Is Roberto Baggio the best player without ESM honors?

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by PuckVanHeel, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I was wondering about this and eventually I thought it would fit best to just open a new thread.


    The question is an easy one, although actually three different things are meant.

    1 - 'Best player' as in entire career
    2 - 'Best player' as in peak performance
    3 - 'Best player' as in what he did after 1993-94, since ESM started in 1994-95.

    In 1994-95 only a team of the season was chosen. He wasn't selected in there, although three of the eight voters included him an XI (9 players got voted more often). All those three voters selected however five or more forwards, and only the Belgian magazine identifiably ranked him ahead of other Italian based attackers. Three inclusions placed him level with the Italian based attackers Vialli and Savicevic.


    Some would say it is Romario but he's a year older than Baggio and was only eligible for half a year, before he moved out of Europe (many prefer Baggio anyway, even while winning a lot less and that view makes some sense imho).
    On the other hand Romario played at a position where someone gets noticed earlier when he performs well, when he has already built a name, especially in that time with the dominant roles and tactics back then (Baggio more of a goalscoring forward than assister too of course, compared to other number tens).


    This are the other players from 18 February 1967 or earlier (took some time to figure this out but found a handy method for this).

    1961 - D. Blind (1994-95 team of the season plus 4 selections)
    1961 - L. Matthaus (4 selections)
    1962 - F. Rijkaard (1994-95 team)
    1962 - A. Köpke (1 selection)
    1962 - M. Konsel (1 selection)
    1962 - Donato (1 selection)
    1963 - P. Schmeichel (4 selections)
    1963 - B. Lama (2 selections)
    1963 - D. Seaman (1 selection)
    1963 - G. Bergomi (1 selection)
    1964 - J. Klinsmann (1994-95 team plus 1 selection)
    1964 - M. Laudrup (1994-95 team)
    1964 - R. Mancini (2 selections)
    1964 - A. Yeboah (1 selection)
    1964 - S. Apostolakis (1 selection)
    1964 - P. Le Guen (1 selection)
    1964 - L. Dixon (1 selection)
    1964 - G. McAllister (1 selection)
    1965 - L. Blanc (11 selections)
    1965 - J. Angloma (10 selections)
    1965 - 'Rai' (3 selections)
    1965 - T. Helmer (2 selections)
    1965 - J. Kohler (1 selection)
    1965 - G. Pallister (1 selection)
    1965 - K.H. Riedle (1 selection)
    1965 - R. Hesp (1 selection)
    1966 - G. Weah (5 selections)
    1966 - G. Zola (1994-95 team plus 1 selection)
    1966 - K. Balakov (3 selections)
    1966 - E. Cantona (3 selections)
    1966 - M. Keown (3 selections)
    1966 - G. Pagliuca (2 selections)
    1966 - Mazinho (2 selections)
    1966 - M. Pantic (1 selection)
    1966 - W. Jonk (1 selection)
    1966 - T. Hassler (1 selection)
    1966 - A. Di Livio (1 selection)
    1966 - O. Thon (1 selection)
    1966 - T. Adams (1 selection)
    1966 - T. Sheringham (1 selection)
    1967 - C. Ferrara (5 selections)
    1967 - I. Zamorano (1994-95 team)
    1967 - D. Ginola (2 selections)
    1967 - T. Flowers (1 selection)


    Even for the third question I can see the merit of the proposition (also strongly the counter-merit).

    For example 'defenders' Angloma, Ferrara and Matthaus (April 1998, May 1999 - a sympathy vote probably -, November 1999, February 2000) were not short changed here, while we know differing views existed at the time, aided by a number of high profile errors for each of them. Angloma received 10 selections, and he was out of the picture for the national team as well.

    We also see some veteran performances as McAllister, Sheringham and Mazinho (for Celta de Vigo) getting a nod of approval.
     
  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    #2 PDG1978, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    Interesting thread Puck.

    As a bit of further info, thanks to the great work on the other thread about ESM, he got just over half the nominations of Bergkamp after the 94/95 vote for overall team (which he did receive the votes for as you mention and Bergkamp didn't). For 1997/98 only a quarter of Bergkamp's total nominations (albeit Bergkamp also only ended up with two monthly inclusions in the ESM XI that season - still that is enough to take him out of the equation for this question and actually Del Piero, (who's impact may have trumped Baggio's in Italy and denied him votes possibly?) received as many as 20 nominations for his own two inclusions that season....but Bergkamp's nearly double amount of nominations compared to Baggio can add further context since they are of the same generation and played a similar role/position).

