The words “legend” and “legendary” are quickly becoming two of the most overused words in the English language. In fact, fans of “How I Met Your Mother” will know that it’s actually become a catch-phrase. The fact that Barney Stinson (played wonderfully by TV legend – and I mean that sincerely – Neil Patrick Harris) uses the word “legendary” in every single episode illustrates just how trite the word has become. Designating someone as a legend or describing them as legendary should really be reserved to special situations. After all, the definition of “legend” is “a person or thing that inspires a story coming down from the past.” No one writes tales about the moderately mediocre, the above average, or even the very good. You want to save your stories for the very best of the best, and the same holds true in football.
In football, legends aren’t just good players or managers. Legends aren’t even great players or managers. Legends are in a class by themselves. They represent the very best of the sport. They’re the ones that you hold up as examples of what kind of player or manager that you want to be. They’re the ones that you tell your children about when they’re growing up. They’re the ones that you study and observe once you decide to become a player or manager yourself. In many cases, they’re the ones that fill you up with feelings of national pride and patriotism. Great players and managers are a dime a dozen, but legends are few and far between.
This feature is supposed to be informative. It’s not a ranking of the greatest players of all time. Nor is it even my opinion as to who are the best players at their respective positions. Rather, this feature looks at players who are considered to be legends, either by soccer experts or by fellow players. So, before anyone gets upset because I omitted someone, or because you’re convinced that [X] was better than the players who are on the list, please keep in mind that these are not rankings.
|I. Legendary Goalkeepers|
|II. Legendary Defenders|
|III. Legendary Midfielders|
|IV. Legendary Forwards|
|V. Legendary Managers|
Text & Career Summaries by Victor Li. Formatting and Image Research by Marco Pantanella.