In the 1960s, there was an explosion of talent or at least a lot more of it was brought to the world's attention. Players from all around the world, from Pele to George Best, demonstrated their skills and claimed the title of best in the world. Of course, no 60s list would be complete without Eusebio, but there was a superpower at the time, and they played in Spain. If the 1950s were exceptional, the 1960s were nothing short of extraordinary in terms of global football talent.
From renowned Brazilian Garrincha to Bobby Charlton and George Best of Manchester United, Coluna, and Portuguese striker Eusebio, this generation produced some genuinely timeless players whose achievements will be remembered for decades to come. Giacinto Facchetti of Inter Milan, one of the game's earliest and best offensive full-backs, should not be neglected. There will undoubtedly be those who hail Pele, one of the greatest players in the game's history, as the best of this decade. Let's look at the best XI from the 1960s. The formation is 4-2-4, one of the most popular formations of that era.
Goalkeeper: Gordon Banks (England)
Banks was a goalkeeper in the English professional football league. During his 20-year professional career, he made 679 appearances and won 73 caps for England, including starting every game of the country's 1966 World Cup championship. Banks was elected FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972 and FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year six times and is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time.
Right-Back: Tarcisio Burgnich (Italy)
Burgnich played for Udinese, Juventus, Palermo, Internazionale, and Napoli during his career, but he is best remembered for his time with Inter Milan, where he was a member of manager Helenio Herrera's team. At Inter, he won four Serie A championships, two European Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups. Burgnich played for Italy in three FIFA World Cups, gaining a runners-up medal at the 1970 FIFA World Cup. In 1968, he was a member of the Italian national team that won the country's first-ever UEFA European Football Championship on home soil.
Centre-Back: Billy McNeil (Scotland)
Billy has a lengthy history with Celtic, having played, managed, and served as a club ambassador for more than sixty years. In 1967, McNeill led Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' to European Cup glory. McNeill, a defender, spent his entire professional career with Celtic and holds the club record for most appearances with 822 in 18 seasons. During their most successful period, the 1960s and 1970s, he was captain. During this time, the team won nine consecutive Scottish league titles and thirteen other major domestic trophies, as well as becoming the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967. He also represented Scotland 29 times.
Centre-Back: Bobby Moore (England)
Bobby Moore is most known for being the captain of the England national side that won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. He played for West Ham United for more than 10 years and captained the club for more than ten years. Moore won the FA Cup in 1963–64 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1964–65 during his 16-year association with the club. He was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1964 and West Ham Player of the Year in 1961, 1963, 1968, and 1970 throughout his career with the club. He had a total of 108 caps for his country, which was a national record at the time of his international retirement in 1973.
Left-Back: Giacinto Facchetti (Italy)
Facchetti appeared in 634 official games for the club, scoring 75 goals, and was a member of the "Grande Inter" team that won four Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, two European Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups under manager Helenio Herrera. In 1965, he finished second in the Ballon d'Or voting. Facchetti played for Italy in 94 international matches, including three FIFA World Cups. He was also named to the All-Star Team for the 1970 World Cup, in which Italy finished second. He was also the captain of the national squad that won Italy's first-ever UEFA European Championship on home soil in 1968 and was named to the tournament's best team.
Midfielder: Bobby Charlton (England)
Bobby Charlton was a part of England's World Cup-winning team in 1966, the same year he won the Ballon d'Or. He spent practically his entire club career at Manchester United, where he developed a reputation for his attacking instincts. He captained Manchester United to the European Cup victory, scoring two goals in the final to help the club become the first English club to do so. He was named to England's World Cup squads four times (1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970), however, he did not play in the first.
Midfielder: Mario Coluna (Portugal)
Coluna spent the majority of his professional career at Benfica, appearing in 525 matches and scoring 127 goals in 16 seasons. With his main club, O Monstro Sagrado (The Sacred Monster), he won 19 major honours, including ten national league wins and two European Cups. Coluna played in the 1966 World Cup for Portugal, earning a total of 57 caps.
Right-Winger: Garrincha (Brazil)
Garrincha was a Brazilian footballer who played as a right-winger in the professional league. He is widely recognised as one of the best players of all time, and others consider him to be the best dribbler of all time. Garrincha was a key figure in Brazil's World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962. When Pelé was injured in the 1962 World Cup, Garrincha guided Brazil to victory with a dominant performance throughout the tournament. In addition, he made history by becoming the first player to win the Golden Ball, Golden Boot, and World Cup all in the same tournament. Garrincha spent the majority of his professional career at Botafogo.
Forward: Eusebio (Portugal)
Eusebio scored 733 goals in 745 games during his professional career. Eusebio led Portugal to third place in the 1966 World Cup, scoring nine goals and receiving the Bronze Ball trophy as the tournament's top goalscorer. In 1965, he won the Ballon d'Or award for European footballer of the year, and in 1962 and 1966, he was runner-up. He won eleven Primeira Liga titles, five Taça de Portugal crowns, and a European Cup (1961–62), as well as assisting them in three more European Cup finals.
Forward: Pele (Brazil)
He was one of the most successful and popular sports stars of the twentieth century, regarded as one of the best players of all time and dubbed "the greatest" by FIFA. It is a Guinness World Record that he scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies. He was the only player to win three FIFA World Cups throughout his international career: 1958, 1962, and 1970. With 77 goals in 92 appearances, Pelé is Brazil's all-time best goalscorer. With 643 goals in 659 games for Santos, he is the club's all-time leading goalscorer.
Left-Winger: George Best (Northern Ireland)
Best was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United for the majority of his career. In 1968, he was crowned European Footballer of the Year, and he was voted FIFA Player of the Century for the sixth time. Between 1964 and 1977, Best was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland in international football. He is widely recognised as one of the greatest players never to have represented his country at a World Cup.