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In American Samoa’s entire history as an international football team they had managed only one victory. As Samoa’s coach Lui noted, ‘We don’t know what Australia were trying to prove scoring all those goals.’ In the end, Australia’s massive win didn’t do them any good. Arbroath 36-0 Bon Accord.
36-0 is a cricket score, which is appropriate considering Bon Accord were a cricket team who had been entered into the Scottish Football Cup by mistake. In fact, the victory could have been by a much greater margin had the referee, Dave Storment, not chalked off 7 goals for offside. As Adema 149-0 SOE Antananarivo
If you were under the impression that it would be impossible to score 149 goals in a 90 minute match you would be correct. Despite scoring 73 goals in the qualifiers, they were defeated 3-1 in a playoff against Uruguay, missing out on an a place at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea.
31st October 2002. In a pre-season friendly in 2009, Spanish side Villareal beat third division Navata 27-0. They effectively had to play with a third choice eleven, which had an average age of 18 and included two 15 year olds. The following is a list of the highest winning margins of all time. Unterhaching’s David Zdrilic got 8 goals. Their invitation was meant to go to Orion FC, who wouldn’t have beaten Arbroath (in fact Orion faced Bon Accord’s opponents two years later and lost 18-0) but at least they played the same sport as them. Results like these are horrible for fans of the losing team, but are peversely enjoyable for the neutral. Part of you wants them to stop, while another part wants them to continue to tear them apart. It is not as impossible, however, to score 149 own goals which Malagsy club SOE proved during a match against AS Adema in the TBH Champions League in 2002. The referee had originally counted 37 goals, but Dundee insisted they had only scored 35, an act of honesty they were to regret upon hearing the result of Arbroath’s match.
11th April 2001. Archie Thompson equalled John Petrie’s world record with 13 (he would have broken it but for a disallowed goal). Telegraph, The, April 14, 2001 by Mark Jeffreys
His saves are extraordinary and he is FCB’s undisputed No.1.
COACH: There has been plenty of talk about the former Barcelona coach in recent months, who hasstill not entered talks with the clubover a contract renewal. He has become a constant factor in defence.
GOAL PREDICTION: FCB will face little competition domestically and the fourth Bundesliga title in succession should be a mere formality. And they could very well opt for a three-mandefence against weaker opponents withDavid Alaba and Philipp Lahm, who could both feature in midfield as well, flanking Boateng.
GOALKEEPER: He is a World Cup winner who haslifted the Champions League,Bundesliga titles and DFB Pokals. Thomas Muller could also feature as a striker, but the lack of options in attack remains a risk, especially with Gotze failing to impress as a false No.9 last term.
The commotion surrounding him has had its effect on Guardiola and he has looked nervous and frustrated on occasions. He embodies Bayern’s desire for success with his attitude. I want to continue developing myself as a player and win major trophies.” After missing out on the treble with Juventus last term, the Chilean midfielder is hungry for more. Aggressive.
The Poland internationalcannot afford to get injured as Claudio Pizarro has left the club and has not been replaced. Rode also seems a good candidate to get plent of gametime, while Hojbjerg, Gaudin and Kurt could still leave on loan.
Ruthless fighter Mehdi Benatia seems to be the perfect partner for Boateng at centre-back. Flexible. Whether Bayern’s season is a success all comes down to their results in the Champions League, though. Versatile. And then there are Bernat, Lahm, Alaba and Martinez.
DEFENCE: There can only be one chief in the back line and that’s Jerome Boateng. Bayern have more options with these three players and become even more unpredictable.
Rafinha and Juan Bernat will be ready to grab their chance whenever an opportunity opens up,Holger Badstuber and Javi Martinez are also options for Guardiola,while Dante and Jan Kirchhoff’s situations appear to be grim.
FINANCES:”Don’t spend more than you receive.” Bayern’s top priority is as simple as it gets. Ulreich will be more than ready whenever Pep Guardiola calls on him to rest Neuer.. They employ various formations, changing fluidly with plenty of pace to dominate their opponents. “The time was right to switch clubs. Pep’s style is all about having the ball and Costa, Thiago and Vidal know all about it. Without taking any major risks, Bayern managed to strengthen their squad. Will he still be there come the start of 2016-17? It remains unclear for now!
MIDFIELD:Guardiola has five or six positions to fill in midfield, but has more than enough options. FCB have become very much about coordinated chaos under Pep. I wanted to take a big step in my career. Additionally, they generated a healthy sum as they cashed in on Schweinsteiger.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Arturo Vidal. Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Douglas Costa, Thomas Muller, Arturo Vidal, Thiago, Xabi Alonso, Mario Gotze, Sebastian Rode, Joshua Kimmich, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Sinan Kurt and Gianluca Gaudino can all fill roles there. They can afford to spend big and parted with an estimated 80 million this time around. He has learned to direct his colleagues and to remain stable himself in the process. The European title is what matters most in the end.
Thiago, Vidal and Alonso are likely to play key roles in the three central positions, while Kimmich could also be called upon. But how strong are Bayern really heading into the new campaign? Goal exams their chances of success.
PROBABLE FORMATION:3-2-4-1, 3-1-5-1, 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3 the Spanish tactician has a number of options and will be keen to give his individual stars the chance to shine. After a difficult relationship with the crowd early on, Neuer has developed into one of the Bayern faithful’s most beloved players. The former Stuttgart man would have been a starter at many other clubs, which made his decision to join Bayern all the more surprising. Some Bayern icons even blamed Pep for the departure of Schweinsteiger to Manchester United, while the influx of Spanish-speaking players has been another talking point.
ATTACK:As stiff as the competition for places is in midfield, Guardiola has fewoptionsup front.
Nobody is talking about the departed Bastian Schweinsteiger any longer.
Robert Lewandowsi is the only traditional No.9 and while hismaiden campaign for Bayern was rather promising, he will now have to explode in his second season at the Allianz Arena.
