Picture : The XIX Century Dream Team with the Top 3 !
Football in XIX century – Part 4
The World’s best players of XIX century
In addition to the version of XIX century’s dream team (our previous publication), there is a certain interest to understand who was the best among the footballers of the XIX century? Is it possible to make some ranking of best players of that period?
There were no votings so we can make the ranking only based on opinions, impressions, memoirs from the witnesses of football of XIX century.
Almost all elite players were then concentrated in England, so all three best players are English forwards.
According to witnesses, there are two nearly equal candidates for the crown of best player.
John Goodall was considered as undoubtedly best player in the world until 1895.
The TOP 3
1.Gilbert Oswald Smith (England)
2.John Goodall (England)
3.Steve Bloomer (England)
In the last 5 years of XIX century, the younger Gilbert Oswald Smith became new brightest star of English (world) football, so the witnesses placed him on same level with Goodall or even slightly higher.
“Jo” Smith (many people called him by this nickname) was considered the first great centre-forward in the football history. In the meantime, he was the only amateur in the English national team. Nothing strange: in those times, the salaries of professional footballers were not very high, so some top players having other well-paid professions, preferred to stay football amateurs.
Steve Bloomer is considered the third best player of XIX century – though his long football career has only started in XIX; most part of it passed already in XX.
Bloomer scored in every one of his first 10 appearances in English national team. He was actually the first great goal-scorer in the world football: still second all-time best scorer of English top division (315 goals)!