This former Manchester City star is the best player you’ve never heard of

Manchester City may boast global football superstars these days – with Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne – but they haven’t always been a massive club.

But one of the best European footballers of the 1970s spent three years at Maine Road between 1978 and 1981, but you may never have heard of him.

Step forward Kazimierz Deyna.

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The Poland legend was an absolute goal machine, scoring for fun throughout his career, even chiming in with 13 goals in 38 games for City.

He earned cult-hero status at City, scoring seven goals in the eight remaining games of the 1978-79 season, playing a key role in saving the club from relegation.

But Deyna played his best football in his homeland, Poland. A legend for his country, Deyna played 304 times for Legia Warsaw, bagging 93 goals.

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Europe’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid and AC Milan, all showed interest in the playmaker, but were prevented from signing him because of Poland’s communist rule.

So good was Deyna, that he came third in the 1974 European Player of the Year award behind Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer.

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But Deyna’s life would end in tragedy, with one of football’s great playmakers dying at the young age of 41 in a car crash in California.

Deyna, who also played for San Diego Shockers, scored 41 times in 90 appearances for Poland, had a statue erected in his honour outside Legia Warsaw’s stadium.

A forgotten legend of the game.

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