The Great Legends of FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup

Year of Establishment :  1930
Most Tournaments : Brazil ( All )
Most Champions of Team : Brazil (5 Times)
Most Champions of Player : Pele (3 Times)
Most Appearances :    Lothar Matthaus (25 Games)
All-Time Top Scorer  : Miroslav Klose (16 Goals)         
The Greatest Player Ever :  Diego Maradona


Gordon Banks   (England)  (1 All-Stars, 9 Appearances, 1 Champion)
Dino Zoff       (Italy)  (1 All-Stars, 17 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Fourth Place)


DL :  Nilton Santos  (Brazil) (1 All-Stars, 15 Appearances, 2 Champions)
DR : Djalma Santos (Brazil) (3 All-Stars, 12 Appearances, 2 Champions)
DLC :  Paolo Maldini   (Italy)  (2 All-Stars, 23 Appearances, 1 Runner-Up, 1 Third Place)
DRC :  Lilian Thuram  (France) (1 Bronze Ball,2 All Stars, 16 Apperances,1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
SW :  Franz Beckenbauer  (Germany) (1 Silver Ball, 3 All Stars,18 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up,1 Third Place)
CB :  Franco Baresi  (Italy)  (2 All Stars, 10 Appearances, 1 Runner-Up, 1 Third Place)
CB :  Bobby Moore (England) (1 Silver Ball, 1 All Stars, 14 Appearances, 1 Champion)


DM :  Luis Monti  (Argentina, Italy)  (2 All Stars, 9 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
CM :  Lothar Matthaeus  (Germany) (1 Golden Ball, 1 All Stars, 25 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
CM :  Didi  (Brazil)  (1 Golden Ball, 1 All Stars, 14 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
AM : Zinedine Zidane (France) (1 Golden Ball, 2 All Stars, 12 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
AM :  Bobby Charlton (England) (1 Golden Ball, 2 All Stars, 14 Appearances,1 Champion)
AM : Diego Maradona  (Argentina) (1 Golden Ball, 1 Bronze Ball, 2 All Stars,21 Appearances, 1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
WR :  Garrincha  (Brazil) (1 Golden Ball,1 Golden Boot, 2 All Stars,12 Appearances, 2 Champions)


SS : Messi (Argentina)  (2 Golden Ball, 26 Appearances, 2 All Stars, 1 Champion)
SS : Pele  (Brazil)  (1 Golden Ball, 1 Silver Ball,14 Appearances, 2 All Stars,3 Champions)
FW : Giuseppe Meazza  (Italy) (1 Golden Ball, 2 All Stars,9 Appearances, 2 Champions)
STK : Gerd Muller  (Germany)  (1 Golden Boot, 1 Bronze Ball, 1 All Stars,13 Appearances ,1 Champion, 1 Third Place)
STK :  Paolo Rossi (Italy)  (1 Golden Ball, 1 Silver Ball, 1 Golden Boot, 2 All Stars, 14 Appearances, 1 Champion)
STK :  Ronaldo  (Brazil) (1 All-Time Top Scorer, 1 Golden Ball,1 Silver Ball,1 Golden Boot, 2 All Stars, 19 Appearances ,1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)

Manager :  Mario Zagallo  (Brazil) (1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)

Formation XI

The Greatest Players by Positions

The Greatest Goalkeeper Ever : Gordon Banks
The Greatest Defender Ever : Franz Beckenbauer
The Greatest Midfielder Ever : Diego Maradona
The Greatest Forward Ever : Pele

The Greatest World Cup Footballers of All-Time

1. Diego Maradona
2. Franz Beckenbauer
3. Garrincha
4. Pele
5. Zinedine Zidane
6. Lionel Messi
7. Lothar Matthaeus
8. Roberto Baggio
9. Ronaldo
10. Giuseppe Meazza

FIFA World Cup Players of the Tournament

The FIFA World Cup individual award was officially given in 1978. The list is to provide for top players in pre-1978 tournament (top three in four tournaments according to significant lower standard of competition and top five in post-1950 tournament). The list is also to revise the given awards.

FIFA World Cup All Stars


  1. Anonymous9/18/2014

    In the goalkeepers list you´ve ommited Lev Yahsin and in "The Greatest Player Ever" you put Pelé instead of Maradona.

    1. Thanks, I also edit Klose replace Ronaldo in all-time top scorer. I see Lev Yashin had a difficult time in World Cup especially 1962 tournament where he made a big mistake.

  2. Anonymous9/18/2014

    Oh, I forgot Klose´s record, my fault. And yes, Yashin didn´t have a good World Cup in 1962.

