Sunday, 16 June 2013

In Praise Of... Fernando Redondo

First of all, this:

Most great players get a season or a competition that gets to define them.  Fernando Redondo managed to distil everything that made him exceptional into one game.  In April 2000 in the second leg the a Champions League quarter final with Man Utd The Prince played in central midfield in what was closest to a 3-3-2-2 formation that doesn’t make anymore sense thirteen years down the line.  That Steve McManaman was the closest team mate to him should help explain just how on his own he was.  It shouldn’t have worked.  And with anyone but Fernando it wouldn’t have.  Fabio Capello once described him as the tactically perfect player.  He wasn’t wrong.  Alex Ferguson said afterwards that he’d never seen Roy Keane so outclassed.  Without Redondo that formation wouldn’t have held together.  He did it masterfully.  You don’t really get midfielders like The Prince anymore.  He could do anything.  Defensive or offensive depending on what the game in front of him demanded.  The assist for the third goal is as good as anything you’ll ever see.  Magnets in his boots reckoned Fergusson.  Injury after his move to Milan robbed us of seeing more of him in his prime, although the fact he refused to accept his salary while injured and even tried to return a house and car loaned him by the club should give you an idea of why he’s held in such esteem.  That he’s often regarded as not fulfilling his talent after winning two Champions Leagues and the Primera Division twice should tell you how good he was.

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