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11 January 2013

'I need to keep that quiet' - LFC star reveals Manchester United secret...

Over the years, plenty of childhood Everton fans have gone on to become superb footballers for Liverpool FC. The likes of Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher immediately spring to mind, but I can't ever recall a boyhood Manchester United fan joining the Reds, and/or publicly admitting such a heinous childhood allegiance. Well, one of the club's players has now admitted to the unthinkable (!)

In an Interview with The Mirror yesterday, the Liverpool starlet admitted that he supported Manchester United when he first moved to England. When asked about it, the 18-year old winger said:

"I need to keep that [supporting Manchester United] quiet!"

Sterling assured fans, however, that he's now a bona-fide Liverpool fan:

"When you start playing for a team, you immediately start supporting them because you want to do your best for your team and you always want them to do well".

This is not the first time Sterling has revealed a dark secret from his past. Speaking to the Official Liverpool FC website a few months ago, the youngster revealed that one of his biggest football idols is a former Man United player. He enthused:

"The obvious idol for me is Cristiano Ronaldo. You can’t really model yourself on those sort of players, though; you just want to take parts of their game and add it to yours"

If you're going to model yourself after someone then on a football basis, Ronaldo is a good choice. Having said that, if Sterling really wants to learn how to be the ultimate winger, he would be better off studying footage of Liverpool legend John Barnes, who was far superior to Ronaldo in almost every way, and is - IMO - the greatest player ever to grace the Anfield turf. Here is a video to get you started, Raheem:



Barnes was an amazing, once in a lifetime player, and just watching that footage brings a tear to the eye. I'm so thankful that I got the opportunity to see him play live, but will we ever see the likes of Barnes at Liverpool again...?

Jaimie Kanwar

100 comments:

  1. He shall be banished!
    How much do you love John Barnes?

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  2. Greg | Liverpool Kopites12:40 p.m., January 11, 2013

    Barnes is one of the best ever. Am grateful that I got to see him play in his prime. Made everything look so natural, easy and graceful and no arrogance and delusions of grandeur that so many players have nowadays.

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  3. Barnes was a great player but 'far superior to Ronaldo in almost every way'. Really? Seems a ridiculous comment to me even as a Liverpool supporter.

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  4. He didn't exactly keep it quite, did he. Now everybody who wants to know it knows it.

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  5. Cool. In terms of skill, guile and pure ability, Barnes is LFC's greatest player IMO. Watching him play - even up to the mid-1990s - was pure joy. He could everything that Dalglish could, but he could also do so much more. Amazing player.

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  6. If you genuinely think that, then with respect, you've clearly never watched Barnes play regularly. Barnes from 1987-1991 was on a different planet to Ronaldo, and if LFC weren't banned from Europe, he'd have the recognition he deserves.


    IMO, Barnes was better than Ronaldo at most things, including dribbling, close control, crossing, passing, and even free kicks. I can't think of one area in which Ronaldo exceeds Barnes.

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  7. We've got players who can do what Barnes did and more. However, either defenses have gotten a lot better all across the league, or our other attackers don't know how and when to arrive in the box.

    Sterling, Suarez and Downing are all capable of getting the ball to the by line and then cutting it back or dribbling in. To a lesser degree, Shelvey, Hendo and Suso could cut in from the flanks. Nonetheless, the difference is quite clear. The average modern defense tends to be more compact and better placed to deal with players in the box. Our players need to know where to arrive and time it right.

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  8. "He could do everything that Dalglish could, but he could also do so much more."

    By this you clearly mean rapping :oP

    So you're a Colonial Marine now huh? I heard things got pretty messy on LV 426.

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  9. Yeah, it was game over, man. Game over!

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  10. Players who can do what Barnes did? Like who? Suarez? Yes, he'a great player, but he's not in the same league as Barnes.


    And you compare Sterling and Downing to Barnes?! Utter blasphemy!

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  11. The video concludes everything Barnes was - quick, smart, great crossing abilty, amazing pace, wonderful long shot, and good head game.
    He is a true legend.


    Comparing him to Ronaldo isn't far-fetched, but I don't think it's actually possible. Football has advanced since the late 80's, so the athleticism and talent around is of a higher standard.
    If you would compare Barnes to the level at his time, he was as good as Ronaldo is to the level today.


    YNWA.

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  12. My favourite Barnes performance was the role he played in that epic 4-4 game against Everton. The goal when he bent it in top corner and Molby lofting him in the air with joy...genius.

