FIFA pays tribute to Sir Bobby at The Best awards

Monday 15 January 2024 21:11

The life of Manchester United icon Sir Bobby Charlton was celebrated at The Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday night, alongside fellow legends Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.

A true gentleman and icon, Sir Bobby’s passing in October was mourned by all who love the beautiful game, and his illustrious career was remembered at a ceremony in London. 

Our 1968 European Cup winner was honoured alongside the late Zagallo, who passed away on 6 January aged 92. The Brazilian was one of the most influential figures in World Cup history and the first person to win football’s greatest prize as both player and coach.

Sir Bobby's former opponent in the 1966 World Cup final, Beckenbauer, was also celebrated following his passing on 7 January, aged 78. The German and friend of United lifted the World Cup as captain in 1974, and also triumphed as a manager in 1990.
Sir Bobby famously man-marked his friend Franz during the 1966 World Cup final.
At the awards show on Monday night, former Reds striker Louis Saha was asked to speak about his memories of Sir Bobby from five seasons at Old Trafford.

“It was an enormous honour to meet such a legend who represented so much to the club and to the town,” explained the Frenchman. “I met someone who was very down to earth and was representing so many values from the club. 
“He was someone who was supporting us after the defeats and bad performances, always with a smile. He represented the values I joined the club for. 

“I really felt this guy was an enormous talent, as a striker he was unbelievable, but he was as well the symbol of all the strength and the capacity of representing the badge.

“I have an enormous respect for Sir Bobby Charlton.”
A portrait of the late, great Zagallo in the 1950s.

Earlier in the awards ceremony, United Women stars Mary Earps and Ella Toone were both named in the 2023 Women's World 11.

Mary, our inspirational stopper, was then named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper for 2023, retaining the award that she also won last year.

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