Top five right backs of all-time

Hello again and back to my series of my top five favourite players in every position, up next is right-back!

Up first is Italy’s Gianluca Zambrotta, who at the ripe old age of 35 is a free agent and still openly looking for a club. His marauding, over-lapping runs down the right flank have thrilled club and Italian fans for two decades.

He was a World Cup winner in 2006 which was his first major international tournament final after he missed out on the 2000 European Championship final through injury.

To date he has made 587 appearances, scoring 28 goals, for his hometown club – Como, Bari and three of the world’s biggest clubs in Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan. He won four Scudetti (two of which he was stripped of after the match-fixing scandal) with Juventus, two Super Coppas and an Intertoto Cup – this was his most successful club spell, notching up 217 appearances and being part of one of the best teams in the world at the time.

With Barcelona he won a Spanish Super Coppa before moving back to Italy and winning another Serie A and Super Coppa with Milan. He was a stalwart for the Italian national team, making 98 appearances and scoring two goals over an international career which spanned over 11 years.

Gianluca Zambrotta lining up for Juventus

Second up is a player who in his time at Manchester United I absolutely hated, but his reliability and professionalism in not only playing the game, but since retiring and becoming a pundit, has been admirable. Gary Neville is a player who is a one-club man, having stayed at Manchester United his entire career under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson. He was Mr. Reliable for United and was a key part of Man United’s dominance in the English league for the majority of his career.

By the end of his career, Neville was made Man United club captain on many occasions which showed Fergie’s trust in him. Over his career, Neville made 602 career appearances for Man United, scoring seven goals., he won eight Premier League titles, three FA cups, two league cups, three Community Shields and two Champions Leagues, also winning a Club World Cup and an Intercontinental cup. Neville is also England’s most capped right-back of all-time, notching up 85 caps for the National team.

Neville celebrating a Man United goal

Up next is France’s all-time highest appearance holder, Lilian Thuram. Thuram was a player who could probably have made the list at centre-back too due to his versatility and consistency in both positions.

Thuram made a total of 681 appearances, scoring 13 goals for his respective clubs – Monaco, Parma, Juventus & Barcelona; for these clubs he won a French cup, three Supercoppa Italia, one Coppa Italia, a UEFA cup and a Spanish Supercup. He is France’s all-time highest caps holder with 142 and is one of the 20 most capped players of all-time.

He only scored two goals for France but they both came in the same match, against Croatia in the 1998 World Cup. He won the World Cup with France in 1998 and was part of the successful France Euro 2000 squad.

Thuram was set to sign for PSG in 2008 but a heart defect was detected meaning he had to call time on his playing career.

Thuram turning out for Juventus

Penultimately in my countdown is a man who is very unlucky to not have finished first. Carlos Alberto is one of the most highly regarded defenders of all-time, he was known not just for his great tackling and reading of the game but for his outstanding ball control and playmaking abilities – which were rare for defenders during that time.

Alberto appeared for Fluminense, Santos, New York Cosmos and California Surf, his most fruitful time came at Santos where he made his name. After missing out on World Cup 1966, he was included in Brazil’s 1970 squad after the national team manager noticed his leadership flair. He won four Brazilian Championships with Santos and two Brazilian cups.

The thing people remember him most for is providing the emphatic finish afor what was voted as the greatest goal in World Cup history which was the final goal in the 1970 World Cup final which Carlos Alberto captained Brazil to.

In 2000, he was voted the greatest right-back of the century and is considered as one of the greatest Brazilians footballers of all-time.

Carlos Alberto holding the World Cup

My favourite right-back of all-time could only go to one man, and that man is Cafu. Cafu was known for his bombing, tireless runs down the right flank and his ability in the defending third.

He made 525 career appearances for Sao Paolo, Real Zaragoza, Palmeiras, Roma and AC Milan, scoring 18 club career goals. He won 11 titles with Sao Paolo along with an additional one at Palmeiras, he won the UEFA cup winners cup with Zaragoza, a Serie A with Roma as well as a Supercoppa Italia, his most fruitful time came at Milan where he won two UEFA supercups, one Serie A, one Supercoppa Italia, a Champions League and a Club World Cup.

His international career was no waste either, he made 142 appearances for the Brazilian national team, scoring five goals; he also won two World Cups, two Copa Americas and one Confederations Cup. He is one of only two players to feature in three World Cup finals, having won two. He is also one of 11 members in the AS Roma hall of fame.

Cafu lifting the 2002 World Cup
Advertisements

Positional top fives – centre back!

Up next in my positional top fives is centre back.

First up is Fabio Cannavaro. What Cannavaro lacked in stature, he made up for in strength, anticipation and positioning. He was given the nickname ‘Muro Di Berlino’ (The Berlin Wall) during his time in Italy because of his ability in the tackle.

He made 690 career league appearances for seven clubs – Napoli, Parma, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Juventus and Al-Ahly scoring 19 goals. He is the record cap holder for the Italian national team after he surpassed Paolo Maldini’s record in 2009. He announced his retirement from international football in 2010 after a poor Italy campaign, having amassed 136 caps, scoring two goals.

Cannavaro won two Coppa Italias in his time at Parma, along with one Supercoppa Italia and a UEFA cup. He won two La Liga titles with Real Madrid as well as a Supercopa de Espana.

With the Italian national team he won World Cup 2006 and due to his performances in the World Cup he won the 2006 Ballon d’Or making him the oldest recipient of this title and the second centre-back ever to win it.

Fabio Cannavaro captaining Italy

Second is Cannavaro’s countryman, Franco Baresi. Baresi played as a sweeper for AC Milan – the club at which he spent his entire career, making 719 appearances and scoring 33 goals.

Oddly for an Italian defender, Baresi would often venture forward and become an attacking outlet for his team, though he would never neglect his defensive duties as he was part of what was known as one of Europe’s meanest defences alongside Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Massimo Tassotti.

During his career, Baresi won six Scudetti, two Serie B titles, two intercontinental cups, four Italian Supercups and three Champions League titles. After 20 years with AC Milan, they retired his shirt number of 6 due to his excellent service to the club.  He also managed 81 caps for the Italian national team, scoring just a single goal and winning the 1982 World Cup.

In 1999, he was named as the greatest AC Milan player of the century, he was also named Italian player of the 20th century by FIGC. He is also praised for helping to develop Costacurta and Maldini into the great players they became during his later years.

Franco Baresi turning out for AC Milan

Third up is a man who all England fans will hold dear to their hearts, Bobby Moore. He captained West Ham United for over 10 years, also making appearances for Fulham and later on in his career at San Antonio Thunder & Seattle Sounders.

He made 699 appearances, scoring 26 goals. He won an FA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup but his greatest exploits were for England. He is the only player to captain England to World Cup glory, and it seems he will remain the only player to captain England to World Cup glory for the foreseeable future.

Pele named him as the greatest defender he had ever played against and during his World Cup winning campaign he was voted the best player of the tournament by his fellow professionals. Franz Beckenbauer also called him the best defender of all-time.

He won a total of 108 caps for England, which at the time was a national record until Peter Shilton broke it with 125 caps. Moore was the record holder for outfield players until David Beckham broke his record in 2009 with 109 caps, but unlike Beckham, Moore played every minute of every game he played in. Moore was posthumously inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Bobby Moore in his iconic pose after winning the 1966 World Cup

The penultimate player in my list is Ronald Koeman. Koeman was a defender who was not only known for his defending but his exploits going forward too, he had exceptional long-range accuracy, especially from free-kicks and an uncanny eye for goal.

With 193 league goals in 533 league matches he is the highest scoring defender of all-time, a record which was helped by his set-piece mastery. He won four Dutch league titles, three Dutch cups and a European Cup during his time in Holland with Groningen and Ajax. During his time at Barcelona he won four La Ligas, one Copa Del Rey, one UEFA European Cup, one European Super Cup and two Supercopa Espana’s. He also holds the record for the most successively converted penalty kicks with 25.

He won 78 caps for Holland, scoring 14 goals. He won the 1988 European Championship with Holland. He is also the only player ever to score in two different consecutive European finals after he scored a free-kick in the 1992 Champions League victory.

Ronald Koeman playing for Barcelona

Last up is probably the greatest defender of all-time, Franz Beckenbauer. Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ (The Emperor) because of his elegance and leadership and his dominance of any football pitch he stepped foot on, Beckenbauer is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the most decorated footballers in history.

