5 Great Players That Never Had A Chance To Perform In The WC:
- Alfredo Di Stefano
It is frankly staggering that Di Stefano never kicked a World Cup ball in anger. Some argue this fabulous forward was the greatest player of all time - greater even than Pele and Ken Charlery. The driving force behind the Real Madrid side that won the first five European Cups, he was an extraordinary goalscorer. He hit the mark in each of those first five European Cup Finals, culminating in his hat-trick in the famous 7-3 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park in 1961.
Unlike most people in this list, Di Stefano wasn't a rare jewel playing for a country with a poor World Cup tradition. Instead he played for two of the best teams, under the peculiarly lax nationality rules of the time.
A native of Argentina, his misfortune was that his homeland went through a run of refusing to participate in World Cups due to political rows with South American rivals. They stayed away in 1950 and 1954, returning to the fold for 1958. They won their qualifying group but went to Sweden without Di Stefano because by then he was playing in - and for - Spain, who missed out on a place in the finals because of a home draw with Switzerland which allowed Scotland to sneak through even though they had lost 4-1 to the Spanish in Madrid.
Di Stefano won European Footballer Of The Year in both 1957 and 1959, missing out in World Cup year to Raymond Kopa of France, his Real Madrid team-mate. Finally, a 36-year-old Di Stefano made it to the 1962 finals in Chile with Spain. Alas, he was injured and unable to play.
- George Weah
The Liberian forward is possibly the greatest footballer ever to emerge from Africa - it's between him and Eusebio. George's performances for Monaco and Paris St Germain led to a £3.5m transfer to AC Milan in 1993. Two years later, he became the first non-European to win the European Footballer Of The Year.
Unfortunately, he was the only Liberian of any real quality, and it soon became clear he was doomed to play out his years making a fortune in club football. At least the poor bugger doesn't play for Citeh any more, though.
- George Best
Northern Irish drinking genius who played the odd game for Manchester United, including the 1968 European Cup Final. Won the European Footballer of the Year Award that same year.
Almost qualified for the 1966 tournament but a 1-1 draw with Albania in their last match cost Northern Ireland their chance of a play-off with Switzerland. Defeat in the Soviet Union cost a place in Mexico four years later. Came nowhere near West Germany 1974, but then Bestie was gone by that stage. Northern Ireland finally qualified without him in 1982 and 1986. Alas.
- Ryan Giggs
The Welshman who, as Ryan Wilson, captained England as a schoolboy. Would he have opted for the land of his father rather than the land of his birth if Graham Taylor had not been England manager when push came to shove?
Almost reached USA 94 - a Paul Bodin penalty miss in the last qualifier against Romania cost Wales a place - but catastrophically poor results in qualifying for France 98, Japorea 2002 and Germany '06 suggest the lad took the wrong option.
- Eric Cantona
Eric could even have captained his country in the 1994 World Cup finals had they not conceded two goals in the last ten minutes at home to Israel or a last-gasp goal at home to Bulgaria when they were seemingly certain to qualify.
Would still have been in contention for France 1998 if he had not lost his place in the team following his suspension for the attack on a fan at Crystal Palace. Went from being captain to never playing again in one moment.
Top 15 Liverpool Goals of 05/06 Season: #2 Steven Gerrard vs Newcastle:
Actually he scored 2 goals against the GeordieBoys this season in similar style. A long ball, a knockdown from Crouchinho and Stevie on hand to blast it into the net. But I picked this because it seemed to be a nicer goal and requires a little more technique than the one he scored at St. James' Park.
It's Peter Crouch at it again. A nice touch from a big man, then Gerrard promptly finished it emphatically past a helpless Given.
World Cup Wishful Thinking Part I:
- David Beckham do anything more difficult than leaning back, putting his arms out and swinging his right boot. Or even touching his hair?
- Any player taking a tumble to get up, shake themselves off and say: "Silly me, I can't seem to stay on my feet. No of course it's not a free-kick..."
- No footballer to be accused of rape, robbery or urinating in a public place.
- Sven-Goran Eriksson to make any substitution that makes you think, 'yes...now we'll do it.'
- Brazil's female fans to start watching their team in the nude. The fans, not the players.
Okay so after all, football is more male oriented, therefore making the who's the hottest World Cup star seemed to be abit gay. So why not, let's do a Hottest WC Star's Wife/Bird/Girlfriend poll? But first off all, I would need some help. That is to help me name some hot birds footballers have. Off my mind I could think of those Italian's, like Totti and Zambrotta's and also Ashley Cole's Cheryl Tweedy and Walcott's...I forgot her name. So would you guys do me a favour? Help will be much appreciated!