  3. Anonymous10/06/2014

    In annual bvest players in The Greatest Footballer's International Tournament of All-Time
    you rate pele's 1958 world cup as 3tr best of all time, but here he is behind didi, kopa and fontaine. Why is that?

    1. The Annual Player List was not updated. Now Pele 1958 is not included in top ten in the list.

    2. Anonymous4/20/2016

      Pele 58 should be added back to it's place. See my last comment.

  4. Dear, Readers

    Top ten best World Cup players have been reformed base on systematic implementation. The classification of performance will be available in the Competition Level-Based Greatest Ever in part of national team.

  5. Anonymous11/20/2014

    Ronaldo R9 ?????????????

    TOP 5 ROnaldo Nazario ......

  6. Anonymous12/23/2014

    Where is Ronaldo?

    1. OK, I forgot to name him in top ten best world cup players, now have revised.

  7. Anonymous7/25/2015

    IMO, Ronaldo was better and more influential than Rivaldo in 2002.
    Buffon was way better than Pirlo in 2006 tournament. Buffon's 200 tournament performance can be only challenged by Schmeichel's 1992 EC performance among top performances by a GK in a NT tournament. He should have been on the GKs list as well.
    Müller and Rodriguez were certainly better than Messi in 2014. Let's not get carried away with reputation.
    Also, I highly doubt Suker was better than both, Thuram and Zidane.

    1. Pirlo was named as Man of the match 3 times includes semi-final and final match. Buffon is named only one time in quarter-final round.

      Messi is definitely more influential to his team than Muller and Rodriguez. He score a few goals in deeper round but he is a heart of soul of Argentina to reach final match.

      I positive Suker is better than Zidane but now not for Thuram. I'll revise them.

    2. MoM awards don't mean a thing when it comes to defending roles. Kahn never got chosen as man of match in 2002 WC but he was selected the best player in the tournament. And certainly he was one of top 3 players.

      Messi was nowhere near of being influential in qf and after.

    3. Anonymous4/19/2016

      I too agree Buffon was better than Pirlo in 2006. OPTA also gave players grades according to their performance and Buffon scored a total of 28 , above Pirlo with 26 , not to mention that he outclassed him in the more important stages having better grades in all KO matches.

      Regarding Messi 2014 , he can't be ranked more than 4th best either way you look at it. Just because he got to higher stages doesn't mean he has to be ranked better than players who per formed much better than him till then. James Rodriguez was named best player of the group stages(rightfully so) and then made a legendary performance in the QF(best in the tournament by my taste) were he scored the best goal. And Muller was the best player of the tournament for me , even above Robben.

    4. I’d say Messi is disappointed because his performance was much deviated from his true potential. Although he was failure in term productivity from the quarter-final round, he was a key player who linked Argentina’s coordinating flow. Muller was better in effectiveness of scoring but he was slow and was much more dependent of assistance by his teammates. The logic you give about Jamie Rodriguez is not applicable. He was superb in every games until QF but missed the most important games in SF and final must not be enough for one of the best players of the tournament.

    5. Anonymous6/08/2016

      Where can these OPTA grades be found?


    7. Anonymous6/09/2016

      Yes, I knew about that spreadsheet, but the way I understood it he was talking about overall performance grades that can't be found there.

    8. The list has not been applied the Opta stats. The raw stats must be analyzed against level of opponent. I would list this issue as a plan for development in the future.

    9. Anonymous6/09/2016

      I mean does OPTA have somewhere their overall ratings for world cup performances?

    10. Anonymous11/17/2022

      You didn't mention Eusebio golden ball winner in 1966 he is the one pushing Portugal all the way to third place finish

  8. Anonymous4/19/2016

    Why is Pele not no.1 in 58 , because Feola didn't pick him in the first 2 games? That is arguably the most decisive football tournament performance of all time. I'll quote a knowladgeble football poster named RoyRace "Is it the 17 year old who was the best player and most decisive player in 1958?" , "Going back to his first incarnation: IMO people tend to downplay what Pele achieved in 1958. You can talk about Maradona being decisive in 1986 (and he was, brilliantly so), but does anyone believe Brasil could have won in 1958 without 17 year old Pele? He was fantastic, and if you ever watch the full semi-final game against France you'll see that the boy - at 17! - demonstrates such skill and such a profound understanding of football that he's already at that stage greater than all but a handful of players ever."

    In all of the matches he played he contributed directly to at least 1 goal.
    In his debut match against the URSS , he established the record as the youngest player ever to play a WC and from the very beggining of the match , he was an integral part of what is often referred to as "the best three minutes of football of all time". He eventually assisted Vava for the 2nd goal.
    Next match , comes THE MOST decisive goal of the tournament. Without Pele's goal(a superb one aswell) , Brazil would have not won the WC.
    Next match , in the semis against France , Pele put up what is one of the best performances of a player as RoyRace also stated humiliating France with his hattrick. If you ever watched the match , you can also see Pele's great creativity.

