Football is almost 150 years old. How do you identify the best ones? Surely every fan will have their own version of the dream team.
At the same time, the exploits of the players who played for a long time are gradually erased from memory. But the goals and feints of recent idols are still fresh in the memory.
To make the dream team most honestly, a survey was conducted on the FIFA website. It was they who identified the best footballers of all time.
Pele. Although Pele took only second place in the poll, it is he who is proudly called the "King of Football". He was born in 1940. As is the case with Brazilian footballers, Pele's early years were spent in poverty. From the age of 7, he began to play for the children's team, where he immediately stood out due to his spectacular and effective game. At the age of 15, Pele joined the legendary Santos, where he played for most of his career. From 1956 to 1974, at the club level, Pele won everything he could. Among the awards and two Intercontinental Cups, the best club in the world. But the world got to know Pele thanks to his performances in the national team. The debut of the football player took place in 1958 at the World Cup in the national team. In the semifinals, the 17-year-old scored a hat-trick, and scored a double in the final. Thanks to this, Brazil won the championship, and Pele himself received recognition from the entire football community. The player became the youngest champion in world championship history. After 4 years, Pele is again the world champion, although this time injuries prevented him from showing himself. He also did not appear in 1966 in England. But at the 1970 tournament, Brazil again won the championship. Pele became the first three-time world champion in football, a participant in four final tournaments. For the national team, he played 92 matches, while scoring 77 goals. This record remains unsurpassed. The great football player was finishing his career in the American "Cosmos". Thanks to the appearance in the league of Pele himself, the attendance of the championship increased 10 times! The popularity of the football player was so great that because of a friendly match with his participation, the war in Africa even stopped for a while. Pele holds the record for the most interview data. Today he is engaged in the promotion of football, takes part in state programs. Before the start of each World Championship, Pele is sure to take a forecast of who will be the winner. It's funny, but the predictions of the great master never come true.
Diego Maradona. It was this footballer who received the most votes on the FIFA website. The Argentinian is nicknamed "Golden Boy", "Football Michelangelo". The legendary top ten played as an attacking midfielder and striker. His fate was as brilliant as it was contradictory. In a match with England, Maradona scored the best goal in the history of the world championships. Then the Argentine scored the most scandalous goal by hand. When asked how this happened, Maradona replied: "it was the hand of God." The footballer was born in 1960, already at the age of 17, the hope of Argentine football made his debut in the national team. Coach Maradona did not take one to the 1978 World Cup, he simply did not have enough experience. But on the next World Cup, he was already driving as the main star of the championship. But Argentina failed, and Maradona himself, due to tight guardianship, was never able to prove himself. Now is the time to move to Europe. The talented footballer got into Barcelona itself. But injuries, scandals outside the football field and problems with the leadership forced Maradona to move to the Italian "Napoli". It was there that the player spent his best years. Fans idolized him and literally carried him in their arms. Maradona himself answered them with an ingenious game and goals. "Napoli" became the champion of the country, twice won the national cup, and in 1989 also the UEFA Cup. In 1986, in Mexico, the national team he led became the World Champion, and after 4 years Argentina, through the efforts of Diego, literally crawled to the final. His sports career was marred by drug scandals and lawsuits. And after the end of the active game, Maradona led a very hectic life. He is friends with Chavez and Castro, works as a commentator and trainer, and shoots at journalists with an air gun.
