Was Steve McManaman Britain’s best-ever best export? (Video)

With Michael Owen, David Beckham and Jamie Carragher retiring it seems like a generation is over. Owen and Beckham were both famously part of the galactico’s era of Real Madrid, and whilst Owen struggled for form and selection, Beckham played several seasons, helping Real to a league triumph. However, whilst Beckham and Owen were the centre of the England ‘golden generation’ media storm – and lighting up the field for their country, it was another Englishman who arguably made a greater impact in Spain.

Often known as England’s forgotten man Steve McManaman was a staple part of Madrid’s team for four seasons, and made nearly 100 appearances, playing in two champion’s league finals. Arguably the greatest and most important of McManaman’s was his well-taken volley in the 2000 Champions League final. This goal was the pinnacle in McManaman’s man of the match performance as Madrid ran away 3-0 winners against Valencia.

McManaman was often seen as surplus to requirements as Madrid made more and more lucrative signings, but the Liverpool-born midfielder doggedly fought for his place and stubbornly stayed at Madrid, where he played until 2003. Although often mistreated by Madrid’s owners and transfer policy, McManaman was a great player for an all-conquering Real Madrid side, and was adored by fans and team-mates alike. Zinedine Zidane commented McManaman was England’s best midfielder, even though he was largely an enigma at international level. Was Steve our greatest ever export? You decide, please comment below.

Will Mata