The World Cup is here again and as we gear up towards crowning new champions in Russia, so will new heroes emerge.
Behind all the flicks, tricks and goals, there will also be a place for the best performers at the Mundial as shown in times past.
Presently, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may be the best players in the world, but both do not come near the list of greatest players to have ever played at the World Cup.
READ ALSO: Blatter to defy FIFA ban to attend World Cup
Below are five of the greatest players in the history of the World Cup:
Brazil legend Pele became a hero in football settings due to his impressive performances in the FIFA World Cup. Pele played across four World Cups in the 60s and 70s and totally dominated the tournament.
Pele is widely regarded as one of the most prolific attackers to have ever played the game, having struck his first World Cup goal at the age of 16.
He has also won three World Cup trophies (1958, 1962, and 1970), a record yet to be matched by any other footballer. The ex-Brazil international scored 12 goals from 14 games in the World Cup.
2. Gerd Muller
Germany may have produced a host of talented players in the past, but there has never been one so lethal as Gerd Muller.
The former striker netted an astonishing 68 goals for Germany in 62 games, averaging more than a goal per game.
Muller played an instrumental role as Germany won the 1974 World Cup, contributing 10 goals and winning the Golden Boot in the process. He won the Ballon d’Or and the European Best Player awards before retiring.
Ronaldo (the Brazilian Ronaldo of course) was one of the deadliest strikers ever to play the game of football.
The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid striker also played in four World Cup tournaments, wining the trophy twice (in 1994 and 2002).
Ronaldo scored 14 goals in the World Cup and for so long remained the tournament’s all-time top scorer until that record was eventually broken by Germany’s Miroslav Klose in 2014. Ronaldo also won the World Cup golden boot twice.
4. Miroslav Klose
It is normal that many football fans and pundits do not include Miroslav Klose in their list of all-time World Cup greats. This is mainly because the German striker is mostly judged based on his output at club level.
However, if we were to judge solely on his performances in the World Cup, the Klose should be included in any list of greats in the World Cup.
The ex-Germany international stands as the tournament’s all-time top scorer with 15 goals. Klose was also part of the Germany team that won the World Cup in 2014, having made his debut in the tournament in 2002.
5. Diego Maradona
Any list of World Cup greats that does not contain Diego Maradona must be a fluke. The former Argentina star led his nation by example as they won the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona may not have played for long, but his impact in the Argentina team was unmatched, as he single-handedly pulled the nation to World Cup glory.
Just like Pele, Maradona is regarded by many as the greatest player in the history of football, and his influence at the World Cup was what marked him out.
Fifa 2018 Most Powerful Teams: Football Team Ranking For The Fifa World Cup:
Do you have amazing and critical stories for us to publish? Reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram.