World Cup 2018: The Greatest World Cup XI of all time
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the World. The inaugural World Cup was held in 1930 and subsequently, 19 more editions of the tournament have been held amidst unparalleled fanfare and excitement. Brazil is the most successful nation with 5 World Cup wins followed by Germany and Italy with 4 apiece. The 21st World Cup would start in a week's time in Russia and it is an opportune moment for us to select a dream eleven consisting of the 11 finest players to have played in World Cups.
Over the years, World Cups have witnessed many exceptional performances. All the genuine greats of the game have stamped their class on the greatest stage of football. On the other side, there are some great players like George Best, George Weah and Ryan Giggs who have never been able to play in a World Cup because their respective countries could not qualify for it. However, those are exceptions and in general, World Cups have always been graced by the presence of the luminaries of world football.
Therefore, it is not easy to select 11 players from a plethora of great performers. However, we have somehow been able to form this team on the basis of the performance and impact of the footballers in different editions of the tournament over the decades. It should be noted that these players have been selected on the basis of their performance in the World Cups only and not of their overall career achievements.
Goalkeeper: Lev Yashin (Russia)
Yashin is quite possibly the greatest goalkeeper of all time. He played for the erstwhile Soviet Union in 3 World Cups and was the primary reason behind their 3rd place finish in the 1966 World Cup. He kept 2 clean sheets in that World Cup and was superb under the bar throughout the tournament. He was exceptional in the semifinal against West Germany as well but the Soviet Union lost that match and Yashin had to be satisfied with a 3rd place finish.
However, Yashin was duly adjudged to be the best goalkeeper in the 1966 World Cup. In all, he played in 13 world cup matches and kept 4 clean sheets. He also remains the only goalkeeper to have won the prestigious Ballon D’Or.
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