Zidane explained why Achraf Hakimi was being sold hours before he sealed his Inter Milan move.

Sándor Kocsis Péter is the most lethal international striker of all time. In 68 matches for Hungary between 1948 and 1956, Kocsis racked up 75 goals, meaning not even the great Gerd Müller could boast as great a goals to game ratio. Müller scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany. Kocsis also had a number of firsts in the game, becoming the first man to score two hat-tricks in one World Cup outing. In 1954, Kocsis would score 11 goals for Hungary at the World Cup with France’s Just Fontaine, the only man to ever do better. Kocsis’ international goalscoring record is even more impressive when you consider he relegated teammate Ferenc Puskás to third on the all-time list of most lethal strikers. Puskás ended his international career with 84 goals from 85 matches. Kocsis would end his career having scored an international hat-trick on seven occasions. For club Kocsis was no slouch either, ending a career spanning 434 games with 341 goals, a more-than-competent achievement. The striker, who died at just 49 after falling from the fourth floor of a hospital in Barcelona, could lay claim to being the greatest striker of all time. At the time of his death he was being treated for Lukemia and stomach cancer, leaving speculation that his death was a suicide, rife.   

Playing Career

Full name: Sándor Kocsis Péter

Date of birth: 21 September 1929

Place of birth: Budapest, Hungary

Date of Death: 22 July 1979 (aged 49)

Place of Death: Barcelona, Spain

Playing position: Striker

Club Career

          Years                    Team                             Apps   (Gls)

  • 1945–1946          Köbanyai TC                         5         (0)
  • 1946–1950          Ferencváros                       59         (40)
  • 1950                   ÉDOSZ                              30         (30)
  • 1950–1957          Honvéd                            145         (153)
  • 1957–1958          Young Fellows Zürich          11         (7)
  • 1958–1965          Barcelona                        184         (111)
  • 1961                   Valencia (guest)         
  • Total                                                        434       (341)

Club Honours

  • Ferencváros TC - Hungarian Champions: 1949
  • Honvéd FC - Hungarian Champions (3): 1952, 1954, 1955
  • Barcelona - Spanish Champions (2): 1958–59, 1959–60; Copa del Generalísimo (2): 1958–59, 1962–63; Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1958–60

International Career

  • 1948-1956 Hungary 68 (75)

International Honours

  • Olympic Champions: 1952
  • Central European Champions: 1953
  • FIFA World Cup Runner up: 1954

Individual Honours

  • Hungarian Football Federation Player of the Year: 1954
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1954
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1954
  • World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time
  • Ballon d'Or: 8th place 1956

Hugo Sánchez Márquez was a prolific goalscorer and between himself and Rafa Marquez, one must find themselves using the term ‘the greatest player Mexico has ever produced’. In 684 games between 1976 and 1997, Sanchez scored 400 goals, better than one in every two games. But he isn’t just regarded as one of, if not the greatest players Mexico has produced, he was one of the greatest of his generation. To this day, only three people have scored more goals in La Liga history than Sánchez, with some massive names in that list. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Telmo Zarra are the only players to have scored more. Sánchez played 58 times for Mexico, scoring 29 goals along the way, but was famous for the nature of some of those goals. It was not unusual for Sánchez to finish with a volley from some unlikely body positions. Diminutive, but athletic, Sanchez would even score headers above taller, stronger defenders, and had exquisite kicking technique that led to a powerful shot with very little warning.  

Playing Career

Full name: Hugo Sánchez Márquez (Hugo Sánchez)

Date of birth: 11 July 1958 (age 61)

Place of birth: Mexico City, Mexico

Height: 1.75m (5ft 9 in)

Playing position: Forward

Club Career

         Years           Team                             Apps      (Gls)

  • 1976–1981   UNAM                                 188      (97)
  • 1979–1980   San Diego Sockers (loan)       32      (26)
  • 1981–1985   Atlético Madrid                    111      (54)
  • 1985–1992   Real Madrid                        207     (164)
  • 1992–1993   América                               29     (11)
  • 1993–1994   Rayo Vallecano                     29     (16)
  • 1994–1995   Atlante                                 31     (13)
  • 1995–1996   Linz                                     20       (6)
  • 1996            Dallas Burn                          25     (11)
  • 1997            Atlético Celaya                     12       (2)
  • Total                                                   684    (400)