Zinedine Zidane. French of Algerian descent was born in 1972. The first club was the provincial Cannes. A promising footballer has always been in the sight of coaches, getting into various children's and youth teams. At the age of 20, Zidane, who was considered talented, moved to the much more serious Bordeaux. The brilliant performance in the club drew attention to the player of the European giants. Zidane's career is on the rise, in 1996 he becomes a player for Juventus. Here he wins the championship twice, becomes the owner of the Intercontinental Cup. When the 1998 World Cup was held in France, it was Zidane who was considered the nation's main hope. And he did not disappoint - the national team led by him won the honorary title for the first time in the country. And two years later, the French also became European Champions. In 2001, the genius football player was bought by Real Madrid for a record 75 million euros. The midfielder has become a real gem of the "galacticos" gathered there. There, the footballer was finally able to win the Champions League. Other club peaks also conquered him - the Spanish Championship, other cups and super cups. Zidane's performance was the reason for him being awarded three times the title of the best player in the world in 1998, 2000 and 2003. Only now the end of the career of the players turned out to be ugly for Zidane. He played his last match in the 2006 European Championship final. Zidane was sent off at the end of the match, heading the opponent, and France lost that match, losing their leader. Now the legendary footballer participates in charity programs, starred in commercials and holds an important position in the management team of Real Madrid.
Franz Beckenbauer. This player is without a doubt the best German footballer of all time. He was born in 1945. At the age of 20, the talented Bayern defender made his debut in the national team. Franz's play was mature beyond his years, he loved to connect to attacks. In the Bundesliga, Beckenbauer played 424 matches and scored 44 goals. A brilliant figure for a defender! As part of his native Bayern, the defender won the Champions Cup three times and won the national championship four times. At the age of 37, at the very end of his career, Franz again became the champion in Hamburg. Beckenbauer's teammates recall that he often raised his voice to other players, being the real authority and the right hand of the coach on the field. Franz was twice recognized as the best football player in Europe. As part of the national team, the defender played exactly 100 matches. During this time, he won gold, silver and bronze at the 1974, 1970 and 1966 World Championships, and in 1972 Germany also became the European Champion. At the end of his career, Beckenbauer played for New York's Cosmos, promoting football in America. Having finished playing actively, Franz did not particularly strive to be a coach. Nevertheless, he was able to lead his team to victory in the 1990 World Cup. Beckenbauer is one of only two people who was able to win the World Cup both as a player and as a coach. In 1996, Franz finished coaching, his last club was his native Bayern. Since then, he has held an administrative position at the club, serving as president and chairman of the board of directors. Today Beckenbauer's opinion is very important not only in German, but also in European football.
Michelle Platini. Before Zidane, it was Platini who was considered the best French player. He is the only footballer in the world to become the best in Europe three times in a row. The Golden Ball was awarded to Platini in 1983, 1984, 1985. True, his record can be repeated and even surpassed soon by Lionel Messi. The footballer was born in 1955. His first major club was Nancy, debuting in 1973. Platini quickly became famous for his phenomenal free kicks and penalties. Michelle stayed after training and worked with an artificial wall, putting it closer to the intended one. At the age of 20, Platini made his debut in the national team. Thanks to Michel's play, humble Nancy became a thunderstorm of authorities, defeating eminent grandees. In 1979, Platini's contract ended and he was promoted to Saint-Etienne. There he was able to win the national championship. When Platini's contract came to an end again in 1982, all the European giants lined up for the talented midfielder. The Frenchman chose Juventus. There he conquered all the club peaks - the national championship, the Champions Cup, the Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. In 1984 France hosted the European Championship. Its captain Platini was able to lead his team to victory, to the joy of the entire nation. Michel's coaching career has been mixed. He was able to brilliantly lead the national team of his country through the selection, and was recognized as the best coach in the world. But at the European championship itself, France failed. Platini did not leave football, becoming a functionary. In 2007 he became UEFA President, breathing new life into the ossified organization. Miguel began to actively reform European football, thanks to which in 2011 he was re-elected to a new term.