With the reigning Bundesliga champions set to kick off the new season on Friday, Goal takes a look at the state of the Bavarians’ squad and coach
COMMENT By Christoph Kockeis
It’s all about the number four for Bayern this season and nobody at the Sabener Strasse will hold back when asked about the club’s objective for 2015-16. The Bunesliga champions are run like a company and a healthy company needs to act clever to remain competitive. “Bayern can write history this season,” commented sporting director Matthias Sammer. The board of directors, the players, the coach – they all dream about a fourth successive Bundesliga title. Vidal could be the one to make the difference.
Sven Ulrech will be serving as his deputy. Bayern has been following this strategy for years and consequently are among the most healthy clubs around in the game
He is considered one of the best goalkeepers ever to play the game, and once topped a public poll about the same. Maldini played for Milan from 1985 to 2009, and captained them for more than 10 years. His eight years at Manchester United were among the most successful in the club’s history, and his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, described the deal to buy him for 505,000 as ‘the bargain of the century’.
In more than 10 years with Sporting Lisbon (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Peyroteo scored 543 goals in just 334 games! Peyroteo is often a forgotten man in compilations of the best players in history, but his goal-to-game ratio is untouched, even 60 years after he left Sporting.
Born: April 25, 1947
International Career: 1996 – 2006 (102 appearances, 44 goals)
International Career: 1970 – 1990 (125 appearances)
Born: November 16, 1974
Mesut zil: Can the German playmaker unlock the doors to a first World Cup for Germany in 24 years?
The bedrock of every success, the defense is responsible for keeping the opposition out, and feeding their side’s attacking players to initiate their own attacks. Ironically, Laudrup, voted the best Danish player ever, missed the greatest moment in Danish footballing history, when he opted to sit out Denmark’s victorious 1992 Euro campaign.
International Career: 1979 – 1990 (91 appearances)
Zlatan Ibrahimovi: Can the man with the trademarked name engineer an unprecedented rise for Sweden?
Van Basten won the 1988 Euro Championship with the Netherlands, scoring a famous volley in the final, but couldn’t emulate the form on the global stage. He was famous for his calm, intelligent defending, and ability to quickly initiate counterattacks for his attacking players.
Born: June 21, 1955. In the 1991 – 92 season, while playing for Real Madrid, Hierro topped the club’s scoring tally with 21 goals, finishing second in the league goalscorers chart. He had both physical and mental attributes of a defender. He was an essential part of the notorious catenaccio formation that brought Inter Milan much success in the 1960s and ’70s. Like so many great Dutch players, he started his senior career at Ajax, scoring more than 100 goals there, before switching to AC Milan. He is known in Portugal as O Rei (the king), the same nickname as Pel.
April 1, 1927 – November 17, 2006
Steven Gerrard: Can the inspirational captain incite an England victory?
Portugal didn’t qualify for the World Cup in 1962 and 1970. They won Euro 1984, with Platini finishing as the top scorer with 9 goals. Eusbio made his name with Portuguese giants Benfica, and burst onto the international scene in the 1966 World Cup, scoring 9 goals. After joining Real Madrid in 1957, he won 4 European cups and 5 league championships.
International Career: 1966 – 1982 (47 appearances)
Scholes was one of England’s underachieving ‘Golden Generation’. Midfielders dictate the tempo of the game, they help out the defense, they assist the strikers, and get on the scoresheet themselves. Many modern tactics in soccer were implemented for the first time by this Hungarian team. Born in Mozambique, he became one of the best representatives of African football through his exploits for Mozambique’s colonial rulers, Portugal. Originally a wide midfielder, he was converted to the trequartista role by Arsene Wenger, and controlled Arsenal’s attacking play from the crucial position.
Paraguay didn’t qualify for the World Cup in 1990 and 1994. The beaten gladiators in this global arena shouldn’t be forgotten, because, some of the biggest legends of the game have ended their glorious careers without ever having won the World Cup.
Winning the World Cup is just as much a battle of technical and physical prowess as a battle of mental resilience, a battle to adapt to foreign conditions, and the ability to conjure up the marvelous out of nothing. But for every player who succeeds in winning the alluring trophy, countless others bite the dust. To reach the World Cup final, or indeed even qualify for the tournament itself, is no mean feat.
Lionel Messi: Can the diminutive wizard pull off the greatest trick in the trade in 2014?
International Career: 1994 – 2006 (86 appearances)
Phil Neal is among the most decorated British players of all time, along with Ryan Giggs (who holds the top spot in the list), Paul Scholes, and Neal’s old teammate, Alan Hansen. Neeskens’ tactical flexibility — he started out as a right back, before moving into the central midfield role — and stamina were a crucial part of the Dutch tactics of ‘Total Football’.
Born: September 25, 1955
Trsor is regarded as one of the best French defenders of all time. West Germany won the title in 1990, but Rummenigge had retired by then.
Despite the presence of accomplished, decorated players such as Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Danny McGrain, Graeme Souness, and Gordon Strachan, Scotland never made it past the first round of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. They lost in the first round in 1974. During his 14-year stay at the famed club, he became one of the most decorated players in the world. Surprisingly, even though he was a defender by trade, he was Liverpool’s first choice penalty taker, and scored a penalty in Liverpool’s European Cup final win in 1977.
Dennis Bergkamp was an expert in the ‘second striker’ role, and formed a deadly partnership at Arsenal with Thierry Henry. Laudrup is considered the best playmaker in history. He spent his entire career with Manchester United, helping the team to numerous successes on the domestic as well as the continental front. Madrid won the first five editions of the continental trophy, and Gento won it again in 1966. He was known as the ‘Iron Curtain’, due to him being Russian and very difficult to beat in goal.
Edwin van der Sar
Born: October 20, 1970
Despite having arguably the best player in the world at the time, the Northern Ireland soccer team didn’t qualify for the 1966, 1970, and 1974 World Cups.
