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Michel Platini is next to Thierry Henry the greatest goal scorer in the history of Les Bleus, France's national football team, with 41 goals (and with a higher scoring average than Henry) and regarded as one of the most lauded and prominent figures in international football of all time. The football icon Michel Platini has served as a successful offensive midfielder, captain as well as manager of the French team. After his career, he did become president of the UEFA which ended in scandalous forms and cracked Platini's good reputation.
Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst MBE (born 8 December 1941) is an English former professional footballer.
A striker, he remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, when England recorded a 4–2 victory over West Germany at Wembley Stadium in 1966. Hurst began his career with West Ham United, where he scored 242 goals in 500 first team appearances.
There he won the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965. He was sold to Stoke City in 1972 for £80,000. After three seasons with Stoke he finished his Football League career with West Bromwich Albion in 1976. Hurst went to play football in Ireland (Cork Celtic) and the USA (Seattle Sounders) before returning to England to manage non-league Telford United. He also coached in the England set-up before a two-year stint as Chelsea manager from 1979 to 1981. He later coached Kuwait SC before leaving the game to concentrate on his business commitments.
In total he scored 24 goals in 49 England appearances, and as well as success in the 1966 World Cup he also appeared at UEFA Euro 1968 and the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He also had a brief cricket career, making one first-class appearance for Essex in 1962, before concentrating on football.
Pavel Nedved was born in Cheb (Czechoslovakia) on August 30, 1972. He was a professional football player.
In Czechoslovakia he played at Dukla and at Sparta Praga; he played 91 times for the Czech Republic national team. Since 1996 he played in Italy, first at Lazio and then, from 2001 to 2009, at Juventus FC.
Vice-champion of Europe, both as club and national player, thanks to the results achieved first in 1996 with the Czech Republic and then with Juventus, in 2003 he won the Golden ball award.
In August 2009 he announced the end of his football career as a player. He is considered one of the best midfield player in Europe, and he is the foreign player who played for the longest period at Juventus. He is the 7th best foreign goal scorer ever of Juventus.
Niall Quinn learned his trade at Arsenal before enjoying a successful career in the top flight. The Dublin-born striker could have forged a successful career for himself in either Gaelic football, hurling or Australian Rules Football before electing for football. Quinn joined Arsenal shortly after his 17th birthday and made a goalscoring debut in December 1985 against Liverpool.
The tall striker played 12 times that season before holding down a regular place in the 1986/87 campaign under new manager George Graham.
Quinn scored eight goals in 35 appearances as Arsenal finished fourth in Division One but struggled to hold down a regular place in the following two campaigns. He did start in Arsenal's 1987 League Cup final success against Liverpool, however, and earned 13 caps for the Republic of Ireland during his seven years at Highbury. Quinn left to join Manchester City for £700,000 in March 1990 with a goalscoring record of 20 goals in 81 starts.
The powerful striker enjoyed a successful six-year spell at Maine Road - but the best was yet to come. Quinn joined Sunderland in August 1996 for a club-record £1.3 million before going on to forge a successful strike partnership with Kevin Phillips and help cement the Black Cats' place in the Premier League.
Renowned as one of the country’s most technically gifted and prolific finishers, Kelly Smith is considered one of the greatest players ever to pull on an England shirt.
Smith’s talent was evident from a very young age, showcasing her predatory instincts with Pinner Park before honing them further at Wembley Ladies. The teenager caught the eye in two seasons with Wembley, earning a move to Women’s Premier League titans Arsenal Women.
Despite enjoying a successful first year at Meadow Park – proving instrumental in the title-clinching victory over Liverpool – Smith sought to broaden her horizons, opting to join the more competitive women’s football scene in the United States.
She turned professional with the New Jersey Lady Stallions in 1999, but two long-term injuries and the collapse of the Women’s United Soccer Association affected her career Stateside, though she continued to feature regularly for England Women when fit.
She returned to North London with Arsenal in 2004, overcoming injury to seal another title for the Gunners. Smith’s prowess was never in doubt, and she finished the following season as the WPL’s top scorer, earning another championship medal to boot, and was similarly destructive throughout Arsenal’s famous Quadruple-winning campaign, finding the net 30 times in just 34 games.
"KELLY IS ONE OF THOSE PLAYERS WHO COME ALONG ONLY ONCE OR TWICE IN A LIFETIME. IN THE MEN'S GAME YOU'D THINK OF DIEGO MARADONA OR MESSI, PLAYERS WITH A UNIQUE TALENT, AND THAT'S WHAT KELLY HAS." HOPE POWELL
Smith’s reputation as a world-class forward led to fervent interest across the pond, and, after completing a further Double with the Gunners, she once again moved to the US, this time with Boston Breakers. Despite struggling with further injuries, Kelly still managed a positive goal return in Massachusetts, before the dissolution of Women’s Professional Soccer once again left the striker without a club.
Now in demand, Smith rejected overtures from top European clubs to see out her career at Arsenal, where she combined playing duties with a coaching role.
On the international stage, Smith was every bit as clinical. Just months after completing her GCSEs, the 17-year-old netted her first ever England goal, and went on to score 45 more over the next twenty years, leading the line for the Lionesses at three European Championships and two World Cups. She currently tops England Women's all-time goalscoring charts; only Lineker, Charlton and Rooney have scored more for the men's side.
Smith was much more than just a potent centre-forward. Her ability to control and manipulate the ball was second to none, and her exquisite passing skills and range of vision offered teammates different options in the final third.
Her quick feet and lightning pace, particularly in her earlier career, made Smith one of the most rounded, feared and respected forwards in world football.
Principal English clubs: Wembley Ladies, Arsenal Women Honours: 4 Women’s Premier Leagues, 3 FA Women’s Cups, 2 Women's Premier League Cups, 1 UEFA Women’s Cup Caps: 117 (46 goals)
Homare Sawa (澤 穂希, Sawa Homare, born 6 September 1978) is a former Japanese professional women's football player. She captained the Japan national team to 2011 World Cup title and the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2012, she was named the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year. She previously played for the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), Nippon TV Beleza, the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), and INAC Kobe Leonessa in the Nadeshiko League Division 1.
Thierry Henry, in full Thierry Daniel Henry, (born August 17, 1977, Châtillon, France), French football (soccer) player and manager who scored more international goals than any other player in France’s history and who is considered one of the most prolific goal scorers of his time.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger shifted Henry to striker, giving him more responsibility at the cutting edge of the attack, and the Frenchman soon revealed his true ability. With a deceivingly casual approach, Henry glided past opposing players, initiated and finished moves, and scored goals either with a light touch from short range or fiercely from long distances. In eight seasons with Arsenal he scored a club-record 174 goals, and the team won two league titles (2002, 2004) and two Football Association Cup trophies (2002, 2003). In mid-2004 Henry clinched the 2003–04 Golden Shoe as Europe’s leading association football goal scorer (with 30) and helped Arsenal to another Premier League championship. Henry was honoured as European Footballer of the Year for 2002 and 2003 and finished runner-up as Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. In 2006 Arsenal advanced to the Champions League final. Although they lost to FC Barcelona, it was the best Champions League finish in the history of the club.