World Cup Legends

World Cup Legends

World Cup Legends

World Cup Legends brings you the fascinating stories of some of the most iconic names in World Cup history and the tournament's greatest teams. We also look back through the World Cup's most memorable moments – both good and bad!

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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1 min.
world cup   legends

Once every four years, the greatest players and teams from around the globe come together in a celebration of the beautiful game. Packed with colour, excitement, passion and drama, the World Cup has the world glued to their televisions as the biggest names in football dazzle and wow on the ultimate stage. From Pelé and Maradona to Ronaldo and Moore, some of the most iconic names in the history of football are synonymous with the World Cup. In this book you’ll find a host of fascinating features on the aforementioned legends, as well as the Magnificent Magyars of the 1950s and the best side never to win the World Cup – the Cruyff-inspired Dutch team of the 1970s. We also bring you the 50 greatest players to grace the tournament and…

27 min.
50 greatest world cup players

One of the most exciting things about the World Cup is seeing some of the globe’s very best footballers strut their stuff on the biggest stage of all. It’s a joy to watch footballers in their prime perform to the best of their ability, and while the most skilful teams don’t always win, talent generally finds a way to shine. To that end, we have players with sublime skill, and others who are so solid in defence that almost nothing will get past them. If anything, it’s a disappointment that we didn’t get to see all of the greats: had George Best, Alfredo Di Stéfano, George Weah and Ryan Giggs played in the tournament, for instance, they would certainly have made the list. But that’s not to say our top 50 is…

1 min.
the first champions

Every story has a beginning, and the story of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle begins in 1930. That is the year in which the first World Cup was held in Uruguay, chosen as the hosts to coincide with the nation’s celebration of the centenary of its first constitution. The final was contested by Uruguay and Argentina in the Estadio Centenario, constructed especially for the tournament. Uruguay struck first, scoring in the 12th minute, but Argentina fought back and went into the break leading 2-1. In the second half, Uruguay took control again, scoring three goals and running out 4-2 winners. They became the first team to lift the famous Jules Rimet trophy, and etched their name in football history. The next day was declared a national holiday to celebrate the success. Uruguay’s glorious…

13 min.
pelé: the greatest

Stardom can flash like a supernova, fading into the darkness of obscurity as quickly as it erupts. Only the greatest of stars to have graced football’s grandest stage shine with the enduring brightness that assures their status as legends. In that elite group, there is one that burns brighter than any other: the North Star of the World Cup, Pelé. Pelé’s legend is a testament both to his own incredible talent and the power of the World Cup. He played most of his club football for Santos in his native Brazil. In an age where it wasn’t possible for fans to watch live football from all over the world and find clips of the next young talent on YouTube, it may as well have been on Mars as far as most…

1 min.
breaking new frontiers

Pelé is credited as a pioneer in helping to grow football in the US. He originally retired from club football after the 1974 season, though he would continue to make the odd appearance for Santos. In 1975, Pelé officially came out of retirement to join the New York Cosmos. This was not Pelé at his peak, but he was still enough of a star to bring a lot of public interest to the young North American Soccer League, the precursor to Major League Soccer. The club’s increased profile led them to move from a sparse pitch that the club’s groundsman spray-painted green to hide the lack of grass for Pelé’s debut on TV in the Yankee Stadium. By Pelé’s final season in 1977, the Cosmos averaged crowds of around 40,000, which was…

1 min.
the battle of santiago

The bad blood that helped feed this infamous match started well ahead of time. A pair of Italian journalists wrote inflammatory statements about 1962 World Cup hosts Chile, describing the nation as a backwards place, rife with prostitution, alcoholism, illiteracy and malnutrition. Unsurprisingly, Chilean newspapers didn’t take kindly to that, in turn referring to Italians as mafiosos, fascists and drug addicts. It didn’t take long for that ill-feeling to manifest when the two met. It was only 12 seconds before the first foul was committed. Not long after, the first red was issued to Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini, who refused to leave the pitch and had to be dragged off by the police. Somehow, Chile got away with throwing a few punches at their opponents, Honorino Landa letting one loose in retaliation…