    I don't know whether you'd think of splitting category 3 into two sub-sections (peak and overall just as for 1 and 2)? If so I'm going to make a call to say post 94/95 (actually post 93/94 for me) Savicevic could be thought to have the better peak form (but overall for category 2 maybe I don't think this way now even though it'd be a close call considering his best form in say 90/91 or 94/95 & 95/96 at Milan (before that it would be too sporadic)). But overall since 94/95 Baggio might still be ahead of him, although because of the peak aspect still being relevant partially there too maybe I'm not 100% convinced (possibly Baggio was good enough in 97/98 and in Brescia too to go that way considering cumulative contributions though). I haven't thought in detail about other names as yet. One player who didn't have a huge amount of nominations for the 1990s is Alan Shearer, but his inclusion in the 94/95 team takes him out the equation too of course as an option for category 3 (just notable perhaps that he didn't get any more nominations than Baggio the following season interestingly - one each).
     
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, most of those that you mention sort of fall outside the scope, including Shearer and Keane (who had only 5 ESM selections in his career, still more than for ex. Redondo though), even if they're perhaps short changed.
    Savicevic is perhaps an option based on his 1994-95 and 1995-96 form (and overall career too). Most commonly voters were leaning to two strikers or volume scorers.
     
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  4. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Makelele never got a single nomination so he should be up there.
     
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  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, interesting. Even with a handicap for defensive midfielders one would expect at least one vote for Makelele, with the applause he received back then, and a position named after him, for one of the few Champions League contenders of that era (predominantly Chelsea, Liverpool, slightly later Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona - I think those were the primary contenders of that time if I'm not mistaken).
     
  6. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Franco Baresi?

    For 1) Yes I'd think so.
    For 2) Perhaps (hard to compare)
    For 3) No I don't think so, but he was still very good during 95/96

    Born 1960 though.
     
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think it is somewhat surprising that Baggio didn't get any post 94/95 inclusions (hard to call how many he'd have got in 94/95 itself - 3 votes for overall team, but as I said looking at 97/98 Del Piero got 20 nominations and only 2 inclusions in monthly XIs in 97/98 for example). It'd have been more surprising if he got no nominations at all though I suppose.

    Maybe part of it is due to a shorter 'time at the top' factor in those days. On that note, interesting to see the 94/95 XI front six only had 5 inclusions in monthly XIs between them for the rest of the 90s (Litmanen 3, Zola 1, Klinsmann 1). The whole XI only had 4 in the 90s after 95/96 (Maldini 2, Sammer 1, Zola 1).
     
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  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, in this direction were my ideas too!

    Gheorghe Hagi (b. 5 february 1965) is maybe also an option. In 2000 he did do better at some other 'awards'. The rec.sport.soccer vote and the Onze Mondial one where he ended up high in his position.
    Le Tissier maybe, although he won not much in his career (even compared to Baggio, Zola). But if e.g. Yeboah and some others at non-contending clubs get selected once why not.
     
  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Gennaro Gattuso? Javier Mascherano?
    (In the context of their team mates)
     
  10. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, good calls for 'less than expected recognition' at least I think. Hagi's 94/95 didn't go as well, all in all, as expected probably so maybe indeed his Galatasary period would be main option. Le Tissier not getting any nominations (while several attacking mids and forwards did get put in each team) for the 94/95 overall team might be the most surprising but only slightly so in context perhaps - IMO he was not so good after that season.
     
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    After further reflecting on this I think Savicevic is a better call than previously thought. Because of his past history (incl. Red Star Belgrade too) and the team he played for, he did receive widespread applause when he had his purple patches - and he had a few notable European games between 1994 and 1996 (the 1995 Champions League semi final). He had those months where he was on fire.

    For 1994 - 1996 his grades at DBScalcio and Guerin are nevertheless adequate, and a part of him playing few games is also down to the coach. For a full season maybe not (in 1994-95 still level with Vialli and RB10 for the seasonal team), but for some of those months possibly yes. A bit like Ronaldinho at PSG I guess, who was selected once for ESM while at PSG - maybe even better than that similar Ronaldinho case.


    (yes, this can be a bit misleading in many ways and he did lack a bit of end product and eye for the assist if we're honest)

    As an aside, he himself praised Weah's and MvB's technique, and admired the striker's job. So, considering all the above, for individual months in 1995-96 he is a good choice.

    Would be nice to find a possible XI for this exercise.
     
  12. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, I think he could make an XI for category 2 and maybe 1, even 3 (or 4 if post 93/94 prime form is counted separately).

    Weah had the most attention and accolades that season I suppose, and understandably so, among Milan players. Savicevic still did have some runs of great form though I think, but it can be multiple ones occurred in the same part of the season (certainly early to spring time in 1996 for example), but the most significant performances might not occur in the same month - eg Sampdoria in January, Roma in February, Parma in March in terms of home games he definitely starred in and affected the result:
    http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/ital96.html

    End product - finishing wasn't so reliable I think yes indeed, sometimes not being balanced enough by the time of his final shot; vision, imagination and passing could be great IMO, but possibly not Bergkamp-esque for final balls and decision making etc overall on a regular basis - the Bergkamp vs Barcelona 1999 performance actually has some parallels with an in form Savicevic type performance I think (with the skills and evasiveness coming to the fore, and little ideas to get way from defenders - probably the goal would indeed be something Bergkamp was generally better at though again).
     
