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 Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 07:24

I found this article in an Italian publication and translated it below. I`ve no recollection of the game, at all...

"It`s 1976, Netherlands v N. Ireland and George Best finds himself up against Johan Cruyff in one of the best duels ever. Bill Elliot of the Manchester Daily Express decides to have a chat with the former Man Utd star, during the trip to Rotterdam, where the game is to take place. "What do you think of Cruyff?" "He`s exceptional." "Better than you?" "You`re joking, aren`t you?" replied Best with with a dismissive laugh. ``D`you know what I`m going to do tonight, first chance I get? I`m going to nutmeg him!" and both men burst out laughing.

What seemed like the delirious, don`t-give-a-stuff rambling of a declining football legend, was simply a premonition of what happened a few hours later.

The green shirted No. 7 came onto the field with a red rose, given to him by a beautiful blonde girl in the crowd. Best kissed her hand to thank her.

Just 5 mins into the game, Best received the ball on the left hand side and dribbled his way across the pitch past those Dutch players between him and Cruyff, who was out on the right wing. After selling a couple of dummies, Best pushed the ball between the Dutch ace`s legs. As he rounded Cruyff and gathered the ball again, Best raised a clenched fist to the heavens as Bill Elliot and 50,000 fans in De Kuip held their collective breath.

He then turned to the prophet and said ``Dear Johan, you are the best, but only because I don`t have time...``

According to former Par, Jimmy Nicholl, Best nutmegged Neeskens as well as Cruyff, but unfortunately the YouTube clip doesn`t show it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekaEAh1t3F8



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: Samzak  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 08:58

Two of the greatest players I ever had the pleasure of watching, fantastic skills from both of them and I certainly couldn’t decide which one was better.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 09:17

Wonderfully entertaining players blessed with phenomenal natural talent. But did they track back enough? I`d suggest not and therefore couldn`t have them in any all time team of mine. James Milner and Ashley Young would be better alternatives in any such imaginary line up.

We all hate poverty, war, and injustice.
Unlike the rest of you squares.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 10:30

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Fri 12 Feb 09:17

Wonderfully entertaining players blessed with phenomenal natural talent. But did they track back enough? I`d suggest not and therefore couldn`t have them in any all time team of mine. James Milner and Ashley Young would be better alternatives in any such imaginary line up.


Is that your tongue I see, almost bursting out of your cheek, TOWK? 😃



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: Latics for life  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 10:35

For me Best is the greatest player ever and he could handle himself no bother
For me it is who would you pay to see. Best always comes first for me
Imagine trying to put a value on these two in todays crazy transfer market. No enough Zeros to go after the one

frank Hendley
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: Ronaldo  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 10:45

Cruyff and Best are my top two of all time. Cruyff edges it for me because, although Best was a virtuoso performer, the mighty Johan could orchestrate a whole team. Great story by the way .. somehow that one had passed me by.



Post Edited (Fri 12 Feb 10:46)
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: parsmad68  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 11:36

I watched Best play in a testimonial game at Newlandsfield (Pollok Juniors).
As he came on, the opposition brought on another goalie. So now 2 goalies in their team. Best nutmegged both of them (in the same shot) to score a goal.
I know you are saying, yeah, only a testimonial but tell me which goalkeepers like getting a nutmeg.
Great footballer.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 11:53

Saw Best in 1969, at Highbury, destroyed Arsenal second half to earn a draw.

The entertainment on the park was matched by the battles of the skinheads up the North Bank!
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: parfection  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 12:53

Cruyff - for my money, the greatest player ever. He was a genius, and while I accept that football appreciation is a matter of personal preference, my own view is that no player before or since comes close. I’m the very happy owner of a signed and framed photo of the great man. 😀

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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: DA-go Par Adonis  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 15:21

When Cruyff died, I remember a tribute show replaying highlights from his career and various interviews.

The quote that stands out is that, if he had a shooting chance 25 yards our and his side were already 4 or 5 up, he would try and hit the bar rather than score as he thought the theatre of the ball hitting the woodwork was more stirring for the crowd than just notching up another goal.

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I love it when we go sell Kevin Nisbet,
He's gonna pay for everyone this season.
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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 16:34

Cruyff and Best were two of the finest footballers ever, but arguably, they could have been even better, but for their lifestyle choices.

Best abused alcohol throughout his career and became an alcoholic and Cruyff was a chain smoker - 80 fags a day.



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 Re: Best v Cruyff
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 12 Feb 17:55

I have never believed that giving up alcohol or tobacco would improve any player’s performance. A fit man between 20 and 30 years of age is not going to become faster, stronger or acquire more stamina as a result of doing that. His career might be shortened as a result, or sadly even his life, but if these are the drugs of choice that relax him, then removing them might do more harm than good.

The fastest Scottish player from a standing start I ever saw was Willie Johnston. Two players who seemed to cover every blade of grass on a pitch were Billy Bremner and Denis Law. I’ve never seen anyone carry the ball at speed better than Cruyff. They all smoked when they played.

Bremner was known as a 90 minute dynamo but Tommy Hutchison tells the story of his own debut for Scotland v Czechoslovakia, a vital WC qualifier at Hampden in 1973. Denis Law spent the afternoon up in his hotel room drinking tea and smoking, watching a colour TV that Rod Stewart had provided. On the team bus heading to Hampden Bremner called the physio to the back of the bus and Tommy was concerned in case Billy, the team captain, had a late niggling injury. Panic over: Billy only wanted a light for his last cigarette before the game.

The George Best nutmeg of Cruyff story is probably a myth. There is no video footage of what would surely have been a highlight, no contemporary newspaper report (even from Northern Ireland) ever mentioned it. More likely Best, who had a good game in an impressive 2-2 draw, nutmegged some other player and the story grew from there.

sammer
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