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The Bard's 100 Best Soccer Players: Caniggia (#80)

Argentina Attacks (& misses)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ali Brohi

The Pick: Mr. Claudio Caniggia would not have made my Top 100 if I had strictly based my rankings on statistics. Now, Caniggia’s career stats weren’t subpar in the least (over 400 pro matches and more than 50 appearances and three World Cups for Argentina), but he also had that rare electric talent that can change a game at any time. Tragically though, he’s a great player that may end up being better remembered for the one game he missed.

The Flick: That game, the biggest of his life, was the 1990 World Cup Final. He had been a naughty boy in the thrilling semifinal and received a card that ensured his suspension for the Final. He watched while Germany scraped out a 1-0 victory over Argentina. He was called up for the 2002 Cup too, and he managed to receive a red card without ever taking the pitch. So, what talented, fiery-tempered actor can play Caniggia? Sean Penn would nail it. 

The Limerick: Sean Penn pretty much nails everything though, doesn’t he:

Caniggia qualified as one of those rare soccer freaks

In his prime he could tear off 10.7 second 100 yard streaks

But he was thin-skinned

That “Son of the Wind”

Canniggia could dodge bullets but not critiques