The all-time World Cup


  • Introduction
  • Matchfacts
  • Squads
  • Statistics


  • Introduction

        Did you ever wonder if Paolo Maldini could withstand Garrincha? Could Batistuta have scored against Lev Yashin? Would Zidane and Platini have fitted into one team? Nobody will ever know since these were stars from different eras. But there is good news! Now Planet World Cup brings you The All Time World Cup. A tournament that brings the 32 best countries in the history of the World Cup together. Each team can select their best players in history and bring them together into one squad. This all gives you the opportunity to experience the whirlpool of 64 matches at the highest level ever imaginable.

    How it developed

        Making All Time teams is fun. Take for instance Holland. Never World Champions, but if you put together Cruijff with Van Basten, Van Hanegem with Rijkaard and Wilkes with Koeman, you would consider yourself sure to have a World Champion in hand. But then again, look at other countries. Almost each of them can compile a team that would at least be a serious contender in a normal World Cup. Creating such a World Cup, with all these teams containing big stars, looked like a very interesting project. This would be special. Banks may have been a fantastic goalie, but what about Zamora? Austria had Pezzey, but Argentina had Ruggeri. Hagi was equalled by Deyna, Zamorano by Stoichkov and Matthäus by Neeskens. All big names in football history packed together in one World Cup. With each other and against each other. Brilliant!

    The format

        We chose to take the format that we are used to today: 32 teams, playing in 8 groups of 4 teams. The numers 1 and 2 of each group progressing to a second round, and from then on: knock out, on to the final!

        But which teams would participate? There were a few nuts to crack. Although selecting the 32 countries was not very difficult. We just took the first 32 on the all-time list of the World Cup since 1930. But what to do with Yugoslavia? Take the whole unified country, or take just Croatia, so succesfull in 1998? And what about the former Sovietunion? And Germany? They were champions as West-Germany, but their eastern semi-countrymen also did well in 1974. Another problem occured with Czechoslovakia, in the 90’s also separated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

        Now we decided to simply take all unified countries. That would open the door for as many players as possible. Had we taken Croatia, we would have axed great players like Dragan Dzajic and Vladimir Petrovic. As far as the Sovietunion was concerned, none of the separated countries ever made it to the finals apart from Russia in 1994. So the obvious choice here was to go for the USSR. The same applied to Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic alone nor Slovakia ever reached the final stages. And Czechoslovakia were runners up twice, so we simply could not deny them. We took Germany as a unified country, though the western part had so many great players that no former East Germany player made the squad. By the way, taking Yugoslavia (with Croatia also among the first 32 countries on the All Time list) made that we could add Northern Ireland as participant number 32.

    It has to be a team

        So, we soon discovered that almost any country participating in this All Time World Cup could field a fantastic team. However, the question as usual would be: what kind of players make the best team? How many times do you see a close follower of football naming his favourite midfield as: Garrincha, Cruijff, Platini and Maradona. We thought this wouldn’t be the right thing to do, because it wouldn’t work against strong teams. Midfields like that would be overrun. And, as stated, in this tournament there would only be strong teams. So we decided to make “real” teams, built up from players with different qualities. No team has ever been succesfull without ballwinners, good defenders and players willing to do the dirty work. So in this All Time World Cup no showteams, no Harlem Globetrotters. A Brazil with Pelé and Ronaldo, but also with Dunga. And France with Zidane and Platini, but not without Deschamps. We tried to let the teams play in a system they are used to. No players on positions where they never play or played. On the other hand, we decided that it wouldn’t be necessary that a player had ever taken part in a real World Cup. So in this All Time World Cup there would be place for Alfredo Di Stefano and George Best.

    For which country are they eligible?

        The rules have not always been the same. Now we don’t know any better that when a player has played for one country, he can never play again for another country. But this wasn’t always the case. Many players were capped for more than one country, and between them big names: Luis Monti, Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Ladislao Kubala, just to name a few. For which country would they be eligible during this All Time World Cup? Simple, for the country in which they were born. So Puskas not a Spaniard but a Hungarian. Di Stefano for Argentina and Kubala like Puskas for Hungary. Monti would play for Argentina although he won the World Cup with Italy. Just like Orsi.

    Where is The All Time World Cup being held?

        Time and distance would be eliminated for this event. So it seemed to be a nice idea to have this tournament played in all the stadiums where a World Cup final had been played. Okay, there had been 17 finals, not the ideal number of stadiums. But we were lucky, the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City had staged 2 of them (1970 and 1986) so we had exactly what we needed: 16 great stadiums.


        We thought it would add much of reality if we would add referees. No football game without someone who would keep the matadors apart. Just like the way we selected the stadiums, we selected the referees who were in charge during a World Cup final. Here however no referee who led 2 finals, so 17 referees available. One more than we needed. We axed Edgardo Codesal Mendes from the list. The Mexican didn’t prove to be on the right level during “his” final in 1990. It had seemed to be final for himself alone. He made headlines with a couple of curious yellow and red cards and, more important, an undeserved penalty-kick. So Mr. Codesal was considered to be the weakest link. That left us with 16 referees. All of them would lead 3 matches in the first round and 1 match in the knock-out phase.

        So, here you have the introduction to The All Time World Cup. Each week, two games will be played. One on Tuesday, one on Friday. A matchreport will include line-ups, goalscorers, yellow and red cards as well as an extended overview of the game. It’s all on Planet World Cup, so visit The All Time World Cup twice a week. With 32 teams, 64 matches and the final on July 22 the biggest tournament ever!

    Ruud Doevendans




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