These 'Greatest of the Great' Football Players Could Not Win the World Cup Ever

These 'Greatest of the Great' Football Players Could Not Win the World Cup Ever

In life, you can't have it all. Life of a football player is measured by their trophy cabinet. Many possess a handful of accolades, but it is a lifelong dream of a football player to win the greatest trophy, the World Cup. But, as always, the summit of glory is reserved for the lucky and brave.

It is unfortunate that a lot of legendary players, who dedicated all their energy and emotions to push the threshold of human limits to another level, did not end holding the World Cup. But that's life of an athlete- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. What is always bound to happen for sure, is that you learn.

Some of the finest and most loved footballers who've played for decades, while some of whom are still playing, never held 'the trophy'.

David Beckham


Despite his magical free kicks and flexible dribbling, he never played the World Cup finals. David took England to the quarter-finals twice.

Johan Cruyff 

Considered as one of the greatest footballers, Cryuff won countless trophies with Ajax and Barcelona. He captained what was known as the best team that went to the finals in 1974. They lost the final 2-1 to West Germany.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

The Zlatan. This self-proclaimed lion is still leading an illustrious club career but has retired from international football. The closest that he came to the World Cup was with Sweden during the 2006 World Cup, but only till quarter-finals.

Oliver Kahn

He's one of the greatest goalkeepers the world has ever seen. However, he lost to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup finals.

Michael Ballack

This man needs no introduction. Despite relentless efforts, Germany lost the semi-final to Italy under his leadership.

George Best

Hailed as Manchester United's greatest player, George Best never played for the World Cup.

Paolo Maldini

With over 2,216 minutes to his credit, Maldini holds the record for most minutes played in World Cup matches. But all he could reach was the semi.

Ryan Giggs

He is the most respected player in the British history. He was the one-club man of Manchester United and holds the record for most matches in English Premier League history. Unfortunately, he never played a single World Cup game.

Cristiano Ronaldo 

The near-perfect player with a boatload of trophies, goals, and attention, Cristiano Ronaldo is still going strong. Maybe this is his year after winning the 2016 Euro cup with Portugal.

Lionel Messi

It is his burning desire to win a world cup for Argentina. He knows he can do it, and the entire world knows it too. Lionel Messi will try to make up for the last World cup final where Argentina lost to Germany and shocked the whole world with his retirement from internal football. But he is back to see through his country again.