Lev Yashin's Ballon D'or

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by schwuppe, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Can you elaborate on this?

    What I know is that Yashin was already very highly regarded before the won the BdO.

    Various low countries players have played against him, they rate him high although few would categorically call him the best.

    This (knowledgeable) ex-player and ex-trainer sums him up well briefly (2:56 onward).



    --- "You have seen Lev Yashin, I briefly saw Gordon Banks live."

    "Yes, I even played against him, don't be mistaken here. Great."

    --- "It makes no sense because the sport has become essentially different, but is he [means VdS, Schmeichel] of the outside category?"

    "Yashin was a man who had a tremendous aura and charisma. Was the first goalkeeper who I really saw coming off his line in a natural way, not as a forced gimmick. Active outside his penalty box. Yashin was of an exceptional caliber. Also Gordon Banks by the way."




    ------------------------

    In this brief exchange is I think a lot of what has defined his profile. Had indeed a great 'charisma', looked fantastic on camera and outside the lines. Was kind of a sweeper keeper without neglecting the basics (tremendous saves in some FIFA XI and Europe XI teams). The stats on wikipedia (clean sheets, penalties saved) are maybe not 100% correct, but he was renowned for stopping penalties yes.

    One odd thing about him is that he never played continentally with his club. His club had entered the draw in 1968, but refused to play. Had also his weaker moments in the World Cup (noticeably) although, on the other hand, even a Buffon had some (imho, an ageing Zoff too as peterhrt mentioned before).
     
  2. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    I won't question the view that Yashin was the greatest keeper up until 1970/80 or so, as this is clearly supported by what people thought back then. He won the 'greatest GK ever' polls back then in a landslide from what I've seen posted here.

    However I wouldn't discount the idea that someone after that point has surpassed him.
     
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  3. Bavarian14

    Bavarian14 Member

    Bayern München
    Jun 1, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    India
    How did you came to the conclusion that modern keepers has not surpassed him?
    Based on compilations his best saves are standard routine saves by today's standards
     
  4. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    What a nonsense point.
    Based on that there would be no point discussing any historical player whatsover. The forum is full of discussions about players who where active 100 years ago, why choose this thread to point out the obvious?
     
  5. Bavarian14

    Bavarian14 Member

    Bayern München
    Jun 1, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    India
    I only disagreed the part where you said no other keeper has surpassed him. While I agree to the general idea of his legacy being unbeatable just like Pele both under different circumstances.

    Considering how little footage is actually available of him did you actually watched him live? Or telling it based on his stats and some rose tinted hearsay.
    I can also claim Manuel Neuer being the greatest goalkeeper of all time based on his stats and achivements (He has 53% clean sheets compared to 33% of Yashin) but that comparison would be pointless
     
  6. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I probably mean that objectively, it's hard to put a case together for Yashin being the best.

    If you just use the eye-test, then he trails a long way behind many keepers. It's not a fair comparison because goalkeeping has improved immensely (IMO) in the last 40 years.

    Today we have an exceptional batch of keepers who have advanced the fundamentals while also taking forward distribution to a level not seen before.

    If you look at what he won or his involvement in top teams, again it is hard to make the case.

    So we are left with
     
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  7. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    We're talking past eachother here.
    That's my point. I'm questioning/investigating the 'rose tinted hearsay' surrounding Yashin.
     
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  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #59 PuckVanHeel, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    OK thanks :thumbsup:

    Yes I agree many great goalkeepers/players don't look impressive on highlights although that is also a matter of personal taste (example of this taste: a 'liked' comment in one of the videos below says: "His style makes difficult saves look easy, the opposite from Manuel Neuer or David de Gea").

    Some of these former goalkeepers still look good imho (recently checked Preud'homme and Pfaff again, to briefly check whether my own memory/idea feels off here).





