Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Maldini The Greatest I Ever Faced – Merson

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has told that Milan legend Paolo Maldini was the greatest player he ever faced during his career, while Dennis Bergkamp was the best he ever played with.

Merson had a fine career spanning more than 20 years, and he is best remembered for his spell at Arsenal from 1985 to 1997 where he won two English championships among other trophies.

The flamboyant midfielder, who was also capped 21 times by England, scoring three goals, has looked back over a career during which he also starred for Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth.

“The best player I ever played with was Dennis Bergkamp,” Merson told at a dinner speaking evening in Bedford.

“The best player I ever played against was Paolo Maldini. We [Arsenal] played against Milan in the European Supercup [in 1995 which Milan won 2-0 on aggregate].

“Maldini marked me, and I didn’t even get a kick of the ball all game. He was just unbelievable."

Merson, also spoke at length about the well-known personal problems during his career which included drink, drugs and gambling, and he thanked ex-Arsenal manager George Graham for not only saving his career but also his life when the Scot stuck by him through the tough times.

Another former player who is having some problems now is Paul Gascoigne, and Merson says that the Italia ’90 star was the best Englishman he ever played with.

“The best English player I ever played with was Gazza. He was on another planet compared to the rest of us,” Merson, who is currently a SKY Sports pundit, concluded.