Greatest European footballers In football history

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by carlito86, Oct 24, 2018.

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Who are your favourite European legends

This poll will close on Jul 20, 2021 at 11:04 AM.
  1. Zinedine Zidane

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  2. Marco Van Basten

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Roberto Baggio

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  4. Johan Cruyff

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo

    6 vote(s)
    33.3%
  6. Micheal laudrup

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  7. Michel Platini

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  8. der Kaiser

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  9. Gerd Muller

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  10. George best

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  11. Dejan savicevic

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  12. Xavi Hernandez

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  13. Thierry Henry

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Alessandro Costacurta:
    Cristiano Ronaldo is getting closer and closer to Pele
    I went to review the whole career of Pele,I noticed when he jumped he always jumped a few inches higher than his opponent,he was always faster than his marker
    He could beat a man not just with speed but technique aswell
    In addition to being both being technical they are also athletic
    These attributes together make them very comparable
    There are only few players who ever combined athleticism and technical ability to this degree
    First was Pele,(then)Ronaldo El fenomeno and of our time Cristiano Ronaldo
    https://m.areanapoli.it/news.asp?id=303002
     
  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Do you prefer him over John Terry?
     
  3. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Definitely yes, but I wouldn't necessarily rate Ferdinand above Terry. I think my preference for Ferdinand lies in the fact that he was a pretty unique player for his time. Like I said, very few players of his physique possessed his skillset, which made him a bit special in my eyes. He wouldn't be so unique in the current climate, for example.

    I would also rate Tony Adams above either, but obviously I'm biased.

    I do rate Ferdinand/Vidic pairing as the greatest in EPL history though.
     
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  4. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    I saw this video a couple days ago
     
    carlito86 repped this.
  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Ah okay! My thoughts are basically the same but since you said Ferdinand is 'underrated' in lists I was wondering about it.

    Terry maybe reached 'legendary' level (around 2004 - 2006) before Ferdinand did, and was also again very good after Ferdinand his time. Although Chelsea was also tailor-made for him, concealing his weaknesses well.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/...n-terry-the-premier-leagues-greatest-defender

    I'd say Marius Tresor was also that type of player although by the time France made big strides he was leaving his best form. He should have been born 5-8 years later. Fernando Hierro at his prime was this hybrid as well.

    Manchester United supporters seem to see Jaap Stam as a good mix between ball skills (in particular the ball over the top) and defense too and definitely made a big difference (in particular against Juventus). If one has Vidic and Ferdinand as reference then I sort of understand that idea (Italian posters on the redcafe forum also imho correctly recalling that he wasn't rated worse as Nesta and Maldini when at Milan, and in his first year even better as Nesta).


    Hmmm yes, that is interesting. I think however that by the time Wenger came along (he was 30 years old then) he wasn't so vital any more and they also achieved pretty good results without him at all levels.

    https://www.bdfutbol.com/en/p/j93779.html?cat=Pre&temp=-&equip=-&rival=-&jug=tot

    Sol Campbell (named by you as a stopper) is another one whose very best years don't match with when he won trophies. His best years came for a team finishing 10th to 14th.

    I had a look at how it spells out between 1996 and 2001 (in the league):

    With him: 50W 44D 65L
    Without: 13W 6D 12L (because of suspension or injuries)

    This doesn't necessarily signal the hard carrying of a mediocre performing team.


    How do you see them in comparison to Terry and Carvalho? Both had also a good goalkeeper behind them of course, Cech was fantastic.

    Sadly PL/OPTA doesn't show the saves before 2006 (i.e. Terry and Carvalho his peak) but if we can look at Manchester United (VdS) between 2006 and 2009. A save is defined as "A goalkeeper preventing the ball from entering the goal with any part of his body when facing an intentional attempt from an opposition player." Then we see VdS had to make 2.4 saves per game, which is not unusually low given the defensive numbers (for example Buffon was way below that during his best run at Juve). There were also three games he couldn't complete, in which ManUnited conceded goals in two of them during the remaining minutes.

    I don't disagree with them being the prime candidate for best pairing, but what I'm saying is that Ferdinand + Vidic still conceded some attempts on target (more so than Juve 2014-15, 2016-17 etc.). Sadly, don't know for Terry and Carvalho.
     
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    wm442433 repped this.
  7. JoCryuff98

    JoCryuff98 Member+

    Barcelona
    Germany
    Jan 3, 2018
    Except current Ronaldo is far from that level. I guess Costacurta was referring to Utd Ronaldo who combined athleticism and technical skills to dribble past players. We all know Ronaldo’s dribbling became more unpolished after 2009-10 season.
     