    (the career of those overlap and span 35 years - I still find Preud'homme looking good)

    Yashin looks to me very athletic, yet at the same time he made it look easy, and seemed slow moving through the air. There is maybe a danger to 'forget' also some current ones like Courtois (or Seaman previously) aren't the most spectacular ones on highlights. Courtois might appear gangly/lanky.

    From reading 1960s articles it seems observers liked his 'floating through the air' style, signalling a certain ease, reserve and class, while nowadays quick reaction times of a De Gea or Casillas catch the eye. Yashin his 'haughty' and princely style caught the eye, as if he didn't sweat (or rarely).

    Just some thoughts here about the 'eye test' and possible changing levels of perception and tastes.


    With 10 major trophies he still won a good amount I'd say, but yes, not as much as record holder Baia (31 trophies; one of two goalkeepers to have won all three major UEFA trophies & with two different clubs) or Van der Sar (27 trophies; still the only goalkeeper to win EC/CL with two different teams, plus part of 6 more UEFA finals, 3 of them CL finals). Both are also in the top eight all-time for longest unbeaten runs, among other things.

    The whole business of 'ranking' goalkeepers is still very subjective and vulnerable to groupthink imho.

    Although the goalkeeper is the most individualized position on the field, the closest we get to baseball, even for more modern goalkeepers there is somehow a very poor match with the actual statistics those guys can show (records set, clean sheets, saves per goal etc.) or the number of trophies won. Around some goalkeepers there is an enormous cult going on and that includes Buffon (yes, he is a genuine best ever candidate but at the same time the cult clouds judgement).

    In a way there is a danger to devise 'tests' for past greats while in the meantime appreciating current goalkeepers has little to do with trophies or the stats & records they can show (although when Cech announced his retirement lately, I saw a few passing by - as you know I had noticed/remarked before he has some amazing tangibles going for him, incl. for the Czech national side, or that he had work to do when he made his clean sheets run).

    What for Yashin would be interesting to know, is how his replacement/understudy did. That would give a better feel for how much he was above the standard deviation (so to speak) in his own time.

    edit:

    another one
     
  9. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    This could be a good game to watch Puck I'd guess re: Yashin? (I have to confess I never got round to it as yet myself though!):
    https://footballia.net/matches/soviet-union-yugoslavia

    I think you make some good points that could be relevant to initially understanding why he was regarded as the best (or at least one of the best) of bygone times (before even starting to try to compare to Schmeichel, Buffon etc etc). One of his nicknames was 'black octopus' I think wasn't it, and I suppose that refers to a capability to often get an arm in the right place to stop a shot(helped by the fact they were long arms, but also I guess anticipation of where shots would go, which would help with penalties too of course - attempts by Mazzola and Puskas do look a bit 'poor' that we can see on video to be honest, rolling into his path/dive almost, but maybe there is an element that he was hard to get past with the calmly placed shot moreso than other keepers).

    On the video Bavarian14 posted (yes, I can confirm that you and schwuppe agree - it is just the slight difficulty of two German speakers having to communicate in English I think, although both of you understand it much better than I understand German for sure!!), the save against Argentina looks potentially a great one (tipping it onto the bar I think, after a close range 'bullet' shot?) - I think that might be from the away game in 1961 but curiously there is a YouTube video for him with his actions in that game that doesn't show that save I think (maybe the uploader thought the shot went directly onto the bar or something?). Also maybe the World Cup save vs Sweden from 1958 (diving to his left to turn around a shot from the edge of the box), but I feel it can be hard to judge some of the old saves due to footage issues and no replays or other angles etc (we can't see where Yashin is when the shot is fired in vs Sweden - I'm not sure whether watching the game footage might help give a clue, and if I did watch some of that game I wasn't looking out for that). I noticed a 'top 10 World Cup saves' article had put the one vs Chile (another one vs a home nation, in 1962) as 3rd best but to be honest that does seem like a bit of a case of picking the save using the name/reputation probably (I think the ones above were Turek from Hidegkuti back in 1954, and Banks from Pele) although the anticipation/octopus factor does apply to it I think still (maybe as you suggest he was hard to get past, even without being spectacular).

