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The Bard's 100 Best Soccer Players: Litmanen (#88)

Cranberries with finnish flag
Creative Commons License photo credit: Harry Brignull

The Pick: Deciding to include Jari Litmanen in my list of the Top 100 players of all-time was easy. First of all, I have no idea why, but I really felt like I needed to profile someone Finnish or I wouldn’t be able to finish this series (wow, does Guiness Book have a record for worst pun?). In addition (and in all seriousness this time), I couldn’t deny that Litmanen was (and still is, amazingly) a hell of a player. Plus, I just love his nickname: Kuningas (aka “The King”).

The Flick: Jari earned his moniker by notching over 30 goals in more than 130 appearances for Finland. He also deserves his crown because he has played for a veritable “who’s who” of top pro teams, such as Barcelona, Liverpool, and Ajax. He was born to be a great footballer, as both his father and his mother played at the highest levels of pro soccer. So, what actor should play him then. Well, it must be an actor with famous folks, so I select Mike Douglas.

The Limerick: Good luck getting the greedy Mr. Zeta-Jones to take on the role though:

If you’ve never heard of Litmanen, I don’t know where to begin,

The man dominates the pitch, and always works for the win,

He plays with desire,

  And seems to never tire

So you can’t fault me for including this fine Finn.