1. RYAN GIGGS
The most decorated player in football history, Ryan Giggs has won an incredible amount of club and individual honors, including; 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, nine Community Shields, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues and one Club World Cup. Individually, Giggs was named in the PFA Team of the Year six times, as well as the PFA Team of the Century. He played 963 games for Manchester United, scoring 168 goals, and holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history. Unfortunately, the double European champion never qualified for a major international championship with his native Wales.
2. GEORGE WEAH
George Weah won the FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards in 1995, becoming the first, and still the only African player to do so in history. He spent 14 years in Europe, playing for Monaco, PSG, AC Milan, Chelsea, Man City and Marseille. He won league titles in three different countries and 11 trophies in total. He was named African Player of the Year three times and is a member of the AC Milan Hall of Fame.
3. ERIC CANTONA
Despite his success at Manchester United, the enigmatic Frenchman never played for France at a Word Cup. His country failed to qualify for the tournaments in 1990 and 1994 and by the time they did finally qualify in 1998, the controversial player had fallen out of favour.
4. ALFREDO DI STEFANO
The greatest player to never grace the World Cup, yet many still consider him to be the greatest of all time. In any such discussion, Di Stefano’s name should certainly be up there with the likes of Puskas, Beckenbauer, Pele, Maradona and Messi. He is almost certainly the most complete player in the history of the game. Renowned for coming deep to get the ball before taking people on or playing a wicked pass, Di Stefano was the most vital cog of the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1950s.
The former European Footballer of the Year played for his country 37 times and won the European Cup with Manchester United.
Unfortunately, even George Best could not lead Northern Ireland to the World Cup finals. At his peak he was as good as anyone, but by the time his country qualified for the finals in 1982, the 36-year-old was past his prime.
6. ARSENSIO ERICO
Widely regarded as the greatest Paraguayan footballer of all time, the Argentine Primera Division top 10 scorers consisted of nine Argentines and one Paraguayan, who sits atop of that list, and that man in Arsenio Erico. A wonderful goal scorer, Erico averaged just under a goal a game over his career, scoring 295 goals for Independiente in Argentina.
7. LASZLO KUBALA
Voted in 1999 as Barcelona’a greatest ever player, Kubala might have some stern competition from Lionel Messi now should the vote be repeated. His father was of Slovak-Polish origin and his mother was of Slovak-Hungarian origin. Kubala also moved about a great deal in his life, spending time in Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Spain and more.
8. SJAAK SWART
The Dutch forward won three European Cups and eight league titles with Ajax after spending his entire career at the Amsterdam club. Despite representing Holland on 31 occasions, he never featured at a World Cup.
9. ALBERTO SPENCER
The Ecuadorian striker known as “magic head” was great with both feet and scored more than 450 goals during his professional career. Despite representing Ecuador and Uruguay at international level, the three-time Copa Libertadores winner and goal-scoring record-holder never played in a World Cup.
10. BERND SHUSTER
Despite winning a European Championship in which he was named among the Team of the Tournament and won the Silver Ball as the competition’s second best player in 1980, Bern Schuster never played in a World Cup for West Germany. Considered one of the finest foreign players in La Liga throughout the 1980s, Schuster played for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid, where he won 14 titles in total. He was nominated for the Ballon d’Or three times, finishing second in 1980 and third in 1981, and was twice named the best foreign player in La Liga.