Big Soccer members World Best Player of the Year 1950-2009

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by couper99, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. couper99

    couper99 New Member

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    I had the idea to name the best three players in the world for each year from 1950 to 2010. Since France Football Ballon d Or started in 1956 and until 1995 only europeans playing in europe were eligible, and FIFA player of the year was introduced in 1991 there is no single award that all players since 1950 can compete in.

    since the whole process can take time and research i start with the more recent years:

    2009: 1. Messi 2. Iniesta 3. Xavi
    2008: 1. C. Ronaldo 2. Messi 3. Torres
    2007: 1. Kaka 2. Messi 3. C. Ronaldo
    2006: Cannavaro, Buffon, Zidane


  2. couper99

    couper99 New Member

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    2005: Ronaldinho, Lampard, Gerrard
    2004: Ronaldinho, Henry, Deco
    2003: Nedved, Henry, Ronaldo
    2002: Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Ballack
    2001: Owen, Figo, Kahn
    2000: Zidane, Rivaldo, Figo
    1999: Rivaldo, Schevchenko, Batistuta
    1998: Zidane, Ronaldo, Suker
    1997: Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Bergkamp
    1996: Ronaldo, Sammer, Shearer
    1995: Weah, Klinsmann, Litmanen
    1994: Romario, Stoichkov, Baggio
    1993: Baggio, Romario, Bergkamp
    1992: Van Basten, Stoichkov, Bergkamp
    1991: Papin, Matthaeus, Savisevic
    1990: Matthaeus, Brehme, Goycoechea
    1989: Van Basten, Maradona, Baresi
    1988: Maradona, Gullit, Van Basten
    1987: Maradona, Futre, Butragueno
    1986: Maradona, Lineker, Butragueno
    1985: Platini, Elkjaer, Maradona
    1984: Platini, Zico, Tigana
    1983: Platini, Zico, Socrates
    1982: Zico, Rossi, Socrates
    1981: Zico, Rummenigge, Breitner
    1980: Rummenigge, Platini, Maradona
    1979: Keegan, Rummenigge, Maradona
    1978: Kempes, Keegan, Rensenbrink,
    1977: Simonsen, Keegan, Zico
    1976: Beckenbauer, Rensenbrink, Figueroa
    1975: Blokhin, Beckenbauer, Cruyff
    1974: Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Rivelino
    1973: Cruyff, Zoff, Muller
    1972: Beckenbauer, Muller, Netzer
    1971: Cruyff, Mazzola, Best
    1970: Pele, Jairzinho, Muller
    1969: Rivera, Riva, Pele
    1968: Best, Charlton, Pele
    1967: Albert, Charlton, Tostao
    1966: Charlton, Eusebio, Moore
    1965: Pele, Eusebio, Facchetti
    1964: Law, Pele, Suarez
    1963: Pele, Yashin, Garrincha
    1962: Pele, Garrincha, Masopust
    1961: Pele, Sivori, Garrincha
    1960: Pele, Suarez, Puskas
    1959: Di Stefano, Pele, Garrincha
    1958: Pele, Kopa, Didi
    1957: Di Stefano, Wright, Kopa
    1956: Matthews, Di Stefano, Kopa
    1955: Matthews, Di Stefano, Puskas
    1954: Puskas, Walter, Kocsis
    1953: Di Stefano, Puskas, Matthews
    1952: Puskas, Di Stefano, Zizinho
    1951: Zizinho, Matthews, Di Stefano
    1950: Ademir, Schiafino, Zizinho
  3. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    This is quite tricky Couper but I'll have a go. Generally I'd feel a Player of the Year award should be more about consistency than a 'Best Player Ever' vote should be as we're talking about a single year but I'll probably edge more towards picking the best players at peak form at that particular time, partly because I don't have enough to go on to judge their form from week to week especially the further back we go. I'm paying a bit of attention to Balon D'or rankings and WPOTY awards with my answers but since they are often disputed and I among others would change the overall order, maybe occasionally the winner too, I've probably gone away from them significantly at times. I think generally International Tournament performances are reflected more than anything with the Balon D'or etc. Maybe you stayed closer to them and inserted South American players into a lot of the earlier rankings? It's a good idea for a thread anyway. Here's my best idea of the top 3's from each year then:
