World Football: Top 10 Football Statues and Monuments

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIDecember 13, 2011

World Football: Top 10 Football Statues and Monuments

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    Great football legends can be immortalized in a variety of ways and both statues and monuments fall into that category.

    The most recent unveiling of statues came when Arsenal displayed replicas of club legends Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and Herbert Chapman.

    A player or manager's importance to the club, or even the country, is of utmost importance when deciding whether they should be presented with such an honor.

    There are many statues dedicated to football heroes around the world, but the ones on this list are here for a variety of reasons.

    It is undoubtedly a little influenced by personal preference, but to be on this list the statues had to fulfill one or all of these criteria: an important player, placement of statue in front of an important stadium, and the memorability of the statue pose itself. (That is basically where the personal preference kicks in.)

    Unfortunately some statues may not make the cut for whatever reason, so feel free to add them in your comments.

    Here is a list of the top 10 football statues and monuments.

Bobby Moore: Wembley Stadium

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    Bobby Moore's statue is well placed, good-looking and in front of one of England's most important stadiums. Yes, this is a new version of the stadium, but I am thinking more about the name Wembley than anything.

    Moore's statue has the air of a football great about it and deserves to be looked upon with awe. It is set looking out of the stadium on the north side and gives the feeling that Moore is looking over the incoming fans.

    On the base of the statue is a plaque containing the rest of the England 1966 team along with an inscription about the World Cup winners and a quote from Jeff Powell, a football journalist and one of Moore's closet friends.

    The statue itself is a bronze piece standing around 20 feet tall and weighing about two tons.

Carlos Valderrama: Eduardo Santos Stadium

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    You may not have heard about the stadium or the club that plays in it, but surely you have heard of Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama.

    Valderrama's 22-foot tall bronze statue is in front of the stadium in which his hometown club, Union Magdalena, plays. Valderamma started his great career at the club and it was very fitting that this honor was placed in this location.

    There is not much else to be said about the statue. Valderrama's hair and pose only helped me in my decision to put it on a list such as this. Valderrama himself wasn't too much of a slouch on the pitch.

Eusebio: Estadio da Luz

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    Eusebio actually has two statues. One is outside the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. While that statue is said to be a replica of this one in front of Estadio da Luz, it pales in comparison.

    The sleek look of this statue emulates an exact movement of the "Black Panther" from back in his playing days. Add that to the fact that it is placed in front of the stadium of one of the most storied clubs in Portugal and Europe.

    Eusebio achieved his fare share of accolades during his time as a player and deserved this magnificent honor.

Billy Wright: Molineux Stadium

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    While the campaign is still going on for Billy Wright to be posthumously granted knighthood, Wright still has a stand and a statue in Molineux Stadium.

    Wright's presence in this statue and the contrasting black and bronze, which give an effect similar to the black and gold stripes of Wolves, make this a captivating statue. Wright is one of the rare one-club men —although it was not quite so rare back in his day—and those men are usually honored with statues.

    Wright was a well-respected player in his time and—along with being the first football player in the world to earn 100 caps—he won his share of First Division trophies as well as a Footballer of the Year award.

Sir Stanley Matthews: Brittania Stadium

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    Sir Stanley Matthews has a set of three statues, all of which show the great player at a different stage in his career. The statues are all nine feet tall and were sculpted using clay that was dug up from a nearby area.

    Matthews' statue may have been one of the few that involved some help from the fans. One of the sculptors, Carl Payne, said, "Historically it is absolutely correct. People who knew Stan even donated his old football boots so  we could get it authentic — right down to the last eyelet."

    Sir Stanley was know as "The Wizard of the Dribble" and this honor is definitely fitting.

World Cup Sculpture: Near Upton Park

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    This monument depicts a great moment in English and world football history. The quartet of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson were captured celebrating the 1966 World Cup triumph.

    The reasoning behind the monument being so close to Upton Park is that three of the players involved—Moore, Hurst and Peters—were all West Ham players at the time.

    The sculpture itself is 16 feet tall and weighs four tons.

Thierry Henry : Emirates Stadium

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    Thierry Henry's statue is very new to the statue world, but I like it all the same. Any Arsenal fan—and I'm sure a lot of opposing fans as well—will recognize that signature slide and stare from Henry.

    While two other Arsenal greats, Tony Adams and Herbert Chapman, received statues, Henry's pose blows them away and does exactly what I think most of these statues should do by bringing in the nostalgia of the good old days.

    Henry was very emotional at the unveiling of the statue and that action that will endear him even more to the Arsenal faithful.

Tom Finney: National Football Museum

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    Tom Finney's statue is pretty nice. It was inspired by the famous photo, picture No. 9 on this list, of Finney beating two defenders.

    Finney was one of the greatest English players in the game and spent is entire career at Preston North End. While he may not have received too many team awards, Finney was a Footballer of the Year twice during his career, 1953-54 and 1956-57.

The United Trio (George Best, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton): Old Trafford Stadium

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    Manchester United's "Holy Trinity" were honored in a statue after George Best's death. The image of these three players standing together, especially with Denis Law's goal celebration, is a sight for any football fan.

    Law, Charlton and Best contributed a great amount to the history of Manchester United and world football as a whole.

    The history of the club, the look of the statue and the magnitude of the players is what makes this statue one of the best.

Deportivo Tachira Monument: San Cristobal, Venezuela

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    "Los Tres Grandes del Deportivo Tachira." Pardon me for being rusty in my Spanish but this basically translates to The Three Greats of Deportivo Tachira. Who?

    Yes, okay many people will not know about this club and I will include myself in that but the statue is what caught me here. When searching for various photos, I came across this trio and could not forget them.

    Deportivo Tachira is one of the more popular and storied clubs in Venezuela and the trio in this monument are, Laureano Jaimes, William Mendez and Carlos Maldonado.

    I think the monument depicting these three players, regardless of their overall stature in World Football, is a pretty good one. I could not forget it and I think that's one of the things statues are supposed to be, unforgettable.