Other 2000’s Sports Personalities |


Since my childhood, football ( I am from Europe, so I rarely use the term “soccer”), in my understanding, is a process where the performers on the field win and the tactics and strategy chosen by the coach. I consider the job as a manager to be one of the best in the world because you get paid for doing the most exciting job.

Wall of my room

The only thing more entertaining is making money from your hobby. By the way, I have a book dedicated to this topic. I use the example of my brainchild, Smart2000s, to tell you in detail about how to monetize your favorite activity. You can find it on the Smart2000s website in the Books category.

In general, football is a kind of chess for me. Only I played it with my feet. And even more often with my fingers, when I slid them on the keyboard and savored my first football simulator called FIFA 02. Although it was already 2004, for some reason, I played that version of the game series. Even today, I like to play FIFA. I wrote more about it in separate articles.

A separate interesting point I want to mention is the career mode in FIFA and the sense of time flow. For example, in FIFA 2005, I started playing in season 04/05, and the whole career mode was a football journey of 15 seasons. At the time I was 12 years old, it seemed like an unrealistically long period. It was as if this fifteenth season and 2019 were somewhere very far away. But today, that year is already in history. It’s unbelievable! How quickly time flies. Friends, please appreciate each of your days. Love your close people, dream a lot, experiment as much as possible, and create something new.

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The road is no reason to part with your loved ones

It seems that there is so much time ahead, but in fact, it is just an instant. It’s like in the song from the legendary Pink Floyd band called “Time.” Speaking of music, I can’t remember why, but Safri Duo’s track “Played Alive” became so strongly associated with my fav sport, and even now, it’s a kind of football anthem for me. So I suggest including the song below as the musical accompaniment for this article.


Contents

Tactics
Official Formation
Defensive Formation
Attacking Formation
Squad
Goalkeeper
Right Back
Creative Centre Back
Classic Centre Back
Left Back
Right Midfielder
Defensive Midfielder
Centre Midfielder
Attacking Midfielder
Left Midfielder
Striker


Tactics

I mentioned the importance of tactics and strategy because I will apply them in this part of the material. When I draw the ideal team in my imagination, I immediately see a complete scheme on the field in which each player has their unique role. Together they complement each other, and it turns an ordinary list of performers into a formidable machine. It is suitable both in attack and defense. In total, I have three formations for different scenarios of the game.

Official Formation

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In this formation, my performers can be seen before the start of the match, as well as in a slightly deformed form during the opponent’s attacks. This trick is due to the desire for the secrecy of the current scheme and practicality because when the opponent uses personal marking, their players will confuse their own team. After all, they will have to run after their player all over the field and thus open up free zones for the “sudden invasion” of my other footballers.

Defensive Formation

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When attacking the opponent, each player has a specific pressing area for which he is responsible when defending. For the striker, it is the area in the middle of the field. Full-backs and wingers are accountable for their wing areas. If the opponent comes from the flank into the penalty area, the wing-back follows that “bully,” and the midfielder remains to guard his field edge.

The main difference between this formation and the official one is that the defensive midfield stands in front of the centre-backs and is ready to intercept the opponent’s pass at the best opportunity. The other two central midfielders are on either side of him and actively put pressure on the other team’s players in their zone. Centre-backs stay in their positions and intercept the ball only if there is a high probability of success. Because their role in defense is the most responsible, and even the slightest mistake can lead to a missed goal.

Attacking Formation

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Now it’s time for the most delicious scenario of the game, in which the full power of performers and tactics is revealing in full. Here the formation changes to a 3-4-3, where the flank midfielders become two extra forwards and regularly swap places. Wing-backs become the laterals and the sole masters of the flanks.

Central defenders and a defensive midfield are responsible for guaranteeing safety in case of quick counterattacks. They are getting in a straight line around the central line of the field. Two central midfielders weave lace using the ball thanks and their excellent football intelligence between them and the forwards.

