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Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Sexy Beast, Jul 31, 2018.
Pele, Maradona, Messi, and Cruyff. But Cr7 is creeping in
13/14. 1st leg at Barca was fine. 2nd leg anybody would have done better than him. I know Messi had the hamstring injuries but he looked like he was on the pitch merely because of obligation. I know he also had some serious diet problems because of poor eating habits which he admitted to (hence why he would constantly throw up before games). And I'm sure it affected his physical ability. But thats on Messi. These days, he says his eating habits are very good.
15/16, nothing of much substance in both games against atletico, very forgettable. Even both games against Arsenal were underwhelming in the tie before.
17/18, both games against Roma he seemed to be playing merely out of obligation. Not because he really wanted to prove something.
I also remember that Messi's expectations are different and in many ways unrealistic. However, if Messi wants to go at a slower pace, he should save that for the liga. I hope he doesnt make the same mistake this season
There is no guarantee of that. Lets not forget @poetgooner, to include you, that players like Bill Russel and Wilt Chamberlain were monsters for many years. Lets include Kareem Abdul Jabaar in that convo. Few players if any since then have been that good for as long as they were.
Ronaldinho was short-lived. Even before Messi and Ronaldo how many players came close to their consistency. Or even players playing today. And dont forget, scoring goals is the most difficult thing to do. And regardless of their circumstances, their goal tally is top class by any standard apart from the standards they have set themselves.
BUT @PDG1978 made some good points. And I am in no way doubting the advantage of today. But how could it be that the ball on d'or belonged to 2 individuals for 10 years????
Does that not say something. I mean there are hundreds of players at the highest level and no one else won it. Regardless of our excuses as to why they won it every year, modric in 18 deserved ball
on d'or no more than any year that Messi and Ronaldo won it
Just to note it, in totality figo for me is better than Neymar by a distance. Neymar had a couple of good seasons and then went to ligue 1. You cannot rate any season a player had in ligue 1 of today with an all time great. Neymar has been a lot of hype with little substance. As of today, I put robben and figo ahead of Neymar. Unless Neymar has 2 god like CL seasons while playing in Ligue 1, I cannot rate him that highly. And if Salah has one more terrific season in EPL, I put him above Neymar. Salah is pretty much having 2 whole seasons that are better than any season Neymar had ARGUABLY. If Salah has another 3rd season like these last 2, I put him above Neymar. I also put Hazard above Neymar. Neymar's ability is incredible but something in his head and his way of thinking doesnt help him. Supposedly his father is saying that he might extend his PSG offer. For a true competitor. How can a player accept that??! Honestly. Where is the fun in playing in Ligue 1 even if you want to be the star.
Neymar values being a star over being in a competitive environment. And that rubs me the wrong way. And especially because he has the ability.
I Have to ask you because i know your a fan
What made ronaldinho an outlier in his time
Was it his end product or entertainment
During his time was his end product(open play goals and assists)above or in the same range as other AMs/SS
Entertainment value differs from fan to fan
What can be proven is end product
Id like someone to do a breakdown of his end product(open play goals i insist for a reason)and compare him to other "similar players" if there were any
Emerson (on footballs greatest) made a interesting point IMO
Ronaldinho inspired a new generation of technical players
During his time there was a dearth of technical talent
May sound controversial but its what i think
Its why zidane could look like "god" during 2000-2003(at 29-32 years old)
But just 1 of many great technical players in the mid to late 1990s
1995-2005 is an era with no constant(except maldini probably)
In 1997 it looked like R9,del piero and raul were going to be the leading players of their era
R9 was the dominant player with many great technical players competing
Then came 1999 and he is out of the equation(so is ADP and raul just never had the technical wow factor despite being the standout Cl performer)
Then came a very brief period of domination by rivaldo
Then the playing field was wide open with many good players at roughly the same level
This period lasted until ronaldinho emerged with his great technical skills and the fact that during his prime he was great in every club compeition he played
Unlike henry,unlike totti and others like sheva/RVN did not score or contribute enough to overhaul dinhos
In a year like 1998 ronaldinho just doesnt standout as much
With ADP great in serie A+CL and superb technically
R9 the phenomenon(in the league and uefa cup) and a good WC
Suker with a great WC(underrated imo)and good league performance
Bergkamp was superb in the EPL and good in the WC
In 2005 with the playing field completely open ronaldinho could dominate with no genuine competitor
This is what i think about the 2000-2006 period and specifically the 04-06 segment which was even worse than 2000-2003 in terms of great technical players
And is why i can never take claims of his domination that serious
Can you mention football players though?