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes good ideas. Savicevic sometimes lost his balance after a dribble, possibly because of fatigue and need to re-generate (and Milan played relatively far away from goal). He also got wind up in his own dribble that he lost the overview to pass at times. During his best months, including a Champions League semi final, and when used properly he is however a good candidate for this.

    In that Barcelona game his footwork, nimbleness and pace is not at his best I thought; there are matches where he goes past class defenders with more ease, including the 'croqueta' that he used when his footwork was up to standards. Still in other respects a fine and 'artistic' game.

    For the goalkeepers I thought Nigel Martyn is an option (doing well in that 1999 FFT thing IIRC).


    Nigel Martyn
    Franco Baresi ??
    Claude Makelele
    Javier Mascherano
    Gennaro Gattuso
    Roberto Baggio
    Dejan Savicevic
    Matthew le Tissier
    Gheorghe Hagi
     
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Samir Handanovic
     
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, I also feel in some respects I saw him in more fluent form than vs Barcelona, but still a very good and clutch match for him ofc. His 90/91 semi-final games were also very good I think (on Youtube in full now for him, both legs) although in total not as statistically significant as vs PSG in 95.
     
  16. el-torero

    el-torero Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    malaysia
    Club:
    CA Boca Juniors
    Country:
    Argentina
    roman, the butcher of makelele also not there......
     
  17. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    You might be pleased to see the January 2005 ESM XI mate:

    January 2005
    Cech (Che)
    Puyol (Bar) Terry (Che) Cannavaro (Juv) Maldini (Mil)
    C. Ronaldo (MaU) Lampard (Che) Riquelme (Vlr)
    Robben (Che) Montella (Rom) Eto'o (Bar)
    http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/esm-xi.html#0405

    Or not so pleased lol, in another way, as it would take him out of consideration for this thread!
     
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  18. el-torero

    el-torero Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    malaysia
    Club:
    CA Boca Juniors
    Country:
    Argentina
    thanks for the info, PDG1978

    meaning riquelme was disqualified
     
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  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I was missing a striker and Hasselbaink is maybe a good one. Two times Premier League topscorer, nearly in La Liga too at 3 goals short (his rival had 11 penalties and he 4), and also very close again in 2001-02 EPL at 1 goal distance.
     
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    @PDG1978 @Perú FC @comme

    Do you have candidates for the striker position? Hasselbaink feels as a good one, but there must be others and don't want to be biased here.

    Here scoring two goals and an assist against Real Madrid for a team that got relegated.



    ('Fiebre Maldini' also included a couple of moments by 'Il Professore' Seedorf I see; if he hadn't been transferred/bought mid-season he had won a fifth Champions League??)

    This is a harder position to think about than a) man markers b) defensive midfielders c) 'hole' type of players and/or deep-lying ball players.
     
  21. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Other possibilities among Premier League players could include the Manchester United strikers Cole and Solskjaer, Collymore if thinking of prime, maybe Chris Sutton, Kevin Phillips or Les Ferdinand.

    From Italy Giussepe Signori didn't get a selection, but maybe it was a bit of a late start for him with 94/95 (but also for Baggio and others of course). Enrico Chiesa too.
     
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  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    :thumbsup:
     
  23. Perú FC

    Perú FC Member+

    Nov 16, 2007
    Lima, Perú
    From the project of the top 23 footballers season by season what I could do is list all those strikers I considered as outstanding in some period between the 1994-95 and 2003-04 seasons that were never selected in an ESM Team of the Month:

    - Márcio Amoroso
    - Abel Balbo
    - Milan Baros
    - James Beattie
    - Catanha
    - Javier Chevantón
    - Enrico Chiesa
    - Djibril Cissé
    - Andy Cole
    - Stan Collymore
    - Dani (García)
    - Marco Delvecchio
    - Marco Di Vaio
    - Les Ferdinand
    - Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
    - Ulf Kirsten
    - Jan Koller
    - Nikos Machlas
    - Olaf Marschall
    - Nuno Gomes
    - Pauleta
    - Kevin Phillips
    - Claudio Pizarro
    - Juan Antonio Pizzi
    - Michael Preetz
    - Igor Protti
    - Louis Saha
    - Marcelo Salas
    - Giuseppe Signori
    - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
    - Chris Sutton
    - Mark Viduka
    - Ian Wright
     
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  24. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Thanks a lot! Yes, Signori is maybe the best one for individual months. He was 26 when the thing started in 1994, and had maybe all-around his best ever season in 1995-96 (despite 12 penalties among his 24 goals).

    Any name you are fond of?
     
  25. La-Máquina

    La-Máquina BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 5, 2013
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Deportivo de La Coruña's Mauro Silva (2000-2002) would score high in that regard too. A monstrous anchorman who could compete against the best defensive midfielders of that period: Redondo, Keane, Vieira, Davids...
     

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