George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968, he won the European Cup with Manchester United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. The Irish Football Association described him as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".Born and brought up in Belfast, Best began his club career in England with Manchester United, with the scout who had spotted his talent at the age of 15 sending a telegram to manager Matt Busby which read: "I think I've found you a genius." After making his debut aged 17, he scored 179 goals from 470 appearances over 11 years, and was the club's top goalscorer in the league for five consecutive seasons.Regarded as one of the greatest dribblers in the history of the sport, his playing style combined pace, skill, balance, feints, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to beat defenders. Best unexpectedly quit United in 1974 at age 27, but returned to football for a number of clubs around the world in short spells, until retiring in 1984, age 37. In international football, he was capped 37 times and scored nine goals between 1964 and 1977, although a combination of the team's performance and his lack of fitness in 1982 meant that he never played in the finals of a European Championship or World Cup.
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