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Saturday 21 October 2017

Giles named in best ever team to miss World Cup

Johnny Giles. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Johnny Giles. Photo: Caroline Quinn

IRISH sports legend Johnny Giles has been named as one of the best international players never to have played in a World Cup tournament.

As a Manchester United and Leeds United player, he dominated at midfield in England in the 1960s.

His playing days were long over when Ireland finally 
qualified for their first World Cup in 1990.

His enduring reputation as one of the best midfielders in the history of the game has been strengthened further by being included in the 'Best XI Never To Play In A World Cup' team selected by the respected Pundit Arena website.

The Irish soccer legend and RTE pundit, who was capped 59 times for the Republic of Ireland during his 20-year career, was picked as a central midfielder on the team of 
football greats.

The website declared that the 73-year-old was: "One of the best talents to come out of Ireland."

It stated: "Giles was an old-fashioned hard-as-nails midfielder, but one who 
was also gifted with sublime talent.

"Giles dominated the English league during the 60s and was unlucky that his talents were not matched by his compatriots on the Irish national team."

The fantasy team would boast George Best, the 
Belfast-born Manchester United genius who also had little opportunity to shine at the highest level because of the lack of success of the Northern Ireland team.

legend

The 'if only' team also includes England's Ray Clemence as goalkeeper. In defence would be former 'Busby Babe' Duncan Edwards, Finland's Sami Hyypia, Manchester Utd legend Bill Foulkes and France's Jocelyn Angloma.

Also included are Manchester United and Welsh star Ryan Giggs and former Southampton star Matt Le Tissier, who only won eight caps for England.

Also present are Germany's Bernd Schuster and another player who many have labelled the greatest of all-time, late Real Madrid legend, Alfredo Di Stefano, who played for Argentina, Spain and Colombia.

hnews@herald.ie

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