Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year awards 1979-1986

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Vegan10, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    It’s a team game but superstars make the difference when there’s parity.

    What’s stopped Messi in your view from making the difference ?
     
  2. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    But Messi did make the passes, just like Maradona did. Only Maradona's teammates were able to score, and Messi's team mates weren't. Do you disagree with that? Remember Maradona has never scored in a final for the senior national team. We can deduce from this that since his team won in regulation time, that his team mates scored. Messi's team mates did not score. Thats the difference.
     
  3. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I don’t disagree at all with those points. But there’s more to it. There’s things you can’t fully appreciate unless you are in the stadium with a proper view from above. The movements of the players and how they impact the game with certain intangibles.

    I was at those games and when Maradona wasn’t tying down several defenders off the ball, he was falling back to aid his midfield and defense. When I saw Messi in Rio, when the Germans had possession, he didn’t fall back to provide coverage to the German defenders that were pulling forward to build attacks. He was static most of the time and this allowed the Germans to play with one extra man when they sprung forward. The most impressive hard worker in attack and the most incisive forward for Argentina in the first half was Lavezzi. This was my impression watching from the stands.

    As for the main contribution, Maradona had significantly a stronger game by impacting it.
    Goalkeeper Schumacher had to make 3 saves from him. Matthaus was booked once for dogging him, which led to the first goal. On several other occasions he set up plays with hockey type assists, one which resulted in Valdano’s goal. In another situation he sent Burruchaga through before the winning goal, but Jorge was stifled entering the box. He dragged his marker and others with him which opened up spaces for teammates. He aided the defense by providing coverage from German advances. He produced neat give and goes which freed himself and others. But he was not individually great as in the previous matches, he wasn’t as sharp on runs, and was frequently stopped off the dribble. But understanding this, he played more for the benefit of the team, instead of shining himself, he did other valuable things that had a positive domino effect. In the end when the Germans had the momentum, with the Mexican crowd supporting the Europeans, he sent Burruchaga through for the match winner.

    With Messi it was different. They didn’t really man-mark him but switched on him. He opened the flanks a few times and had a few diagonal runs that stretched the defense. But he never tested Neuer throughout 120 minutes. He didn’t help out on the German advances but stayed waiting for a breakthrough. When he was sent through with a golden opportunity he shot wide. He never put teammates in scoring situations. As time faded he got tired, saw less of the ball as the Germans controlled most of the possession, and with several overtime matches on hand and one day less of rest compared to the Germans, Argentina were harping on another penalty shootout opportunity. Once Germany scored, it was over, Argentina’s players had run out of gas.

    The situations at the finals of the Copa Américas are totally different stories.
     
  4. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I'm not saying he is better than Maradona, I just think its harsh to say he hasn't performed for Argentina.

    Anyways this is a good thread and I don't want to derail it any further
     
  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Do you agree with the point on the (average) Elo ratings? Compared to, say, Pele 1970, Cruijff 1974, Kempes 1978, Rossi 1982, Van Basten 1988, Schmeichel 1992, Zidane 2000. And yes, also the difference between the 1986 and 2014 German team.
     
  6. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    It’s a good question because I do think it’s better than FIFA rankings but it’s flawed it two ways. A team can have a very good Elo ranking without having played many challenging sides. For example, Argentina is currently 4th but haven’t played European sides since 2014 and most of their opponents they encountered over the past 3 years are of the calibre of Chile or Bolivia. So with that in mind their ranking will be excellent but would it be that way if they frequently competed against better opponents regularly ?

    Second point. The Elo rankings get thrown out the window when certain matchups occur. For example, a team may be struggling with previous results but then face a team that they matchup better against even if that side was recently in better form. Because at the end of the day, team sports is about matchups and who has the edge in certain areas over their opponents.

    1990 WC is a good example, Argentina were very weak in form compared to Italy who were beating everyone (although narrowly) but when they matched up in the semifinal there was parity. The result was a draw and Argentina were in the same ballpark with their rivals in footballistic terms.

    1982 another example, Italy struggling compared to Brazil but they matched up well and beat them.

    So, I think even through the Elo rankings is a good measure in some ways, it’s not the final word.
     
  7. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Speaking of that, it’s a good question which player had faced the better sides. Some have argued for example that this 2014 German team was the best side that Germany represented and better than the 1986 squad. But apart from the results is there any merit to that thought ?

