The World Cup's forgotten men
The World Cup Trophy

Whenever people think of the World Cup, two players immediately spring to mind- Pele and Maradona. Both defined the World Cup's of their era with their silky skill and their pure football genius. However, what about the players who are only mentioned briefly when it comes to World Cup history?


Perhaps the greatest dribbler world football has ever seen, Garrincha has been arguably more important to the myth that is the Brazil national team than Pele. Garrincha was key in the Brazil team's that won the 1958 and 1962 World Cup's with his mesmerising performances on the flank.

He was at the height of his footballing powers in 1962 when he scored four goals at the World Cup in Chile. His final goal in the 3-1 Quarter Final win over England epitomised his brillance as he curled a beautiful goal past Ron Springett. Such was the excellence of Garrincha, The British football press said he "was Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney and a snake charmer all rolled into one."


While many consider Pele as Brazil's hero in their 1970 win, a lot of the credit must go to winger Jairzinho. The Botafogo legend thrived during the tournament on the space left by team's so conscious to stop Pele. As a result, Jairzinho was allowed to score in every Brazil game at the World Cup.

It was the space that was left open by Pele that allowed Jairzinho to settle a tight game with England in the final match of Group 3. After almost an hour in which the Brazilians couldn't find a way past the brilliant Bobby Moore, England were opened up down the right and Jairzinho found the corner to settle the contest- a contest that proved to be Brazil's hardest at the World Cup that year.

Mario Kempes

Despite finishing as the top scorer and winning the golden ball as Argentina won the 1978 World Cup, Mario Kempes is a name that is perhaps not as well known as it ought to be.

Ticker tape and the goals of Kempes came to define the 1978 World Cup as he scored six goals during Argentina's triumph at the tournament. He was the coolest player at the tournament with his composure and class in front of goal.

For all the stars there has been at the World Cup, none have been able to find the net with as much pizzazz as he Kempes did in 78'.

Sandor Kocsis

Although Hungary failed to win the 1954 World Cup, Sandor Kocsis was one of the main reasons behind Hungary's route to the final. Usually forgotten behind Ferenc Puskas as Hungary's greatest ever footballer, Kocsis was more influential than Puskas during the 54' World Cup.

He finished the 1954 World Cup as top scorer with 11 goals, which is second to only Just Fontaine's 13 in 1958 as the most scored in a World Cup finals. Four goals against West Germany, a hattrick against South Korea and two braces against Uruguay and Brazil led Hungary to the final where they lost 3-2 to West Germany to become arguably the greatest team never to have won the World Cup.


Again like Kocsis, Eusebio did not win the World Cup. But he certainly stole the show during the 1966 tournament in England. With 9 nine goals in the 1966 World Cup the 'black panther' as he was known made sure Portugal's first World Cup would be one that would live long in the memory.

The Quarter Final against North Korea established him as the greatest European footballer at the time as he won the game on his own for Portugal. 3-0 down at half-time, Eusebio scored four second half goals as Portugal won the game 5-3.

While he is remembered well for his influence at the 1966 World Cup, he is not revered as much as he should be. Portugal's 2-1 defeat to England in Semi Final gave his tournament an anti-climax as Portugal exited the competition to the hosts.