10 things every football fan should watch on Youtube

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Let’s face it, no one keeps videotapes or DVDs anymore – okay, maybe a select few. Thank God for Youtube – the ultimate library for everything, especially from the past – yes, including football.

One of the perks of working in a sports network is the extensive archive you have access to. When I was working in Singapore, I made it a point (in my free time) to compile every single goal that Ronaldo scored. Yes, the REAL Ronaldo, into a tape of my own. Don’t worry, it wasn’t for mass consumption, it was for me. Because, as you know, these things tend to ‘disappear’ after a while. Back then, we still used beta tapes, those gigantic square things and there was a system of archiving which was cool – submasters. Every single notable news story that was edited would be compiled by an editor, into these ‘submasters’ – and then it was labeled accordingly with a time code, to make it easy for people to find it. In English, basically it was a filling system for video. So, in my free time, I would randomly pull out a submaster and browse through the list – if it contained a match that Ronaldo scored in, I would have a look in the tape decks. Ah, memories. I managed to compile 68 minutes of Ronaldo goals into a tape after about 7 months of crazy (and obsessive) work and labeled it, the ‘Magic Tape’. I kept it in a safe place – the second drawer, at my desk. Yes, this story has a sad ending. There was some minor renovation work being done sometime after – and I think it was over a weekend. I don’t work on weekends. When I came back on Monday for work, we were moved into a different area – actually it was just across the floor. But a lot of things were all over the place – I had a bad feeling. And true enough, my ‘Magic Tape’ disappeared! I spent close to a week searching for it – thinking that my chest of drawers might’ve been mixed up with someone else’s. But it was gone. Forever.

Life goes on. Don’t laugh. It was a very sad period in my life.

This is why I value Youtube. Barring any copyright infringements, most video clips from the past remains intact there. Yes, sometimes the quality is bad but, it’s better than nothing. Also, for someone my age, it’s a great place to view matches and footballers from beyond my time – Maradona, Cruyff, Pele etc.

This is not a promo for Youtube – I assure you.

So, here is a list of 10 video clips every football fan should watch on Youtube:

RONALDO TRIBUTE

Only one place to start – the man himself. To me, the greatest footballing talent I’ve ever seen. It was a toss up between this video and another – which featured all his goals for Brazil in the space of 7 minutes – amazing! There are also many documentaries available on the internet with Ronaldo as the subject – most of them, sad because of his knee operations. This one is a celebration of his skill and technique, which is really extraordinary. Obviously the highlight in terms of goals, would be the Compostela one during his time in Barcelona, but there are many outstanding goals during his Inter Milan stint too – which to me, was the peak of his club career (especially his first season in Italy). When you think of Ronaldo, you think of speed and power. When you watch this clip, you will feel just that.

MAGIC OF MARADONA

I’ve never had the privilege of watching the great Diego Maradona in the peak of his powers. I caught a glimpse of him at the 1994 World Cup, against Greece I think. At the time, he was plump, slow and loud. So it was tough for me to relate to all the stories I’ve heard from my (older) friends, former players, coaches about how amazing he was on the field. There are many clips of Maradona on the internet, but this one, to me, captures him the best. It doesn’t even show him dribbling or scoring. Heck it is before kick off. In April of 1989, the Argentine wizard was captured warming up (actually dancing) to this song blasting on the loudspeaker of Munich’s Olympiastadion. The song ‘Live is Life’ from Opus became a Europop cult tune 4 years after it was released, thanks to Maradona himself. If you were curious about the actual match itself, it was the second leg of the UEFA Cup with Napoli carrying a healthy 2 goal lead from the home tie. This match ended 2-2 – so Napoli progressed safely through to the final, where they beat Stuttgart over 2 legs. But forget all that — just enjoy the music.

A DAY WITH ZLATAN

This is a parody clip poking fun at Zlatan Ibrahimovic by a French TV show Le Petit Journal. I really admire the effort made in making this video ‘work’. If you are a football fan, and have followed Ibra’s career, you will get every single joke in this video. It uses the ‘point of view’ technique with the GOPRO cameras, which really adds to the humour. Of course, a clip showcasing his spectacular goals may rival this in terms of entertainment, but if you want to laugh your a** off, just spend 2 minutes. Trust me.

