When you think about a football team, you look at the manager, the players, the technical bench and the fans. However, one important entity in a team is leadership. The coach does his job on the training ground and the Captain does the job on the pitch. He takes over the mantle on the field of play. He motivates his teammates and reminds them about their responsibilities on the pitch. Today, let us look at a few skippers from Europe who led by example in the last 20 years.
7. Steven Gerrard- Liverpool/England
— 00s Football (@footieinthe00s) July 28, 2018
Steven Gerrard was named Liverpool Captain in the year 2003 after the departure of Sami Hyypia. He remained Captain until his departure in 2015. He lifted 2 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Champions League, 3 League Cups, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. The only medal he missed was that of the English Premier League which has continued to evade the club since the early 1990s. Gerrard Captained England in EURO 2012 and later announced his retirement in 2014 after representing his country for 114 times. He was no doubt one of the best Captains of his generation.
6. John Terry- Chelsea/England
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) October 2, 2014
Jose Mourinho made John Terry Captain in 2004 and you will tend to believe that he made the right decision. He led the club through the most successful spell in history winning all available trophies in Club level. The former England International went on to skipper his country but a racism case involving Rio Ferdinand brother Anton Ferdinand brought him to the ground. He lost the armband and retired from international football. This led to the departure of the then Coach Fabio Capello.
5. Gianluigi Buffon- Juventus/Italy
When Italy needed a leader to stand up for the team, Buffon was always the first to raise his hand. He was so good for a very long time and he continues today at PSG now. He is now the most capped Italian player with 168 appearances. He won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and finished runners-up in 2012. He also captained his country in Euro 2016 in France but again they left empty-handed. The Italian Shot-stopper remained number one for Juventus for almost two decades.
4. Roy Keane- Manchester United/Ireland
Zinedine Zidane nips infront of Roy Keane during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match in 1999. pic.twitter.com/tqeOZkyodv
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) November 5, 2014
Manchester United most successful Captain in the last 20 years has to be Roy Keane. He took over the armband in 1997 after the departure of Eric Cantona and went on to win 17 trophies with the club. He lifted the Premier League trophy 7 times, FA Community Shield 4 times, FA Cup 4 times, UEFA Champions League 1 time and Intercontinental Cup once.
He represented the Republic of Ireland for 14 years, most of which he was the Captain of the team. He was named in the top 100 living players by Pele in 2004. He is regarded as one of the best ever defensive midfielders of his generation.