    And in the Final , aswell Pele is man of the match with 2 goals and also an assist. Not to mention that one of the goal was considered as the greatest goal ever scored at that moment. All in all it was a godlike performance from Pele , deserving of nothing less than the MVP award.

    1. It is always a hard decision to exclude Pele in top three. It is unclear for me if he is really below Fontaine but not ever doubt how he was overshadowed by Didi and Kopa. You’re not wrong at all to describe Pele’s fantastic scoring scene in the tournament but he just started to be superb in 3 games of knock out round, some disadvantage of playing amount must be issued. Let see how Didi and Raymond Kopa influenced to his team. Didi was a true indispensable of the team, establishing a dominant ball possession with technical elegance and creating so many assists. Kopa made the most assists record in a world cup single tournament (more goals and assists than Didi but inferior in playmaking ability). I’m not much impressed on how Fontaine scored a prolific number. Many of them were not spectacular but his positional sense and compatibility with the team’s strategy is still largely appreciated and he even scored more goals than twice times of Pele. If count only performance based on the games played, I’d choose Pele but the whole tournament is likely to belonged to Fontaine.

  9. Anonymous4/24/2016

    I understand your point but I've seen you pick prime over consitency and vice versa many times and I felt this is one of the times were a couple of matches couldn't overturn what Pele managed to achieve at the 1958 tournament. As I see above in comments , once you ever rated it in top 3 best tournaments ever of a player(more plausible) , but now odly it is not even in top 3 of it's tournament.

    If taken match by match vs his compatriot Didi , in the 1th match against the eventual last positioned team , Brazil trashed and Didi contributed with 1 assist. Next match Brazil proved unable to find the creativity or bite to take a lead and made the 1th goalless draw in World Cup finals history. It was already clear that they needed their real gem in order to fulfill their potential. From the 1th match , Pele already made his presence felt and offered memorable moments to fans , also having equal impact to the game with Didi , both having assisted one of Vava's goals. Next match come , THE MOST decisive moment of the tournament for the eventual champions , as this match would have been a carboncopy of the England match(due to fantastic performances from both Gregg and McDonald) , but Pele added a brilliant goal(assisted by Didi but it was more of a pre-assited goal since he dribbled his marker with a unortodox move) wich in retrospective is the grand hit in all the tournament as the most decisive goal. In semi-finals both Pele and Didi were great with 3 goals and 1goal+2ass , but Pele having the clear edge with his legendary match. The Final(biggest game of the tourney) speaks for itself. Didi also manged an assist to Zagallo , but Pele scored 2 goal and also provided an assists and again put a mark on the entire football history with his performance. Didi being rated above Pele is like rating Xavi above Messi in 2010 , it is nice to give recognition to the engine of the team , but it is clear who was the better overall player.

    1. Didi is much more completed than Xavi. He was a Xavi with additional greater scoring ability, stronger and even superior in defensive quality while I see a narrower gap between Pele and Messi. In what you said is entirely a performance of productivity in which Pele is basically expected the more number. In the performance during the game, Didi was more influential when he created so many chance to Brazilian's front line. Pele scored many wonderful goals most notable against Wales and Sweden but I see the defenders against him is too abrupt in ball interception. Honesty, I expect Pele to have the more successful one-man-show scenes as the quality of defenders in that world cup is relatively low. Anyway, I think it is now fair to rate Pele higher than Fontaine. His performance in final should compensate the disappearance of two matches in the group round in comparison to Fontaine. Revised.

  10. Anonymous6/08/2016

    How is Banks in all time XI but Zoff is best keeper ever in world cups?

  11. Anonymous7/25/2016

    Pele is the best player of the 1958 World Cup. That retroactive award that was listed on wiki a few years back is probably just a respect award for Didi since Pele pretty much stole the show in the years to come.

    Here is a contemporary opinion on that WC performers from Kicker Magazine:
    -----------11-Lennart SKOGLUND-----9-VAVÁ-----7-Helmut RAHN

    ------------------------------10-PELÈ ----8-Just FONTAINE

    ---------------------6-Horst SZYMANIAK---4-Yuri VOINOV

    ----------3-Erich JUSKOWIAK----5-Bengt GUSTAVSSON----2-Djalma SANTOS

    ------------------------------------1-Harry GREGG

    Kopa and Didi not even in the first XI , and Kopa wasn't even in the reserve team. Everybody remembers Pele as the World's best player back then.