Scorer of probably the most famous goal in Euro Championship history, Van Basten was one of the most gifted forwards in the 1980s. Schmeichel was a shot-stopper par brilliance, but was especially known for using his 6’3” frame to great success in one-on-one situations against onrushing attackers. Despite possessing a squad filled with legends of the game such as Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville, David Seaman, Sol Campbell, John Terry, and Rio Ferdinand, the English team lost (on penalties) to Argentina in the 1998 round of 16, to eventual champions Brazil in the 2002 quarterfinal, and to Portugal (on penalties, again!) in the 2006 quarterfinal.
Rummenigge holds the unfortunate distinction of being the only player to captain the losing team in a World Cup final twice. In the 1974 World Cup, the Netherlands national team, playing an exhilarating brand of ‘Total Football’, marched into the final, but were beaten 2-1 by West Germany, despite taking the lead before any German player had touched the ball! After Cruyff retired from international football, the Netherlands reached, and lost, another World Cup final in 1978.
Gento is a legend in European football. He also went on to win numerous honors with both the clubs as manager.
Born: March 4, 1951
Chilavert was as famous for his consistent heroics for Paraguay as he was for being one of the highest scoring goalkeepers in the history of the game. These players are either tall and strong, and can play as the ‘target man’, or quick and agile, and can play as the ‘poacher’ or the ‘second striker’. He represented Inter Milan for his entire senior career, spanning 18 seasons.
International Career: 1947 – 1962 (86 appearances)
Despite Grosics being adjudged as the best goalkeeper of the 1954 World Cup, Hungary lost the final against West Germany.
International Career: 1991 – 2007 (64 appearances)
Despite being included in the All-Star team at the 1954 World Cup, where Uruguay lost out in the semifinal against the Mighty Magyars, Santamaria could never replicate his club glory with either Uruguay or Spain.
Born: January 25, 1942
When a player is known as the ‘White Pele’, you know he isn’t going to be a slouch. Dalglish was selected by FourFourTwo magazine as the best post-war British striker, and he also topped a fan poll about the greatest ever Liverpool player.
His international career included highs such as the victory in the 1996 Euro Championship, and lows such as defeat in the 2002 World Cup final. Several former players, including the likes of Pel and Eusbio, have called Stfano ‘the most complete footballer in the history of the game’. Yashin was one of the very first keepers to be able to play as a defensive ‘sweeper’. Along with Francisco Gento and Ferenc Puskas, he was an irreplaceable component of the irrepressible Real Madrid side of the 1950s, and won the first 5 European Cups.
Tragically, Stfano never appeared in a World Cup. In more than 700 appearances, Ral has scored more than 300 goals for Los Merengues. 2010 World Cup-winner Xavi described Scholes as the best midfielder of a generation consisting of legends such as Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Xavi himself. He was named in the ‘FIFA 100′ list of the greatest living players, compiled by Pel.
International Career: Hungary – 1945 – 1956 (85 appearances, 84 goals), Spain – 1961 – 1962 (4 appearances, no goals)
Zico competed in the 1978, 1982, and 1986 World Cups, but they couldn’t advance past the semifinals. Netherlands failed to qualify for the 1986 World Cup, losing in a playoff to neighbors Belgium, and lost in the knockout round in 1990.
Manuel Neuer: Can the Bayern shot-stopper go one step further than his predecessor, Oliver Kahn?
Born: September 18, 1949
In the duration of his career, the Italian team failed to qualify for the 1966 World Cup, but came back strongly to finish runners-up to a brilliant Brazil side in the 1970 final. In addition to the 6 European Cups, Gento also won an astounding 12 Spanish league titles.
July 18, 1942 – September 4, 2006
On the international stage, Hierro played in four World Cups, but the teams lost in the knockout rounds in 1990, 1994 and 2002, and didn’t even progress to the knockout stage in 1998.
In his 13 years as the undisputed first choice goalkeeper of the USSR soccer team, and an outstanding 20-year club career with Dynamo Moscow, Yashin gained many fans, but sadly, couldn’t make it past the semifinals of the World Cup.
Wayne Rooney: Can the maverick striker spearhead England’s campaign for glory?
International Career: 1989 – 2002 (89 appearances)
International Career: 1955 – 1969 (43 appearances)
International Career: 1961 – 1973 (64 appearances, 41 goals)
The FIFA World Cup is a lure for every budding footballer in the world. Despite this, they were knocked out in the semifinals of both the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1966 – 1974 (48 appearances)
Neeskens was an important member of the Netherlands national team in the 1970s, and like many other members of that team, came to prominence at Ajax Amsterdam. He was famed for his dribbling ability, passing, and extraordinary vision. He holds the records for the most appearances for Manchester United, and the most appearances by any player in the English Premier League. Neal played for Liverpool for 12 seasons, and during 10 of them, from 1975 – 76 to 1984 – 85, he only missed one league game! Between 1976 and 1984, where he missed the solitary league game, he played in every game for the club, including league matches, domestic cups, and European matches. In a highly successful career, Koeman played for numerous European sides, including the Barcelona ‘Dream Team’ of the early ’90s.
Clemence is best remembered as being an invaluable part of the dominant Liverpool teams of the ’70s. Four years later, the evergreen Stanley Matthews went to another World Cup, but England fell in the quarterfinals.
International Career: 1971 – 1986 (102 appearances, 30 goals)
Trsor played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, with his team going out in the group stage and semifinals, respectively.
Best was one of the first ‘bad boy’ superstars of soccer. He was known to switch positions during the game, dropping deep (even up to his own penalty area) to collect the ball, and distributing it intelligently. Playing as a striker or an attacking midfielder, Rummenigge made more than 400 appearances for Die Roten.
Country: West Germany
International Career: 1976 – 1986 (95 appearances, 45 goals)
International Career: 1963 – 1977 (94 appearances)
Shilton is a legend in the English game, and holds the record for the most appearances for the national team. In fact, they have never progressed past the first round in their World Cup history.
