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A winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team, George Best was a professional football player from Northern Ireland. George Best was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and George Best started his football career at Manchester United at the age of 17. His sometimes rebellious lifestyle and the fact that Northern Ireland star George Best played international football for a relatively small minnow meant his full potential was never realised. However, he still ranks as one of football’s true legends. In this era where players can change clubs almost on demand, George Best may have gone the other way in a different club. 

During his time at the club, Best was regarded as Britain’s most talented footballer, with the player considered by some to be the best in the world. Luckily for United fans, they can only look back on George Best‘s career with fond memories, as even with the drinking problems, he went on to become one of the greatest players of all time and, in the eyes of many, the most accomplished footballer Britain has ever created. The Irish Football Association even called George Bests “the greatest player ever to wear the Northern Ireland green jersey”.

Best became one of the first media superstar footballers with his attractive features, black Beatle mop-top hair, and playboy lifestyle, receiving the nickname “El Beatle” by Portuguese press reporters after a standout performance for Manchester United in Lisbon in March 1966. However, his expensive lifestyle caused several personal issues, the most serious of which was alcoholism, which he struggled with for the rest of his life. These troubles hampered him on and off the field and frequently sparked controversy. Although he was aware of his difficulties, he was not openly repentant about them; of his career, he stated, “I spent a lot of money on liquor, birds [women], and fast vehicles – the rest I just squandered.”

The funeral of Northern Irish star George Best in Belfast was one of the largest in the history of the former football player, with tens of thousands taking to the streets to pay their respects to Northern Ireland’s most outstanding player. George Best may have been the best footballer to ever play in a World Cup, but his absence from the main stage hasn’t hurt his international prominence. The Northern Ireland player played a friendly for Newry Town against Shamrock Rovers in August 1983 before ending his career 20 years after joining Manchester United.