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My Ten All Time Greats
by Ian Wright


NOBODY should be surprised that many of my all-time heroes are strikers. Did you seriously expect me to say anything else?

It's amazing how much you can pick up and learn just by watching some of the game's superstars on video - even on flickering black and white footage of the days when players wore cast iron boots and the ball weighed half a ton. Like most people, I haven't been able to exclude Maradona, Pele and Cruyff from my top ten - because you can't fly in the face of the evidence and deny a genius his right to world-wide recognition.

1. DIEGO MARADONA: For sheer individuality, he might have been the greatest player of all time. In terms of his influence on a match, not to mention his team-mates, he was simply awesome.

2. PELE: Not only a fabulous player but a terrific ambassador for the game. For me, the 1970 World Cup Finals was his time. He was at the peak and we watched greatness at work.

3. JOHAN CRUYFF: People talk of the 1974 Dutch World Cup squad playing 'Total Football', and this bloke was the total footballer. Athleticism, pace, skill and a superb soccer brain. It's criminal he never won a World Cup winners medal.

4. FERENC PUSKAS: His outrageous drag-back for Hungary against England at Wembley, when the Magyars trounced us in the 50s, was a fantastic piece of skill which proved how far he was ahead of his time.

5. EUSEBIO: He was unlucky to be around at the same time as Pele, because he was the next best thing.

6 ZICO: When people talk about Brazilian brilliance, the Samba beat, flair and magic, Zico is the type of player who encapsulated them all.

7. BRYAN ROBSON: A great leader with a never-say-die attitude, a terrific engine, an under-rated finisher.

8. GARY LINEKER: The way he attacked the space and made every half yard count in the box was second to none.

9. MICHEL PLATINI: In my book, the greatest midfielder ever to lace up his boots. He was a pioneer of French football and a leader who inspired his team. Skill, vision, finishing ... the lot.

10. JIMMY GREAVES: His goals-per-game record was phenomenal and I can't imagine how much he would be worth in current transfer market terms. Clinical.

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