Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Croatia star pays respects at George Best's grave

By Staff Reporter

Croatian football legend Davor Suker has visited the grave of George Best.

The president of the Croatian Football Federation was in Belfast ahead of his side's friendly with Northern Ireland last night.

Ex-Real Madrid, Arsenal and West Ham player Suker visited the final resting place of the Belfast footballing legend yesterday at Roselawn. Best died in 2005 following a long battle with alcoholism.

He became a legend for his on-field talents with Manchester United and winning the European Cup.

He played 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals.

The Croatian Football Federation reported: "His dribbling abilities, goals, speed and agility brought Best comparisons with both Pele and Maradona, and many called him a football genius.

"Northern Ireland has no doubt who is the greatest player ever to wear the national team jersey."

Suker was a striker for a number of European clubs as well as for the Croatia national team, where he is the all-time top scorer with 45 goals. His 12 goals during the qualifying campaign for Euro 1996 was a record until beaten in 2007 by Northern Ireland's David Healy during qualifying for Euro 2008 as the Northern Irish star managed 13 goals.

Suker came third in the Fifa World Player of the Year awards in 1998, and is also on the Fifa 100 list of the top 125 greatest footballers, the only Croatian on the list.

During the 1998 World Cup in France, he was the top goal scorer, winning the Golden Boot by scoring six goals in seven matches.

He also won Silver Ball as the second-best player of the tournament, behind Ronaldo.

Belfast Telegraph


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