Zico, Rummenigge.


    With notable exceptions of Ronalda and Zidane, can't think of too many players since 1990 better than that team (I would prefer Brehme at left back).

    Any thoughts?

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 04:05am on 21 May 2010, football8888 wrote:

    #41 is a joke....dont understand the fuss about pele surely thats not coming from a football fan?
    kind of funny the way people clarify which ronaldo it is....as if theres a contest based on world cup.
    born in 90 i only remember from 98 onwards so id go for(based on performances and in no order)

    Zidane
    Ronaldo
    Klose
    Cannavaro
    Ballack

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 10:21am on 21 May 2010, apb2973 wrote:

    Yeah, i agree with who he picked, surely a TOP 20 would have been better, maybe not for video, but an overall top 20, there has been so many world cups, and so many excellent players, 5 just dosnt do it justice. But he picked well i felt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 10:36am on 21 May 2010, lipstickgiraffe wrote:

    GOALS_RUSH

    I have had the distinct misfortune to have read your seedy little comments towards Scotland. You REALLY need to grow up!
    What people have been stating is that there is no chance Charlton can be above others in an all time top 5.

    And to say if Pele and Maradona were English, we would not appreciate them - well that is just a ridiculous comment!
    Maradona is a total legend in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 11:20am on 21 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    And to say if Pele and Maradona were English, we would not appreciate them - well that is just a ridiculous comment!
    Maradona is a total legend in Scotland.

    -----------------------------------------------

    The irony of that final comment......

    .....and why exactly is Maradona a total legend in Scotland?

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 11:20am on 21 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    Oh, hang on a minute....D'oh!

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 11:35am on 21 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    I can't take this seriously now after the Jimmy Johnstone comment

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 12:55pm on 21 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #164

    spot on fella

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 1:22pm on 21 May 2010, lipstickgiraffe wrote:

    He is a legend in Scotland due to the fact he was a World Class player ! ! !

    Oh hang on a minute d'oh !

    Typical English bias, how dare another country appreciate a player who just happened to tear England a new one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 1:25pm on 21 May 2010, lipstickgiraffe wrote:

    The guy mentioned Jimmy Johnstone due to the fact that several legendary players (Eusebio etc) have confirmed he was the best player they ever came up against.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 3:08pm on 21 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    I'd stick my neck out and say say lipstickgiraffe is one of these that claims Archie Gemmill's goal in '78 was the best world cup goal ever....

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 3:21pm on 21 May 2010, Goals_Rush wrote:

    #168

    Its a world cup debate though for crying out loud!

    What about Jimmy Somerville?? hes Scottish and Eusebio is a big fan apparently. Its just occured to me how incredibly biased of Motty not to mention him in the list of greats.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 3:41pm on 21 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    The guy mentioned Jimmy Johnstone due to the fact that several legendary players (Eusebio etc) have confirmed he was the best player they ever came up against.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Typical Portuguese / Scotch bias.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 4:21pm on 21 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    Cool it a bit Goal_Rush we don't want to look typically English ganging up on the wee scotsman

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 4:36pm on 21 May 2010, lipstickgiraffe wrote:

    Typical ingurlish.

    Cant see the woods for the trees.

    Andrew - ill stick my neck and say that you believe Owen's of 1998 was the goal of that tournament d'oh

    Goals Rush

    Are you 12 !!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 10:03am on 22 May 2010, Mark Robinson wrote:

    1. Maradona
    2. Pele
    3. Beckenbauer
    4. Cruyff
    5. Ronaldo (Brazilian one)

    In reserve: Zidane, Garrincha, Moore, Romario, Eusebio, Platini, Baresi, Baggio, Puskas

    http://twoyellowcards.co.uk/

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 1:50pm on 22 May 2010, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    he never played in the world cup, but george best was the greatest player i ever saw ,bar none, he could tackle, score goals either foot and a world class header of a ball as well, brilliant passer of the ball, read the game superbly, no body can lace his boots except maybe marradona.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 4:13pm on 22 May 2010, bluenose wrote:

    I think Motty has got this almost spot on? Maybe Charlton could have been replaced with Zidane or Platini but the rest were pure genius as footballers, Cruyf was a wizard with him and his Holland team almost rebranding the game, "total football" as a kid it made the hairs stand up on my neck and made me appreciate the magical game football is, and it still does it watching the footage today. Has for the rest of Motson's list all have carried the tag, "the best player in the world" with other players in there era not getting close. There have been other great players but like Motty these for me have been the best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 5:51pm on 22 May 2010, eddie money wrote:

    i think Brazil's Ronaldo is a must for the 5 greatest ever. Also Hagi, Romario, Baggio or Milla could be included imo.
    ok, Maradona was a talented footballer no doubt, but the cheating and the drugs etc, i dont think you can include him as thats not setting an example to youngsters is it :) neither is headbutting people in Zidane's case :P

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 5:53pm on 22 May 2010, eddie money wrote:

    "What about Jimmy Somerville??"

    wasnt he the singer from communards and bronski beat?

