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10 most popular comparisons in modern football

“Beatles or Pink Floyd?”. “Seinfeld or Friends?”. “The Godfather or Goodfellas?”. “Sachin Tendulkar or Don B ...

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Editor's Pick 14 Aug 2015, 09:43 IST
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“Beatles or Pink Floyd?”. “Seinfeld or Friends?”. “The Godfather or Goodfellas?”. “Sachin Tendulkar or Don Bradman?”. “Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal?”. And of course, “Pele or Maradona?”. The list of this versus that could go on and on and on, right from teabags to fighter jets. I mean, what is popular culture, or indeed, life in itself, without knowing who’s better. After all, that’s the eternal mantra of what’s become a dog eat dog world – competition. We just cannot be, without finding out who bests who in a tight encounter. We want to know. We have to know. We need to know. No answer, no closure; as simple as that.But sometimes, though, our rationale appeals passionately to us to let it be, and enjoy the superstars for what they bring to whatever endeavour they excel at. Sit back, grab a pack of popcorn and just lose yourself in awe.Football too has many such stalwarts – players who are so similar in stature, yet so different. Them and their polarising effect is what gives the game that extra charm, that glues us all to television sets week in week out.Here’s a look at ten such cases in modern football, where one player simply can’t be separated from the other, in terms of quality.

#10 Marco Reus and Mario Gotze

Once upon a time in Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund has always been a proud, storied and hallowed club. With perhaps the most popular fans in the game today, the Westfalenstadion has seen a huge deal of heady times. However, the club reached its nadir in 2005, when they went bankrupt and needed heated rivals, Bayern Munich to bail them out. They recovered. And in three years’ time, a new era dawned upon them – Jurgen Klopp had arrived.

Klopp’s famous Dormund side had two young Germans who were, and are adored by fans all over the world. Marco Reus and Mario Gotze played the game with such zeal, chutzpah and joie de vivre, that the whole world took notice – these kids weren’t just flashes in the pan; they were the worst nightmare of defenders across Germany. For the better part of 3 seasons, the No10 and No11 tied defenders in knots, along with their No9, Robert Lewandowski.

As is the case with the big bad world of football, world class players can only stay for so long, before moving to pastures anew. Today, the Polish striker shares the dressing room with Gotze at Bayern Munich, while Reus is the flagbearer of a resurgent Dortmund unit. However, “Gotzeus” is a part of popular imagination so much, the memories of these two in yellow won’t fade for a long time. 

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