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
    The psychology is that under pressure he’s shrunk along with other fragile minded players.

    The only eye test I’ve seen is offensive players with better protection and operating on smoother pitches. The balls carry less weight (which make it more tricky for goalkeepers) as well as lighter and fresher uniforms. The fact that players are more muscular and appear fitter doesn’t mean they are better in the art of defending. The defensive bloopers that I’ve seen in the 2014 WC final and CA final 2016 edition is of comical proportions.

    That’s your view but I’m completely in disagreement.

    So how do you expect to assess a player ? On skills alone ? It’s absurd. Great players aren’t judged solely on how talented they are but on the merit of transferring those talents into triumphs and coronations when it matters most. Furthermore, in proving your worth outside the comfort zone of a player. I’m not interested if Messi or Aguero were more talented than Batistuta for example, because when it mattered most Batistuta rose to the occasion many times and put trophies in AFA’s cabinet. His ability to find the back of the net is something that neither Messi or Higuain were capable of doing in decisive encounters.

    No, I’m claiming that player A has had many opportunities to demonstrate his worth compared to others with less chances but still couldn’t produce the goods. Your definition of player A and player B is distorted because at the NT level Messi has had more go-arounds at titles than many former legends and still couldn’t influence important matches in difficult situations. I repeat, in Batistuta’s first shot at a title he broke 32 years of a drought for Argentina in South America. It took Maradona only in his second try at a tournament under his control to crown Argentina world champs. It’s been 6 competitions under Messi’s control and still hasn’t been capable of living up to his name.

    So in your view it’s unfair and for others it was based on luck and ideal circumstances. This is ridiculous and the excuses continue.

    To start with, never has Batistuta, Caniggia and Maradona, previous legends that arrived prior to the generation of Aguero and Messi, had a tailor made tournament as USA 2016 to suite to their benefit.

    The times Maradona, Caniggia or Batistuta lost, they were defeated by Brazil or Uruguay, teams that were in conditions to take them out as traditional South American powerhouses (and better than any team Messi faced at the South American level in my view). But to have it served twice on a silver platter, like in 2015 and 2016, with weak opponents in the way and they can’t beat Chile not once but twice, is a big underachievement. Until they can get that chip in Russia 2018, I don’t want to even entertain any comparisons with former players covered in silver and gold.

    And you damn right I’m going to compare the achievements of past legends because it’s those ghosts that he’s wrongly compared to when he has no right at this point to be even spoken in the same class as them. It’s people that erroneously classify him (like you) as a greater legend when there’s no justification for that other than for his exploits inside his comfort zone at Barcelona.
     
  2. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I’ll answer this when I have some time.
     
  3. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    The more I think about this the more incredible your reasoning becomes. The main problem you are failing to grasp is the inability to find any cracks in his game and questions to his strength of character. According to you he’s been very unfortunate while previous legends were touched by the magic wand of luck. How convenient for you to say that since it’s him in question. Let me ask you: do you know how narrow that sounds and fallacious it is in facts ? That same reasoning of thought can be turned against you by stating the same for Maradona, Caniggia and Batistuta at some major events. How about the unfortunate period in world football in the 1940s when Argentina were going through a golden era but couldn’t showcase their abilities at the WC due to world war 2 ? Neither Moreno, Enrique Garcia, Mendez, Pedernera and Sastre could ever participate in the grandest stage.

    The player with the best luck and put in ideal situations to make history has been Messi. 6 major competitions under his control where he’s not injured or absent in crucial matches (2007, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016) more than any other former Argentinian legend.

    Do you understand how lucky and fortunate that is ? Or will you continue to go down the path of making petty unconvincing excuses ?
     
  4. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Just a few corrections: the ball actually weighs exactly the same, only through water retention does the ball weigh more. Also it has been noted that modern balls are actually harder to keep down than balls from previous eras due to advancements in the aerodynamics of the ball. Not disagreeing with you that its easier to score nowadays.

    Being the devils advocate here, wouldn't a rough and bumpy pitch also make it harder for keepers, if the ball is bobbling in front of them.
     
  5. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    A player that could have achieved more, but was limited to a certain degree with expectations that were beyond his natural control.

    He’s a very controversial case. He divides fans. For many he’s the best French footballer ever but for others he’s totally overrated.

    Zizou is usually ranked in a top 10 all-time nowadays by the modernists. I emphasize that because the voters are generally people that are from the younger generation, with an inherent preference for players of the last 30-40 years.

    So what are his main arguments ?

    He was the artifice in engineering France’s Euro Championship in 2000 and decided a WC final at home vs the favorites Brazil. He was successful across multiple clubs in France, Italy and Spain. But here’s the thing.

    First, there was nothing remarkably prodigious about him as a youngster and the beginning of his career he wasn’t well-known to the world. This may be an important aspect for some or a minor one because not all great players have a prodigious beginning; Di Stéfano as a prime example.

