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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top 12 Playmakers - Including Stan Bowles

- One of the Twelve: Stan Bowles (who's mischracterized; he could tackle). Stan Bowles in QPR Action [Missing from this list: Tony Currie]

Daily Mail/Lee Clayton - From Hoddle and Brooking to Platini and Zidane: Sportsmail's top 12 playmakers that made the game beautiful
- The elegant, strolling midfielder died when Patrick Vieira and his type came along and crushed them under foot.
Playmakers were replaced by athletic monsters, with huge strides who trampled all over the pretty creative types.

In control: England's Carrick impressed against Germany
Michael Carrick's impressive strolling display in Berlin was a flashback, a sign that passers may still have a place in the modern game.
Sportsmail online went all misty-eyed at watching Carrick's gliding display.
So here's a few more from the archive; the old-fashioned No 10's, the fancy dans who couldn't tackle their granny, but who could pass around corners and make the play.

Top technique: Glenn Hoddle hits a flying volley for Spurs
Darling of Tottenham (until he became their manager), because of his stunning free kicks and his range of passing with both feet. A beautiful footballer, known also for his stunning goals. We all remember the chip over Steve Sherwood in the Watford goal.

One-club hero: West Ham legend Trevor Brooking
Elegant West Ham playmaker, who spent his entire career at one club. Won the FA Cup in 1980 with a diving (falling) header. Rival to Hoddle in the England shirt, where he also scored important goals, including the one that stuck in between post and bar in Budapest's Nep Stadium. Terrific balance.

Enlarge Cocksure: QPR's Stan Bowles strides confidently away from the goalmouth after scoring against Manchester United
The Hoddle of QPR, but he enjoyed life in the West End of London a little too much. Could change a game with a pass, or a goal and had the best sideburns in the league

Top touch: Alan Hudson keeps the ball away from Arsenal's George Graham
Another West London socialite, who only played twice for England despite his match-winning form for Chelsea. He was the master creator for Peter Osgood.

Sweet left foot: Not so sure about Liam Brady's hairstyle
He was a No7 who played like a No10. Could run games with his control and movement, earning a move from Arsenal to Juventus, where he was signed to replace Michel Platini (no pressure there then). Returned to finish his career in Brooking's old boots at West Ham.

Dead ball specialist: McAllister curls home a free kick for Liverpool against Bradford
Brilliant taker of free kicks and corners, who became Liverpool captain after moving to Leicester from Motherwell. Would pass and shift with the best, slide through a pass and control the tempo of a game.

Long range striker: Redknapp scores from distance for Liverpool against Wimbledon
Sportsmail columnist, so we had to include him. Spotted by Kenny Dalglish playing for Bournemouth and he signed him for £300,000 as a 17-year-old. He was Dalglish's last signing. Anyway, Redknapp soon became Liverpool captain and he too could hit a wicked free kick.

Magic in his boots: Diego Maradona scores one of the greatest ever goals with his second against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final. We won't dwell on his first
A different kind of No 10 (the drug-taking kind). He could dribble and finish, as well as pass and play. He was world class. We included him because it's our list and we can.

Samba star: Brazil legend Zico
Brazil's Maradona (almost). With Socrates, the two of them could make a grown man dribble watching their passing. Another free kick king, who scored plenty too.

Strolling: Michel Platini made football look easy
The king of the playmakers. The all-conquering French midfield, that also included Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse had Platini as their leader, setting the tempo and fames and winning matches with his skill and flair.

Zizou magic: Zidane volleys the second goal for Real Madrid in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002
Replaced Platini in French affections, scored big goals in big games (World Cups, Champions League) and then risked his place in this list by headbutting Italy's Marco Matterazzi in the World Cup final.

On the ball: Gascoigne in full stride for Tottenham
'He's fat, he's round, he bounces round the ground...' He wasn't a traditional gliding midfielder, but let's remember 1990 when he tugged Ruud Gullit's dreadlocks and inspired England to the last four of the Italian World Cup. He could pass and dribble, hit a free kick and, for a while, was the best midfielder in Europe. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1087774/From-Hoddle-Brooking-Platini-Zidane-Sportsmails-12-playmakers-game-beautiful.html?ITO=1490

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