    2009 - 1) Messi, 2) Iniesta, 3) Xavi
    2008 - 1) C.Ronaldo, 2) Messi, 3) Torres
    2007 - 1) Kaka, 2) Messi, 3) Robinho
    2006 - 1) Kaka, 2) Zidane, 3) Cannavaro
    2005 - 1) Ronaldinho, 2) Henry, 3) Kaka
    2004 - 1) Ronaldinho, 2) Henry, 3) Shevchenko
    2003 - 1) Zidane, 2) Henry, 3) Nedved
    2002 - 1) Zidane, 2) Ronaldo, 3) Ronaldinho
    2001 - 1) Zidane, 2) Figo, 3) Totti
    2000 - 1) Figo, 2) Zidane, 3) Shevchenko
    1999 - 1) Figo, 2) Rivaldo, 3) Shevchenko
    1998 - 1) Ronaldo, 2) Zidane, 3) Bergkamp
    1997 - 1) Ronaldo, 2) Bergkamp, 3) Schmeichel
    1996 - 1) Ronaldo, 2) Sammer, 3) Klinsmann
    1995 - 1) Weah, 2) Savicevic, 3) M. Laudrup
    1994 - 1) Savicevic, 2) Baggio, 3) M. Laudrup
    1993 - 1) M. Laudrup, 2) Baggio, 3) Cantona
    1992 - 1) van Basten, 2) M. Laudrup, 3) Bergkamp
    1991 - 1) Matthaus, 2) Caniggia, 3) Papin
    1990 - 1) Matthaus, 2) Baresi, 3) Gascoigne
    1989 - 1) van Basten, 2) Matthaus, 3) Baresi
    1988 - 1) van Basten, 2) Gullit, 3) Maradona
    1987 - 1) Maradona, 2) Gullit, 3) Butragueno
    1986 - 1) Maradona, 2) Lineker, 3) Elkjaer
    1985 - 1) Platini, 2) Maradona, 3) M. Laudrup
    1984 - 1) Platini, 2) Zico, 3) Tigana
    1983 - 1) Platini, 2) Zico, 3) Dalglish
    1982 - 1) Zico, 2) Platini, 3) Socrates
    1981 - 1) Zico, 2) Rummenigge, 3) Platini
    1980 - 1) Maradona, 2) Zico, 3) Rummenigge
    1979 - 1) Zico, 2) Maradona, 3) Rummenigge
    1978 - 1) Kempes, 2) Cruyff, 3) Dalglish
    1977 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Platini, 3) Shilton
    1976 - 1) Beckenbauer, 2) Rensenbrink, 3) Cruyff
    1975 - 1) Beckenbauer, 2) Cruyff, 3) Blokhin
    1974 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Neeskens, 3) Muller
    1973 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Beckenbauer, 3) Muller
    1972 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Beckenbauer, 3) Muller
    1971 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Best, 3) Beckenbauer
    1970 - 1) Beckenbauer, 2) Pele, 3) Cruyff
    1969 - 1) Rivera, 2) Cruyff, 3) Beckenbauer
    1968 - 1) Best, 2) B. Charlton, 3) Dzajic
    1967 - 1) Pele, 2) B. Charlton, 3) Best
    1966 - 1) Eusebio, 2) Moore, 3) B. Charlton
    1965 - 1) Pele, 2) Eusebio, 3) B. Charlton
    1964 - 1) Pele, 2) Garrincha 3) Law
    1963 - 1) Pele, 2) Yashin, 3) Rivera
    1962 - 1) Pele, 2) Garrincha, 3) Eusebio
    1961 - 1) Pele, 2) Garrincha, 3) Suarez
    1960 - 1) Pele, 2) Puskas, 3) Suarez
    1959 - 1) Pele, 2) Di Stefano, 3) Charles
    1958 - 1) Pele, 2) Kopa, 3) Fontaine
    1957 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Yashin, 3) Edwards
    1956 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Puskas, 3) Edwards
    1955 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Puskas, 3) Kubala
    1954 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Puskas, 3) Schiaffino
    1953 - 1) Puskas, 2) Hidegkuti, 3) Kocsis
    1952 - 1) Puskas, 2) Kubala, 3) Finney
    1951 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Puskas, 3) Ademir
    1950 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Ademir, 3) Zizinho
  4. couper99

    couper99 New Member

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    some corrections in my post:

    1972: Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Muller
    1977: Simonsen, Cruyff, Keegan
    1979: Keegan, Zico, Maradona

    Cruyff had with Ajax the best year ever in 1972 by winning every title available.