    Sepp Maier also had a certain awkwardness, while being at times very hard to get past I suppose, and tends to be rated quite high among older keepers. To be fair, Gregoriak, who is not as he would say a 'modernist' did say he felt Neuer was much better than Maier.

    Cech is another one whose height has helped him, as well as his intelligence probably. Spectacular savers in the old times were often quite a bit shorter than Yashin I suppose (I'm thinking Beara, Viktor and suchlike) and it makes a difference in terms of reach at times, and covering the goal without spectacular dives. He did throw the ball out pretty well and accurately I think (from what has been said, and also it can be seen on video) to get his team moving, but not Schmeichel style or anything. It seems he was good with crosses too, but because he can have an element of awkwardness/complacency then when he makes an error it does seem quite bad I guess (like a lapse).

    Anyway, yeah, I thought that he had been praised for his Euro 1960 Final game, so maybe that's as good a place as any to try to start to see whether he shows more than we might even realise in such a game. He'd had a few minor inclusions in Ballon d'Or lists before 1963, and we know that there was often a 'career award' element to votes in that era don't we. But it could be people jumped on his bandwagon without seeing a lot of action from him that year couldn't it....?
     
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  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #61 PuckVanHeel, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Thanks PDG :) The man of above video (1998) also says, just after he names Schmeichel: "Look, the sport has changed. In decades gone by keepers received many distance shots on goal. That is nowadays more sporadic. A keeper has to guard in front of the goal, from closer range, should be comfortable with the ball, players have to rely on his presence and instructions, have to know there is a calm footballer behind us."

    The data supports this assertion:
    https://www.vi.nl/pro/analyse/de-grote-wk-evolutie-meer-passes-minder-dribbels-en-minder-schoten

    Coaches have learned the 'expected goal' (as it is called today) of a long distance shot is rather low.

    It might be argued Schmeichel his 'starfish save' was a natural evolution, just as the many 'bulky' and broad goalkeepers of that time (Kahn, Peruzzi) - the fad of that day (see this). Yashin had to deal with a 'longer' game, quite possibly, and also a heavier ball. Since then, the 1990s, we have seen an evolution to taller and thinner goalkeepers.

    Agree with your description on Yashin his long arms and his 'octopus' reach, while at the same time giving the (false) impression he did not sweat. Very good post!

    P.S. nice left footed cross by MvB at 2:45 in the Pfaff video!
     
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  11. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    For information, this is what FF said at the time (taken from 50 Ans de Ballon d'Or):

    He Is Free From His Post

    Lev Yashin has created a completely new goalkeeping game; no doubt he was inspired by the example of the Bulgarian Solokov, whom he had seen as a gambler in his youth, no doubt the Hungarian Grosics was also, a decade ago, a forerunner; but no goalkeeper before Yachine had sought so much to be liberated from his post. He has a new dimension: the evolution in height and width that is required of a keeper, along with of the natural qualities of reactions, he added the deep placement that transforms the specialist into an extra defender and a real player in the field. Yashin made a curious debut in football: he was sixteen in 1945 and was the goalkeeper of the Dynamo hockey team, a young apprentice locksmith and fitter when one day, during training, the footballers who were looking for a goalkeeper appealed to him. All of a sudden, Yachine found his new sport. All of a sudden, his very strong personality exploded.

