I was reading this article concerning editing in Football Manager and it got me feeling nostalgic. Considering how I love going back to old management sims just to manage the stars of the 90's and early to late 2000 years, in particular, this is really up my street. I find myself really missing the old teams. Hell, I even give the RM Galacticos a bash, even though it's no challenge whatsoever and I'm no fan of the club.
The team they had was unreal:
Salgado, Ivan Helguera, Walter Samuel, R.Carlos
Figo, Zidane, Guti
Then you consider they had guys like Woodgate, Michael Owen, Beckham, Morientes, Solari, etc.
At other clubs, you had players like Shevchenko, Veira, Henry, Ronaldinho, Van Nistlerooy, Keane, Gerrard, Nesta, Stam, Lucio, Ballack, Totti, Del Piero, Gatusso, Elber, Kluivert, Larsson, Inzaghi, Crespo, Veron, Makaay, Nedved, ...
Best football final in terms of personnel, in my experience, was the Euro 2000 final. France had just won the WC two years before, at home, and were favourites going into the tournament, but I'm not sure if anyone really expected them to do the Double.
EURO 2000 France 2 Italy 1 - YouTube
Trezeguet winning it with the golden goal was unbelievable. One of the best sporting moments of the 2000 decade, in my opinion. I'll never forget that goal.
Nor this one:
Ryan Giggs v Arsenal (FA Cup Semi-Final Replay 1999) - YouTube
Just a couple of years before, and a piece of skill like it you'll struggle to find. Not that that was even the best United moment of the late 90's (a time when the club were actually admirable)...
Manchester United V.S Bayern Munich 1999 UEFA final - YouTube
Everyone remembers that moment!
Another great example of past footballing excellency was our own club's efforts in Europe. The pinnacle of that being MON's campaigns, with the UEFA Cup final run being the finest. The resulting game was the biggest heartbreak I've ever felt over a football game.
UEFA Cup Final 2003 : Celtic vs Porto - Highlights - YouTube
"Larsson scores! Of course he does, he always scores."
As the saying goes, 'the likes of which we'll never see again'.
At Liverpool, they had one of the greatest CL finals of all time, a couple years later.
Liverpool vs Ac Milan Uefa Champions League final 2005 - YouTube
I recall having a discussion with a diehard Reds fan about that final, who had to be pulled out of the bathroom sobbing at half-time...boy how a game of football can change.
The last 5, 6, 7 years have really decreased the importance of football in my eyes. There's not the same passion, the rivalries are all strange. City-United? Laughable not so long ago! Celtic-Rangers? Walk in the park for the Hoops. Madrid-Barca? Doesn't really matter: two-horse race, the other teams in Spain are a class below. Ajax - who? Juve - who?
I think a sign of football deteriorating was the 2006 WC. The 2010 WC was no better, either. Here's hoping the tournament in Brazil raises the standard of the game. With the potential of seeing the likes of Ganso and Neymar, the boys from Santos, leading the home boys, you'd have to fancy them. And Spain have done their country credit with the standard of play they've adopted, mostly born from the Barca/Cruffy project.
Maybe this summer we'll see Germany set the standard of the Euros, as the personnel in their squad is dazzling. They have the potential to give one of the best tournament showing recent years.
But who'll ever forget the Keane/Veira rivalry, or the Wenger/Ferguson war of the previous decade?
I'll never forget the MON days at Celtic. Strachan failed to accomplish what he did, in my eyes, despite his achievements. Lennon will struggle to replicate such a team.
I want to bang out a 'it's just not the same!'...
Was football better then, or did it all happening in my youth (at least) mean it set a picture of how football should be, and thus has affected my perspective?
Will it get better?
Edited by Jhogo, 28 February 2012 - 02:40 PM.