International Career: 1997 – 2004 (66 appearances)
International Career: 1971 – 1983 (65 appearances)
International Career: 1976 – 1987 (64 appearances)
Born: June 15, 1969
International Career: 1976 – 1988 (72 appearances)
Born: September 15, 1951
May 22, 1946 – November 25, 2005
Despite the presence of the legendary Alfredo Di Stfano, Spain failed to qualify for the 1958 World Cup, and failed to make it past the group stage in 1962 and 1966.
Often the most underrated position of any champion team, great goalkeepers do more than just making saves — they rescue vital points, make last-ditch blocks, and organize their defenses to keep out the opposition. In the 1962 World Cup, now playing for Spain, Puskas had to be content with a group stage exit.
Schmeichel won the Euro 1992 with the Danish soccer team, in a defensive system based around the great goalkeeper’s ability to keep opponents out, but was largely disappointed on the intercontinental stage. The Dutch team advanced to the finals in both 1974 and 1978, having been tournament favorites in both, but were beaten by West Germany and Argentina, respectively.
Rummenigge started out at German giants Bayern Munich, and quickly established himself on the teamsheet. Platini scored 312 goals in 580 club games, including 224 in 432 league matches, a goal-to-game ratio surpassing most strikers. It is the holy grail that every knight in a shining soccer jersey looks forward to lifting. He is also one of the very few players to have played more than 1,000 competitive matches; he is the only one to have played more than 100 games for five clubs. Boosted by the emergence of players such as Enzo Scifo, Eric Gerets, and Jan Ceulemans, Belgium finished as runners-up in the 1980 Euro Championships, and reached the semifinal of the 1986 World Cup, where they were knocked out by eventual champions Argentina.
Cruyff is universally considered one of the best players of all time. The 1982 Brazil squad is regarded as one of the best teams not to win the World Cup, bowing out against eventual champions Italy in the semifinal.
Dasayev is considered the second-best Russian goalkeeper after Yashin, and was widely regarded as one of the best in the world in the 1980s. Many of Laudrup’s past teammates and opponents consider him as the best player ever. His mind-blowing displays on the field were no match for his notorious antics off it, and he is regarded, especially by Manchester United fans, as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
Born: May 10, 1969
Alfredo Di Stfano
July 4, 1926 – July 7, 2014
International Career: 1938 – 1947 (20 appearances, 14 goals)
On the international stage, Clemence was often overshadowed by another legendary English goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, and never achieved World Cup glory.
Born: February 4, 1926
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1996 – 2004 (67 appearances)
Chokers or Unlucky?Nine Dutch players — Johnny Rep, Arie Haan, Johan Neeskens, Rob Rensenbrink, Ruud Krol, Ren van de Kerkhof, Wim Suurbier, Wim Jansen, and Jan Jongbloed — played in the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals, losing both games!
Figueroa is widely regarded as the best Chilean footballer ever. Platini only played in one edition of the Euro Championship, the 1984 edition, but is still the highest scorer in the history of the tournament (excluding qualifying).
Grosics was part of one of the best international teams in history, the Magical Magyars Hungarian team of the 1950s and ’60s. The Italian team lost in the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup (but won the third place playoff), and was beaten on penalties in the final of the 1994 World Cup, in the quarterfinals in 1998, and in the round of 16 (pre-quarters) in 2002.
Platini, who is currently the president of the European soccer’s administrative organization, UEFA, is one of the highest-scoring midfielders of all time. He was equally comfortable in defense or midfield, and was one of the best tacklers as well as passers in the world during his career. Despite the latter, he became the first, and, as yet, only goalkeeper to be awarded the Golden Ball, the prize awarded to the best player in a World Cup tournament.
Hansen was the defensive partner of Phil Neal at the all-conquering Liverpool sides in the 1980s. Scholes started out as a striker, before moving into a deeper, playmaking role, and won acclaim for his composure with the ball, unhurried, accurate passing, and long-distance shooting.
Hierro was one of the highest-scoring defenders of all time. Arthur Antunes Coimbra, better known as Zico, is considered to be one of the best players in history, and was widely regarded as the best player in the world during the 1970s and ’80s, despite the presence of players such as Paolo Rossi, Diego Maradona, and Kenny Dalglish. Puskas is also said to have created the position of the ‘deep-lying center forward’, or ‘second striker’.
Born: August 13, 1970
International Career: 1954 – 1967 (78 appearances)
International Career: 1972 – 1984 (61 appearances)
Shilton was involved in one of the most notorious games in World Cup history: the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal game against Argentina. This list includes only those players who have retired from international football at the time of writing.
Matthews was well-known for his skills on the soccer pitch, as well as his strict diet and fitness regime, which allowed him to play at the premier level for an unbelievable 33 years! Playing in the time of the old, heavy balls, Matthews was famous for his close control and crossing ability. He is the fourth highest scorer for the Spanish national team, only bettered by strikers Raul, David Villa, and Fernando Torres. Playing for Spain, the national team failed to qualify for the 1958 World Cup, and while the team qualified in 1962, Stfano was injured in the buildup to the tournament, and had to sit it out.
Ryan Giggs is the most decorated British player in history. Denmark didn’t qualify for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, but reached the quarterfinals in 1998.
International Career: 1992 – 2000 (63 appearances, 30 goals)
International Career: 1988 – 2002 (126 appearances)
Pfaff was at the core of the unprecedented success of the Belgium national team in the 1980s. It was at Madrid that Stfano would show the world his true class. They were knocked out in the round of 16 by eventual champions France in 1998, and at the same stage by eventual finalists Germany in 2002.
International Career: 1987 – 2001 (129 appearances)
October 21, 1933
Born: June 13, 1957
Cristiano Ronaldo: Can the relentless colossus set Portugal on the track to victory?
