16. Helmut Rahn, West Germany
A player who scores 10 goals in as many World Cup matches belongs in any discussion of history’s greats. Helmut Rahn managed the feat for a West Germany side good enough to stun Hungary’s “Magnificent Magyars” in 1954.
Rahn scored twice in the final as West Germany won 3-2 and in the process secured one of the greatest upsets in the tournament’s history. The brace marked a typical contribution from a peerless skipper whose scoring defined his team.
Rahn’s zest for getting forward, along with his accomplished finishing, dovetailed perfectly with the creative nous of Fritz Walter. The same combination inspired the holders to reach the semifinal in 1958.
Although beaten by hosts Sweden, Rahn had acquitted himself well. He’d scored six goals en route to the last four, including the winner to beat Yugoslavia in the quarterfinal.
Rahn was the benchmark for the stock driving force from the middle Germany have boasted at every World Cup since.