  5. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member

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    Ronaldinho had his best season in 2005/2006 ... until the WC. :p
  6. couper99

    couper99 New Member

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    i tried to guess more what the awards would be like if they were given then by FIFA/France Football votes according to their criteria.(which are not bad either) therefore players are judged also by how good their particular season was, which also has to do with the success of their team during the year in winning trophies etc.
    naturally it is hard to judge players in the 50s. that means Di Stefano or even Puskas could have easily won more awards than my guess.
  7. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be really interested to see the reasoning behind some of these selections as I'm struggling to see the rationale for some of these.
  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    I'll have a go at justifications if you're thinking about some of my choices Comme. I'd probably prefer you to pick some out that you're particularly curious/doubtful about rather than go through the whole list though... I think Couper's are more self-explanatory, as he's trying to combine the Fifa and Balon D'or rankings largely. I've just been looking at them and actually there's quite a few differences since 1991 when the Fifa award came in and even since 1995 when the Balon D'or could be won by non-Europeans. 2 of the last 3 years they've been the same exactly re the top 3 but it's been fairly obvious which way the voting would go in these years I think (though both me and Couper exercising his personal discretion a little, put Iniesta into 2nd for last year rather than Ronaldo).
  9. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    Well if I bold some of those I find interesting:

    2009 - 1) Messi, 2) Iniesta, 3) Xavi
    2007 - 1) Kaka, 2) Messi, 3) Robinho
    2006 - 1) Kaka, 2) Zidane, 3) Cannavaro
    2005 - 1) Ronaldinho, 2) Henry, 3) Kaka
    2003 - 1) Zidane, 2) Henry, 3) Nedved
    2002 - 1) Zidane, 2) Ronaldo, 3) Ronaldinho
    2001 - 1) Zidane, 2) Figo, 3) Totti
    1994 - 1) Savicevic, 2) Baggio, 3) M. Laudrup
    1977 - 1) Cruyff, 2) Platini, 3) Shilton
    1957 - 1) Di Stefano, 2) Yashin, 3) Edwards

    Starting with the most recent:

    How was Iniesta the second best player in the world last year? How was he better than Xavi?

    How was Messi better than Cristiano Ronaldo or Drogba in 2005?

    How does Kaka come top in 2006 over a large number of other candidates, most notably Buffon, Pirlo, Cannavaro et al?

    In 2005 why was Kaka better than Lampard or Riquelme?

    What did Zidane do to merit any of the wins in 2001-3?

    How was Savicevic better than Maldini, Stoichkov, Romario or Baggio in 1994?

    How did Shilton top Keegan in 1977?

    Why was Yashin so good in 1957?

