It’s Landon Donovan’s last press conference. He has just won another MLS Cup with his beloved LA Galaxy. It’s a fairytale ending. He’s had a picture book career. He has given everything to club and especially country.
What an honor to see him play his last professional game. What a privilege to be at his last LA Galaxy presser. He looks tired. He’s ready to walk off into the sunset as a champion.
Leader. Warrior. Fighter. Provocative. Brash. Critical. Fearless. Winner. Champion. These are just a few words that would describe the many layers of Premier League legend Roy Keane.
Keane won everything with Manchester United. The fiery midfielder joined the Red Devils from Nottingham Forest as a budding footballer with huge potential. It was at Forest where Keane learned the art and craft of football. Under the masterful eye of legendary manager Brian Clough, Keane evolved into an intelligent, talented and passionate player. It was only a matter of time before a big club swooped in for his services and Sir Alex Ferguson was happy to take the young Irish lad to Old Trafford.
Twas the season where everyone retired. Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen and of course David Beckham. All legends in their own right. All have had signature moments in football. Sir Alex the best at his craft in England. He’s won it all. He’s managed great players. He leaves a legacy like no other.
When Sir Alex Ferguson introduced his so-called “kids” to the football world in the 90’s, not many journalists, pundits and fans would have bet or believed legends would be born from that Manchester United team. Paul Scholes was one of those kids and he would not only become a legend, he’d become the midfield wizard of Old Trafford.
There are some moments in life when you feel exceptionally lucky. You want to freeze time in a bottle. You never want the moment to end. Talking to Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos legend Carlos Alberto Torres was exactly that moment for me.
The 1970 World Cup Final goal he scored versus Italy is undoubtedly the greatest we’ve ever seen. It was a stunning team effort that showcased why we’ve all loved watching Brazil in the World Cup. The goal also solidified Carlos Alberto’s name in football’s history books and is a moment he admits changed his life forever.
Cole began his career with Arsenal and it was very short lived. After playing just one game for the Gunners and spending most of his time there on loan to Fulham, he moved to Bristol City where he found his goal scoring touch. 20 goals in 41 games for the Robins grabbed the attention of then Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan.
In 1993, Cole signed for the Magpies and it would be the start of an illustrious career and the making of a legend in the Premier League.
Mervin Jessie Gardner was a wonderful human being. To his family and friends he was simply Merv. And Merv was my friend. He never judged me, he never expected anything from anyone, he would never let you down in your time of need and he wanted nothing more than to help those he loved and cared for. To say he was exceptionally supportive is a grand understatement. Whether you searched for spiritual, emotional or financial guidance, Merv had the uncanny ability to help find solutions and put things in perspective. If you shared good news with him his genuine happiness would be evident. And if things weren’t so good and you felt like you were about to fall, his undeniable strength would catch you. And oh how we will miss his comfort. He had a knack for making you feel safe and when he spoke his words would embrace you like a gigantic warm hug. Merv would always try to be a friend with a smile on his face and love in his heart. Even in times where he may have been misunderstood, his actions were pure.
They refer to him as God in Liverpool. To this day he is adored by the Kop and every other inch of Anfield. He is untouchable. He is one of their finest. And Robbie Fowler certainly is a Premier League legend.
Dynamic, inventive and sometimes controversial, Fowler was an incredibly gifted player who became a real football superstar with Liverpool during the 90’s. He was part of the glamorous “Spice Boys” gang that also included Jamie Rednknapp, Steve McManaman, David James and Jason McAteer. I didn’t think the label was deserved, but perhaps it was those shocking white suits they wore at the 1996 F.A. Cup Final that really ignited the media’s attention!
David Ginola played for four Premier League clubs including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. He undoubtedly showcased his best football at Newcastle United and Spurs. The Frenchman loved being on the big stage and fans loved him. Especially women! He had flare, pizazz and personality. But he was also a great footballer.
Ginola had beautiful feet and he scored some really tasty goals when he was in his prime. He also played the game with a lot of passion and in 1999 was voted PFA Footballer of the Year while playing for Spurs. Ginola also won his only English domestic trophy with Spurs in 1999, the League Cup. Outside of English football he won the French league and cup with Paris St-Germain.
Size really doesn’t matter in football and Gianfranco Zola is proof of that. The pint-sized Italian superstar set the Premier League on fire when he arrived at Chelsea. Even non-Chelsea fans were excited to watch him dazzle on the pitch. He was just that type of player.
From 1996 to 2003, Zola entertained the fans at Stamford Bridge scoring 59 goals in 229 appearances. He helped the Blues win the F.A. Cup twice, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup and the Super Cup. In 1997 he was voted Player of the Year and he was also voted as Chelsea’s greatest ever player. His #25 shirt has not been worn by any other Chelsea player since he retired.