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FourFourTwo's 100 Greatest Footballers EVER: 70 to 61

70. Paul Breitner

Why are they here?
For having as significant influence with Bayern Munich as he also did at Real Madrid, and for excelling as much at full-back as in midfield. After contributing so much to Bayern's three consecutive Bundesliga titles up to 1974 (the same year they also won a European Cup), he joined Real where his midfield partnership with compatriot Gunter Netzer inspired two Liga titles.

Breitner continued to succeed with Bayern after returning in 1978, but is as fondly remembered as a maverick who spoke of the impact Che Guevera's death had on him, of politics, and who had a fondness for fast cars.

Career highlight
Scoring West Germany's crucial, equalising penalty in their 2-1 World Cup final victory against the Holland of peak Johan Cruyff in 1974 (surpassing even Breitner's performance in spaghetti western Potato Fritz).

Words: Dec Warrington

69. Dennis Bergkamp

Why are they here?
He may have been Dutch, but Bergkamp’s biggest impact was arguably made on English football. Arriving to the Premier League as one of its first wave of foreign imports back in the unreconstructed early 1990s, Bergkamp immediately demonstrated a suaveness and detached innovation that was alien to the culture he’d come into.

The former Gunner had the star quality and an icy mean streak that immediately endeared him, but also showed that a hardened winning mentality and sumptuously refined technique need not be mutually exclusive.

Career highlight
His goals against Newcastle and in the World Cup against Argentina were his masterworks, and both are well-documented. But perhaps the moment that best defines him is an assist: for Freddie Ljungberg against Juventus, in a 3-1 win at Highbury in 2001.

Words: Alex Hess

68. Sandro Mazzola

Why are they here?
A one-club man with Inter, Mazzola was key to Helenio Herrera’s Grande Inter side. Renowned for their tough-nut catenaccio tactics, and their ability to score from lightning-fast counter-attacks, Mazzola’s tactical nous from midfield brought him goals aplenty, and a raft of silverware as Inter became Italy’s team of the 1960s.

Sandro won four Serie A titles, the 1964 European Cup Final and added the 1968 European Championship with Italy.

Career highlight
“I played against your father. You did him proud, and I want to give you my shirt,” Ferenc Puskas told Mazzola after Sandro scored twice in Inter’s victory over Real Madrid in the 1964 European Cup Final.

Words: Jon Spurling

67. Florian Albert

Why are they here?
Nicknamed ‘The Emperor’, Albert was a remarkably elegant striker, who always played with confidence and was bold enough to invent unorthodox solutions on the pitch. He represented Ferencvaros, his only club, for 16 years, but was especially brilliant for his national team.

Albert was voted the best young player at the 1962 World Cup and was chosen for the team of the tournament at both Euro 1964 and the 1966 World Cup. He received a Ballon d'Or in 1967, finishing ahead of Bobby Charlton.

Career highlight
Albert led Hungary to the quarter-finals at two World Cups, in 1962 and 1966, but the earlier of these tournaments was his breakthrough as he scored four goals at the age of 20.

Words: Michael Yokhin

66. Teofilo Cubillas

Why are they here?
The greatest Peruvian player in history, Cubillas is remarkably the only non-German to have scored at least five goals at two different World Cup tournaments, in 1970 and 1978 (he scored five in both).

Blessed with outstanding vision and a powerful shot, he was a phenomenal set-piece specialist, usually striking the ball with the inside of his foot. Having scored at will for his beloved Allianza Lima, he was also successful at Porto and later played at Fort Lauderdale Strikers alongside George Best.

Career highlight
Cubillas led Peru to their second (and the last so far) Copa America triumph in 1975, where they beat the mighty Brazil in the semi-finals.

Words: Michael Yokhin

65. Jimmy Johnstone

Why are they here?
Until Jock Stein arrived at Parkhead in 1965, both Celtic and the mercurial 'Jinky' Johnstone were struggling for consistency. Initially Stein felt the outside-right was too much of an individual, but showed faith in the player who was at the fulcrum of his side for the next decade.

