Updated December 15, 2020, 2:39 p.m.
No Ballon d’Or will be awarded this year. Instead, the French newspaper “France Football” held an election for the best team in history. In addition to the recently deceased Diego Maradona, two Germans also made it into the star-studded team.
GOAL: Lev Yashin (Russia, 1929-1990) was the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or, nine times in eleven years Yashin was voted the best goalkeeper in Europe. He saved 151 penalties in his career and is still considered the goalkeeper of the century. He took part in four world championships.
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DEFENSE: Paolo Maldini (Italy, born 1968) played as a left-back for AC Milan throughout his career, winning the championship seven times and the Champions League five times.
© picture-alliance / Press photo ULMER
DEFENSE: Franz Beckenbauer (Germany, born 1945) mainly held the position of Libero in 546 competitive games for Bayern Munich and 103 international games for the German national team. With the DFB team he became world champion in 1974 (as a player) and 1990 (as team boss).
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DEFENSE: Cafu (Brazil, born 1970) played in Europe for AS Roma and AC Milan mainly in the right-back position. With 142 international matches, he is Brazil’s record player. He participated in four world championships and won two of them (1994, 2002).
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MITTELFELD: Pele (Brazil, born 1940) won a total of 26 national and international titles with FC Santos in 17 years. With the Brazilian national team, he won the World Cup three times (1958, 1962, 1970), making him the most successful player in the tournament. With 77 goals in 92 international matches, he is also the record scorer for the Brazilian national team.
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MIDDLE FIELD: Lothar Matthäus (Germany, born 1961) played as a libero and defensive midfielder for FC Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Inter Milan. With 150 international matches he is Germany’s record international player. He won the European Championship in 1980 and the World Championship in 1990.
© picture-alliance/ dpa / Frank Kleefeldt
MIDFIELD: Xavi (Spain, born 1980) played almost his entire career as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona (767 competitive games). With his club he was eight times Spanish champion and won the Champions League four times. In 2008 and 2012 he was European champion with the Spanish national team and world champion in 2010.
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MIDDLE FIELD: Diego Maradona (Argentina, 1960-2020) was at home in the attacking middle field and achieved legendary status, especially at SSC Napoli (259 competitive games and two championship titles) and in the Argentine national team (world championship title 1986).
© picture alliance / Press photo Rudel
STURM: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, born 1985) is both the record player and record scorer in his country with 102 goals in 168 international matches. He scored 652 goals in 861 competitive games for the national team and for his clubs Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus Turin. With Portugal he became European champion in 2016, he also won the Champions League five times and was world footballer of the year five times.
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STURM: Ronaldo (Brazil, born 1976) has played for Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan and AC Milan, among others. With the Brazilian national team he was world champion in 1994 and 2002. In the 2002 World Cup final, he scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Germany. In total, he scored 296 goals in 452 competitive games.
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STURM: Lionel Messi (Argentina, born 1987) has been playing for FC Barcelona since he was 14. He is the top scorer and the best preparer of the Spanish first division. In total, he scored 642 goals in 746 competitive games and prepared 282 more. He has won the Champions League four times and has been named World Player of the Year six times.
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