Club Honours

  • UNAM - Primera División: 1976–77, 1980–81; CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 1980; Copa Interamericana: 1980
  • Atlético Madrid - Copa del Rey: 1984–85
  • Real Madrid - La Liga: 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90; Supercopa de España: 1988, 1989 , 1990; Copa del Rey: 1988–89; UEFA Cup: 1985–86
  • América - CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 1992
  • Linz - First League: 1995–96

International Career

  • 1977-1994 Mexico 58 (29)

International Honours

  • Pan American Games: 1975
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup: 1977

Individual Honours

  • European Golden Shoe: 1990
  • La Liga top goalscorer: 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90
  • Don Balón Award – Best Foreign Player: 1986–87, 1989–90
  • Mexican Primera División top goalscorer: 1978–79
  • CONCACAF Champions' Cup top goalscorer: 1992
  • Best Sportist of Mexico of the 20th century
  • IFFHS Best footballer of Mexico of the 20th century
  • IFFHS Best footballer of CONCACAF of the 20th century
  • FIFA 100: 2004
  • Golden Foot Legends Award: 2010
  • FIFA XI: 1982
  • IFFHS Legends
  • Marca Leyenda: 2018

Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi, just known as Mario Kempes, was a good goalscorer before he cemented his name in history by leading Argentina to their first World Cup title in 1978. Kempes would score two goals in that World Cup final against the Netherlands and lead all scorers. He would become just one of three men in history to not just lift the World Cup, but also to win the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the same time. The other two are also considered all-time greats, in Brazil’s Garincha and Italy’s Paolo Rossi. Kempes would also lead the LaLiga goalscoring charts on two occasions during his playing days with Valencia where he scored 95 goals in just 142 games. That kind of performance earned him the nickname El Matador. Kempes was difficult to mark because he chose to operate like the modern-day false nine, arriving from outside the box with surging runs and rangy drives.

"He's strong, he's got skill, he creates spaces and he shoots hard. He's a player who can make a difference, and he can play in a centre-forward position," said César Luis Menotti, Kempes’ 1978 coach. And his description of Kempes was spot on.     

Playing Career

Full name: Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi

Date of birth: 15 July 1954 (age 65)

Place of birth: Bell Ville, Argentina

Height: 1.84m (6ft 0 in)

Playing position: striker

Club Career

           Years           Team                    Apps   (Gls)

  • 1970–1973 Instituto                        13     (11)
  • 1973–1976 Rosario Central            107     (85)
  • 1976–1981 Valencia                      142     (95)
  • 1981–1982 River Plate                    29      (15)
  • 1982–1984 Valencia                       42      (21)
  • 1984–1986 Hércules                       38      (10)
  • 1986–1987 First Vienna                  20        (7)
  • 1987–1990 Pölten                          96       (34)
  • 1990–1992 Kremser SC                  39        (7)
  • 1992–1993 Fernández Vial              11        (5)
  • 1993–1994 Pelita Jaya                    18       (12)

Total                                                    555    (300)

Club Honours

  • Valencia - Copa del Rey: 1978–79; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1979–80; UEFA Super Cup: 1980
  • River Plate - Primera División: 1981 Nacional
  • Pelita Jaya - Galatama: 1993–94

International Career

  • 1973-1982 Argentina 43 (20)

International Honours

  • FIFA World Cup: 1978

Individual Honours

  • Argentine Primera División top scorers: 1974 Nacional, 1976 Metropolitan
  • Pichichi Trophy: 1977, 1978
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1978
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1978
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1978
  • Ballon d'Or: 1978 - Le nouveau palmarès (the new winners)
  • Onze d'Or: 1978
  • Olimpia de Plata: 1978
  • South American Footballer of the Year: 1978
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup top scorers: 1979–80
  • FIFA 100: 2004
  • South American Player of the Century: Ranking Nº 23: 2006
  • Golden Foot: 2007, as football legend
  • AFA Team of All Time (published 2015)

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho Gaúcho) became only the second Barcelona player after Diego Maradona to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. In that season he was to win his second FIFA World Player of the Year award as well as the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldinho had scored two spectacular goals in the game between Barcelona and Real, a derby known for pitting two of the world’s greatest footballing rivals against each other. His heroics in the El Clásico would come a year after Ronaldinho had won the World Cup with Brazil. He was at the top of his game and that put him on top of the world.

