2006 champions league final

9

“There was a man, a warrior or a visionary, perhaps both, who set himself the task in tribal England of gathering together the greatest and most chivalrous of combatants to join him in a quest for such creative success that it would enter the annals of history. And so it came to pass. Arsène Wenger: the Highbury years saw Arsenal win three Championships, four FA Cups (including two Doubles), and reach the 2006 Champions League Final. The record speaks for itself. But there was more. Arsenal under Wenger have become beautiful. A team once best known for dourness and a minimum of frills suddenly became the spiritual home of expressionism and thrills. From Anglo-Saxon graft to French romance in a period of weeks. It was as though an Arsenal made of iron flew to pieces only to be rebuilt wit…”

The Telegraph`s Top 20 overrated football players of all time:

1. Mario Balotelli: “It remains something of a mystery how the volatile striker has had £59m spent on him in transfer fees. At Inter, Manchester City, AC Milan and now Liverpool, Balotelli has failed to completely fulfil his apparent potential, and generated more headlines for his antics off the pitch than for his performances on it.”

2. Robinho: “Another player who has commanded huge transfer fees but never quite delivered on his early promise. The Brazilian suffered probably the most disappointing spell of his career at Manchester City where, after arriving for £32m in September 2008 and making a good start at Eastlands, he faded badly and was shipped out on loan to Santos in January 2010. Now back on loan at Santos after an underwhelming few seasons with AC Milan.”

3. Radamel Falcao: “A player who has always seemed driven primarily by his next big pay packet, Falcao has performed so badly at Manchester United this season that he is likely to be sent back to Monaco. With just four goals in 22 appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side this campaign, following 11 in 20 games for Monaco in the weak French league last season, Falcao appears to be a player on the wane.”

4. Ibrahimovic: “No-one’s denying he’s excellent value with his ridiculous proclamations about himself, but is he actually as good as he thinks he is? No Champions League wins in his career and the fact that he hasn’t played in one of Europe’s top three leagues since leaving Barcelona for Milan in August 2010 suggest he may not quite be the phenomenon he claims to be.”
 
5. Faustino Asprilla

6. David Luiz: “The Brazilian defender’s likeability and penchant for ridiculous passes and pieces of technique often masks his limitations as a centre-back. Luiz is frequently found wanting defensively, most brutally during his country’s 7-0 defeat to Germany at the 2014 World Cup. Quite how Luiz has had £70m spent on him in transfer fees is anyone’s guess.”

7. Ezequiel Lavezzi: “Lavezzi runs around a lot and looks busy, but isn’t actually very good. He failed to score a single goal from six matches at the 2014 World Cup and has managed just four goals in 31 games for PSG this season. Yet somehow he is always linked with a big money move to the Premier League.”

8. Wesley Sneijder: “A mercurial talent who has been overlooked by the biggest clubs throughout his career – for the simple reason that he is not quite at the top level. An excellent World Cup in 2010 (in a tournament of desperately poor quality) made many think the Dutch schemer was better than he actually is; his current gig in the relative footballing wilderness of Galatasaray gives a more accurate reflection of his standing in the sport.”

9. Sergio Ramos: “Lucky to find himself playing for Spain in an era when their midfield was so dominant that defenders like Ramos could largely put their feet up and enjoy the spectacle. When Ramos is required to defend one on one, he is all too often rash in his decision making – as demonstrated by the 19 red cards he has picked up in La Liga, more than any other player.”

10. Jack Wilshere: “Hand on heart, how many really great Jack Wilshere moments can you remember? In truth, the Arsenal midfielder has too often flattered to deceive and yet still retains a reputation for being one of England’s best players. Surely he has to produce something soon to match his inflated reputation?”

11. Steven Gerrard: “Similar to Rooney, Gerrard should be regarded as a very good but not great player. For all the Roy of the Rovers moments (the 2005 Champions League final, the 2006 FA Cup final salvo), there have been the high-profile setbacks – the slip against Chelsea and the red cards, including against Manchester United last month.”

12. Roberto Baggio

13. Adriano: “A ferocious left-footed shot and ability to score from miles out every so often does not a world class player make. Adriano had all the talent to be one of the best strikers in the world, but could never produce the goods on a consistent basis, and his occasional screamer shouldn’t mask what was overall a disappointing career.”

14. Wayne Rooney: “Let’s face it, if Rooney was as good as many in this country think he is, he’d have been snapped up by a Real Madrid or a Barcelona. The former Everton striker has definitely had his moments, but his poor goal return in major tournaments for England, coupled with just the one Champions League win, illustrate why he can’t be considered one of the game’s true greats.”

15. David Ginola
16. Denilson
17. Florent Malouda
18. Nicolas Anelka
19. Carlos Valderrama
20. Georgi Kinkladze