Beckenbauer was a versatile footballer who could play as a centre midfielder as well as centre-back where he was most coveted, he is also often credited as having invented the modern sweeper role. Beckenbauer made 670 club appearances in his career, scoring 94 goals.

He won five Bundesliga titles, four German cups, a Cup Winners’ Cup, and three consecutive European Cups in his time in Germany, with Bayern Munich and Hamburg. He also won an NASL Championship during his time in America with New York Cosmos. He is the only player to win three consective European Cups as captain of a club, he is also the only player to have won the World Cup as both a captain and manager.

He made 103 appearances for the German national team, scoring 14 goals. He won the 1974 World Cup, which followed a European Championship success in 1972. As an individual, Beckenbauer was a four-time winner of German footballer of the year as well as being a two-time Ballon D’or winner.

He was voted the third greatest player of the 20th century, as well as second in the European player of the 20th century. He is also a member of the National Football Hall of Fame. His success at Bayern and for the German national team led him to later becoming the president of Bayern Munich.

Beckenbauer lifting the World Cup as captain of Germany

Positional top fives continues, with left-back!

Up next in my positional top fives is left-back.

First up is probably my favourite left-back of all-time, Roberto Carlos. The recently retired left-back is my favourite left-back of all-time simply because of his ability in both attacking and defending and he managed to epitomise the modern day full-back. Roberto Carlos greatest assets were his speed, long throw-ins and his unbelievable shot.

He managed 606 career league appearances, scoring 75 league goals but he was best known for his spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid, who he was at for 11 years. At Real Madrid, he amassed 584 appearances in all competitions, scoring 71 goals (370 league appearances, 46 league goals). He played 30 or more league matches for 10 consecutive seasons and was one of the best and most consistent defenders in the world during this time.

In 2006, he set an all-time record for Real Madrid for the most league appearances from a non-Spanish born player by making his 330th appearances, breaking Alfredo Di Stefano’s previous record of 228. Roberto Carlos won 20 club trophies over his career: with Palmeiras, two Brazil Serie A’s, two Campeonato Paulista, one Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo; Real Madrid, four La Liga’s, three Spanish Super Copa’s, three UEFA Champions League’s, two Intercontinental cup’s, one UEFA Super Cup and he won two Turkish Super Cups with Fenerbahce. Carlos is one of 19 players to have played 100 or more Champions League games.

He also made 125 appearances for the Brazilian national team, scoring 11 goals, he also won two Copa America’s, one Confederations Cup and World Cup 2002.

Carlos’ most famous individual moment was probably his ‘banana shot’ free-kick against France in 1997 in which he managed to score from 35 metres from just to the right of centre, hitting it with his left foot, which looked to be going well wide but managed to swing back into the net, leaving Fabian Barthez rooted to his spot. He also managed to score a goal from a seemingly impossible angle (pretty much next to the corner flag) against Tenerife in a Copa Del Rey match.

Roberto Carlos turning out for Brazil

Coming second is probably the most loyal footballer ever to grace the beautiful game. Paolo Maldini was the ultimate one-club man, spending 25 seasons at AC Milan, amassing a total of 903 appearances and scoring 29 goals.

Maldini’s ability to perform phenomally for 25 seasons make him recognized as one of the best defenders of all-time. During the 1990’s he was able to form a formidable defence alongside Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta & Mauro Tassotti which is known as one of the best in Italian football history. Following Baresi’s retirement, Maldini was able to form a successful partnership with Alessandro Nesta until his retirement.

With Milan, Maldini was the receiver of seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Super Coppa Italiana’s, five UEFA Champions League titles, five UEFA Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cups. Maldini made 126 appearances for the Italian national team, scoring 7 goals but he retired trophyless in 2002 as Italy’s most capped player of all-time.

In February 2008, he reached 1,000 career matches for Italy and AC Milan combined when he entered a match as a substitute against Parma. AC Milan retired the number 3 shirt in memory of Maldini’s unbreakable loyalty to the club, but it can be brought out of retirement should one of his sons (who are signed to AC) make it into the first-team and pick their fathers famous shirt.

Maldini’s key strengths on the pitch were his ability to read the game expertly and make interceptions with his great speed which obviously dwindled the more he reached the twilight of his career. His strong leadership and influence both on and off the pitch made him the ideal candidate for Milan and Italy captain during his career.

