Forums / The Stands: Intelligent Footy Debate
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Who Is Your Clubs Inspirational Figurehead.
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Every club around the world has an inspirational figurehead which is the bedrock of the club, past or present, as a lot of these figureheads have since passed away, but we still hang onto every word they ever said with the upmost respect.
And when things are going bad at your club the quote will always arise.... It would'nt have happened in so and so's day, he would have had this sorted out etc;
At my own club manchester united, we have had loads of legends, best, law, charlton, cantona, but the daddy of them all is sir matt busby himself, and even the legends I have mentioned held this man in the greatest of esteem, and rightly so.
He is manchester united, as is bill shankly mr liverpool, another tremendously gifted manager, who funnily enough could have had reversed roles with sir matt busby and managed utd, with busby managing liverpool if things had worked out differently, matt was just about to join liverpool, when someone said united wanted to talk to him, and that's where he ended up.
I already know most of the bristish clubs famous figureheads, but what about europe and further affield clubs, who do they look up to as there clubs god and saviour, it could be a manager, a player like shearer, the club owner who has put life and soul into the club, plus his millions, someone who saved the club etc;
I'm not excluding the british figureheads, because the footytube users worldwide probably don't know too much about them,
So let us know who your clubs icons are, and I have only touched on sir matt busby and bill shankly, so anything you want to add about them will be very welcome as well.

Ps don't forget to tell us why they are iconic, what they did to achieve this adornment, and a bit of their background, if you can
Yidarmy4lyf (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
I'm a spurs fan & I gota say Jimmy Greaves has to be the most iconic player we have had play for us. He had the most apperences for us & is our higest ever goalscorer between 1961 and 1970h scored an amazing 266 goals in 379 apperances that's a ratio of 70%he is the most prolific FA cup goalscorer in history with 32 in 36 games.
He was such a vital player to the team that he never once started as a sub.
He seemed like a true leader & easily the most iconic player to play 4 spurs in history
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Do you reckon big pat jennings would be up there as well? , he was a great servant for you.
One of the greatest keepers of all time in my book
Yidarmy4lyf (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
I was debating about him but he went to arsenal for a stint, so I cudnt bring myself to do it
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
I can understand that view, with the north london rivalry.... Lol
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
How about the great Gary Lineker? Or is he not quite a legend yet? I know that after his Barcelona time, he had the option to sign for United in the 80s, but refused and signed for the Spurs (who were not the big team they are now back then) instead.

Or Bill Nicholson, who has to be considered as important as Johan Cruijff was for Barça, for the Spurs. He was one of their best players in the 50s and a long-time manager too
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Nicholson yes, lineker no, he had too many clubs to be a great at one them.
Great poacher, I think out of linekers 60 odd goals for england, only two were scored from outside the 6 yard box.... Lol, check it out
Incuteration (Everton) 7 years ago
Definitely it's Dixie Dean. He scored goals in almost every games, he is the dominant figure in the 1920- 1930 old times, scoring 383 goals in 433 games. And is the only player who scores 60 league goals in one season, he was also never sent-off, or even booked in his whole career, very good sportsman indeed. About one third of his goals came from headers. His skills is also compared as to Pele and Di Stefano.

Of course there were Neville Southall, the legendary goalkeeper. He is our longest-serving player, and he spent almost his whole career in our club, 17 years. He is a really great keeper, saving our asses most of the time
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Yep, dixie dean was also very highly thought of.... Good shout.  And big neville, what a servant he was for the toffees.
ACMilan21 (AC Milan) 7 years ago
WOW, I am an AC Milan fan, and there is so many people I could put in this list.
I guess I will give a few:
Firstly Franco Baresi.
Probably one of the best defenders to have ever played the Italian game. Considered as 'Il Capitano' by many Milan supporters. He is really inspirational to people around the world, and is a hero for a lot of supporters.
Secondly, Gianni Rivera. Also a splendid player.
He started playing for Milan at the age of 16, and in fact won a title with them on that year. It is incredible. He also became part of the Italian National team as a starter when he was only 18. He is clearly very good if he can do this and this is inspiring to any young player, if you ask me.
Thirdly and I think also the most inspirational, Gunnar Nordhal. He was probably the best striker that Milan had ever had. He was efficient, powerful, and very consistent as well. He really did allow Milan to win all of the scudettos that they did in the 50's. When he arrived, he scored 16 goals in 15 games. So many youngsters wish to be like him. He is a true hero.
I guess there are so many more but I will just give the name of a few more: Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and finally, Dejan Savicevic.
Juno (AC Milan) 7 years ago
I would probably put Arrigo Sacchi at the top because he effectively brought us to the very top level in world football then
Yidarmy4lyf (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
Wot about paulo maldini or his father they were both there they're whole carrers werent they
Riggs (Manchester United) 7 years ago
Toronto fc arent my club, but they have the best fans in north america. They have only 1 legend (the team isn't very old)

