Monday, July 30, 2007


There have been many great players in the history of football. A few however stand out as the truly greats. On this page we pay tribute to players like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Di Stefano, Puskas, Zidane, Best, Beckenbauer and Platini. Footballers that deserve to be remembered as the best of the best. Here's our top 10 of all time best footballers.

1. Pele 6. Eusebio
2. Cruyff 7. Best
3. Maradona 8. Platini
4. Puskas 9. Di Stefano
5. Beckenbauer 10. Zidane

1. Pelé (1956-1977)
Obviously not the most original of choices as greatest ever football player, but there is no denying Pelé’s pedigree. Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940) made his debut in the Brazilian league at the age of 16, and promptly went on to become the league’s top scorer. His overwhelming debut earned him a place in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup squad, where Pelé and his team-mates ended up lifting the trophy. Pelé scored two goals in the final, as the world sat up and took notice. At age 17 Pele was (and is to this very day) the youngest ever World Cup winner. His impact on the 1962 and 1966 tournaments was negligible due to injuries, but at the 1970 World Cup Pelé once again shone resplendently. Playing in what many consider to be the greatest ever football team, Pelé was universally acknowledged as the world’s best player. His deft touch, dribbling skills and tremendous scoring ability, would see him notching up more than 500 league goals. In 1975 Pelé joined the North American Soccer League, where he became a goodwill ambassador for football. It’s a role he has been playing ever since.

2. Johan Cruyff (1964-1984)
Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff (1947) was the star of the exciting 1974 Dutch "Total Football" World Cup team and the Ajax team that won a hat-trick of European Cups in the early Seventies. Three times European footballer of the year, he was by far the most naturally gifted European player of his generation, and probably of all time. His supreme technical skills, speed and acceleration, and his tactical insights made Cruyff virtually impossible to defend against. Wearing his trademark Nr.14 jersey, he usually played the centre forward position, but would often drop deep or move to the wing to confuse and draw out his markers. The tremendous tactical insight he had already displayed as a player, meant that Cruyff was one of the few players in this top 10 that would go on to become a world class coach. In 1992 his Barcelona side would win the first European Cup in the club's history, making Cruyff one of the few people to have won the prestigious trophy both as a coach and as a player.

3. Diego Maradona (1976-1997)
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona (1960) won the 1986 World Cup almost single-handedly and took Argentina to the final four years later. He also took un fancied Napoli to its only two Italian titles. Maradona was controversially voted best player of all time in an internet poll held by FIFA, much to the chagrin of Pelé and his fans, who contended that an internet poll was bound to attract relatively young voters. People that would have seen Maradona play, but not Pelé. Truth be told, the title of greatest ever player was probably a bit too much credit. However, no one would surely deny Maradona was the best ever dribbler of the bal. He proved as much, when he scored what was arguably the greatest ever World Cup goal in 1986. Maradona picked up the ball on the halfway line and promptly proceeded to leave half the England team for dead before slotting the ball into the net. That game was also the one in which he scored his infamous 'Hand of God' goal. The incident soiled his reputation. All the more so, because he repeatedly refused to admit openly to handling the ball. In the nineties his career hit a downward trajectory.

4. Ferenc Puskas (1944-1966)
Ferenc Puskas
Ferenc Puskás (1927) was the outstanding player of the marvelous Hungarian national team of the early 1950s. In 1952 they had won Olympic Gold in Helsinki and the "Magical Magyars" arrived at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland undefeated in four years. Their most resounding victory to date had been achieved the previous year when they were the first non-british team to defeat England at Wembley. In one of the great upsets of football history, Hungary were pipped at the post by Germany, with Puskas playing in spite of an injury picked up early on in the tournament. Puskas fled Hungary in the wake of the Soviet invasion of 1956 and went on to play for Real Madrid well into his 30's. At Madrid he teamed up with the likes of Di Stefano and Gento to win numerous trophies.

5. Franz Beckenbauer (1964-1984)
Franz Beckenbauer
This list of top 10 greatest ever football players is heavily biased towards forwards, as all these kind of lists tend to be. We make no apologies for that as it is those players that bring joy to the crowds all over the world with their goals and artistry. However, this list would not be complete without Franz Beckenbauer (1945). Nicknamed ‘der Kaiser’, Beckenbauer was the mainstay of Bayern Munich’s triple European Cup winning team of the mid Seventies. He also captained his country to the 1974 World Cup, held in Germany. An elegant sweeper, Beckenbauer was known for his outstanding technique and tactical insight. As a manager, he steered the German national side towards their 1990 World Cup win in Italy.

6. Eusebio (1958-1978)
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira (1942) won 10 Portuguese league titles, plus the 1962 European Cup with Benfica, scoring two goals in the final. He virtually single-handedly took Portugal to third place in the 1966 World Cup, scoring nine goals. Eusebio's trademarks were his speed (he was the under-19 Portuguese champion of 400, 200 and 100 metre races), quick dribble and a powerful and accurate right-footed strike. Eusébio scored an incredible 727 goals in 715 matches wearing the Benfica jersey, and until recently was the all-time leading scorer for Portugal, with 41 goals in 64 matches.

