In all the celebration of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, The Guardian has published their choice of The World Cup's top 100 footballers of all time. An international panel of 40 experts compiled this list of World Cup history's best players to have ever competed in the global competition of football's finest. 

But of all the players having ever competed in any of the 19 World Cup tournaments, not one of The Guardian's top 100 footballers of all time are from a country in Asia. Surprising? Or unsurprising?

Asia has the highest number of malnourished children for any region in the world. Poor nutrition from the start of life and an unhealthy lifestyle later in life are the reason why Asia’s children – future footballers – aren’t able to compete equally with their international counterparts on the field. For Asia’s children the dream of ever making a "football champions" list ends before it begins.

Will the next generation of Asia's footballers be just as unfortunate to not make a list like this? 


From The Guardian's World Cup top 100 footballers of all time

1 Pele Brazil
2 Diego Maradona Argentina
3 Franz Beckenbauer West Germany
4 Ronaldo Brazil
5 Zinedine Zidane France
6 Johan Cruyff Holland
7 Lothar Matthaus West Germany/Germany
8 Gerd Muller West Germany
9 Garrincha Brazil
10 Michel Platini France
11 Eusebio Portugal
12 Paolo Maldini Italy
13 Jairzinho Brazil
14 Bobby Charlton England
15 Xavi Spain
16 Romario Brazil
17 Just Fontaine France
18 Paolo Rossi Italy
19 Dino Zoff Italy
20 Bobby Moore England
21 Ferenc Puskas Hungary
22 Zico Brazil
23 Ronaldinho Brazil
24 Roberto Baggio Italy
25 Cafu Brazil
26 Fabio Cannavaro Italy
27 Rivaldo Brazil
28 Mario Zagallo Brazil
29 Johan Neeskens Holland
30 Lev Yashin USSR
31 Mario Kempes Argentina
32 Roberto Rivelino Brazil
33 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
34 Carlos Alberto Brazil
35 Roberto Carlos Brazil
36 Roger Milla Cameroon
37 Paul Breitner West Germany
38 Lilian Thuram France
39 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany
40 Giuseppe Meazza Italy
41 Gordon Banks England
42 Oliver Kahn Germany
43 Zbigniew Boniek Poland
44 Gianluigi Buffon Italy
45 Daniel Passarella Argentina
46 Franco Baresi Italy
47 Gary Lineker England
48 Djalma Santos Brazil
49 Nilton Santos Brazil
50 Uwe Seeler West Germany
51 Lionel Messi Argentina
52 Tostao Brazil
53 Andreas Brehme West Germany/Germany
54 Geoff Hurst England
55 Sepp Maier West Germany
56 Hristo Stoichkov Bulgaria
57 Vava Brazil
58 Sandor Kocsis Hungary
59 Luis Figo Portugal
60 Marcel Desailly France
61 Gheorge Hagi Romania
62 Giuseppe Bergomi Italy
63 Fritz Walter West Germany
64 Carles Puyol Spain
65 Andrés Iniesta Spain
66 Paul Gascoigne England
67 Grzegorz Lato Poland
68 Obdulio Varela Uruguay
69 Juan Schiaffino Uruguay
70 Alcides Ghiggia Uruguay
71 Helmut Rahn West Germany
72 Frank de Boer Holland
73 Ruud Krol Holland
74 Elias Figueroa Chile
75 Leonidas Brazil
76 Gheorghe Popescu Romania
77 Teofilo Cubillas Peru
78 Jay-Jay Okocha Nigeria
79 Didi Brazil
80 Gianni Rivera Italy
81 Sergio Batista Argentina
82 Ilhor Belanov USSR
83 Salvatore Schillaci Italy
84 Wesley Sneijder Holland
85 Bellini Brazil
86 Alessandro Del Piero Italy
87 Luis Monti Argentina/Italy
88 Thomas N'Kono Cameroon
89 Claudio Gentile Italy
90 Bebeto Brazil
91 Hector Chumpitaz Peru
92 Dragan Stojkovic Yugoslavia
93 Matthias Sindelar Austria
94 Rinat Dasayev USSR
95 Philipp Lahm Germany
96 Jürgen Klinsmann Germany
97 Antonio Cabrini Italy
98 Leonardo Brazil
99 Giacinto Facchetti Italy
100 Tomas Brolin Sweden


 Read more One Goal posts about the World Cup: No team in Asia will win the World CupLife in the poorest World Cup nations, The World Cup: An uneven playing field