    PS: Don't take that as criticism, just genuinely interested.
  10. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Firstly thanks for the last comment;). Starting from the top; Iniesta and Xavi were both key to the performance of Barca last year. Xavi has clearly carried that on into 2010 wheras Iniesta, largely due to injury isn't at the same level he was as the end of last season. My personal opinion is that it was Iniesta who was Man of the Match in the Champions League Final. Both players produced a key assist and generally played very well. Iniesta, I felt was key more than anyone including Messi and Xavi in establishing Barcelona's advantage in the match, being incisive whenever he got the ball and setting up a key early goal for Eto'o to finish (admitedly after doing very well himself). I watched the whole match on Sky and after the game Souness wasn't praising Messi as he's done this week but instead saying (I forget which one now) that Iniesta/Iniesta's performance would go down as all-time great. There was discussion during the 08/09 season on the Real Madrid channel along the lines of some guests suggesting Xavi and Iniesta were equally good wheras some suggesting Iniesta was more highly rated (although thinking some Spanish media and fans were doing this deliberately to build his reputation up I think). It was Iniesta with the last-minute goal at Stamford Bridge too but generally he was on top form during that season especially 2009. I would agree that Xavi has some attributes to a higher level and is more of the fulcrum of Barcelona's buildup but Iniesta has shown capabilities especially in dribbling, opening up space, tricks that Xavi doesn't have really. I think that Messi in 2007 was generally speaking the player he is today, which in my view is higher-class than Drogba. Cristiano Ronaldo's 2007/2008 season was undoubtedly the one where we all had to admit he was a top player. From memory I felt that he really hit form during the latter half of that season. Messi obviously wasn't dominating like now (but Barca weren't in general) so I take your point. I think he was promising for Argentina too during the Copa America for example. That tournament was a high point for Robinho too but at the start of 07/08 he was also starring for Real Madrid in La Liga and the Champions League. I think kaka's 06/07 season was his best, which included all the Champions League group games before Christmas. For me he was already the top player at that time. He didn't have a great World Cup by any means bar one curling left footed goal but he was expected to which reflected his excellent form for Milan in 2005/2006 too. For me he clearly wasn't as good as any of the Italians you mentioned in the World Cup but was just as clearly better over the year. I don't think Pirlo was more of a star for Milan at that time (similar to comparing Xavi and Messi now perhaps?). I remember Kaka being what I already considered a top player in 2005 although he seemed to increase his goal threat in 2006 - probably playing higher up the pitch a la Gerrard at Liverpool in recent years though. Kaka's first half performance in the 2005 Champions League final was top-notch although the shine might have been dimmed by the fact he was much less influential after Hamann came on. Zidane was obviously a top player for a long time. I probably felt that generally speaking he was the best around at that time. He was the fulcrum of the Real team that did win the Champions League then La Liga. Savicevic is someone that I seem to rate higher than the average BS poster so unavoidably I probably mention him in a few threads where others don't. His standout game was the 1994 CL final (where he was far far better than Romario or Stoichkov to be honest) but obviously that alone can't be enough. During that period 94-96 he had a reputation as being 'potentially brilliant' or 'brilliant in big games' which to an extent I could see but I was always very impressed when I saw him in any game. He scored twice in the 1995 CL semi-final but Capello decided he was injured for the final. There's no guarentee he would've been Man-of-the-Match again or Milan would've beaten ajax but if so his status might be generally elevated to where I see it? Undoubtedly, some games he starred more than in others but he had an outstanding creative and elusive style and it's probably best to play best in the biggest games if anything. I don't work for ESPN ;) but coincidentally I'm going to watch Milan v Fiorentina from 1996 at 3.30 on the ESPN Classic channel I've mentioned before. I didn't see the game at the time but I've a feeling Savicevic may score a great goal in it (going off what I've seen on Youtube unless a different game). The game was 3-1 to Milan I think and involves Maldini, Weah, maybe Baggio, Batistuta, Rui Costa etc too so should be good. There's a clip on Youtube of a brilliant assist by Savicevic for Baggio against Parma which illustrates his qualities around that time. He was far from a Cruyff or Pele overall but so were IMO Romario and even Baggio who probably had his best year in 1993 anyway though a great World Cup in 94 apart from one penalty. He didn't have the opportunity to star in the World Cup, unlike the ones you mentioned, but I feel his performances for Milan merit the top spot although it's up for debate unlike certain other years. Romario was obviously a prolific goalscorer and won the World Cup. I think Laudrup and company can share credit for Romario's form for Barca and Brazil too were a very good team if not brilliant in 94. Bebeto worked excellently with Romario. As always judging a great left-back vs a variably brilliant playmaker forward (Maldini v Savicevic) is difficult. Keegan features very prominantly in the Balon D'or doesn't he but somehow Liverpool fans are sure Dalglish was much better. Perhaps his best form was wityh Hamburg as the awards suggest but there's less footage available - had he improved (I know you started a thread about him before)? Forest obviously won the League in 77/78 and I feel that era was Shilton's peak, when both consistent and reliable plus capable of spectacular saves. It was very much a team effort but they conceded few goals and he did pull-off plenty of great saves. Yashin in 1957 is admitedly a bit of a guess/token inclusion given my age. I know he played a big part in winning the European Championships in 60 but his reputation was already worldwide before the 58 World Cup and he was well into his career. Nothing especially to pick out '57 though above a few other years. Hope that's an interesting response :).
  11. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks very much for your thoughts. I'd rep you but have to spread it around.

    Again, not a criticism, because I made it the whole way through but paragraphs would make it much easier going!
  12. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Just to add to the post as I realised you'd wanted to compare Kaka to Lampard and Riqulme who I didn't mention:
    Statistically Kaka did win the 2005 award for Uefa Champions League best midfielder though I guess his aforementioned performance in the Final was a big factor. I feel that he was a better playmaker than Lampard, with better manipulation of the ball in midfield and much more pace. He was much more athletic than Riquelme ever was and personally I don't feel he was less creative though he had a different style. I do think largely he played as well in 2005 as in the next couple of years, certainly in terms of his creative midfield play.
  13. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Yeah I agree about the paragraphs! - was on a mission to finish it so should've presented it better.
  14. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    The Savicevic goal I was talking about was in a different game. Here it is:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gczvrKAtxU"]YouTube- Ac Milan - Video - Savicevic Goal (Ac Milan Vs Fiorentina)[/ame]
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    I think one adjustment I'd definately make to this would be regarding Kocsis. I've seen him play generally very well with a sure touch and good movement in the Wembley game in '53 and he also had a secondary header-pass assist and one of his famous headers onto the cross-bar. I think he was generally in good form but as goals were his main forte, 1952 and 1954 look to have been more prolific (plus he had a big hand in Hungary's success in the Olympics and the World Cup respectively). At Club level as well as International level he scored more in those years.