Born: February 20, 1951
Born: December 4, 1953
As you can see, some of the biggest names in soccer have not tasted World Cup glory. During his career, the Dutch never made it past the semifinals of a World Cup, and ignominiously failed to qualify for the 2002 edition. He was an incredibly talented shot-stopper, earning him the name ‘Black Panther’.
Jos Luis Chilavert
Born: July 27, 1965
International Career: 1976 – 1983 (50 appearances)
Facchetti was one of the first attacking full-backs, a role taken for granted in the modern game. He was also known as a thorough gentleman. He remained the highest scorer for the French national team for more than 20 years, and still has a better goal-to-game ratio that the current top scorer Thierry Henry. He is also the only player to have scored more than 100 goals for two English clubs. He was renowned for his playmaking abilities, as well as dead-ball prowess.
Maldini is as famous for his elegant, cerebral style of defending as the simply astounding longevity of his career, and his unwavering loyalty to his hometown club, AC Milan. His 13 years as a Liverpool player (he also managed the team for the last 5 of them) brought 3 European Cups, along with countless domestic trophies. He was an influential proponent of ‘Total Football’, a visionary tactical system. His defensive style was based around intelligently anticipating play and positioning himself to avoid goals and through balls, rather than flying into tackles at every possible opportunity. The record stood until 2005, when Chelsea conceded 15 goals in 38 games.
During Bergkamp’s time with the Dutch national team, the Oranje lost in the quarterfinals at the 1994 World Cup, and in the semifinals in 1998.
The midfield is arguably the most important zone on the playing field. In terms of importance to winning a game, defenders are even more important than strikers, since even the slightest mistake by the defenders can directly result in a loss for the team.
Here are 10 legendary defenders who never experienced World Cup glory.
Despite winning the bronze medal in the 1980 Olympics and silver in the 1988 Euro Championships, USSR never got to the quarterfinals of a World Cup.
Oliver Kahn, widely regarded as the best German goalkeeper in history, spent the majority of his trophy-laden career with German giants Bayern Munich, winning several annual awards for his goalkeeping heroics.
International Career: 1979 – 1987 (26 appearances)
Though Ral played for Spain for 10 years, he didn’t win any major honors. Johan Cruyff, his manager at Barcelona, once commented that even at 80 – 90%, Laudrup was by far the best player on the pitch.
Marco van Basten
Born:October 31, 1964
Vincent Kompany: Can the Manchester City skipper lead a second wave of Red Devils into the World Cup?
Born: October 25, 1946
Cruyff captained what is claimed to be the best team not to have won the World Cup. He has played out his entire career with Manchester United, and has been an integral part of the club’s tremendous success in the 1990s and 2000s. In the 2008 – 09 season, he set another world record in league football, when he went 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal.
Frank Lampard: Can the aging legs of the Chelsea legend drag England to World Cup glory?
To sign off, here’s a list of the greatest currently active footballers who are most at risk of finishing their careers without a World Cup win to their name.
Shearer is the highest goalscorer in the English Premier League, having scored 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. He and midfielder Paul Breitner were influential in continuing Bayern’s era of dominance in Germany. Despite being right-footed, he played as a central or left-sided defender. He won countless trophies in a highly successful career, spent mostly with Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona. His eight goals for Paraguay is a goalscoring record for goalkeepers in international matches, while his total of 62 goals is only exceeded by Rogrio Ceni.
Born: March 23, 1968
Neeskens is one of the few unfortunate players to have lost 2 World Cup finals. England exited at the group stage. However, they won the 1968 Euro Championships.
Stam had successful spells with clubs like Manchester United and AC Milan, capped off with the Champions League win with Manchester United in 1999. He, along with Alfredo Di Stfano, were the feared strikeforce that propelled Real Madrid to European and domestic dominance. The Spanish national team bowed out in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup, in the quarterfinals in 2002, and in the round of 16 in 2006.
Born: July 31, 1929
Peyroteo’s career was blighted by the Second World War, and he never got to play in a World Cup tournament.
Born: June 15, 1964
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1983 – 1992 (58 appearances, 24 goals)
Eusbio is considered the best Portuguese footballer ever, high praise for a man competing with the likes of Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. It just goes to show that when it comes to judging a player’s success, the number of trophies accumulated by him should not be the only criterion.
Unfortunately, Maldini’s international career flourished between two of Italy’s four World Cup triumphs: 1982 and 2006. In many modern formations, forwards are often used as auxiliary wingers, to increase the threat of the team’s attack.
Here are the 10 greatest forwards who never struck home the World Cup.
Puskas was the captain of Hungary’s Magical Magyars, and led them to the 1954 World Cup final, where they were beaten by a resilient West Germany. This iconic match included Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal, and his second goal in the match, which was scored after a solo run beating almost the entire England defense, was chosen as the best goal in World Cup history.
Matthews made his World Cup debut in the 1950 World Cup, at the age of 35. Taking into account that he’s a defender, this is high praise indeed. Hierro even has a better goal-to-games ratio than Torres.
Born: June 27, 1977
Robin van Persie: Can the unstoppable striker blaze a path for the Netherlands to finally break their World Cup hoodoo?
Country: Northern Ireland
International Career: 1964 – 1977 (37 appearances)
Unfortunately, Neal’s greatest years at Liverpool coincided with a drop in the national team’s performance, which failed to qualify for the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. Soon after his debut in 1966 as a 16-year old, his performances convinced his club, Leicester City, to retain him and sell England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks.
Born: June 13, 1955
International Career: 1934 – 1957 (54 appearances)
Born: November 29, 1973
International Career: 1989 – 2003 (74 appearances)
Koeman was a vital cog in Holland’s 1988 Euro Championship victory, but the team fell in the knockout rounds of the 1990 and 1994 World Cups; Koeman was the captain of the Dutch team for the latter.