    Second point, Zizou played outside of France with the best teams in European club football with some of the best players of his generation. At the apex of his fame, he was frequently outshined by Del Piero at Juventus on a weekly basis. He didn’t fulfill entirely what was expected of him, which brought criticism out of Agnelli, an important figure in Turin at the time. Domestically he was successful but European glory denied him twice in two consecutive finals, with lackluster performances.

    As a Frenchmen, he did not fill the void that Platini had left off in the 1980s.

    He moved on to Spain and it was the era of the “Galácticos”. A club with lots of egos that was mismanaged by management and underachieved in comparison to what was expected from them. One Champions league and one league title. Zidane was at the fore when he scored that memorable left footed volley in 2002 vs Bayern Leverkusen and the league coronation coincided with Ronaldo’s arrival.

    The Bernabéu saw Zidane sporadically at his best through 5 seasons. He labored through matches in his final years and generally struggled in the clásicos vs Barcelona.

    At the NT level he grew into the leader of the squad and achieved what was probably in the possibilities of his capabilities. Maybe he blew a golden chance to be two-times world champ, had he kept his cool in Berlin. Maybe he could have won another Euro but overall a tremendous success at the NT level.

    Zizou wasn’t a great scoring threat, instead his game was predicated on getting others involved, as the rock flowed through his creativity.

    Some have argued that he had a penchant for appearing in the ‘big moments’ when the lights flashed the brightest but took days and nights off against the weaker competition. Neither is necessarily true.

    I feel for the teams he played for he could have triumphed more but settled for less. In an era where the so-called super-teams started to emerge, Zidane’s meager one league title at Real Madrid, was to a certain degree an underachievement.

    But what he has, which is missing in many all-time greats, is almost the complete set of major accolades. Kind of like Tennis, he’s a holder of many grand-slam titles, at club and NT level. He’s got the World Cup, Euro and Champions league. He’s only missing the UEFA Cup of his time, which he came close by reaching the final, only to lose against Bayern Munich in 1996.
     
    babaorum and Jaweirdo repped this.
  6. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Yes I agree with everything you say. I always found it difficult to rate him because he never impressed me as an individual player but was respected for the collective approach to the game he took. The problem is this never made him stand out much when compared to other people with the same outlook i.e. paul scholes or bergkamp, except that he did show up at the highest levels. He also played a lot of lateral and backwards balls which isn't bad but also makes it difficult to judge imo. So you'd rate him outside of the top 10 and below Platini then?
     
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Was this still arguable after ADP his knee injury? The 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons. Then I mean both over the course of a whole season as well as the bigger matches (for example the 1998 CL semi final, which is probably ADPs zenith).
    If I am not mistaken Zidane's zenith as 'world's best player' moniker was roughly between June 2000 and December 2003.
     
  8. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011

    I never really gave it a real thought which are my top 10. I have so many doubts about players across eras. I’m also the contrarian type. I don’t always accept certain players just because the established sources have them listed. My concepts of greatness sometimes go against the political choices. For example, it’s generally accepted that Lev Yashin was the greatest Soviet goalkeeper of all-time but I preferred Rinat Dasaev based on what I saw.

    As for Platini, I can’t speak much about him at Nancy or Saint Etienne, didn’t see much of him there, but evidently he must have been very good.

    At Juventus, I can categorically say he was better than Zidane in a more defensive era in Italian football where there was more parity amongst teams. Both did arrive on championship sides but Platini made them significantly stronger. Once Platini retired it took Juventus years to recover but when Zidane departed the club still continued with their run of championships.

    At major NT events, Zidane has stronger claims of being the greater winner as he beat some of the greatest players h2h of his generation. The success of eliminating and ending Championship aspirations for Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Figo, Cristiano, Baggio, Del Piero, Maldini, Suker, Raül, Xavi and Puyol, is something Platini didn’t entirely fulfill against the greater legends of his time.

    However, in the period of Zidane, France had one of the all-time great defenses the world had ever seen and some of the best leaders and only lacked great strikers, with the exception of Henry.

    But Platini played in a different era where 16 and 24 teams were in a World Cup as opposed to 32 countries. Why is this important ? Because France couldn’t really let their guard down right from the start. In 1978 they were in the group of death, with Italy, Argentina and Hungary. Contrast that to 1998 with South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Denmark. What Platini would face in the group stage, Zidane would only generally encounter from the quarterfinals onward.

    This is why eras can’t be properly compared as tournaments are not like for like. Having more teams doesn’t mean better competition.

    It’s generally accepted that Zidane’s greatest tournament display was at the 2000 Euro. Platini undoubtedly at Euro 1984. Zidane faced stronger opposition and it was played outside of French soil. The French in 1984 avoided Italy, West Germany, England and the Soviets, teams that really underperformed. A lot of favorable circumstances went his way. The counter-argument to this is Platini obliterated his competition, regardless of level of opposition, and it’s generally accepted as the finest individual offensive performance at a Euro.


    Yeah, you have to disregard those seasons where Del Piero was sidelined but Zidane didn’t elevate his game in those moments when be was absent either. In fact I believe it had a negative affect on his contribution and it was probably individually his weakest season in Italy.
     