Danny dicchio scored their first goal in the twenty ninth minute. Now every game, in the 29tth minute, they sing his song. Its funny cool watching them on tv if they're playing out of town, in the 29th you can always hear that song. "oooooh danny dichi-oooo" Now dicchio has had a fairly short career, could hardly be what you call successful, but he's still a legend in toronto
Yidarmy4lyf (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
Hats funny
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
So that's where danny dicchio went.... footytube never fails to amaze me, just when you thought you had seen the last of a player, he pops up in toronto, or like paul iffil at wellington phoenix in new zealand.
Its great we have videos from all over the world, it keeps us in touch with players we had forgotten about
Yidarmy4lyf (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
I saw paul ifill playing for them the other week, was astonished, he was with spurs, then palace I think, thought he was stil in the championship
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
I just stumbled upon him playing for wellington phoenix looking through videos of the a, league,
Yogan (Chelsea) 7 years ago
I know Derby isn't my main club but Steve Bloomer is the heartbeat of Derby. He was the greatest striker ever to play for them. He is the all time top scorer and the reason Derby County football clubn are here today. What a guy
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
What about the infamous brian clough?  I thought he would have been the main man at derby among their supporters?
Senthil (Chelsea) 7 years ago
I am living in india, east bengal f. [C.], is the one of the big club in india, but it is not popular like europe clubs, baichung bhutia is the decade player of india, he is great player, he is the hero of every indian football lovers, he played in bury (england)he played 33 games and he scored 3 goals, he also went to west brom, aston villa and fulham but he was failed in training, now he plays for east bengal in kolkata(a football city india)he plays with many great players like seedrof, ballack, drogba, oliver khan e. T. See, he makes india to see the asia cup field after 25 years, he win the federation cup in india with east begal
Senthil (Chelsea) 7 years ago
And I have video of bhutia! Don't miss it!Real soccer of india!  
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Nice well taken goal senthil, I'm surprised theres not more asian players in england, after all they make up a large part of the local communitys.
I still think even in england, the asian parents still probably sway their kids towards cricket, which is massive in some asian countries, so maybe theres a problem there.
But I can't understand why theres not more quality indian, pakistani players etc;
Senthil (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Hahaha, I had the same doubt but in india there are lot of football players in every streets, I was suprised by seeing them wearing football jerseys in my streets, do you know? , even indian cricket players are played in local indian football club, but they cannot develop it well, for better development we should start some big football schools in india, I think you know dhoni he is a great fan os [C.] ronaldo and he played in some local club!1
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Yeah, but what about the indian, pakistani, communities in england, the facilities are there, but wheres the interest from the local asian kids, there must be some footballing gems amongst them, but will we ever get a chance to see one?
I just find it odd, that more have, nt come through the ranks at a local level, and into professional clubs
Scottie (Manchester City) 7 years ago
Harpal Singh used to play for Leeds 2000-2005 , he was born in Bradford, he now plays for Guiseley AFC (?) - you are spot on Tone there is a serious lack of South Asian players in the top flight

Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Yep, I remember the name scottie, he can't have been half bad to play at that level.

