As modern-day stars look to shine at Russia 2018, we’ve taken a look through the history books and picked out our World Cup greatest XI of all time.
Football fans love to debate over the merits of different generations, but these are the World Cup legends who get our vote:
Yashin played in three World Cups for the Soviet Union, helping them to two quarter-finals in 1958 and 1962 and a fourth-placed finish in 1966. He was the first and only goalkeeper to win the European Footballer of the Year award in 1963.
With so many flair players to come later, we wanted to go for a rock-steady right-back and former Germany captain Lahm fits the bill as a consummate professional who can be relied upon to give us pace, technique, stamina and precise tackling.
Maldini played in three World Cups for Italy as both a left-back and centre-back and, although he retired trophyless in 2002 after 126 international appearances, his status as one of the game’s greatest defenders was secured.
Cited by no less than Pele as the greatest defender he has ever played against, loyal West Ham man Moore left his indelible mark on English football history by captaining the nation to victory on home soil in 1966.
The undisputed great of German football, Beckenbauer made over 100 appearances for the national team. He played in three World Cups and found success in his final outing, when Germany beat Holland to win the title in 1974.
Iniesta was a key player in Spain’s 2010 World Cup triumph in South Africa, scoring the winning goal against Holland in the final, and would be a vital cog in any team, helping to control possession in midfield and providing creative assists going forward.
The great Dutch playmaker produced a series of dazzling performances to lead his nation to the 1974 final, where they were narrowly beaten by Germany. Cruyff was also voted European Footballer of the Year three times.
Zidane was the catalyst for France’s victory on home turf in 1998, hitting a double in the final versus Brazil. Was also voted player of the tournament in 2006, despite being sent off against Italy in the decider.
Considered a natural successor to Diego Maradona, the talismanic Argentinian made his World Cup debut in 2006, starred in 2010, and then won the Golden Ball in 2014 when he almost single-handedly guided his country to the final, where they lost to Germany.
Love him or loathe him, few would argue Maradona does not deserve his place in the game’s pantheon. Maradona played four World Cups and hit the heights in 1986, when a pair of wonder goals against England and Belgium propelled Argentina to the title.
Starting with a series of stunning performances as a 17-year-old in 1958, and culminating in the starring role in Brazil’s magnificent winning team in 1970, Pele underlined his status as one of the game’s all-time greats many times over.