George Best (1946-2005)

pic and quotes courtesy of soccernet

The greatest ever vs the “2nd greatest ever”. My comment: wot? Best even greater than Maradona, Cruyff, or even Zidane or Platini?

George Best dribbles the ball past Pele in a North American Soccer League game played in 1976. They were well past their prime, but then they never had their chance to lock horns in a top class game at the peak of their powers…

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So what did the legends of the game say?

Pele, regarded by many as the greatest player in history, said: ‘I often mentioned George Best as the best player in Europe. Unfortunately, he has passed away.

‘George Best for me was one of the biggest players in Europe. God bless him,’ he told Sky Sports News.

Argentinian hero Maradona said: ‘George inspired me when I was young. He was flamboyant and exciting and able to inspire his team-mates.

‘I actually think we were very similar players – dribblers who were able to create moments of magic.

‘And I can also relate to what George has been through because of his addiction to alcohol. I was also very sick and close to death in December last year – but I pulled out of it by a miracle,’ Maradona told The Sun.

Dutchman Cruyff, the former Holland international and one of the few players who could stand comparison with Best, described his talent as ‘unique’.

He told Radio Five Live: ‘What he had was unique, you can’t coach it.’

Asked if Best was one of the game’s greatest, Cruyff said: ‘I think if you talk about Europe, you talk about five or six and if you talk about his qualities he’d always be in there.

‘It was a short career but if you go back to the basic qualities he was exceptional.’

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