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The Greatest Soccer Players of Our Generation

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FC: The Greatest Soccer Players of Our Generation

1: By Mr. Cusumano Published December 2011 Edison Intermediate School Westfield, NJ 07016

2: Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Zidane (French pronunciation: [zinedin zidan]) (born 23 June 1972) is a retired French footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Zidane was a leading figure of a generation of French players that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. After a brief international retirement, he returned to the national team in 2005 and captained France to the 2006 World Cup Final where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament's most outstanding player. At club level Zidane won the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, two Serie A league championships with Juventus, an Intercontinental Cup, and a UEFA Super Cup each with both aforementioned sides. He is, alongside Brazilian striker Ronaldo, the only three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner; he also won the Ballon d'Or in 1998. He retired from professional football after the 2006 World Cup. He currently holds the post of Real Madrid Director of Football, filling the spot previously held by Jorge Valdano.

5: Roberto Baggio Roberto Baggio (Italian pronunciation: [robrto baddo]; born 18 February 1967) is a retired Italian footballer. Widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of his generation, Baggio won both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993. He is the only Italian player ever to score in three World Cups. He is also one of the top 5 all-time goalscorers for Italy. Baggio is known as Il Divin Codino (The Divine Ponytail), for the hairstyle he wore for most of his career and his Buddhist background.

6: Diego Armando Maradona Diego Armando Maradona (Spanish pronunciation: [djeo maaona]; born 30 October 1960) is a retired Argentine football player and widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys, setting world-record contract fees. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 tournament, where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. In that same tournament's quarterfinal round, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two different reasons. The first goal was via an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble through six England players, voted "The Goal of the Century".

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