  12. Anonymous1/24/2018

    How come Neuer is not in the top 5 players of 2014? He was at least a top three player of the tournament and probably the best. He was the most important player in world cup winning team. Just because he's a goalkeeper doesn't mean he couldn't be the best player. Kahn is third in 2002 and Neuer in 2014 was better than Kahn in 2002. In 2014 there wasn't as good individual as in 2002 Ronaldo and Rivaldo, exept Neuer.

    1. Surely I omitted him unintentionally. Let me add him.

  13. Thank You for Sharing Information!!

    Here you will find all teams in russia world cup 2018 teams

  14. Anonymous7/20/2018

    I don't understand why Rivaldo is not on the team of the tournament for 2002 if he was the best player? also Stoichkov is on the 1994 team twice.

    1. Oh, that is really my mistake. Thanks for your notice.

  15. Harry Kane so high for 2018? He won the Golden Boot but 3 were penalties and 1 was a fluke (against Panama).

    1. I revised the 5th place from Harry Kane to Pogba in my database for a week but I forgot to update here. Thanks you.

    2. Also, sorry to be bothersome but isn't it rather questionable to put Jeremies in the Team of the Year for 2002? He only started two games (R16 and Final) and started in the final only because Ballack was suspended.

    3. OK I agree that Jeremies is not good enough.

    4. Who should take his place then? I admit I haven't watched the tournament since I was very young. But the official Team of the Tournament had Claudio Reyna and Yoo Sang-chul in their 16 man squad. And wasn't Kleberson known for having a great tournament.

    5. It is difficult. Yoo sang chul played well but surely not world-class player. Actually Ballack could be set as DM but no great AM to replace also. Finally I would select Kleberson who I remember to perform impressively.

  16. Anonymous7/27/2018

    Agree with that point the team of the tournament had 9 midfielders and even then he was not on it. (I know that they would have made some mistakes but still it seems strange they would have it that far wrong).

  17. Thank you, I learnt something new; I am sure again I shall read out with eagerness all these things very succinctly in my leisure hours. For me, these things are informative. Thank you, once again.

  18. Anonymous11/02/2022

    Lilian Thuram has to be in the starting XI. His prime in the 1998 World Cup is way higher than Djalma Santos's prime. Also Thuram was in 3 World Cups and played 16 games, 1 World Cup less but 4 more games than Djalma Santos. And Gianluigi Buffon has to be in this team, he can even be in the starting XI, his 2006 World Cup was amazing and he was in 5 World Cups and played 14 games.

  19. Anonymous12/16/2022

    do you think Messi can enter top 5 greatest after this WC?

  20. Anonymous12/17/2022

    Could you do the same for Euro and Copa America ?

    1. Anonymous12/28/2022

      I have been thinking to the same

  21. Anonymous12/19/2022

    Update after wc 2022 ?

  22. Anonymous12/21/2022

    Martinez - T.Hernandez Gvardiol Otamendi? Hakimi - Amrabat - Griezmann Modric - Messi - M'Bappe J.Alvarez for WC 2022 ?

    1. Anonymous12/28/2022

      I think that's pretty much the consensus about the World Cup 2022 All Stars.

  23. Anonymous12/28/2022

    Actually, Messi has won 2 World Cup Golden Balls, in the World Cup 2014 and in the World Cup 2022.

    1. Anonymous12/29/2022

      True, but Naratorn is using his own evaluation system. If a lot of people have been underrating Messi's WC 2014 (like often with Messi but maybe a little less after WC 2022), electing him player of the tournament may have been too much. Naratorn is trying to find the right balance.

  24. This is really great information. I have visited so many blogs however, I found the most relevant info here. I have subscribed to your blog, keep continue posting information here.

  25. Anonymous1/04/2023

    Would you update the team for WC 2022 ?

  26. Anonymous1/17/2023

    I was expecting Enzo Fernandez in place of Bellingham for WC 2022

  27. Anonymous1/22/2023

    For me the greatest WC team played the Cruyff/Guardiola's way (The only way to play with so many attacking players ) :
    --------------------------- Neuer
    -----Cafu-------------------------------- R.Carlos
    -------------------- Pelé

  28. Anonymous1/23/2023

    You put B. Fernandes (from Portugal) as the fifth best player of the 2022 World Cup. Is that correct or or did you confuse it with E. Fernandez (from Argentina)? Because you put E. Fernandez in the best XI of the 2022 World Cup.

  29. Anonymous5/19/2023

    Messi is better than Maradona. Messi is the best dribbler, best playmaker, most chances creating player,most passes.

  30. Anonymous8/17/2023

    I think you can already add to that list Kylian Mbappe. He won 1 WC and Golden Boot and last year almost single-handedly in final won it for France 2nd time in his short career.