Squad

There are three options at each position in the form of performers. I put these players into one of the following categories:

  • Mr. Charisma is a player who can be a true symbol of his position;
  • Motivator is a football long-liver;
  • Gifted is a talented guy who is one of the best players in history at the peak of his form.

Goalkeeper (№1)

1

Mr. Charisma: Edwin van der Sar

Video Presentation

With excellent goalkeeping skills, van der Sar is also the most technical goalkeeper in playing “down” of anyone I have seen. Yes, Chilavert and Rogério Ceni were fantastic free kick performers, but it’s much more practical for their position to have a good vision with a pass at any distance. 

And Edwin had it. His half-field ball transfers delighted my eye back when I first started supporting Manchester United in 2005. There were stories about how the spectators find the goalkeeper at training sessions because all the players were in the same uniform. And our hero played all over the training pitch. He did it at the level of the field players of the top teams.

Motivator: Gianluigi Buffon

Video Presentation

The legendary Gigi has been one of the best goalkeepers on the planet since the previous millennium. There was no Donnarama in the world, and Gianluigi was already the main goalkeeper of the Squadra Azzurra. I’m sure his young colleague dreams of a career as successful as the recent captain of the Italian national team and Juventus.

Gifted: Iker Casillas

Video Presentation

It seems that not long ago, when it came to the best modern goalkeepers, Iker was the first to be mentioned. However, De Gea changed him in the Red Fury squad. And at club level, Casillas went to play his final games in the humble Porto. This case is not the first example of a recent impressive goalkeeper departing for Portugal to end his career. Of course, I am referring to another MU goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel. The only difference is that the Dane reached the absolute peak of his career when he was a few years older than Casillas, who was “kicked out” by the Real bosses.

Bonus option: Santiago Cañizares

Video Presentation

Performers from which part of the field like to wear bright haircuts? I would dare to guess that your list will not include the goalkeeper position. That’s not strange. After all, they are usually very modest people. They don’t like to draw attention to themselves. That’s why the goalkeeper uniform’s primary purpose is to make it hard for the opposing forward to see it. The same thing often happens with the image of the people themselves. On the pitch and in life, they try to be inconspicuous. The only way they show up is by making beautiful saves.

In the case of Cañizares, we have a world-class keeper who had a very memorable appearance. Many remember him for his original hairstyle, which decorated him in the 2000s. That was the peak of Santiago’s career. Mighty Valencia was scaring even the most titled teams in Europe back then. And Cañizares was the heart of that squad. The very soul-stirring footage of him in tears after losing the Champions League final to Bayern many fans of the world’s most popular sport will remember for a long time. 

Right Back (№2)

2

Mr. Charisma: Daniel Alves

Video Presentation

Alves reminds me of Roby Carlos in terms of playing qualities, but if the latter was right-footed and could play for the public. Not for nothing that Barcelona scouts noticed him. It’s because they are from the city praised by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury. So the talent of all kinds is genuinely appreciated there. But seriously, in his youth, he was the ideal full-back: speed, stamina, crosses, kicks, tackling – everything at a very decent level. Sometimes Dani failed to return to the defense during the opponent’s swift counterattacks. But with this style of play, it was already perceived as a usual situation because of a role overload.

Motivator: Javier Zanetti

Video Presentation

The position of a full-back is considered one of the most energy-consuming on the field. And no wonder, because these players must almost always join the attack and at the same time be able to return to the defense when the team loses the ball. That is why the vast majority of performers in this role become not so strong after they reach thirty years old. Necessary physical data is lost, plus the motivation is no longer the same.

But not in the case of Zanetti. The man, even at forty, was healthy enough to run the match from call to call. For his brilliant 19-year career at the club, he received the appropriate tribute from Inter’s management, with the number 4 permanently fixed on him.

Gifted: Maicon

Video Presentation

Maicon is very similar to Zanetti. He played with him for the same club and has the full range of skills as the Argentinian. But the difference between them is that the Brazilian at the peak of his form was a little brighter in terms of play. However, he still couldn’t keep the same level of form for as long as Xavier did. That’s why I put each of them in their own category.

