Forums / The Stands: Intelligent Footy Debate
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What Player Deserves To Be Called A Legend?
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
The word "Legend" comes from the Latin adjective legenda, "for reading, to be read, " which referred only to written stories, not to traditional stories transmitted orally from generation to generation. Today a legend can also be a person or achievement worthy of inspiring such a story, anyone or anything whose fame promises to be enduring, even if the renown is created more by the media than by oral tradition.

We all say "oh such and such is a legend and he is a legend" etc.... But who really are "Footballing Legends"?

We all have our own ideas about them.

Could it be:-

1. Henrik Larsson - Model professional, stayed at Celtic and turned down big money moves throughout his career, suffered a horrific leg break but came back stronger, won everything at club level, seen and widely regarded as a model professional and a credit to the game. One of the deadliest strikers in the game at that time, even Fergie said that when he signed for 3 months, it was an amazing feeling to have finally got one of his long-time targets in a Manchester United shirt.

Senior career
Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
1988–1992 Högaborg 74 (23)
1992–1993 Helsingborg 52 (50)
1993–1997 Feyenoord 101 (26)
1997–2004 Celtic 221 (174)
2004–2006 Barcelona 40 (13)
2006–2009 Helsingborg 84 (38)
2007 → Manchester United (loan) 7 (1)
Total 579 (325)
National team
1993–2009 Sweden 106 (37)

2. Roy Keane - A dominating central-midfielder, Keane was noted for his aggressive and highly-competitive style of play, an attitude which helped him excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. Keane helped United achieve a sustained period of success in more than 12 years at the club. Not to mention his time at Nottingham Forest and Celtic!

Nottingham Forest
Full Members Cup: 1992

Manchester United
Premier League (7): 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003
FA Cup (4): 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004
FA Community Shield (4): 1993, 1996, 1997, 2003
Uefa Champions League: 1999
Intercontinental Cup: 1999

Scottish Premier League: 2006
Scottish League Cup: 2006

Fwa Footballer of the Year: 2000
Pfa Players' Player of the Year: 2000
English Football Hall of Fame: 2004

3. Zinedine Zidane - Widely regarded as one of the game's all-time greats, Zidane played for club teams in France, Italy and Spain, and was a member of the French national team. His career accomplishments include helping France win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, in addition to winning the 2002 UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. One of only two three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winners, the other being Ronaldo, Zidane also won the Ballon d'Or in 1998.

Uefa Intertoto Cup: 1995

Serie A: 1996-97, 1997-98
Supercoppa Italiana: 1997
Uefa Super Cup: 1996
Intercontinental Cup: 1996
Uefa Intertoto Cup: 1999

Real Madrid
La Liga: 2002-03
Supercopa de España: 2001, 2003
Uefa Champions League: 2002
Uefa Super Cup: 2002
Intercontinental Cup: 2002

Fifa World Cup: 1998
Uefa European Football Championship: 2000

Ballon d'Or awarded to Zidane in 1998Ligue 1 Best Young Player - 1994
Ligue 1 Best Player - 1996
Uefa Champions League Best Midfielder - 1998
Ballon D'or - 1998
Fifa World Player of the Year - 1998, 2000, 2003
FIFPro World XI All-Star Team - 2005, 2006

The list is endless!

Who in your eyes, are real, genuine "Footballing Legends"?
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Like the write-up at the beginning! See me after class for your A, lol....

I believe the word legend is not just for skilled professionals but for someone whose career actually transcends the limits of excellence and become larger than life figures. In other words, a very good footballer is not necessarily a legend in my books. Players that people will never stop talking about regardless of whether they like them or not....

So, I think this would be my list of legends (in no particular order):
Diego Maradonna
Ronaldo (Brazilian of course)
László Kubala
Alfredo DiStefano
Ferenc Puskás
Lev Yashin
Zinedine Zidane
Franz Beckenbauer
George Best
Johan Cruijff
Kenny Dalglish
Dixie Dean
Paolo Maldini
Alan Shearer
Gary Lineker
Thierry Henry
Ian Wright
Ryan Giggs

I'm too lazy to pull out stats, figures, pics, etc, etc so feel free to dispute Just my opinion in any case.
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I think some of the guys I listed might probably be legends but only for their own fans though! D-oh!
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Shame that Del Piero, and Fransesco Totti didn't make your list.... Both are as Maldini is to Milan...
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
That is some list, some amazing mentions as well. I am delighted to see Gary Lineker up there, as I know his mum and dad. They still sell fruit and veg on the market hahahahaha. He was a legend everywhere he went and he was unlucky to fall a goal short of the all-time record. 48 goals over 8 years in International Football is a great record!

Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Ryan Giggs would surely be a legend for anyone who is a fan of football.... If only he were English hahahahahaha
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Ah, Del Piero and Totti.... I have to admit my ignorance on Serie A players in general though Pragathish, I know they are really goodplayers but not too many stats or memorable events (besides some champions league games and the WC) pop into my head!
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Del Piero and Totti - yeah, they would be legends for any die-hard Serie A lover. For those who prefer the EPL, its hard to know much about them unless we see thm in the Champs League or the World Cup.... But, for sure, they are legends.

I love how Totti was portrayed a bad boy after the Inter Milan game for trying to kick lumps out of the players, and If I am right, gets sent off.... But the next home ga, e scores 2 goals and he was given the hero`s reception! They love Totti and he can do no wrong in the eyes of the Roma fans. I quite like that.... They love his passion and desire for the club.... Very roman-like!
DerBomber (Real Madrid) 6 years ago
I see Michael Laudrup, Romario, Michel Platini are all not included.... And it seems a little biased. With just one keeper in Lev, I could be wrong, but the rest seem to be outfield players. What about Schmeichel?
Oh2bagunner (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Zidane all the way.... 98 WC, euro 2000, champions league 2001-02 champions league.... Three world player of the year awrds to that.... !
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Def would say Zidane too, even if he went out in the wrong way.... He will forever be a hero!
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Yea but he headbutted a idiot. So he was cool for that lol. IT was a awesome headbut to
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I wish that I had been there on the pitch to see that! He was a legend for finally shutting that dirty, foul-mouthed little weasel up!

I wonder what it feels like to headbutt someone.... (where is my student)?
Tanmay (Footytube Moderator) 6 years ago
Zidane has gone on record (very recently) to say that he has made peace with the headbutting incident. Also, he said that he was thankful Italy won the World Cup, since otherwise people would've never let him forget it, and that would've been far worse! Now that's a real legend
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I remember he said that, he was so classy and cool when he was asked about it. The guy just ozzed class and yeah, he is a true legend. Maybe he will be forever remembered for that incident, but real football fans will be sympathetic about it.

True legend status!
DerBomber (Real Madrid) 6 years ago
It's just a pity he merely headbutted that foul mouthed boy. I mean, if Roy Keane had been there instead, I do not think Materazzi would still have a career, it'd have ended the way Alf Inge Haaland's career did
Rich7 (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I would have to say that Kenny Dalglish is up there too!

Scottish League Cups: 3
Celtic: 1968-1969, 1969-1970, 1974-1975

Scottish Championships: 6
Celtic: 1969-1970, 1970-1971, 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1973-1974, 1976-1977

Cup of Scotland: 5
Celtic: 1970-1971, 1971-1972, 1973-1974, 1974-1975, 1976-1977

English League Community Shield / Charity Shield: 7
Liverpool: 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989

Premier League trophy: 8
Liverpool: 1978-1979, 1979-1980, 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1985-1986, 1987-1988, 1989-1990

Carling Cup: 4
Liverpool: 1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984

FA Cup: 2
Liverpool: 1985-1986, 1988-1989

Uefa - Super Cup: 1
Liverpool: 1977

Uefa - Champions League: 3
Liverpool: 1977-1978, 1980-1981, 1983-1984

FWA Footballer Of The Year: 2
1979, 1983

PFA Footballer Of The Year: 1

AS manager
Premier League Trophy: 4
Liverpool: 1985-1986, 1987-1988, 1989-1990
Blackburn: 1994-1995

FA Cup: 2
Liverpool: 1985-1986, 1988-1989

Community Shield / Charity Shield: 3
Liverpool: 1986, 1988, 1989

Scottish Cup: 1
Celtic: 2000

Premier League Manager of the Year: 1
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I knew Kenny Dalglish was a legend and I knew he had won a lot of trophies but looking at that list, it is absolutely incredible. I am stunned to see that he won sooooooooooooooo much. His skill was a joy to behold and he had the flair and magic to rival anyone in my opinion. He really deserves the title Legend and King Kenny. Thanks for the stats, amazing to realise just how much he had achieved and accomplished during his playing and managing career!
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Footballing Legend? Maybe someone like  Paolo maldini.  I firmly believe I don't need to elaborate.
BigShel (Philadelphia Union) 6 years ago
No you don't, legend for sure! One of the best ever
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
One of the best? Nay, he is The Best
Actually, the whole Maldini family was.
Sir Alex Ferguson has always admired Paolo Maldini. And look at what he said:

Sir Alex Ferguson “I always wanted to get Paolo here, but it was impossible.

