I’m breaking my resolution to avoid posts on football during World Cup month: I’ll excuse myself by pointing out there are still 4 days to go…>One of the most futile, frustrating and yet inexhaustibly enjoyable pursuits open to the football lover is the selection of ‘all time greatest’ teams. In football there can be no right or wrong, only opinion, and it is impossible to select such teams given the changes that the game has undergone. Modern players are fitter, the ball is lighter, pitches better, they don’t have to put up with the rough treatment that wash dished out in the past. Modern defensive play is better organised and I believe the general level of individual skill is greater than ever.
I’m not going to commit myself to naming my all time 11 yet, but let’s look at some others.
In 1994 FIFA selected this team, which lined up in a 4-3-3 formation:
Lev Yashin- Soviet Union (1954-1970)
Djalma Santos- Brazil (1952–1968)**
Franz Beckenbauer- West Germany (1965–1977)*
Bobby Moore- England(1962–1973)*
Paul Breitner – West Germany (1971–1982)*
Johann Cruyff- The Netherlands (1966–1978)
Michel Platini – France (1976–1987)
Bobby Charlton – England (1958–1970)*
Mané Garrincha- Brazil (1955-1966)**
Ferenc Puskas – Hungary & Spain (1945–1956/1962)
Pelé- Brazil- (1957–1971)***
At the FIFA World Cup in France 1998 Mastercard got 250 journalists to select their Team of the Century.Again the formation was 4-3-3:
Carlos Alberto Torres- Brazil (1964-1977) *
Nilton Santos- Brazil (1949-1963) **
Alfredo di Stefano – Argentina, Columbia, Spain (1947–1949/1949–1954/1954–1962)
Diego Maradona- Argentina (1977–1994)*
In the build up to the 2002 World Cup FIFAworldcup.com selected the following on the basis of online voting by fans:
Paolo Maldini – Italy (1988–2002)
Roberto Carlos – Brazil (1992–2006) *
Roberto Baggio – Italy (1988–2004)
Zinadine Zidane – France (1994–2006)*
Romario – Brazil (1987–2005)*
Unlike the previous selections, which were quite logical and balanced, this is a crazy set up that would never work in reality. 3-4-3
3 at the back- Maldini on the right? Roberto Carlos was strong going forward but couldn’t defend, Beckenbauer buried in the middle of a 3 man defence?
4 number 10’s in midfield-
11 great players, but not really a team.
Anyway- Joao Kartoshka will reveal his all time 11 in the near future…