There are many, whom, having seen Ronaldinho, declare him the most skillful player to ever play the game, but the midfielder was also effective. That skill, the ability to dribble past players, score goals almost at will, and produce trickery that would make the world sit up and watch, brought with it trophies. Ronaldinho would become versed at taking free kicks and was always dangerous because of his ability to play anywhere in the attacking third of the football field. Ronaldinho was sometimes deployed as a winger, on either side of the midfield, as well as in the more central number-10 role. On occasion, he would also become the striker, which made him fearsome to defend. What was most scary about playing against Ronaldinho was the almost natural way he had of creating danger for opposition defenders. According Netherlands midfield general, Edgar Davids, who played with him at Milan, "For the skills and tricks, Ronaldinho was the best player that I ever played with."

Playing Career

Full name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho Gaúcho)

Date of birth: 21 March 1980 (age 40)

Place of birth: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Height: 1.81m (5ft 11 in)

Playing positions: Attacking midfielder, forward

Club Career

        Years                    Team                             Apps   (Gls)

  • 1998–2001          Grêmio                              52      (21)
  • 2001–2003          Paris Saint-Germain            55     (17)
  • 2003–2008          Barcelona                         145      (70)
  • 2008–2011          Milan                                 76      (20)
  • 2011–2012          Flamengo                          33       (15)
  • 2012–2014          Atlético Mineiro                  48       (16)
  • 2014–2015          Querétaro                          25         (8)
  • 2015                   Fluminense                         7         (0)
  • Total                                                        441    (167)

Club Honours

  • Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001
  • Barcelona - La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06; Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006; UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
  • Milan - Serie A: 2010–11
  • Flamengo - Campeonato Carioca: 2011; Taça Guanabara: 2011; Taça Rio: 2011
  • Atlético Mineiro - Campeonato Mineiro: 2013; Copa Libertadores: 2013; Recopa Sudamericana: 2014

International Career

  • 1999-2013 Brazil 97 (33)

International Honours

  • FIFA U-17 World Championship: 1997
  • Copa América: 1999
  • CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament: 2000
  • FIFA World Cup: 2002
  • FIFA Confederations Cup: 2005
  • Olympic Bronze Medal: 2008

Individual Honours

  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball: 1999
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Shoe: 1999
  • South American Team of the Year: 1999
  • Bola de Prata: 2000, 2011, 2012
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002
  • Ligue 1 Goal of The Year: 2003
  • La Liga Best Foreign Player: 2003–04, 2005–06
  • Trofeo EFE: 2003–04
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2004, 2005
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2006
  • World Soccer Magazine World Player of The Year: 2004, 2005
  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2004–05
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Bronze Ball: 2005
  • Ballon d'Or: 2005
  • Onze d'Or: 2005
  • FIFPro World Player of the Year: 2005, 2006
  • FIFPro World XI: 2005, 2006, 2007
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2005–06
  • La Liga top assist provider: 2005–06
  • UEFA Champions League top assist provider: 2005–06
  • FIFA Club World Cup Bronze Ball: 2006
  • FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze award: 2006
  • Golden Foot: 2009
  • Sports Illustrated Team of the Decade: 2009
  • Serie A top assist provider: 2009–10
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2011, 2012
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Best Fan's Player: 2012
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top assist provider: 2012
  • Bola de Ouro: 2012
  • Copa Libertadores top assist provider: 2012, 2013
  • South American Footballer of the Year: 2013
  • UEFA Ultimate Team of the Year (substitute; published in 2015)
  • FIFA 100
  • Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame
  • C. Milan Hall of Fame

It is almost a guarantee that whenever the name Diego Armando Maradona is spoken it will be in discussion about who is the greatest football player of all time. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

Maradona's vision, passing, ball control and dribbling skills combined with his small stature (1.65 m or 5 ft 5 in), giving him a low centre of gravity and allowing him to manoeuvre better than most other football players. He would often dribble past multiple opposing players on a run.

