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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ajax 1985 - No.9 van Basten.


Oranje legend Marco van Basten began playing football with local side EDO aged just seven, where his extraordinary talent soon came to the fore.
Powerful yet sublimely skilled, Van Basten debuted for the Amsterdam giants aged 18 in April 1982, coming on as a substitute for another Dutch icon in Johan Cruyff.

Marco van Basten was top scorer in the Eredivisie for 4 seasons running between 1983-1987 - his best season was in 1985/86 where he racked up 37 goals in 25 games, winning the European Golden boot. In his final season in Amsterdam he scored 47 goals in all competitions, and scored the goal that won the Cup Winners Cup.

Plagued by injury it’s testament to Van Basten’s ability that he still achieved so much. Quite possibly the most complete number-nine of all time, Van Basten combined pace, power and an intimidating six-foot-two frame with an adhesive touch, all-round technique and deadly finishing. When on form, it made him near unplayable. By the time AC Milan came calling he was the hottest property in world football.

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

AC Milan 1994 - No.9 Boban.


The Croatian Zvonimir Boban arrived at A.C. Milan in 1991 from Dinamo Zagreb and was an intregal part of the Rossoneri's dominance home and abroad in the nineties.

Playing alongside some of the greatest players of all time, Boban complimented Ruud Gullit in the centre of midfield. His great technical skills and tactical awareness allowed him to cover all roles in the midfield, such was the case in one of Milan's most glorious games, the 1994 Champions League final against Barcelona - Boban was used on the left side of midfield, with Donadoni on the opposite flank.

The final was one of the greatest of all time. It was Milan vs Barca. Capello vs Cruyff. Barcelona and their ‘dream team’ featured Guardiola, Koeman, Stoichkov and Romario, they were expected to easily defeat the Milan squad that featured youngsters Panucci and also Desailly infront of the back four. This was Boban’s finest hour as he helped Milan to a staggering 4-0 victory.

Playing 251 games for AC during nine seasons and scoring 30 goals, Boban is fondly remembered by the Milanese who consider that nineties team the best they have ever seen.

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Friday, 15 November 2013

Sevilla 1992 - No.10 Maradona.


After serving a 15-month ban for failing a drug test, Maradona left Napoli in disgrace in 1992. Despite interest from Real Madrid and Olympique Marseille, he signed for Sevilla for £4.68m. Maradona cost the Spanish club the same amount as Napoli had paid Barcelona for him seven years earlier but Sevilla didnt quite get the same dividend.

Under manager Carlos Bilardo who had guided Argentina and Maradona through the 1986 and 1990 World Cups there were glimpses of the majestic ability that made him the best player the world had ever seen. But Maradona was a law unto himself and left the club after only a season after a row with Bilardo. It was the beginning of the end.



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Friday, 8 November 2013

Australia 2006 - No.9 Viduka.


Mark Viduka began captaining the Australian national team in September 2005, in place of the injured Craig Moore, the regular captain. Viduka thrived under Guus Hiddink's tenure as coach and led Australia as it qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany over a two-leg qualifier against Uruguay, the first time in 32 years that Australia qualified to participate in the event.

On 21 May 2006, he was named as the Australian captain for the World Cup in Germany and led the 'Socceroos' to their first World Cup Finals victory with a 3–1 win over Japan.
In 43 appearances 'Duks' scored 11 times for Australia and retired in 2009.


An intelligent centre forward, he was a typical number 9 and had ability in all elements of the game.
Viduka made a name for himself playing in the English Premier league with Middlesborough, Newcastle Utd and most notably Leeds Utd. Hero worshipped at Leeds he will be forever remembered for scoring all 4 goals as Leeds beat Liverpool 4-3 at Elland Road.


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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hamburg SV 1979 - No.7 Keegan.


Described as "arguably the first English football superstar to attract the modern media spotlight", Kevin Keegan made his name in the red of Liverpool before moving to Hamburg in the summer of 1977 for a fee of £500,000 having just won the European Cup and League title with the Merseysiders.

Eventual success at Hamburg translated into individual recognition for Keegan, who picked up consecutive European Footballer of the Year awards for 1978 and 79. With Keegan top scoring and a huge hit with fans, Hamburg won their first Bundesliga title for 19 years in 1979, and reached the European Cup final the following year, losing to Nottingham Forest.


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West Germany 1974 - No.13 Gerd Muller.

Away.


Gerhard "Gerd" Müller never fitted the conventional idea of a great footballer, but he had lethal acceleration over short distances, a remarkable aerial game, and uncanny goalscoring instincts.
At the 1974 World Cup he scored the winning goal in the 2–1 victory over the Netherlands in the final, this following his winning goals for West Germany in the 1972 European Championships.