  8. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    A 33 year old CR7 is a considerably better player than a 33 year old Pele
    So I think what costacurta was referring to by “getting closer” is overall legacy and not who is a better dribbler post 30
    And of course it goes without saying that even without dribbling Cristiano ronaldo is the player who resembles Pele most in terms of heading technique as well as being equally footed
     
  9. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #134 carlito86, Dec 13, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018

    @PDG1978 where would you rank him in the pantheon of premiership greats?
    Firstly in Terms of pure ability
    And secondly his career resume

    I know he had some issues mainly off field that affected his career but I look at a English strikers like Wright,Shearer,Owen and they just never had this kind of ability on the ball
    Only Fowler as a “kid wonder” could match him
    its a shame so many quality English players went under the radar at the expense of more hyped ones
    especially those who played in the early stages of the premier league
     
  10. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I suppose 'pure ability' could lean more towards an estimation of talents+capabilities, or could be seen as 'how good they were as a player at their best' which might be different in subtle ways but anyway potential top 100 PL player on that kind of basis at least (some Forest fans would possibly go quite high within that 100). Same for Lars Bohinen and probably Bryan Roy IMO from that Forest team I'd even say, but Collymore was the main solo-goal type player in the side. Overall maybe hard to actually say he was a better and more effective player/soccer than Shearer prime to prime, but who knows whether if Collymore's prime went on longer (adding more special goals quite often and scoring at a good rate over numerous consecutive years) that would be quite a common opinion. I think in mid 1995 a lot of England fans did seem to want him playing in the national team (over Sheringham, according to some reactions I recall in one game I listened to on the radio), although in hindsight the Sheringham/Shearer combination proved to be a very good one of course.

    But yes I agree he was a more talented dribbler and soloist than those strikers you named, and closer than they were to a Brazilian Ronaldo type (not that he really showed such elaborate skills as R9 did especially at Inter, and not to put him on the same level as Barca version of course as a player).

    Career resume wise then not a top 100 PL player candidate anymore I suppose, but maybe not a shocking choice if someone attempted some sort of retrospective top 100 PL players which didn't factor in longevity so much but focused on peak impact.
     
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  11. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    Funnily, I came across an old magazine with a brief column by a guy named Enrique Arias Vega that is related to this subject.

    [​IMG]


    The last opportunity

    Positions to choose, one would have preferred to write about the old folks of pages beyond the obvious Johan Cruyff. What happens is that life is not one who chooses, but life is what chooses you.

    Athletes - and Johan Cruyff is maybe no exception - are not enviable types. When other mortals are still beginning their life career, they are coming back to earth. In many cases, too, the excessive and professionalized practice of physical exercise wears them out more than those who only exercise with the football pools or with the puzzles of Pedro Ocón de Oro. To corroborate it, there we have the now abandoned bodies of a Urtain, a Merckx, or a Puskas.

    The advantage of those who only do physical exercise by turning the pages of As or Say is that athletes can no longer serve as a model. In some way, the transience of sports races, the shortness of an athlete's active life, impels athletes to artificially prolong their ephemeral period of glory. Thus, they end up training Castilla or dragging their legs in the veteran matches in order to start some tardy applause.

    That's why, also, because they do not give a damn about applauding or not - and nobody applauds them, besides - we have to look at some old people. For me it is more admirable that the Nobel literary William Golding has learned to ride a horse at the age of sixty-odd years than the entire horse race of a Paco Goyoaga, who rode with a bottle in his mouth.

    In any case, if the successful athletes remind us of what we have never been, the vital old people who uncover the seventies show us what we can be. That we also lose that last chance to do something useful would be stupid. But in that we are.
     
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  13. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
  14. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I noticed that too (probably it came up as a recommended vid for both of us on YouTube!).

    There have been quite a few good ones for him made, including an R9GodMagic video for the game vs Hibernian in 96/97 which I think shows pretty much a 'Brian Laudrup in top form/shape' performance, and a 'Dribbling Magician' video by a fan of his:

     
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  15. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    @PuckVanHeel
    Can you recall the 90s anti smoking campaign advert with Johan Cruyff showing epic ball control skills with a cigarette box

    I just saw it recently and found it kind of amusing
     
  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes but he didn't get it right in one try :) You're right though he did juggle the box and it wasn't a video trick (CGI not commonplace yet at the time).

    He needed a second attempt to complete the sequence, and a third to get it 'right' on camera (the correct cameras angles and what the cameras wanted to capture I suppose). I don't make this up, the rough tape shows this too.

    Some more about this story is here between 53:30 and 58:00 There is a certain funny hidden layer in the way he always said many people can learn to juggle the ball 1000 times and for those the circus exists.

    Even 'great' footballers don't get it right in one attempt ;)


    Yeah, here in Holland it's often said his contemporary Van Hanegem "should be an actor". But he had some talent for amusing people too I suppose?







    Sure, there are also some 'dry' Youtube videos about him using 4-3-4/4-3-3 or playing with 'inverted' full-backs and exploring/formalizing this concept. In his last recorded television interview (transcript here) he is confronted with he might appear "possessed, obsessive, solemn".
     
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  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I generally enjoy watch Cruyff impart his wisdom on the game(and yes arrogance comes with the territory)

    I’m on the hunt for match footage of Cruyff in his absolute prime 1971/72
    But there is barely even a handful of games available on the net
    I respect Cruyff the playmaker but I prefer more(much more) Cruyff the free roaming CF circa 1974
    If you could share some footage I would appreciate it
     
  18. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #143 carlito86, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019

    Some nice rare footage of il capitano in his prime
    The defensive wall of Cannavaro/Thuram at Parma handled R9 pretty well(and as the footage above demonstrates cannavaro did also neutralise him in NT matches)

    Others like vierchwood weren’t so lucky

    :ROFLMAO:
     
  19. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #144 carlito86, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    @PuckVanHeel

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this comp (it’s relatively new)
    Would you say perhaps he doesn’t get enough bonus points for his technique (he is usually described as being energetic/athletic rather than silky/gifted)

    I’m more familiar with matthaus as a World Cup player(from reviewing matches and not live)
    Not so much when he was in Inter Milan and I watched a handful of champions matches of him in the late 90s and he was clearly (judging by this comp) past it by then

    He looks like a more technically refined version of Gareth bale ,with the all round passing game of franz beckenbaur and the work rate of park ji sung
    A crazy hybrid player really with so many qualities
     
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  20. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    He's regarded by most people, at least among the Europe/Britain fans, as the greatest and best box-to-box midfielder of all time.

    You're right, his combination of skills is quite ridiculous. Most people are aware of his technical skills though. His dribbling was quite clean, and he was regarded as one of the better playmakers during his Inter years. It's just that his athleticism and mentality stood out more than anything else.

    His goal exploits are a bit overrated though, by those who didn't actually watch him. I don't think his runs into the box and finishing ability was quite as good as someone like Frank Lampard, for example, although Lampard is quite a unique specimen.
     
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Since @carlito86 asks my view;

    Take away his penalties during his Inter years and his goal threat doesn't stand out that much any more although it is still top class and stood out more than his skill for the final ball.

    Furthermore, he simply was not as technically skilled or clean in his control, accurate in his actions as other elite box-to-box midfielders of his time. No question in my mind.

    Therefore his physique, relentless drive and iron will stood out the most (offensively and defensively), also because by most accounts he wasn't a great tactician/strategist on the field. Was a great distributor of the ball.

    He is rightfully seen as one of the very best midfielders of his generation, but disagree with the revisionism (just check the lists of the time itself) that upgrades him to categorically the #1 player of his era.

    Maybe retired a few years too late for leaving an even better impression behind. I think he showed his best body of work in other shirts.

    Rudi Voller at his peak was a more gifted footballer in every main technical skill, except for long passes maybe.
     
  22. Alessandro10

    Alessandro10 Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    I know he isn't near the best European ever, but he was among the very talented. Dennis Bergkamp. Can't get enough of his incredible technique, Only a handfull in history are above him in talent.
     
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  23. JoCryuff98

    JoCryuff98 Member+

    Barcelona
    Germany
    Jan 3, 2018
    He was outspoken, but not arrogant.
     
  24. JoCryuff98

    JoCryuff98 Member+

    Barcelona
    Germany
    Jan 3, 2018
    Matthaus shits on Lampard.
     
  25. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #150 carlito86, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
    I disagree (re Cruyff)he was arrogant but like I said it comes with the territory
    He probably thought he knew everything(and he probably did)
    Cruyff was like the Garry Kasparov of football ,he already played the game in his head before he executed it on the pitch

    He was a revolutionary genius but it is easy for such a multi faceted and polarising personality as his to be misunderstood by outsiders looking in
    (For some people the fact that Cruyff always had opinion suggests that he was completely full of it)

    From my own personal perspective When I talk of arrogance I don’t necessarily mean the negative type but rather being overly confident(and deservedly so)
     

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