Pubcast XI: Right Midfield/Right Wing
After the hotly-contested left midfield position was decided on this week’s show, the Pubcasters turned their attention to the opposite flank and have arguably come up with the strongest set of nominees to date.
With modern-day greats standing up against all-time legends, the right midfield/right wing position is a tough one to call, but who gets YOUR vote? Check out the nominations (and their respective YouTube clips) below and cast your vote at the foot of the article.
Please feel free to tweet this page to your friends and encourage them to take part, too. Here’s a shortened link to drop in to your tweets: http://goo.gl/EqN8b
DAVID BECKHAM – NOMINATED BY DAN
David Robert Joseph Beckham is a modern day football hero. Okay let’s be honest he wasn’t gifted with the greatest skill in the world but he used what he had and worked harder than any other player in the game.
Beckham delivers the best dead ball in world football and his range of passing is matched by only a handful of players. David was launched onto the world football stage on the opening day of the 1996-97 season against Wimbledon when he scored from the half way line. That was the beginning of a career that took him from Manchester to Madrid to LA and to Milan. United made him and Real Madrid reaped the commercial benefit.
Beckham is not only a star on the field he is also the most recognisable football player in the World, even in the US. Even with his huge celebrity pressure Beckham never lets that affect his on field performances. He went from the most hated man in England after the 1998 World Cup to the captain that carried his team to the World Cup four years later.
David Beckham is one of my favourite players of all time and I believe he is the best right-midfielder for the Football Pubcast XI.
GEORGE BEST – NOMINATED BY MIKE
There’s a local saying in Belfast that could sum up my selection without the need for any more words: Maradona Good. Pele Better. George Best.
For a player who effectively retired from top class football at 28, George Best is still the greatest player in Manchester United’s history. And I say that as someone who, while a staunch United supporter, is trying to avoid nominating players who don’t truly deserve their position (Waddle aside, he was just for the hair and crap pop songs…and yes I’m sticking by G-Nev, but only because I know it annoys so many of you). This is a man who could do anything with a football and more still, a man who could give an opposition player a nasty case of “twisted blood” as Paddy Crerand described it. This is a man who opposition defenders only got close to when shaking hands after the game and who Eric Cantona believes will by now be skinning God up the wing in heaven.
Pele described him as the best player in the world and that was back when Pele and the Brazil team were imperial, and before you even consider Eusebio, Charlton, Moore et al. He had 100,000 people plus turn out in Belfast for his funeral with thousands more watching in Manchester and at the National Football museum in Preston, as well as millions more watching on TV. In my lifetime I can scarcely remember a funeral receive such attention and such an outpouring of grief outside of members of the Royal family (and thank God that Elton John didn’t sing at his).
But we’re not here to talk about love, about media attention or about status. George Best is purely and simply one of the greatest footballers of all time. He could play anywhere across the midfield or up front, he could use both feet and his head (as Gordon Banks found out in a certain Home Nations match), he was as close to a perfect footballer in the history of British football. Vote for him, because honestly nobody else even comes close.
GARRINCHA – NOMINATED BY JIM
Now I must admit that in past weeks some of my previous nominations have caused me a fair amount of internal anguish and debate; with 2 or 3 players creeping into my consciousness. However, on the right midfield position there was only one player I was ever going to champion.
Garrincha was, by all accounts, a phenomenon. I first learned of him through a computer game, either FIFA or Pro Evo, who had him listed alongside players such as Pele, Maradonna and Cruyff in a Classic All Star XI.
Bemused by his presence amongst such illustrious and well known figures, I turned to my dad to find out who this imposter could be. The response was a smile, a look of satisfied recognition and the words “The Little Bird”. From that moment on I took keen interest in finding out more about him and his past exploits. I wasn’t to be disappointed…
A right winger or forward, he won two World Cups in ’58 and ’62 and is considered by FIFA to be the best Brazilian player ever after Pele. In 1962 as well as winning the World Cup he was voted player of the tournament, finished joint top scorer and was voted FIFA player of the year based on his outstanding performances. He’s also regarded as the best dribbler in the history of the game- and that includes Tony Daley.
As I mentioned on this weeks show, Garrincha’s personal life was just as amazing as his playing career and is part of the reason people feel so passionately about him. For now and for the purpose of this vote, have a look at the video below and enjoy “Anjo de Pernas Tortas” (Angel with the bent legs) in all his glory. Warning: The video below will contain flashes of complete genius.
JAIRZINHO – NOMINATED BY SIMON
Lightning quick, strong as an ox and blessed with more flair than any player in the Premier League you care to mention, Jairzinho is not only a good player. He’s an all-time great.
A teenage Jairzinho watched his idol Garrincha as a young player at Botofogo, learning his trade from his hero and often coming on to replace him in matches.
But it wasn’t long before Jairzinho had taken Garrincha’s place for club and country, and set about creating a legacy that even his predecessor couldn’t match.
He was the most potent attacking weapon in the arguably the greatest international side in history, the Brazil side of 1970. Playing on the right wing, he scored in all seven matches as Brazil ripped through the tournament and won the Jules Rimet Trophy outright.
CRISTIANO RONALDO – NOMINATED BY STU
Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2003, a summer in which I celebrated my 14th birthday (I’m not trying to make you feel old Si!). I remember all the hype around him taking the No.7 shirt as most United number 7′s before him had gone on to great things. Best, Beckham and Cantona were all greats who wore the iconic shirt and two of them are included in the nominations for this very position in our Pubcast XI.
With flashes of brilliance every season it was not until 2006/2007 season that he really lit up the Premier League up and with this season came the first of three Premier League winner’s medals. Week-in, week-out you could find your own highlight reel on Ronaldo, such was the way he played. Mind you, not all of it was good, as we all know he’s prone to diving around. A LOT.
The following season was his most prolific in a United shirt, scoring 42 goals in 49 games and winning his second Premier League title and first Champions League. His individual achievements in that season proved just what a player he had turned into, winning the Golden Boot in both the Premier League and Champions League, plus the Forward, Footballer and World Player of the Year awards. It seemed every award he was up for he would come away with – I’m sure he was even nominated for goalkeeper of the year, just because there was nothing he could do wrong, but I believe he turned it down and it was eventually awarded to Petr Cech!
Since moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a record 80 Million Euros he has gone on to score 50 league goals in 51 league games, need I say any more?
From a personal point of view, watching Ronaldo grow up through the United ranks and his move to Madrid for a generation full of talent, a player who can be sold for 80 Million deserves a nomination for the Pubcast XI.
CAST YOUR VOTE NOW