7. George Best (1963-1984)
George Best
A superb dribbler of the ball, George Best (1946) was undoubtedly the most naturally gifted British player of his generation. A combination of lightning pace, perfect balance, and ability to produce goals with both feet, meant Best was a handful for even the best of defenders. Helping Man U win the European Cup in 1968 was his greatest achievement. That year Best was voted European Player of the Year. But in the years to follow Best the player would increasingly be eclipsed by Best the rock and roll celebrity, as problems with gambling, womanising and alcoholism overshadowed his achievements on the field. In 1974 Best left Manchester United, effectively ending his career at the highest level (although he would play on until 1984).

8. Michel Platini (1973-1987)
Michel Platini
Three times European Footballer of the year, Michel Platini (1955) led France to two World Cup semi-finals and the 1984 European Championship title. Platini started at French club Nancy-Lorraine before moving on to Saint-Etienne, where he won the league title in 1981. In 1982 he moved to Italian club Juventus. One of the greatest passers of the ball in the history of the game, Platini was also a master of the free kick, a skill which he perfected using a row of dummies during training. Despite nominally being a midfielder, Platini displayed a remarkable goalscoring prowess. He scored 68 goals in 147 league games for Juventus, and was crowned top scorer of the Serie A no less than three times.

9. Alfredo di Stefano (1943-1966)
Alfredo di Stefano
Two-time European Footballer of the Year, Alfredo Di Stéfano (1926) led Real Madrid to five consecutive European Cups. Incredibly versatile, many believe he is the best all-around player in history. Di Stéfano was a powerful forward blessed with stamina, tactical versatility, and above all vision that allowed him to act as the conductor to Real's symphony of attacking football. Di Stéfano won numerous domestic league and cup titles with Real, but like George Best, he never graced a World Cup. He moved to Espanyol in 1964 and played there until hanging up his boots at the age of 40.

10. Zinedine Zidane (1988-2006)
Zinedine Zidane
Whether Zinedine Zidane (1972) or Michel Platini is the greatest ever French player is up for discussion. That Zidane belongs in this list of truly great players surely isn't. The outstanding player of his generation, he led France to World Cup glory in 1998 and to the European Championship in 2000. He was a superb passer of the ball first and foremost, an outstanding playmaker that fed his forwards with great passes. But Zidane could produce goals himself as well, most notably the winning goals in the 1998 World Cup Final and the 2002 Champion’s League Final. Zidane was named European Footballer of the Year in 1998, and FIFA World Footballer of the Year in 1998, 2000, and 2003.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ronaldo World Class As United Crush Portsmouth

A simply stunning free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo was the highlight of a dominant Manchester United performance at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The hosts controlled the game from start to finish and took the lead through Ronaldo on ten minutes.

A marvellous swerving free-kick doubled United's lead moments later as Portsmouth offered little in return.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


An unidentified person has donated $130 million to help rebuild hundreds of schools and storm shelters destroyed by a cyclone along Bangladesh's southwest coast, the government said Wednesday.

The anonymous donation was made through the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank, said senior finance ministry official Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, describing it as the single largest donation ever made by an individual to Bangladesh.

Bhuiyan said the donor could not be identified because of the bank's confidentiality rules. He said there was no special cyclone relief fund set up at the Islamic Development Bank.

"It's great news for the millions of cyclone-hit people," Bhuiyan said after meeting a team of bank officials visiting Bangladesh to discuss how the money would be spent.

Much of the money would go toward building about 500 schools and storm shelters, he said.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh's southwest coast on Nov. 15, leaving more than 3,300 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Bangladesh has sought $2 billion in foreign aid to rebuild homes, schools and embankments. It has received about $500 million, including the latest donation, officials said.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stallone back in action with 2-film deal

Boxoffice comeback champ Sylvester Stallone has inked a lucrative deal to direct and star in two action films with "Rambo" producers Danny Dimbort,

Several scripts are being considered for follow-ups to his surprise hit sequels to "First Blood" and "Rocky." With Nu Image/Millennium's new Writers Guild of America interim deal speeding up the process, the first script is expected to be ready by the fall, with production set to begin shortly thereafter.

"The past year and a half of working with Avi, his partners Danny and Trevor and his film family has been nothing but a high point for me and my career and an extremely rewarding experience," Stallone said. "Avi is a real gentleman and a man of his word."

Stallone will produce the films with Kevin King-Templeton and Lerner. Dimbort, Short and Boaz Davidson will serve as executive producers.

It's a deal few would have expected just a few years ago, when Stallone followed up his role in "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over" with a failed network boxing reality TV series, "The Contender." But in 2006, Stallone wrote, directed and starred in "Rocky Balboa," the sixth "Rocky" film, 16 years after the previous sequel in the franchise. The MGM release grossed $70 million on an estimated $24 million budget.

The second part of Stallone's one-two punch came with the current release "Rambo," which he also stars in, wrote and directed. The film, distributed by Lionsgate, made $18.2 million in its opening weekend and earned an estimated $25 million in its first 10 days of release.

Friday, July 6, 2007