Bonus option: Gianluca Zambrotta

Video Presentation

I thought for a long time about which position I should put Zambrotta in. After all, he played well on both flanks of the defense and midfield. Even as a winger, he looked great. But in this article, I decided to send him to the right flank of defense. It was in this position he played in the World Cup 2006. He scored the first goal against my national team in the quarterfinals of that tournament. Back then, Gianluca hit the Ukrainian team with a splendid long-range shot.

He could close any position on the pitch. Except for the goalkeeping role, of course. But maybe even here, Zambrotta had a talent, and we did not see it? Because as a field player, he was good at everything. But he was especially great at crosses and ripping up the opponent’s flanks.

Creative Centre Back (№5)

5

Mr. Charisma: Rafael Márquez

Video Presentation

What position do you associate with the playmaker function? In 95℅ people, it would be a midfielder. Or, in a rare case, one of the attacking players. But not a central defender. For Marquez, it’s not new. In Barcelona, and mainly in the national team, he proved that the ability to make a quality first pass is as much a part of success for a defender as the ability to defend well.

Yes, before Rafa, there was Beckenbauer and other defensive players who could make passes to the middle and long distances. But Marquez brought it to a level where managers gave the centre-back a constructor’s stick, and he led the team thanks to his passes. And even in Barça, he sometimes acted in that role when Xavi was absent on the field.

Motivator: Rio Ferdinand

Video Presentation

One of the best defenders of the 21st century had to go from an ordinary military academy cadet to the captain of the most titled club in England. On this thorny path, Ferdinand saw both recognition as one of the best backs of our time and disqualification from football for eight months.

Thanks to his fighter character, he has fought his way to success. Thanks to refining his skills, Rio became fast def with an excellent reading of the game. That made him a unique performer in his position. And when Nemanja Vidic joined Manchester United, the two of them formed one of the most reliable pairs in the center of defense in the history of the Premier League.

Gifted: Lúcio

Video Presentation

I can’t remember defenders who could play as well at the forward position as Lucio could. Whenever possible, the Brazilian rushed from the defensive barriers to the attacking line. Often these connections resulted in a goal or an assist. He had a great shot with both feet and head. Lucio was a complete additional attacking player with good dribbling and finding free space when the team needed to score a goal.

Bonus option: Iván Córdoba

Video Presentation

How many central defenders do you know who are as fast as the Brazilian Ronaldo at his peak? The only one I can think of among the top representatives of this position is Córdoba. The Colombian had incredible speed. It was almost impossible to get away from him. 

I remember the episode in the 06/07 season when Valencia and Inter clashed in a brawl. David Navarro kicked Nicolas Bourdisseau on the nose and started running away. The bully managed for a long time to avoid contact with his opponents. But eventually, Iván took over and taught David a little lesson.

Yet Córdoba wasn’t just firm in the runs. He was excellent in all aspects that are important for a central defender. And don’t let his small stature (which is 173 centimeters) mislead you. His leaping ability made him beat even Zlatan Ibrahimovic in aerial battles.

Classic Centre Back (№6)

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Mr. Charisma: Jaap Stam

Video Presentation

Central defender. What distinguishes him from the others? He is tall, strong, fearless, unyielding, well head-playing, and tackling. Also, if necessary, the ability to convince the opponent with just a facial expression that he will not score today. Stam is a perfect example of such a player.

I remember that during one of the matches for the national team, his eyebrow started to bleed. Well, when it was being stitched up, the Dutchman didn’t move a muscle on his face. Finally, it’s one of the few opponents of Ibra who could probably kick his… let’s call it part of his body. And it’s far from certain that a black belt in taekwondo would have helped Zlatan much here.

Motivator: Alessandro Nesta

Video Presentation

Suppose we consider defense technique a science, Nesta’s best guru in this aspect of the game. From a young age, he was the leading player in the quite formidable Lazio at the time and later its captain. Their combination with Stam in the center of the defensive line was so incredible that Milan’s bosses spared no expense to buy both performers. Stam complemented Nesta with his power and size, while the Italian supplemented the Dutchman with his game reading and quickness. After moving to Milan, Alessandro continued to perform at a high level. And in addition to many club titles, in 2006, he won the World Cup medal with the Italian national team.

