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29 mars 2024

Maurice Revello Tournament top 100 players : 5th to 1st

On the occasion of its 50th edition, which will take place from 3 to 16 June 2024, the Maurice Revello Tournament is opening its history book. Since it was founded in 1967, the competition has seen many talented players. More than 2,000 have gone on to become senior internationals, and some of them have written football history. To celebrate its anniversary, the Tournament is updating its top 100, created in 2017. Until 29 March, our website will be displaying the updated rankings of the 100 greatest players to have taken part in the Tournament. And it ends today, with the rankings from 5th to 1st place.

5th : Jean-Pierre Papin (France) - 1985

Before establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the history of French football, "JPP" first went through the Maurice Revello Tournament. Flashback almost 40 years to the 1985 edition. The title holders, Les Bleuets, led by Papin and future internationals such as Franck Sauzée and Gérald Passi, negotiated their group matches perfectly, defeating Ivory Coast (3-1) and Romania (2-0). Meanwhile, the Tricolores claimed the scalp of Spain (1-0) in Marseille. A match that will live long in the memory thanks to a fantastic goal scored by JPP.

"I still have that goal against Spain on video and I watch it a lot. I went deep into my own half and received a pass in front of me. The action ended with a shot into the far corner of the net. It was my first goal at the Stade Velodrome. What I didn't know was that there would be so many afterwards in the same stadium," Jean-Pierre Papin told us in an interview in 2015. After a perfectly managed group phase, the French team won the Tournament by beating England (3-1) in the final. For his part, JPP once again hit the net against the English, finishing as top scorer of the Maurice Revello Tournament with 3 goals.

His career was marked by a highly successful spell with Olympique de Marseille. Under Marseille's colours, Papin won 4 French league titles and a French Cup. It was also during his time at OM that JPP won the Ballon d'Or in 1991. Voted OM's player of the century, Papin scored 184 goals in 311 games for the club. The Boulogne-sur-Mer native also put his talent to good use for the French national team: selected 54 times, Papin scored a total of 30 goals for Les Bleus.

4th : Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) - 1987

Holders of the title after their victory in 1986, Bulgaria put their title on the line again the following year. Unlucky in the draw, they were drawn in the group of death with Brazil, Italy and Portugal. However, Stoichkov and his cohorts beat all the odds and created a sensation. First they beat Italy in their opening game (1-0). With a perfect start, the Bulgarians followed up with a 0-0 win over Claudio Taffarel's Brazil in their second match, before overcoming Portugal 2-0 to book their place in the final, where they will meet France.

The battle was fierce in a closely-fought match of total suspense. Hristo Stoichkov, who had been mute until then, scored his only goal of the competition. But Lagrange also scored for France. Back to back after extra time (1-1), the two sides had to settle the tie on penalties. In the end, France won the shoot-out. The holders, Bulgaria, lost their trophy.

For Hristo Stoichkov, on the other hand, what followed was far more triumphant. Three years after the Tournament, he joined FC Barcelona, where he enjoyed the best period of his career. Under the Catalan colours, Stoichkov won La Liga 5 times and the Champions League in 1992. He played a key role in Bulgaria's best-ever performance on the international stage, reaching the semi-finals of the 1994 World Cup, where he was joint top scorer with 6 goals. It was a performance that earned him the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

3rd : Thierry Henry (France) - 1997

If you've been following this series from the beginning, you'll be familiar with the French generation that won the 1997 edition of the Tournament. Six players from this team feature in this top 100 ranking. Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Nicolas Anelka, Willy Sagnol, William Gallas, Mikaël Silvestre, Mickael Landreau and Ousmane Dabo are just some of the players who made up the French squad that year. It looked good on paper, but justified its reputation on the pitch against nations that were no pushovers: Les Bleuets kicked off their competition with a win over Croatia (1-0). Thierry Henry followed that up with a brace against Mexico (2-1).

