The thing is that when you’ve been around for a long time, like 80 years – and you can still remember the old days, good or not – you often find yourself the only one with a particular opinion. In the car the other day I listened to a group of sports experts on the BBC talking about modern day football. “Without a doubt,” said one with great conviction, “Lionel Messi is the greatest football player of all time!” This was followed by a silence so I assumed that the others in the room were all nodding in agreement.
Then a telephone rang in the back ground and an irate voice said “Wrong! Messi is not the greatest. Pele is the greatest!” a few minutes later the phone rang again and this time the caller shouted, “The greatest was Maradona! No one has ever equaled his football magic! A violent argument took place and I understood that the dispute was based on your age. If you were cheering when Maradona was scoring goals, he was your greatest. Likewise for all the others.
I tried this conversation on my grand children. The unanimous answer to who the greatest football player was, of course Messi. One son said Maradona and another older son opted for Johan Kruyff. As I expected after listening to the BBC program, an argument erupted.
“Who you think is or was the greatest, Pop?” asked a grandson.
“Well, in my day there was only one name that was heard in the football world.”
They all leaned forward.
“His name was Eusebio,” I said to a ring of blank faces.
Does anyone else in the room remember the great Eusebio? Its all a matter of age.