Tag: legend

David Beckham: the English regista that never was

Stylish, flamboyant and a free-kick master. A wonderful range of passing, a quick decision maker, creative, patient and composed. Such superlatives could be about any number of brilliant players throughout football’s history. Perhaps reading…

An interview with Spartak Moscow legend Nikita Simonyan

NIKITA PAVLOVICH SIMONYAN IS A NAME THAT, while relatively unknown to young people today, holds a special place in the hearts of those who were around to watch him play. Known for his…

Liam Brady: the most complete Irish footballer of all-time

Elegant, intelligent, incisive and a match-winner; terms that can be applied to the greats of the game, and terms that unequivocally apply to Dublin’s Liam Brady. A midfielder with touch and poise ahead…

Gabriel Batistuta’s Arabian adventure

There has always been a condescending stigma attached when a talented player leaves Europe for the eastern side of the world: Asamoah Gyan was disowned by football purists for turning down a career…

The last dance of Juan Carlos Valerón

Deep in the Barranco Seco, a light-hearted game of tag broke the morning sun. Pre-season in Gran Canaria’s capital was officially underway, while the promotion celebrations of June were finally put to an…

Remembering Geoff Hurst and his unlikely spell at Cork Celtic

Ten long years after Kenneth Wolstenholme’s oft-quoted words became forever etched in football’s annals, signalling the end of West Germany’s World Cup dream at a jam-packed Wembley Stadium on July 30, 1966, the…

The pragmatic success story of Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello appeared to be on the brink. Two victories in his last 10 games in charge of the Russia national team prompted a crisis meeting with his bosses on Wednesday, talks that…

The imperfect goodbye

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. If a footballer’s legacy to the game is to be summed up in their farewell match or testimonial, then they and the fans that try to imprint some lasting…

Terry McDermott: an unlikely Liverpool legend

THERE IS AN EVOCATIVE PHOTOGRAPH of Terry McDermott which was caught on camera in the aftermath of the 1974 FA Cup final. In this photograph McDermott is stood on the Wembley turf,…

The Felix Magath before Felix Magath

Wolfgang-Felix Magath wasn’t always the sadistic, cheese-toting crank he’s now portrayed as being. A long time ago, before Fulham, Hangeland and the Quarkwickel, he was a footballer. And a very good one at…

Eric Cantona: the early French years

Like a raging bull who had just seen flashes of red, he charged over the advertising board and embedded his studs into the chest of Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons. It was the…

Ernst Happel: the Feyenoord years

“Future: Feyenoord?” Those two humble words were the last to leave the medium-build Austrian’s pen as he hunched over a table in favourite cafe in central Vienna. After a relatively good season in…

When Bobby Moore went to Denmark

The man, the footballer, the legend: Bobby Moore remains the figurehead of English football’s most decorated era. It was not a career littered with hordes of domestic or European honours at West Ham…

When Bobby Charlton played for Waterford United in Ireland

As featured on Guardian Sport In today’s modern climate of highly paid footballers, fans outside of England are deprived of one of the game’s greatest pleasures, namely the wandering superstar. Gone are the…

David Platt: an Englishman in Italy

Often in football, a player’s entire career trajectory can change with one swing of a boot. It’s 26 June on a balmy night in Bologna. England are squaring off against Belgium for…