Soccer Icons – Part 2

Soccer Icons – Part 2

Cristiano Ronaldo

With 26 trophies on his shelf, this 33-year-old refuses to put a stop to his soccer streak. Born and raised in Madeira his youth career was fruitful enough for him to join the ranks of Manchester United, becoming their first Portuguese player at the age of 18. Here he was instrumental in helping the team remain victorious. In 2009 he moved to Real Madrid where his prowess as an adept attacker continued. Known for being cocky and arrogant on and off the pitch, Ronaldo has somewhat become the bad boy of soccer. As one of the fastest players in world history and with a shining career, its easy to understand why someone’s ego may become inflated.

Diego Maradona

This FIFA player of the Century was on a great streak in his prime. Highly sought after by several clubs, he simply wasn’t affordable to most, which is reflected in his breaking of the world record transfer fee not once, but twice. His reflexes were lightning fast and combined with his breakneck speed overall consistent ball control, Maradona was an excellent play maker. Many say that this is due to his height, at 5’ 5” he was much smaller than most players, causing people to believe his low center of gravity afforded him some of his globally recognised skills. This World cup winning left footers career came to a staggering halt when his dependence on cocaine came into the limelight after he failed drugs testing.

Lionel Messi

Previously working his magic for Barcelona, where he became the team’s best goal scorer ever, Messi now plays for Argentina. Hardly a stranger to being celebrated for his feats on the pitch, in the span of a few years he received the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe achievements in the FIFA World Youth Championship, then progressing to an Olympic Gold Medal soon after. Known for putting consecutive goals away, Messi has broken several records when it comes to sheer goal scoring volume, often due to his impressive number of hat-tricks. Only really held back by a troublesome injury that seems to now be under control, Messi’s career is still not over, and he will no doubt continue to add to the grand number of achievements and goals until the day finally arrives.

George Best

England’s notorious and yet all round well loved Irishman is always a part of the show reels of soccer greats. Known for his outlandish party behaviour, Best was seen as a master of dribbling which combined with his balance and dual-footed approach made for a player who was unstoppable. In his iconic career with Manchester United, his goals reached over 130. This on pitch celebration as well as his heavily media covered bout with alcoholism meant that Best became one of the first celebrity soccer players. His lifestyle of fast cars, loose women and drugs made for tantalising coverage in TV and magazines. With an abrupt ending to his Manchester United career, he returned to play briefly for several team’s years later until his unfortunate demise in 2005 due to multiple organ failure. George Best remains to this day as soccer’s Rockstar.

1971: Chelsea’s Ron Harris tackles Manchester United’s George Best. (Photo by A. Jones/Express/Getty Images)
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