    My initial idea was that 3 Hungarians made sense for '53 and I suppose Bozsik could be added or maybe Czibor (or Kubala who was by birth Hungarian) to maintain this but from what I can gather about Finney and Schiaffino during the 50's it might be plausible to put Kocsis 3rd in '52 and and '54 and Finney and Schiaffino 3rd in one of the years '53 and '55 each. I had thought of '54 for Kocsis originally I think but it also seemed like a good choice for world record transfer Schiaffino who had a great World Cup too and kicked-off his successful Milan career that year. btw Finney could've had his own big money transfer to Palermo if Preston had agreed to it during 1952.

    I'm not adding Stanley Matthews (there's been discussion about his prime period on another thread started by Dearman) but it's worth noting his performance vs Brazil albeit in a friendly in the year he did win the Ballon D'or (1956).
  16. Once

    Once Member

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  17. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Yeah, assuming the page hasn't changed since I looked at could be a mistake to list him for 1964 indeed. According to that page his career was pretty much over after his great 1962 year, though there were many competitions in Brazil and he's listed as winning a tornament of some sort. It would seem he didn't play for Brazil in '63 or '64 according to that. 1957 comes into the equation according to that page probably, according to the main text at least quoting a lot of goals as Botofogo won the state championship/carioca. The goals table doesn't reflect that though :confused:.

    You're probably right that 1964 shouldn't include Garrincha though.
  18. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    A very good list mate ....
    However
    in 50: Zizinho (Played in Brazil and was best at WC50)>> Di Stefano (who played for Columbian team big deal)

    in 51: same thing why Stefano was #1?

    in 83: not sure if Platini was better than Zico same year (as Zico was not eligible for ballon Dor, and played for Undinese)

    in 94: Romario should be there at least #2

    in 99: Rivaldo definitely >> Figo

    lastly ... Sheva had NOTHING to do in TOP3 of 99 and 2000
  19. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Thanks James.

    Di Stefano's early 1st places were based on guesswork mostly, as that stage of his career is not as well documented.

    I agree that Platini and Zico would be a very close call for 1983.

    '94 as discussed before would be a difficult call. Romario would be a reasonable suggestion even for 1st - my selection Savicevic was chosen based on general ability at the time, impressive performances during the year but with a big emphasis on the Champions League final too wheras Romario had a great goalscoring record (more in 93/94 than 94/95 of course) and was on form through the year but the two major finals were not great games for him. I think that year had a lot of great candidates but not an absolutely obvious top 1, 2 or 3....if I was to add 3 more to make a top 6 probably they would be Romario, Klinsmann and either Hagi or Maldini. btw, if I gave Savicevic and maybe Laudrup the benefit of the doubt in the mid 90's I might've done the opposite in '91 where I included Caniggia and Papin partly for a bit of variety but both had their claims (Caniggia's Copa America a big factor and Papin's goalscoring including in European competition)....4-6 might include Savicevic, Baresi and Michael Laudrup perhaps.

    We appear to have different impressions about Figo vis a vis Rivaldo but thats ok :). You and the Ballon D'or voters are pretty clear in rating Rivaldo higher wheras me and the Don Balon award favour Figo. I do think from memory that was probably Rivaldo's best ever year but Figo had different abilities and they impressed me more (he was quicker, better dribbler, more of a provider etc).

    I disagree about Sheva cos I think he was a great player at the end of his Dynamo Kiev career and the start of his Milan career and those two years were the most impressive for him overall I think. Again it's ok though we will have different opinions inevitably.
  20. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

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    I think you don't know much about "El Dorado", a pirate colombian league, who signed many many many international players from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, etc., also England & Hungary.

    In the period 1949-52, Colombian league was the strongest league in America and arguably worldwide :eek: :cool:

    Here's a link with international matches played by Millonarios
    http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/millonarios-intl.html

    Look for the period 49-52, they had wins over the likes of River Plate, Flamengo, Real Madrid, Rapid Wien, Chile NT, etc.
  21. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    Well I admit I did not know much of Di Stefano but at same time, I do NOT think many of us do or did!

    I agree than Milionarios were a very good team with him, however I am NOT SOLD that:
    1- Columbia league was the best league in SA (and far from the world at time)
    2- With barely 1GPG in Columbia league, it did NOT justify his GREATNESS (as the best in the world in 50-51) there as a FORWARD (at time) - NOTE: at time many TOPSOCERER in Columbia got like 1.5GPG ...

