George Best

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George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team . In 1968, he won the European Cup with Manchester United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year . The Irish Football Association described him as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland". [2]

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The rising star of English football, Best was catapulted to superstar status at the age of 19 when he scored two goals in a European Cup quarter-final match against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz on 9 March 1966. The Portuguese media dubbed him "O Quinto Beatle", "the fifth Beatle" in English, and on the team's return to England Best was photographed in his new sombrero with the headline, "El Beatle". His talent and showmanship made him a crowd and media favourite, and he went from being headline news in the back pages to the front pages. Other nicknames included the "Belfast Boy", and he was often referred to as Georgie, or Geordie in his native Belfast. However United failed to win any major honours in the 1965–66 season, and Best was injured from 26 March onwards with a twisted knee following a bad tackle from a Preston North End player. However United staff claimed it was light ligament damage so as to keep Best on the field for the rest of the campaign. He had little faith in the United medical staff, and so he secretly saw Glentoran's physiotherapist, who readjusted his ligaments in a painful procedure. His last game of the season, his knee strapped-up, came on 13 April, and ended in a 2–0 defeat to Partizan Belgrade at Partizan Stadium.

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