VIDEO: Top TEN Premier League ‘mavericks’

Flair, defined by one as ‘a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well’ or as ‘a sophistication or elegance in style, bearing, or manner’. Combine the two and you go some way to describing the talents of the uniquely gifted ten players who appear on the list below. Enjoy.

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10. Juninho, Middlesbrough (1995-97, 99-00, 02-04)

Fleet-footed Brazilian midfielder Juninho had three separate spells on Teeside with Middlesbrough and was voted their greatest ever player in December 2007. Juninho inspired Boro to the FA & League Cup final in 1997 before returning to win the latter in 2004.

Nicknamed ‘The Little Fella’ due to his 5’ 5’’ frame, the former Brazilian Player of The Year mesmerised defenders with his dazzling runs, quick feet and astounding playmaking abilities. As one of the most technically gifted players ever to grace the Premier League, Juninho is fondly remembered by fans up and down the country.

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9. Jurgen Klinsmann, Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95 & 1997-98)

With a reputation as a ‘cheat’ and a ‘diver’, German international Jurgen Klinsmann had his work cut out to change the British public’s perception of him when he first arrived in England in 1994. However 50 appearances and 29 goals in his first full season later and the striker had become a legend in the eyes of the Tottenham Hotspur faithful.

Klinsmann was a genius with the football at his feet, while his anticipation, technique and aerial ability meant he scored some truly stupendous goals for Spurs. Klinsmann, or course, returned to North London for a second spell in 1997 where his four goals in the penultimate game of the season against Wimbledon ensured Spurs avoided relegation. Watch his debut goal away at Sheffield Wednesday and his memorable celebration below-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Bx8Jc2HrQ

8. Paolo Di Canio, West Ham (1999-03)

Despite spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton, Italian Paolo Di Canio is best recognised for his four-year spell at West Ham from 1999. Di Canio was a magical footballer who endeared himself to Hammers fans with his outrageous skill and passion for the club.

Despite the controversy which has followed him throughout his career, Di Canio is still considered one of the greatest foreign players to have ever graced the Premier League. He is widely remembered for a special goal against Wimbledon in 2000, one which is still considered one of the best strikes ever seen in Premier League history. Enjoy it below-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUh-NcHi5ug&feature=related

7. David Ginola, Newcastle 1995-97 & Tottenham (1997-00)

French international David Ginola oozed style, charisma and class on and off the pitch, impressing at both Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur during the late-90s.

Ginola is remembered for his magical velcro-like first touch and mesmerising dribbling skills, abilities which won him the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year while playing for Spurs in 1999. The next season Ginola scored one of his best-ever goals against Barnsley, weaving between four players before dispatching a clinical shot goalwards. A goal which perfectly demonstrates all the attributes which made the floppy-haired Frenchman such a hit at White Hart Lane.

6. Matt Le Tissier, Southampton (1986-02)

Described as the greatest talent ever to be wasted by England, Matt Le Tissier scored 211 goals for Southampton during an astonishing 17 years at The Dell.

Nicknamed ‘Le God’ by Saints fans, the attacking midfielder had supreme technical abilities unmatched by most in the top-flight. As the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League, Le Tissier had natural flair and ability in abundance. Le Tissier was a one-club man and a true maverick of the game. Watch his top ten goals below-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSsdfe4Z69g

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5. Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United (2003-09)

Speed, skill and performance, world record £80m Real Madrid signing Cristiano Ronaldo has all of them and remains one of the most entertaining foreign imports ever to play in England.

Ronaldo has the arrogance and ego to match the outrageous ability which lit up the Premier League during his six years at Old Trafford. A specialist in free-kicks, theatrics and wonder goals, Ronaldo certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

[youtube tsiMrl92RK0]

4. Eric Cantona, Manchester United (1992-97)

Eric Cantona combined creative style with artistic genius to inspire Manchester United in 1993 to their first English league title since 1967. Cantona had immaculate ball control, visionary passing ability and a clinical striking technique.

The charismatic Frenchman was an imposing figure on the pitch and inspired those around him with a fearless attitude and ability to win a match with a moment of brilliance. Skills, flicks and tricks, Cantona was a master of all. Relive his best moments below-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etAwiDwZHQc

3. Thierry Henry, Arsenal (1999-07)

Thierry Henry showed both pace and creativity in abundance during his time at Arsenal from 1999. The French World Cup winner dazzled fans with his manipulation of the football and ability to beat players with ease. With 226 goals for The Gunners, Henry remains one of the greatest players of his generation.

2. Gianfranco Zola, Chelsea (1996-03)

Audaciously talented Italian Gianfranco Zola used to study Diego Maradona as a youngster at Napoli and it seems some the Argentine’s genius rubbed off the on diminutive attacker.

Back heels, volleys and bicycle kicks, Zola had an astounding repertoire of tricks to entertain his beloved Chelsea supporters during seven years in West London. Zola was a truly wonderful player and the publicity shy player let his football do the talking. Take a look at his best moments below.

1. Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal (1995-2006)

Elegance, grace and poise are not the usual attributes associated to footballers but they sum up Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp perfectly. Signed for £7.5m in 1995, Bergkamp entertained Gunners fans with his exhilarating skills and exciting play. He scored over 100 goals during his time at Arsenal.

Former team-mate Henry sums up the ability of Bergkamp perfectly:

“When Dennis Bergkamp scores, it’s not a common goal; it’s always what we call ‘a Dennis Bergkamp goal’.”

Who would make your Top Ten? Leave your comments below. Alternatively you can read more of my blogs HERE or follow me on Twitter.

 


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