Just to be clear, I never said Charlton isn’t world renowned or revered globally as a footballer. Most footballers are more revered in their home country, even Maradona. The love for him in Argentina dwarfs the love for him almost anywhere else. And he is/was pretty well loved everywhere as a footballer (on pitch rather than off it).I was lucky enough to see Charlton play. There have been a distinct exclusive few players past or present that when they received the ball the sense of anticipation of the crowd was electric. Charlton was one such player so was Best, Maradonna,, Puskas, Pele, Cruyft and Messi.
When I was a very wee boy I regarded Bobby Charlton as one of the World's best attacking midfielders. He could pass, dribble, ghost past opponents with ease and had one of the deadliest shots in the business and all with the heavier ball and on heavier pitches. He was renowned the world over. No question.
In 1970 England led West Germany 2-0 in the World Cup QF in Leon and with about 15 mins left and with the afternoon sun draining the players, Alf Ramsay took Charlton off to save him, for the semi against Italy. Charlton had up until then man marked Franz Beckenbauer completely out of the game.
With Charlton withdrawn Beckenbauer suddenly had the freedom to dictate and he scored very quickly after to make it 2-1. The rest is history.
Without Charlton England would never have won the World Cup and Man U probably wouldn't have won the FA Cup in 1963, the Football League Championship in 1967 or the European Cup in 1968.
Some players transcend football globally, some manage it domestically etc. John Charles clearly did in wales, and was pretty well loved in Italy, but even here in England he’s not a player that many people talk about that regularly.
Bobby Charlton was obviously a fantastic player but I don’t think it’s unfair to say there is a level above him his profile has never quite reached. Most people wouldn’t even say he’s Man United’s best ever player. Plenty would say he’s not in their top 2.
As I say, probably sneaks into the top 10 of greatest living footballers. Which is high praise indeed. Not sure why some people think it’s somehow a criticism of him!