Zinedine Zidane, Juventus

The saying goes that strikers win games while defenders win titles. Playmakers? Playmakers win hearts.

Everybody has their favourite, be it one of their own team’s or someone they grew up watching and trying to emulate in the playground.

Trying to list the best from any era is, of course, entirely subjective, but here are 10 of my favourites from the 1990s…

Dejan Savicevic

A former Yugoslavia international with 56 caps over 13 years, Savicevic was born in what is now Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. He has been the head of the Montenegrin FA for 16 years.

Yet during his playing career, Savicevic made his name at Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade, where he won the 1991 European Cup in that famous cult team.

That earned Savicevic a move to Milan in 1992, where he would stay until the age of 32. He won three Serie A titles and the Champions League in 1994, playing off Daniele Massaro to link play between midfield and attack.

With Zvonimir Boban doing a similar job from a wide position, Milan crushed Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona ‘Dream Team’, with Savicevic making it 3-0 shortly after half-time.

Abedi Pele

George Weah, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o may make their own cases, but Abedi Pele might just be the greatest African footballer of all time.

Named as Man of the Match in the Champions League final in 1993 having been a losing finalist in 1991, Pele was the playmaker around some wonderful attacking players in those Marseille teams: Rudi Voller, Alen Boksic, Chris Waddle, Jean-Pierre Papin and Eric Cantona.

First winning the African Cup of Nations in 1982, Pele would eventually captain Ghana until his international retirement in 1998. He was named African Footballer of the Year in three consecutive years at the start of the 1990s.Continue reading

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