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  13. Man I love that film. Cant wait to get my hands on the game either!

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  14. The only player that I have seen on par with Barnes at his peak is Henry. And the only two players where I have seen flashes of Barnes is Kewell and Bale.

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  15. Agreed. That was magic. Very similar to the goal he scored against Aston Villa at Anfield in 1990. Curled from the edge of the box into the top corner :-)

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  16. Good shout. Thierry Henry is definitely the only Premier League to come close to Barnesy.

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  17. To be honest maybe he should have kept that to himself because allot of fickle Liverpool fans are going to get emotional about this. I'm to young to have witnessed Barnes play but I am going to research more on him. And by research I mean Youtube lol!


    OOOooo bold statement Jamie! Ronaldo vs Barnes? I'm sure there would be a good debate about this.


    I for one have only seen a few clips of Barnes so I cannot say much.

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  18. Henry is/was pure class, I wish he played for Liverpool. Also he seems like a really nice guy, so bonus points for that!

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  19. Start by watching the compilation above, and then let me know what you think. It pains me to think that millions of LFC fans across the globe don't know much about Barnes. The guy was a once in a lifetime footballing genius, and Ronaldo isn't fit to shine his boots. And let's not forget that Barnesy played in a time when defenders were constantly trying to scythe him down (and they could get away with it), yet he still made the game look effortless.

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  20. Greg | Liverpool Kopites1:00 p.m., January 11, 2013

    Sterling, Suarez, Downing, Shelvey, Hendo and Suso can do what Barnes did and more? You're having a laugh.

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  21. It's one of my favourites. I recently saw it on the big screen in London (Prince Charles Cinema) - it was absolutely amazing. Absolute classic.

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  22. For me the Xenomorph is the best alien in cinema, and still stands up today against modern films.

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  23. There are a few areas, arguably important ones, where Barnes did not hold a candle to Ronaldo, Goal scored and assists for a start, Ronaldo is also a much better header of the ball than Barnes ever was, better FK taker too.

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  24. The other day when Suarez embarrassed Clint Hill, Barnes was do that to defenders week in week out in that period.. The name Steve Chettle comes into my head for the 5-0.

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  25. Absolutely. The Aliens screening was part of a marathon, which included the original 'Alien', and almost 34 years later, it still stands up, as you suggest, Shame about Prometheus though. Possibly the worst film I saw last year.

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  26. Barnes is one of LFC's all-time leaders in the assist stakes. Additionally, given LFC's ban from Europe, Ronaldo gets to play many more games than he did did. The heading thing is debatable - Barnes scored loads of great goals with his head (just watch the video above for a selection), and he was in no way a better free kick taker. Ronaldo has this whole production when he takes free kicks, but how many does he actually score?


    If Ronaldo played in the 1980s, he'd be kicked off the field in 5 minutes flat; he couldn't perform to Barnes' level under that much pressure.

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  27. Whilst Prometheus was no Alien/Aliens, I still enjoyed it, but it could have been done a lot better.

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  28. Ritchie Partridge was a Man U supporter

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  29. Ah, so that's why Liverpool got rid of him ;-)

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  30. Come! Let's be more honest and objective about this! We've all watched lots of football. Look at the video you posted again. Look at the defenses that were beaten and how. We've all seen the supposedly inferior players I've referred to. Our boys being doubted here would own defenses of that caliber!

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  31. Did you know that anteaters are alien to many people :-)

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  32. But ferguson managed to get his agent back into our club:

    http://www.liverpoolfc.com/team/academy/staff/richie-partridge

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  33. An utter joy to watch. I doubt we will ever have a player with his pure skill and class again, as there are only ever one or two in the game at that level at anyone time. He pulled the Brazilian defence's pants down in the maracana for England too, before getting the keeper to sit down as he went past to notch. Sublime player.

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  34. I think we've seen that with you in the comments ;-D

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  35. Ha, yes. Great nutmeg there. Barnes was Chettle's nemesis throughout his time at Forest.

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  36. You're making a massive generalisation about the defences. Barnes made superior defences like Arsenal's (Adams, Bould, Keown et) look ordinary.


    The likes of Downing wouldn't stand a chance against the 'reducers' from defenders of that era. It's not like the ladyboy's game it is today. Tackles that get red cards today were par for the course in 80s (and the 90s to some extent).


    Plus, the shirt-pulling and 'smart fouling' that everyone complains about today was just an accepted part of the game. To produce beautiful football despite all the fouling and negative tactics takes real skill and strength.


