Beckenbauer or Carlos? Cruyff or Ronaldo? Buffon or Kahn?
Yep, this was going to be fun.
The BBC has put together an interactive list for fans to put together their All-Time World Cup XI.
A list of 220 players was culled to 110 by the broadcasting company’s panel of experts.
From the BBC:
Or as McNulty observed of his XI: “There is an absence of so-called ball winners in my selection because I believe once these players got it the opposition would never get it back.”
Compiling a shortlist of 110 players – comprising 10 goalkeepers, 40 defenders, 40 midfielders and 20 strikers – was in itself no easy task.
It started with the decision that only performances at World Cups would count when deciding on a player’s suitability for inclusion, not their exploits elsewhere in their career.
This, for example, ultimately counted against someone like Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who at 26 has won the Ballon d’Or four times but has yet to really shine at a World Cup.
For the record, here’s how I rolled:
I’ve got Matthaus playing on top of a monster ball-winner in the back (Cannavaro), with Lahm, Beckenbauer, and Carlos provided plenty of danger getting forward (while also taking care of Buffon). Zidane will be commanded to keep his temper in check while supplying Eusebio, Cruyff and Pele with room to do what they do best. And if someone is crazy enough to ignore Rivaldo…