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Not all of us are blessed with the ability to bend it like Beckham, or rifle it like Ronaldo. And before the invention of the computer game, all one could do was dream about what it was like to score the winner at Wembley, or guide a disparate rabble of players to a dynasty of glory.

But all that changed when the beautiful game started making its way onto the screens and consoles of millions, with new stories, careers, heroes and classic games being played out every day in 8-bit, 16-bit and then the glorious basically-like-actually-being-there experiences we see today.

Tread carefully: many of these took over lives for lengthy periods of time and can still reduce grown men and women to tears of nostalgia: here's the 15 greatest football computer games ever made.

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