Nicknamed 'Der Bomber' for obvious reasons, the Bayern Munich predator scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and 68 times in 62 internationals, milestones no other player is ever likely to equal.

Müller is now tenth on the list of all time international goalscorers despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 25.

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Home.

The golden era for the West German national team and its domestic league during the early to mid-1970s would have been unthinkable without Muller, as his former team-mate Franz Beckenbauer is quick to underline: "Everything that FC Bayern has become is due to Gerd Muller and his goals."


He is considered the original uncompromising striker like no other professional footballer, putting his all into somehow getting the ball into the back of the opponents' net. He will never be remembered as the most skillful, but as a prolific striker there is no comparison.
Fellow World Cup winner Bernd Hoelzenbein said of Muller "He can't be compared to anyone. Anyone! Not even Pelé."



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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Saint-Étienne 1981 - No.8 Rep.


Association Sportive de Saint-Étienne Loire is, arguably, the most successful club in French football history having won ten Ligue 1 titles, six Coupe de France titles, and five Trophée des champions.

Blooded at Ajax, Johnny Rep played with Cruyff, Keizer, Krol, Haan and Neeskens and won two League titles, two European cups and a World club cup before moving to Valencia in 1975. He finished a runner-up in two World cup finals and remains Hollands top scorer in the finals.

Rep joined Saint-Étienne after a short spell at Bastia. The talismanic dutchman earned his nickname 'Goudhaantje (Goldcrest)' due to his ability to score decisive goals. He scored 44 in 131 appearances and won the French title with Michel Platini in 1981.


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Germany 2010 - No.8 Ozil.


A member of the German national team since 2009, Mesut Özil gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and was nominated for the Golden Ball Award, which is awarded to the tournament's best player. Following his breakout performance at that World Cup, he was transferred from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid in August 2010.

Özil is acclaimed for his finesse and improvisation as an attacking midfielder, combining great awareness and superb ball control. His style and knack for providing assists for his team-mates has been compared to that of Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane.
Assistant coach of Germany, Hans-Dieter Flick once said, "We are proud to have him in our team. When he has the ball, you can feel the excitement and astonishment among the fans."



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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

France 1984 - No.10 Platini.


At international level, the peerless Michel Platini led France to the 1984 European Championship, scoring nine goals and being named player of the tournament in the process, while also playing a role in their third-place finishes at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. In 72 caps appearances for his country, Platini netted 41 goals.

Whether drifting between defenders to meet crosses, picking his spot from 15 yards or thrashing goalwards from 25, his composure and technique was often unfailing.
Three times a Ballon d'Or winner, Platini was a magnificent passer off either foot with the most fantastic vision, of which his deadly freekicks were a testament, capable of shaping a game to suit his will while also proving himself as a leader of men.

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Juventus 1983.


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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Lazio - Aquile.


Lazio's traditional club badge and symbol is the eagle, which was chosen by founding member Luigi Bigiarelli, in 1900. It is an acknowledgment to the emblem of the ellenic Zeus (the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology) commonly known as the Aquila; Lazio's use of the symbol has led to two of their nicknames; le Aquile (the Eagles) and Aquilotti (Young Eagles).

Lazio's colours of sky blue and white were inspired by the national flag of Greece. Due to the fact that Lazio is a mixed sports club it was inspired and in recognition of the Ancient Olympic Games. 
Recently the club bought an American bald eagle, from Benfica, copying a tradition employed for decades by the Lisbon side, and the fans came up with the name 'Olympia' for the bird. 


Even the mascots of fierce rivals Roma and Lazio clash; Lazio's eagle is the sacred animal of Jupiter, while Roma's symbol is the wolf, the animal associated with Mars, the god war.

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Club America.


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Sao Paulo 2005 - No.1 Ceni.


In a magnificent career spanning two decades Rogério Ceni is now recognized by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the goalkeeper to have scored the most goals in the history of football, surpassing José Luis Chilavert in 2006.
His 111 goals, coming from penalties and free kicks, have helped São Paulo win 16 major titles, including three Brazilian Leagues and two Copa Libertadores.
In the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup he was voted Man of the match in the final victory against Liverpool, as well as the tournament's MVP.
Ceni has also represented Brazil at two World Cups.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Leeds United 1970.


In the early Seventies Leeds won plenty of attention if not friends after being transformed by Don Revie. In 1970 Leeds were a force to be reckoned with. Billy Bremner was named player of the year, but there was more to this side than the inspirational Scotland midfielder.
Until the season's closing weeks, the Whites were strong favourites for three major trophies. But with fixture congestion and player exhaustion threatening meltdown they ended the campaign as runners up in the League and FA Cup, and semi-finalists in the European Cup.


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