I spoke to a great old timer journalist the other day about the 1963 FA Cup Final, in which Manchester United defeated Leicester 3-1. The man is an avid Barcelona fan and a disciple of Andres Iniesta. And he told me something interesting: of all the players he saw in England in the early 1960s the one most resembling Iniesta was Paddy Crerand.
This was a revelation to me. I spoke briefly to Crerand in the lead up to the Champions League Semi Final in Gelsenkirschen last year. He is the most pleasant, modest and unassuming individual you will ever be so fortunate to meet. But I imagined him as another reliable United midfield soldier, so the journalist’s observation puts him in an entire different light.
Which gave me a good midlife idea.
The 11 players I feel people don’t remember properly.
Great Cameronian keep of the 80′s and 90′s. Should have created more respect for African goalkeepers, who I still think are generally under-valued by the football world.
This Belgian could take over games from the right-back position.
At a time when centre-backs were dancers and not bulldogs, the French captain was as elegant as Beckenbauer or Schirea. And then some.
I am sure Sir Alex Ferguson, his old Aberdeen manager, often confuses him with Vidic.
Part of the great Polish side – twice World Cup bronze medalis. Craft,craft, craft.
Italian World Cup winner in 1982. A one-man defensive line. In midfield. Saft Socis. Falmboyance embodied.
I will forever be grateful to Zidane for mentioning him in an interview as one of the greats.
We never saw Sindelar in film, but Prohaska is probably the last reminder of the times Austria boasted more elegant football than their German cousins.
Something between a Thierry Henry and a Didier Drogba. And easily as good as them.
Preben Elkjaer Larsen
An offensive gale. Anyone who saw him know that at his prime their was nothing between him and a Van Basten or a Batistuta. He is the original Maradona story: the one who led a really tiny Italian club (Verona) to a scudetto in Italy’s most competitive era.
See to believe: