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The Roundtable: The Best Player You've Seen in Person


Every weekend we go beyond the headlines and talk to real football fans about current topics or issues in the football world.

Today the group discussed their the best players they've had the privilege of seeing in the flesh.

On the round table today we were joined by:

Bramble
Parmar
Luka
Wes
Hawk
Iain (me)

Who is the best player you've seen play in person, when did you see them and why were they so special?

Iain:
Best player I've seen in person is Zinedine Zidane in a pre-season friendly between his Real Madrid side and Roma in 2002. His touch, balance, range of passing and control was out of this world. The guy was magical. Even in the pre-match warm up he was ridiculous to watch.

Bramble:
I guess for me the best player i've seen live would be either Romario or Eric Cantona. I saw Romario here in Canada post WC 94 and he was phenomenal. A bit of a douche though. He went on to win the World Cup that summer. The King (Cantona) I've seen enough times during my reign of going to Old Trafford regularly in the 90's he was good before his kung fu incident but after he was somehow even better. His touches were amazing and the flicks and tricks and vision were always unparalleled to me. I agree with your opinion on Zidane but for me the King has to be.

Parmar:
Eden Hazard. I was in attendance for Chelsea v Sporting in this year's Champions League. The kid was magic to watch; what he does with the ball to beat opponents, his confidence when taking on opponents 1 v 1 or as I had the pleasure of seeing 1 v 3 or 4 is truly precious. For me, all Chelsea bias aside, this kid will be one of the greats in the history books once he's finished with his career.

Bramble:
Some of the players of today are something special, I just chose mine based on the fact that it was a bit of a tougher game back then. Yet the skill was top notch.

Parmar:
If I had to choose one from waaaay back when, and some of you pricks may laugh at me for even bringing his name up in this conversation, Domenic Mobilio. I had the pleasure of growing up watching and even training with him in Van. When it comes to Canadian football he was special in my opinion.

Wes:
Is it a bad thing that the best player I've ever seen live was David Beckham? It was the first leg of TFC vs LA Galaxy. What made him so special, is that honestly, looking at everyone on that pitch, you could tell he was worlds apart from the rest of them. Even with people tossing toilet paper, and I think a beer cup, he kept his cool.

I don't think I got a chance to see what he is truly capable of live, but it was a pleasure to watch him.

Parmar:
I remember saying to my buddy "his passes are still pinpoint" in that match.

Bramble:
Wasn't that me? (Laughs)

Iain:
Beckham comes in for a lot of grief, because of his underwear modelling and strange looking wife mainly, but he looked miles better than anyone on the pitch when he played for LA against us in Toronto. His crosses and delivery from set plays seemed effortless.

Hawk:
It was a treat to watch him.

Bramble:
Yeah, but oh man did we raise a unholy noise when TFC scored those two goals against LA that night. Toronto has not known such fearsome noise.

Parmar:
It was special.

Luka:
Best player I've seen live I think is Luka Modrić. Saw him play against Milan at San Siro, in the 2nd leg of r.16 of CL. He came around the 60th minute as he was coming off an injury and despite this he was still amazing. The vision, off the ball movement, skills, timing and that outside of the boot pass! He's the type of player you really appreciate when you watch live.

I also really enjoyed watching Neymar and Alexis Sanchez in the Brazil v Chile friendly at skydome last year. Also it's an absolute joy to watch Niko Kranjčar, saw him play three times within two weeks (EPL, CL and international friendly) and he's just a magician with the ball at his feet.

I've seen a lot of good players play in MLS but none of them come close to those 4.

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