Best wins player of centuryaccolade

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The Independent Online

When the greatest player this country has known is under discussion, there is really only a shortlist of one, and yesterday George Best was named English League Player of the Century at the launch of this year's Rothmans Football Yearbook.

When the greatest player this country has known is under discussion, there is really only a shortlist of one, and yesterday George Best was named English League Player of the Century at the launch of this year's Rothmans Football Yearbook.

On the collective front, Best's Old Trafford descendants, Alex Ferguson's team of 1998-99 that won the treble of Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup, get the nod as Team of the Century ahead of the Liverpool side of 1976-77 (strangely nominated rather than Kenny Dalglish's side of 10 years later) and the Tottenham Hotspur double-winning side of 1960-61.

Manager of the Century is Bob Paisley, still the most successful club manager in English football despite the efforts of Sir Alex, who came a close second, followed by Tottenham's Bill Nicholson.

Despite winning their sixth title in eight years, United's representation in the Rothmans Team for 1999-2000 is cut in half from last year, when they had six names in the XI. Now, only Jaap Stam, David Beckham and Roy Keane keep their places.

Meanwhile, players can be bought and sold on the new Professional Footballers' Association website which was launched at Old Trafford yesterday. Givemefootball.com will be backed by the American media giant Sports Network and will include interviews with players and coverage of all the PFA work.

The site could also help out-of-contract players find new clubs by posting their availability on the site. "The transfer market has become increasingly agent dominated, but we would like to think we can list players on our site who are looking for other clubs and hopefully that can be used as the first steps to finding alternative employment," the PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, said yesterday.

"An average career lasts just eight years and then no-one wants them," he added.

Taylor believes the site, which incorporates the previous PFA site, has one major advantage - its access to players. "We can tell the story from the inside," he said. "We are in a unique position because we represent the players and they are obviously the most recognisable figures within the game."

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