World Team of the 20th Century

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The World Team of the 20th Century was chosen in 1998 to comprise, the best association football players of the 20th century CE. The team is comprised as an eleven-member side, with one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards.

The team was announced on 10 June 1998, in conjunction with the opening ceremonies of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. The team was selected in plurality voting undertaken by a panel of 250 international football journalists from amongst the members of eleven-member sides styled as the South American and European Teams of the 20th Century, selected previously by the same panel to be composed of players respectively to have represented principally member nations of the CONMEBOL and UEFA continental confederations.

Similarly constituted teams for players from the nations of CONCACAF, the Confederation of African Football, and collectively the Asian and Oceania Football Confederations were chosen by separate, smaller juries of journalists situated respectively in North and Central America, Africa, and Asia and Oceania, and announced alongside the European and South American teams, but players selected to the former sides were not considered for selection to the world team.


Position Player National side(s)
represented by year
Professional club(s)
represented by year
Rank on the
World Soccer magazine
enumeration of the top
players of the 20th century
Continental, FIFA World Cup,
World Soccer, and FIFA awards
Goalkeeper Lev Yashin Soviet Union Soviet Union
(1954–1970)
FC Dynamo Moscow (1949–1971) 11 European Footballer of the Year (1963), UEFA Jubilee Award (Russia)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1958)
[2]
Defender (fullback) Carlos Alberto Torres Brazil Brazil
(1964–1977)
Fluminense (1963–1966, 1974–1977)
Santos FC (1966–1974)
Flamengo (1977)
Botafogo (1971)
New York Cosmos (1977–1980, 1982)
California Surf (1981)
Unranked FIFA 100
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1970)
Defender (centre-back) Franz Beckenbauer Germany West Germany
(1965–1977)
Bayern Munich (1965–1977)
New York Cosmos (1977–1980, 1983)
Hamburger SV (1980–1982)
4 European Footballer of the Year (1972, 1976)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1966, 1970, 1974)
FIFA 100
Defender (centre-back) Bobby Moore England England
(1962–1973)
West Ham United (1958–1974)
Fulham (1974–1977)
San Antonio Thunder (1977)
Seattle Sounders (1978)
14 UEFA Jubilee Award (England)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1966)
[2]
Defender (fullback) Nílton Santos Brazil Brazil
(1949–1963)
Botafogo (1949–1965) Unranked World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1958)
FIFA 100
Midfielder Johan Cruyff Netherlands Netherlands
(1966–1978)
Ajax Amsterdam (1964–1973, 1981–1983)
FC Barcelona (1973–1978)
Los Angeles Aztecs (1979)
Washington Diplomats (1980–1981)
Levante UD (1981)
Feyenoord (1983–1984)
3 European Footballer of the Year (1971, 1973, 1974), UEFA Jubilee Award (Netherlands)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1974)
FIFA 100
Midfielder Alfredo Di Stéfano Argentina Argentina
(1947)
Spain Spain (1957–1961)
River Plate (1943–1945, 1947–1949)
Huracán (1946–1947)
Millonarios (1949–1953)
Real Madrid (1953–1964)
RCD Espanyol (1964–1966)
6 European Footballer of the Year (1957, 1959), UEFA Jubilee Award (Spain)
FIFA 100,
Midfielder Michel Platini France France
(1976–1987)
AS Nancy (1972–1979)
AS Saint-Étienne (1979–1982)
Juventus (1982–1987)
5 European Footballer of the Year (1983, 1984, 1985), Onze d'Or (1983, 1984, 1985)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1982, 1986)
World Soccer Player of the Year (1984, 1985)
FIFA 100
Forward Garrincha Brazil Brazil
(1955–1966)
Botafogo (1953–1965)
Corinthians (1966)
Atlético Junior (1968)
Flamengo (1968–1969)
Olaria (1972)
20 World Cup Golden Shoe Award (1962), World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1958, 1962)
[2]
Forward Diego Maradona Argentina Argentina
(1977–1994)
Argentinos Juniors (1976–1981)
Boca Juniors (1981–1982, 1995–1997)
FC Barcelona (1982–1984)
SSC Napoli (1984–1991)
Sevilla FC (1992–1993)
Newell's Old Boys (1993)
2 Onze d'Or (1986, 1987), South American Footballer of the Year (1979, 1980)
World Cup Golden Ball Award (1986), World Cup Bronze Ball Award (1990), World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1986, 1990)
World Soccer Player of the Year (1986)
FIFA 100
Forward Pelé Brazil Brazil
(1956–1971)
Santos FC (1956–1974)
New York Cosmos (1975–1977)
1 South American Footballer of the Year (1973)
World Cup All-Star Team[1] (1958, 1970)
FIFA 100

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The constitution of the all-star team for each FIFA World Cup contested prior to 1998 was determined by a panel of journalists concomitant to the selection of the all-star team for the latter year's World Cup; all-star teams were selected contemporaneously only in 1998 and thereafter.
  2. ^ a b c To be considered for selection to the FIFA 100, a player must have been living upon the team's selection in February 2004 and announcement on 4 March 2004; Lev Yashin, Bobby Moore, and Garrincha, consequently, were ineligible for selection.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]