“i met his father at a game and told him how much I’d love to have his son at United.

Cesare smiled at me and said ‘My grandfather was Milan, my father was Milan, I played for Milan and now my son is Milan’.

And that was it – story over. "
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Def one of the top 3 legends ever. He was a credit to the Milan team and to Italy. I can see him being the manager there one day as he is def Mr. AC Milan!

No need to elaborate on his career as we all now how good the man was. His career spanned over such a long period of time, it will never ever be rivaled in my opinion! True legend status for Maldini
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
@pragathish, and Maldini son is the next number 3
Alexinho (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Number 3? Nope, they stated that 3 is saved as one of the legend shirts, giving it out again is not an option, not even for his son.
Forza Milan
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Well you're wrong. Maldini and Ac Milan have both said his son will get the shirt if he makes it to the team. Look it up if you don't belive me
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Now now boys.... We can settle this right now.

This is from the AC Milan website

"Milan retired his number 3 shirt, but it will be bequeathed to one of his sons if one makes the club's senior side".

Maldini is married to Adriana, a model, and has two sons, Christian (born 1996) and Daniel (born 2001) who both have already been signed by AC Milan and currently play in the youth teams
Tanmay (Footytube Moderator) 6 years ago
What if young Daniel wants to be a painter? *this is where Reb Tevye butts in with "Tradition!" *
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Daniel is already playing for the youth team, and maybe in 4-5 years, we can see him playing for the Milan.  He doesn't want to be a painter
DerBomber (Real Madrid) 6 years ago
A pity though, Maldini alone takes the plaudits.... Shouldn't Nesta and Cannavaro share some credit? After all they worked as a unit
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
What does Canna got here? After all he ditched the old lady to join Madrid. A legend gotta' have some loyalty.
As far as Nesta.... Yep, he is a legend for sure, easily the best defender in modern footyt
Zeora (Barcelona) 6 years ago
Socrates (Brazil) for sure. I loved his assists and his team organisation. Just like Xavi nowadays at Barca
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 6 years ago
I second that!
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
I third that!  As a side note, his beard was awesome
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Best in my mind is Maldini or Ronaldo the brazil one.

Maldini played over 1000games for Milan. He was the loyal player that current football lacks. He was the 1st defender to win the footballer of the year award. He is a credit to football and his record speak for it self.

Ronaldo, went to every club and scored a stupid amount of goals, won the player of the year 3times in his life. Won 2 world cups and appeared in 3 world cup finals
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I like your 2 choices, they are both legends of the game. Maldini was just immense at the back for years and years and years and years. His appearance record is unbelievable and will never ever be rivaled or matched. To play that many top flight games, and to win so many trophies, its just world-class. There are no more superlatives for the man!

Ronaldo deserves his place in Brazillian legendary history. As yu rightly point out, he scored a ridiculous amount of goals at every club he went to and even though he culd have played longer, he still won 2 world cups, team achievements and personal achievements that ensure he will forever be remembered as a Legend!
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
That are so many to choose from. I would list more but they are the 1st two that come to mind
RonanKnows (Arsenal) 6 years ago
No Pele?

I find it hard to name a player that is considered a legend outside of their respective clubs. Dennis Bergkamp comes to mind.

Johan Cruyff has to be at the top of the ladder for me
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Pele is a legend....There is no doubting that and his goal scoring record, his flair, skill and tenacity helped him become arguably the best player to have ever graced a football pitch.

Dennis Bergkamp had the slickest and the most deftest of touches and his Arsenal career was a tribute to that. Anyone who ever played with him, against hi, ever went to a match, were treated to some of the mist exsquisite touches, moves and passes ever from the flying dutchman. He was a joy to watch and this game will forever be in my mind. I were there at Filbers Street!

