There are only so many clips available for Youtube to uncover. And those it has come up with don’t answer all of our questions. Such as, has the game we love, the game we suspect has more significance to it than just entertainment, topped out? Have we already seen it at its best; have we already seen its best players?
A lot of these questions can be answered by film, and complicated by it. There is more footage of Pele than Matthews, and more of Matthews than of Sindelaar or of Dixie Dean. Most of football history is lost to us. Dean scored 60 goals in 42 league matches in the 1920s; 100 goals in 60 matches altogether. We’ll never see him do more than train. (Some impressive footage does remain of this).
I think that enough film remains of George Best to answer the oldest question about him: was he better than Matthews, Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona? (I’d add Finney to the mix).
Only Maradona was on camera enough to allow a proper analysis. But I think there’s enough in this film of Best to clinch the debate.
Only – this doesn’t remind me of Pele, or of Maradona. It reminds me of Matt Le Tissier.