Gifted: Carles Puyol

Video Presentation

Puyol was the main image of courage in Barça’s star lineup with Ronaldinho and Messi. On his shoulders was the defense of the team. And on his arm, he wore the captain’s armband of Barcelona for many years. He could also play at left-back because his physical abilities allowed him to run along the field line throughout all matches calmly. For the loyalty of the club, Carles earned a lot of bonuses. For example, an endless number of different trophies, which a master of his magnitude deserves.

Bonus option: Sol Campbell

Video Presentation

The next man is a legend of the two feuding clubs, who also played excellent in the England team. Campbell is a typical central defender with excellent physical conditioning. He was fast, strong, and hardworking. These qualities brought him the image of some stoneman. A forward with a similar reputation, Emile Heskey, calls him the most challenging opponent among the defenders against whom he played. Such a review is not surprising since Sol managed to be among the best centre-backs in one of the most physically exhausting leagues in the world for a whole decade.

Left Back (№3)

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Mr. Charisma: Roberto Carlos

Video Presentation

I’m sure most of us associate the left-back position with Roberto Carlos. In my opinion, he is the author of the most beautiful goal from a free kick in football history. He had no less charming strikes in game situations. So there is no need to talk about his style and merits. I will only say that I have a suspicion that there will be no better player in this position than him. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Then I will sincerely rejoice in my fiasco when I enjoy playing such a performer. In the meantime, Roby is beyond the competition.

Motivator: Paolo Maldini

Video Presentation

His last name is forever booked number 3 in one of the most titled clubs in the world. He is the long-time captain and soul of Milan, Paolo Maldini. To list all his awards seems to be a difficult task. About the sports longevity of the Italian could make legends. He caught Van Basten and Ruud Gullit, and when he finished his career, Ronaldinho and Kaka have seen him leave.

Gifted: Patrice Evra

Video Presentation

What do Eric Cantona and Patrice Evra have in common? Both of them have played for MU and the French national team. But that’s not the whole story. After all, the main thing is that both managed to thank some of the fans for flattering remarks at the end of their careers. How? By hitting them from the U-turn kick, of course! But if seriously, Patrice was a model left-back in acting: great passes, speed, stamina, unyieldingness, tackling, and excellent dribbling. Those are not all of Evra’s strong points. He is an entertaining person who never gets bored. I personally also appreciate such qualities in people.

Bonus option: Philipp Lahm

Video Presentation

Now it is the turn to mention the captain of Bayern and the German national team. He won almost all possible trophies with his “gangs.” The hallmark of Philip was the ability to anticipate the development of the opponent’s attack. In mix with excellent leadership qualities, this made him a true defense leader at any squad. He also managed to play equally well as a full-back and as a defensive midfielder. 

Right Midfielder (№7)

7

Mr. Charisma: David Beckham

Video Presentation

Without exaggeration, Beckham is the most famous player of the 2000s. Sometimes it seemed that David more often starred in various commercials than he went on the soccer field when he played for LA Galaxy. However, despite this, the player was not worse than a TV star. Everyone remembers his right foot, his trademark standards, crosses from the wings, long-range shots. A whole generation of young players learned it from Beckham.

Motivator: Cristiano Ronaldo

Video Presentation

I want to explain right away why I have Cristiano in this specific position. Since I have been a fan of the Portuguese talent since Euro 2004, I associate him with the role in which I could watch him play during the 2000s. It was thanks to Ronaldo and his performances that I became interested in football. I do not see the point in writing it out because I plan to create a separate material about this great player soon.