    Lets take Pele as example, his GPG was >1.5GPG for >10years in Brazil league and that was GREAT becuase the average topscorer in Brazil league in his time was < 0.8GPG (So he double talent the rest) - and that's different to Stefano/

    Now, Setfano was GREAT when he was joining Real - that's SOLD and GIVEN
  22. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

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    Just saying that Di Stefano in early 50s was a real contender for WPOY.

    Not a real & sure #1 like in his Madrid days, but i think close to the best players at early 50s (in SA, for example, also Pedernera, Walter Gomez, Zizinho & Schiaffino)
  23. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    For me, I think Di Stefano was better than Schiaffino, and Gomez from 46-51 before, but not to Zizinho nor t Pedernera (selon many in Argentina)

    His time at Real is a different story per se
  24. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

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    I think we can agree that Puskas mid 50s, Di Stefano & Pele late 50s were the higher peaks on that decade. The other years are debatable :)
  25. Perú FC

    Perú FC Member+

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    There is my own project from 1908 to 2011 named Mejor Futbolista del Año (Best Footballer of the Year): http://www.glavisted.blogspot.com/2011/09/mejor-futbolista-del-ano.html

    From 1950 to 2009 those would be my Top 3:

    1950
    1. ZIZINHO (Tomás Soares da Silva) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])
    2. PUSKÁS, Ferenc (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    3. NORDAHL, Gunnar (Suecia & AC Milan [ITA])

    1951
    1. LIEDHOLM, Nils (Suecia & AC Milan [ITA])
    2. NORDAHL, Gunnar (Suecia & AC Milan [ITA])
    3. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Millonarios [COL])

    1952
    1. PUSKÁS, Ferenc (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    2. KOCSIS, Sándor (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    3. KUBALA, Ladislao (Hungría & Barcelona [ESP])

    1953
    1. PUSKÁS, Ferenc (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    2. HIDEGKUTI, Nándor (Hungría & MTK Budapest [HUN])
    3. SCHIAFFINO, Juan Alberto (Uruguay & Peñarol [URU])

    1954
    1. PUSKÁS, Ferenc (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    2. KOCSIS, Sándor (Hungría & Budapest Honvéd [HUN])
    3. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Real Madrid [ESP])

    1955
    1. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. SCHIAFFINO, Juan Alberto (Uruguay & AC Milan [ITA])
    3. DIDÍ (Waldyr Pereira) (Brasil & Fluminense [BRA])

    1956
    1. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. KOPA, Raymond (Francia & Stade de Reims [FRA] / Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. MATTHEWS, Stanley (Inglaterra & Blackpool [ING])

    1957
    1. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. EDWARDS, Duncan (Inglaterra & Manchester United [ING])
    3. DIDÍ (Waldyr Pereira) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])

    1958
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. DIDÍ (Waldyr Pereira) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])
    3. KOPA, Raymond (Francia & Real Madrid [ESP])

    1959
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. DI STÉFANO, Alfredo (Argentina & Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. KOPA, Raymond (Francia & Real Madrid [ESP] / Stade de Reims [FRA])

    1960
    1. PUSKÁS, Ferenc (Hungría & Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    3. SUÁREZ, Luis (España & Barcelona [ESP])

    1961
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. GARRINCHA (Manoel Francisco dos Santos) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])
    3. SÍVORI, Omar (Argentina & Juventus [ITA])

    1962
    1. GARRINCHA (Manoel Francisco dos Santos) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])
    2. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    3. EUSÉBIO (Eusébio da Silva Ferreira) (Portugal & Benfica [POR])

    1963
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. GARRINCHA (Manoel Francisco dos Santos) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])
    3. YASHIN, Lev (Unión Soviética & Dinamo Moscú [RUS])

    1964
    1. SUÁREZ, Luis (España & Inter de Milán [ITA])
    2. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    3. LAW, Denis (Escocia & Manchester United [ING])

    1965
    1. EUSÉBIO (Eusébio da Silva Ferreira) (Portugal & Benfica [POR])
    2. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    3. FACCHETTI, Giacinto (Italia & Inter de Milán [ITA])

    1966
    1. CHARLTON, Bobby (Inglaterra & Manchester United [ING])
    2. EUSÉBIO (Eusébio da Silva Ferreira) (Portugal & Benfica [POR])
    3. MOORE, Bobby (Inglaterra & West Ham United [ING])

    1967
    1. ALBERT, Flórián (Hungría & Ferencváros [HUN])
    2. CHARLTON, Bobby (Inglaterra & Manchester United [ING])
    3. EUSÉBIO (Eusébio da Silva Ferreira) (Portugal & Benfica [POR])

