8. Ferenc Puskas (1927-2006)
Ferenc Puskas, who was a Hungarian football player and played internal matches for Spain, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and the sport's first international superstar.
Puskas was also included in the list of Pele’s FIFA 100 best players.
Puskas, who was captain of the Hungary’s golden team, which flourished under the influence of Jimmy Hogan’s Total Football, scored 84 goals in 85 matches for Hungary and made four appearances for Spain.
For the FIFA award for the most beautiful goal of the year which is named in his honor.
He became an Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup when Hungary were so dominant under Puskas that the 1954 World Cup final was the only game they lost in the entire decade.
He won three European Cups in 1959, 1960 and 1966, 10 national championships (five Hungarian and five Spanish Primera Division) and eight top individual scoring honours.
In 1995, Puskas was recognized as the top division scorer of the 20th century by the IFFHS with 806 goals in 793 official games scored during his career. He is the fifth top goal scorer of all time.
7. Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Herbert Matthaus, a versatile and complete player of German, who captained West Germany to victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he had lifted the World Cup trophy.
Matthaus who was awarded the Ballon d'Or, is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and was renowned for his perceptive passing, positional sense, well-timed tackling, as well as powerful shooting. During his career, he usually played as a box-to-box midfielder.
Matthaus is the most capped German player of all time, retiring with a total of 150 appearances, in 1991, he was named the first FIFA World Player of the Year, and remains the only German to have received the award. He was also included in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020.
Matthaus held the record of having played in five FIFA World Cups in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998, more than any other outfield player in men’s football, until the 2018 World Cup, in which Mexico’s Rafael Marquez equaled his record, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player with 25 games.
Matthaus also had won UEFA Euro 1980 and played in the 1994, 1998 and 2000 UEFA European Championship. In 1999, at age 38, Matthäus was again voted German Football of the Year for the second time, having previously won the award in 1990.
His natural leadership gave him a commanding presence on the field and his technical ability combined with his tactical awareness gave him an unstoppable dominance on the pitch, as great Diego Matthaus called him the toughest opponent he had ever faced. (To be continued)