From Cantona’s kung-fu kick to Ronaldo’s breakdown, the Match of the Day stars all picked the top 10… but do you agree?

WE spend a lot of time doing Match Of The Day together.

Every Saturday during the season, two guests and I would get to the set a little before lunchtime.

Match Of The Day host Gary Linkeker


Match Of The Day host Gary LinkekerCredit: BBC
Co-presenter Alan Shearer makes the top 10


Co-presenter Alan Shearer makes the top 10Credit: BBC
Micah Richards is also available to give his opinion on football's top 10


Micah Richards is also available to give his opinion on football’s top 10Credit: taken from BBC

We, along with the producer, director and production staff gathered in a small office with a television screen and started a long day of watching football which was actually quite enjoyable.

Throughout the day, there are many jokes and laughs. We cheer when our team scores. We narrowly buried our heads when they conceded a goal.

And, in Alan Shearer’s case, whenever his beloved Newcastle let him down, we would scream. So many, so much.

But what we do, above all, is talk. We argue. We argue.

And we tell stories. We try to outdo each other to see who can get the loudest laughs.

It was those bottomless conversations that inspired what would eventually become the podcast, the Top 10 Match Of The Day show, and now the book I wrote with Micah Richards and Alan Shearer.

It’s an opportunity to tell those stories to a wider audience, to provide a bit of insight into how we played the game then and how we view it now, and perhaps also to address the issue. resolve some of the ongoing controversies in football.

Who is the greatest defender of all time? Was my day with Alan really harder than when Micah was playing?

Can you be sure that Lionel Messi is better than Diego Maradona? And how many teams did Micah support when he was growing up?

Please disagree with our conclusions. After all, they are nothing more than personal opinions.

I would ask you to tell us exactly where you think we went wrong, but I know that when it comes to football, nobody needs an invitation to do it.

That, after all, is the fun of it.

  • Excerpted from Match Of The Day: Top Ten Of Everything, by Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards (BBC Books, £20)

Bonders moment

Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at a fan as Manchester United play at Crystal Palace


Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick at a fan as Manchester United play at Crystal PalaceCredits: Action Pictures

1) Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick at the fan

2) Paolo Di Canio shoves referee Paul Alcock

3) Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer fight on the field

4) Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic

5) Kevin Keegan’s “I love it” quote

6) Martin Keown celebrates at Ruud van Nistelrooy

7) Alan Pardew headbutts David Meyler

8) Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira clash in the tunnel

9) Temuri Ketsbaia versus advertising hoarding

10) Sunderland-Liverpool and the goal of the beach ball

ALAN says: “The Cantona moment was total chaos. I’m watching it on TV and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. You know he’s different – high collar, arrogant and cocky – but that’s on another level. It was a scandal when it happened, and it’s still the weirdest moment I’ve ever seen in football.”

Player of all time

The great Lionel Messi takes first place in the list of the best players of all time


The great Lionel Messi takes first place in the list of the best players of all timeCredit: AP: Associated Press

1) Lionel Messi

2) Cristiano Ronaldo

3) Pele

4) Diego Maradona

5) Ronaldo

6) Johan Cruyff

7) Zinedine Zidane

8) George Best

9) Michel Platini

10) Franz Beckenbauer

GARY said: “It must be Messi, for his longevity is as much as anything else. Maradona’s problems off the pitch meant that his prime lasted only three or four years. In the end, it’s not about which of the two is the highest that matters [honours], but the one who stayed at the top the longest, and that must be Messi. ”

Villain Pantomine

1) Joey Barton (Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR)

2) Robbie Savage (Leicester, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Derby County)

3) El Hadji Diouf (Liverpool, Bolton)

4) Craig Bellamy (Norwich, Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City)

5) Diego Costa (Chelsea)

6) Dennis Wise (Wimbledon, Chelsea, Leicester)

7) Mike Dean (referee)

8) Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)

9) Ben Thatcher (Wimbledon, Tottenham, Leicester, Manchester City)

10) Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal, Manchester City)

