Fernando Redondo? Anyone?
I really hope I’m not the only football lover who remembers how great he was.
He is one whose memory has been shunned by popular football punditry in the last decade, but in my opinion he was as good a player as any central/defensive midfielder of his generation. He captained League and European Cup-winning sides. He was an incredibly gifted player who could keep the ball and dictate a game as well as Xavi and had dribbling ability similar to that of Andres Iniesta.
I cannot recall any significant remembrance of him in the mainstream sporting media (in England at least), which is a real shame. I hope I am wrong and that it is I who has somehow missed all instances of his legacy being recognised. However, I doubt this is the case because of how much football related commentary I digest.
If memory serves me correctly, Redondo is one of only a handful of players at the highest level to have ever refused to be paid when he had a long term injury and was not playing (whilst he was at AC Milan). When I heard this, he rose even higher in my estimation and his actions are some that many footballers today could learn from.
Whether or not anyone else really remembers him as a player, and whether or not there have been any column inches and television slots devoted to his career, I am choosing to publish this as a humble addition to whatever has already been written, in recognition of the effect his football had on me personally.
Here’s to a great player being recognised as such.