Cult Heroes: Remembering Real Madrid's Guti, the king of the 'unexpected assist'

Real Madrid legend Guti made extraordinary assists look easy

The coronavirus pandemic currently crippling the globe is likely see us without live football for the foreseeable future.

It has already been announced that all English football has been postponed to at least April 30 and even then, the games are not expected to restart for some time after that.

So with potentially months of time to pass, we here at GIVEMESPORT have decided to take a trip down memory lane.

Each week, we will be looking back at a 'cult hero' that for one reason or another, will always have a special place in the hearts of football fans.

This week, we're kickstarting the series with Real Madrid icon Guti Hernandez, a midfielder with an eye for an extraordinary assist unlike any other.

The Spaniard spent the majority of his career at Los Blancos, 15 years in the first team to be exact.

But both his club and international careers saw him rather overlooked by casual fans due to the plethora of star names surrounding him in the teams.

For Real Madrid, Guti had to compete for the limelight with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Luis Figo - just to name a few.

When he was rarely afforded a chance in the Spain team - he only won 13 caps for La Roja - the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and David Villa were the headline grabbers.

Guti and Zidane in action

But ask any Real Madrid fan and they'll wax lyrical about the current UD Almeria manager.

Think of Mesut Ozil in his pomp and that's what Guti was, a languid, stylish footballer that made the art of playmaking look ridiculously easy.

The key skill that the Spaniard possessed was delivering pinpoint passes that nobody could see, the 'unexpected assist' if you will.

We're going to focus on two of these 'unexpected assists', two occasions when Guti defied the laws of logic with the back of his heel. The bravery needed to attempt both would be enough to put most world-class players off.

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The first of the two is the less risky of the pair, but is far more outrageous.

To pull off a back heel powerful enough to cover that distance alone is difficult, but for it to have the desired accuracy and timing is another thing.

The second back-heel is one where you question if it actually happened. The technical side of the pass is perfect, but when you factor in the risk, that's when it starts to get tasty.

Guti was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and inside the 18-yard box, with a shot on goal seemingly the only solution to the footballing equation.

Guti in action vs Deportivo

But no, Guti manages to deceive the 'keeper, the defender attempting to block the shot and everyone in the stadium by laying the ball off to Karim Benzema.

The Frenchman even looked bemused to see the ball roll to him with an empty net directly in front of him.

If you cast your minds back a few weeks ago, David Silva attempted to assist a Man City teammate against Man Utd when it looked easier to just whack the ball past David De Gea himself.

He failed miserably and was duly slammed for his actions. Guti could have faced similar persecution, but he was capable of delivering the unexpected.

So when you're down the pub next (most likely after the lockdown periods are finally at an end) remind your mates of the genius that was Guti, perhaps the most underrated playmaker of his generation.

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