Gifted: Lionel Messi

Video Presentation

Along with CR7, these are the only two performers on my dream team of zeros who were still showing the world-class play in their younger years. Even when I first saw Lionel play in late 2005, I thought it couldn’t be. Then, he looked unusually awesome. At first, the kid from Barca was showing the potential to become like Maradona, but now it is evident that this player is even brighter than Diego Armando. Messi has long repeated his best goals, and in terms of individual and club awards, he even surpassed the legend of the Argentine national team.

Bonus option: Jay-Jay Okocha

Video Presentation

Friends, you are looking at one of the most charismatic players of his generation. It was he who taught Ronaldinho to use his technique to the fullest. Jay-Jay was also famous for his kindness and cheerful character. On the field, he similarly stood out among other players. By the way, CAM was his primary position. However, since this place in my team took a player from Ukraine, I decided to move Okocha to the flank. Here he proved himself through excellent ball-handling and exciting tricks.

Defensive Midfielder (№4)

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Mr. Charisma: Roy Keane

Video Presentation

Roy Keane is precisely the kind of invisible frontline fighter who makes a difference in the match. The former United captain had an incredible dedication and read the game perfectly. The hard work for him did not present any difficulties at all. That is, Roy had everything that should characterize an exemplary defensive midfielder.

Motivator: Claude Makélelé

Video Presentation

Makelele blossomed at the age of thirty. The specificity of his position lies in the football intelligence, which Claude has only multiplied over the years. And in combination with excellent physical form, it allowed him to become one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation.

Gifted: Edgar Davids

Video Presentation

This footballer is memorable immediately because of his striking appearance. Temporary problems with a vision led to the presence of the original glasses on the face of Davids, which at once became a trademark of the Dutchman. Edgar himself admits that after recovery, he continued to wear glasses specifically as a stylish accessory. And, I must say, it is worth that. It seems to me that the fashion for glasses with orange lenses came from him.

He turned into a particular brand that was sought after by ad creators as much as Beckham. And in terms of play, he was also one of the brightest players of the turn of the millennium. He was perhaps the only defensive midfielder who, thanks to his mad speed and brilliant dribbling, could pass from his half of the field to the opponent’s penalty area like a perfectly sharpened knife that cuts through butter melted under the summer sun.

Bonus option: Papa Bouba Diop

Video Presentation

The Senegalese revealed his talent to the whole planet at the World Cup 2002. There, powerful and tall midfielder amazed many football fans. Especially memorable was his goal against France. After conducting such a brilliant tournament, European clubs began to hunt for the African. First, he moved to Lens, and after two seasons started his almost ten-year voyage to the English Premier League. Unfortunately, Papa Bouba Diop passed away at a very young age, when he was only 42 years old. We will remember and respect him for the energy of kindness he spread on and off the field.

Centre Midfielder (№8)

8

Mr. Charisma: Paul Scholes

Video Presentation

Zinedine Zidane once said that his biggest regret is that he did not get to be in the same team as Paul Scholes. Well, today, Zizu’s dream came true, albeit only in my material. But still, the idea of having those two players bundled together in the middle of the field excites me to the goosebumps. The vision of the pitch would be fantastic in this couple.

In truth, the Englishman’s passes could be called works of football art. Even when Paul was already in his mid-30s, he still performs them like using a hand. In addition, Scholes had terrible long shots skills. Mainly I remember the goal he scored against Barcelona in the memorable Champions League match, thanks to which MU could pass to the final.

Motivator: Steven Gerrard

Video Presentation

Liverpool’s symbol of the new millennium, the Reds’ leader and captain, Steven Gerrard. Although, despite his prowess, he failed to lead the Merseysiders to the coveted Premier League trophy. By the way, many in England value is even higher than winning the Champions League. But anyway, the football world will never forget the Istanbul final against AC Milan. It, along with the Barcelona final in ’99, has become a classic. Perhaps if Steven had not slipped in the infamous match against Chelsea in the 13/14 season, Liverpool would have seen the valuable English trophy for the first time in two and a half decades. But that’s another story.

