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Of Wonder Kids and Wonder Teams

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Our new columnist SriRam has written the first article on what makes a legendary team and player, Ronaldo can be as good as he is but it is players who have more than just skill that are the ones remembered.
A long time ago, a golden-haired teenager with the words BECKHAM etched on the back of his shirt tore into the world football scene and made every man woman and child into a die-hard United fan. Eventually, the star that was DB7 materialized into a naïve persona who values personal pleasure more than Pride, who put his life before his club and signed on to a club whose mad mad idea is to buy star players for mindless sums of money in an effort to boost t-shirt sales in Asia.
Let alone Beckham, the major problem with being a superstar at Old Trafford seems to be that whenever Real Madrid come knocking, it is almost impossible for the player to say “I won’t leave”. Instead the word that comes out from their mouths is “I’m honoured to be courted by such a big club as Real Madrid”.. Helloooo… reality check.. You ARE at the biggest club in the world… This legend that Los Blancos seem to have inherited from the bygone era of Ferenc Puskas to the Galacticos of Zidane, Figo,  and Ronaldo has made moving to Real for massive sums of money into an act of eventuality, Divine Intervention even. To put things in perspective, the 200 million euro budget that Real are keen to spend this season eclipses the spending of many a government establishment in the USA and this is even neglecting the huge offset that goes into more “secondary” matters as image rights and player salaries.


united 1999 treble


  The end result of building such a team is yet to show full promise. Remember the past Galacticos, who failed to notch up a single Champions League triumph. What this tells us is that you don’t need the world’s best players to build the world’s best team.

Coming back to United, the class of ’91, the Golden Quadrilateral of Becks, Keano, Scholesy and Giggs, absolutely picked International midfields apart for the better part of a decade not because they were on multi-million dollar deals with United but because they enjoyed pulling on the Red of United and they took to the field as a team, not as individuals looking to further their careers and thinking about the next Nike spot to be aired on YouTube. This camaraderie is what sets legendary teams apart. Fans may think of the 2008 Champions League triumph in Moscow and the team that took to the field, although blessed with the speed and silken touch of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney, was still struggling to bypass the sturdy Chelsea defence.>Only the United duo of Scholes (who played on with a cut to his eye) and Wes Brown, combined excellently on the right flank to angle in a cross for the head of United’s No.7 which goes to tell us that yes, old warhorses do die hard.




Thus, though the current United side boasts of speed, power and passing that are second only maybe to Barca, the ’99 Treble side still must rank in the hearts of United fans for one reason alone: THEY NEVER GAVE UP…..

A stalwart Keane to lift our hearts when things seem down and out against Juve, a Solskjaer to volley in the winner with the last touch of the game, a fearless Peter Schmeichel to bomb forward to the opposing Goal for an injury time corner, an untiring Gary Neville to pump in the long throws with all his might, a mercurial strike duo of Cole and Yorke to strike terror into opposing defenders..Those are the things that made us United. And whatever players you buy can never replace them. For money is never the answer.

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