The 10 greatest World Cup teams of all time
BRAZIL, 1970: Played six and won six, thanks to Pele, Jairzinho, Rivelinho, Tostao, Gerson, Carlos Alberto and all the rest. The final victory over Italy was a soccer master class. Head and shoulders above all others.
HUNGARY, 1954: The “Magnificent Magyars” sported the likes of Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Koksis, Nandor Hidegkuti, Zoltan Czibor and Jozsef Bozsik, every one of them of true world-class. Beaten only once in six years.
NETHERLANDS, 1974: For the incomparable Johan Cruyff, with a creative cast that included Johan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Rob Rensenbrink, Wim van Hanegam and Ruud Krol, “Total Football” added up to total enjoyment, until the final.
WEST GERMANY, 1974: Dutch flair met German resolve in the title match in Munich, and with such standouts as Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller, it was small wonder that the home team won.
ITALY, 1982: With Dino Zoff in the nets and Paolo Rossi up front, the Azzurri started off slowly but later overcame the likes of Argentina, Brazil and West Germany en route to winning the Cup.
BRAZIL, 1958: Pele, only 17, scored six goals, but Garrincha, Vava, Didi, Zagallo and Zito were equally or more influential. It is still the only South American team to win the World Cup on European soil.
FRANCE, 1986: Unlike the Zinedine Zidane-led team of 1998, the ’86 French team failed to win it all, but in Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana and Luis Fernandez it had one of the greatest midfields ever.
BRAZIL, 2002: The Selecao outscored their opponents 18-4 and, as in 1970, won six of six behind the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo and Cafu. That made it five Cups in all.
URUGUAY, 1930: Jose Nasazzi led Uruguay to Olympic gold in 1924 and 1928 and then, along with Pedro Cea, Hector Scarone and Jose Andrade, won the inaugural World Cup with a come-from-behind final win over rival Argentina.
ENGLAND, 1966: It is fashionable to deride England’s subsequent history, but who would deny Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore their place, the controversial third goal in the final against West Germany notwithstanding?