No one really knows what cool is, but these footballers have got it. At least they do, according to talkSPORT.com.
Andrea Pirlo definitely had it, judging by the
meltdown some fans had when he announced his decision to retire from playing football in 2017.
Andrea Pirlo just reading about how great Andrea Pirlo is
Many players are criticised for being too bland, but it’s unfair to tar everyone with this brush.
This lot entertained us and did things their way while representing the likes of
Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham.
And not one of them, to our knowledge, has ever been spotted donning socks with sandals or wearing Crocs on their feet.
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16. Pep Guardiola – the son of Cruyff – scroll through the gallery to see the coolest footballers in the world – There are not too many people who can make the defensive midfield role cool. David Batty didn't – he should have – but Pep did.
15. Mario Kempes – he loved short shorts – Socks rolled down, long-flowing locks and a World Cup winner: Kempes was the frontman of Argentina's rock star footballers.
14. Paul McGregor – the frontman who was actually a frontman – McGregor was dubbed the first 'Britpop footballer' in the mid-1990s, when he was playing for Forest in the Premier League. Around the time his goal sent the Tricky Trees into a 1996 UEFA Cup quarter-final against Bayern Munich, he was also playing gigs as frontman of Britpop band Merc. He later quit football to form post-punk band Ulterior, whose approach to entertaining the audience at gigs has been described by McGregor as "we don't care, you're having this".
13. Slaven Bilic – Croatia's defensive rock – A law graduate and key part of a football hipster's wet dream – the magnificent 1998 Croatia side – when he wasn't pissing off the French at the 1998 World Cup, Bilic loved to rock. So much so, that he once refused to go and get his man of the match champagne at West Ham until he'd met Iron Maiden guitarist Steve Harris – a big Hammers fan – after hearing the metal legend was backstage at Upton Park.
12. Paul Breitner – rebel without a razor – Who leaves Real Madrid for Eintracht Braunschweig? Paul Breitner. Who can make lederhosen look cool? Paul Breitner. With his curly mop and sixth form politics, back in the '70s World Cup winner Breitner was like a much cooler Russell Brand. Much cooler. And his nickname was 'Der Afro'.
11. Craig Johnston – was very big Down Under but his wife disagreed – Why Johnston's life story has not been made into a film, we do not know. Nearly lost his leg as a kid, travelled across the world from Australia as a 15-year-old with a dream of playing football, became a pro through sheer will power, ended up winning the lot with Liverpool, wrote a number three single, before retiring from the game aged 28 to look after his seriously ill sister. Then he invented the Adidas Predator. What a guy.
10. Socrates – philosophy footballer – Socrates stood out in an era of brilliant Brazilians and even delayed his international career to qualify as a doctor. His hero was John Lennon, not Pele, and he campaigned for democracy in his home country. Rocked up at non-league Garforth Town in 2004, aged 50, and showed Tadcaster Albion of the Northern Counties East Football League how it's done. And just look at that headband!
9. Johan Cruyff – total football, total legend – Bucked the trend for shirt numbers being 1-11 when he donned no.14. Cruyff's power also saw the Dutch FA allow him to play for the national side with just two stripes on his kit, rather than Adidas' three, due to his personal sponsorship with Puma. So cool he 'won' the World Cup in 1974, even though the Netherlands lost.
8. Robin Friday – the best footballer you never saw – Cardiff City and Reading may sound unlikely locations for football greats, but Friday has become a cult figure. His iconic 'V' sign gesture towards Luton goalkeeper Milija Aleksic was used by the Super Furry Animals' for the cover of their single 'The Man Don't Give a F***' and his career and antics are the subject of a book, above, that's set to become a film. Friday died when he was just 38 in 1990, but the legend lives on.
7. Dimitar Berbatov – Andy Garcia WISHES he was him – Keep calm and pass him the ball because he is far too important to exert himself by running after it himself. Here is a player with true elegance. When someone has great qualities sometimes they don't have to put much effort into things. Sometimes the things I do look effortless but it's not like that. It's very difficult, but because of my style of play I make it look easy." In other words, the things other footballers find hard to execute are no problem for him.
6. Xabi Alonso – Winning at life – Listens to Pavement, watches The Big Lebowski, wins at everything, mostly life.
5. Gunter Netzer – friend to the Sinatras and a bloody good player – I understand that I must run, but I do so reluctantly, at least, without the ball. Netzer was a stylish and unconventional footballer, who lit up football in the 1960s and 70s. He could change the pace of a game with his passing and awareness, was twice a league winner with Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Madrid as well as a European and world champion with Germany. Away from football he ran a nightclub called Lovers Lane, but never drank alcohol, while he was also invited to Tina Sinatras Las Vegas wedding in 1976.
4. Andrea Pirlo – he thinks, therefore he is cool – He was only capable of scoring beautiful goals and looked effortless when he did it. Based on his playing style, he was one of the coolest players in recent times. He even owns a vineyard.
3. Diego Maradona – you had to hand it to him – Diego Armando Maradona is the most entertaining footballer ever; a genius who fulfilled his incredible potential, yet somehow managed to remain an outsider. His greatness has inspired a religion where, on 30 October his birthday fans worship at the Maradonian Church in Argentina. Amen.
2. George Best – the good, the bad and the bubbly! – "I used to go missing a lot: Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World
" Ladies and gents, Mr George Best. It was awful to see someone considered one of the worlds greatest ever players sink into alcoholism, but what a life this man led. Among his achievements European Cup winner, league title winner, Ballon dOr winner, Man Uniteds top scorer in four seasons he also owned fashion boutiques, nightclubs and even had an airport named in his honour.
1. Eric Cantona – the collar… the king fu kick… the King – The only player who was ever in charge of Alex Ferguson, we'll leave it to his slightly less cool team-mate, Gary Neville, to explain why Cantona was the King. "Eric did things his way and no one interfered, not even the manager. When we all turned up at a civic event at Manchester Town Hall to celebrate the double, Eric wandered in wearing a denim jacket instead of a blazer. We looked him up and down and wondered how the boss would react when he arrived. Surely he’d go berserk. The press were there and all sorts of VIPs. But the manager just shook his head and smiled. ‘Eh, lads,’ he said. ‘Some man, that Cantona.’”