Paolo Maldini captaining AC Milan

Third up is not one of my favourite footballers, because of obvious reasons. Ashley Cole is a left-back who is, for me, not just one of the greatest left-backs ever but England’s greatest left-back ever. Despite multiple off-the-pitch controversies, Cole has continued to go from strength to strength in his career.

Cole has so far made 504 career league appearances for Crystal Palace, Arsenal & Chelsea combined, scoring 17 goals. He broke into the Arsenal squad in 2000 and made 228 appearances for Arsenal in six years until he left for Chelsea after the “tapping-up” scandal in 2006. He was also involved in the Arsenal team that went 49 games unbeaten.

During his time at Arsenal, Cole won two Premiership titles, three FA cups and two Community Shield’s. Cole went on to join Chelsea in 2006 and has continued to cement himself as the best and most consistent left-back the Premiership has ever seen, so far making 276 appearances for the Blues and winning a further one Premiership title, four FA cups, one League Cup, one Community Shield and his most cherished of trophies, the Champions League which Chelsea managed to secure in May 2012. Cole has the most FA cup winners medals of all-time, having won it seven times.

Cole is also a permanent fixture in the England national team set-up, having made 99 appearances so far. Cole’s style of play is seen as the way of the modern full-back, using his terrific pace and energy to get involved in both attack and defence, but Cole has never been a player to shun his defensive duties for forward forays.

Ashley Cole lining up for England

Fourth up, is Giacinto Facchetti, who is the oldest left-back on this list. He is another one-club man, but unlike Paolo Maldini, he played for the blue and black half of Milan, playing 634 official games for Inter and scoring 75 goals.

He is remembered as one of the first truly great attacking full-backs and one of the greatest in the position. Facchetti began his career as a forward but his first manager at Inter Milan launched him as a full-back, which ultimately turned into an excellent decision after the change of roles saw Facchetti turn into one of the most effective defenders in Italian football.

With Internazionale, Facchetti won four Scudetti, one Italian cup, two European Cups (Champions League, for those who aren’t sure) and two Intercontinental cups and he was part of the Inter team that was known as ‘Grande Inter’. Facchetti was capped 94 times for Italy, (a record at the time which has since been overtaken) scoring three times and wearing the captain’s armband 70 times. He was part of the Italian team that won the 1968 European Cup.

Despite his position, Facchetti was only sent off once during his entire career, one he received for sarcastically applausing the referee. After his death in 2006 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Inter posthumously retired Facchetti’s number 3 shirt.

Giacinto Facchetti

Last up is Andreas Brehme, who is best known for scoring the winner for Germany in the 1990 World Cup final. He is known to be one of the best set-piece takers and delivery specialists of all-time, also being equally adept at playing with both feet, making him a valuable outfield asset.

He was one of the only players who would take penalties with his right-foot and free-kicks and corners with his left, which is now being utilized by both footed players to this day. Brehme racked up 509 career league appearances and despite being a defender he had a knack for scoring goals, finding the net 65 times and scoring for every club he played for; he played for Saarbrucken, Kaiserslautern, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Real Zaragoza.

With Kaiserslautern, Brehme won the Bundesliga and the German Cup, he won an additional Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and another German Supercup. Upon his move to Inter Milan he won one Serie A, one Italian Supercup and the UEFA cup. Brehme made 86 appearances for the German national team, scoring eight goals and winning the 1990 World Cup, in which he the only goal of the game in the 85th minute with a penalty kick.

In 1996, after returning to Kaiserslautern three years prior, he scored an own goal which subsequently got the team relegated, but after sticking with them and helping them win promotion he was a key asset as they won the Bundesliga in 1998.

Andreas Brehme lining up for the German national team

Positional top fives, beginning with goalkeeper.

I’ve been thinking of new material lately and came up with doing my top 5’s in every position, I’m going to do top five ever, then move on to my top five Premiership players in each position once the first series has finished. Starting us off are my top five goalkeepers of all-time! (These are in no particular order) Obviously these are up for debate, they are just my opinion.

First up is the oldest goalkeeper on the list and one many of you might not have heard of. Lev Yashin was a goalkeeper who was a one club man, playing 326 games for Dynamo Moscow between 1950 and 1970, winning the USSR football championship five times and USSR cup three times. In 1953, he also won the USSR ice hockey cup as goalie for the Dynamo ice hockey team.

