Andre Pirlo dedicated three pages to Andre Schembri’s unorthodox man-marking ventures during Italy’s last game in the Ta’ Qali National Stadium in Malta. It was a game where the Frankfurt forward was heralded as being the Man of the Match, after having also managed to win a penalty for his side. Unfortunately, Mifsud had his effort saved from the spot.
3. Gilbert Agius
The current Valletta FC coach possessed talent that most of his peers in the country could only dream of. No doubt, one of the highlights of the Valletta legend’s career was the brace he scored against Welsh champions Barry Town that allowed the Lillywhites to progress to the second round of the Champions League qualifiers in 1999 – a truly rare feat for any Maltese club. Apart from a short-lived spell in Italy with Pisa, Agius is a one-man club having stayed with his hometown club in the midst of a financial crisis a decade ago.
Agius’ club career saw him mainly feature in a forward position or in a role just behind the strikers whereby he could use his creativity and eye for the pass to good use. However, in the latter years of his international career, Agius was converted into a defensive midfielder to make the most of his passing skills and waning pace. Since Malta normally play very deep, this ensured that the rare forward ventures that Malta had started from the feet of a passing maestro. His long balls looked to make the most of Mifsud’s pace and it’s this quality in midfield that has been so sorely missed since his retirement.
4. Luke Dimech
As no-nonsense a defender as you’re ever likely to meet, Dimech’s appearance is enough to send a slight chill down attacker’s spines. In his heyday, Dimech possessed a healthy turn of pace despite his stocky figure. Strong in the air and confident in the tackle, Dimech had qualities rarely seen in a Maltese defender.
Currently on the books of Valletta, the Floriana-born defender has a relatively distinguished CV having successfully worn the shirts of Shamrock Rovers, Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town, Chester City and AEK Larnaca.
5. Carmel Busuttil
Considered by many local pundits as the best football player to have ever worn the Maltese eight-pointed chest on his chest, Busuttil’s talents were a thing to behold. After winning the league with his boyhood club Rabat Ajax, Busuttil’s intentions were clear – he wanted to further his career overseas making him the first Maltese player to play for a top-flight club in Europe.