    The German side in 1986 struggled but in a matchup for all the marbles vs the 2014 team, would it easily lose ?

    I was at three games of the German side in 2014 and was not impressed. Yes, they were good, athletic, hard workers, but clumsy and gambled defensively. Had Argentina taken their chances that were given, today the cup was in Buenos Aires.

    They are overrated to an extent because they thrashed Brazil, but that Brazil team was the weakest I’ve ever seen in person. Then they really struggled to defeat Algeria. I think they were a fortunate champion but a deserved one.
     
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #383 PuckVanHeel, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
    It is right that Elo is (more) vulnerable when inter-continental comparisons are made, but it isn't only made up by the 2014 Argentina results against Germany (the 2-4 friendly), Croatia and Portugal.

    It is also made up by what continental rivals Brazil has done (played Europeans in 2015), Uruguay (Ireland and Italy in 2017), Chile, Colombia and Paraguay (played against France in 2017). Even the United States is a useful datapoint. It is a smarter system to measure relative strength than many think.

    The 1982 game was and is popularly viewed as an upset. So I don't think 'Elo gets thrown out of the window' per se. There was a difference of 150 points between Italy and Brazil. This means that Brazil has 70% chance to win, and Italy 30%. If anything, Elo shows Italy was in fact not without a chance to win, a narrow 3-2 win, despite their poor and very lucky form in the group stage.

    Similarly, there was a gap of 110 points between Argentina and Italy in 1990. This means a binary chance distribution of 65% for hosts Italy and 35% for Argentina. Also here Elo is not "thrown out of the window"; it tells you beforehand Argentina had a reasonable chance against the hosts. A game that - unlike Brazil vs Italy 1982 - ended in a draw, rather than an outright win for the less favored side.

    A much better (possible) example for your case might be Brazil vs Croatia at the 2014 World Cup. There was a gap of no less than 337 points in favor of the hosts (87% chance to win for Brazil), and with different officiating Croatia might have won actually. Or Croatia vs Spain in their 2012 encounter (247 points gap).
     
  9. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Yes those are good ways to approach it as well.

    So what’s your view of the German 1986 and 2014 teams ? Different eras of course, but with solid characters behind each squad.
     
  10. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    He’s performed well for Argentina many times, but has struggled when the trophy is on the sideline, and when he’s generally faced against a defensively compact discipline team that has the same aspirations and equal chance as Argentina in winning the whole thing.
     
  11. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
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    --other--
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    #386 Sexy Beast, Oct 16, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    I would udnerstand your point if Argentina played an attacking minded football, scored a lot of goals in those 3 finals (or vs Netherland) and Messi failed to be one of the scorers, but when score is 0-0 and there were at most 4 chances created on both sides in each game, it's quite ridiculous to suggest that Messi underperformed due to lack of statistics.
    That's like criticizing a driver of Ferrari for not driving it at its maximum speed while driving on a rally track. That's insane. If there are two tough, defensive minded teams, you can't expect attackers to excell in those games. If Messi missed 3 big chances in every of those finals like for example R9 did in 2002 final, i would admit Messi underperformed, but he didn't even get close to being fed by others, which is not his fault. He missed one single chance in final vs Germany and that's literally only (plus Copa America 2016 penalty) thing you can hold against Messi in his entire international career, one chance, which wasn't that big of a miss anyway.

    An approach Argentina, Germany and Chile took in those finals was to not concede at all cost, and then hope something comes up on the other end... that being said, i find it more disappointing that Maradona, despite his team finding back of the net 3 times in final (and concded 2 times), failed to score even once, or to be even close to scoring in such an open match. (if i can ask you. When was the last time Argentina absolutely destroyed an opposition while Messi wasn't an important part of the destruction? I am not sure that has ever happened on international level for him.. that speaks the value of Messi in that squad.)
    You are missing the context, which is the most important thing. What Messi underwent in WC is something that others didn't have to deal with and what he underwent was being a part of explicitly defensive minded team.

    Then adding to all of that that Messi, when he plays for them, is the most important player for that team (has the biggest contribution), and that when he is not playing that they struggle, you get the sense of Messi's value in such limited offensive circumstances.

    The point is that Messi si consistently the stand out player in every game he plays for Argentina proving that he is good, so freaking good, so taking statistical data out of the context to compare it with other players' statistics in different teams (therefore different systems) is insane.