His presence and leadership on the field had a great effect on his team's general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. In addition to his creative abilities, he also possessed an eye for goal and was known to be a free-kick specialist. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname "El Pibe de Oro" ("The Golden Boy"), a name that stuck with him throughout his career.

In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.

Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.

His second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal, a 60-metre dribble past five England players was voted "Goal of the Century" by FIFA.com voters in 2002.

 

Playing Career 

Full name: Diego Armando Maradona

Date of birth: 30 October 1960 (age 59)

Place of birth: Lanús, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Height: 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)

Playing positions: Attacking midfielder/Second striker

 

Clubs

Years                  Team                           Apps        (Gls)

1976–1981          Argentinos Juniors           167         (116)

1981–1982          Boca Juniors                     40           (28)

1982–1984          Barcelona                         36           (22)

1984–1991          Napoli                            188           (81)

1992–1993          Sevilla                              26            (5)

1993–1994          Newell's Old Boys                5            (0)

1995–1997          Boca Juniors                      30           (7)

Total                                                      491         (259)

Honours

  • Boca Juniors - Argentine Primera División: 1981 Metropolitano
  • Barcelona - Copa del Rey: 1983; Copa de la Liga: 1983; Supercopa de España: 1983
  • Napoli - Serie A: 1986–87, 1989–90; Coppa Italia: 1986–87; UEFA Cup: 1988–89; Supercoppa Italiana: 1990

International

  • Argentina: 1977-1994 (91 Apps, 34 Gls)

 

Honours

  • FIFA World Youth Championship: 1979
  • FIFA World Cup: 1986
  • Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1993

Individual

  • Argentine Primera División top scorers: 1978 Metropolitano, 1979 Metropolitano, 1979 Nacional, 1980 Metropolitano, 1980 Nacional
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
  • Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
  • South American Footballer of the Year: (official award) 1979, 1980
  • Olimpia de Oro: 1979, 1986
  • Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1985
  • UNICEF European Footballer of the Season: 1989–90
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986, 1990
  • Onze d'Or: 1986, 1987
  • L'Équipe Champion of Champions: 1986
  • United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
  • World Soccer magazine's Player of the Year: 1986
  • Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
  • Coppa Italia top scorer: 1987–88
  • FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
  • South American Team of the Year: 1995

It would be difficult to build a list of the greatest defenders of all time and leave out the most decorated player in the history of the game. Daniel Alves da Silva (Dani Alves) has had a career inclusive of 40 trophies in international and club football. The fact that he has played in so many of the great teams throughout his career is testimony to his quality. Often going unnoticed, Alves has gone about being one of the best defenders of all time in a very unfussy way, choosing instead to use his intelligence and tactical awareness to achieve his ends without much fanfare.

Alves seems to always be in the right place at the right time and his gift for crossing the ball is often underestimated.

Playing Career

Name: Daniel Alves da Silva
Date of birth: 6 May 1983
Birthplace: Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil

Playing Position: Right back

 

International career

  • Brazil: 2006-Present (118 caps)

 

Honours

  • 2007 Copa America
  • 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • 2019 Copa America

 

Individual

  • FIFA U-20 World Cup Bronze Ball: 2003
  • UEFA Cup Most Valuable Player: 2005–06
  • UEFA Super Cup Man of the Match: 2006
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017
  • ESM Team of the Year: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
  • FIFA FIFPro World11: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • FIFA FIFPro World11 2nd team: 2014
  • FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019 (4th defender)
  • La Liga Defender of the Season: 2008–09
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Team of the Tournament: 2013
  • La Liga Team of the Season: 2014–15
  • France Football World XI: 2015
  • Serie A Team of the Year: 2016–17
  • IFFHS Men's World Team: 2017
  • UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2017–18
  • Copa América Most Valuable Player: 2019
  • Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2019

