2. Bobby Moore
West Ham legend, Bobby Moore, will always hold a special place in the heart of every England fan. He is the only English player to have captained his country to victory in the World Cup. He went on to win the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1964, and the Players’ Player of the World Cup in ’66.
Pele considers him the greatest defender he ever played against, as, I’m sure, do many others. In his career, he won the World Cup, a Cup Winners’ Cup, and an FA Cup with the Hammers. Undoubtedly, he is one of the greatest centre-backs of all time.
In one of the best FA Cup finals ever, the Hammers, led by 23-year-old Bobby Moore, came back from being a goal down on two occasions before scoring in the dying minutes of injury to seal a memorable 3-2 victory. Moore played his heart out in that game. He motivated his team to fight against all odds and etch their name in English folklore.
1. Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer dominated any defence he was in. His leadership made him a prime candidate for captaincy and his elegance made it look like he found even the toughest of tasks easy. The Bayern Munich legend was a leader, a role model, an avid believer in his philosophies, and moreover a complete footballer.
He was perhaps the most important part of the great Bayern Munich side of the early ’70s, winning four Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, a Cup Winners’ Cup, and three consecutive European Cups. Later, at Hamburg, he was to win another Bundesliga title.
Beckenbauer went on to win 103 caps for West Germany and he also appeared in three World Cup finals for them. He was influential in guiding his team to a World Cup triumph in 1974. He achieved the same feat as head coach sixteen years later. Beckenbauer also won the European championship in 1972.
Individually, Beckenbauer was a four-time winner of German Footballer of the Year and a two-time Ballon d’Or winner. He was voted as the third greatest player of the 20th century, and the second greatest European player of the 20th century, losing out to Johan Cruyff.