Edwin is one of several Dutch players who have suffered from the national team’s long-standing inability to deliver the goods on the big stage. His partnership with Ian Rush is one of the most successful in English history. One of the many Scottish players bought by Liverpool, he is one of the very few players to win the English League title in three decades. He was known for being the classic English center-forward, using his strength and physical superiority to dominate opponents, rather than finesse and skill.
Despite possessing one of the strongest squads in national history, Denmark lost in the Round of 16 at the 1986 World Cup, in the quarterfinals in 1998, and didn’t qualify for the 1990 and 1994 editions. Two years after his retirement, Netherlands again reached the World Cup final in 2010, only to lose for the third time.
Schmeichel is famous for his highly successful stint with the English club Manchester United, from 1991 to 1999. A Eusbio-led Portugal were the team to watch out for in 1966, but were defeated by eventual champions England in the semifinals, with Eusbio marked out of the game by the great Nobby Stiles.
Ral became the youngest player to play for Real Madrid, when he made his debut in 1994, and despite his tender age, he became a permanent fixture in the Spanish side. Here’s the ten greatest goalies who ran out of luck when it came to winning a World Cup.
October 22, 1929 – March 20, 1990
International Career: 1982 – 1998 (104 appearances)
International Career: 1976 – 1987 (72 appearances)
Though Scotland possessed a strong core of talented individuals, they could never make it big on the international stage, and crashed out in the first round of the 1974, 1978, 1982, and 1986 World Cups, going out on goal difference in the first three.
Pfaff is one of only three Belgian players selected by Pel in his personal list of 100 greatest living footballers.
Platini’s time with France brought about a golden era for Les Bleus. Along with colleague Phil Neal, he is one of the most decorated players in the English game.
Born: June 26, 1968
Born: March 21, 1963
Born: July 17, 1972
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1970 – 1981 (49 appearances)
Alfredo Di Stfano is widely regarded as one of the best players in history. He stayed with Real for 16 years, until he was sold in 2010. His incredible reflexes and his black kit gave him the nickname ‘The Black Spider’. He also holds the near-impossible-to-break record of scoring in 23 consecutive seasons of the English Premier League, and 16 distinct seasons of the UEFA Champions League.
Yashin is considered as the best goalkeeper in the history of the game. He was a vital cog in AC Milan’s domestic and continental dominance in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before his career was tragically cut short by a recurring injury.
Puskas is one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, despite not being an out-and-out striker, and is considered one of the all-time greats. He also holds the record for the most appearances for the Netherlands national team. No team in the history of the game has sustained a long run of success without having a strong, agile, and alert goalkeeper guarding their net. He was 6’3” tall, dominated aerial duels, and read the flow of the game excellently to make perfectly timed tackles and interceptions.
Paul Scholes, club legend at Manchester United, is among the most decorated players in the British game. He jointly holds the record of appearing in the most European Cup/Champions League finals, with 8 appearances, including an astonishing 5 victories. Winning or losing the World Cup is very often balanced on a knife’s edge — one goal changes the complexion of the game, and every small mistake is fatal. He excelled in the ‘second striker’ position, controlling the game with his brilliant playmaking and finishing ability. He is the only player to have won 6 European Cups (later rebranded as the Champions League), and the only one to have appeared in 9 continental finals. Despite being significantly weaker on his left foot, and a poor header of the ball, Matthews is often considered as one of the best English footballers ever.
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1990 – 2000 (79 appearances, 37 goals)
Dalglish became a famous name in British football with Scottish giants Celtic, before cementing his place in football folklore with a move to a flourishing Liverpool team. Grosics is said to have invented the role of the keeper-sweeper. He also set a record that was never beaten in a 42-game soccer season: in the 1978 – 79 season, Liverpool, with Clemence ever-present in goal, conceded just 16 goals in 42 games, including an unbelievable 4 in 21 games at home. After making his name at Colombian club Millionarios, he arrived at Real Madrid in 1953. In the modern game, the midfield is seen as the zone that needs to dominate if the team is to win.
Here are the greatest midfield generals who never got to hold aloft the World Cup trophy.
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1995 – 2008 (130 appearances)
Born: November 18, 1963
Chile managed to qualify for the 1966, 1974, and 1982 World Cups, but couldn’t progress past the group stage in any of the three.
Country: The Netherlands
International Career: 1982 – 1994 (78 appearances)
Born: January 15, 1950
Shearer was an essential component of England’s 1994 and 1998 World Cup campaigns, but the team failed to qualify for the former, and were knocked out in the round of 16 in the latter.
Franck Ribery: Can ‘scarface’ add the one trophy that is missing from his collection?
February 1, 1915 – February 23, 2000
Edwin van der Sar is, to date, the only goalkeeper to win the UEFA Champions League — the top continental prize for European clubs — with two clubs, Ajax in 1995 and Manchester United in 2008. While he was an Argentinian citizen, the country refused to participate in the 1950 and 1954 World Cups. This tactic is virtually ever-present in the modern game, and the credit goes to Yashin and fellow goalkeeping legend Gyula Grosics.
Despite the increasingly regular emergence of talents such as Giggs, Mark Hughes, Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Gary Speed, and Aaron Ramsey, Wales have not qualified for a World Cup after their lone appearance in 1958.
Santamaria is regarded as one of the best defenders ever, and was instrumental in Real Madrid’s early dominance of the European Cup. Neal was selected in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup squads, but the team never made it past the quarterfinals.
March 10, 1918 – November 28, 1978
The most ‘glamorous’ positions in the game of soccer, the forwards are primarily tasked with scoring their team’s goals. He was a crucial part of Real Madrid’s dominance over the European Cup in its nascent days. Despite being a defender, he only averaged around one tackle in every two games!
Stam reached the semifinal of the 1998 World Cup with the Netherlands, but they failed to qualify for the 2002 competition when he was around.
Arjen Robben: Can the wing maestro accomplish the ultimate achievement?
Here’s a list of the greatest soccer players who didn’t win the World Cup.