    Today's footballers have it easier. Yes, in terms of athleticism, things may have changed, but players have a much easier time on the ball these days, and the ref blows for the slightest infringement, and players have so much time on the ball.

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  37. jamie dont know whats happened now postin as below billythe cat

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  38. my postin name has been changed from billythe cat to ot95

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  39. think it could be aliens invading my laptop!!!

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  40. I wish i was alive to see all the old great players play ;(

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  41. thanks for the vid JK,one word IMMORTAL!!

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  42. Yes, and I am the worst of the lot, just ask Jason.

    Now, talking about something else than alien anteaters, this "new" disqus seems to return me to the article rather than to the reply whenever I click on the link that comes with the notification. Anything we can do about that?

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  43. Ian Callahan,Roger Hunt,Peter THOMPSON,Ian St John,Ahh yes!

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  44. The alien anteater is going to help you (as I come in peace).

    Click on the cogwheel on the right at the top of the comments section, -> edit settings -> Profile -> enter desired name as "Full name"

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  45. In my notification emails there is a link that says 'link to comment'. Is that not appearing for you?

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  46. That's weird. Try anteater's solution and let us know if it works.

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  47. As a United fan I can say that some of our greatest players were Liverpool fans as kids, Ole gunnar Solksjaer for example. Its not something to dwell on.

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  48. Barnes was a great player but was never anywhere near Ronaldo's level lad, dont be deluded.

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  49. agreed .off topic hows the weather in london !

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  50. Thanks for this post and the reminder of who I consider to be the best player I have seen for Liverpool and that includes Kenny. However, I do feel I would be biased if I agreed about the far superior to Ronaldo comparison. I have to give credit to Ronaldo for defining so much in the modern attacking player, his goal scoring record is absolutely incredible.
    Out of interest Jamie I have seen you post about your view on players who haven't excelled on the international stage and how that affects how you rate their class. How do you view Barnes taking this into consideration?

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  51. giggs ? flashes? is this a quote from his sister in law !!!!!

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  52. Jaimie would you know how many assists JB had through his Liverpool
    career?

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  53. I does, and when I click it, it re-directs me to the beginning of the comments section, but not to the reply.

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  54. also the brother in law of micheal owen nuff said

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  55. jaimie come on barnes was brilliant same as beardsley rush keagan,and gerrard ect but they will only ever be one king

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  56. That info doesn't exist anywhere (surprisingly), but I have season review videos for every year of Barnes's LFC career, with every goal/assist. I'm working through them an compiling stats for him, Beardsley, Aldo, molby etc. As soon as I'm done, I'll post the stats.

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  57. Barnes could do everything Dalglish could do, and he could do it even better. What could KD do that Barnes couldn't do?

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  58. No doubt, Barnes is a great. Just don't think its such an easy decision.

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  59. dalglish,was the best player i,ve ever seen with his back to goal,beckenbaure says it as well

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  60. I also don't tihnk you give Ronaldo enough credit for his physical strength, he goes down easily because he gers decisions for it. I have no doubt he could handle himself in anya rea. He is a far superior athlete to Barnes. Hate him all you want, you can't deny his brilliance

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  61. Oh yes i believe he was an equal if not better and he never went down easily or dived like C Ron :)

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  62. Saw barnsey in his prime many a time, most naturally gifted player to wear the red jersey, cryin shame that owing to the euro ban he never won big ears, iam convinced we,d have added 1 or 2 more european cups to our haul while he was in the team.

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  63. Dalglish is still my number one player of all time but for natural, god given skill it has to be barnsey, both legends

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  64. Wouldnt be surprised if the mancs know about jim supporting them if he gets some stick at the weekend, hope if he plays he works it right up them

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  65. to be fair its different eras. if barnes played today he would be going down easy to. All the fast wingers do it.(not saying its right).You could go back even further and say theres never been a player who could shine best's boots.Now they really did kick players them days. All im saying is i remember barnes and he was a great and ronaldo is the best player ive seen in england in the last 10 years.
    Its just not a fair comparison.

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  66. Thanks for insulting me once again. Now we have that out of the way, would you mind answering the many question I've asked you yesterday. You've put up some interesting subjects and I'd truly like to hear you reasoning behind them. After all, you may be right.

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  67. Not to forget, he's also the U-21's physio of LFC right now.

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  68. I have to give Giggs props as I seem him as a great player in in his own style. I compared Henry because his was the Jewel in the crown of a great Arsenal team like Barnes was in the 87-90 teams. I don't think Giggs had that status over the years. If you think of the main man for great united teams you think of Cantona or Rondalo.