Club Career

  • 1963-1966 Fluminese
  • 1966-1974 Santos
  • 1974-1976 Fluminese
  • 1976-1977 Flamengo
  • 1977-1980 New York Cosmos
  • 1981 California Surf
  • 1982 New York Cosmos

        

Honours

  • Bahia - Copa do Nordeste: 2002
  • Sevilla - Copa del Rey: 2006–07; Supercopa de España: 2007; UEFA Cup: 2005–06, 2006–07; UEFA Super Cup: 2006
  • Barcelona - La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16; Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16; Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013; UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15; UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015; FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015
  • Juventus - Serie A: 2016–17; Coppa Italia: 2016–17
  • Paris Saint-Germain - Ligue 1: 2017–18, 2018–19; Coupe de France: 2017–18; Coupe de la Ligue: 2017–18; Trophée des Champions: 2017, 2018

Eighty-five minutes into the 1990 World Cup final, Andreas Brehme, became a West German hero when he converted a penalty won by Jurgen Klinsmann to give his side a famous victory over defending champions and the best player in the World at the time, Diego Maradona.

But there is much more to the story of Andy Brehme, a versatile attacking full back who had an eye for goal. His versatility meant he could play on either flank, crossing the ball accurately with either foot. He was also a major threat from free kicks.

Playing for Inter Milan alongside legends of the game like Lothar Mathaus and Klinsmann, Brehme was impactful enough to earn a player of the year accolade for the club in 1989.

Brehme was different in that he was not a quick defender, but his technical ability, stamina, anticipation and tactical intelligence meant he seemed to be everywhere, always involved and to dangerous effect for opponents. In fact, Mathaus, certainly one of the best midfielder Germany has ever produced, paid Brehme the compliment of saying he was the best player he has ever played with.

Playing Career

Name: Andreas Brehme
Date of birth: 9 November 1960
Birthplace: Hamburg, West Germany

Playing Positions: Left back/Left wing-back, Left midfield

 

International career

  • West Germany/Germany: 1984-1994 (86 caps)

 

Honours

  • 1986 FIFA World Cup: Runner-up
  • 1990 FIFA World Cup
  • 1992 UEFA Euro: Runner-up

Individual

  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1984, 1992
  • kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season: 1985–86
  • Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1989
  • Pirata d'Oro (Internazionale Player of the Year): 1989
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1990
  • Ballon d'Or – Third place: 1990

FIFA World Cup appearances

  • 19 caps; 4 goals; 15 wins; 1 draw; 3 losses

 

Mexico 1986

  • West Germany 1-1 Uruguay
  • West Germany 2-1 Scotland
  • West Germany 0-2 Denmark
  • West Germany 1-0 Morocco
  • West Germany 0-0 Mexico (4-1 Pen)
  • West Germany 2-0 France
  • West Germany 2-3 Argentina

 

Italy 1990

  • West Germany 4-1 Yugoslavia
  • West Germany 5-1 United Arab Emirates
  • West Germany 1-1 Colombia
  • West Germany 2-1 Netherlands
  • West Germany 1-0 Czechoslovakia
  • West Germany 1-1 England (4-3 Pen)
  • West Germany 1-0 Argentina

 

United States 1994

  • Germany 1-0 Bolivia
  • Germany 1-1 Spain
  • Germany 3-2 South Korea
  • Germany 3-2 Belgium
  • Germany 1-2 Bulgaria

Club Career

  • 1978-1980 HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst
  • 1980-1981 1. FC Saarbrücken
  • 1981-1986 FC Kaiserslautern
  • 1986-1988 Bayern Munich
  • 1988–1992 Inter Milan
  • 1992-1993 Zaragoza
  • 1993-1998 1. FC Kaiserslautern

        

Honours

  • Kaiserslautern - Bundesliga: 1997–98; runner-up 1993–94, DFB-Pokal: 1995–96; DFL-Supercup: runner-up 1996
  • Bayern Munich - Bundesliga: 1986–87; runner-up 1987–88; European Cup: runner-up 1986–87; DFL-Supercup: 1987
  • Inter Milan - Serie A: 1988–89; Supercoppa Italiana: 1989; UEFA Cup: 1990–91
  • Real Zaragoza - Copa del Rey: runner-up 1992–93

Brazil’s Roberto Carlos epitomized the idea that hard work brings success and that talent wasn’t everything. But if in that message you missed how talented the left back was, it would be to your peril.

