Where most players carve out an individual legacy throughout their footballing careers, some players are renowned for being part of a dynamic duo; a pairing that would perhaps have made either of the individual’s career a tad more insignificant had they undergone it alone.
They don’t necessarily depend on the other to hold their hand throughout games, but their unique playing style is simply complimented by the other and enhanced in doing so.
Let’s take a look at some deadly duos that couldn’t work without each other…
Steven Gerrard & Fernando Torres
“He is everything I need on the pitch in one player. I would pay to play with him again.”
This is just a snippet of many quotes in which Fernando Torres continues to laud his former Liverpool teammate to this day, and rightly so. The Spaniard and Steven Gerrard struck up a telepathic bond during their days at Anfield, leading to some incredible goals and memories for the Reds’ faithful.
It could be argued that the bond was the making of Torres, as his spell on Merseyside was the most prolific of his career, whilst he never looked the same after being apart from Gerrard.
Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo
An unorthodox pairing, but hear me out. Whilst the prolific pair have never played on the same side, their lofty individual exploits have almost certainly pushed each of them to improve.
In normal circumstances, only one player with unearthly footballing ability would roam this earth, and if that were the case then that individual may have rested on their laurels. But because Ronaldo and Messi both play their football in the same era (as well as the same league, no less), both of them strive to better themselves ahead of the other in what is one of football’s most healthy rivalries.
Nemanja Vidic & Rio Ferdinand
One of the most formidable partnerships in modern football, Vidic and Ferdinand had it all between them. The former’s rock hard physicality coupled with the latter’s defensive guile and brains led them to five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy with Manchester United.
On their own, or partnered with another player, either of the duo didn’t look nearly as dominating as they did whilst besides each other.
Luis Suarez & Daniel Sturridge
The duo of Sturridge and Suarez was one of England’s most impressive for a long time. Before the Englishman arrived at Anfield, Suarez was still excelling, but nowhere near to the level that he did after Sturridge arrived.
After he did join from Chelsea, however, Suarez took his game up a notch, whilst Sturridge became the clinical forward everyone thought he would become after years watching on from the bench.
Since the Uruguayan’s departure, Sturridge has never looked the same player.
Andres Iniesta & Xavi
Even without one another, Xavi or Iniesta could pass a ball like no other, but together, the pair’s abilities were simply unfair. The duo would rack up countless amounts of passes each game and dominate the ball for their side; this could normally be sorted by the opposition man marking the chief passer, but in this instance, the two of them keeping play ticking over was literally unstoppable.
Alongside each other, the Spanish duo won all there was to win with both club and country; no surprise really when you have two players of that ability working so cohesively.
Jan Vertonghen & Toby Alderweireld
They played together at Ajax. They play together with Belgium. Now they play together with Tottenham. The Belgian duo of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are inseparable, and to some effect.
Together, they won numerous Eredivisie titles in Holland and have been one of the best pairings in England since they arrived in north London. They just need a piece of silverware to crown their impressive performances together at Spurs…
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