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Great Players

Johan Cruyff 1947-2016

Johan Cruyff 1947-2016

By Bill Thomas Johan Cruyff was, perhaps along with Franz Beckenbauer, the first truly great modern footballer. Those who came before him, the likes of Puskas, di Stefano, Pele, Best…

Dave Walsh – An Irish Legend

Dave Walsh – An Irish Legend

By Bill Thomas Just before St Patrick’s Day, Irish football lost one of its greats with the death of Dave Walsh at the age of 92. And yet Walsh…

Nat Lofthouse

Nat Lofthouse

By Bill Thomas And so another link with the game of the past slips away, the game that so beguiled the nation generations ago and so begat the game we…

Pele

Pele

By Bill Thomas Brazil are customarily seen as the greatest footballing nation on earth. Routinely at each World Cup, whatever their form, whoever is in the team, they are installed…

George Best

George Best

By Bill Thomas George Best lived as he ultimately died, with both hands firmly on the self destruct button. That, above all, was the key to his genius – and it…

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

By Bill Thomas Football is a pretty simple game. That’s what the coaches tell you, what Academies try to drill into kids. You get the ball, you pass it…

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

By Bill Thomas Few men can have their entire lives, certainly on a professional level, summed up inside three minutes. You might be able to think of a few pop…

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

By Bill Thomas So the man currently carrying the tag of the world’s greatest player ended his season without a pot to cook in, but even if that is…

Michel Platini

Michel Platini

By Bill Thomas France likes to see itself as something of a father to the modern game, and with some justification given its role in the inception of the World…

Marco Van Basten

Marco Van Basten

By Bill Thomas In pretty well any other country in the world, Marco Van Basten would be treated as a golden God, as somebody beamed down from the heavens to…