Ranked! The best 10 Players of USA '94
10. Krasimir Balakov, Bulgaria
Normally a goalscoring midfielder, Balakov failed to find the net at USA 94 and missed his penalty in the second-round shootout victory against Mexico, but he was also at the centre of everything the surprise semi-finalists did well – the schemer to Stoichkov’s spearhead. The two complemented each other perfectly on the field, despite often being at each other’s throats off it. Balakov moved to Stuttgart a year after the World Cup, where coach Joachim Löw – now in charge of Germany – hailed him the best playmaker in Europe.
Skip to 3:30 for our man's penalty... and behold the Mexican keeper's glorious garments
9. Jürgen Klinsmann, Germany
Klinsmann was just as potent as he had been four years earlier; the difference this time was that Germany’s midfield lacked the same drive. Having got the only goal in the opener against Bolivia, he headed an excellent equaliser against Spain, scored two against South Korea – flicking the first up for a volley, taking down a cross on his chest for the second – and then got Germany’s second in a 3-2 win over Belgium after a slick one-two with Rudi Voller. Quick, mobile and deadly, he was arguably the best striker in the world at the time.
8. Thomas Brolin, Sweden
He may have become a figure of fun later in his career, as the belly expanded and he took up a range of unlikely jobs including being a vacuum-cleaner salesman, but in the early '90s Brolin was the creative spark that lit up an over-achieving Sweden side.
He was aided by having a potent strike force in Martin Dahlin and Kennet Andersson – with a young Henrik Larsson coming through – but it was Brolin’s imagination that fired Sweden. He converted a penalty against Russia, then scored an excellent opener in the quarter-final win over Romania.