Ranking the Top 10 Footballers You'd Most Like to Share a Pint of Guinness with
It’s an oft-heard conversation between mates: the footballers who, if given the opportunity, you would most like to share a pint of Guinness with down at your local (and those who you would not want to).
Here are the top 10 players who I have gone for, with my choices being based on purely personal reasons that will be expanded upon further.
10. Paolo Di Canio
The fiery Roman’s managerial reputation may have taken something of a battering since his forced departure from the Stadium of Light last September, however, when it comes to having to share a pint with a footballer, who better to do so with than Paolo Di Canio?
Sure, it may be difficult at times trying to even get a word in edgeways with the maverick, but there would be no problem at all as far as possible topics of conversation are concerned. Tthe Italian has had a colourful playing and coaching career, plus Di Canio is known for speaking his mind at all times!
9. Mario Balotelli
OK, so I am looking to have some fun while being entertained, so who better to call upon than Super Mario?
However, it is more the surprise element that comes with any meeting with the AC Milan front man that would make taking in a pint with Mario Balotelli such an appealing thought.
Such an encounter may very well start in the pub, but goodness knows where it would end.
8. Eric Cantona
There has always been, and still is judging by the events of past week, an air of danger and mystery that accompanies the former Manchester United star, which would make taking in a pint with Eric Cantona an intriguing experience.
The Frenchman was arrested and cautioned by police last Wednesday after allegedly punching a paparazzi who took a picture of him and a female companion having lunch together in a pub in Primrose Hill in London.
Now, that is the sort of drama and excitement that would make meeting King Eric a never-to-be forgotten experience, although conversation may have to be focused on the 47-year-old’s new career as an actor as opposed to his previous exploits at Old Trafford, which he rarely ever speaks about these days.
7. Glenn Hysen
This is a choice made from the heart as I did recently share a pint with the still ice-cool Swede in London. Unfortunately, there was not nearly enough time to discuss the myriad of topics I had wanted to.
The ex-Liverpool centre back is one of the few players who can explain just why the Merseysiders fell so spectacularly off their perch, to coin a phrase from Sir Alex Ferguson, in the early '90s since he arrived at Anfield in the summer of 1989.
Not only that, but Glenn Hysen also had a glittering career spanning three decades with Sweden, Fiorentina and IFK Gotenborg, including playing against FC Barcelona in the semi-finals of the 1986 European Cup, to really get one’s teeth into.
6. Franz Beckenbauer
Just in terms of being purely star-struck, Franz Beckenbauer is my ideal choice, as there is something deeply impressive and inspirational about the legendary German.
Not only that, but who better to discuss the game at the highest level, both domestically and internationally, in the '60s and '70s than with the one-time Bayern Munich and West Germany captain, who has been there, done that and gotten every single possible T-shirt?
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
If I had to choose between the game’s two modern greats, it would be Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who gets my nod over his rival from Barcelona simply on the basis that I would have more fun with the former!
Everyone will have their own opinions on the two multiple FIFA Ballon d’Or winners, both on and off the field of play, however, the Portuguese has always struck me as a humble person who, unlike many of his fellow professionals, holds a number of considered and interesting views on a wide range of different subjects.
For those reasons, I would imagine CR7 being enlightening company over a beer.
4. Jamie Carragher
Sure, it could be somewhat problematic actually understanding the Scouser’s thick Liverpudlian accent, but if that hurdle could be overcome, then ex-Reds captain Jamie Carragher would surely be a fascinating drinking companion over a pint of Guinness (or two).
For one thing, similar to Di Canio, the now Sky Sports TV pundit has never been one to hold back when it comes to giving forthright and honest opinions on all kinds of various topics in the game.
And with a glittering and trophy-laden 17-year career at the top, there would be no shortage of subjects with which to discuss with the former defender either.
3. Iker Casillas
If Carragher represents a pick from the heart, then Saint Iker comes from the head.
As someone who also plays in goal, I have always followed the Spaniard’s career especially closely. I have watched Iker Casillas develop and grow into the best in his position on Planet Football these past 15 years.
And as one of the most decorated footballers of the modern era, Casillas would surely make for a fascinating companion over a pint of Guinness—or San Miguel, maybe.
2. John Barnes
For me, John Barnes is the greatest footballer I have ever seen live in the English top flight, especially between his peak years of 1988 to 1990, and it is for that reason that the one-time winger is at No. 2 on my list.
Another added attraction of sharing a pint of Guinness with Barnes is that the Englishman also now holds some of the most respected and intelligent views on the game, which should make for a more than enjoyable drink.
1. Diego Maradona
Well, who else could it really be as my first-choice drinking guest that a certain Diego Armando Maradona?
For a start, the larger-than-life character is widely recognised as being one of the two greatest players the game has ever seen, but let’s face it—the Argentinian would be a far more appealing and riveting person with which to share a pint of Guinness with than Pele!
As long as there are no ugly spats with the paparazzi, police or members of the public and Diego keeps himself under control, none of which are givens by the way, then what could possibly be a greater highlight than an evening with Maradona?