FIFA World Cup Heroes

FIFA World Cup Heroes – there have been so many outstanding performances in world cups that it is tough to choose which players deserve to be included in a top five list. Individual world cup performances that stand out from the crowd have occurred at crucial times for their teams. Here is our list of the top performances by football masters and the FIFA World Cup Heroes.

Cristiano Ronaldo

“The Phenomenon” revolutionized the position of striker for Brazil, appearing in 98 games and scoring 62 goals. At the age of 17, he captured the World Cup medal in 1994. Four years later, he was voted Player of the Tournament after guiding Brazil to the final, only to collapse hours before the game. He scored twice in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Heroes final, adding to his six earlier in the campaign, and lifted the title once again.

Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal in his fourth World Cup participation but it was the manner he did it that blew the world away: speed, control, vision, absolute ball mastery, explosive runs, juggling the ball past defenders with acrobatic flips and tricks, and the goals.

FIFA World Cup Heroes

Franz Beckenbauer

No list of FIFA World Cup Heroes would be complete without Franz Beckenbauer, one of only three individuals (together with Didier Deschamps and Mario Zagallo) to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager. Beckenhauer, although playing as a defender, scored 14 goals in 103 games for West Germany, captaining the 1974 winning team. He avenged his 1966 World Cup final defeat to England four years later, scoring a thunderous goal to knock the English out and take West Germany to the semi-finals.

But three World Cup appearances weren’t enough for him, and as Germany moved towards reunification and a new era, Beckenbauer led the national team to World Cup victory in 1990. Subsequently in his career, he was instrumental in Germany’s successful quest to host the 2006 World Cup, a campaign that was later probed by FIFA for possible corruption.

FIFA World Cup Heroes

Cruyff, Johan

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner, one of the most prominent individuals in Total Football’s sports philosophy, introduced a new level of intricacy to the game. Football was more than simply an athletic activity for Cruyff at the FIFA World Cup Heroes, it was a synthesis of mind, body, and artistry – an exercise in simplicity and beauty. He directed his side like an orchestra conductor, a creative playmaker with a unique awareness of the geometry of players’ pitch placements. He never lost a game in which he scored for the Netherlands. And he scored a lot of goals: 33 in 48 international games.

Cruyff led the Netherlands to the 1974 World Cup final, scoring twice against Argentina and defeating then-champions Brazil. Only Franz Beckenbauer’s defensive heroics foiled Cruyff’s goal-scoring attempts and prevented the Dutchman from claiming the cup.

Cruyff did not compete in the 1978 tournament because an abduction attempt caused him to reconsider his objectives on the world stage of football. But he left a revolutionary legacy, not just at Ajax and Barcelona, where he played and coached, but also for the Dutch national team and the game’s future. Total Football, “tiki-taka,” and the Cruyff turn all attest to his understanding of how football should be played.

FIFA World Cup Heroes

Diego Maradona

The drug-addled “Golden Boy” is largely considered as one of the greatest football players of all time. His 60-metre dribble past five England players in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final resulted in the “goal of the century,” yet his brilliance came after the sport’s most famous unpenalised handball at the FIFA World Cup Heroes– the goal known as “the hand of God.”

That game exemplified Maradona’s two sides: his raw, tremendous brilliance, mingled with an utter contempt for regulations, the arrogant arrogance of a genius bred in the slums, the notion that one’s intrinsic ability places one apart from – and above – the simple mortals around you.

Argentina went on to win the World Cup in 1986, ten years after Maradona made his debut for the national team at the age of sixteen. He had 91 caps and 34 goals for his nation, but no one knows how much more fame he may have had if not for his arrest for cocaine possession in 1991, when his off-field life began to collapse. He competed in four World Cup tournaments but was disqualified from the 1994 competition after testing positive for ephedrine, a prohibited drug.

After his playing days were finished, he supported several left-wing causes, including opposing the Iraq war, fighting with the Pope over income distribution, and denouncing Israel’s assault of Gaza. Maradona had Che Guevara and Fidel Castro tattoos and was Hugo Chavez’s honorary guest during the 2007 Copa America.

After his death from cardiac arrest at the age of 60, Maradona’s casket lay in state at the presidential palace, wrapped in the national flag and adorned with football jerseys, while tens of thousands of mourners paid their condolences.

FIFA World Cup Heroes


Is there a more successful football hero than Pele from Brazil on the FIFA World Cup Heroes?

Could anybody have predicted the monster he would become when he scored his first World Cup goal in 1958, the consequence of a scuffed mishit that ruined Wales’ World Cup ambitions for the next seven decades?

Pele could do magical feats with each foot, inspiring generations. Off the field, he was a national hero for his outspoken advocacy for improving the lives of the underprivileged as one of the first really worldwide Black sports celebrities.

Pele was the World Cup winner three times: in 1958, 1962, and 1970. With 77 goals in 92 appearances, he is still Brazil’s top scorer. He was so well-known and liked across the globe that in 1969, all sides in Nigeria’s bloody civil war agreed to a cease-fire in order to see Pele play in an exhibition match in Lagos.

He was a prolific goal scorer who could play with vision and flair from any position on the pitch. He was never selfish, collaborating with teammates to provide helpful assistance. His dynamic leadership on and off the field resulted in a legacy praised by personalities ranging from Nelson Mandela to Henry Kissinger.

“There’s Pelé the guy and then there’s Pelé the footballer,” stated France’s Michel Platini. “And playing like Pelé is like playing like God.”

FIFA World Cup Heroes

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