LyverBird (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Kenny Dalglish. Why? The answer is up in "Rich7" comment
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Maradona is a legend for sure. He is the epitonomy of footballing greatness, not only achieving success with the big clubs, but taking it with him to little napoli. That in the end is what these fairytale stories are made of, and for him to live it, makes him a true legend
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I rarely concede anything to Maradona, but he is a legend.    
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Agreed - and with a comment like that, I feel I need say no more!
Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
I think everyone knows my choice.... Lol, his surname says it all
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
And his twin brother harry, or is it hairy? , you would know ant.... Lol
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
RRajeev (Manchester United) 6 years ago
G. Best?
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Hahaha! You guys are hilarious...
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
My mate saw George Best with his father practicising football outside with no shoes. His father was kicking the ball against the wall and George had to control, spin and shoot. My mate and his dad reckoned it was the most amazing piece of football they had ever seen. Skill like that, dedication and practice like that is a thing of the past...
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
Ronaldo has always been my favorite and the striker I want to be like. As long as I can remember, I have admired his goal scoring talent. If you ever notice you will realize that he almost never uses power to score goals. Inside or outside the the penalty area he always use placement. I don't there is any striker half as good as he is playing now
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Just to clarify, you mean the Brazillian Ronaldo right?    
Jeroen (Barcelona) 6 years ago
Obviously: Cristiano only uses power, from inside or outside the area. Ronaldo Luiz is my favourite striker of all time as well. The most complete every striker IMO. Skill like Maradonna, strength like Gerd Müller and a cold killer like Pele. The only thing that he may have lacked at times was the vista and genius of a man like Johan Cruijff
Damu42km 6 years ago
Luiz Ronaldo.... Scored most number of goals in the world cup. Best striker ever.
Roberto carlos.... Attacking defender with his poweful shots which almost look like bullet firing. Best Left Wing Back player
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Agreed on both of them. Roberto Carlos will always be remembered for the BEST EVER FREE KICK GOAL .......

top 10 goals
Thenylo (Santos) 6 years ago
Truly Priceless, amazing goals
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I think that original-strength Ronaldo is the one we should be talking about right now. Enough golden trophies to smelt and make a golden suit, enough titles to line a trophy cabinent.... Arguably in the top 5 greatest Brazilians and top 10 greatest ever. It's weird to me that he's only 33 (that's a lot in Brazilian, though). And yet he has played for just as many an impressive club as any super-star today, including moving to Madrid after playing for Barca.... With Inter between, though.




* Campeonato Mineiro: 1994
* Copa do Brasil: 1993

PSV Eindhoven

* KNVB Cup: 1996


* Copa del Rey: 1997
* UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1997
* Supercopa de España: 1996


* UEFA Cup: 1998

Real Madrid

* La Liga: 2003, 2007
* Intercontinental Cup: 2002
* UEFA Super Cup: 2002
* Supercopa de España: 2003


* Campeonato Paulista: 2009
* Copa do Brasil: 2009

National team

* FIFA World Cup: 1994, 2002
* Copa América: 1997, 1999
* FIFA Confederations Cup: 1997
* 1996 Summer Olympics: Bronze medal


* Supercopa Libertadores Top Scorer: 1993-94
* Campeonato Mineiro Top Scorer: 1993-94
* Campeonato Mineiro Team of The Year: 1994
* Eredivisie Top Scorer: 1994-95
* La Liga Top Scorer: 1996-97, 2003–2004
* European Golden Boot: 1996-97
* Don Balón Award La Liga Foreign Player of the Year: 1996-97
* Copa América Final Most Valuable Player: 1997
* Copa América Most Valuable Player: 1997
* Confederations Cup All-Star Team: 1997
* Cup Winners Cup Final Most Valuable Player: 1997
* Cup Winners Cup Top Goal Scorer: 1996-1997
* iffhs World's Top Goal Scorer of the Year: 1997
* UEFA Most Valuable Player: 1997-98
* Serie A Footballer of the Year: 1997-98
* Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year: 1997-98
* UEFA Best Forward: 1997-98
* Bravo Award : 1995, 1997, 1998
* FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1998
* UEFA Cup Final Most Valuable Player: 1998
* Copa América Top Scorer: 1999
* Copa América All-Star Team: 1997, 1999
* FIFA World Player of the Year: 1996, 1997, 2002
* Ballon D'or: 1997, 2002
* World Soccer Magazine World Player of The Year: 1996, 1997. 2002
* Onze d'Or: 1997, 2002
* FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 2002
* FIFA 100
* FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1998, 2002
* FIFA World Cup Final Most Valuable Player: 2002
* FIFA World Cup Top Scorer: 2002
* Intercontinental Cup Most Valuable Player: 2002
* UEFA Team of The Year: 2002
* Laureus Comeback of the Year: 2002
* Strogaldo De Legendary Award 2002
* BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality: 2002
* La Liga South American Player of the Year: 1996-97, 2002–03
* Golden Foot: 2006
* Brazilian National Hall of Fame inducated: Class of 2006
* Serie A Player of the Decade: 1997-2007
* France Football Magazine: Starting eleven of all-time: 2007
* FIFA World Cup All-Time Scoring Leader
* Campeonato Paulista Best Player: 2009
* : Player of a decade: Winner 2000-2010
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
He was a true great. Unfortunatly he had to live with as many injuries as he did, or else we would likely be talking about him as the greatest player to ever touch a soccer ball with little dissagreement. He'll always be known as one of the best players despite this however, and due to the way he faught back from injury after injury he deserves alot of credit. He definatly is a legend in the game
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
What's more I think he was the first modern legend, as he was the original big-name advertising superstar, but also produced many on-field moments that we all agree are amazing
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Simply amazing...
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I am absolutely speechless - that list seemed to go on forever and ever! Without a doubt, if he had suffered a few less injuries, we could be talking about him being the most deadliest striker known to man and to ever grace a football pitch. He could be deadlier than a box jellyfish.... But Ronaldo refused to take part in my test! Shame....