SPECIAL 1 TV

No football list is complete without Jose Mourinho. The master showman. Ok the obvious pick would be a video that compiles all his hilariously bizarre press conferences – yes, that’s great! Timeless. But I love this. Bear in mind, there is no Mourinho in this clip, it is just a few puppets and an impressionist pulling all the stops. The voices may not be 100% spot on, but the storyline in this parody news show is superb! To be fair, watching just this one clip doesn’t do it justice so I’ll leave you to browse through it yourself. If you have the time, start from the very first episode. You’re probably wondering why I’m saying first episode when THIS is the first episode, well – before it was renamed to S1TV, it was called “I’m on Setanta Sports”. Pure magic! I particularly enjoy how they poke fun at Arsene Wenger, calling him a voyeur, Sven Goran Eriksson as the coaching ‘prostitute’, Rafa Benitez as the overweight couch potato. Fabio Capello makes an appearance too – Mourinho refers to him as Cabbage Man. Wayne Rooney joins him on the show too in the later seasons, with his hilarious high pitch voice. If you watch it long enough you will realize that Mourinho takes in a lot of callers: one notably caller is Didier Drogba. Please watch it if you haven’t seen this before – Youtube gold!

THE CAGE

You must remember this. Probably the second most iconic Nike football ad ever! The first being the Brazil team in the airport. I chose not to feature that clip because I’m fearful that you reading this article might think I’m unbelievably biased. Yes of course, I am. I’m a big Brazil fan, but I’m trying to make this a universal list. Actually I think this ad was just before futsal became big in Malaysia, around the year 2002 – the idea of this secret tournament with superstars must’ve made most of you ‘itchy’ to showcase your skills in ‘the cage’. There is actually something similar in Singapore. I played there once. But back to the clip, I think the ‘story’ is the winner here – the audacious fantasy-like idea works wonderfully for any football fan. I bet you wished you were there to witness the action! Apparently it cost approximately 100 million pounds to produce the ad. Yes, the music – “A Little Less Conversation”, a brilliant anthem. And just when you think it can’t get any better – you have Eric Cantona in it. Case closed.

SEAN GARNIER FREESTYLE

There are millions of freestylers all over the world. It’s impossible to agree on who is the best – even though there is a World Championship. It boils down to a matter of taste. Sean Garnier is my favourite – a combination of playfulness, skillfulness, and personality does the trick for me. He specializes in street tricks, especially the ‘Panna’ – where he engages with strangers and shows off how easily he can get the ball through their legs. When you watch this clip, there is no way you won’t go WOW. The speed in which he executes his moves, is magic. Ok I’m overusing the word. If you love his style, go look up another one of his videos where he puts on heavy makeup to look like an old man, enter a court full of young boys playing, and basically – embarrass all of them!

CRUYFF TALKING TACTICS

I don’t know about you, but I love listening (and watching) people talk tactics. Of course, not just anyone – players or coaches. Who better than the great Johan Cruyff! I’m not sure what show this was taken from but I’m guessing it’s a Dutch TV program and thank God for subtitles. For a good 3 minutes, Cruyff speaks about his diamond formation. It’s not really educational but it’s just very interesting to see how he explains the technical aspects of the game. According to the description under the video, it was sometime after 2009 when Barcelona won the Champions League playing with a false nine under Pep Guardiola. When Cruyff talks, everyone listens.

ICELAND BIZARRE GOAL CELEBRATIONS

In 2008, an Icelandic football club called Stjarnan FC won promotion to the top tier of the national league. And 2 years after that, they started this worldwide phenomenon by devising some of the most bizarre goal celebrations ever seen. It all began with the ‘Fishing in Iceland’ celebration and then continued the trend with ‘Human Toilet’. If you haven’t heard of these clowns, you can visualize the routines just by reading their titles! Chances are your imagination is spot on. I suppose coming up with 1 or 2 celebrations is possible, but these guys have done over 10!

MESSI’S TOP 50

How could I miss out Lionel Messi? Again, like all the legends on this list – there are plenty of clips of him on the net. But this one gets almost every goal in high quality and most of it has commentary too! He must work in a TV station haha. Sometimes we forget just how good this fella is, because he scores so frequently and with such ease, it is news when he FAILS to score! But take a step back and use this as a reminder on why he is one of the best (if not the best) footballer on planet earth. I’ve always been a fan of lists and charts (explains why I named this column 10 things…) so you HAVE to watch the entire video because you want to see if Number 1 is truly Number 1. If you’ve been following Messi’s career, you will probably know what’s on the top of the list.

BECKHAM PRANK

You wouldn’t normally associate David Beckham with humour (apart from his voice) but he is actually very, very, very sporting. This is a clip from The Ellen Show – he agrees to a hidden camera prank at a shopping centre, trying to sell his own line of cologne. The best part is, he has Ellen Degeneres in his ears, asking him to do crazy things! This is not the first hidden camera prank that he has done on the show, there’s another which you can look up – involving him and a masseuse. I bet you’ve never seen Beckham this way before. You’re welcome. J