Vic Buckingham is number 49 in 90min's Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next 10 weeks. You can find ​Jack Spedding's career overview of Buckingham ​here.

​Vic Buckingham is one of the most influential managers in the history of football.

The London born ex-Tottenham defender was around during a time when the English way was to lump it up the field and be as direct as possible. However, Buckingham had other ideas, and his innovation and impressive style of play was way ahead of its time during the mid-20th century.

While he is not commonly known in the UK, his legacy at clubs such as Ajax and Barcelona is rightly lauded.

His radical ideas and insistence on passing it out from the back led to the birth of 'Total Football', which has seen the creation of some of the great teams and players in the history of the game.

But who are Buckingham's greatest players? Well, we've done our homework and lined them up for you here, in his classic 3-2-2-3 formation.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Len Millard,Stuart Williams,Jimmy Sanders,Joe Kennedy

Salvador Sadurni - The Barcelona shot stopper made 247 appearances for the Catalonian giants, and was the undisputed number one goalkeeper during Buckingham's time at the club. Instrumental in the side's Copa del Rey victory in 1971.

Jimmy Dudley - A rock solid centre-half who was at the heart of West Bromwich Albion's sensational 1954 campaign, in which they won the FA Cup and came so close to winning the league. Dudley made 166 consecutive appearances for the Baggies, a record which lasted for over 20 years.

Wim Anderiesen Jr. - A constant presence in Buckingham's Ajax side of the early 1960s, but after he was shot in the back by German soldiers in 1945, it's a miracle that he not only managed to play for De Godenzonen 177 times over a decade spell, but also won two Eredivisie titles.

Lee Millard - The captain of the Baggies side that came so close to becoming the first side of the 20th century to win a domestic double. The dependable left-back was a big part in Buckingham's game-changing style of play. He played 436 times for the Black Country club, who were the only club he represented throughout his career.


Dutch midfielder Johann Cruyff dribbles

Ray Barlow - In his autobiography, England icon Bobby Moore said that he had modelled his game on West Brom legend Barlow; which tells you everything you need to know really. The central midfielder was named as one of West Brom's 16 greatest ever players in 2004, and was a key part of the '54 cup winning side.

Bennie Muller - The Dutchman was introduced into the Ajax squad by Buckingham when he took over in 1959, and was an important cog in Buckingham's tactical machine. Muller would go on to win 47 caps for the Dutch national team.

Gallego - The Barca legend played for the club 248 times, as well as making 36 appearances for Spain. Gallego was a no-nonsense midfielder who never shied away from a challenge.

Frank Griffin - The tricky winger is most famous for scoring the winning goal in the 1954 FA Cup final, in which West Brom beat Preston North End 2-1 at Wembley. That was by no means his only contribution to that now legendary team, as he scored 47 goals in 240 games, before his career was cut short by injury aged just 30.

Johan Cruyff - Buckingham's most important contribution to football is discovering and nurturing the unmatched footballing mind of Cruyff. The Dutchman would go on to revolutionise Ajax as a club to help to multiple European Cup wins, be a key innovator in 'Total Football', have a skill move named after him and be part of one of the great international sides in history. Buckingham's influence would leave the groundwork for the great man to eventually join Barcelona. 


Alan Clarke

Allan Clarke - Though Buckingham's time at Fulham in the mid-60s may not be fondly remembered, one thing he can take credit for was the development of English centre-forward Clarke. 'The Sniffer' bagged 45 goals in 86 games before a big money move to Leeds United, which led to him playing at the 1970 FIFA World Cup. 

Henk Groot - A huge part in Buckingham's only league title as a manager, Groot had a frankly ridiculous record of 116 goals in 124 games for Ajax, before leaving after four seasons in Amsterdam. He was brought back two years later by Buckingham, and he would go onto win three more titles with the club.

Number 50: ​Marcelo Bielsa: The Argentina Manager's All Time Best XI