    He is like an outfield player with the ball at his feet. In training, he devotes hours to juggling, control, dribbling, passing. He works as a front or as a back. And in the little training matches, he takes his place in the attack and is brilliant. The only concession he makes to his position: a very particular exercise, very violent, very useful. He plants himself in front of a wall, two or three meters from it, and he asks one or two of his teammates to turn his back, to hit very hard and against all angles against the wall. Thus Yashin works his reflexes and his reactions on shots that he does not see struck. His morphology alone explains his style, his game and his behaviour on the field: with his arms and legs that never end and that appear even longer with his clothing all black, with his hands like a giant, with his reflexes of a cat he is almost unbeatable on high balls. But an exceptional feature for a tall keeper, is his great flexibility,he is very clever to divert the balls on the ground, thanks to a flexibility that is out of the ordinary. His placement on the opponent's shots is so unpredictable, so natural that he seems to attract the ball. His presence seems to paralyse the attacking opponents.

    All these are the qualities of the man who evolves on his goal line. But where Yashin becomes even more extraordinary, it is when the danger stretches away. Then, he leaves his cage and his playing area to wander around the penalty area, up to the limit of 18 yards and even beyond. He is then always ready to play the role of an extra back, because he is skilled at controlling or returning the through passes that would be attempted by the opposing team.

    Yashin also knows how to revive the counter-attack (as Julien Darui did) by his placement and his clearances out of hand, all the more dangerous as they are triggered instantaneously.

    As can be seen, the technical and tactical register of the Soviet custodian is very rich. That's what got him to the top.
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    comme repped this.
  13. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Yes, it is! Sorry, I hadn't seen that.
     
  14. Bavarian14

    Bavarian14 Member

    Bayern München
    Jun 1, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    India
    I think the evolution of taller and skinnier goalkeepers is what makes them incredibly good in short range especially one vs one situations. As you mentioned long distance shots are considerably low nowadays.
    However I disagree with the idea of De Gea making easy saves look difficult rather sometimes his God level reflex is the only thing which saves the day.

    Alisson is quite exceptional having a old school style of keeping alongside great ball distribution and sweeper keeping skills

     
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes I agree with this. He is at the least not a clear example. Casillas I believe did have meh positioning and could therefore make saves more difficult than they are. Casillas is a better call for this.

    De Gea is one of the few to make over three saves (that is: deliberate attempt between the posts) for every goal he concedes, so he has been excellent sure (less so for his national team). I'm less sold on Allison to be honest; he is not the most error free exponent imho but surely a big upgrade over what Brazil and Liverpool had before.
     
  16. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    The God of the reflex save is non other than Fabian Barthez
    That guy was totally crazy however I think he was slightly more error prone than other contemporary great goalkeepers
    Some of the reflex saves he pulled off were unreal(against Hamann in 00/01) he also had some terrible howlers(particularly in his 2nd United season)

    as far goalkeepers come he was a total outlier.the guy was/is a adrenaline junkie,it’s simply not in his DNA to play it safe
    I’ve said it before but his peak in the very late 90s till around 2000 was 5* entertainment and for a short while one of the most ridiculously gifted goalkeepers of all time

    In terms of individual accolades at least at international level he compares very favourably to Neuer (who became a bit overrated because the media thought he invented the sweeper keeper role)
     
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  17. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    #69 Tropeiro, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Yes, Alisson is very good, I don't know how exactly CIES Football Observatory value the rating of GKs here, but Alisson's rating is 92 http://www.football-observatory.com/-profile-75901-_none which is quite high for a GK..
    Save, Distribution, Clean sheets stats all are very good for now:

    [​IMG]

    https://www.transfermarkt.com/premier-league/weisseweste/pokalwettbewerb/GB1/saison_id/2018/plus/1
     
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes I agree :)

    Barthez was one of the first goalkeepers to be totally comfortable with the backpass rule, despite his gaffes ('errors leading to goal' as it is nowadays called).

    He's (also) a better example as De Gea for this 'reaction type'.


    Neuer is possibly the best goalkeeper of the first half of the 2010s but this idea was always problematic, even if you look from the backpass rule (1992) onward. Shows the power of 'media propaganda', and which corners can organize that force.

