World Cup: winning captains

By Natasha Sporn Action Images/Carl Recine, AP Images, Action Images/David Jacobs
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A look back through the years at victorious team captains

The national captains who have led their country to World Cup glory See Gallery

Every team needs leadership. Not just a leader in a form of a coach, but guidance on the pitch as well - the captain's job. Click through out gallery to see those team captains with the coveted World Cup trophy firmly in their hands.

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1930: José Nazazzi

Uruguay hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and announced themselves on the world stage in July 30, after a string of victories propelled them to victory. José Nazazzi captained his side all the way to the final, before lifting the Jules Rimet trophy.

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1934: Giampiero Combi

Giampiero Combi became the first goalkeeper to captain a winning World Cup side as Italy lifted their first Jules Rimet trophy after beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 on June 10, 1934.

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1938: Giuseppe Meazza

Armed with some words of encouragement from then Dictator Benito Mussolini, translating as 'win or die', Giuseppe Meazza and the Azzurri became the first team to lift the World Cup trophy on foreign soil on June 19, 1938 after beating Hungary in the final 4-2. Mezza captained the Italian side through three 2-1 wins before the final.

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1950: Obdulio Varela

The 1950 World Cup could have been won by Brazil if they had drawn against Uruguay because of the mini-league format the final round was played in. Uruguay - led by Obdulio Varela - scored their second goal in the 79th minute of their game against Brazil to secure their second World Cup victory.

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1962: Mauro Ramos

Promising young player Mauro Ramos was left out of the Brazilian playing squads during the previous two World Cups but finally made his debut in 1962 - as captain of the side. Ramos tasted victory as Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in Chile on June 17 to become world champions.

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1966: Bobby Moore

England’s only World Cup tournament victory started with a bore draw against Uruguay but soon livened up as Bobby Moore’s men beat both Mexico and France 2-0. Moore captained a strong England squad containing stars such as Geoff Hurst and Bobby Charlton all the way to the final match at Wembley. On July 30, 1966, Bobby Moore lifted the trophy high in front of a home crowd at Wembley.

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1970: Carlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto Torres captained the Brazilian side to their third World Cup victory in 1970. Alberto scored a memorable fourth goal in the final match against Italy, which is considered among the best in the tournament's history. He led the side - containing stars Pelé and Jairzinho - to the Jules Rimet Trophy for the last time (a new trophy was introduced in 1974) on June 21 in Mexico.

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1974: Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer captained his West German side all the way to victory, losing only one round one group match to the German Democratic Republic. The ultimate prize for any national team captain was awarded to Beckenbauer on July 7, 1974, and he lifted the first FIFA World Cup in Munich, following the trophy’s change from the previous Jules Rimet trophy.

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1978: Daniel Passarella

Argentina won their first World Cup title while on home soil in 1978, as captain Daniel Passarella led the team to victory with a win 3-1 extra time win over the Netherlands in the final. On their way to glory, the South Americans lost just once, as well as drawing a game against rivals Brazil.

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1982: Dino Zoff

Italy only just scraped through the group stages to the second round, drawing all three of their Group One fixtures and scoring just twice. In the next round, under Dino Zoff’s guidance, the Azzuri soon started winning against big teams such as Argentina and Brazil and eventually found themselves meeting West Germany in the final match. On July 11, 1982, Dino Zoff and his squad lifted the World Cup trophy in Madrid, Spain.

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1986: Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona captained Argentina to victory in Mexico, lifting the trophy having beaten West Germany 3-2 on June 29, 1986. Maradona etched his name into World Cup history not just as the captain of the eventual victors, but as the scorer of one of the greatest goals in World Cup history. During the quarter final match with England, after the 'Hand of God' incident, Maradona dribbled past numerous England defenders to score a brilliant goal to seal progression for the Argentines.  

Action Images / David Jacobs
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1990: Lothar Matthäus

Lothar Matthäus captained West Germany to their third World Cup victory with a 1-0 win over Argentina in Italy. The 1990 final was a rematch the previous World Cup final in 1986, but this time it was West Germany winning and claiming the title of champions on July 8, 1990.

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1994: Dunga

After taking over the captaincy from Raí, Dunga captained Brazil to their fourth World Cup title on the July 17, 1994, in the USA after a penalty shoot-out victory over Italy. 

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1998: Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps captained France to their first World Cup victory when they hosted the tournament in 1998. Deschamps got his chance to lift the coveted prize after a 3-0 win over Brazil on July 12, 1998.

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2002: Cafu

Cafu captained Brazil as they travelled to Korea/Japan for the 2002 World Cup. Under Cafu’s leadership, Brazil won all seven of their matches - scoring 18 goals - and most importantly beating Germany 2-0 in the final on June 30, 2002, to lift the trophy for the fifth time in the nation's history. 

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2006: Fabio Cannavaro

Italy's captain Fabio Cannavaro lifted the Fifa World Cup trophy in Germany on his 100th international cap, after an exhilarating final match with France that was decided in the end by penalties. Cannavaro managed to avoid being booked at all during the tournament and Italy conceded only two goals during the 2006 finals in Germany - one own goal in their match with USA and a penalty goal in the final match.

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2010: Iker Casillas

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas captained Spain as they became world champions in 2010 in South Africa after beating the Netherlands 1-0 following extra time. After a 1-0 defeat in their opening group match with Switzerland, La Roja went on to win every match they played and on July 11, 2010, became the current champions of the world.