Football is one of the sports I love, especially club football. Since the the 2021/22 season ended back in May 2022, I have had difficulty in blogging about football. So today, I thought to myself, I can actually write about my favorite footballers and the distinct qualities they possess that endeared them to me. Over the years I have had some footballers I loved to watch play; I have different reasons for loving them. Let me talk about some of them in no specific order.
Gianluigi Buffon: A living legend. I knew about him when he was plying his footballing trade with Juventus and Italy. A goal keeper like no other. I love him for his commitment to his trade, that was often obvious with his performances during games. For example in 2002-03 season, at the UEFA Champions league final in Old Trafford; his team drew 0-0 with Milan at normal time and had no breaker at the end of extra time.
During the penalty shoot outs, Buffon managed to save two penalties, but Milan won the shootout 3–2. However, one action that stood out during the match was his reaction save from a close range header by Filippo Inzaghi during normal time. He was a trusted goal keeper.
Andres Iniesta: When you talk about best midfielders of all time, Iniesta must make that list; a legendary ‘number 8’. I love his precision in passes and his gentle demeanor. He is hardly controversial both on and off the field. He spent most of his footballing career with FC Barcelona and he is currently playing for Vissel Kobe in Japan. I fondly remembered his iconic winning goal in 2010 World cup final against Netherlands; he was man of the match. In 2008-09, prior to the Champions league final, United manager Alex Ferguson identified Iniesta as Barça’s biggest threat: “He’s fantastic. He makes the team work. The way he finds passes, his movement and ability to create space is incredible. He’s so important for Barcelona.” (Wikipedia)
Xavi Hernandenz: A midfield maestro. I am sure, that his pairing with Iniesta in the heart of midfield for Barcelona often frighten opposing teams. A great player with Barcelona’s DNA. I am often in awe of his accurate passes and vision. Not known as a trouble maker, but be sure he won’t be silent when you trouble with any of his team members. He was a great captain too for many years. He is currently the manager of his boyhood club; Barcelona.
Zinadine Zinade: Also known as Zizou, he is a legend of a kind, a ballon d’or winner and a serial winner. His work rate, gentle displays and ability to create space in very tight corners are what attracted him to me. His match winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 UEFA Champions league is one of the greatest goal of the competition.
Zidane became one of the most successful managers in football when he won the Champions league in three consecutive seasons for Real Madrid, a feat attributable to only him.
I will continue in my next post.