Gifted: Andrea Pirlo

Video Presentation

Injuries prevent many fine players from becoming the authoritative performers they deserve to be. The same scenario could have affected Pirlo. But fortunately, the period of various visits to the infirmary ended with Andrea’s move to Juventus. There he got a second footballing youth. Although in the mid-2000s, this Italian was considered a world-class player, in my opinion, the most brilliant period of his career was in Turin.

Yes, he did not win the Champions League with Juve. Nor was he able to repeat his international triumph with the national team. But let’s face it, in 2006, Pirlo was just one of many top-class players. And in 2012, he was one of the foremost leaders of the Squadra Azzurra and “dragged” it to the final.

Bonus option: Clarence Seedorf

Video Presentation

Let me introduce you to Andrea’s partner from that legendary Milan midfield of the 2000s. Today, the man is still the only player in history who managed to win the Champions League with three different clubs. And in total, he has four triumphs in the most prestigious European tournament. During his playing career, Seedorf’s blubber level fluctuated around 5%. Thanks to this excellent physical data, he managed to show the highest quality of the game for twenty seasons.

Clarence was especially notable for his versatility. He could cover almost any position in the midfield line. After all, this Dutchman could both score a goal and assist a partner. Plus, he was not shy to help his boys in working on defense. He was the guy who created balance in the team’s game. At the same time, he was very creative. This nuance allowed his teammates to be calm if there was a need for some original action (in games against the “buses,” for example).

Attacking Midfielder (№10)

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Mr. Charisma: Zinédine Zidane

Video Presentation

For me, Zidane is a professor of football skills. He can do almost everything on the field and does it better than anyone else. He was even knocking out two-meter-long giants with a forehead kick. But in my mind, the main association with him is the legendary “around the world” trick, which highlights his technical arsenal. You could make an encyclopedia for football academies on Zinedine’s performances.

Motivator: Frank Lampard

Video Presentation

Now let’s move on to Chelsea’s heart and dispatcher. If you take Lampard’s position into account, his statistics is unreal. To score around twenty goals in a season is a good result for a forward, let alone a midfield player. Frank’s long-range shot is one of the best in history. Thanks to him, the Englishman has such an impressive number of goals.

Gifted: Juan Sebastián Verón

Video Presentation

Veron represented one of the best midfielders in the world. At the peak of his form, his vision of the pitch and his magnificent passes convinced Sir Alex that this guy was worthy of breaking the Premier League transfer record. In England, the Argentine failed, and at the age of 31, transiting through Italy, he returned to his native Estudiantes, where he blossomed again. At the World Cup 2010, he was the key playmaker of his team. Terrific work! By the way, he was already 35 years old at that time.

Bonus option: Oleksandr Rykun

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Here’s a surprise from me! Andriy Shevchenko sincerely admired the passes of our next performer. I would describe Oleksandr as a mixture of Pirlo and Ronaldinho. He combined the Italian’s vision and delicate work with the ball like the Brazilian. However, the world has never learned about him. Only Ukrainian fans who saw Rykun’s game in the native championship and for the national team remember him well.

His sports development was interrupted by laziness and not a serious attitude on training. These are the usual factors that have ruined many talented people. Unfortunately, because of that, Oleksandr managed to realize only 10-20% of his potential. However, Rykun himself thinks that this number reaches 50%. I don’t think that’s true. Just look at the videos of his work, and you’ll see the scale of the footballer this guy could grow up to be.  

Left Midfielder (№11)

11

Mr. Charisma: Pavel Nedvěd

Video Presentation

This guy is one of the most “double-footed” players, who also had incredible stamina. Pavel was also equally good at passing and shooting. In my opinion, Nedved is the prominent leader of post-Zidane Juventus, who entirely replaced Zizu. The Golden Ball, which the Czech received playing for Juve, is a clear demonstration of that.

Motivator: Ryan Giggs

Video Presentation

In front of us stands the most titled player at the European club level. Speed, technique, filigree crosses, insane efficiency, and loyalty to one club are all based in Ryan’s veins. The only thing Giggs wasn’t too lucky with was the national team. If he had obtained English citizenship in his time and started playing for the Three Lions, the middle line would have been ideal for the English squad. After all, in the Ryan era, they had major problems in a goalkeeper and left midfielder positions. Perhaps the Old Trafford legend lacked in this lineup to win trophies on the international scene.

