This week we will be diving in to some “outside the usual” topics here at VUSA, we’ll hear from some of our writers about their favorite goal ever, teams they support outside of Villarreal, and more. Today, we cover each of our favorite players from our respective national teams. Since we hail from three different countries (and one of our writers chose a country other than his own), we have a very interesting mix. I hope you enjoy!
Can I take this a bit sideways? Because the national team I’ve always followed the most has been Uruguay, not the US. Primiarily that’s been because of ex-Villarreal man Diego Forlan, but also the whole small country/charrua thing, that total commitment to the team. And probably the guy who personified that best for me was their captain for many years, Diego Lugano (captained them in the 2010 World Cup and their 2011 Copa America win). An excellent coach on the field, excellent at rallying his troops, and his glare at referees, opposing players, or teammates (when they screwed up) was priceless.
Editor’s Note: Diego Lugano won a Copa America with Uruguay in 2011 and titles in three different national leagues.
Spain’s history is full of great players, and choosing one can be a bit difficult. Iniesta could be one I can say it’s my favorite as he was a great midfielder with a great vision to play the ball, great technique, and outside the field he was very polite, the kind of player you would always want on your team. Unforgettable the goal against Netherlands at the World Cup final, but the same can be said for his whole career with Barcelona. A true world class act that I wished he had gotten a Ballon d’Or.
Editor’s note: Iniesta’s best finish in the Ballon D’or standings was second in 2010 to a small forward from Argentina.
Its difficult really. When it comes to English players there is only disappointment. Steve McManaman was one of my favourites growing up. One of the most successful players abroad and overall a really good player. He could speak Spanish even with a Liverpool accent which is impressive. Hard to choose between him and Gary Lineker but as I dislike Barcelona more than Madrid Steve gets it.
Editor’s note: Steve McManaman led the English Premier League in assists in 1995-1996 and won two La Ligas and two Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.
Michael Bradley of the US Men’s National Team. Coach’s son so he thought the game like none other; also a lightning rod for criticism when things went wrong. We haven’t yet replaced his leadership and grit in addition to his talent.
Editor’s note: For the non-Americans, Michael is the son of Bob Bradley, former US Ment’s National Team manager and also known for a rather ill-fated spell at Swansea. He now coaches against his son as the manager of LAFC, while Michael plays for Eastern Conference power Toronto in the MLS.
Two players, now retired, jointly hold the all time record for most goals in US Mens’s Soccer history: Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a soccer fan by which man they prefer. Donovan represented MLS’s most luxurious brand, the LA Galaxy, alongside David Beckham, Dempsey led the Seattle Sounders, a club that didn’t begin play until 2009, but quickly developed one of the most passionate fanbases in world soccer, drawing 40,000 fans per match.
I’m team Dempsey 100%. In fact, I wish he’d taken the USMNT goals record outright. Dempsey was rough around the edges as a player, known on the pitch for playing with a fearsome passion that sometimes boiled over in shouting matches and elbows directed at his opponents. Off the pitch? Clint was just a guy from Texas who liked to fish. You won’t see him doing many interviews or seeking the limelight, he’s just a hero who did his bit for his country and now is enjoying a quiet retirement. Dempsey is the guy I’d rather have on my team when our backs where against the wall, and for that he’s my favorite USMNT player ever.
Editor’s Note: Dempsey actually has more English Premier League appearances than he does MLS appearances, scoring 57 goals in the English top flight for Fulham and Tottenham.
So, who is your favorite national team player ever?
We’ve got a forward, a few midfielders, and a defender among our choices but who is that national legend that inspires you?