The beautiful game has always been filled with excessively talented players.
However there are some true greats that never truly received the respect or the hype that they deserved. They were maybe overshadowed by equally great (or even better) teammates, they may not have won that much silverware, or they easily faded away from the memories of the fans.
Here, GMS Contributor Thanasis Batzios presents you with a list of ten footballers that deserved much more respect and appreciation than they received.
10. Alvaro Recoba
Unfortunately Recoba was oddly ok with being a bench player at Inter Milan for about nine years, only having his moments with some spectacular goals. He had though, more talent in his opposite foot that the majority of footballers have in their regular. If he had the mentality of a winner, some pages of football history would've probably been written in a different way.
9. Bruno Conti
Conti was one of the most talented wide men Italy has produced - and one of the most dominant right-wingers in the mid 70s and the 80s. He might actually be the greatest Italian right-winger of all-time. Not winning that many championships because of choosing to stay to A.S. Roma for the biggest part of his career is probably the reason he is not greatly remembered.
8. Michel Preud'Homme
There are a few people who register that this Belgian shot-stopper is actually one of the best goalkeepers of the late '80s and the early 1990s. His terrific reflexes and agility won him the best goalkeeper of the year award in 1994.
7. Zvonimir Boban
Being part of the great Milan side of the early '90s and being teammates with the likes of Franco Baresi, Paulo Maldini, Marcel Desailly and George Weah, lead to Boban not receiving the deserving respect for his abilities. He always provided for his team with great reading of the game, accurate crosses and an ideal midfield balance.
6. Matthias Sammer
Sammer won almost everything there is to win as a footballer. He was the captain and leader of the Borussia Dortmund side which won the Champions League in 1997, the year when he also won the Ballon d'Or. Even so, he didn't receive the hype he was supposed to receive - at least not outside of Germany.
5. Berti Vogts
Vogts was not the type of player that people would pay money to watch. He was the one though that would, on many occasions, cancel out the opposing star player that people had paid money to watch. So trustworthy, so reliable - and one of the greatest right-backs of all-time, but he is only truly appreciated in his country.
4. Josef Masopust
There is only a selection of people who know Josef Masopust, the incredible box-to-box midfielder form the Czech Republic. Playing for Dukla Prague prague for almost his whole career, Masopust was a leading presence on the pitch, calming the game and always orchestrating the attacking plays for his team from a deep position. One of the best midfielders of the 1960s.
3. Michael Laudrup
Few players in the game can rival Michael Laudrup in terms of intelligence, vision and pure skill on the ball. Throughout his career, Laudrup was more a dreamer than a killer, frequently using his dribbling and passing ability to create chances for others, rather than scoring himself. Perhaps that’s the reason why he, incredibly, is not remembered that much for the great player he was.
2. Gunter Netzer
Netzer is probably the best playmaker that Germany ever produced. He had an insane close ball-control, dribbling ability, vision and a great eye for the goal. He was though, lazy, he refused to head the ball, and he barely defended. That is the only reason he did not have a great career in his country's colours - and the reason why he isn't held in highest regard by the football fans across the world.
In some places in Brazil, Garrincha is considered even better than Pele. Also, every single fan that has seen him play, considers him as one of the greatest to ever kick a ball. The thing is, those fans are not that many...
When football fans around the globe are talking about players with dribbling skills, trickery and pure footballing magic, the conversation involves Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. It is safe to say though that Garrincha is a greater and more impressive dribbler than all of them. With his leadership skills and elegant style, the "Joy of the People" was the ultimate star of the 1962 World Cup - the tournament that Pele was injured - winning it almost single-handedly.
Honourable Mentions : Brian Laudrup, Davor Suker, Claudio Lopez, Paulo Souza
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