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 11:12pm on 22 May 2010, Trini wrote:

    Dwight York
    Russell Latapy
    Kenwyn Jones
    Brian Williams
    leonson Lewis

    Now lets be honest these guys have achieved greatness.
    And I'm not in any way Biased to Trinidad and Tobago!

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 11:16pm on 22 May 2010, Trini wrote:

    Now let me see.

    Jarzhino
    Di Stefano
    Puskas
    Zidane
    and of course Pele!
    Gascogne came close though!

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 11:27pm on 22 May 2010, Nathan wrote:

    Pele, Garrincha, Cruyff, Maradona, Beckenbauer.

    Suprised Garrincha didnt get in Mottys top 5, many Brazilians rate him higher than Pele. Brazil would not have won the World Cup in '58' and especially '62' without him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 03:23am on 23 May 2010, hootyandthefox wrote:

    how can someone include De Stefano in their top five world cup players, he never played in the World Cup?

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 05:41am on 23 May 2010, Lohengrin wrote:

    I read an interesting article recently in which Maradona nominated Lothar Mathhaus (who'd at least make my top 20) as the finest opponent he had ever faced. I can't argue with Motty's assessment of Pele over several World Cups but, for me, Maradona is the greatest player ever to have played the game irrespective his dark side including his drug abuse. There are double-standards displayed from some folks though who'll defend Best et al despite their addiction to alcohol. If in the same situation for Brazil, Pele could not, in my opinion, have scored that second goal against England (nor would he have claimed the first) and I feel priveleged to have watched Diego play the game like nobody else. However, I believe Maradona's choice of greatest ever player is Alfredo Di Stefano but having never seen him play, I cannot comment. Messi, as Bobby Charlton has indicated during a recent interview, could be greatest one day and, like Diego, is unashamedly one-footed, but as for other modern players, in my opinion, and, as an example, Rooney is a level below and most others a level again below that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 09:51am on 23 May 2010, mischievousCheesy101 wrote:

    Obviously this is just a personal selection, but if the criteria is 'Impact on a World Cup tournament' I don't see how Cruyff can be placed above say, Gerd Muller who was the leading goalscorer in 1970 and 1974. Yes, he didn't do anything else except score goals but if you pile up 68 of them in only 62 matches you have to be a bit special.
    Also, this is a list of 'The best players at world cups where there is decent footage of the games' otherwise Puskas in 1954, Varela in 1950 Leonidas in 1938 and Meola 1934 and 1938 would all be in with a shout..

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 10:07am on 23 May 2010, mischievousCheesy101 wrote:

    Re: my last post - actually it should be Meazza and Piola in 1934/38 - the captain and top striker of the champions Italy..Who knows how good they were?

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 8:43pm on 23 May 2010, JH_55 wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 8:55pm on 23 May 2010, JH_55 wrote:

    world cup xi 1990 onwards
    ravelli , maldini , blanc , baresi , thuram

    zidane , hagi , matthaus

    ronaldo , romario , baggio

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 9:18pm on 23 May 2010, JH_55 wrote:

    world cup xi 78,82,86

    zoff , passarella , junior , breitner , butcher

    zico , platini , ardiles

    kempes , rossi , maradona

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 08:16am on 24 May 2010, ashenfacedsupremo wrote:

    Good list Motty. Great shame Alfredo DiStefano and Georgie Best never graced the World Cup stage... while Materazzi did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 10:32am on 24 May 2010, Magictorchjamie wrote:

    Clearly it's Pele; Maradona; Cruyff (the most contentious as only 1); Beckenbauer and A.N. Other. But surely that's got to be Ronaldo? Too easy to remember his later years. He was totally lethal, though - amazing scoring record when defenders were much better organised.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 11:42am on 24 May 2010, Gary wrote:

    English people always blow there own trumpet. since 1966 all you people have said it this is our year again and again and again. I mean you have even orgainsed a victory parade before the tournament begins that is why us scottish will never support you. If wales or northern ireland was in world cup I would support them because they do not blow there own trumpet. In regards to the players on talk here a lot of people forget there has been a lot of world class scottish players in the world cups so how can you say because they never reached round 2 then that makes them less worthy of a spot than someone whos won it.

    What about an english player like gascoigne who has been mentioned countless times above he never won a world cup reached the semi finals but based upon almost every comment of any 1 else apart from an english nomination any1 who did not win the world cup should not be included...

    get a grip USA day 12th june

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 12:01pm on 24 May 2010, redpirate wrote:

    An interesting debate. The question could asked, if you take these players out of their side how good would that side be. My 5:

    Pele an awesome player - playing in an excellent team - even brazil would miss him.

    Maradonna - awesome - playing i n a poor side - I hate him for the handball but the goal afterwards....genius

    Cruyff - take him out of holland and they would have been also rans.


    Ronaldo - lightining fast, unbelieveably skillful andknows where the goal is.

