Top 5 footballers who ruled the FIFA World Cup

Aayush Agarwal

FIFA 2010 World Cup Champions Spain Victory Parade And Celebrations

Many of the most noteworthy and memorable performances in the world of football have taken place on the sets of its most prestigious event, the World Cup.

This is hardly surprising, given the magnitude, the intensity and the quality of the competition. It can safely be said that some of the best footballers on the planet have dished out their most remarkable performances in their national colours as if saving their best for their country.

Here, I put forward my list of the top 5 footballers in the World Cup. The opinions may vary from person to person, but nobody can deny the fact that these 5 players have reigned supreme in the matches they have played for their country on the grand stage and have their names etched forever in the memories of the football lovers all over the world.

Franz Beckenbauer ( Defender, Germany)

Germany's soccer star and team captain F

Germany’s greatest ever international without a doubt.

Franz Beckenbauer had taken the pitch for the Germans in as many as four World Cups. Twice, in 1966 and 1974, the team reached the finals, while they came third in Mexico in the year 1970.

However, four years later, the legendary defender finally got his hands on the trophy following a spectacular turnabout after trailing the Netherlands in Munich. With the victory, Germany became the first side to hold the European and World Cup titles simultaneously.

However, the moment that truly marked him out for greatness came in the summer of 1970, when trailing 2-0 in the second half against England, he scored in the 69th minute of the game and inspired a spectacular German fight-back that ended in a historic, 3-2 victory.


Zinedine Zidane(Midfielder, France)

Fifa World Cup Qualifier Switzerland v France

A sad end to a remarkable career is the truth of Zinedine Zidane.

The moment when the French captain’s was sensationally sent off for a head butt in the 100th minute of the 2006 final against the Azzuri, which was also his last game, is one that can hardly be forgotten by the football fraternity. Despite this, he had already scored the team’s opener from the spot and had already sealed his name as the Golden Ball winner for the tournament. However, his heroics in the 1998 World Cup when he scored twice in the final to lead a famous victory against the mighty Brazilians was the highlight of his career and raised his stature to the greatest French footballer to have played the game.


Diego Maradona(Attacker, Argentina)

Argentina vs West Germany

Like Zidane, his exit was unpopular and sad but what the man achieved for his country over the years makes him a permanent Argentinan legend.

After successive failures in 1978 and 1982, in the World Cup of 1986, Diego Maradona inspired his side to such great levels, that the underdogs returned with their maiden World Cup after dismissing the best teams in the world. However, his most famous performance came against England in the quarterfinals when Maradona scored twice, one of them the controversial “Hand of God” goal that saw him palm the ball past Peter Shilton and the other the “Goal of the Century” that took him past Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher and Terry Fenwick before he rounded Shilton for what proved to be the match-winner.


Pele(Attacker, Brazil)

Brazilian forward Pele dribbles past a defender du

At the age of 9, he had seen his father weep after Brazil’s loss to Uruguay and that incident is said to have been the beginning of history.

Eight years later, a timid 17 year old kid joined the national side after impressing the team coach Vincent Feola with his remarkable speed and skills. A goal against Wales and a hat trick against France in successive games marked his entry into the scene of World footbal. His World Cup career will mostly be remembered for the finals he played, four goals and 2 victories in 2 World Cup finals. The “Black Diamond” as he was famous called went on to become the most celebrated footballer of the world for his achievements and an inspiration to many for the success he achieved.


Ronaldo(Attacker, Brazil)

Ronaldo of Brazil

His career started as an understudy in USA, but consistent performances saw him play his first World Cup in 1998 in France as the reigning two-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year. He went on to score four goals in the tournament as Brazil made the final.

Four years later, he was a colossus for the team, especially in the 2nd half of the final as he put the ball in the net twice against the hapless Germans to ensure that Brazil claimed their record fifth World Cup title. With 15 goals in his World Cup career, eight of which came in the knockout stages, Ronaldo went on to retire as man with the most World Cup tallies in tournament history and as a Brazilian legend. The very same year he was awarded the biggest sporting award of Brazil, a fitting gesture to the man whose achievements in the World stage had made him the toast of the nation.

Edited by Staff Editor
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