Johan Cruyff. The best Dutch footballer has had a big impact on the entire world football. He shone on the fields of Europe in his 70s, becoming the best on the continent in 1971, 1973 and 1974. The Flying Dutchman was born in 1947. Cruyff managed to play not only in the position of the attacker, but also in all other positions with the exception of the goalkeeper. It was the Dutch national team and Ajax of that time that gave birth to the term total football, and Cruyff was their leader. The footballer made his debut at Ajax at the age of 17. There Cruyff was able to win the championship eight times and the Champions Cup three times. In 1973 the Dutchman moved to Barcelona, where the results were more modest. At the level of national teams, Cruyff did not achieve significant achievements, in the Dutchman's piggy bank only the silver of the 1974 World Cup, and the bronze of the 1976 European Championship. However, the game of that team was mesmerizing, it was she who became the prototype of future trends in football. Cruyff played 48 matches for the national team, having managed to score 33 goals. In total, the striker played 752 matches, scoring 425 goals. At the end of his career, Cruyff played for American clubs, and when he returned to his homeland, he managed to become the champion as part of Feyenoord. The player was then respectful 37 years old. From 1989 to 1996 Cruyff coached Barcelona, under his leadership the Catalan club won the Champions Cup. Today the Dutchman holds an administrative post on the board of his native "Ajax". His opinion is very important not only for the development of the Dutch club, but also for Barcelona. It is believed that it was Cruyff who instilled in the Catalans their trademark combinational attacking style.
Romario. Not so long ago, the whole world followed the attempts of this football player to overcome the legendary milestone of a thousand goals. After all, according to legends, this bar was previously obeyed by Pele alone. The Brazilian was born in 1966 and ended his career only in 2009. Romario earned the nickname "shorty" for his small stature. His career was also surrounded by a series of scandals. Already in the youth teams, he was expelled from the composition for violation of the regime. Nevertheless, the talent did not go unnoticed. In 1988, the forward transferred to the Dutch PSV. There Romario constantly fights with partners. Nevertheless, during his 5 years at the club, the Brazilian was able to score almost a hundred goals. The productive player was noticed by Barcelona itself, where he moved in 1993. Romario stayed there for only a couple of years, without slowing down the pace of goal scoring. The performance in European clubs made the Brazilian's game more harmonious, he finally played in the national team. At the 1994 World Cup, Romario scored 5 goals, becoming the champion. Then there were wanderings in clubs and continents - Brazil, Saudi Arabia, USA, Australia. Romario scored his thousandth goal on May 21, 2007. True, he did the calculations himself, adding goals for the youth teams to his piggy bank. Romario also managed to play for the national beach soccer team. The footballer now holds the post of sporting director at the humble "America" from Rio de Janeiro, helping her break into the top flight.
Roberto Baggio. The Italians have given the world many great players, but this one is on the list of the greatest. He was born in 1967. Vicenza became the first professional club. The talented forward quickly showed himself, despite the fact that he liked to play not at the forefront of the attack, but in the lead. In 1985 he moved to Fiorentina, where he became a legend. Then it was bought by Juventus for a record sum of 19 million dollars. For 5 years Baggio shone there, and when he was sold to Milan due to a conflict with the coach, he immediately became a champion with his new club. In 1994, through the efforts of Baggio, the Italian national team reached the final of the World Cup, and he himself scored 5 goals, becoming one of the top scorers of the tournament. Only in the final it was Baggio who did not score a penalty in the post-match series. His mistake became fatal. The public fell upon the football player, forgetting that it was he who led the team to a high result. At the next World Cup, the Italians again gave way to the future champion in a penalty shootout. Baggio himself realized his chance. Only at that championship, the coach did not trust the ingenious footballer, preferring Alessandro Del Piero to him. By 2000, the experts put an end to Baggio's career. He gave everything he could to the national team. Age did not allow him to play for the grand clubs. But Baggio played for 4 years in the provincial Brescia. For 98 matches there, the striker managed to score 45 goals. In 2004, Baggio's farewell match in the national team took place. Roberto won the championship twice, won the UEFA Cup, became the player of the year and the winner of the Golden Ball in 1993. That unscored penalty was a sad touch on his career, despite the fact that at 86% Baggio remains the best penalty taker in the history of Italian football.