Over the course of a long career with Brazil and with LaLiga giants Real Madrid, Carlos enjoyed immense successes, but his personal performances over the years were a thing to watch.

Blessed with blinding pace, Carlos would make marauding runs down the left side that would leave his opponents hapless. But that wasn’t all. Carlos would learn to adjust to the adjustments made for him.

An intelligent player, Carlos realized that when he received the ball in his own half, his opposition would back right off so as to stop his solo runs. The diminutive left-back then became the proponent of the diagonal pass. Playing that pass accurately over 60 yards meant that on occasion he would scythe through an opposing back line and put his teammates through on goal. The pass became even more destructive than his runs.

Another way opponents tried to stop Carlos was by halting his runs illegally.

But Carlos adjusted to this as well, becoming a real threat from free kicks, making it dangerous to foul him in the wrong place.

Many don’t know, but Carlos began life as a forward before switching to left back because he would have otherwise been surplus to requirements. The decision proved golden as he would go on to play for Brazil 125 times over the course of 14 years, winning the 2002 World Cup. Carlos was also a part of the Galacticos, a Real Madrid unit considered to have the best players in the world in all positions. Giants of the game. There he won four LaLiga titles and three Champions League crowns.

 

Playing Career

Name: Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha (Roberto Carlos)
Date of birth: 10 April 1973
Birthplace: Garça, São Paulo, Brazil

 

International career

  • Brazil: 1992-2006 (125 caps)

 

Honours

  • 1997 Copa America
  • 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • 1999 Copa America
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup™

Individual

  • Bola de Prata: 1993, 1994, 2010
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 1997 (Silver Award)
  • ESM Team of the Year: 1996–97, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1998, 2002
  • Trofeo EFE: 1997–98
  • UEFA Club Defender of the Year: 2002, 2003
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2002, 2003
  • Ballon d'Or: 2002 (Runner-up)
  • Golden Foot: 2008
  • Sports Illustrated Team of the Decade: 2009
  • ESPN World Team of the Decade: 2009
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2010
  • FIFA 100
  • Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame

FIFA World Cup appearances

  • 19 caps; 16 wins; no draws; 3 losses

 

France 1998

  • Brazil 2-1 Scotland
  • Brazil 3-0 Morocco
  • Brazil 1-2 Norway
  • Brazil 4-1 Chile
  • Brazil 3-2 Denmark
  • Brazil 1-1 Netherlands (4-2 Pen)
  • Brazil 0-3 France

 

South Korea & Japan 2002

  • Brazil 2-1 Turkey
  • Brazil 4-0 China PR
  • Brazil 5-2 Costa Rica
  • Brazil 2-0 Belgium
  • Brazil 2-1 England
  • Brazil 1-0 Turkey
  • Brazil 2-0 Germany

 

Germany 2006

  • Brazil 1-0 Croatia
  • Brazil 2-0 Australia
  • Brazil 4-1 Japan
  • Brazil 3-0 Ghana
  • Brazil 0-1 France

 

Club Career

  • 1991–1993 União São João      
  • 1992 → Atlético Mineiro (loan)
  • 1993–1995 Palmeiras     
  • 1995–1996 Inter Milan 
  • 1996–2007 Real Madrid        
  • 2007–2009 Fenerbahçe   
  • 2010–2011 Corinthians  
  • 2011–2012 Anzhi Makhachkala 
  • 2015 Delhi Dynamos     

Honours

Palmeiras

  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 1993, 1994
  • Campeonato Paulista: 1993, 1994
  • Torneio Rio-São Paulo: 1993

Real Madrid

  • La Liga: 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07
  • Supercopa de España: 1997, 2001, 2003
  • UEFA Champions League: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2001–02
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1998, 2002
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2002

Fenerbahçe

  • Turkish Super Cup: 2007, 2009

The coronavirus pandemic is still raising questions across sport, even with the global calendar decimated by cancelled and postponed events.