    1968
    1. BEST, George (Irlanda del Norte & Manchester United [ING])
    2. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    3. DZAJIC, Dragan (Yugoslavia & Estrella Roja [SER])

    1969
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. RIVERA, Gianni (Italia & AC Milan [ITA])
    3. CRUYFF, Johan (Holanda & Ajax [HOL])

    1970
    1. PELÉ (Édson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brasil & Santos [BRA])
    2. MÜLLER, Gerd (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. JAIRZINHO (Jair Ventura Filho) (Brasil & Botafogo [BRA])

    1971
    1. CRUYFF, Johan (Holanda & Ajax [HOL])
    2. TOSTAO (Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade) (Brasil & Cruzeiro [BRA])
    3. BEST, George (Irlanda del Norte & Manchester United [ING])

    1972
    1. CRUYFF, Johan (Holanda & Ajax [HOL])
    2. BECKENBAUER, Franz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. MÜLLER, Gerd (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])

    1973
    1. CRUYFF, Johan (Holanda & Ajax [HOL] / Barcelona [ESP])
    2. MÜLLER, Gerd (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. RIVELINO (Roberto Rivellino) (Brasil & Corinthians [BRA])

    1974
    1. BECKENBAUER, Franz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    2. CRUYFF, Johan (Holanda & Barcelona [ESP])
    3. DEYNA, Kazimierz (Polonia & Legia de Varsovia [POL])

    1975
    1. BECKENBAUER, Franz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    2. BLOKHIN, Oleg (Unión Soviética & Dinamo Kiev [UCR])
    3. FIGUEROA, Elías (Chile & Internacional [BRA])

    1976
    1. FIGUEROA, Elías (Chile & Internacional [BRA])
    2. BECKENBAUER, Franz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. PASSARELLA, Daniel (Argentina & River Plate [ARG])

    1977
    1. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])
    2. SIMONSEN, Allan (Dinamarca & Borussia Mönchengladbach [ALE])
    3. RIVELINO (Roberto Rivellino) (Brasil & Fluminense [BRA])

    1978
    1. KEMPES, Mario (Argentina & Valencia [ESP])
    2. DALGLISH, Kenny (Escocia & Liverpool [ING])
    3. RENSENBRINK, Rob (Holanda & Anderlecht [BEL])

    1979
    1. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Argentinos Juniors [ARG])
    2. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])
    3. FALCAO (Paulo Roberto Falcao) (Brasil & Internacional [BRA])

    1980
    1. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Argentinos Juniors [ARG])
    2. RUMMENIGGE, Karl-Heinz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])

    1981
    1. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])
    2. RUMMENIGGE, Karl-Heinz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])
    3. BREITNER, Paul (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])

    1982
    1. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA])
    2. FALCAO (Paulo Roberto Falcao) (Brasil & AS Roma [ITA])
    3. RUMMENIGGE, Karl-Heinz (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])

    1983
    1. PLATINI, Michel (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    2. ZICO (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Brasil & Flamengo [BRA] / Udinese [ITA])
    3. FALCAO (Paulo Roberto Falcao) (Brasil & AS Roma [ITA])

    1984
    1. PLATINI, Michel (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    2. FRANCESCOLI, Enzo (Uruguay & River Plate [ARG])
    3. TIGANA, Jean (Francia & Girondins Burdeos [FRA])

    1985
    1. PLATINI, Michel (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    2. JÚNIOR (Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior) (Brasil & Torino [ITA])
    3. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])

    1986
    1. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])
    2. LINEKER, Gary (Inglaterra & Everton [ING] / Barcelona [ESP])
    3. CARECA (Antonio de Oliveira Filho) (Brasil & Sao Paulo [BRA])

    1987
    1. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])
    2. GULLIT, Ruud (Holanda & PSV Eindhoven [HOL] / AC Milan [ITA])
    3. SÁNCHEZ, Hugo (México & Real Madrid [ESP])

    1988
    1. VAN BASTEN, Marco (Holanda & AC Milan [ITA])
    2. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])
    3. GULLIT, Ruud (Holanda & AC Milan [ITA])

    1989
    1. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])
    2. VAN BASTEN, Marco (Holanda & AC Milan [ITA])
    3. BARESI, Franco (Italia & AC Milan [ITA])

    1990
    1. MATTHÄUS, Lothar (Alemania & Inter de Milán [ITA])
    2. MARADONA, Diego (Argentina & Nápoli [ITA])
    3. VAN BASTEN, Marco (Holanda & AC Milan [ITA])