    On top of all of that, he is being double marked every big game on international stage.... and teams nowadays know how to defend as a team so the difficulty for him to make a difference skyrockets because of that fact alone
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I think this point, and most of the other raised points, have already been addressed by Vegan10 from his perspective (for ex. post #356), but maybe he comes up with something else. It is fine to have different ideas on aspects but just want to say that virtually all of those things have been addressed by him. In this thread and Dearman's thread, but I'll wait...
     
  13. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
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    #388 Sexy Beast, Oct 16, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    I do believe this can't be first time point like this has been raised and i admit i haven't read every one of them in this mess so i apologise, but

    i would like to raise one more term that i think nobody has raised so far and it is crucial in my opinion, and usually the first thing i base my opinion on when i judge players' performance, and it's called, as i put it:
    "potential game changing moments"
    with word potential being the most important out of 4.

    A potential game changing moment is the moment in which a player delivers his duty and then it's up to other factors, that he has no control over, whether it will actually change a game or not. It is scalable term. Some are not as good as others..
    Factors a player has no control over are something like: an unexpected briliant save by a keeper, a very narrow miss, an unexpected briliant interception by a defender, a teammate missing a huge chance, etc.
    This is also a reason why i am a huge supporter of not judging players based on statistics, but rather a careful analysis of each play, one by one.

    Why i insist on the word potential so so much is because sometimes players doing less achieve more due to no factors stopping them, but rather enhancing them, while at times, when a player does everything at world class level they still don't make an actual difference.
    Example of first one is R9 goal in WC final after Kahn's mistake, pretty straight forward (yes, i do insist on mentioning him again and again). Imo, R9 scored only one goal in WC final.

    Example of the second one (and that injustice i am talking about) would be something like this:




    i think you get the point. Those are moments that could have changed the history of football if things happened just slightly different, but they didn't and you can't blame effort by Messi in this case, which is absolutely a magical football. I am saying that quality of effort is as far as a single player can contribute to final outcome, so we should evaluate them based on efforts, not outcomes because outcomes depend on random factors, effort doesn't.
    I am not saying Messi is the only unlucky guy in history of football and that he is only one who has those moments, everybody does, except he does it far more frequently and that's why Messi is Messi,.. sometimes Messi gets lucky to, and those moments usually happen to be one of the most histori ones. (scroll down for examples..)

    Let me put all of that in more concrete example. In my perspecitve i see no difference between:
    (NOTE: 5:54)

    and this:


    I put the same value on both of these shots. Both are perfect, an absolute football ingeniuty under the pressure of the most difficult stage in football history. The one got in and Messi has been praised ever since, the one didn't get in and people forgot it, but the only difference is the quality of reaction behind two of the greatest goalkeepers of the generation, not Messi's effort, which will be praised forever in the second case, while not in first's. That's the key behind this text.
    It's damn fine line between success and failure.

    What does that have anything to do with Messi performing for Argentina?
    Well, it turns out to be EVERYTHING.
    Ecuador goalkeeper didn't save Messi's second goal, although it wouldn't be the best save of all time if he did. In that case Messi got lucky with imperfect effort. Month ago, Uruguay's goalkeeper produced far better save (than it would be if Ecuador's one saved it) and Messi's effort was denied after wonderful piece of play vs Dybala. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. In neither of cases goalkeeper would be blamed for not saving those difficult shots... this type of anlysis could go on forever, the point is that his quality of efforts counts, not the outcome of it. I put roughly the same value on both of those plays.
    R9 will forever be remembered for his performance in final, undersevely so, while imo, he was nothing more than an average striker that game. There are plenty of players that could match the quality of effort R9 put in that game. And i do believe Messi performed better in final than him despite not scoring even once. R9 "performed" better just because he was presented with better chances (team effort allowed him that, factor out of Messi's reach) and finished two of them. I reckon Messi with that much space would bang in a hattrick in final.