Gifted: Ronaldinho

Video Presentation

In my humble opinion, Ronaldinho was the best player in football history at his peak of form. Yes, not the best in terms of stability (I prefer another player from this team in that role). He only really shined for a couple of seasons. But it was amazing! His play at that time gave me goosebumps. He played so easily and beautifully to beat his opponents that I had the impression that he learned the extraordinary secrets of quantum physics and learned to slow down and stop time on the field. 

Ronny himself, though he remained static in those moments, his brain was already working out the ideal trajectory of his future maneuver. The latter would leave the defenders behind, catching flies with their open mouths, and make the spectators roar with delight. I’m very impressed with personalities that shine on their unique wave of their own. They don’t fit into the big picture of the world. They are thinking, doing, and living in their way. Not as written in some rules that stifle innovations.

Our world is hostile to changes. The crowd is intimidated by individuals who are capable of creating something completely new. However, everything turns around when the right approach is found that convinces the masses that this thing is cool. That is when the creations of such people become generally recognized masterpieces of their genre. Previously, some people did not understand them either because of a lack of intellectual baggage or a banal fear of novelty.

In football, that artist was Ronaldinho. A certain dude from a different planet. He ignored accepted norms and created new ones of his own. Ronny proved that individuality is the main engine of progress.

Bonus option: Ze Roberto

Video Presentation

Here is another extraordinary Brazilian talent. He started as a winger, then moved to a defensive midfielder, and finished his career as a left-back. In each role, Ze Roberto was excellent! He had a unique combination of attacking and defensive skills that made him a recognizable figure on the field. Because no other defensive player could boast such a highly refined technique with the ball, on the other hand, no one winger could perform so well in defense.

Separately, I want to note the incredible longevity of his career. Moreover, even at the age of 40+ Ze Roberto could still win speed runs against players who were half his age. He also had superb stamina throughout his entire path in football. It’s the kind of versatile performer of having which every coach dreams. I similarly couldn’t resist bringing him into my lineup.

Striker (№9)

9

Mr. Charisma: Thierry Henry

Video Presentation

Although Thierry and I are the same height, it is unlikely that I (or anyone else with a height of about 188 cm) could replicate the lightning-fast runs made by the best scorer in Arsenal history. His graceful wide steps were combined with incredible speed and technique, allowing the Frenchman to pass opponents like immobile artificial obstacles during training and become unreachable in a few seconds.

Motivator: Zlatan Ibrahimović

Video Presentation

If the previous hero was impressed thanks to his speed at his height, Zlatan was impressed by his flexibility. With a height of 195 cm and weighing about a hundred kilograms, the Swede manages to perform such acrobatic miracles, which then you want to watch on replay for hours. In addition to his physical characteristics and the ability to use them unconventionally, Ibrahimovic distinguished himself by his unbelievable football vitality.

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After all, it is evident that he remained one of the best forwards in the world both in the 2000s and almost until the age of forty. It’s also interesting that Ibra has been a fan of the next performer since he was a teenager.

Gifted: Ronaldo

Video Presentation

At seventeen, he won the World Cup, and at twenty-one, he got the Golden Ball. So Ronaldo was mega-talented from an early age. And there were many examples of recognition of the greatness of the Brazilian. For me, the most striking moment was at the end of the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, played at the Theater of Dreams. United won 4-3, but it was the Madrid side that was ahead on aggregate. The Phenomenon scored all three of his team’s goals, and our fans gave him a standing ovation. Two years later, the Madrid fans at home were paying tribute to another good friend of Ronaldo in the same way. It will become a dude from another planet, Ronaldinho.


That’s all for today, friends. I hope I didn’t bore you with such extensive material and that you also remembered these great players with warm feelings. See you soon on my blog!

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