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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

River Plate 1986 - No.9 Francescoli.



In 1983 River acquired Uruguayan midfield playmaker Enzo Francescoli but that would coincide with one of the worst seasons in the club's history, finishing 18th of 19.
Fortunately for River they were spared relegation and instead went on a glorious run to be declared Champions in 1986, winning 23 games, with 10 draws and only 3 losses. Enzo Francescoli was the top scorer, having been moved into a more advanced position up front.

Also in this year River won its first Copa Libertadores, defeating América de Cali in the finals. River achieved its second international title, obtaining the Intercontinental Cup against Steaua București in Tokyo.
For followers of the beautiful game on both sides of the Atlantic, there can be little doubt that Enzo Francescoli was one of the most elegant players of his generation. Dubbed El Príncipe (The Prince) early in his career for his demeanour on and off the pitch, Francescoli earned iconic status almost everywhere he played.

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Argentina 2012 - No.10 Messi.



Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi is rightly considered the best football player of his generation and is the first football player in history to win four Fifa World player of the year awards, which he has won consecutively.
He made his international debut in 2005 aged 18 and the following year he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup. In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.

He has been captain of his country since 2010.

His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".
Like Maradona he has a lower centre of gravity than most players, allowing him to be more agile and change direction more quickly, helping him to evade tackles. His short, strong legs allow him to excel in short bursts of acceleration and his quick feet allow him to keep control of the ball when dribbling at speed.
Pep Guardiola, once stated: “Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it.”

Messi's brilliance is backed up by a blizzard of compelling statistics, not least his recent feat of breaking German striker Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record by ending the calendar year with 91 goals for club and country. The latest coronation will also give fresh impetus to a debate that now rages with more intensity around Messi. Namely - is he the greatest to have played the game?


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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Inter Milan 1998 - No. 1+8 Zamorano.


After six seasons in the Spanish league with first Sevilla and then Real Madrid, Ivan Zamorano played five seasons in Serie A with Internazionale, from 1996 to 2000, where he was teamed with the talents of Djorkaeff, Simeone, Zanetti, and Ronaldo, among others. He was initially the club's premier striker, holding the coveted number nine shirt.

However, upon Roberto Baggio's arrival at the club, Ronaldo was forced to give up number ten, and wear number nine, therefore Zamorano had to give up his number which led to the somewhat bizarre spectacle of his wearing a shirt bearing the number '1+8', making him therefore still technically a number 9 striker.
In May 1998, Inter won the UEFA Cup after beating Lazio in the final 3–0, with Zamorano scoring the opening goal.


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