Coronavirus has, according to official figures, caused around 6,500 deaths from approximately 170,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

As the pandemic continues, there are going to be some big decisions made in the world of sport over the coming week, with UEFA's 55 members set to come together – via video conference – on Tuesday.

The fate of this season's Champions League and Europa League will be up for debate, while Euro 2020 is also to be discussed.

Here is a look at the latest developments:

 

Ahead of Tuesday's meeting with UEFA, Italian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina confirmed he will call for Euro 2020 to be postponed, in the hope that might allow the Serie A season to be finished in June.

This proposal will likely be backed by LaLiga boss Javier Tebas, who is convinced the top-flight season in Spain will be completed. Swiss FA president Dominique Blanc, meanwhile, has confirmed he has coronavirus.

It is not yet clear what will happen in the Premier League, with the teams set to reconvene for another meeting on Thursday and, after coming under criticism for stating that the season should be considered "null and void", West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady defended her comments.

"The Premier League and EFL are doing all we can to ensure the season is finished. Including suspending games, isolating players, and if required playing games behind closed doors and into the summer months," she wrote on Twitter.

"My point was safety of fans, players, staff come first and if the remaining games just cannot be played the only fair and reasonable thing is to declare [the] season null and void."

In a newspaper column, Wayne Rooney backed the decision to postpone fixtures in England, but criticised the Premier League and EFL for taking so long to make the call.

More players have confirmed they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to be named as having the illness, with the club adding four more members of the first-team playing and coaching staff had also tested positive.

Valencia's former Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala confirmed later on Sunday that he was one of those with the virus.

In Serie A, Sampdoria's Omar Colley posted a video to his official Instagram account in which he refuted his club's claim that he too had received a positive test result.

Meanwhile, Manchester United's Paul Pogba joined the raft of sports stars pledging to support people during the crisis, as he launched a fundraiser to mark his 27th birthday.

In France, Paris Saint-Germain announced they had extended the suspension of all club operations until March 18.

In the United States, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert – the first NBA player to be diagnosed with coronavirus – provided a positive update on his recovery, while also stating: "I wish I would have took this thing more seriously and I hope everyone else will do so because we can do it together."

Not all sport has been postponed just yet, with rugby league in both Britain and Australia continuing for now.

In Super League, Castleford Tigers ran out winners over defending champions St Helens, though in the National Rugby League (NRL), Melbourne Storm's Cameron Smith called for the competition to be suspended.

Round two is set to go ahead next week, albeit behind closed doors, while New Zealand Warriors have elected to remain in Australia rather than return to Auckland, where they would have to self-isolate for 14 days.

FIFA has announced its proposed restrictions on international loan transfers will come into effect in July 2020, pending approval from the FIFA Council.

The Football Stakeholders Committee has endorsed the introduction of international loan limits for players aged 22 and over.

Clubs will be allowed a maximum of eight in and out from 2020-21, with that figure decreasing to six in 2022-23, with no more than three in and three out between the same clubs.

FIFA said the regulations would "ensure that [loan transfers] have a valid sporting purpose for youth development".

With the new rules for international deals set to be introduced in July, member associations have three years to set regulations for domestic loans.

These domestic laws would have to be "in line with the principles established at international level".

Zinedine Zidane called for improvements in Real Madrid's finishing after his side needed a late Nacho goal to clinch a 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Sunday.

Nacho connected with a Toni Kroos cross to head Madrid in front after 78 minutes of a tightly contested match to earn Zidane's men a win that moved them three points clear at the top of LaLiga.

Zidane praised his defence after Valladolid failed to register a shot on target but said more creativity is required to ensure struggling opponents are beaten more convincingly.

"Defensively, what we are doing, we are doing well. It is our strength," Zidane told reporters. 

"We defend all and when we lose the ball we recover it very high, and if we keep it we have a good chance of scoring.

"Nacho scored and that is part of football. We know that we can improve in this aspect.

"Nacho is a professional. When he has to compete he does well. I'm glad for his goal; he doesn't usually score them but from time-to-time we can also create chances for defenders."

