Gary Lineker | “Gazza was playing tennis with German tourists!” | England teammatesDavid Frank October 12, 2019 36 Comments
I was probably the least skilful player in
the Italia ’90 squad. Blimey. We had some very skilful players in that team: Chris Waddle and people like Peter Beardsley. I will have to go for Gazza. Gazza was the most naturally gifted footballer that I would have played with. He didn’t always use it wisely but he
was certainly the most gifted and he was phenomenal at ’90, that’s for sure. Who never gave the ball away? That’s
usually the kind of safety people that never give the ball away at the back. In terms of
someone who was a good footballer and who never gave the ball away was someone like Chris Waddle. He’d also be very creative and was a brilliant crosser of the ball. He had
a great delivery. The fastest player in that squad would be me! Or Des Walker. Des Walker was pretty quick. I’ll give it to Des. Only because I don’t want to be boastful. That would be Gazza again. Annoyingly at times but he could be very funny. On occasions. Even before we played the World Cup semi-final, he was playing tennis with some German tourists on the court and had to be dragged off by Bobby Robson. He was: yeah. I wouldn’t want to be in it! I hated 5-a-side, never interested. The best 5-a-side team… you would need a mix, wouldn’t you? You would have Shilton is goal and then you would have Butcher because he’s so big you would never get past him. And then, maybe Waddle, Gazza and Beardsley I was pretty good at moaning but then someone like Terry Butcher, you wouldn’t want to lose when Terry was around. He’s a fearfully competitive soul. You’re testing my memory now… oh, Stuart Pearce! You just don’t want to go near Stuart Pearce in training which I never did. Ever. Under any circumstances. I found footballers are particularly punctual because you spend your whole life being told what time you’ve got to be everywhere. So, it’s actually quite rare for a footballer to be late for training.
You would occasionally get that at club level but to be honest, if you reached the top and you’re playing for your national side, you ain’t going to be late. I can’t even recall
anyone being late but it was a long time ago. So, maybe I’m just late in remembering. Definitely not me, I wasn’t the best trainer in the world. Christ… who would work hard? I think most of the players worked hard in training and at the same time, when you’re in a World Cup, you don’t want to do too much either because it’s game after game after game after game in the heat, so it was more about recovery than training hard. So, sometimes players,
like Gazza for example, who would want to keep going, you would have to kind of restrain him. So, I would perhaps say Gazza. Sometimes, not always, obviously!