Ps, this could be a good subject for a thread scottie, asian players and the lack of them in english top level football
Jesuriya (AS Roma) 5 years ago
Rocky Michael Chopra former Newcastle Unitedand and Sunderland player is of indian origin. He is now willing to join indian national side but they are not willing to make a place for him in the national side.... I dono what's the problem with them in welcoming him to the national team. His addition to the team will be a great advantage
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Its commendable that the india fa are not going outside the country for players, but as you say, its the way of the world now, everyone does iy, even the world greats take players from foreign leagues.
Maybe theres a bit of snobbery towards players playing outside the country, who knows.
The indians are serious people, indian cricket fans scowl upon football, maybe the indian fa are showing the same stance against players playing outside india.
We all know india are not the strongest of teams, so bringing in players with experience of european league football only has to be a good thing, as they will bring that experience with them, but the indian fa seem to want to do it their way
Jesuriya (AS Roma) 5 years ago
There is no problem with the fans we are ready to welcome him.... Indian football board is the problem. Many people outside india think that indians support only cricket and demolish other games. It is not true, india does have a good number of diehard football fans and the indian cricket fans do not discourage football. But still football is not popular, the fact behind it is that the governing bodies doesn't care about it. For instance in my home city chennai which is one of the major cities of the country and which also hosts the inaugural match of ICC cricket world cup 2011, has only one football ground which is regularly maintained other than the nehru stadium, even though there are many football lovers over here. With least facilities like these the national team will only end up being a weak team. So its the governing bodies who have to step in and take some decisions about it, an not the fans to be blamed.... This is much better as the same thing happens to indian national game which is horrible
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I know india have a massive football following, but nothing compared to cricket, and I have spoken to many indian fans, and they all say its as much the government as the indian fa, apparently theres loads of places for kids to play cricket, but not football. That's down to the government, not the f. A.
That's what i've been told, and I have no reason to disbelieve the guys that told me.
Crickets always going to be the number one sport in india, to the detriment of football and other sports
Rzv36 (Real Madrid) 7 years ago
As a Real Madrid fan 2 of the most inspiring figureheads are Alfredo di Stefano and of course Raul Gonzales and who knows maybe in the near future will be Cristiano Ronaldo...
ACMilan21 (AC Milan) 7 years ago
How about the era of Galacticos?  People like Ferenc Puskas? He was a legend  Also Zidane maybe?
NaijaBoy (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Before I watched club football I only really supported my national team and I only watched international competitions. It wasn't until I saw Thierry Henry play for Arsenal that I got excited about a club. The way he played for Gunners I don't know if it London will ever see anyone like him again
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Chelsea's figure heads are right now Frank and John
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Matthew hardings gotta' be up there, its not always players or managers
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Yea its got to be John terry at the moment for chelsea
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Oh Right, I thought you meant right now. Well then.

Gianfranco Zola, Robert DiMatteo, they maybe trasnfers but when they came they did alot for Chelsea. And my mums favourite players (she is italian).

Also Boby Tambling
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
If we are talking about all time then it's either zola or tambling. You could include guys like osgood and harris as well
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Chopper harris, bestie's old mate.... Hahahaha  
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Barcelona FC have created and attracted many, many legends. Naming more than 5 legendary attacking players that haven't played for Barça is not easy. But although many have come and go, there haven't been that many who stayed for a very long period, were so consistently great AND held in high regard.

The greatest man associated with Barça is in my opinion without a shred of doubt Johan Cruijff.

Cruijff in his Barça days

He was the catalyst the team needed to start performing well again in the 70s. Barça had sunk to a low, and although there were many good players, they lacked all passion on the field.

All of that changed with the introduction of Rinus Michels, the legendary manager that made Ajax great the way Busby did with United. Michels took with him Johan Cruijff, who was the star at Ajax when they famously won the European title three times in a row amongst many other trophies. Barcelona immediately took off, as if they awoke from a deep sleep, thanks to the catalyst that was Cruijff in Michel's total football system. They beat Real in a glorious and (until this season) unparalleled manner with 5-0 before securing their first title in 14 years.

Rinus Michels passing instructions to Johan Cruijff

That year Cruijff went on to win his second Ballon d'Or in his career, as well as being crowned European footballer of the year. The impact he had on the club was immense, and he and Michels changed football forever with the system of 'total football'. To football, this was as big a change as the invention of the steam engine had been for the industrial revolution.

If you're not a football freak and if you'd like to know what kind of player he was, think of Lionel Messi now, with the charisma and intelligence on and off the pitch of Xavi. Cruijff was a leader, and he controlled the game like Xavi, but above all he was a quick-footed and clever genius. See for yourself, and pay special attention on 4:12, the 'impossible goal':

Now all of this and what followed in his next years is very impressive, but there have been other players who have been just as influential in their days for Barça too. Alcántara, Kubala, Quini, Migueli, Schuster, Romario, Laudrup, Stoichkov, Koeman, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and up until this day Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol and of course Lionel Messi. But none of them have also added another dimension of greatness to the club the way Cruijff has: because he wasn't just the brilliant player that changed the game almost single-handedly in the 70s, he was also one of the most successful managers ever.

Recognise the player?