I consider myself a person who tends to think outside the box, but I still always was (and remain to some minor degree) a product of my time, I was 'programmed' by the culture of my time into accepting and nurturing what was politically correct, which means that - initially - I very much bought into the idea that statistics conclusively demonstrate that Messi or Ronaldo are huge improvements over Zidane or Figo, for example.
Since then, I have increasingly moved away from said position, as most of the 'evidence' in my opinion seems to demonstrate the exact opposite, and I say that as a person who has absolutely no reasons for being pro-nostalgia and ergo against the era that I grew up watching; in fact, not only do I rate Lionel Messi very highly, I even like Lionel Messi's personality as an 'honest' player who for the better part of his career refused to dive in an era where diving was not only permitted but actually encouraged by the refs (to the detriment of defenders I'd argue).
Moreover, about the video below, it is relevant enough that it should be acknowledged, that Real Madrid 1991/92 should have won La Liga that season, and that only a huge upset defeat in the final game of the season allowed Barcelona to win La Liga by a difference of just one point, which then ultimately adds to the fact that Barcelona 1991/92 won the Champions League, which means that La Liga 1991/92 included the team that was most like to win it (Real Madrid) and the team that won the Champions League (Barcelona), making it representative of what was the highest level of that time; furthermore, this game is representative of how Real Madrid - one of the two best teams in La Liga that season - was a scrappy physical team that played cynical football when off-the-ball, this is not a video of some obscure La Liga team.
Below there are the few incidents that I think tell the tale, without you having to watch the entire 22 minutes of video (albeit, of course, watching the complete video is always better).
2:41 - 3:07 / Not a cynical foul on Valderrama, in fact, I'm not even convinced that it actually was a foul to begin with, but if we are counting 'fouls per game' then this must officially count as a foul. At any rate, the defender had a justifiable reason to challenge for that ball the way he did.
4:06 - 4:30 / Fernando Hierro with a rather deliberate and vicious knee-height tackle, the tackle landed squarely on Valderrama's left knee. This would amost certainly be a yellow card today, but here we see that it doesn't even merit some cautionary words from the referee.
5:15 - 5:25 / Fernando Hierro with a dirty knee-height 'tackle' on Valderrama, which is so normal that play resumes as if nothing happened (also because Valderrama managed to evade the tackle, which shouldn't mean that the tackle didn't happen).
6:31 - 6:53 / Sanchis (with the no. 5 shirt) with a dangerous knee-height 'tackle' on Valderrama, this time actually hitting Valderrama squarely on the left knee; this could be a red card today, but in September 1991 it was not even worthy of a first yellow card for Sanchis.
7:18 - 7:26 / Michel groping Valderrama's testicles right in the open, the game isn't even moving, this is a corner kick where the referee should easily see everything (or most of everything) at once, but no yellow card by the ref, instead, just a funny incident of Michel overtly trying to incite some form of violent reaction from Valderrama, hopefully generating a yellow card for the would-be reaction.
7:26 - 7:47 / Robert Prosinecki with a deliberate tackle-from-behind on Valderrama, this would be an extremely obvious yellow card in this day and age, but back in September 1991 it doesn't even merit some cautionary words by the referee.
12:35 - 12:58 / Fernando Hierro with another knee-height hack at Valderrama, this time actually hitting Valderrama; Valderrama lifts himself from the ground and doesn't even so much as signals for the yellow card - the way it always happens in modern football - for what would be an obvious first yellow card for Hierro in this day and age; cynical knee-height kicks were ordinary enough at the time that Valderrama's indifference was common place.
13:48 - 14:05 / Fernando Hierro with a vicious elbow to Valderrama's face, this time the cynicism was so overt that Valderrama - who didn't even have the ball at the time of the elbow - complained to the referee, and as usual, the referee turned a blind eye.
15:17 - 16:16 / Dangerous tackle-from-behind on Valderrama in a dangerous area of the pitch, a dangerous free kick for Valladolid, but also a yellow card for Valderrama for complaining, and as usual, not so much as a first yellow card for the Real Madrid player (Real Madrid's captain at the time, by the way) who committed the foul. Valderrama is systematically getting hacked with cynical knee-height tackles and dangerous tackles-from-behind, and Real Madrid doesn't even have so much as a first yellow card for any of the many fouls on Valderrama, in fact, Valderrama himself is the one who actually came out with a yellow card. Ultimately, this gives you an idea of why Valderrama's tenure in Spain was as short-lived as it was; Valladolid was paying him half his salary, and La Liga offered absolutely no protection from the cynicism that was rampant at the time.
