So Curtis Woodhouse gave us the perfect idea: why not invite an obviously unhealthy level of abuse from Man Utd fans and others for having an opinion? It really does seem quite fun.
As a result, we thought we’d compile a list of ten of the most overrated players ever. That does not, of course, mean that we are calling them bad by any means. But I could literally type anything here and no-one but the sub-editor would notice as everyone has already scrambled to the comments section to call me a bias nonce. My Twitter is here, if you’d prefer.
Let’s pull the pin on this grenade and scurry off, shall we?
It would be interesting to see how far Givanildo Vieira de Sousa might have progressed, what sort of indelible mark the Brazilian could have left on football, if his father had not come to appreciate the acting stylings of Lou Ferrigno. As it is, Hulk provides a useful case study into the importance of marketing in sport.
While playing outside Europe’s more visible and popular leagues tends to count against most, Hulk’s reputation actually benefited from time spent on the outskirts. His career has thus far consisted of money-spinning spells in his native Brazil, Japan, Portugal, Russia and China, helping retain that novelty of a literal superhero-inspired footballer with a shot as powerful as the carefully cultivated caricature.
Aside from a scintillating 2010/11 season for Porto, the 33-year-old was rarely as good as his generous highlight reels claimed. He scored one competitive goal for Brazil in 53 games – and that was in a losing effort at the Olympics – while never progressing beyond the last-16 stage of the Champions League. A cumulative €134.3m in transfer fees suggests a far greater impact and skill level than he ever actually displayed.
9) Hidetoshi Nakata
It is probably churlish to point out that Hidetoshi Nakata never scored more than ten goals in any of his 12 seasons, and only managed more than five twice. He played in fits and starts, going through entire weeks and months of anonymous performances that belied his stratospheric notoriety. But that was never really the point.
He was not terrible in any sense. The display to salvage a draw at Juventus in May 2001 helped deliver Roma their long-awaited Scudetto, with The Old Lady mugged again by Nakata and Parma in the 2002 Coppa Italia final. That said, he was little more than average at best, the right player in the right place at the right time to capture the imagination of a previously untapped Asian market just before the turn of the millennium.
8) Paul Scholes
Oh boy. This could go about as well as one of his patented tackles, but Paul Scholes was never as enduringly and endearingly generational as a reputation augmented in retirement would have many believe. ‘It is at this time of year I get asked, “Wouldn’t you like to have won the Ballon d’Or?”,’ the Man Utd legend once wrote of an award for which he received fewer career…
Read More: Man Utd icon features in ten of the most overrated footballers of all time 2020-05-26 06:49:51