Paolo Maldini. This Italian comes from a football family. His father Cesare was once a Milan legend and one of the best European defenders. These genes were passed on to Paolo. He was born in 1968. In his career there was only one club - Milan. The defender spent 647 matches for him, speaking from 1984 to 2009. A promising player made his debut at the age of 16, becoming a real symbol of the club during his performances. During this time, he has amassed an impressive collection of titles - he won the Champions League 5 times, the same number of times the European Super Cup. Twice "Milan" together with Maldini won the Intercontinental Cup, becoming the best club in the world. Paolo won the Italian championship seven times. For his national team, Maldini played 126 matches, remaining the same unyielding, competent and tough defender. Silver and bronze at the world championships were won by the player with Italy, the same set went to him at the continental championships. In Milan itself, number 3, under which Maldini played, has been removed from circulation in memory of the legendary player. True, the player was allowed to give this number to his son if he plays for the club. After all, the dynasty continues.
Lev Yashin. Football fans consider our Lev Yashin the best goalkeeper of all times and peoples. I must say that in addition to football talents, the player was also a wonderful person. The footballer was born in 1929 in Moscow. From the age of 20, he began to defend the gates of the capital "Dynamo". It is interesting that at the very beginning of his career, as was then customary among football players, Yashin also played hockey. A young athlete in this sport even won the USSR Cup and the bronze of the championship.He also played as a goalkeeper. Yashin's entire career took place in one club. Thanks to the reliable "rear" during this time "Dynamo" 5 times became the champion of the country, three more times was won the USSR Cup. As many as 11 times Yashin was recognized as the best goalkeeper in the country. 16 times he was included in the list of 33 best footballers at the end of the season. Since 1954, Yashin took a place at the gates of the national team. It was the performances there that brought the football player international fame. Yashin won the 1956 Olympics and Euro 1960 together with the team. Our team was fourth at the 1966 World Cup. Yashin was nicknamed "Black Panther" for his mobility and color of clothing. It was he who laid the foundations for the modern game of goalkeepers - to move around the entire penalty area, and not be limited to one goal. In 1963, Yashin played for the world team in a match against England. Then he was awarded the title of the best player in Europe. This was the only time when such an award went to the goalkeeper. His career at the club ended in 1971, when Yashin, as part of the Dynamo national team, faced the national team of world stars. At the end of the player's career, the coaching fate did not work out, moreover, after 50 years, Lev Ivanovich began gangrene on his leg. The reason for this was not only smoking, but also the increased stress during an active career. On March 20, 1990, Yashin died from complications of the disease. Just two days earlier, the state appreciated his contribution to the development of sports, awarding him the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.
Roberto Carlos. The player was born in 1973. The fast (he ran 100 meters faster than 11 seconds) defender with the strongest blow was quickly noticed in Europe. In 1995 Roberto Carlos moved to Inter Milan. However, the defender did not shine there, speaking in a non-native position in the center of the field. In 1996, the Brazilian moved to Real Madrid, staying there for 11 years. In total, the player played an impressive 584 matches for this club, scoring 71 goals. As part of Real Madrid, the defender won the national championship four times, the Champions League three times, and the Intercontinental Cup twice. The Brazilian national team of the 90s also could not be imagined without this fast and robust defender. In its composition, Roberto Carlos became World Champion in 2002 and silver medalist in 1998, having played 125 matches in total. He did not become the best footballer in Europe, often beautiful cannon goals alternated with failures in defense. Carlos was recognized as the second footballer in 2002, he often became the best defender in various competitions. Before coming to Anji, the Brazilian played in Turkish Fenerbahce and Brazilian Corinthians. In Russia, at one time, Roberto Carlos was the highest paid player. He is now the team captain and player-coach. But the defender is in no hurry to end his career, promising to play until 2014. Roberto Carlos is a real leader, and his human qualities are characterized by the fact that he is actively involved in charity work.