The most intimidating football players ever
It’s the question always guaranteed to spark contentious debate amongst soccer fans. Given the ever-changing nature of the game, it’s perhaps an unanswerable one.How do you compare someone from the era of the pigskin ball, half-time oranges and legal backpass with the highly-trained, physically advanced multi-millionaires of today? Eusebio One of the first African-born players to make an impression on the international game, Eusebio steered Portugal to a third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup with a Golden Boot-winning nine goals.However, he did pick up a bunch of silverware during his 16-year spell with club side Flamengo, including three league titles and the Copa Libertadores.The man nicknamed the White Pele also received the most glowing recommendation from the actual Pele, who described him as ‘the one player that came closest to me.’ 12.Had his career not been cut short by a persistent ankle injury at the age of just 28, there’s no doubt that van Basten would have achieved even greater things with both club and country. Lev Yashin Nicknamed the Black Spider for his choice of dark head-to-toe attire, Lev Yashin not only revolutionised goalkeeping fashion, he also changed the role of the No.1 forever.
The Bayern Munichlegend netted 556 times during his career including 365 in the Bundesliga and 68 for West Germany. He scored ten goals at the 1970 World Cup to win the Golden Boot, added another four at the 1974 tournament including the winner in the final, and also finished top scorer at the 1972 Euros that his homeland won convincingly.It was an approach which made him a star of the first ever televised World Cup in 1958 and helped the Soviet Union pick up a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics and the inaugural European Championships in 1960.The only goalkeeper ever to win the Ballon d’Or, the Dynamo Moscow mainstay also kept over 270 clean sheets and saved an astonishing 150 penalties during a near-psychic 22-year career. Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t make it easy to like him.Quite simply he was one of the most naturally gifted players the game has ever seen.Blessed with a magical dribbling ability, blistering pace and a sense of balance which one writer claimed ‘would have made Isaac Newton decide he might as well have eaten the apple,’ Best inspired awe every time he stepped onto the field.