George Best would have been full of admiration for the current custodian of Manchester United’s iconic No.7 shirt.
Edinson Cavani scored a goal that had echoes of Best in United’s 1-1 draw with Fulham, a swashbuckling 40-yard lob in front of the returning Old Trafford crowd.
Best’s legend was built on such audacious goals and the peerless majesty of the United legend is celebrated in a new film, True Genius, narrated and presented by his only son Calum.
Calum says his late father, who would have turned 75 today, would have enjoyed watching the current United side, in particular Cavani, who plays with the same style and swagger.
“What a goal that was,” said Calum, agreeing his dad would have appreciated Cavani’s strike.
“I swear to you, though, I feel like my dad would have downplayed everyone, else, just so he could say ‘See, I was the best!
“He said that one of his favourite goals he ever scored was against Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris of Chelsea.
“He’d beaten him once and Chopper whispered in dad’s ear ‘If you do that again, I’ll break your legs’ – so he did it again!
“My dad loved all that, showing off and performing.”
Unlike most depictions of Best, True Genius – based a new biography of the same title – focuses solely on his footballing prowess, rather than his post-career troubles and descent into alcoholism, which caused his death in 2005, aged just 59.
Calum, 40, admitted he felt anger towards his late father after his death, but has come to terms with that and relished the chance to pay tribute to him in the form of the BT Sport film.
The opening scene is powerful and poignant, a clip from one of Best’s final interviews, with his friend and former team-mate Rodney Marsh, who asked him how he wanted to be remembered.
“I know what they will think,” said Best. “They’ll forget all the rubbish when I’m gone and they’ll remember the football.
“I don’t give a toss about everything else, as long as they remember the football.
“If one person thinks I was the best player in the world, that’ll do for me, because that’s what it was all about, as far as I was concerned.”
Calum admitted that clip was hard to watch, but said it also inspired him to make the film that celebrates his father, crowned European Footballer of the Year in 1968 after helping United win the European Cup the same year.
“That opening scene, when I see him really frail and not very healthy, triggers emotions in me,” said Calum.
“That made me go back over all the other crap and I thought ‘okay, that’s been documented, now let’s create this film that’s just about football’ – and that filled me with a lot of joy.
“This was my chance to just tell the story of his football and I’d never had an opportunity to do that before.
“It made me happy that I’m able to share this legacy and for future generations to know who George Best was and to be proud of him. I watched the film back and I’m sad he’s not here to see it.
“I wish he was around so we could reflect on that together, because I’m really proud of him and what he did.
“All the crap that happened with the drinking, all the emotions I had, with the anger, as you get older, you lay a lot of those things to rest.
“Whatever has troubled you, at some point you learn to deal with it, and I’m at that point now and have been for many years.
“That’s why I said yes to the film and why it’s just focused on football.”
George Best: True Genius, the next instalment in the BT Sport Films series, will premiere on BT Sport 1 at 10:45pm on Wednesday May 26.
True Genius: George Best, by Wayne Barton, is on sale now with 25% off from reachsportshop.com