Top 10: Players of France 98
8. Edgar Davids, Netherlands
Davids had been sent home from Euro 96 after telling his coach Guus Hiddink that "he needed to take his head out of the arses of certain players", but they had made up before the World Cup, and Davids repaid Hiddink’s forgiveness with a string of outstanding, selfless performances.
Snarling and snapping, he allowed Frank de Boer the time to direct play from deep, a guard dog who was also more than capable of making a pass or scoring a goal – as he did in the final minute against Yugoslavia, driving in from the edge of the box to win a tense second-round match.