Jim White on ‘unforgettable’ Brazilian derby, Lionel Messi’s brilliance and an Rangers vs Celtic eight-goal thriller


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My Greatest

Jim White tells talkSPORT about his greatest kit, his greatest game, his greatest moment as a fan and the greatest atmosphere he has experienced

talkSPORT host Jim White takes us through his greatest memories in football.

From his greatest match to his greatest player, Jim reveals all below.


My Greatest: Kit – Scotland 1982 World Cup

My greatest ever kit would have to be Scotland at the World Cup in 1982 when Scotland were in Spain, it didn’t quite go to plan, but they had a great, great kit with a massive Scotland badge. The navy blue, the v-neck, that would be the greatest ever kit for me.

Scotland did not progress past the group stages at the 1982 World Cup

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Scotland did not progress past the group stages at the 1982 World Cup

My Greatest: Game – Rangers vs Celtic in 1986

I’ve been to many. I once went to Rangers vs Celtic in Glasgow which was 4-4 at Ibrox. If memory serves me right, I think Celtic were 3-1 up, Maurice Johnston opened the scoring for Celtic that day and Rangers roared back into it. I’m sure that finished 4-4 with Murdo MacLeod equalising for Celtic when it was 4-3 to Rangers.

Murdo MacLeod (left) netted a late equaliser for the Bhoys

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Murdo MacLeod (left) netted a late equaliser for the Bhoys

My Greatest: Player – Lionel Messi

I’ve seen [Diego] Maradona at Mexico ’86 and I’ve seen [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, but for me, it would have to be Messi.

Barcelona were at Chelsea not that long ago, it was 1-1 on the night, Messi, I’ve seen him in the flesh, I’ve met the man, it would have to be Messi.

What separates him, he has everything, he amazes me every time I see him play, his appetite for the game is incredible.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Maradona head the ball into the back of the net. Messi scored with his head against Manchester United in the Champions League final.

Lionel Messi will go down as one of the best players of all time

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Lionel Messi will go down as one of the best players of all time

He’s got everything. Ronaldo is a wonderful header of the ball as well, but I’ve never ever seen Messi rolling about, you could never accuse him of simulation.

He just doesn’t do it. He’s a bit like George Best from all those years ago, you can hack him and he’ll still attempt, somehow, to stay on his feet.

Sergio Ramos has done everything, bar assault him on the pitch, but he still tries to carry on. For me, Messi stands out from the rest.

My Greatest: Moment – Scotland vs England

I’ve witnessed a few. I was at Hampden many years ago, it was the Stanley Rous Cup and Scotland surprisingly beat England by a goal to nil [in 1985]. It would be that.

Scotland’s Winnie Miller challenges England’s Kenny Sansom

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Scotland’s Winnie Miller challenges England’s Kenny Sansom

My Greatest: Atmosphere – Flamengo vs Fluminense

Many years ago, I was in Rio de Janeiro and I went to the local derby, Flamengo vs Fluminense, and that was unbelievable.

The atmosphere was unbelievable, it was incredible, 100,000 people in there and they don’t like each other  – and that was quite obvious from the start.

It was an unforgettable experience. I’ll never forget that.

Flamengo vs Fluminense is an intense rivalry and one which White has savoured in the flesh

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Flamengo vs Fluminense is an intense rivalry and one which White has savoured in the flesh

I’m lucky enough to have travelled a lot and I’ve seen many games all around the world. That game had the most amazing atmosphere.

Another standout game for me was the Champions League final in Paris when Barcelona played Arsenal.

Sol Campbell put Arsenal 1-0 up and Barcelona had Henrik Larsson who came on as a sub and turned it around. Samuel Eto’o scored, but the winner came from the full-back. The Barcelona supporters that night were unbelievable. I’ve never forgotten it.

I love the atmosphere football throws up when you least expect it. You can go to a Championship game in England and the atmosphere can be crazy.

Andy Jacobs at talkSPORT has been to Boca Juniors vs River Plate – that’s another one on my bucket list.

Barcelona fans unveil a giant flag at the 2006 Champions League final

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Barcelona fans unveil a giant flag at the 2006 Champions League final

Jim White presents White and Sawyer on talkSPORT every weekday from 10am to 1pm


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