When it comes to trying to nail down who the best player ever has been in the game of football it can be hard. The late, great Maradona for some summates the game. For others, George Best takes the crown. But for us, the best ever is still playing. The magical Lionel Messi has time and again beat records, defied the odds and provided football fans around the world with talent which is nothing short of extraordinary. His statistics back up his play and this man really is the best of the best. Just this year he beat a hero of his to one of the most impressive records yet, scoring his 644th goal for Barcelona meant Messi overtook Pele as record holder for the most amount of goals with one club. What an achievement. Perhaps Messi would not be where he is without his kind rivalry with the almost equally amazing Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo, had he been in a different era would’ve easily been the best player in the world, His goal scoring record and all round play has been majestic to watch in the last decade or so. His greatness has undoubtedly allowed Messi to take it to a whole new level - and I can’t say that I’m complaining. It would also be hard to have the discussion about the best player to have ever played the game without mentioning the legendary Pele. His impressive career let him tally an incredible amount of goals and led him to 3 world cup wins. His stats don’t lie. But given the game has advanced so much and Lionel Messi has been consistently performing against top class opponents, I cannot shy away from saying that Messi - for me - is the best player ever.
When it comes to the best teams ever you have to take a look at current day Bayern Munich swooping the Champions league in 2020 and think is there any better? Well, if you dig out the likes of 70s Ajax, the 1999 Manchester United team, the Milan team in the mid-90s or the 1970 Brazil squad you will find some epic teams. Coming into the 21st century, there had been some absolutely unreal footballing teams, but at the turn of the century this would only intensify. Arsenal's 2004 invincibles team arrived, as did the Real Madrid Galacticos in 2001-03 but we have landed at the best squad ever being that Spanish side in the late noughties. From 2007-12 Spain absolutely dominated international football. This golden generation had an unreal blend of passing, technical ability, physical presence but most importantly, know how. They landed a 3 consecutive streak of big international trophies including the 2008 and 2012 Euros alongside the 2010 World Cup. Their teams were made up of almost solely the Barcelona and Real Madrid teams of the time, who were a bit special in their own right too - step up to the stage, Mr Pep Guardiola… This is a team you would never shy away from betting on, whether that a single bet or even a bet for Skys super 6's game. Infact, all of these teams were likely to be bankers but the Spanish team of that generation were never going to let your bet down.
When you think about the best coaches ever it is hard to really know. The behind closed doors nature of a coach can be hard to judge for many. But when it comes to winning trophies, some just know exactly what to do. The greats of the modern age have changed the way that football is played from Jose Mourinho to Pep Guardiola. Perhaps that is the biggest indicator as to how good a coach is? Alex Ferguson would be one of the most prolific managers in the history of managing football but he does not sniff near our nomination towards best coach of all time. A certain Rinus Michels is for us, the best coach ever. Voted best coach of the century by FIFA, Michels would have a career playing solely for Ajax before heading the Ajax team, Barcelona and the Netherlands national side. Aside from his trophy cabinet and clear record which followed him, Michels is famous for his style of play. This remarkable man is credited with the invention of ‘Total Football’. The famous style of play adopted by Ajax, the Dutch national team and a style which would then go on to completely and utterly shape the modern game was invented by this man. His stature and ingenuity within world football is not to be surpassed and his style of football is still impacting managers to this very day - again, step up to the stage, Mr Pep Guardiola. Whilst there have been managers before and after this legend, he is without a shadow of a doubt the best of the best when it comes to managing purely because of his complete and total (Ha, get it? Cause he invented Total Football? It’s cool, I’ll see myself out) grasp of the game. It's hard to see anyone better him in the coming years.