When the name George Best is heard, everyone knows who he is - whether for his footballing talent and charisma or his controversial lifestyle off the pitch. A common description of his place in football history is summed up by the quote Maradona good, Pele better; George Best . Best was discovered in Belfast, aged 15, by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop and went to make his First Division debut for The Red Devils aged 17 in 1963 in a 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion. Due to his playing style, Best was a hit at United scoring 179 goals from 470 appearances over 11 years until he unexpectedly quit Manchester United in 1974 aged 27. Best did go on to play for a number of clubs around the world, the L.A. Aztecs and Fort Lauderdale Strikers to name a couple, but due to his fluctuating form and controversial lifestyle he never achieved the same levels of success he had at Manchester United. He retired from football aged 37 in 1983. When fit, Best was always a first choice for Northern Ireland. He was capped 37 times scoring 9 goals from 1963 to 1977. Unfortunately the team s performance never allowed his talent to be displayed in a European Championship or World Cup final. Best was voted 16th in the IFFHS World Player of the Century election in 1999. He was named by Pele as one of the greatest living footballers in the world. George Best was affectionately known as the beautiful boy with the beautiful game a fitting tribute for one of the most talented and well known footballers in the history of the game.
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