PUNDIT is all about nostalgia and celebrating the iconic cult heroes of our beloved game. The following is a collection of the players we at PUNDIT, adore and love in the world of football. These players have moved us, created fond memories for us, stuck out in the crowd of the boring yea-sayers in football, and have just straight up meant something to us. We hope you'll agree that this is a collection of very special players.
It is an ongoing project and will most likely never be complete. It will constantly be updated, so please come back.
1. THIERRY HENRY
The coolest player to ever do it for The Gunners. Highbury was his playground and Arsenal never looked so sharp before Henry lead the front line. Perhaps the greatest player in Premier League history - can you believe he never won the Ballon d'Or?
2. ATTILIO LOMBARDO
This player is a cult-hero in its truest form. Just ask the Crystal Palace faithful. He tore up that right flank at Selhurst Park, but also managed to reach a European Cup final with Sampdoria. In Italy he won the Serie A with Sampdoria, Lazio, and Juventus while he also took home the European Cup with Vecchia Signora. What a player!
3. ROBBIE FOWLER
Maybe an unsung hero at Anfield? Always in the shadow of Michael Owen when discussing Liverpool strikers, but oh my what a striker! That celebration will always be the talking point when it comes to Fowler!
4. GARY SPEED
This Welsh legend sadly passed away all too soon. He won the league with Leeds in 1992, he went on to play an incredible 535 Premier League matches. Ever present, never injured, no nonsense. Pure class. Gary Speed is a true PUNDIT collectible.
5. PREDRAG MIJATOVIC
Making a name for himself first at Budocnost Titograd and since Partizan Belgrade, this Yugoslavian striker won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship with his home country. The highlight of his career arguably came in the 1998 Champions League final, where he scored the winner for Real Madrid against Juventus. Did you know he came second in the Ballon d'Or vote in 1997 behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane?
6. BARRY HAYLES
This striker is a true cult-hero for us at PUNDIT. Rose through the ranks of the English football league and ended up taking Fulham to the Premier League. An old school striker who would just pummel goals in. He wasn't too bad at Millwall and Plymouth either. He's still playing by the way at the age of 50, turning out for Windsor FC in the Combined Counties League. What a player!
7. BENITO CARBONE
Italians in English football is a special thing. Think of Paolo Di Canio, Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli to name a few. Benito Carbone is a far less mentioned name albeit maybe the choice of the football connoisseur. From eating pasta at his presentation to hitting home worldies at Sheffied Wednesday and Aston Villa - Benito is one of a kind.
8. FAUSTINO ASPRILLA
'Tino' as he is called in Tyneside arrived with big fanfare and in a big fur coat, but he suffered along with the Toon Army as Keegan's entertainers always seemed to come in second to Manchester United. His famous hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League will forever be part of the Colombian's legacy though.
9. MÁRIO JARDEL
This man couldn't leave the field in Portugal without having bagged a goal. This striker made Ronaldo's scoring average look like a joke. 174 matches and 183 goals for Porto and Sporting is ridiculous. He just never could quite cut it outside of Portugal - just ask Big Sam when he picked him up with Bolton. Jardel's personal life has been full of ups and downs as a quick google search will tell you but no one can ever take away his ability to bag goals. Oh, did we mention, he almost signed for Glasgow Rangers in 1996?!
10. PAUL GASCOIGNE
This man needs no introduction. This wild man could never be tamed, but his enthusiasm and style of play was always loved by everyone who saw him play. Always entertaining on the pitch and certainly off the pitch as well, there was always something going on with Gazza. When he got that yellow card, Gascoigne was distraught and we all felt it... A king in Rome, a hero in Glasgow, and a legend in his native Tyneside and with the Spurs faithful.