Charlton and Best, Manchester and Ballon d’Or legends


Bobby Charlton and George Best built their legend at Manchester United. They were the stars of English football of the 60s with a Ballon d’Or for each in 1966 for the first and in 1968 for the second. One (Bobby Charlton) was slender, elegant, a creative attacking midfielder, one of the most complete and gifted of his generation. The other (George Best) was crazier in his head, but with brilliant flashes. He played on instinct, didn’t think too much. If, in 1968, Manchester United won the C1 (41 against Benfica), it owes much to Bobby Charlton, author of a double.

A very free midfielder, he was often attacked by his opponents who knew that by neutralizing him they neutralized the game of Manchester United. But he still behaved like a gentleman with few yellow cards during his career. He had the intelligence to respond to provocations with play.

The year of his Ballon d’Or in 1966 he won the biggest title of his career, the World Cup. He notably scored twice in the semi-final against Portugal’s Eusebio. Which certainly allows him to get ahead of the Portuguese in the final vote. A very close vote since there was only one point of difference between the two men.

Bobby Charlton thus became the second crowned English player. The year of Manchester United’s C1 victory, Bobby Charlton is once again the favorite. But he is beaten by his teammate George Best. Best has been nominated seven times for first place compared to five times for Bobby Charlton. He is the third Briton to win the trophy.

Best beats Charlton in 1968

Trained in Manchester, George Best was one of the architects of the European title. Disconcerting in his acting, Best was a performing artist. He was as good as Charlton, but in a different style. Best was the most Latin of the British. He was very lively at the start of his actions, He was a nasty striker who, despite an unimpressive physique, was respected in the penalty area.

In 1968, the Belgrade Red Star left winger Dragan Dzajic completed the podium. George Best was also two-time England champion with Manchester United in 1965 and 1967 and two-time Charity Shield winner in the same years. In 1971, Best was again in the race for the supreme award, but he finished 3rd.

If Bobby Charlton made the majority of his career at Manchester United (1956-1973), George Best, him, remained fourteen years at MU, but traveled a lot thereafter since he knew about fifteen clubs. Northern Irishman, he was international, but without really shining. Bobby Charlton was among the footballers who were ennobled by the Queen in 1994.


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