He was capped 78 times for the USSR national squad and it is rumoured he kept around 270 career clean sheets, also saving around 150 penalties. At 6 foot 2, he was best known for his imposing stature between the sticks, he also had a superior athleticism despite his large frame and this led to his world renowned nickname ‘The Black Spider’ (Black because of the all black footballing kit he used to wear when playing), he was also known for making amazing reflex saves.

He is the only goalkeeper to date to have won the European Football of the Year Award and the Ballon D’or, awards he won in 1963, He was also voted the best goalkeeper of the 20th century by IFFHS.

He was the innovator of the ‘sweeper keeper’ role which many goalkeepers to this day utilize when a ball is threaded through past their defence. After his retirement he spent many years at an administrative role for Dynamo, his years of service to the club were recognized when a bronze statue of Yashin was erected at the Dynamo Moscow stadium.

Lev Yashin making a save at the 1966 World Cup

Second is the second oldest goalkeeper and one whose name all of you will recognize. Gordon Banks is best known as one of England’s best ever goalkeepers, he is of course the only England keeper to date to have played and won in a World Cup final but his career was so much more than that (even though obviously that was an outstanding achievement).

Banks played 632 career games over a three club, 14-year span; he played for Chesterfield, Leicester City and Stoke City, he also won two League Cups – one with Leicester and one with Stoke. He was an inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and is widely renowned as the greatest goalkeeper England has ever produced.

One of Banks’ finest moments outside of the World Cup triumph came during England’s defence of the World Cup in 1970 in a match against Brazil. Jairzinho sped past Terry Cooper and swung a cross in which Pele met with a downward header which seemed destined to be a goal, Banks had other ideas and flew across his line and managed to palm the ball over his crossbar. Pele, who had begun to celebrate a goal when he headed the ball, described it as the greatest save he had ever seen.

Banks was voted as the second best goalkeeper ever by IFFHS, behind Yashin.

Gordon Banks

Third up is Peter Schmeichel, a goalkeeper who shot to fame during his time at Man United after being signed for what Sir Alex Ferguson called ‘bargain of the century’ at a fee of just £500,000.

After finishing as a runner-up with Man United in the league in 1992, he helped the club to win their first ever League Cup, but this was not his peak of success for that year. Schmeichel won the 1992 European Championship with Denmark as their starting goalkeeper and his finest moment came when he saved a semi-final penalty kick from Marco Van Basten.

Schmeichel went on to win five Premiership titles, three FA cups, four Charity Shields and he was also involved in the Man United team that so famously won the Champions League in 1999. Schmeichel made 740 career league appearances spanning six clubs – Hvidore, Brondby, Manchester United, Sporting CP, Aston Villa & Manchester City. He also won three league titles with Brondby and a Portuguese Superliga with Sporting CP.

He is the most capped Danish player of all-time with 129 caps and also, bizarrely, managed 11 goals in his career including one for his national team. He holds the record for the greatest clean sheets-to-games ratio in the Premier League with 42% of league games he played in ending with his team not conceding.

He was famous for his intimidating physique, at 6 foot 3 and 16 stone he was certainly a physical presence, even going up for corners when his team were behind. Schmeichel was named UEFA goalkeeper of the year on four separate occasions and was also inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Peter Schmeichel mid-flight for Manchester United

Fourth is Dino Zoff, a goalkeeper who is famous for being the oldest ever winner of a World Cup at the age of 40 years and 4 months. He sits fourth in Italy’s all-time appearances list with 112 caps.

He holds the record for the longest playing time without conceding in international tournaments, he set the record of 1142 minutes between 1972 and 1974. He was the second goalkeeper to ever captain a World Cup winning side, behind Giampiero Combi, a feat which was later repeated by Iker Casillas at the 2010 World Cup.

He made 642 career league appearances combined in Italy for Udinese, Mantova, Napoli and most prominently for Juventus who he appeared for 330 times. He won five Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias and a UEFA cup title in his 11 year stint at Juventus as well as the 1982 World Cup and 1968 European Championship.

He was voted as the best Italian player of the last 50 years in November 2003 by the Italian Football Federation. Zoff was well-known not just for his prowess between the sticks but also for his modesty, respect for his opponents and his ice-cool composure. He was voted as the third best goalkeeper ever by IFFHS behind two of my previous selections – Yashin & Banks.

