Lions' favourites

Former and current Lions tell Kimberly Kwek and Sazali Abdul Aziz who their favourite sides are.

TERRY PATHMANATHAN, 64, DEFENDER, FORMER CAPTAIN - BRAZIL 1970

The 1970 team had a great player in Pele. But I admired how many of his teammates like Rivelino, Tostao, Gerson, and Carlos Alberto supported him and made him look like a greater player.

The team were fast and the players had silky skills and technique. The 1982 team were very stylistic with individual flair, tricks and sleek one-touch football, with players like Zico, Socrates, Falcao, (Toninho) Cerezo and Eder.

I enjoyed watching them play and was highly influenced to play with confidence on the ball and express myself on the field with my technical ability. My biggest takeaway was to never make wild clearances, although I took quite a bit of risk in my defensive third. I felt that was how I enjoyed my game and also added some entertainment for the fans.

LIONEL LEWIS, 37, GOALKEEPER - ITALY 1994

I had just started playing football then. They were popular during that period of time, with great players like Roberto Baggio, Gianluca Pagliuca, Antonio Conte and Paolo Maldini. It was pretty sad for them to lose in the final on penalty shoot-outs (3-2 to Brazil), but they were composed and classy on the pitch and played very well as a team.

HARISS HARUN, 29, MIDFIELDER, CAPTAIN - SPAIN 2008-12

They won two European championships and one World Cup. It was an era of domination for them. They revolutionised football with their tiki-taka style of play.

They would break teams down and also defend deep. As a young boy, it changed the way I played. I would look at players like Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, who played in a similar position, and there were a lot of good things to learn from them. They made it fun and it was enjoyable to watch them.

HASSAN SUNNY, 35, GOALKEEPER - ATLETICO MADRID 2019-20

I like how the players are like animals in training and in games, so much so that even the big teams that come up against them often have problems.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 22, 2020, with the headline 'Lions' favourites'. Print Edition | Subscribe