The Galáctico Era at Real Madrid was something truly extraordinary to behold. Effectively the best club in the world decided that it was above archaic footballing conventions like defending or having a manager and instead would focus on simply collecting the biggest attacking names in the game, scoring more goals and selling more replica kits than anyone else in the world. It half worked.
It was during this period that Florentino Perez, the club president and instigator of the policy, gave the world the now infamous quote “We will not miss Makélélé.” A player so good that he has a position named after him. Off the pitch the programme produced equally stark results; between Vicente del Bosque (sacked June 2003) and Fabio Capello (sacked June 2007) the club employed and fired no less than five managers.
The apex of this delirious joyride is seen as the signing of David Beckham and at various points he was joined by Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate but the Englishman who adapted best and won the most during this period was Steve McManaman. Playing alongside the likes of Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Ronaldo (OG), Figo, Hierro and Raúl, McManaman walked with giants and measured up. Here he is showing why against Real Oviedo.
Marco Van Basten is usually sited as producing the gold standard of volleyed goals. I think this one is better.
Midfield General (ret.)