    (The straight forward example of how Messi performs when he is left with no space to make the difference and with the space to make the difference are his last two performances against Juventus. With the last one he proved that he is still perfectly capable of banging goals against big teams if he is presented with good enough opportunities to do so, and he was presented in last game, unlike the game before that when he didn't make the difference)

    That's why i am strongly against saying that Messi needs a team's achievment with Argentina to prove his worth on the all time scale. It's so out of his (and anyones) control that is insane to expect it from an individual player. Football is not tenis where your effort counts in for 50% of overal effort in the match, it's 11 times less than that due to 22 players on the pitch, which leaves at with conclusion that a single player is responsible only for 4,5% of overal outcome (it's math, it's undeniable). Now, some players are so good that they make those 4,5% count more than others, but it's still negligible amount.
     
  14. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
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    --other--
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    Croatia
    ............. About examples of Messi getting lucky at times as well (i had to make a new post because there is a limit to 5 videos per post).. let's rewatch one of his most memorable goals ever and let's see where is that slight "luck" that happened in those cases where everything could played out differently and Messi's effort wouldn't be any less good:

    At 1:24, you can see that ball got deflected from the last defender Messi dribbled past. If it didn't, it would probably go too close to the goalkeeper and just like that, the most memorable goal in Messi's career is gone.

    Rafinha is so damn close to making a contact with the ball, if he did, the slightest contact would drastically change balls path and again, just like that, Messi's legacy is quite different.

    Suarez was few centimeters close from touching that ball, but it didn't happen. it would definitely change the outcome of the play, but not the effort by Messi.
    .. so on

    As you can see, it's damn fine line between success and failure. So many random factors influence the outcome of the game that is crucial to have the term. We need something stable and undeniable that we can judge players on. An outcomes are not that, an effort is.

    Now, am i crazy for thinking that? ..
     
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I agree with the concept of 'potential' moments definitely. Cruyff vs Sweden in 1974 is a good example I think (actually for those and general play too, which is also something to consider) better than Messi vs Bosnia for example actually....but in statistical terms actually with less impact on the score/result in the end.

    I think though there have been games at the highest level where Messi hasn't really been very outstanding, or just lacking the luck and/or team-mate help to finish brilliant things he created. A couple of times vs Germany for example. Probably to use Vegan's terms there wasn't quite 'parity' as the German team was better overall I think both times, but still I don't think it's fair to say it was impossible for anyone (including himself at times) to have played better, irrespective of whether it made a difference to the result. On the other hand even though normally he plays games without parity the other way, at club level, it wouldn't be fair to take himself out of the equation or even dismiss everything he did outstandingly, such as against Bayern in 14/15 or whatever, because his team was better.
     
  16. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I addressed many of your points already but will respond to some of your new questions or observations.



    What tough minded defensive sides ? Germany left Neuer three times on an island when the match was still 0-0. Had one of those chances been converted, they’d have no option but to go forward and take more risks which may have resulted in a catastrophic final result. Because had Higuain, Messi and Palacio taken their chances, Germany would have been probably blown away. One of those chances was even naively created by a German player. When was the last time a defender put an opposing forward in such an ideal position to score in a final ? I can’t remember. He did a better job than any Argentinian in creating a chance.

    Chile in 2016 gave away the ball to Higuain in a defensive blunder but he failed to punish them. A goal would have opened them up and they would have been history.

    Those finalists weren’t impregnable, they committed amateur mistakes. You make it sound as if they were Italy 1990 or France 1998, teams that rarely if ever committed errors, and rarely if ever left their goalkeepers to fight on an island by themselves.

    I’ve seen superior teams not win a WC, like Italy in 1990, with stronger characters, lockdown defense, with goalkeeper Zenga never exposed, unlike Neuer who was left unprotected many times in Brazil.

    And it was a huge miss because it could have been a game-changer in a match still in the balance. Had he scored the cup was probably in Buenos Aires now because Germany lacked penetration up until their winning goal, when Argentina had run out of gas. In other opportunities he’d bury that chance blind-folded and with one hand behind his back.

    Maradona didn’t operate in an open match, on the contrary, Beckenbauer assigned Matthaus to dog him, with Foerster and Jacobs providing coverage if Diego escaped. Beckenbauer decided he would not allow Maradona to beat him and dared others instead. In hindsight the strategy was a gamble which Beckenbauer may have regretted afterward.

    But on the contrary, Maradona was never left one on one with Schumacher like Messi was with Neuer.

    What seemed like a defensive game between Argentina and Germany in 2014 was the scoreline but the chances were there for the taken. Defensive assignments were blown away, with defensive blunders, but poor finishing disguised how vulnerable Germany were in that final and in the entire tournament. Against Algeria, they had already gambled defensively many times which required Neuer to intercept breakthrough attacks. Several goals had been ruled out for offside, etc. This was not a rock-solid German side. They were just fortunate that there weren’t great teams that could punish them.