    Interestingly, the first goalkeeper to register an assist at the World Cup was Yashin his deputy, Kavazashvili in 1966! This might be coincidence or might be not!

    The first goalkeeper to give an assist in the Champions League (1992 onward) and european championships (1960 onward) was Van der Sar. Someone Neuer himself has credited.

    May 2018:
    When Neuer speaks about his goalkeeping influences as a youngster, one revealing aspect is his division between German and non-German keepers and his association of the word “modern” with those who hail from outside Germany. “In Germany, Jens Lehmann was a model style for a German goalkeeper,” Neuer says of the player who spent 10 seasons at Schalke, the club that developed Neuer. “In the international style, my idol was [the Netherlands’] Edwin van der Sar. He was so modern, much more modern than Lehmann. He had another level. He could play with his left and right foot and go out of the box and go out to get crosses. He was present as a personality. Then there was Oliver Kahn: his reflexes, his ambition. He trained hard, and in that sense he was my idol. So I have some different pieces put together. It’s like having a lot of coaches, and you save something from the coach that you think is good for you – and that becomes you.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/may/20/manuel-neuer-germany-bayern-munich-goalkeeper

    October 2015:
    "I do not think I was the main protagonist. One of the very first to have brought a new perspective was Edwin Van der Sar, who played a lot with his feet and allowed the position to enter a new phase. I was inspired by his style of play. I enjoyed the philosophy of Ajax – either watching videos or following their matches."
    https://www.sportsjoe.ie/football/m...eper-inspired-the-way-he-plays-football-45368
    https://www.goal.com/en/news/725/bu...48772/neuer-praises-inspirational-van-der-sar

    April 2011 (at Schalke):
    "They have many good players," he explained. "There is the experience of Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der Sar. I was a big fan of Van der Sar when I was growing up, but you can't just pick out one player."
    https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/news/newsid=1619922.html?redirectFromOrg=true

    (was like De Gea and Cech btw also above the 'rare' 3 saves per goal conceded benchmark)
     
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    For some reason Yashin did not play in the 1st and 3rd game of the 1966 World Cup. Anyone knows why?

    Was not uncommon for USSR to switch around the goalkeepers, I know:

     
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  20. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    USSR had already qualified before the third game and rested players. Don't know why he missed the first match.
     
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  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes that seems what happened for the third match.

    Possibly Yashin wasn't fully fit, would explain his later errors and lack of movement.

    Still, notable that his deputy had the first ever goalkeeper assist at a World Cup.
     
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    This is also a question/subject for the others;

    How would you assess Gordon Banks here? Along the same parameters?

    I don't doubt he was among the best in the world for at least five years (arguably more and closer to ten) but if we look at trophies we see for Leicester a League Cup win (+ runners-up), twice FA Cup runners-up, with best league finishes 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th.

    Then for Stoke City a League Cup win, with a quarter final as next best result. For the FA Cup two semi finals and league finishes of 9th, 12th and 13th as best results.

    I know the FA Cup was a big deal at the time and those (consistent?) results might pass the test given the teams he played for.


    Now he was surely good to outstanding for England...



    .... but you all get the idea and question (I think), with Yashin in mind. The season before he won the World Cup he conceded 93 goals! (85 in the league).
     
  23. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Banks is a difficult one.

    Obviously has an excellent World Cup record, produced some remarkable saves that are captured on camera so it's possible to see why he would have been so good.

    At the same time, he had a relatively modest club career, played for smaller teams and didn't win that much. Had he joined Liverpool (as was rumoured) then he could well have added a lot of silverware to his CV.

    Also as well he had his career cut short by the car crash.

    So similar to Yashin, I think there are many who would say he was the best ever, particularly in England. Is that based on a really well deserved case? Hard to say.

    Personally I think that goalkeeping moved on a lot from Shilton's time onwards. Whether that was purely down to Shilton I'm not sure, but I think he brought more to it in terms of professionalism, practice and developed the art.
     
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