In an ideal position, Gérard Houiller's side recorded a third successive win against Morocco (3-0) and ended their group phase with another victory over the Netherlands (3-1). With 4 wins from as many games, France confirmed their place in the final against Portugal. It was a match they won in extra time after a dantesque scenario and an equaliser in the dying seconds of the game (2-1). Henry, who was in sparkling form, completed the double by being voted best player and finishing as the tournament's top scorer with 3 goals.

The start of an exceptional career. World champion (1998) and European champion (2000) with Les Bleus, he is the 2nd top scorer (51 goals) and the 5th most capped player (123 caps) in the national team's history. But apart from the French national team, it was with Arsenal that Henry wrote his legend. For 8 seasons, the striker racked up the goals. In all, he scored 228 goals in 369 games played for the Gunners, earning him the title of the club's best ever player in 2008. His time at Barcelona was equally successful, with the club winning the Champions League (2009) and 2 La Liga titles (2009, 2010). Runner-up in the Ballon d'Or in 2003 and third in 2006, he is also France's all-time top scorer in all competitions (411 goals) and for Barça (49 goals).

2nd : Zinédine Zidane (France) - 1991

Zinédine Zidane, Fabien Barthez, Alan Shearer, Steve McManaman... The 1991 edition of the Tournament saw the emergence of several future great players. This year was marked by the emergence of Alan Shearer, top scorer, best player and winner of the competition with England. The Young Three Lions won the final against the French team, who were without... Zinédine Zidane. Having been sent off in the previous match against Poland, the French playmaker was suspended and watched his side lose 0-1 from the stands.

Les Bleuets had had an excellent run to the final, beating the United States (3-1) and Poland (2-0). Only Scotland managed to hold them (1-1).

The rest is history for 'ZZ': an explosion at the highest level for both club and country. In 1998, for example, Zidane won Serie A with Juventus before guiding France to their first World Cup title with a legendary brace in the final against Brazil (3-0). The Marseille native went on to win the Ballon d'Or. After a highly successful spell with Juventus and a Euro triumph with France in 2000, Zidane moved to Real Madrid, where he added to his trophy collection by winning the Champions League in 2002, scoring a memorable goal in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. In total, he collected 13 trophies, even coming close to another World Cup in 2006, when he became one of only 4 players in history to have scored in two different World Cup finals.

1st : Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 2003

June 2003. The Maurice Revello Tournament celebrates its 31st edition with an eclectic line-up: Italy, Mexico, England, Colombia, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Burkina Faso, Portugal and Argentina. Italy, unfortunate finalists against Brazil a year earlier, returned with a vengeance. A victory over Mexico (3-2) followed by a draw with Colombia (1-1) and two further wins over Burkina Faso (3-0) and Poland (3-1) sent the Squadra Azzurra through to the final. There they met Portugal, who had beaten England (3-0) and Javier Mascherano's Argentina (3-0), and were led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored against the Young Three Lions.

Faced with the striker and a Lusitanian team packed with talent, Italy could do nothing and lost after a brace from Joao Paiva and a goal from Danny (3-1). With his skills and abilities, 'CR7' was already making an impression and attracting the attention of a number of scouts. But it was the inevitable Sir Alex Ferguson who landed the jackpot and recruited the young Portuguese, then at Sporting, his childhood club.

With the Red Devils, Cristiano asserted himself and grew into the player his talent had led him to expect. He won a Champions League, 3 Premier Leagues and his first Ballon d'Or in 2008. Transferred to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee in 2009 (€94 million), he became a legend both in football and at the Spanish club. He has won 16 titles for Los Merengues, including two La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles. On an individual level, he won 3 more Ballon d'Or awards, but above all he set countless records. He is currently Real Madrid's all-time top scorer with 450 goals, as well as Champions League top scorer with 141. His performances for his national team are equally colossal. A European champion in 2016, he is the most capped Portuguese player (205 appearances) and the top scorer (128 goals) in the history of the national team, a record that he has increased steadily over the years...


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