At the start of his reign in 1988, Cruijff took over when Real Madrid had dominated La Liga for almost 2 decades. It took him a while to make 'his' dream team, but it took him no time to start winning trophies: in '89 he won the Cup Winners' Cup, in 1990 he won the Copa del Rey and then in 1991, the 'dream team' was complete: from 1991 to 1994 they won 4 successive league titles, 3 Supercopas and of course the famous quadruple in 1992 when they also won the European Cup and the Super Cup.

Cruijff quit when the Barcelona president Nuñez once again caused trouble by upsetting Cruijff - the two never really got along. But his legacy is amazing: he changed Barça as a player and he brought them one of the best ever teams as a manager who won 11 trophies - still a record today
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 5 years ago
Nice write-up about Cruyff and Barca! I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm a big fan of Cruyff and I have watched a lot of Barcelona, especially up through the 90's when Cruyff was the coach
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Thanks man, I spent about an hour writing it, good to see it's appreciated
Reidscott (Fiorentina) 5 years ago
Top form as always!
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Yep, Cruyff takes Barcelona figurehead for sure
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Ay great article Jeroen, Cruijff is the man. Definitely he is a very influential figure at Barcelona, he was the inspiration and brains behind la masia. And though I am partial to Rivaldo or Ronaldinho's bicicleta's because I love bicycles so, I think if you took a fan poll of the best and most historic goal in Barca's history, that goal by Cruijff(time 4:12) would be tops. What a goal that is, Zico is often credited with the first scorpion, and I do think he did score the first pure scorpion, but what a special goal that is by Cruijff. Messi's run against Getafe would probably win in an internet poll because of it's modernity, but if you want around Catalonia, door to door I think that goal would be it. All the old and wise Catalans would just say "gol de imposible" haha classic. Great and well written Jeroen
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Very informative mate, a great player without a shadow of a doubt.
Do you reckon he would be THEE inspirational figurehead at barca? , not a manager, or owner?

Ps, I won't mention bestie nutmegging cruyff and neeskens in the same game.... Lol
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Yeah, I'm confident Cruijff has been the most influential person associated with Barça. And do you have any footage of that game perhaps?
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Oh it happened mate, northern ireland v holland, many moons ago, nothing unusual about george doing that, it was a regular thing.... Lol.
Sadly theres no footage of the incident, oh for sky sports back in the day, look at what we missed mate, all besties footage, cryuff, pele, eusebio, can you imagine what we didn't see these guys do on a pitch? , nothings missed today
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Was the young player next to Cruijff Pep?!    Ps Bravo Jeroen!
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
@Tony: Yeah, I've thought of that many times too; how much delicious football has not been recorded on camera? It's a pity the legacy of many great players is now nothing more than memories and the occasional picture.

@Borg: Yep, the one and only! And thanks
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
WE certainly HAVE missed SOME EPIC goals AND games in days goneby
Jesuriya (AS Roma) 5 years ago
Francesco Totti for AS ROMA, he joined the club at the age of 16 and remained loyal ever since with 459 appearance and 195 goals. He decided to stay with his home club for his whole footballing life. With his skills and creativity he would have definitely earned more money and became famous if he had gone to some other club. But instead he dedicated whole of his career to his home club. His performance is not good as before as he grew old, now 34. He stated 'i am ready to sit out for the good of my team'.... He is highly skilled, creative, inspirational captain for many years, stayed loyal for his club and definitely "iconic"
BIJACK (AC Milan) 5 years ago
At the moment, I think it would be Ibra
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Pragathish (AC Milan) 5 years ago
I.... Be.... Are.... A

He said "at the moment" so Bijack's statement is 100% sensible. He officially is the Serie A's most influential player currently
Joeymac (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Tony touched on sir matt busby.
He epitomizes what manchester united is and was.
He built the club and some of the greatest players that unfortunately the world will never see, and then rose it back out of the ashes of the munich disaster.
He led manchester united to the european cup, becoming the first english club to win the storied trophy.
Legends like best, charlton, and law played under him.

And there are many parallels between busby and sir alex.
Much like the busby babes, fergies fledglings were some of the greatest of the generation.
Beckham, giggs, scholes, neville, neville, butt, and others.
He led manchester united to the first english continental treble, and to the first champions league victory, winning it twice.
He even surpasses busby's managerial record.

The two managers are certainly the inspirational figureheads for manchester united
Kimaway17 (Liverpool) 5 years ago
For Liverpool we have two obvious figure heads. The past has to be King Kenny. What he achieved in his playing days and as a manager then. And what he is doing right now. And the present is Steven Gerrard

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