Published on January 21, 2014 | by Aminur Rashid


LCC lecturer chooses his all–time World Cup greats

London College of Communication's visiting sports lecturer Pete May

May’s World Cup book doesn’t just look at goals scored. [Pete May]

As this summer’s World Cup in Brazil draws closer, many football fans will be reminiscing about previous tournaments and debating with their friends about who have been the greatest players in history of the competition.

The latest book by London College of Communication visiting sports lecturer Pete May, World Cup Expert – Players, examines his choice of the top ten greatest players at the World Cup.

May, a widely published author, whose books include Hammers in the Heart: A Lifetime of Supporting West Ham has timed the release of the book to look forward to the games and players that will light up this year’s tournament.

The book is a great tool for any football fan looking to learn about the history of the competition incorporating fun facts and statistics, and explains why he considers it to be the biggest sporting event in the world.


World Cup Expert – Players looks at renowned footballers such as Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona and how they made their mark on the competition.

There is also a section on the 2014 World Cup and what to expect in the summer including predictions for teams and which players are expected to shine.

May described the book as a great way of educating young people about the history of football and the World Cup.

The book is aimed at mainly secondary school students with an easy understanding of the contents, which also includes a quiz so that readers can test their friends to see who is the real World Cup Expert.

“It’s a quite difficult task, I didn’t just base [my choice] on how many goals the players scored. I looked at the overall contributions they made at the World Cup. For instance Lothar Matthäus, I chose him because he was an excellent defender for Germany. He played in five World Cups and he was 37 when he played his last World Cup by 1998.


“I also chose Dino Zoff because he was a goalkeeper and the oldest player at the age of 40 when he captained Italy in 1982 to the World Cup. So there was a lot of mixture in there,” May said.

He went on to say he chose some of the obvious ones, such as Johan Cruyff because he was amazing player when he captained the Netherlands back in 1974 even though he never actually won. Cruyff and the Dutch team were incredible with how they developed the total football concept so he deserves to get a mention.

He also chose Pele because he played in four World Cups and won three of them, the first in 1958 when was just 17.

Another favourite of May is Bobby Moore: not just because he captained England to the World Cup to victory in 1966, but also because of the way he defended against Pele in the 1970 World Cup after being arrested for allegedly stealing a bracelet, and then coming back to play. “I think someone like him is an amazing character,” said May.

Asked about his views on the next World Cup May said: “For the next World Cup in Brazil I mention Neymar for Brazil and Jack Wilshere for England. I also mention Radamel Falcao for Colombia – I think he will be really great for them.’’

World Cup Expert – Players by Pete May & Published by Franklin Watts, recommended price £11.99.

10 facts about the FIFA World Cup

Did you know…

  1. Cameroon’s Roger Milla is the oldest player to score in a World Cup;
  2. Brazil are the only nation to have appeared in every World Cup since its inception in 1930;
  3. The 1950 World Cup was determined by a final group stage, with the final four teams playing in round-robin format, instead of a knockout stage where Uruguay caused a big upset against Brazil by winning 2-1, whereby they won the group and the World Cup for a second time;
  4. Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and Brazil’s Mario Zagallo are the only people to have won the World Cup as players and managers;
  5. The Netherlands are the only nation to have got to the final three times and not gone on to win the World Cup;
  6. Mexico’s Estadio Azteca is the only stadium to have hosted two World Cup Finals;
  7. England’s Peter Shilton and France’s Fabien Barthez have the most clean sheets in the World Cup;
  8. Colombia were originally scheduled to host the World Cup in 1986, however economic issues forced them to withdrew and it was later awarded to Mexico for a second time;
  9. The 1974 World Cup was the first time the current World Cup Trophy was used. Before that the Jules Rimet trophy – which Brazil won outright after winning a third World Cup -was presented;
  10. The 2022 World Cup is expected to be the first World Cup to be staged in the Middle East in Qatar.


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