Picking the 10 greatest football matches ever is as complicated as selecting the 10 most beautiful gemstones from the Crown Jewels of England. Indeed, such an exercise borders on aesthetics, which is, by definition, quintessentially subjective. Nevertheless, I still managed to come up with a few objective criteria to do my rankings.
The rules are straightforward:
1) Competitive balance: No blowouts or one-sided affairs. Both competing teams should be evenly matched and the game itself highly disputed.
2) What’s on the line?: The greater the stake, the more impressive the achievement. The ability to perform well when it matters the most is the most valuable attribute in sports and football is no exception.
3) Quality of play: The game should feature crisp, creative, accurate passing and plays and continuity with a steady flow and rhythm and a minimum of hard fouls and botched plays.
4) Drama: Just like a compelling movie, the game should be riveting enough to send the casual fan into an emotional roller coaster ride across the spectrum from deep sorrow to absolute bliss.
5) Star power and individual brilliance: What’s a great movie without a great cast?