Zidane refused to be drawn on his side's title chances despite opening up a gap over rivals Barcelona, who lost 2-0 to Valencia on Saturday.

Madrid have been beaten only once in the league this season but with 17 games remaining, including the visit of Barcelona on March 1, Zidane predicted a tough road ahead.

"For us, nothing changes," said Zidane. "We are happy with the victory, the work done having fought until the end, but nothing changes. There are 17 games left and we will continue fighting until the end.

"I don't want to talk about being champions because there is still a lot left to play.

"It changes nothing to be leaders, they are three important points but nothing more.

"There are a lot of league games left and it will be difficult for all teams, including us."

Madrid's next game is at home to city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

 

Real Madrid moved three points clear at the top of LaLiga after Nacho scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

With title rivals Barcelona slipping to a 2-0 defeat to Valencia on Saturday, Zidane's men earned a hard-fought victory over a Valladolid side that came into the game unbeaten in three league matches.

Chances were few and far between at either end and the points looked likely to be shared after Karim Benzema missed from point-blank range with only Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip to beat.

But Nacho arrived in the box to head home with 12 minutes left and put his side in the driving seat at a crucial stage in the title race.

Gareth Bale's agent described suggestions he is to leave Real Madrid on loan as "ridiculous" and assured he will see out the remainder of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having made just nine LaLiga starts for Madrid this season, Bale has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move back to the Premier League with Tottenham or Manchester United.

Barnett did not rule out the possibility of the Wales international leaving Madrid but emphatically dismissed the suggestion of a loan exit.

"At the moment he is going to be playing football this evening for Real Madrid and he has got two and a half years left on his contract," Barnett told Sky Sports ahead of Zinedine Zidane's side taking on Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

"He is fine, he will be there and everything will be fine.

"He is one of the best players on earth. Why would one of the best players on earth go on loan? That's ridiculous.

"That's what I have always said. I have never deviated. Things can change but loans are ridiculous and there are not many clubs that can afford him anyway."

Bale was on the verge of a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning before the start of this season, but a reportedly difficult relationship with Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane seems to have settled down.

Since he joined Madrid from Tottenham for €100million in 2013, Bale has won one LaLiga title and one Copa del Rey to go with his four Champions League winners' medals.

Barnett backed him to add to his collection of silverware before his time at the club comes to an end.

"He is happy and hopefully he will win a couple of more things with Real Madrid," he said.

Xabi Alonso has ruled himself out of the running to be the next Bayern Munich head coach because he does not have enough experience.

The former Spain midfielder, who finished his playing career at Bayern with a spell between 2014 and 2017, is currently in charge of Real Sociedad B.

Despite his affiliation with Bundesliga side Bayern, Alonso believes it is too early in his management career for him to be a contender.

Asked about the Bayern job, he told Marca: "I am where I want to be and right now where I want to be is in San Sebastian with Real Sociedad.

"I am a beginner in this life of being a coach and I have no goals beyond being here.

"I hope I can be a better coach, here at Real Sociedad, make a career every year that I want and I'm at ease.

"Whatever has to happen, will happen. The clubs I've been to sign the best coaches in the world and I'm still starting."

Hansi Flick is currently in charge of Bayern on an interim basis after Niko Kovac left the club in early November amid a slump in results.

Alonso, 38, won LaLiga and the Champions League during five seasons at Real Madrid.

However, he could neither pick a winner in Wednesday's El Clasico between his old club and Barcelona, nor decide who will eventually be crowned LaLiga champions.

"It's a hard-fought race, but it's very open and there isn't a clear favourite," Alonso said.

"There is seldom a favourite when the teams face each other on the pitch and there isn't here either. I see them fairly even, I don't see either squad having anything superior to the other.

"Madrid have improved a lot. They had a difficult time but got through it, and right now they feel very powerful, like they can win anywhere."

Madrid stuck by head coach Zinedine Zidane despite a poor start to the season and the club now find themselves behind leaders Barcelona on goal difference.

Alonso was pleased his old club backed the Frenchman despite external pressure, calling him "a well-chosen coach".

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