    In the 2016 Copa América when Argentina were beating Bolivia by 3-0 before Messi came on after the half.

    And you are missing the context of what other previous legends went through as well. Football didn’t commence in 2005.

    What has he gone through that other superstars haven’t had to endure ?

    For example, Argentina in 1990 were not only a very defensive side, but they were regarded as very unimaginative without their captain. They scored a total of 5 goals in the whole competition before reaching the final. (Has there ever been such a limited offensive side that reached a WC final ?). To make matters worse Maradona was carrying an ankle injury which required painkiller injections to play on. In addition, outside of Naples, every other city supported the opponent of Argentina. Every match was like a final for them, and there was at times a rope-a-dope situation, like vs Brazil. To make matters worse, some key men were carrying injuries or suspensions. It was a very precarious situation.

    Furthermore, Brazil 2014 was a championship that Argentina were basically playing at home. Hundreds of thousands of Argentinian fans flocked across the border to support their team. I was at varios games, like in Porto Alegre when Argentina faced Nigeria and it was like if Argentina were in Buenos Aires. The stadium and outside packed with white and blue jerseys. There must have been close to at least 40 thousand Argentinian fans. When Brazilian fans in other stadiums rooted against them (and not all) they were in the minority easily subdued by the majority of Argentinians in the stadium and outside. In Italia ‘90, Argentina may have had 5-10 thousand fans max and usually always the underdogs in KO rounds. Not to mention that the draw in 2014 was kind to Argentina, only to face a real threat in the semifinal or final itself.

    I have already addressed the importance of Messi, which is beyond dispute.

    So since Messi existed teams have learned how to defend ? But before 2005 teams were incapable of properly defending ? This is an incredible statement.
     
  17. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
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    Croatia
    Vegan, i am talking about mentality behind the game, not about the quality of defenses. It doesn't take a genius to see that both teams played a safe football, which doesn't mean flawless, but safe, in the sense they didn't want to risk anything and chances were hardly being created. So if Messi is not the one who got fortunated with some mistake by German defense, your point is irrelevant (he had one chance in 3 finals for Argentina).
    In 120 minutes, both teams registered 13 shots from open play. That roughly equals to shot being taken every 9 minutes and 12 seconds from open play (that's crazy), and those are overal shots, not shots on target (they were only 5 shots on target in whole game). Also that includes shots taken from those mistakes you mentioned. That's insane and gives you the right sense of the mood in the game... attackers don't relish in those games.
    (To give you something to compare it with, Liverpool vs Manchester game the other day is widely regarded as one of the most boring games and yet they managed to register 19 shots from open play in only 90 minutes. That's roughly equals to shot being made twice as frequently compared to Germany vs Argentina match....)

    This is far from justifying Messi's average performance by his standards, but the point is that if he was presented with more chances and half chances, he would deliver even being that average, but he wasn't presented with those, not because of the best defense in history of football in that German team, but because of the tone of the game. He could perform better, but the fact he didn't perform awful is enough in this case, just like the fact that Maradona didn't have the best game of his career vs Germany either, but is here where he is, btw, which offensive player performed better than Messi in that game?
    All players completed 16 dribbles that game, Messi completed 7 of them.. the stand out player as always.

    I am not going to analyse his whole game, which i think i should do at one point (and not just final), but let me just show you a quick example of what i mean by a potential game changers in this context:

    I am quite sure you are completely oblivious to this highlight at 4:55, but that's the one that could have changed everything if things happened slightly differently. It's very good piece of play, and showcase of his immense talent and determination. Hummels was already beaten, if Boateng loses concentration for just a split second Messi is having the highlight of his career. There are few more situations like that, not just in final, but in other games as well.
    It's a fine line between success and failure. Boateng makes a little mistake or in other words doesn't react at such a high level, and we would be talking about the player who delivered in WC final.
    Before you say it, Kahn made a rookie mistake in WC final while being at his absolute peak, why wouldn't hypotetically Boateng make it.. it would probably go unnoticed even if he did the slight mistake there, but Messi's legacy would never be the same.

