World Football: The 100 Greatest World Cup Players of All Time

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World Football: The 100 Greatest World Cup Players of All Time
Daniel Sastre Huertas/Getty Images

There can be no logical argument against the World Cup as the greatest competition in all of sport, and through the years there have been legions of great players to grace the world’s biggest stage.

From the American who scored the first hat trick in World Cup history, Bert Patenaude, all the way to the best players the world has ever seen like Pele and Maradona, so many luminaries in the pantheon of world football have cast their glow on the World Cup that any attempt to collect the 100 greatest of all time seems infinitely daunting and almost foolhardy in nature.

Nonetheless, that is precisely the thing I shall endeavor to accomplish with the following collection of slides.

I think all will agree that ranking that many players from that many different eras would essentially be meaningless at face value, simply because I am 31 and obviously didn’t see many of these men play at all. I can’t compare Lato to Eusebio. Not in any meaningful kind of way, at least. 

So I won’t try. 

I’ll rank the top 20 performers, the way I see them, and then just list the rest of the hallowed hundo in a loose, merit-based order.

Hey, if you don’t like it, just write a better list. That’s all. That’s the beauty of the whole thing.

So without any further mindless hemming and hawing, here is my list of the 100 greatest players in World Cup history.

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