He won so much, achieved so much, was a hero to so many people and was a true inspiration for many young people who looked up to him. Ronaldo was world-class, and although he is knocking-on a bit now, he will forever be a legend
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Still scoring crazy goals for the Corinthians though! And doing lots of charity work for people in Brazil and around the world.... You'd have to go reaaaaallly far to find someone who doesn't like Big Ron...
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I don't know anyone who dislikes him or has a bad word to say about him. He is a legend in Brazil and rightly so. Its just a shame he had so many injuries that hampered his career. He had to be the deadliest striker in the world.... Plus a genuinely nice guy off it to!
BigShel (Philadelphia Union) 6 years ago
The two players for me that signify legends are 1. Pele in my heart he will always be the best although Messi will possibly surpass he Maradona and George best as the best ever. My personal favorite player and the reason I first became a Barca fan is 2. Rivaldo. I cannot (I'm to lazy) list all of his accomplishments but for me he is the one player that caught my eye when my football education was in it's infancy and made me say "I need more"!
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Great choice there BigShel and the first person to mention Rivaldo. I was stunned to see he was still playing football even though he is 38 years old now! His achievement list is incredible and he has got to go down as one of the most amazing Brazilian players ever! He will surely be remembered by all who watched him as the finest playmaker in the modern history of the game. (Unless you are Hakan Unsal or from Turkey)


Brazilian Série A: 1994
São Paulo State Championship: 1994, 1996


Spanish La Liga: 1998, 1999
Copa del Rey: 1998
European Super Cup: 1997


Uefa Champions League: 2003
Coppa Italia: 2003
European Super Cup: 2003


Greek League: 2005, 2006, 2007
Greek Cup: 2005, 2006


Uzbek League: 2008, 2009
Uzbekistani Cup: 2008


2002 FIFA World Cup: 2002
Copa América: 1999
Confederations Cup: 1997


Brazilian Bola de Prata: 1993, 1994
Fifa World Player of the Year: 1999
European Footballer of the Year: 1999
World Soccer Player of the Year: 1999
Onze d'Or: 1999
Ballon d'Or: 1999
Copa América 1999 Top Scorer
Copa América 1999 MVP
Spanish League Footballer of the Year: 1999
Uefa Champions League Top Scorer: 2000
Fifa World Cup All-Star Team: 1998, 2002
Greek Championship best foreign player: 2006, 2007
Fifa 100
Uzbek League 2009 Top Scorer

Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Love the video, did he get a oscar that year?      
Zeora (Barcelona) 6 years ago
Ye he did get an oscar, the douchebag of the year award and the best actor of the tournament award for doing that. Although he was a Barca player I can't approve his behaviour
BigShel (Philadelphia Union) 6 years ago
Hey get that video out of here you are ruining my moment!
Highburykev (Arsenal) 6 years ago
BigShel - do not make me laugh hahahahahaha. I nearly fell of me chair then! Sorry to ruin your moment but that video is hilarious. I just had to share it with the lads hahahahahaha

Rob12 - yeah, he got an oscar and a fine too for bringing the game into disripute hahahahahaha. This act of madness aside, he is a class player, real class!
Bloodbrothers (Barcelona) 6 years ago
I'm not even close of being a inter fan but zanetti sure is a legend
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Couldn't agree more, he is the only Interista who has my respect
LyverBird (Liverpool) 6 years ago
@Bloodbrothers, you really are a genius

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