    Obviously, this potential hame changer isn't at the level of the ones i mentioned above, but it's still something that could have changed everything in slightly bit different scenario.

    It's common sense to realize that defending is far more orginized and generally at way higher level of play nowadays than before, especially way before like 1986, but that's the whole topic of its own. You should rewatch Valdano's and Burruchaga's goals in final.

    And again, you turn to Argentina and team performances, not being capable of separating individual from team performance. Argentina would score 2 goals up to the finals in 2014 without Messi on the pitch and one of them was an own goal, what do you say about that?.. this is waste of time...
     
  18. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
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    This comparison on what Messi did vs what Maradona did is inherently stupid because:
    1. Luck is the main component of the game
    2. so 2 tournaments are not a big enough sample to draw any kind of conclusion.

    We argue who, generally speaking is the greatest of all time, not who had the best tournament because Maradona is clearly the answer.
    by generally, it raises a question of: if 1986 WC and 2014 WC were played 100 times in 100 parralel universes, who would contribute more in general?

    Reason why that's the way it should be look at is because when you raise the sample size from 2 tournaments to 100, you get rid of a luck element and you are left with a more accurate representation of their contribution (aka their quality, greatness, whatever), which is curcial, but hypotetical.
    Comparison is pointless because it is reasonalbe assumption that Maradona got more lucky in 1986 than Messi in 2014 so comparison of outcomes is biased (or other way around) and if they kept playing WCs, the things would change.
     
  19. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Yes, that’s the common narrative, teams concerned about not taking many risks and playing it safe. But what makes these teams different from teams from 30 years ago ? I don’t see much of a difference. The 1990 final was probably the most precarious of two finalists, very cautious and neither goalkeeper was ever left exposed or really tested. In fact the whole World Cup of 1990 was criticized for its defensive mentality of teams playing safe, defenders passing the ball back to their goalkeepers, players wasting time, etc. It’s why FIFA decided to change certain rules.

    I was mostly impressed with Lavezzi up until he was subbed out for Agüero. Lavezzi not only created danger on the wing but was falling back to provide defensive coverage for his midfield and defense. That was my impression from the stands.


    As I’ve previously said, I was able to appreciate things when I saw things in the stadium with a good view from above. Things that the cameras won’t show. Messi’s lack of movement, drive and ability to trackback to help his side against German advances, is what struck my attention.


    Valdano and Burruchaga’s runs were no different than Higuain’s and Messi’s runs. The only difference is that the 1986 players put their chances away, and in Higuain’s case, he was sent through by a German defender.

    As I’ve said before, Argentina would adjust accordingly without him as they did at the beginning of the Copa America in 2016. Just because they score x amount of goals with him, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t score a similar amount without him. We must understand that he’s the focal point, everything is channeled through him, but Argentina are still within their capabilities of adjusting well with him absent.

    Historically this is possible. In 1962 when Pelé went down to injury, Amarildo replaced him and did a fine job at it. Garrincha then took on a more protagonist role to inspire Brazil. The Netherlands in 1978 reached the final without Cruijff and Van Hanegem. It’s very much within the parameters of possibilities that a team without their main superstar can still succeed.
     
  20. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
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    What's up with bringing 1990 final? Has Maradona done something in that final or in that WC worth more than Messi's overal performance in 2014 WC?
    If anything it proves that Maradona in similar cirmustances didn't perform as well, the way people expected Messi to perform.

    As i said, i don't see the point of evaluating players in 2 tournaments, 14 matches..
    Question is can Messi be a stand out player outside Barcelona? The answer is yes. It's that simple... getting over technicalities how good Argentina squad is and who is he playing with/against is stupid. He is clearly a stand out player in a team stacked with offensive talent, which is not just because he is the focal point of Argentina, but because he delivers (as much as opportunity allows him) being a focal point of Argentina. If it was that easy to perform just by being focal point of some team, we would be having a way different conversation here.

    So you are telling me if Messi was playing defense that Argentina would have won? Efficiency over hard work. Hard work is overrated, playing defense is unneccesary hard work for him..
    Messi humiliated Hummels, Ozil, Kroos on many ocassions but was left out with not enough support on attacks (which is my point on defensive mentality. Both Germany and Argentina defended with 9 defenders and attacked with 3 at most, aka defensive minded game), as i said he has completed 44% of all dribbles in that game, if it was anyone else doing that you would be stucked on that argument forever as the proof that Messi is not the stand out player, now you need to argue that he doesn't run enough defensively to prove the point.

