12 bang average footballers that somehow acquired cult hero status
Heroes, every single one of them.
The eyes of the world were all on Cristiano Ronaldo recently when CR7 arrived in London for the world premiere of his new film. It seemed inevitable that the Real Madrid star would have to field the questions about his rivalry with Lionel Messi and we weren't disappointed.
Can't we just agree that they're both exceptionally gifted footballers that bring out the best in each other? This level of global adulation got me thinking about some other footballers that are loved by fans but for very different reasons.
In a nutshell: He made his Man United debut on the same day as Ronaldo but it's fair to say that their careers went down different paths. Now there's an understatement! To be fair, the Cameroonian loved tackling so much that he would probably tackle himself if he could. It was just a shame when the ball landed at his feet though.
Heroic because: So good they had to name him twice.
In a nutshell: Rafa Benitez will never be out of work for two reasons. 1) He broke the Real Madrid/Barcelona duopoly in Spain. 2) He won the Champions league with a squad that contained Igor Biscan, a crocked Harry Kewell, Josemi, Antonio Núñez, Vladimír Šmicer and a man that's capable of a moment like the one in the video below.
Heroic because: He's a Champions League winner and epitomises the miraculous nature of that win in Istanbul.
In a nutshell: He has a pineapple on his head.
Heroic because: He has a pineapple on his head.
In a nutshell: Superb goalscorer when he played for Independiente, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Uruguay. Couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo during his time at Old Trafford. Great player but bang average at Man Utd.
Heroic because: Those two goals at Anfield during a time when United couldn't buy a win against their fiercest rivals.
In a nutshell: I feel a bit guilty putting the Zimbabwe striker on this list because he was prolific at Portsmouth. Then again, he does fall into the category of 'did he actually play for us?' with Manchester City fans... apart from one match.
Heroic because: Scored the winner against Man United on the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. He will never have to buy a drink again when he's around City fans.
In a nutshell: It was either him or Tony Hibbert on the list but we've opted for the Nigerian striker. 14 goals in 42 games is a fairly decent strike rate for the Toffees but he'll always be remembered for one match.
Heroic because: Allegedly substituted himself onto the pitch during a FA Cup semi-final against Spurs and scored twice. Legend.
In a nutshell: Along with Sheffield Wednesday’s Juan Cobian, he was the first Argentinian to play in the Premier League at Derby County. An instant fan favourite after two goals against Nottingham Forest but forgettable if you're not a Derby fan.
Heroic because: Owns one of the greatest names in Premier League history.
In a nutshell: Prolific will never be used in the same sentence as his name.
Heroic because: A one-club man (at heart!) and those goals during the 2002-03 Champions League will never be forgotten by Newcastle fans. A trier.
In a nutshell: A tough, resolute and solid defender that played in many of English football's tiers during his career.
Heroic because: That period when he seemed to be scoring spectacular own-goals for fun. Football fans will always love him.
In a nutshell: Irish fans love to build up some of our less 'aesthetically pleasing' players to an iconic and mythical status. We all dream of a team of Gary Breens, Zinedine Kilbane was horribly overlooked for the Ballon D'or while Paul McShane is undoubtedly the player of his generation. Nothing can top this man though.
Heroic because: He's the Ginger Pele.
In a nutshell: Shearer, Henry, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Suarez and Emile Ivanhoe Heskey. All of them are legendary strikers that have graced the Premier League.
Heroic because: If he can play international football then there's hope for everyone. Truth be told, he's also an extremely lovely bloke that's not afraid to poke fun at his own image. Hero.
In a nutshell: I'm confident in saying that 99% of football fans only remember him from the weekly comedy sketch in Match magazine.
Heroic because: What if Peter Fear was a potato?
It's obviously impossible to cover every single player that has graced the Premier League with their immense 'charms' but if you have any suggestions then please let us know.