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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Los Angeles Aztecs 1976 - No.11 Best.


During an amazing career with Manchester United, George Best won the European Cup and was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1968. Such was his talent and charisma it is fair to say he was the first British football superstar.
Ultimately "the beautiful boy" with a "beautiful game" fell from grace and when off field activities and ill discipline got the better of him, he announced he was retiring from football in 1974, coincidentally the season United were relegated.

Best struggled without football in his life and was soon back playing again, drifting between several clubs and continents, including spells in South Africa, Ireland, the United States, Scotland, and Australia.
He had an interesting time in America, spending two brief spells with the Los Angeles Aztecs, (separated by two seasons back in England with Fulham) and a year playing for San Jose Earthquakes, both indoors and outdoors.

After Pele and Beckenbauer, Best was the next big name to bring attention and credibility to 'soccer' in America.
The NASL had been trying to persuade Best to come to America for quite a while and place him in a major media market, but once the New York Cosmos had signed Pele, Los Angeles was the logical placement for Best.


The 'fifth Beatle' revelled in the anonymity the United States afforded him after England and was a success on the field, scoring 15 goals in 24 games in his first season with the Aztecs and named as the NASL's best midfielder in his second. Best played for LA 55 times in total and scored 27 goals.
Best was traded to Fort Lauderdale in 1978, and in 1979 Los Angeles signed its next big star, Johann Cruyff.

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