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10 greatest football captains of all time

  • The criteria of a great captain is far from absolute, however, these players have inspired their teams to greatness.
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 16 Mar 2017, 13:19 IST

#9 Francisco Gento

The selfless captain

There are some players who make obvious captains, the tough-tackling central defenders, the souls who put their life and bodies on the line for their teams and the midfield generals who dictate the game, bending how they see fit and forcing opponents to submit.

Then are the other type of captains, the quieter ones who still hold their authority. It is into this category that Gento – a winger once mocked for his inability to keep up with his body – falls. 

The Spaniard’s work ethic and his desire for self-improvement would be influential to both the team and Real Madrid, and by the time the Los Blancos started to dominate Europe, Gento was a core part of their plan. That side would go on to win five European Cups, with Gento combining brilliantly with Alfredo Di Stefano.

However, by 1966, the team that made it to the final, did not have the same aura, but what they had was sheer grit and determination perfectly epitomised by their captain Gento, who had worked incredibly hard to get there.

That was the man’s secret, while others growled and shouted at their players to get in line and even lead by example, Gento led the team with his performances on the pitch and his presence was all that was needed.

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Published 16 Mar 2017, 12:04 IST
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