Koeman was an accomplished and much-decorated defender, and was also famous for his attacking runs and long-range shooting, which provided a different dimension to his team’s attacking play. West Germany reached consecutive finals in 1982, 1986, and 1990, losing the first against Italy, and the second against a Maradona-inspired Argentina. He is currently the highest goalscorer in the Champions League, having scored 71 goals in Europe’s premier competition.
Born: March 3, 1953
This compilation is the writer’s personal choice — opinions may differ
Two years earlier, in 2010, he was selected for the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team. At 22, he had played the most games ever for the German national team by a player so young. As of 2013, he had scored over 50 goals for Bayern Munich during his career, with an extra 23 goals scored for the German international team.. Even when he’s not scoring goals, Schweinsteiger has a talent for setting his teammates up to score. By 2002, he had signed a contract with the professional Bundesliga team, and from that time forward was an important and popular player for the Bavarian side. His fame skyrocketed after the 2006 World Cup, when he scored several goals against Portugal and helped the German team take third place in the competition. He had played 41 games at the time, which was more than any previous player of his age. The player has also been an important part of Germany’s international team since he began.
Bayern Munich Role
Born in 1984, Schweinsteiger was known as a rebel when he was young, but by 2011 he had become vice-captain of Bayern Munich. In 2007, Schweinsteiger began dating model Sarah Brander.
Schweinsteiger has been nicknamed the ‘midfield motor’ by fans and teammates due to the effect he has on his team’s strategy and play. Recently, a number of injuries, including injuries to the ankle and a broken collarbone, have forced Schweinsteiger to miss several games per season.
There is no end to the career highlights one could discuss with regard to Bastian Schweinsteiger, but there are a few that stand out from the rest. As a talented player who has remained loyal to the team throughout his entire career, Schweinsteiger has almost become synonymous with Bayern Munich, and when he’s gone the team will not be the same.
Bastian Schweinsteiger has been a fixture of German soccer since he joined Bayern Munich’s youth team in 1998. In addition, Bayern Munich won five German Cups during the first decade of Schweinsteiger’s tenure. The All-Star Team represents the best players from all the World Cup qualifying countries.
The impressive resume that Bastian Schweinsteiger boasts, even before the age of 30, seems to solidify his place in the German soccer pantheon. He frequently finds openings and scores from midfield, and also takes important penalty kicks. At the time of this writing, Tobias was on loan at a team in the 3rd Bundesliga (a lower league than the professional 1st Bundesliga). In 2012, Bayern Munich came in second in the UEFA Champions league, after narrowly defeating Real Madrid in the semi-final. During that game, Schweinsteiger’s penalty goal was the decisive factor that allowed Bayern to go through to the final against Chelsea. Schweinsteiger plays as a midfielder, but is also an important goal-scorer for Bayern Munich. He has an older brother, Tobias, who is also a professional soccer player. Between 2002 and 2012, Bayern Munich were champions of the Bundesliga five times, in part due to Schweinsteiger’s strategic play. In the history of Bayern Munich in particular, Schweinsteiger is certain to be remembered. The record has since been broken by another player. Although he began his career as a winger, he has frequently played center midfield for the past several years. The Legend
Schweinsteiger was born in Kolbermoor, a small town just west of Rosenheim in Bavaria, Germany. Tobias has not achieved the same level of success as his younger brother, however
Chelsea resides at the top of the Premier League standings, and the team has shown it can still have a good time, at least off the field.
Think you wouldn’t be celebrating too if your family completed this trick shot at the dinner table?
Chelsea’s Didier Drogba posted the fun clip with a reference to fans chanting boring, boring Chelsea” following the team’s 0-0 tie against Arsenal on Sunday, outlets noted.
H/T For The Win
A bunch of highly paid professionals from the Chelsea football club recently batted around a soccer ball with impressively close headers, and then went bonkers when teammate John Obi Mikel knocked it into the trash can.
That is unless of course he ends up being selected by Stuart Pearce as one of the three overage players for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the London Olympics. Be sure to stay in the know, and keep up-to-date with every bit of Chelsea news available, by visiting this exciting and extensive breaking news football website.
Check out this website, where you can read all of the latest, up-to-date and breaking Chelsea FC News, with continual updates 24/7, to keep you in the know.
Next season Chelsea can look forward to an assault on all the major competitions including the FA Cup, Barclays English Premiership, the Carling Cup and the UEFA Champions League plus as Champions of Europe the World Super Club Cup. Many of the reports are the most complete, up-to-date and informative. With their implementation of optimization for all of your mobile devices, you can take Chelsea FC News with you wherever you go. No matter what your football desires or interests are, you can stay up-to-date on everything Chelsea, including transfers, reviews, scores, news and more. It is doubtful though with David Beckham seemingly an automatic choice and Craig Bellamy selected with only one overage spot left and many players vying for it, to play in a home Olympics. Roberto Di Matteo and Chelsea have taught everyone in football (and beyond) a life lesson, by defying the odds and firstly beating the supposed best team ever in Barcelona and then going into the lion’s den of Bayern Munich’s home stadium and beating them to bring home football’s greatest prize the UEFA Champions League. This website provides an extremely user-friendly and clean presentation for anyone that wants to read the latest news about Chelsea. With all of the excitement and action happening this summer, you will want to stay up-to-date on all of the Chelsea news and updates, what with Didier Drogba departing after six extremely memorable years at the bridge and Europe’s hottest property Eden Hazard now signing from Lille, if the start of the summer is anything to go by then the rest of the summer will be incredibly exciting.
