15 Best Super-Subs in the World of Football

Who is the best super-sub in the world of football?

Super-sub is a term given to a substitute player who comes out in the middle of a football match, saves the team from defeat, or even reverses the situation and helps his team win the match. Super-sub rarely play as a starter, but still manages to show great performances and miracles.

Which football players deserve the title as the best super-sub of all time? This is the question that I'd like to answer by writing this article. Here, I present a list of footballers such as Olivier Bierhoff, Javier Hernandez, Michael Owen, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and many more of them who show great qualities as super-subs.



15. Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez is a striker from Mexico who often saves Manchester United from defeat. Although he is uncomfortable with his role as a super-sub and want more opportunity to play as a starter, this player indeed has a great role as a secret weapon of Manchester United when the main duo, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, fail to score goals. He is fast, sharp, effective, and has very good goalscoring instincts.


14. Dieter Muller

In the 1970s, the position of German national team striker was entrusted to Gerd Muller, an almost-perfect striker. This makes some of the other strikers such as Dieter Muller very rarely got a chance to play in a match. Nevertheless, Dieter Muller managed to create miracle in the Euro 1976 semifinals. In a match against Yugoslavia, Germany lost by 2-1 and only had 11 minutes before the end of the game. Dieter came out from the bench and he managed to score an equalising goal to take the match to extra time. In the extra-time, Dieter Muller scored two more goals and helped West Germany advance to the final round.


13. Edin Dzeko

At the beginning of his career with Manchester City, Dzeko played more as a substitute striker because he couldn't compete with the main duo, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero. The Bosnian player was also highly doubted, whether he could adapt to highly competitive English football or not. Nevertheless, he frequently scored goals althoughmostly being played as a substitute player. In the mid-season of 2012-2013 season, Dzeko scored six out of the total seven goals as a substitute player.


12. Michael Owen

Although he was once known as an indispensable starter when playing for Liverpool, Michael Owen had to be satisfied with his new role as a super-sub when playing for Real Madrid and Manchester United. In Madrid, he was unable to compete with the main duo, Ronaldo and Raul Gonzalez. Nevertheless, he managed to score a lot of goals. In the 2004-2005 season, Owen scored 13 goals, although he was mostly played as a substitute. In Manchester United, Owen also scored a few times as a substitute, one of his most memorable goal is a last-minute goal that helped Manchester United defeat Manchester City in the 2009-2010 season by a final score 4-3.


11. Salomon Kalou

This Ivory Coast winger was a super-sub who help Chelsea win many titles. He was projected as a substitute for Juan Mata, Ramires and Fernando Torres. Luckily, Salomon Kalou is a versatile midfielder who can play in various positions. When playing for Chelsea, Kalou played in more than 100 matches as a substitute. He helped the Blues win one Premier League title, four FA Cup trophies and one Champions League trophy.


10. Lars Ricken

Lars Ricken is a retired German midfielder who spent his entire career at Borussia Dortmund. Although he has a pretty good skills, Ricken very rarely played as a starter. However, he gave great contribution Dortmund. He scored a crucial goal that helped Dortmund beat Juventus in the 1997 Champions League final. Amazingly, the goal was scored just 16 seconds after he entered the match as a substitute.


9. Tore Andre Flo

Tore Andre Flo was a tall striker from Norway who scored a lot of goals from header. He was signed from Norwegian club Brann, but he found difficulty in obtaining a place as a starter. This is because this position has been occupied by Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli and Mark Hughes. However, Flo played his own role by scoring a lot of goals after coming out from the bench. From a total of 50 goals he scored for Chelsea, 13 were scored ​​when he played as a substitute.


8. Nwankwo Kanu

During his career as an Arsenal player from 1999 to 2004, Kanu was never be the first choice of coach Arsene Wenger. His role was mainly as a substitute for Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka or Thierry Henry. However, Kanu managed to take advantage of every minute he played on the pitch. His best performance as a super-sub occurred in a match against Chelsea in the 1999-2000 season, where he was able to score a hat trick within 15 minutes after coming on as a substitute. Due tue his great contribution, Kanu is often regarded as one of Arsenal's best strikers of all time.


7. Roger Milla

Due tue his old age, Roger Milla was considered not to have enough stamina to play for 90 minutes. However, the Cameroon striker often created miracles after coming out from bench. He always played as a substitute in five games at the 1990 World Cup, but managed to score four goals in the tournament. He scored one more goal in the 1994 World Cup as a substitute when he was 42 years old, created a record as the oldest player ever to score in a World Cup tournament.


6. Alvaro Recoba

Recoba was more often played as a super-sub as he is prone to injury. The Uruguay striker does have prolonged severe injury, which made ​​him unable to perform at one hundred percent. Moreover, at the moment Inter already had many world class strikers such as Christian Vieri and Ronaldo. However, when he was given the opportunity to play, Recoba often created miracles by scoring beautiful goals, especially from a free kick or from a long-range shot.


5. G√ľnter Netzer

Gunter Netzer is a former footballer who shone at Borrusia Moenchengladbach and Real Madrid. He won many trophies with both clubs, although he was not too often played as a starter. One of his most impressive performances as a super-sub was in the German Cup final in 1973. At that time, Netzer's mother had just passed away. Netzer was considered still grieving, so he was benched by the coach. Surprisingly, when he was given the opportunity to play in that match, he managed to score one goal that sealed Gladbach's victory in the tournament.


4. Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe holds the record for the most goals scored as a substitute player in Premier League and in England national team. In the Premier League, the striker scored 20 goals as a substitute. With the Three Lions, Defoe is also the highest substitute goalscorer, with a total of seven goals. However, many pundits believe that Defoe actually deserves more than a role as a super-sub. He is competent enough to perform as a starter player, both at the club and national team level.


3. David Fairclough

Fairclough was part of Liverpool's golden generation in the 1970s and 1980s. Although he has pretty good talent and skill as a striker, he couldn't compete with Kevin Keegan and John Toshack to play as a starter. However, this fact couldn't prevent him to give his best for Liverpool. He successfully scored 18 goals from 62 appearances as a substitute. One of the best moments of Fairclough was when he scored in the final minutes in 1977 Champions Cup final match against Saint-Etienne.

2. Oliver Bierhoff

Oliver Bierhoff goals in the last minutes often helped Germany national team win the game. Throughout his career with Der Panzer, Bierhoff was projected more as a substitute for Jurgen Klinsmann and Rudi Voller. His best performance occurred in Euro 96, in the final match against Czech Republic. Played as a substitute, Bierhoff scored in the final minutes, helped Germany win 2-1 and became the champion of the tournament.


1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The title of the best super-sub in the history of football should be given to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian striker is one of the most prolific super-sub ever. The most memorable moments of Solskjaer happened when he scored a goal in injury time in the Champions League final 1998-1999 against Bayern Munich. His goal helped Manchester United win 2-1 and secured the trophy. As a substitute player, he also scored four goals within 19 minutes in a Premier League match against Nottingham Forest in February 1999.


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