I must admit that I have no idea as to which players were dominant in their day prior to WWII. Maybe some football historian will be able to point o fantastic stars which simply have to be on the list, but since I am happily unaware of what went on at this early point I will simply leave it out. While the World Cup in 1950 was spectacular and a fantastic story, I never heard about any player as such which defined the tournament nor the period in time.
Worlds 10 best players ever!
The first superstar I am aware of is Puskas who starred for Hungary which nearly won the World Cup in 1954 as well as Real Madrid which won 5 European Cups during the 1950s.
A fellow star at this Real Madrid team was Argentinian RM legend Alfredo di Stefano. The combined Ronaldo and Messi of his day.
By 1958 a new star was won in Sweden by the name of Pele, and football was changed forever.
1966 would see Eusebio excel for Portugal, while he was also doing his part at club level bagging two European Cup (UCL) titles with Benfica.
Move on to 1974 and two superstars emerge at the same time: Beckenbauer and Cruyff.
Moving into the 1980s and 1982 sees the emergence of Maradona as well as Platini. Platini would see his maximum glory in 1984 while Maradona would immortalize the 1986 World Cup.
Next we move into the 90s where Ronaldo from Brazil and Zidane from France emerge as the next generation of superstars.
After they retire the stage is taken over by the Portuguese Ronaldo and yet another Argentinian Messi.
Who will be the next generation ? Neymar , Mbappe ?? or will we suddenly see a new superstar nobody has currently heard of.
Honorable mention will have to go to Ronaldinho Gaucho, Baggio, Del Piero, Matthäus, Xavi, Van Bastan, Romario, Maldini etc. and a number of other players from earlier times as well.
Rivera from Italy, George Best from England, Suarez from Spain – just to provide these World Cup winners with a bit of attention at individual players.
Only problem is that this list now contains 12 names and not 10. And since it is a top 10 list it has to be shortened.
So the two players who will be cut will be Alfredo di Stefano and Michel Platini. The first because he did not perform at the World Cup , and the second because he was overshadowed by Maradona, and later by his countryman Zidane.
This leaves us with the following list in no particular order. Very hard to compare players over time since the game is in constant flux of development.
Ronaldo de Lima
Ronaldo (Cristiano)

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