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The best player you have watched (at a game)


knoppy1987
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I've just come across a documentary about Laurie Cunningham on ITV player and as a football fan it was a no-brainer to watch especially as it not only covered his career but also some contentious issues that have been a part of football for an extended period of time.

 

As many held Laurie Cunningham in high regard especially during his early career, it got me thinking of players, particularly pre-2000, who you you have seen play over the years that you thought of as being a talent. It can be your day-to-day household names and also those that didn't quite cut it in the end for one reason or another; injury, personality, off the field antics etc. 

 

I was lucky enough to see Ronaldo (the best one of course) play at Goodison Park in the Umbro Cup in 1995 and I stumbled across Francesco Totti in 2009 (hat-trick on the day). Both I thought were phenomenal. Growing up in Liverpool, Neville Southall always stood out for me as well as John Aldridge at Tranmere. Both had this uncanny determination and will to win. The latter I got particularly fond of watching as I had to spend a lot of time at the orthodontist next to Prenton Park and that alone inspired me to go. A second best as Birmingham wasn't exactly around the corner. When I got there though or when Villa played at Anfield or Goodison, it was Dwight Yorke for me. I was also incredibly fond of Mark Delaney, nothing spectacular but he never put a foot wrong when I watched him (hope I don't get shot down for that one).        

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well, Collymore vs Liverpool when he came over to us springs to mind as a one of spectacle, he was going to win that game if he'd been played on his own

 

Adebayo Akinfenwa in full beast mode is also a sight to behold

 

oh, and obviously I've seen a Mr McGrath

Edited by chrisp65
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I've seen God but I never got to watch God play football. I suppose seeing him should have been enough. My Dad used to rave about him when I was a kid and was one of the reasons Villa were his 'second' team. 

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Can't think of many off the top of my head. Bit left-field but Sulley Muntari vs us a few years back for Portsmouth at Villa Park. Tore us to pieces all day in the midfield and scored two absolute pearlers. 

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Can't think of many off the top of my head. Bit left-field but Sulley Muntari vs us a few years back for Portsmouth at Villa Park. Tore us to pieces all day in the midfield and scored two absolute pearlers. 

 

Good lord yeah I was at that game. Horrible. 

 

I used to watch Arsenal at Highbury a fair bit when I was younger and watching Henry was such a pleasure, certainly the best player I've ever seen in the flesh.

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The first thing that springs to mind was Jonathan Woodgate for Newcastle in a 0-0 at Villa Park during O'Leary's good season.   **** knows how they got away with a point that day, we absolutely battered them but Woodgate was equal to everything.  He was a wonderful player and it's a damn shame his career was ruined by injury because had he stayed fit then John Terry would only have about five England caps. 

 

Best player I saw over multiple appearances? Either Henry or Bergkamp.  It's little surprise that they both have statues outside Arsenal's new stadium. 

 

Finally for us?  Predictable answers incoming, but McGrath, Yorke, Merson and Ashley Young. 

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In a past Villa Shirt I always enjoyed watching Ian Taylor and Dwight Yorke. And, although it's early on, I firmly expect Benteke to be one I'll always mention in cases like this.

 

Thierry Henry, Gianfranco Zola and Fernando Torres are ones I always used to look forward to watching when we played against them even if it was with some apprehension.

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I have seen Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Cech, Lampard, Pirlo, Beckham, and Terry. I have seen plenty more footballers but I can't remember them all. I have seen the best clubs in Europe play aside from Barcelona sadly. 

 

I met Terry and Lampard after a match once. 

Edited by Czechlad
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Unfortunately I have to say C. Ronaldo. Or maybe Henry or Bergkamp, come to think about it. I remember seeing a 16 year old Anelka score against everton in a boring game at Highbury. The game ended 1-0 arsenal. The day before we'd beaten spuds 3-2 and Dion Dublin made his Villa debut. I still regret that I didn't take the train up to brum that day to watch that game.

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Best player I've seen in the flesh is undoubtedly Le Tissier. Saw him a few times at the Dell (old man & I occasionally got use of a mates season tickets), and he always looked on another level to everyone else playing.

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I saw Glen Hoddle play at the tail end of his career for Chelsea at Villa Park.

 

He was playing as a sweeper and would ping 40, 50 and 60 yard balls around the pitch and each one always landed perfectly for his teammate.

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I saw Glen Hoddle play at the tail end of his career for Chelsea at Villa Park.

 

He was playing as a sweeper and would ping 40, 50 and 60 yard balls around the pitch and each one always landed perfectly for his teammate.

 

Yeah, that man knew how to make a pass alright.

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There's so many to choose from. Hoddle was fantastic to watch and I was lucky enough to see Van Basten in his prime but the one thing that sticks out most in my mind was watching Cantona stood on the edge of the penalty box, pinging the ball repeatedly off the cross-bar which returned onto his chest every time without him having to move. Obviously this was in a pre-match warm-up (Fergie's testimonial years ago) but it was still a jaw-dropping thing to see.

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