    That's the bias Messi is encoutnering daily. Messi is not compared with others, but with his 2012 Messi from Barcelona and everything under that level of play is disappointment. Many will choose Robben over Messi in that WC despite Messi being clearly superior, the same goes for you impression of Lavezzi.
    Lavezzi played good compared to his expecatitions, while Messi played average compared to his expectations that's why Lavezzi > Messi that game in your opinion. Reality says the different.

    So why didn't they adjust without him in WC qualifiers? You make no sense because that stat has already been mentioned coutnless of times, and it's undeniable. They play better with him on the pitch. You are attacking arguments one by one separately without even trying to connect them at all.
    When Messi plays, it's all channeled through him and he contributes the most, when Messi doesn't play they clearly play worse, staitistcally and on the eye test. That's inevitable and undeniable conclusion from past WC qualifiers and tournaments as well.

    Of course it is possible to replace Messi, what kind of statement is that. Does Real Madrid have Messi? No, then how the ******** did they win UCL and la liga last season, Does Germany have Messi? No, then how did they win all those thropies? why wouldn't Argentina be capable of playing good without him?.. even suggesting something like that shows you are completely off with any kind of coherent analysis, especially in Argentina national team when it's known they have so much offensive talent along side Messi. However the point remains the same.
    Nobody argues that Argentina is that awful (in general) without Messi, but they are way better with him on the pitch. He is the stand out player.
     
  21. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    1990 was brought up (1986 to some degree but less so) because it portrayed negative defensive tactics by the majority of teams. 2014 wasn’t the exception as you’ve implied.

    As for Maradona 1990 vs Messi 2014, there’s very little that separates them in my view. Messi scored in the group stage but in 1990 Argentina faced stiffer competition and had the weaker supporting offensive cast. That offsets any statistical difference in my view. In addition in the KO rounds their contributions were about equal. The main difference is that one played somewhat better in the first round but against inferior competition and the other whilst playing injured still troubled the best defenses that had to foul him more than any other player in the competition. Furthermore each had a decisive role in different ways, but struggled mostly in the KO rounds.

    I’m telling you that a competent two-way player is more valuable than a nonfactor superstar that barely touches the ball and is literally non-active and participative. That’s what my eyes saw in the first half in Rio de Janeiro with Lavezzi.

    Because the qualifiers is a process over years of gelling together and finding the right players to complement eachother. Many of those games are played when key players arrive with little time to assimilate to what the manager wants and players come and go. Furthermore, opponents change over the course of that timespan as well. Ecuador in 2015 when they defeated Argentina were not the same inexperienced side that was disinterested and eliminated in 2017. None of those players that played in Buenos Aires featured in Quito. But in a tournament it’s different because the manager has the team with weeks in advance to prepare and then the month of the competition. Furthermore, Argentina struggled with Messi too. A defeat vs Brazil 3-0 away, three consecutive draws (two played at home), a controversial win vs Chile with a gifted penalty kick, etc. Arguably their most convincing win arriving vs an inexperienced Ecuadorean side. (You already know my take on that charade).


    Of course any team with its main superstar has a better shot at winning but that doesn’t necessarily mean without him they will be incapable of succeeding. Your point that if you take away all the goals that involved Messi, Argentina would struggle is a specious one. They would adjust accordingly as they did in their opening match of the Copa América 2016 defeating Chile 2-1 and then Bolivia 3-0.

    About this point. You are right that the sample size is small and your argument that 2 tournaments is not enough to reach an accurate conclusion of who was better is understandable. But there’s several observations that must be addressed. First, the WC is in theory the most challenging short tournament in the sport and the most prestigious NT tournament around. In Maradona’s epoch the WC was the defining factor to determine if the greatest of all-time nomination was a worthy validation. A great player if healthy had to pass the test because previous superstars like Pelé or Cruijff had set the bar high. Pelé didn’t become the presumed greatest because of what he accomplished in the São Paulo state league. It was the World Cup that made him the greatest candidate. The inability to feature in a WC was what deprived someone like José Manuel Moreno from being a serious candidate as the first truly greatest known player outside the confines of South America.