  9. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Zidane EURO 2000 is overrated though, imho. He was great, no doubt, but in an attempt to make it a Zidane's victory, the greatness of his teammates were diminished. Vegan10 already mentioned France's defense. In that tournament, Henry just came of age with Arsenal in that season, so he was able to provide the firepower as well. Not to mention, the fine work of the midfield, in particular, my boy, Patrick Vieira.

    Was it really any surprise that Zidane would get the better of Figo, considering that France was so superior to Portugal's golden generation?

    The Netherlands defeated France 3-2. Zidane didn't look great then. They only lost to Italy in a penalty shootout. Zidane wasn't that great in the final either, although he was good in both the semifinal and quarterfinal.
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    One thing I'm 100% certain about is that people go overboard when they compare him with Iniesta (a player with similar style, role and career profile).

    Zidane is genuinely someone who scores well as a 'big game' scorer (and assister). Then I am not meaning the absolute volume (which can be misleading, for a few reasons) but also the proportion. I am not saying he's without zero doubt the best (of his generation) in that regard but he scores very well, among the very best.

    There are actually also some moments and periods (euro 2004) where he gets slightly forgotten or underrated.

    Furthermore, while he was/is not the archetypal 'great leader', if you look at the famous 'les yeux dans les blues' series then you can actually see him stating things of substance (Desailly too by the way, who did not become a coach or manager).

    Right now he's a solid manager of big ego's although leadleader did have a bit of a point whether he would have surfaced too at a slightly lesser team (don't agree with everything he says but just for matter of completeness the full part).

    "
    But when a player who was easily replaced by Pavel Nedved gets to play for Juventus and Real Madrid, pretty much when each of those teams had their strongest arguments for being the best teams of the moment -- that's called being lucky to sign for the right teams at the right time, or maybe that's just one of the telltale signs of a player with a lot of outside-the-pitch power. Of course, when that same player, then goes on to consistently get 4 or 3.5 stars (out of 5 stars) for average performances, whereas Figo was consistently given 2.5 or 3 stars (out of 5 stars) whilst delivering performances that clearly weren't inferior to those that Zidane consistently offered -- that's irrefutable proof of the fact that Zidane was protected by Madrid-based newspapers, which were precisely the Madrid-based media that pushed for Zidane when the rumors of a potential interest in Francesco Totti started circulating through the Spanish media. Even when Zidane was horrible (as was the case at least two times in the same season vs Bilbao), he still would get an automatic 3.5 (out of 5) rating.

    Of course, in order to offer proper "proof" about that, I'd have to show the picture/print of the Madrid-based newspaper, and then I'd have to show on video every touch that Zidane had on the ball, in each of the games that I've singled out as prime examples -- that's very tedious work, very time-consuming work, and even if I go through with it, I could still be easily accused of "not showing Zidane's best plays in those games." So a lot of work, basically so that you or someone else can then conclusively state that it's mostly bullshit or vitriol or something along said lines.

    To further contextualize just how powerful Zidane arguably is. Francesco Totti still plays for Roma, well past his prime, but he still plays for Roma. Zidane, on the other hand, is the current coach of Real Madrid, despite having zero experience coaching any competitive teams. Not even Raul Gonzalez gets that type of special treatment. Heck, even Alfredo Di Stefano had to coach a few big teams (Boca Juniors, River Plate, Valencia) before getting his hands on Real Madrid in 1982.

    Zidane's first job as coach? Real Madrid. And that's the same guy who was awarded with a Golden Ball at a World Cup where he clearly wasn't the best player (not to mention the fact that the famous headbutt incident should've ruled him out of the contention for said award). The same guy who played for Juventus and for Real Madrid precisely when said teams were the best teams in the world. And also the player who consistently received inexplicably high ratings from Madrid-based newspapers. Either he's just a very lucky guy who also happened to be a great player, or he's well connected with very powerful individuals.
    "
     
  11. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    What he also has in his favor is some memorable Kodak moments that many other all-time greats don’t necessarily have. His two headers in the 1998 final. His volley in the 2002 Champions league final. His free kick in the dying minutes vs England in Euro 2004. Then he’s got most of the prestigious silverware in his personal cabinet.

    These episodes give the impression that he was greater than some may believe.

    Great players usually get 3 to 6 attempts at major titles. Few are great or successful in multiple attempts. Zizou was one of them that was fortunate to succeed on more than one occasion. And as I mentioned he was the closest to obtaining multiple World Cups since the days of some Brazilians in the 1960s (Maradona aside because he had no chance in my view in the final in Rome 1990).

    I can’t imagine what image he’d have today had he won again in Berlin in 2006. He’s already a top 10 by most accounts. We will never know what may have been had he not been sent off in the final, but with two World Cups under his belt he would probably have been a safe bet for top 5 by all accounts.
     
  12. Jaweirdo

    Jaweirdo Member+

    Aug 19, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Vegan I think a list of your top 10 would be greatly appreciated, especially because it would go against what is normally accepted as the top 10
     
  13. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I’d have to really think about it but it’s difficult. But I always preferred to look at it as classifying players in tiers rather than by numbers and each in their own epoch.
     

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