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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 16:51 GMT
Fifa names greatest list
Brazil legend Pele has picked his top 100
Pele has revealed his list of the 125 greatest living players at Fifa's centenary gala in London on Thursday.

Five-time World Cup-winners Brazil had the most players - 15 - with Italy and France both getting 14 nominations.

The Brazilians include Ronaldo and Pele's playing contemporaries Carlos Alberto, Rivelino and Djalma.

Among the seven English players chosen were David Beckham, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, while Northern Ireland's George Best also made the cut.

The other English players were Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan, Gordon Banks and Gary Lineker, but there was no place for 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst.

Scotland's Kenny Dalglish and the Republic of Ireland's Roy Keane both made the list.

But among the notable omissions are Manchester United and Scotland star Denis Law, England forward Jimmy Greaves and Welsh winger Ryan Giggs.

The French names include Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane, with Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini and Christian Vieri among the Italian contingent.

Everyone has their own favourite 100 players and I just tried to make as few mistakes as possible
Pele
There are 13 Dutch players on the list, including Dennis Bergkamp and Ruud van Nistelrooy, while Diego Maradona is one of 10 Argentines selected by Pele.

Germany also has 10 nominations, including Franz Beckenbauer, who is the only man to captain and coach a team to victory in the World Cup final.

The only women on the list - Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm - are both American.

The list has been issued as part of the centenary celebrations for Fifa, which is 100 years old in May.

Pele was supposed to name 100 players, but he said: "It was very difficult choosing - sometimes you have pain in your heart when you have to leave somebody out.

"Everyone has their own favourite 100 players and I just tried to make as few mistakes as possible.

"They asked me to pick 50 current players and 50 retired players from a shortlist of 300, but I could not manage that so I have picked 50 current and 75 former players."




SEE ALSO
Britain and Ireland's best
04 Mar 04  |  Photo Galleries
Pele's list of the greatest
04 Mar 04  |  Football



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