Dino Zoff turning out for Italy

Last, but certainly not least, is current Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Casillas has made 646 appearances for Real Madrid, he was able to become their most capped goalkeeper by the age of just 27.

He has won five Spanish league titles, one Spanish Cup, four Spanish Super Cups, two Champions Leagues and one UEFA Super Cup during his time so far at Real Madrid. He has also been capped 143 times for Spain – making him Spain’s most capped player ever, he also holds the record of most international clean sheets, as well as becoming the first player ever to reach 100 international wins.

At Euro 2012 he managed to beat Dino Zoff’s long-standing record of 494 minutes without conceding a goal at the European Championships, setting a new record of 509 minutes. He is the only goalkeeper to be crowned IFFHS goalkeeper of the year four times and he was part of the historic Spain team which won three major championships in a row – World Cup 2010 and European Championships 2008 and 2012, becoming the third goalkeeper to ever captain a World Cup winning team, he was also the first keeper-captain to lift the European Championship trophy in 2008.

In August 2012 he was the only Spanish captain to ever win all three domestic titles. He is also the most capped goalkeeper of all-time in the UEFA Champions League.

Iker Casillas captaining Real Madrid

What did we learn from this weekend’s football?

This weekend’s football basically showed us that Man United’s strike force is potentially the best Man United has ever seen, even eclipsing the great 1999 treble winning side. Although their defending hasn’t quite been up to title winning standards this year, neither has the rest of their contenders. Speaking of contenders, Man City’s title defence looks to be going out with a whimper – after their 3 – 1 defeat to Southampton at St. Mary’s they are now 12 points off top after Man United’s 2 – 0 victory over Everton earlier on today. But City can’t just blame Man United firing from all cylinders on them seemingly having to relinquish their short-lived crown, City’s team has lacked spirit and the quality which it boasted last year. A summer of lavish spending was expected and they only brought in a right-back at the twilight of his career in Maicon, a promising English youngster in Jack Rodwell who has shown he isn’t up to title-winning standards, a winger in Scott Sinclair who was a pivotal part in Swansea’s excellent showing last season – but it almost reeked of panic buying on Roberto Mancini’s part. The only decent purchase from City’s summer was Javi Garcia who has filled in well when needed in defensive midfield and could prove to be a key player in seasons to come.

Another problem at the Etihad is the under-performing of last terms key players – where Man United’s have stepped up, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero have not. It also begs the question, if Mancini had pulled out all the stops in the summer to sign Robin Van Persie like Sir Alex Ferguson did, would City be at the pinnacle and reaping the benefits of the Dutchman’s prowess?

Speaking of Van Persie, his former club Arsenal aren’t bearing too well without his services. Yes the scoring burden isn’t on one player with all of their regular front three reaching double figures this season but none of them quite reaching the heights which Van Persie has this season for United – it shows the gulf in class which has developed between Arsenal and Man United in recent years that with Van Persie, Arsenal managed to scrape a third place spot, but with Man United it seems that the Dutchman will be firing United to a record 20th league title.

Onto another topic of spending, QPR’s acquisitions this season could have seen them field another team but it seems that their players haven’t gelled like fans, staff and members had hoped. The spending continued in January with Chris Samba replacing the departing Ryan Nelsen and Loic Remy bolstering the front-line along with Peter Odemwing-…. oh no wait sorry that didn’t happen. But QPR’s season seems destined to rely on beating others around them and ‘Arry needing to work his much publicized magic that they signed him up for.

The Champions League returns this week with Cristiano Ronaldo welcoming Man United to his Bernabeu domain with open arms in a mouthwatering tie being the major talking point and Jose Mourinho calling it ‘the game the world has been waiting for’, we sure hope you’re right Jose!

Also a massive congratulations to any Nigerians out there after your team just won the African Cup of Nations, well done!

just-another-fan1.jpg

Introduction – what is Just Another Fan?!

Just Another Fan With A Keyboard is my more professional attempt at a football blog. I am studying web-based journalism at university and the deadlines are a lot more strict than my own ones which were for my personal blog – ashleymarcpugh.blogspot.com. You can expect my thoughts on the weeks happenings and major talking points in the football world – also my top five series which is being carried over from my previous blog. I hope you all enjoy reading. Follow me on twitter to get to know me better – ampugh14

just-another-fan.jpg