Maradona good, Pelé better, George Best.
The Northern Irish legend, who may be the only footballer to have an airport named after him (Belfast George Best International Airport), possessed finesse on the pitch and personality in vast and equal amounts. His speed, ball control and goal-scoring made him a star at Manchester United, where he led the Red Devils to a Champions League title in 1968. His world-class performances earned him mythical status and a legion of fans, including Noel Gallagher from Oasis, who called Best "the greatest footballer of all time."
There was also the off-the-pitch George Best, George Best the celebrity, the player who left behind a series of self-effacing, often hilarious and thoroughly quotable quotes.
A few favorites:
"They say I slept with seven Miss Worlds. I didn't. It was only four. I didn't turn up for the other three.
"When birds start to take their clothes off, they say: 'I'm not doing this because you're George Best.'"
"People always say I shouldn't be burning the candle at both ends. Maybe they haven't got a big enough candle."
"I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town."
"Well, I suppose that's the knighthood f***ed."