Zoff’s World Cup career started in Mexico ’70 and ended in Spain ‘82, where he captained the Azzurri to an unlikely win.
The Black Spider, so named because his dynamism made it appear as if he had eight arms, played in three World Cups, helping his side finish fourth in 1966.
England’s greatest ever keeper won the World Cup in 1966 and four years later made a save acknowledged as the best of all time from a Pele header.
Cafu holds the record for most matches won at a World Cup (16), two of those being the finals of 1994 and 2002, as captain of Brazil’s last great side.
Despite being Les Bleus most capped player (142), Thuram is mainly remembered for his brace in the 2-1 semi-final win over Croatia at France 98.
An old head on young shoulders both in appearance (hence his nickname The Uncle) and ability, winning the World Cup with Italy in 1982 aged just 19.
Der Kaiser played at three World Cups, finishing joint third top scorer in 1966 and marking Johan Cruyff out of the final in victory in 1974.
Only one defender has be named FIFA Player Of The Year, a rare feat achieved by Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 after he captained Italy to the World Cup.
El Gran Capitan, who lead his side to victory in 1978, scored almost a goal every three games for La Albiceleste in a 12 year international career. From centre-back!
He wasn’t the quickest, but Bobby Moore could read an attacker’s intentions like a book as he proved with his World Cup winning heroics in 1966.
It’s easy to forget that The Rock was sent off in the final of France ’98, but with his side 2-0 up by then, he’d done his job by getting Les Bleus that far.
Breitner divided opinion in West Germany because on one hand he had controversial political views, but on the other, he scored in two World Cup finals.
The AC Milan legend appeared in four World Cups for the Azzurri, retiring from international football in 2002 as Italy’s most capped player.
On the way to winning two World Cups with Brazil in 1958 and 1962, Nilton Santos pioneered the role of the all-action flying full-back.
After winning the World Cup with Brazil in 1958 and 1962, Garrincha was the only player to come close to rivalling Pele’s position at the summit of Brazilian football.
Sandwiched between his World Cup displays in 1966 and 1974, Jairzinho scored seven goals in six games for Brazil’s greatest side in 1970.
In arguably the greatest ever World Cup in 1982, Boniek led his Polish side to a third place finish, initially topping a group that included eventual winners Italy.
He may never have won the World Cup, but France’s unexpected runs to the semi-finals in 1982 and 1986 were made on the back of Platini’s cerebral playmaking.
Sent off against Saudi Arabia at France ’98 before scoring twice in the final, injured in 2002, and brilliant in 2006 before that headbutt; it’s a mixed bag.
Matthuas played in five World Cups (the most of any outfield player) and holds the record for most games played (25), including a win in 1990.
If the current Spanish side is to be considered the greatest of the modern era, the architect of this success is Xavi.
The Manchester United and England midfielder played in three World Cups, scoring four goals in 14 appearances and winning at home in 1966.
That Diego Maradona single handedly led Argentina to one World Cup win in 1986 is incredible, that he almost repeated this four years later is unique.
Cruyff played in the 1974 World Cup, taking Rinus Michels’ side to the final (where they lost to West Germany) and introducing a global audience to Total Football.
The Golden Team’s most decorated player was denied a World Cup win in 1954 after losing 3-2 to West Germany despite being two up after seven minutes.
Andy Warhol once said of Pele that he would have 15 centuries of fame. Not surprising when you consider his World Cup exploits, winning it three times.
Ronaldo’s 15 goals in 19 World Cup games makes him the tournament’s most prolific marksmen, firing the Selecao to victory in 2002.
Der Bomber may be one World Cup goal behind Ronaldo on 14, but he got to this tally in only 13 games, including the winner in the final in 1974.
The Black Panther’s solitary World Cup outing came in 1966, where he crashed his way to nine goals in six games, famously tonking four past North Korea.
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