A-Z of World Cup Superstars – C is for Cafu

by Dexy Longshot

Friday, February 19th, 2010
 

With the World Cup less than 6 months away, we have decided to start the build up early doors with an A to Z list of our favorite players who set the World Cup alight. Some are recent stars, some are relics from the days of black and white TV but all were mustard. The thing is, each week we will be using just stars whose surname was that week’s letter, eg: this week it is letter C which gives us Carlos, Cruyff, Cannavaro etc etc. Tricky already! Gawd help the banter when we get to M, – Messi, Maradonna, Maldine, Moore, ….McCoist!!!

This week’s letter is C, feel free to slate our selections and put it right with players who in your opinion, are truly The World Cup Superstars.

A-Z. Agree or Disagree?

C
My C-list this week starts of back home with Bobby Charlton. A 100-club member for the 3 Lions, the former Red Devils European Player of the Year was recognised as one of the games finest ever longshot demons. He could play anywhere along the front 5 places in Ramsey’s wingless wonders. A great ambassador for the game with a not so great barnet, he famously cried in the 66 final while brother Jackie danced around like a leaping Salmon.

Roberto Carlos retired from the Brazilian national squad after letting Thierry get the better of him in Germany 4 years back, but a recent interview at Corinthians suggested he might reconsider, especially with Dunga tinkering with his squad just before SA. A veteran of 125 games, it may surprise many that he only amassed 11 goals in that time despite being renowned for his ferocious Brazilian benders. His goal against France in 1997 is still a favorite of mine. He played over 14 WC games on the bounce losing the 98 final against France but he brought home the bacon in 2002.

This may come as a shock but Johan Cruyff hasn’t made the cut. He weren’t bad though was he? 48 matches & 33 goals. It would have been more but Johan had off the field probs that would make our so-called bad boys look like choirboys. A years suspension for Holland after receiving the countries 1st ever red card  – having sponsorship with Puma while all his teammates had an Adidas deal, he was the only member of the squad with 2 stripes on his sleeves instead of 3, aloofness anyone? Boycotting the 78 WC in Argentina due to political reasons, later rumours suggested a kidnap attempt at Barca, which resulted in his retirement just before the 78 World Cup where Holland came runners-up. What isn’t in doubt was his ability. The player of the tournament in 1974, his total football saw Holland cruise into final only to be thwarted by Beckenbauer’s West Germany who man marked him out of the game.

Fabio Cannavaro has been one of Italia’s ever presents over the past decade playing in 98, 02 and 06 & led his country to the their 4th World Cup title 4 years ago. Acknowledged as one of the finest defenders of his generation, The Italian was named The Player Of The Tournament 2006, the 1st defender ever to do so and also the oldest recipient.

Cafu
My Mr. C title has to go to the ageless rampaging right-back Brazilian, Marcos Evangelista de Moraes….who?? or better known as Cafu. Just look at The Stats. 21 WC final appearances in 143 Brazilian games (a national caps record). 2 World Cup wins in 94 & 02, he has played in 4 World Cups & the only player to participate in 3, yes 3! WC finals. The first against Italy was as a sub in the USA. The 2nd was the France defeat of 98 and the 3rd was the 2-0 win over the Germans 4 years later where as captain, he lifted the trophy while doing a Adrriiian Balboa style shout out to his missus. His 4th and final appearance on the WC stage was the last 8 knockout at the hands of the Frogs in Germany. When it comes to experience at the highest level, he has got the lot.

That’s my Mr. Cs, there was a few more who I’ve had to leave out or this would of gone on for pages but feel free to stick some in.

D action next week.

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