For Chelsea football fans, great news, as the original website that provides you with the most comprehensive Chelsea FC News you want and need, has been experiencing record numbers due to all the crazy, wonderful goings on down at Stamford Bridge. In addition to breaking news in the regular website format, this site provides an exciting version for your mobile devices, so you can keep up to date about everything Chelsea FC. It is striving to be the ultimate source for everything Chelsea, particularly including transfer news – with the futures of many players hanging in the balance such as Solamon Kalou, Florent Malouda, Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira, ChelseaNews.com have an exceptional reputation for providing reports first that others simply do not get until much later. Will Di Matteo land the job on a full-time basis or will Pep Guardiola be able to be convinced by Roman Abramovich to take over the reins at Chelsea as it seems everyone thinks he wants to have happen? You will be able to read the latest breaking news and reports, available on this innovative website that provides you with everything Chelsea FC related. With the latest news stories, player moves, staff signings and much more, Chelsea news is available for every fan, anywhere, anytime and on any mobile device.. The coverage from the best Chelsea fan blogs and the top quality international football news sites are the reasons for this.
It is most unfortunate that Frank Lampard has had to withdraw from England’s Euro 2012 squad with a serious thigh strain but this may actually be a help to the blues down the road as he should be must fresher for next season by missing the Euros
During the last 10 competitions, a club from each of these nations has either won the tournament or has finished as runner up. Basel, which is no pushover team. Dortmund is quite the successful German club, but has lived in the shadow of the giant that is Bayern Munich in recent years. They face off against F.C. Matchday 1 features 16 games on Tuesday and Wednesday with Europe’s best clubs going toe-to-toe. The second half of the first week of group stage matches in the Champions League kicks off on Wednesday with Manchester City taking on Bayern Munich as the marquee match.
Tuesday’s most compelling match kicks off in western Germany as Borussia Dortmund hosts London’s Arsenal F.C. The Swiss champs have won their domestic league six times over the last seven years and reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League last season.
The most successful soccer countries in Europe are well represented in the group stage, but none more than Germany, England or Spain, which have four teams each in this year’s competition. The road to Berlin kicks off today with the first round of group stage matches of the UEFA Champions League. After a busy summer that brought in highly touted World Cup stars like Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, the Galacticos have not yet found the chemistry needed to win, winning only two games in this young season while dropping two to Atletico Madrid. Arsenal has a revamped attack with key additions such as Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. The Gunners have not lost a single game so far, but have drawn more often than won. Soccer fans around the globe rejoice with the start of the greatest club soccer tournament in the world.
Defending champions Real Madrid begin their campaign for their 11th Champions League title. These two domestic powerhouse clubs meet in the Champions League for the third time in four years.
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – AUGUST 01: Kevin De Bruyne and head coach Dieter Hecking of VfL Wolfsburg are honored by german sport magazine KICKER prior to kickoff during the DFL Supercup 2015 match between VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Muenchen at Volkswagen Arena on August 1, 2015 in Wolfsburg, Germany. He then scored one of the Wolves’ five penalties as last season’s DFB-Pokal winners beat the Bundesliga champions 5-4 on spot-kicks. “You work for days like this,” he said. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking thinks Kevin De Bruyne will remain with the Bundesliga club after the Belgian inspired them to victory in the Supercup on Saturday.
“It would certainly be nice and I think it will happen too,” Hecking told Germany’s ZDF television. That’s our stance and I think a lot would have to happen for him to go. He’s not lacking much, he’s just got to be consistent and put in the work,” Hecking said.
Thanks in no small part to De Bruyne – the Bundesliga’s player of the year last season – Hecking was able to follow up winning the DFB-Pokal with the Supercup. “It’s a great feeling.” Hecking also had Bendtner to thank for his second trophy in a matter of months, although few would have predicted that just a fortnight ago.
Manchester City have been linked with signing the former Chelsea winger, but Hecking is confident he will get to work at least another year with De Bruyne.
Despite missing an open goal in the first half, De Bruyne led Wolfsburg’s charge against Bayern Munich, providing the assist for Nicklas Bendtner’s late equalizer. He added: “Kevin showed what he’s capable of doing for us this season and we don’t want to sell him. We were very clear about things with him and we hope he now accepts what he has to do to play a role for us. Although you can never tell in football, as his coach I do expect to have him this season.”
Hecking was one of Bendtner’s biggest critics, warning him that he was not going to find any room in his squad this season if he did not get himself into shape, physically and mentally.
“I think in the last seven days, he’s understood and we’re delighted for him for this goal. The 24-year-old had a hand in seven of Wolfsburg’s 12 shots, underlining why he is attracting interest from top clubs throughout Europe.
Two days Osgood scored again in the replayed final. He played as a substitute in both finals, helping to earn the Cup and a place in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.. At Charlton he made 131 appearances in the league and scored twice. A second goal from John Dempsey sealed victory for the west Londoners.
Leeds, who were the reigning League Champions and one of the best sides at the time, made it hard for Chelsea. But more success was to follow for the ‘Cup Kings of King’s Road’. Marvin Hinton and his team mates had to wait until the replay at Old Trafford to get their hands on the FA Cup.
He made his debut for the club in a 3-1 win over Ipswich Town and went on to play his part in many of Chelsea’s successes in the 1960s and early ’70s. He played along side the likes of Peter Bonetti, John Hollis, Bobby Tambling, Charlie Cooke, Alan Hudson and Peter Osgood and earned his first of three winners medals in the 1965 Football League Cup.
Two seasons later in the 1967 FA Cup he had to accept a runners-up medal when Chelsea were beaten by London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Then in August 1963 he was signed by Chelsea Football Club for £30,000.
Although further success eluded the club during the 1970s, Marvin Hinton continued to play for Chelsea until 1976. On 19th May 1971 they played a strong Real Madrid side in Athens and drew the match one all. Peter Osgood scoring Chelsea’s goal from a left foot volley. In 1970 Chelsea were able to atone for the 1967 defeat by beating Leeds United.
Marvin Hinton began his career with his local club, Charlton Athletic who were playing in the Second Division when he made his league debut during the 1957/1958 season. He now lives in Crawley and, during the season, can often be found supporting the club at Stamford Bridge.
As with previous season’s FA Cup campaign, Chelsea reached the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup