When Rodney Marsh reigned Sports emailCraig Hope’s stories from his career recently, it was a reminder of a bygone era.
One where he and friend George Best would dazzle on the field and party wildly, with footballers more in common with rock stars than finely tuned athletes.
But nowadays, with technology that allows clubs to fine-tune their players’ routines to the minute and smartphone cameras, meaning football stars are afraid to go out in public let alone let go of their hair, the real misfit is time.
Rodney Marsh (right) with George Best (left) in 1976 after moving to the United States
Certainly, if you want to become a top footballer today, it’s almost impossible to lead a lifestyle similar to that of Marsh, who played mostly for QPR and Manchester City in the 1960s and 1970s.
Here, Sports email counts the 10 biggest misfits of football …
10 – RODNEY MARSH
Many of his four years spent in Manchester partying with his great friend George Best, despite Marsh playing for City and Best for United.
An attacker with a lot of skill, Marsh’s trophy cabinet never matched his skill, with only one medal from the League Cup winners to show for his efforts when he declined to follow the line.
He also won only nine English caps, he said Sports email: ‘Playing for England under Alf (Ramsey) was a waste of time. Under another manager I would have had 100 caps. ‘
Marsh (far left) alongside (left-right) comedian Kenny Lynch, Frank Lampard Snr, Alan Ball, Best, and Malcolm Macdonald
9 – EDMUNDO
Scorer of a memorable goal against Manchester United in the Club World Cup in 2000, the attacker was unplayable on his day, combining a powerful body and left foot with the subtle touch you’d expect from a man who won 39 caps in Brazilian squads with like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
Although he was a loose cannon off the field, he was notoriously depicted getting a monkey drunk at his son’s birthday party, where he hired an entire circus to perform, provoking anger from animal rights organizations.
Edmundo also escaped imprisonment in 1995 after his drink-driving at the Rio Carnival resulted in a crash that killed three people.
Brazilian star Edmundo ran into trouble after being portrayed getting a monkey drunk
8 – ROBIN FRIDAY
Amid these tales of unfulfilled talent, there is no more tragic than the case of Robin Friday.
Considered by many to be good enough to play for England, Friday quit at the age of 25 and was 38 years old after a suspected heroin overdose, after a lifetime battling alcohol and drug addiction.
A legend in Reading and Cardiff, despite a brief four-year professional career, Welsh band Super Furry Animals showed a picture of him tapping the V sign in one cover in the 1990s, while Oasis bassist Paul McGuigan wrote a biography about him.
Cardiff legend Robin Friday was on the cover of ‘The Man Don’t Give A F ***’
7 – STAND BOWLS
As an infamous drinker, gambler and womanizer, Bowles’ career had many similarities with Marsh. Both extremely gifted forward, they frustrated managers equally.
Bowles started in Man City and eventually moved to QPR, replacing Marsh and taking his No. 10 jersey.
He is said to have an even bigger QPR career than Marsh, scoring 97 goals in 315 games, before falling out with manager Tommy Docherty and moving to European champion Nottingham Forest in 1979, where he lasted only a year after an icy relationship with Brian Clough .
Stan Bowles was a legend at QPR, but never really saw face to face with Brian Clough in Forest
6 – RENE HIGUITA
Back to South America and our only goalkeeper on the list.
Famous for his ‘scorpion kick’ to save Jamie Redknapp’s shot for England in 1995, Higuita was known as ‘El Loco’ – or ‘Crazy’ in English – for his extravagant playing style, where he would work as a sweeper, scored 41 career goals .
He was jailed for his role in a kidnapping in 1993 after acting as an intermediary for Pablo Escobar and fellow drug lord Carlos Molina. Higuita tested positive for cocaine in 2004 while playing in Ecuador.
Rene Higuita famously saves Jamie Redknapp’s shot with his feet after performing a handstand
5 – ERIC CANTONA
Cantona the footballer needs little introduction.
Considered one of Manchester United’s best players ever, the Frenchman began their era of dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson after his arrival from Leeds, where he had just won the title, in 1992.
However, Cantona’s volatility would put him in trouble throughout his career. He left France on the advice of Michel Platini to England after a series of bans on violent outbursts against opponents, teammates and umpires, the latter of whom saw him walking to each member of his ear panel calling them each an ‘idiot’. “.
In England, he would get an eight-game suspension in 1995 for running into the crowd and kicking kung fu at a Crystal Palace fan yelling at him.
Eric Cantona paints during a photo shoot in Montpellier in 1989, before moving to England
4 – BRIAN CLOUGH
The only manager who made our top 10 football bangers – true to Clough’s form as he must be the only boss who has remained a bigger star than all of his players throughout his career.
Clough was a regular TV expert in his 28 years as a manager, often with a cigar on hand while he was downright joking.
Led Nottingham Forest to two consecutive European Cups, which had only been promoted two years before.
Brian Clough smokes a cigar while working as an expert at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany
3 – PAUL GASCOIGNE
Unfortunately, many of our misfits have fought with addiction, and no more in public than ‘Gazza’ in the years since his retirement in 2002. But what an entertainer the man was in his splendor in the 1990s.
Gazza’s career was defined by his performances in England: appearing on the scene during the 1990 World Cup where he inspired a generation before a stunning goal against Scotland at Euro 1996 reminded us of both his bold talent and his outlandish behavior, as he celebrated by re-executing the drinking scandal of the ‘dental chair’ that had happened a few weeks earlier.
Paul Gascoigne has had a public battle with alcohol since his professional career
2 – DIEGO MARADONA
Who is the best soccer player ever? Pele or Diego Maradona was the next part of that question, but Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have forced the debate this century.
What sets Maradona apart for many, however, is the fact that he accomplished everything he did while living a downright ridiculous social life.
In Naples, for example, he would party all week after a game fueled by cocaine before being swept out for the next one. Yet he still inspired them to their only Serie A crowns in 1987 and 1990. Oh, and he dragged Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.
Diego Maradona’s cocaine use didn’t stop him from winning multiple titles with Napoli in Italy
1 – GEORGE BEST
Original football playboy and undisputed number 1 misfit.
Anyone who has followed since has been a worse imitation of Best both on and off the field.
His career was in his late twenties when alcoholism tightened on the case, but Best had already accomplished so much. He scored 179 goals in 470 games for Manchester United at the age of 28 and won two league titles and the European Cup. But he prioritized the party lifestyle over everything else.
As he said it himself: ‘I spent a lot of money on drinks, birds and fast cars. I just wasted the rest. ‘
George Best is the original football playboy and remains the number 1 nonconformist talent to this day