    1991
    1. PAPIN, Jean-Pierre (Francia & Olympique de Marsella [FRA])
    2. MATTHÄUS, Lothar (Alemania & Inter de Milán [ITA])
    3. SAVICEVIC, Dejan (Yugoslavia & Estrella Roja [SER])

    1992
    1. VAN BASTEN, Marco (Holanda & AC Milan [ITA])
    2. LAUDRUP, Michael (Dinamarca & Barcelona [ESP])
    3. SCHMEICHEL, Peter (Dinamarca & Manchester United [ING])

    1993
    1. BAGGIO, Roberto (Italia & Juventus [ITA])
    2. ROMÁRIO (Romário de Souza Faria) (Brasil & PSV Eindhoven [HOL] / Barcelona [ESP])
    3. SCHMEICHEL, Peter (Dinamarca & Manchester United [ING])

    1994
    1. ROMÁRIO (Romário de Souza Faria) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])
    2. STOICHKOV, Hristo (Bulgaria & Barcelona [ESP])
    3. BAGGIO, Roberto (Italia & Juventus [ITA])

    1995
    1. MALDINI, Paolo (Italia & AC Milan [ITA])
    2. WEAH, George (Liberia & París Saint-Germain [FRA] / AC Milan [ITA])
    3. LITMANEN, Jari (Finlandia & Ajax [HOL])

    1996
    1. RONALDO (Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima) (Brasil & PSV Eindhoven [HOL] / Barcelona [ESP])
    2. SAMMER, Matthias (Alemania & Borussia Dortmund [ALE])
    3. CANTONA, Éric (Francia & Manchester United [ING])

    1997
    1. RONALDO (Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP] / Inter de Milán [ITA])
    2. ZIDANE, Zinedine (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    3. BERGKAMP, Dennis (Holanda & Arsenal [ING])

    1998
    1. RONALDO (Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima) (Brasil & Inter de Milán [ITA])
    2. ZIDANE, Zinedine (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    3. BERGKAMP, Dennis (Holanda & Arsenal [ING])

    1999
    1. RIVALDO (Vítor Borba Ferreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])
    2. BATISTUTA, Gabriel (Argentina & Fiorentina [ITA])
    3. BECKHAM, David (Inglaterra & Manchester United [ING])

    2000
    1. ZIDANE, Zinedine (Francia & Juventus [ITA])
    2. FIGO, Luís (Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro) (Portugal & Barcelona [ESP] / Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. RIVALDO (Vítor Borba Ferreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])

    2001
    1. ZIDANE, Zinedine (Francia & Juventus [ITA] / Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. RAÚL (Raúl González) (España & Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. RIVALDO (Vítor Borba Ferreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])

    2002
    1. RONALDO (Brasil & Inter de Milán [ITA] / Real Madrid [ESP])
    2. ROBERTO CARLOS (Roberto Carlos da Silva) (Brasil & Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. KAHN, Oliver (Alemania & Bayern Múnich [ALE])

    2003
    1. HENRY, Thierry (Francia & Arsenal [ING])
    2. NEDVED, Pavel (República Checa & Juventus [ITA])
    3. VAN NISTELROOY, Ruud (Holanda & Manchester United [ING])

    2004
    1. RONALDINHO (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])
    2. HENRY, Thierry (Francia & Arsenal [ING])
    3. DECO (Anderson Luís de Souza) (Portugal & Porto [POR] / Barcelona [ESP])

    2005
    1. RONALDINHO (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])
    2. LAMPARD, Frank (Inglaterra & Chelsea [ING])
    3. GERRARD, Steven (Inglaterra & Liverpool [ING])

    2006
    1. HENRY, Thierry (Francia & Arsenal [ING])
    2. RONALDINHO (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira) (Brasil & Barcelona [ESP])
    3. ETO'O, Samuel (Camerún & Barcelona [ESP])

    2007
    1. KAKÁ (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite) (Brasil & AC Milan [ITA])
    2. RONALDO, Cristiano (Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro) (Portugal & Manchester United [ING])
    3. MESSI, Lionel (Argentina & Barcelona [ESP])

    2008
    1. RONALDO, Cristiano (Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro) (Portugal & Manchester United [ING])
    2. MESSI, Lionel (Argentina & Barcelona [ESP])
    3. XAVI (Xavier Hernández) (España & Barcelona [ESP])

    2009
    1. MESSI, Lionel (Argentina & Barcelona [ESP])
    2. RONALDO, Cristiano (Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro) (Portugal & Manchester United [ING] / Real Madrid [ESP])
    3. XAVI (Xavier Hernández) (España & Barcelona [ESP])
    RoyOfTheRovers, The Potter and PDG1978 repped this.

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