Home / Football / Guest Article – The Best One Time World Cup Players
World Cup

Guest Article – The Best One Time World Cup Players

Time for another guest article of now as new transfer window signing Anthony Umoh takes a look at the best players to have only played in one FIFA World Cup. Thanks for getting involved Anthony, the floor is now all yours. Take it away.

The Best players play in the world cup, and you have many opportunities to see them perform great moments in actions, for example, you have seen Lionel Messi play in the 2006,2010,2014 world cup, but some players have only graced the world cup once. Some players on this list missed the world cup due to being injured or not qualifying from the continent some players in this article have been very unlucky when considering this.

In today’s article, I will be talking about the most significant impact by the most celebrated players; Honorable mentions will include Matheus Sindelair-1934, Nandor Hidegkuti-1954, Alcides Ghiggia-1950, Igor Belanov-1986 and Salvatore Schillaci-1990.

Johan Cruyff-1974

Johan Cruyff is the best European footballer ever seen and one of the best players to play football, his only World cup came in 1974 in which he captained the Dutch side that made it all the way to final. During this tournament, Cruyff was able to affect games with his high intelligence and incredible technical ability. In this competition, he was able to create the Johan Cruyff turn another example of his Football IQ  was when he was the furthest outfield player to receive the ball, and then he drove at the German defence and won a penalty.

His Dutch who was managed by Rinus Michel pressed with high intensity played with flair and showed the intelligence to change position continuously. Cruyff did have his controversies if you watch any game from that world cup you will see that he only played with two stripes this due to the problematic relationship puma and Adidas had in this situation.

Johan Cruyff was a highly successful footballer, and in his career, he was able to play for one of the best club sides ever as that Ajax team in the early 1970’s. He was able to win eight Eredivisie titles, five KNVB Cups, one intercontinental cup but more importantly he won three European cups in a row, and that resulted in Cruyff winning three Ballon d’or in a row, he also had Rinus Michels as his manager and when he departed for Barcelona.

Cruyff left for Barcelona in 1973, and he with Michels was able to change a culture which means everytime you go and see Barcelona you see there revolutionary tactic of tiki-taka which originates from the Total football he was able to install as a player and a manager.


Eusebio played in his only tournament in 1966, and despite Portugal reaching the semi-final he deserved to better, his Portuguese managed to beat Pele’s Brazil despite the amount of fouling on the star player he managed to outperform his rival.

In a world cup where he scored nine goals in six games, he was very unlucky to find himself being marked Bobby Stiles which limited his effectiveness on the semi-final. One famous match was when the Portuguese played the North Koreans when they took a 3-0, and he was able to score four of the Portuguese goals to help them beat the Koreans 5-3.

Eusebio is a legend, and he played for Portuguese side Benfica and was vi instrumental to one of Benfica’s most successful period. He played for Benfica from 1961 to 1975, Eusebio’s comparison has included Pele, and at a point was nicknamed the “European Pele”  as well as his first nickname as the “black panther”.Eusebio was a complete player and had the same attributes, excellent on the ball and was a to take a devastating shot with his right foot.

He was great physically meaning he could be used as a target man but was able also could go in-behind defences with pace, and he was outstanding in the air as well. While he was at Benfica, he managed to win nine Portuguese league titles, five Taca de Portugal cups, nine Taça de Honra de Lisboa’s, three Taça Ribeiro dos Reis’s and a European cup in 1962 after beating Real Madrid in the final.

Just Fontaine-1958

Just Fontaine was one of the best goalscorers and players of his generations; he only played one world cup in 1958 which was able to put incredible numbers of thirteen goals in six which helped. This translates to a goal scoring ratio of two goals in one game; he becomes one of the highest goal scorers in world cup history.

He was able to play with Raymond Kopa on that French side; famous games included the game against West Germany when he scored four goals in a 6-3 win. Unfortunately, they lost in the semi-final against Brazil in a 5-2 defeat where he was able to score a goal.

Just Fontaine is one of the most underrated players in history, and he was able to finish with either foot, was very good in the air and was a natural poacher because of his inherit instinct to be able to be in the right place at the right times. Just Fontaine played for three teams which were  USM Casablanca, Nice and Reims; his most significant spells came for Nice and reims which is where he established himself as one of the great goalscorers in the world.

Paul Gascoigne-1990

Paul Gascoigne is a loved figure in England despite all of his faults which included lots of drinking and pranks which summed up his very laid-back approach which you could say hindered his career and his reason why his only world cup came in 1990. He was a genius, and he affected the game with his incredible technical ability which steps the tournament alight, despite all the positives and being able to take England into the semi-final.

One iconic moment that comes to mind, and it might have made everyone at coming cry, but when he fouled Thomas Berthold receiving a yellow card that ruled him out of the final that England did not get play. He then started to tear up visibly, but instead of giving up he tried to get England into the world cup final, but England lost to the Germans on penalties.

Sandor Kocsis-1954

Sandor Kocsis was part of the best Hungarian team ever and one of the best international teams ever which was called the magical Magyars which included the likes Ferenc Puskas, Nandor Hidegkuti, Jozsef Bozsik and Gruyala Grosics. He was like Just Fontaine and was able to have a goal scoring ratio which was two goals in one game, and his world cup record was 11 goals in 5 fives games.

His most prominent attribute was his incredible heading ability which gave him the nickname “ Golden Head”, famous games including scoring four goals against the West Germans in an 8-3 win in the group stage and also scoring two goals against Brazil and Uruguay. Despite this, he did not score in the final against the Germans in a 3-2 defeat, the miracle of Bern had been born.

Sandor Kocsis was one of the great goalscorers ever to live, and he played for two of the best sides in Hungarian history which included Ferencváros and Honved, and he played for Barcelona as well. Despite Sandor Kocsis winning the Hungarian league in 1949 he peaked for Honved where he had the privilege to play with the likes of Ferenc Puskas, Zoltan Czibor, Josef Bozsik and Gyula Lorant who also played for the legendary Hungarian side of the 50s.

He managed a goalscoring record of 153 goals in 147 games and won three Hungarian titles, after the Hungarian revolution he played for Barcelona winning La Liga twice in a row as well as the Copa Del Rey twice and finally the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960

When you look at the names listed above it is almost criminal that they played in just the one World Cup, then again look at players such as George Best and Ryan Giggs who weren’t even that fortunate.

If you would like to get involved as a guest writer in 2018 then please get in touch with me via email at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and we can have you signed up as a member of the squad. Thanks, Dan.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: