Is Zico, not Maradona, the second best player?ever?

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Izzy9, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Could be, but by 1982 the world media had shifted their focus onto a younger star. One thing is certain though, those 3 that you mentioned were regarded as the best in the world.


  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    But Menotti also said that Maradona should "strengthen the weak spots of the team and not play selfish." This was in a preview before the Belgium match. It was suggested that Maradona had still something to learn, which was not a shame with 21 years of age.
  3. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Yes, still very young, perhaps still unpolished, but according to him, a genius above any Argentine player that came before. For him, he was Pele.
  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    This was a landmark game of Rummenigge in that era.



    The opponent Gladbach was not as strong as it once was but it was still a big name in football so what Rummenigge did there made an impact.

    It needs to be stated though that you had also skeptics, that the Bundesliga was an open goal fest and some discarded his relative lack of technique. They liked Schuster more.


  5. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    I have an article where the Brazilian player Periera was asked in April 1978 about Brazil’s chances in the WC and many other things. In one question he was asked about Zico, “the white Pele”, and he said “he’s a player with great qualities, but there was only one Pele”.

    But it was few articles like that that I remember that seriously make mention of such comparisons.
  6. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    And in June of 1976, Brian Glanville wrote about Brazil after that 4-1 win over Italy and said: “Zico is still too far from being the second Pele”.

    So although he was receiving his fair share of hype, the buzz wasn't as resounding as James claimed it to be.

    In fact, some started by May 1976 by saying Zico was the "new Tostao", but later on changed it to Pele.
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    That is logical, he had only two full seasons under his belt. And without a national title.

    If you talk about a direct comparison, it has to be mentioned in Zico his favor that he played arguably in the strongest state championship, in terms of depth.


    I was thinking about the following:

    Isn't it strange that Maradona was hyped at such a young age? You mentioned the reasons why he was unable to play a role in the deciding phases of various competitions but most other greats only started to receive a hype after they began to win prizes. You yourself said that this doesn't mean that they weren't great before, I agree.
  8. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    I found some interesting articles in the Spanish newspaper of Mundo Deportivo prior to WC82, and the consensus was that Maradona, Zico and Rummenigge were regarded as the best in the world.

    Each of them had a page dedicated to them. This is what stood out from the articles.

    Rummenigge: “It hasn’t been a coincidence that he’s been voted two consecutive seasons in a row as the best European player. He has been the undisputable best player in Europe and for his country. The WC won’t be a deciding factor to his reputation, because he is already an accomplished player at the age of 26, and regarded as one of the major stars in the world. Success at the WC will just confirm for Germany that they have one of the greatest players in their history."

    Zico: “They have compared him to Pele, and inclusively he has been called the “white Pele”. He is currently the undisputed star of Brazilian football, which is a country that in every epoch needs its star. It wasn’t easy for Zico as a youth, due to his skinny frame he had to fight his way up to reach this level, by working hard in training. WC78 was a disappointment for him, but now with Tele Santana as manager, he has gained confidence, and will be the main hope for Brazil at WC82.”

    Maradona: “It seems kind of out of place to present Diego Armando Maradona at this stage, ‘el Pibe de Oro’, is one of the world’s major stars at the moment and undisputed number 1 player for Argentina, and for many in the entire world. However this Maradona that receives praise in abundance from anywhere, applauses from any field, and that instills fear into defenders, hasn’t yet played in any men’s WC. Maradona was left off the 1978 roster, but inspired Argentina’s youth NT one year later to triumph. From then on, his rise has been quick. He has been compared with Pele (for some he is superior, for others he still has a lot to learn) and is the major hope for Argentina in order to repeat the title. He’s one of the top 3 players in the world, and for many, the best."

    The author of these articles was Juan Calvo.



  9. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Another article that I found was written in February 1982 by Brain Glanville. The article was about the midfield players of some of the top teams and its stars:

    “Maradona is a complete player, and when he’s on form, he’s the best in the world, despite his young age; in him lays the hopes for Argentina to repeat. In some friendlies recently without him, the team looked hesitant.”

    “Brazil lacks strategists from past eras that can be compared to the likes of Didi or Gerson, not to mention Rivelino. In ability, Zico is splendidly gifted in that sense, but Zico is more of a forward that operates in a retreat position.”
  10. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    That’s true, however, individually the guy had already 3 South American player of the year awards (2 with El Mundo in ’79 and ’80, and 2 with El Grafico in ’80 and ‘81), 3 Argentinian player of the year awards (‘79, ‘80, ‘81), led Argentinian football in scoring on five occasions, and was MVP Golden Ball in a Youth WC – all by the age of 21.

    The amount of awards earned by such an early age is something that the majority of players wouldn’t dream of obtaining in a lifetime.

    The guy was box-office, and the media milked his image. But ultimately the hype will always come down to propaganda, just as with many others.
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    The hype of Rummenigge appears to be at the peak in 1981 and the first half of 1982.

    Of course, Netherlands is not very Germany friendly but his exploits in the perceived best league of Europe and qualification campaign during 1981 made an impact.

    Critical articles appeared during and after the euro80 tournament (although the common perception was that all teams and players disappointed, maybe with the exception of Schuster) and also during the 1981 Mundialito, when he could not make an impact too (TBH it was all about Maradona but Zico did not play and that was covered too).

    He was also strong in the calender year 1980 for his club.
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    But a domestic hype doesn't mean that it spills over to other countries per se. And although Argentina was not a fringe country (i.e. not like Portugal or Netherlands), they were not Brazil either - at that time. Brazil always received special attention.

    What was decisive do you think in spreading the hype to other countries? Was it the 1979YWC? I know that it was shown in highlight form on television in Europe, at least in my country.
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Addition:

    Some romanticists saw the physically otherworldly, and also very direct Rummenigge as symbol for the direction football was heading to in that era, also epitomized by the relative dominance of 'fantasy-lacking' English teams. Rummenigge was very direct in his play, 'efficient' one might say but that is a stereotypical word. His spectacular kicks were universally appraised though.

    A player like Schuster appealed the romanticists/traditionalists more.
  14. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Definitely that YWC was the turning point. That’s when many NT managers from Europe took note and from then on, everything proceeded rapidly. Also, Argentina did tour Europe many times during ‘79 and ’80, and also received those European teams in Argentina, so the hype grew.
  15. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Bolzplatz
    Everything and everyone has skeptics. It needs to be stated that the Bundesliga was the highest-ranked league in UEFA's coefficient system from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s - precisely the years when Rummenigge's career was at its peak.
  16. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Yeah, he was receiving lots of hoopla, even Helenio Herrera preferred him over Maradona in 1980, even though he considered certain qualities of the Argentinian to be unparalleled. He just felt that Rummenigge was more proven in European football.
  17. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, I said that already.

    I also said it in a discussion about Platini. He won with 5:0 against HSV, which was ranked #1 in the #1 league of Europe but you came with some excuses.

    The ranking of the Bundesliga was primarily based on the UEFA Cup though and not at the performances in the European Cup, where England was collecting titles.

    And it is also true that the Bundesliga had a goals per game of higher than 3, sometimes even close to 3.5, the high propensity of scoring goals was already noted at that time. It was way higher than the First Division for example.
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    What I always find interesting is this:

    Platini received some hype in the late 1970s, he was recognized as a great talent (he came very close to winning the 1977 Ballon d'Or), but between 1978-1979 he had a few difficult years with injuries and so on and because France also did not play high profiled games (did not qualify for euro80), his fame stalled a bit in the sense that it did not develop to a higher level. France had at that time also not a high profiled league - they were pre-tournament outsiders at the 1982WC and not one of the favorites. Anyhow, in the 1970s his talent was recognized and some forecasts were made about how high he could reach, but it stalled a bit afterwards for a brief moment it seems. Still highly rated in the Ballon d'Or lists of course but somehow he did not develop that quickly into a pan-european poster boy in those years, after his transfer to the more renowned St Etienne.

    Remains an interesting case because some say that a few of his best seasons were produced in France while playing at St Etienne. It was also covered and mentioned over here in dedicated football publications, but somehow the notice of the developing performances did not translate into a rapid increase of fame or attention in the mainstream press. Maybe the fact that they were outsiders in 1982, with so many good players, already hints that it was perceived as a second-tier league at that time and not widely followed by 'the masses'.

    According to baboarum, who is a Platini fan, his best years was 1981-1982 and Platini himself indeed has said this.

    What is your idea about this? About his 'fame-curve' so to speak.
  19. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    There was nothing European about Zico, his play was fully South American, just like Maradona's. A "Europeanized" Brazilian to me is more like Kaka.
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Why?
  21. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Here’s what was said about Platini prior to WC82 by Juan Calvo in Mundo Deportivo:

    “Captain and star of the French side, idol for five years now, he’s the only authentic player of category in international football for his country…. although he’s only been able to show it on sporadic occasions. Manager Hidalgo has all the confidence in him, in spite of suffering a drop of form in the beginning of the current season, which put his position at risk for the NT. Platini is the main star of this team, and he wants to lay the ghosts to rest and put behind him the struggles of what occurred four years earlier, despite being one of the teams that practiced the better football. He won’t have it easy in the first phase, but don’t count him out of leading the team to success at Spain ‘82."
  22. laudrup_10

    laudrup_10 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Well there were a couple of games that were uploaded on youtube, not sure if they're still available. There are also soccer/football collector's that exchange or sell retro games online or depending where you live.
  23. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Kaka lacks cunning.
  24. InTheKnow67

    InTheKnow67 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Club:
    DC United
    Didier Drogbaaaaaaa is the best player in existence :p
  25. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    And what technique advantage did he have over him?

    He was fit when he started WC78. It was after the Poland game that he had to retire.

    What makes you think his heading ability was second to none?


    And have you ever seen any of them score from the corner kick?

    I have, and it was on a sunny day in the land of Mount Vesuvius!

    And what was his prime, according to you?

Share This Page