    Second point, comparing players across eras and with different teams is very complicated. You can argue that Maradona would not be as prolific as Messi in Barcelona if they swapped positions, but Messi may not be as influential as Maradona at Napoli or Argentinos Juniors. Then competitions and rules changed over time. Leagues expanded, European and South American competitions expanded, WC qualifiers and the World Cups expanded. So that’s where the comparison of sample sizes ends.

    But what separates Maradona from Messi in my view is the intangibles. Messi may be the more efficient shooter, vertical and sideways dribbler etc in this era and perhaps better in those areas than Diego was. But what I noticed and remember by witnessing them live in a stadium is the activity level and the leadership. In this regard Maradona was way more multifaceted, he worked harder and transmitted the heart of a champion with his leadership. He also had the will to persevere.

    This point of being more active and multifaceted is important in my view. You’ve mentioned that luck went Maradona’s way but players that have intangible qualities have a better chance at luck swaying their way. It’s what probably earned Argentina the world title in the final of 1986. At the absolute apex of the player, Bilardo had Maradona execute 40 yard runs back to help his defense in certain scenarios. He also understood how to tie defenders down without the ball, which freed up other teammates in that final. His ability to swiftly touch and go carved open the Germans. He literally made others around him better. But with Messi, if he’s shutdown, the team plays virtually with 10 men because he doesn’t cooperate on both ends of the pitch. He’s only a player of the final third. The final of 2014 was a clear demonstration of this.
     
    msioux75 repped this.
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #397 PuckVanHeel, Oct 18, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    On this thing;

    It makes sense to say that 'luck' is gained by just encountering/enforcing more situations where luck might apply. If you have 80% possession in a match, then you might get that centimeter offside call in your favor, or a 50/50 penalty decision. But it is often observed or claimed that DM10 played for defensive/incapable sides.

    So how would that play out then? Imho all of those things about aura and leadership is often vastly overstated. I had that feeling/idea more with Zidane (overall not as good a player), who is now sort of enhancing this idea now he's a people manager of a bunch of elite players and big egos.
    Maradona was said to be a tactical genius, with a brain faster than anyone, but his managerial stint raised a few questions to this idea of superhuman leadership (with after that episode fewer unqualified/uncertified claims in this direction).

    Imho there are more credible theories/ideas than 'aura' as for why Burruchaga buried the shots, the four defining handballs weren't sanctioned, Goychochea saved the penalties, tired Belgium was unlucky to see two offside moments wrongly judged (while they were by meters onside).
     
  23. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I speak for the Maradona that I saw at the NT level. In the 1990 WC Maradona was advised not to play with his ankle injury by the medical staff but he himself applied the cortisone injections in front of his teammates and took the field. When he did this, I was told by Goycoechea that it galvanized the team. If the captain can go out and play like this then everyone must rally behind and raise their game. Furthermore, if the main superstar drops back and executes 40 yard dashes to help his defense, then it rubs off on other attacking players. This was the example that he transmitted as the leader of his teams.
     
  24. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Statistically speaking, players simply run more today than they did 30 years ago. Doesn't mean they work harder, they're just fitter.

    Perception is an interesting thing. I know a lot of people who called Ozil lazy, and Sanchez a hard worker, at Arsenal. Statistically however, Ozil runs more than Sanchez, consistently, pretty much every game. Ozil, in fact, consistently has one of the highest milage of any Arsenal player, when he plays. His body language is just less endearing, I guess.

    Also, we shouldn't discard off-the-ball running. It wouldn't surprise me, for example, if I find out someone like CR7 actually has high mileage, just because I can imagine him being the type of player that runs a lot to find space, if not tracking back.
     
  25. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    #400 Sexy Beast, Oct 19, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Football is not played by kindergarden kids who need to be put in perspective every once in awhile. Why would anyone need to be told that they need to work hard to win WC? That's self evident.. it's inner motivation that counts, just like leaders themselfs get motivated, they don't need someone to tell them that. It's sign of maturity and discipline. Leadership skills are overrated
    also why would a leader/captain need to be the best player on the pitch? It's obviously down to leadership skills that have nothing to do with the game itself, but rather personality (measure of extraversion) and i will tell you, having Passarella in your defense helps a lot in that segment, even if he is not officially a captain...
    being a leader is one tinny plus in your favor, definitely not something that can drastically change the outcome of matches. Quality of team is above everything, and luck is the second biggest factor. Everything else is negligible
     

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