The top 100 players of 1961 countdown continues with the penultimate part of this five-post series covering positions 21 through 40. If you’ve missed any of the previous editions, here’s numbers 41 to 100.
21. Jose Aguas (Benfica) – Centre-forward
Superb in the air and almost unplayable at times, Aguas gives defenders no break. Scored a hatful for Benfica in their European Cup success.
22. Joaquin Peiro (Atletico Madrid) – Inside-forward
Earning a reputation among the best players in Spain with his clever prompting and eye for goal. At the heart of Atleti’s cup win last season and gunning for more honours.
23. Omar Corbatta (Racing Club) – Outside-right
Hard drinking but hugely talented winger who bewitches defenders with his trickery. Noted as a penalty specialist.
24. Kurt Hamrin (Fiorentina) – Outside-forward
Explosive winger who is also a prolific goalscorer. Impressed with Sweden and has become a more rounded player during his time in Serie A, first with Juve and now in Florence.
25. Alberto Spencer (Penarol) – Centre-forward
A prodigious header of the ball, Spencer is cultivating a reputation among the finest strikers in South America. Instrumental in the success of Penarol who are dominant domestically and abroad.
26. Julinho (Palmeiras) – Outside-right
Winger of great technique and purpose who excelled with Fiorentina before returning to Brazil. Renowned for the quality of his shooting, some rate him the best winger that Brazil have ever produced.
27. Nestor Goncalves (Penarol) – Half-back
Tall and classy right-half who is rated among the best in South America. Has won a glut of trophies both domestically and internationally at club level.
28. Nilton Santos (Botafogo) – Left-back
Has earned the nickname “the encyclopaedia of football” for the completeness of his game. Has spent his whole career with Botafogo and rated as one of the truly great full-backs.
29. Horst Szymaniak (Catania) – Half-back
Recent switch to Serie A after a long and successful career in Germany. Has been regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe over the course of recent years, but now playing further forward.
30. Dave Mackay (Tottenham Hotspur) – Half-back
Formidable midfielder who allies great strength with no shortage of skill. Has formed a wonderful partnership with Blanchflower at White Hart Lane.
31. Igor Netto (Spartak Moscow) – Half-back
Brilliant midfielder who has been at the heart of so much Soviet success. Winner of the Olympics and European Championship, he knits everything together with skill and poise.
32. Luis Del Sol (Real Madrid) – Inside-forward
Enjoyed a superb first season with the Merengues after his switch from Betis. Scores plenty of goals but it at his best when picking holes in opposition defences.
33. Chinesinho (Palmeiras) – Inside-forward
Hugely admired Selecao star who drifts intelligently between midfield and attack. Faces a real battle to be a World Cup star given Brazil’s abundance of riches.
34. Juan Seminario (Real Zaragoza) – Outside-left
Known as “El Loco”, Seminario has made a superb start to life in Spain. Moved after an impressive spell in Lisbon with Sporting and is a big goal threat, either from the wing or up front.
35. Gilmar (Santos) – Goalkeeper
Made almost 500 appearances for Corinthians but now with Santos. Lithe, athletic and agile, he’s very much a modern keeper and is unflappable under pressure.
36. Josef Masopust (Dukla Prague) – Half-back
Dynamic midfielder who is the lynch-pin of club and country. Gets forward very well but possesses plenty of grit, steel when needed.
37. Djalma Santos (Palmeiras) – Right-back
Shows no sign of slowing down, having moved from Portuguesa to Palmeiras. Loves to get forward and support the midfield.
38. Jose Augusto (Benfica) – Outside-right
Superb crosser and dribbler who is the source of so much of Benfica’s attacking threat. Key man in their European Cup win.
39. Vava (Palmeiras) – Inside-right
Back in Brazil after a spell at Atletico Madrid, Vava provides a fine foil for Pele in the Selecao attack. Two goals in the World Cup final showed his class.
40. Bora Kostic (Vicenza) – Outside-left
Enjoyed a long and successful career with Red Star Belgrade before his recent move to Serie A. Olympic winner with Yugoslavia and is renowned for his potency in front of goal.