MICAH says: “I like Robbie Savage off the pitch, but I don’t have time for him. He spent most of his time trying to appeal to other players. He’s not going into a game to focus on his team or the way he’s playing – he’s focusing on pissing off the opponent as much as possible. ”


Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp scores top goal


Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp scores top goalCredit: Getty

1) Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Arsenal v Newcastle United

2) Trevor Sinclair, Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley

3) Jack Wilshere, Arsenal v Norwich City

4) Thierry Henry, Arsenal v Man United

5) Wayne Rooney, Man United v Newcastle United

6) Paolo Di Canio, West Ham v Wimbledon

7) Matt Le Tissier, Southampton v Newcastle United

8) Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace v Man City

9) Robin van Persie, Man United v Aston Villa

10) Vincent Kompany, Man City v Leicester City

MICAH says: “There’s something about pure team goal that I’ve always loved, and there aren’t many better examples of it than Jack Wilshere for Arsenal. All that, small changes to the ball – that’s how football is played. “


first) Kevin Keegan: “They’ve got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and I’ll love it, love it, if we beat them.”

2) Eric Cantona: “When seagulls follow fishermen, it’s because they think sardines will sometimes be thrown into the sea.”

3) Jose Mourinho: “I think I’m a special person.”

4) Roy Keane: “They had a couple of drinks and maybe a shrimp sandwich, and they didn’t know what was going on on the field.”

5) Alan Hansen: “You can’t win anything with kids.”

6) Alex Ferguson: “It’s getting boring now. I call it beggar. ”

7) Rafa Benitez: “I want to talk about the truth.”

8) Jose Mourinho: “They brought the bus in and parked the bus in front of goal.”

9) Tim Flowers: “Don’t tell me about the bottle, don’t tell me about the bottling, because that’s the bottle out there.”

10) Nigel Pearson: “If you don’t know the answer to that question, I think you’re an ostrich.”

GARY says: “That Keegan speech can be pretty hard to watch now and it may seem a bit slick from time to time, but it’s important to remember that it could have gone down in history very differently. If Newcastle go on to win titles, it won’t prove that Alex Ferguson is a master of wits, but Kevin’s passion and faith have kept his side going. A great quote depends on its context”.

Celebrating the World Cup

Could it be anything other than Diego Maradona's'Hand of God'?


Could it be anything other than Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’?Credit: Bob Thomas Sports Photography – Getty

first) The hand of God (1986)

2) Zidane’s Headbutt (2006)

3) Ronaldo’s Incident (1998)

4) Gazza’s Tears (1990)

5) Brazil 1-7 Germany (2014)

6) Nigel de Jong’s boot (2010)

7) Goals by Carlos Alberto (1970)

8) Marco Tardelli’s Scream (1982)

9) Ronaldinho’s free kick (2002)

10) Toto Schillaci (1990)

ALAN says: “The Ronaldo controversy and uncertainty before 1998 was one of the great mysteries of the World Cup, but for a player of Zinedine Zidane’s level who could leave football like him – headbutt. Marco Materazzi then trudged through the trophy and down the tunnel – is one of the defining images of the game. ”

Prem champagne

Sergio Aguero scored in Man City's 2012 campaign


Sergio Aguero scored in Man City’s 2012 campaignCredit: News Group Newspaper Ltd

1) Leicester City (2016)

2) Blackburn Rovers (1995)

3) Arsenal (2004)

4) Manchester City (2012, above)

5) Manchester United (1999)

6) Chelsea (2006)

7) Manchester City (2018)

8) Liverpool (2020)

9) Arsenal (1998)

10) Manchester United (2008)

GARY says: “Leicester is so unlikely to win the tournament that I tweeted that I would introduce Match Of The Day in my panties if they kept doing it. I thought there was absolutely no chance of it happening, but it did. It’s been painful for the past few weeks, wait and see if they can do it, and appearing topless on television isn’t great, but I would do it all over again.”

Gary Lineker surprised after Cristiano Ronaldo was named Substitute of the Month over Salah ‘who should have won comfortably From Cantona’s kung-fu kick to Ronaldo’s breakdown, the Match of the Day stars all picked the top 10… but do you agree?

Huynh Nguyen

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