One of the Lisbon Lions (the Celtic team which beat Inter in 1967 to become the first British club to win the European Cup), Johnstone's superb performance during Alfredo Di Stefano's testimonial in Madrid in the same year prompted the supporters inside the Bernabeu to chant “Ole!” everytime he received the ball.

Career highlight
Informed by manager Stein that, if he played a blinder in the first leg of a European tie in 1968 he wouldn't have to travel to Red Star Belgrade for the return, 'Jinky' pulled out all the stops, scoring twice and setting up two more goals in a 5-1 win.

Words: Jon Spurling

64. Johan Neeskens

Why are they here?
A tireless midfielder, equally able to score goals, provide assists and close gaps in defence, Neeskens was perfect for the Total Football ideas of Ajax and the national team. Nicknamed the Second Johan, he was the best possible partner for Johan Cruyff, covering ground for the maestro and feeding him with countless balls.

Unsurprisingly, Neeskens moved to Barcelona in 1974, a year after his friend and having won three European Cups in a row at Ajax. He also followed Cruyff to the NASL, starring for New York Cosmos.

Career highlight
Neeskens is best remembered for scoring a second-minute penalty in the 1974 World Cup final against West Germany, which sadly for the Dutch wasn't enough in the end.

Words: Michael Yokhin

63. Gordon Banks

Why are they here?
Creator of the most watched goalkeeping highlight in history, Banks’s top-flight career was spent between Leicester and Stoke. England secured his legacy, though. A World Cup winner in 1966, he made arguably the most acclaimed save in the game’s history from Pele in 1970 and, ironically, would have his worth emphasised in absentia later in the same tournament.

Banks was taken ill before England’s quarter-final with West Germany; Peter Bonetti deputised and inadvertently assisted the loss of a 2-0 lead by making one of the most notorious errors in the national team’s history.

Career highlight
The save. The World Cup win secured his legacy, but the final itself has always been defined by Geoff Hurst’s goals, the images of the Bobby Moore and Kenneth Wolstenholme’s commentary. His denial of Pele, though, is Banks’s signature moment alone.

Words: Seb Stafford-Bloor

62. Dixie Dean

Why are they here?
Scorer of 379 goals in 437 league games, Dean (real name William), is arguably the greatest of all English centre-forwards.

Muscular and athletic, Dean survived both a motorcycle accident and the loss of a testicle early in his career to crash home goal after goal for his beloved Everton and England. No mean feat in the era of the heavy ball.

Career highlight
In 1927/28, as Everton rampaged towards the First Division title, Dean plundered a barely credible 60 goals, dismissing those who claimed the reformed offside law had made his job easier as “buffoons”.

Words: Jon Spurling

61. Peter Schmeichel

Why are they here?
Before new-fangled tactics compelled goalkeepers to dash towards the halfway line and behave as ersatz playmakers, Schmeichel was the king of the keepers, the prototypical elite-level goalie. Everything that contributed to preventing a goal he had in abundance: size, presence, aggression and the unyielding ability to bellow his back four into shape.

Most of all, though, he was just so hard to score past. His ‘starfish’ method became famous and was responsible for countless point-blank chances going inexplicably unconverted. As well as simply being huge, his reflexes were astoundingly quick – and not just once a shot had been taken but before, too: he’d smother the ball at a striker’s feet before the player had even realised he was through on goal.

Career highlight
Hoovered up medals as a stalwart of Alex Ferguson’s first great Manchester United side, but none will have meant as much or been as spectacularly improbable as his European Championship win with a hastily assembled Denmark side in 1992.

Words: Alex Hess

The list

100 to 91 • 90 to 81 • 80 to 71 • 70 to 61 • 60 to 51 • 50 to 41 • 40 to 31 • 30 to 21

20 • 19 • 18 • 17 • 16 • 15 • 14 • 13 • 12 • 11 • 10 • 9 • 8 • 7 • 6 • 5 • 4 • 3 • 2 • 1

FourFourTwo's 100 Greatest Footballers EVER