Legends of the World Cup - My All Time Best 11 Team

in #football7 years ago


It was 1986, the year of the Mexico World Cup when I began to be intrigued by football.

That year Argentina ran out winners, who could forget the incredible goal scored by Diego Maradona in the quarter final against England when he burst forward from the half way line, dribbled past 5 players before sliding the ball effortlessly into the net.

Since then I've watched World Cups come and go with excitement and disappointment, and I've often wondered, if I could pick players from any team over the last 30 years, what would my BEST starting 11 be?


It was difficult to choose my favorites and leave some incredible substitutes on the bench, but my line up is featured in the tactics board above.

As the cliché goes "Attack is the best form of defence", so I chose a team bursting with pace and skill, able to prise open the most stubborn defence in the world and yet demonstrating a steel and resilience to lock out the opposition.

Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel

With great reflexes, positional sense and shot stopping ability, this Danish player is widely considered by his peers to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time. He was also a fantastic penalty saver and intimidating in one on one situations, often causing the striker to shoot wide when clean through on goal. He kept so many clean sheets throughout his Manchester United career that he would be one of the first names on my team sheet.

Defender - Franco Baresi

A stylish Italian player, who represented one club, AC Milan for his entire career. A cool head, effective distribution and great tackling make World Cup winner Baresi a gold standard member of this team

Defender - Stuart Pearce

Every team needs a fighter, a player who when the team is 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, grits their teeth and drives the team forward when all hope is lost. Pearce was one of those players, and though he lacked the illustrious titles of many others in this lineup, his crunching tackles, determination and courage secures his place.

Right Wing Back - Cafu

A winner of the World Cup twice in 1994 and 2002, Cafu made 142 international appearances, a record for his country which considering the talent in Brazil, says it all. With exceptional stamina, he could sprint up and down the right wing all day, sending in accurate crosses to the strikers, and running quickly back to frustrate the opposition and snuff out any attack.

Left Wing Back - Roberto Carlos

Just like his compatriot Cafu, Roberto Carlos had an incredible engine and was an effective attacking wing back. He also offered a powerful free kick threat and was able to bend the ball around a defensive wall from vast distance and impossible angles as he proved for both Real Madrid and Brazil.

Defensive Midfielder - Ronald Koeman

Dutch legend Koeman scored 239 goals throughout his career, this is an amazing feat for a defender and still stands as the current world record. He was also a great passer of the ball and penalty taker, offering a potent goal threat from defence. In this team he would sit just in front of the defence, cutting out potential threats to the back line and spraying passes to the wing backs and forward players. Then ambling forward to take deadly free kicks and lethal penalties.

Midfielder - Lothar Matthäus

Later in his career Matthäus operated as a sweeper for Germany, but in his prime at the 1990 World Cup in Italy he was a dynamic box to box midfielder. Bursting into the penalty area from deep positions, and driving in shots from outside the box. He appeared at five different World Cups

Attacking Midfielder - Michael Laudrup

Laudrup was a master of the "Blind pass", and was a virtuoso attacking midfielder. He would be given a free role in this team. His dribbling ability means he could operate on either flank supplying accurate crosses, and through balls to the forwards. As a striker scoring goals would be as easy as shelling peas with an elegant playmaker like Laudrup in the team.

Forward - Cristiano Ronaldo

With an outstanding goal record for both club and country, Ronaldo would operate on the right side of the attacking trio just behind the striker, his quick feet, dazzling skills and aerial ability guaranteeing a galaxy of goals and boat load of assists.

Forward - Diego Maradona

In this team Diego would operate just to the left of the main striker, at his peak it was almost impossible to get the ball off Maradona. In this team both he and Cristiano Ronaldo would be given as much freedom as possible to express their creativity.

Striker - Gary Lineker

Winner of the "Golden Boot" as top scorer in Mexico 86, at his peak Lineker had electric pace and was a goal poacher supreme. In this lineup Lineker would operate at the apex of the Laudrup, Maradona, Ronaldo forward line, ready to time his runs to perfection and pounce on the passes from his talented teammates.

Well of course this is just my opinion, but that's my favorite hypothetical 11, chosen from players appearing at World Cups over the last 30 years.

Tactically they would line-up in an adventurous 2-3-2-3 formation, to take advantage of the creativity, pace and dribbling ability of the forwards.

What is your favorite all time 11? Are there any players you would remove from this team or feel would be a better choice?

I look forward to reading your comments and appreciate your upvotes and resteems.


Good choice!
But I would love to see them play against:
Buffon, Thiago Silva, Maldini, Ramos, Iniesta, Nedved, Rivaldo, Zidane, Ronaldo (Bras), van Basten and Ibrahimovic.

I think that would be a game people would pay to see.

What formation would your team line up as? Would you have Ronaldo, Van Basten and Ibrahimovic in the box, or two behind and one central striker, or another forward formation?

There are definitely goals in your dream team!

Ronaldo central striker. The best finisher of those 3. Van Basten and Ibra finishers also but technical better.

Van Basten was one of my favorite players, his career was cut short by injury. Great player for AC Milan alongside Gullit. I thought about choosing him for my 11, but I went for pace more than technique.

I'd have to sit down for a long time to work out my top 11 but think yours is not too far away from what I'd pick. A couple I'd pick def have to be Zidane and Johan Cruyff.

Cruyff and Zidane, two world class players.

In my team you could probably substitute Laudrup for Zidane, and Cruyff could operate anywhere in the front 3 I chose.

Trophy wise Lineker looks the weakest of my front 3, but he scored goals when the offside rule was much stricter, plus on his day in 86 and 87 his pace was incredible. A ball over the top and he was onto it like a ferret up a drainpipe.

He scored 4 against Spain in 87 who had a tough defence at the time.

Cruyff was already retired 30 years ago .... that's why I didn't mention him

I just checked, you're correct he retired in 1984.

What a player he was though in the "total football" Dutch team of the 70s, and was still a formidable player in his mid 30s.

He sure was yeah. Sadly he died a year ago now.

I am not a football fan but thanks for sharing :) upvoted you :)

Thanks for taking the time to read a subject that has little interest to you :)

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