    Zidane - superb in 1998 in great french side - even better in 2006 -shame about the head but.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 1:29pm on 24 May 2010, Paul wrote:

    As a 24 year old my opinion on the top 5 World Cup players of all time may well be slightly biased towards those that have played more in the generation that I've lived, but you simply cannot disregard those who played 30-40 years ago.

    Picking 5 players is a massive challenge and to leave out some players is very difficult when considering the quality they had.

    I'm massively surprised that no-one has really given Cafu a mention. If my memory serves me correctly, he's won 2 world cups, has played in 3 finals and has represented his country in 4 world cups. A record like that surely puts him in the reckoning.

    So my top 5 would be:

    Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cafu and Ronaldo

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 1:36pm on 24 May 2010, ikebuya wrote:

    My choices

    World

    Pele
    Maradona
    Beckenbauer
    Ronaldo
    Zidane

    Africa

    Roger Milla
    Jay-Jay Okocha
    el-Hadj Diouf
    Rabah Madger
    Aziz Bourderbala

    Nigeria

    Jay-Jay Okocha
    Dan Amokachi
    Emmanuel Amunike
    Finidi George
    Sunday Oliseh

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 2:12pm on 24 May 2010, portland wrote:

    106. At 09:37am on 19 May 2010, Antmanbrooks wrote:
    3. At 1:18pm on 18 May 2010, shahid wrote:

    Charlton? and no Zidane? the usual bias from our great 'free' press

    ======

    Always one, just because he has an alternative view to you he's bias? If he was that bias he'd have gone for 5 English players surely. Have a think about it.



    lets be honest if charlton wasnt english he really wouldnt be on that list. Theres an opinion and then theres bias

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 3:21pm on 24 May 2010, Carl wrote:

    1) Gary Elkins
    2) Robert Rosario
    3) Jason Lee
    4) Carlton Palmer
    5) Jan Molby

    Random, as you like!! Carlton Palmer - now he was a memorable footballer!

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 6:25pm on 24 May 2010, U14068778 wrote:

    I will only go with players i have seen in my life time because it is pointless me saying cruyff,pele,Beckenbauer etc.. because i'm not old enough to remember them.
    Maradona
    Zidane
    Ronaldo
    Matthaus
    Romario

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 6:41pm on 24 May 2010, CORKcityWHEREdidYOUgo wrote:

    Cant believe this man hasnt been mentioned....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMBVxqHRI1I&feature=PlayList&p=FECA4DD1F2B0047A&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=36

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 10:43pm on 24 May 2010, Douglas Lee wrote:

    Add a sixth - Motty himself!

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 12:27pm on 25 May 2010, outbackchris wrote:

    What about the only man to win the Golden Shoe for England at a World Cup. Although not a skillfull as many of the players mentioned above. As a fox in the box, there were no better. You'd put your house on him latching onto anything in the 6/18 yard box. So for his effectiveness, Gary Lineker has to be there.
    Then.....
    Muller
    Ronaldo
    Puskas
    Schillaci (entertainment value)

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 12:54pm on 25 May 2010, teebaba wrote:

    Those arguing about Maradonna being better than Pele know nothing.
    Pele was better than Maradonna.

    1)Pele could actually head the ball. Not use the hand of God! Was the first to actually head the ball then run with it.

    2)Pele used both feet. Maradonna's right leg was to stand on!

    3)Team mates agreed Pele could play in any position. Maradonna could not defend.

    4) Maradonna won world cup single handedly when he was in his twenties? Pele did it when he was 17 years old in 1956!!

    5) Pele was a magificent athlete not just skilled footballer! 100 metres in less than 11 seconds ... Maradonna was just a footballer.

    6) Pele used his brain not just instinctive skills like dribbling. see the greatest missed goals ever . Especially the one where he left the ball and ran around the goal keeper!

    7)Pele's skills that he introduced are basically being copied today



    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 1:02pm on 25 May 2010, Greg wrote:

    Best 5 players of all time?

    The 5 in the wall for Zaire (vs Brazil 1974)

    Outstanding achievement award? the fella who ran out and smashed the ball down the pitch.

    ... pure genius

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 1:20pm on 25 May 2010, greavsies wrote:

    my top five South American biased

    Rivelino
    Zico
    Kempes
    Maradona
    Pele

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 3:32pm on 25 May 2010, JackHughesByZola wrote:

    I'm amazed that so few have mentioned one player who many Brazilians rated better than Pele - Garrincha!

    Just an amazing footballer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 1:15pm on 27 May 2010, MohamedDZ wrote:

    The 5 greatest World Cup players are as follows:

    Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff and Beckenbauer (100%)

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 1:20pm on 27 May 2010, MohamedDZ wrote:

    The 5 greatest World Cup players are:

    Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Beckenbauer (100% right)

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 10:28pm on 31 May 2010, B_M_LOWER wrote:

    no Bobby Moore ? find that hard to believe

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 09:47am on 09 Jun 2010, Bookmaker1 wrote:

    Maradona, Maradona, and Maradona!! Because of what he has become we forget how he was quite simply the greatest footballer who has ever lived when in his prime.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.