Roy Keane voted Ireland's greatest footballer of all time

Roy Keane voted Ireland's greatest footballer of all time

Roy Keane has been voted Ireland's greatest footballer of all time in a nation-by-nation poll of the game's most legendary talents.

The Cork-born Manchester Utd icon has been ranked the best player to represent the Republic of Ireland, while, unsurprisingly, George Best was voted Northern Ireland's finest-ever soccer star.

Past and present players from the 60 leading international teams were analysed by experts from popular US-based sports site, 'Stadium Talk'.

Some decisions were clear-cut, with iconic stars Pele, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer topping the 'Best Soccer Players by Country' rankings for Brazil, The Netherlands and Germany respectively.

But votes for other leading soccer nations, including for World Cup holders France and South American giants Argentina, went down to the wire.

In France's case Zinedine Zidane got the nod over Michel Platini, whilst Barcelona ace Lionel Messi edged out legendary compatriot Diego Maradona to be crowned Argentina's greatest-ever player.

Closer to home Bobby Charlton is described as "the leading light of the England team that won the World Cup in 1966", whilst Wales legend John Charles edged out Gareth Bale and Kenny Dalglish beat off the challenge of Denis Law to be voted Scotland's best-ever player.

In a glowing tribute to George Best, the Manchester Utd and Northern Ireland legend is described as "the most talented player born in the British Isles", whose talent "burned brighter than anyone else of his generation".

But the writers also acknowledge the Belfast-born legend's tragically short career, which "was lost by his mid-20s as the ravages of alcohol took hold".

Roy Keane is also singled out for praise as the Republic's best-ever player and "one of football's born leaders".

The writers note:

Roy Keane was a fearsome presence in Manchester Utd's midfield, a player who drove his teammates on to higher planes of achievements. He is known for his fire and power, but he also was a player of genuine class and poise.

Meanwhile, other notable mentions in the extensive poll include Spain's Xavi, Italy's Paolo Maldini, Hungary's Ferenc Puskas, Portugal's Chirstiano Ronaldo, former Norway international and Man Utd coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Egypt and Liverpool star Mo Salah.

In summing up the attributes that make a great player, the site's judges added:

"What constitutes true greatness in a soccer player?

"It can be many things: the sheer number of goals, unmatchable skills, leadership ability and inspirational character.

"The greatest players in soccer history possess at least one of these qualities. Some exhibit them all."

More on this topic

Ryan Kent on target as Rangers beat Braga to reach Europa League last 16Ryan Kent on target as Rangers beat Braga to reach Europa League last 16

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United will suffer being out of the Champions LeagueOle Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United will suffer being out of the Champions League

Jorginho urges Chelsea not to dwell on Bayern Munich defeatJorginho urges Chelsea not to dwell on Bayern Munich defeat

Manchester City register appeal against UEFA ban with CASManchester City register appeal against UEFA ban with CAS

More in this Section

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

Mayo hope chapter is finally closed on a sorry sagaMayo hope chapter is finally closed on a sorry saga

Keith Ricken rails against U20 callsKeith Ricken rails against U20 calls

Serge Gnabry scores twice as Bayern Munich give Chelsea mountain to climbSerge Gnabry scores twice as Bayern Munich give Chelsea mountain to climb


Lifestyle

I don't remember a lot of shouting in my household growing up, and neither does my twin.Mum's the Word: How did my parents manage to create a calm household?

The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards have been revealed. These are the destinations that came out tops.3 emerging destinations to add to your travel wish list – according to TripAdvisor data

The recent death of Caroline Flack has once again brought the issue of internet trolls and cancel culture back into public discourse.Learning Points: The reality is we all play a role in cancel culture

Rita de Brún speaks with Sean McKeown, Fota Wildlife Park director and longtime Cork resident.‘You’ve got to make the changes you want to see’, says Fota Wildlife director

More From The Irish Examiner