THE BAND OF THE BEST

Pele: More than anyone Pele represents the way football should be played. Dribble, head, shoot, tackle, he could do it all. The outrageous dummy against Uruguay in 1970 still defies belief. Won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970, scoring twice in the final against Sweden in 1958, having already hit a hat-trick in the semi-final. A living football legend.

Maradona: The most naturally talented player in football history. Infamous for cheating with the `Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 and tainted by drug taking in the latter half of his career, but when he was on the ball the world watched in awe. His second goal against England in 1986 remains the greatest World Cup goal.

Johan Cruyff: The perfect `Total Footballer'. Unorthodox, he started matches at centre-forward in his trademark number 14 shirt but could operate anywhere in midfield or attack. Led Ajax to three successive European Cups, was European player of the year three times and scored against Brazil to book Holland's place in the 1974 World Cup final.

Bobby Moore: Only England captain to have lifted the World Cup and Pele rated him as his toughest opponent. Possessed an uncanny ability to read the game and spot potential danger but was also a composed and inspirational leader. Died of cancer in 1993, displaying all the courage and class, which marked him out as a special player.

Franz Beckenbauer: A deep-lying defender but `Kaiser' Franz could pass and shoot as elegantly as any forward. Captained Bayern Munich to three successive European Cups between 1974 and 1976 and West Germany to the 1974 World Cup on home soil. Also coached the Germans to two World Cup finals, in 1990 becoming the first person to win the World Cup as player and coach.

Gerd Muller: Nicknamed `Der Bomber' and simply the greatest goal-scorer in international football. Netted 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, signing off in 1974 with the winning goal in the World Cup final. Scored 14 World Cup goals in all, including 10 to win the Golden Boot in 1970.

Jairzinho: Real name Jair Ventura Filho and the only player to have scored in every round of a World Cup tournament, scoring seven goals in Brazil's triumph in 1970, including the winning goal against England. Known for his dribbling, he was equally adept as a goal-poacher.

Zinedine Zidane: France's midfield genius. Zidane combined brilliant ball control with magical vision. His two headed goals in France's 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final only enhanced his reputation as the complete player.

Lev Yashin: Always dressed in black, the Russian was the only goalkeeper to be voted the European Player of the Year. Brought glamour and panache to the last line of defence and graced three World Cups between 1958 and 1966. On his death in 1990 Russian news agency Tass hailed him as "the most famous Soviet sportsman ever".

Mario Kempes: The striker synonymous with the tickertape World Cup of 1978. Devastating acceleration, especially when surging into the penalty area, plus close control brought him six goals to pick up the Golden Boot. Scored twice in Argentina's 3-1 final triumph against Holland.

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