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  69. now that was the ultimate Barnes goal. Imagine If they had made a film that just focused on Barnes in a match like the did with Zidane....wow

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  70. Alright jamie, the format for this site has changed when iam using it, is there anyway i can go back to the old one, no big deal if i cant but i just preferred iz

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  71. One player I would have loved to see live in particular is Billy Liddell.

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  72. My old man has been a Man U since the 80s..I wasn't born during Barnes time but after a chat with the old man, he says the CR of Man U couldn't even sub Barnes during his prime but the CR of Madrid may be able to give Barnes a run for his money. (IMO the old man may be biased and full of envy). Nice write up Jamie, hope Raheem gets to watch this! YNWA

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  73. was a kid in the late 60"s went to holly park the home of south liverpool to watch a billy liddell xl against a puskas xl
    12000 people at the south that nite and witnessed two ledgends on the same pitch . there is a photo on the billy liddell web site

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  74. Hi mate. Disqus is retiring the old format at some stage, so ultimately, it will change, so I'm just getting people used to the new format. I'll be switching back and forth between the old and the new. Are you having any issues with the new format? If so, let me know and I'll try and help.

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  75. Jason - what are you doing? Why have you just popped up and hurled this insult? It's out of order. I like your posts, and your views are welcome, but if this happens again, I'll have to take action.

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  76. Kind of envy you now. And thanks for the tip. Nice pic. Didn't know about that game. Puskas' built wasn't exactly tiny, was it. I mean, I'm in better shape. Great player, too.

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  77. I don't understand this British mentality- pining for the days of choppers and negative players kicking the living shite out of more talented footballers. I'm glad it is gone. I'd rather have a game for 'ladyboys' and be able to watch skillful players do their thing without having lumps kicked out of them.

    This kind of thinking is why England and Scotland have achieved fuck all on the international stage. It is luddism. I love seeing someone get pasted by a tough tackle in a derby game but hopefully but it is a negative mentality. I remember Alonso talking about this a few months back. You don't want to lose the physical side, but the preservation of what makes the beautiful game beautiful has got to be paramount.

    @twitter-70702313:disqus

    Digression aside- that point about Barnes is mental. You've got to remember he wasn't just another good dribbler, he was the best player in the country in the late 80s. Also, he does seem to go past a lot of people in that video very easily but that is a 6min compilation of his best moments, so they're hardly going to show him struggling to beat people

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  78. As I've often said, Giggs' achievement is longevity whereas Scholes' is quality.



    Scholes is the great player of United's greatest era and the best midfield player of the Premiership years. I wouldn't compare him to Barnes though, they're too different, I was just making the point in relation to Giggs.

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  79. He always had good stuff to say about Liverpool. I remember seeing an interview where he said that Anfield was his favourite stadium and that Liverpool fans were the best.

    As for nice guy, I understand he can be a quite divisive figure in the dressing room and a bit spiky (per Philippe Auclair's biography of him).

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  80. I don't know whether you mean in style or just simply in terms of quality but if it is the latter I think you're doing C. Ronaldo a disservice. I know he isn't popular but he is an outstanding footballer.


    As for Henry, I consider him to be the best player, overall, of the Premier League era.

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  81. The only thing that held him back from becoming a great.

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  82. Its ok mate, just that the posts arent coming up in the order of when posted, there all jumbled up & it seems to takr longer to load but nothing i cant live with :)

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  83. barnes was awesome , true gentleman and pro of the game. sterling seems like a top kid, feet on the ground and sounds like he has a good family around him. and read the other day that gerrard has really looked after him

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  84. tbh honest Jaimie I think you're the only person in the world who thinks Barnes is better than Cristiano Ronaldo

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  85. Yep, I prefer the old system myself but if this is the new order, then so be it.

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  86. I didn't know that. Fair play to him.

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  87. Better than Ronaldo? He was just before my time, I know he was a fantastic player, but didn't know he was at that level.

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  88. it's funny because ferdinand was a liverpool fan, as well as solskjaer...

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  89. I stumbled upon his name the other day when I was looking for some entirely different information on the official site, and remembered it when his name was mentioned here today, erm, yesterday. And they say that people my age can't remember things very good. :-)

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  90. sorry m8 but its not as bad as some of the comments i,ve had off him

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  91. defo we would have ruled europe for the first few seasons after barnes joined

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  92. qpr were top of the league as well

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