16:32 - 16:56 / Fernando Hierro is back with more cynical hacking at Valderrama, and again Hierro doesn't even get what would've been his first yellow card. This would be an obvious yellow card today.
19:31 - 20:33 / Valderrama in probably his only individual run without getting systematically hacked, ends up creating a play that was extremely close to becoming the 1-1 goal for Valladolid; the play didn't become a goal thanks to a last-ditch (seemingly match-deciding) tackle by the great Sanchis. But this play is representative in my opinion, of what Valderrama could do more of, if cynical fouling wasn't as permitted and as encouraged as it definitely was by referees who weren't fair-play.
Overall, those are 9 total fouls on Valderrama, and 8 out of the 9 fouls were yellow-card-deserving cynical fouls on Valderrama, all 8 are obvious fouls with no intention to win the ball, as demonstrated by the lack of proximity between the position of the ball and the location of the tackle, and yet, ZERO yellow cards for Real Madrid, and somehow ONE yellow card for Valderrama because complaining to the ref was actually looked down upon in that era and that place. On a different note, in terms of fouls not ignored by the ref, the count is officially 7 fouls, which is still high or very high for a player who isn't even a forward nor a striker.
At any rate, I think that the video is representative - in my opinion, in much clearer terms than words and/or statistics could ever be on their own - of why football players of bygone eras not only declined more heavily than they do today, but declined earlier than they do today. I mean, can you imagine how much shorter Lio Messi's career in his prime would've been with that type of cynical fouling going unpunished against Real Madrid - a high profile opponent - let alone against the obscure teams that are likely to be even more cynical??
In addition to the cynical fouling, Messi would've also not benefited from the diets and the conditioning that have greatly maximized the physical potential of all players, etc. And after adjusting for all that, in the end you are probably looking at a player with significantly less consistency in certain areas of his game (most probably his dribbling form suffering the most), significantly less statistics overall, and significantly less longevity, etc.
Of course, the Gerd Mullers and the Johan Cruijffs already existed before said modern advantages, but none of them were registering the prolific dribbling-and-scoring form of Lio Messi, and especially, none of those past legends were benefiting from the unprecedented tactical pandering that has inflated Cristiano Ronaldo's legacy in the post-2015 era; luxury-peasants like Benzema were not a thing, benching players like Dybala because he doesn't maximize Ronaldo's goal scoring form was also not a thing, and Gerd Muller was still scoring tons of goals, so we can imagine how much his goal scoring form would be inflated if you created an entire super-club around Muller's every strength.
What I am disputing is that Messi's and Ronaldo's consistency and longevity is definitely not as extraordinary as it looks right now that we don't have future references of 31+ players who still look like 28 year olds. And indeed, Ronaldinho's prime was short-lived by the standards of any era, but for example...
How much longer would've Thierry Henry's prime been with the benefits of modern football?
Does Brazilian Ronaldo get career-crushing injuries in modern football, or would Brazilian Ronaldo be 'groomed' and 'protected' to avoid said injuries?
Does Zinedine Zidane win 3 or 4 Champions League titles, had he enjoyed the long term benefits of playing an entire decade for super-clubs?
Does Pavel Nedved plays for relatively 'modest' clubs such as Lazio or Roma at the age of 27, or instead, does a super-club snap Nedved at the tender age of 23 (which then inevitably adds to the longer longevity that Nedved would unequivocally enjoy thanks to the softer and cleaner nature of modern of modern football)?
How great would Francesco Totti's career be had he - in his prime - played for a dominant Juventus that can reach several Champions League Finals (which of course then inevitably adds to the fact that the same Juventus super-club can win 8 consecutive Serie A titles, which was unheard of at any point in the 1990s or the 2000s)?
Messi and Ronaldo are amazing, but I increasingly am of the opinion that both of them are overrated, but especially Ronaldo is very overrated in my opinion, as demonstrated by the fact that Ronaldo's legacy has grown exponentially in the post-2015 period, where Ronaldo really hasn't done a lot besides the fact that he has scored tons of goals in a handful of games against clubs that have HEAVILY declined.
Did the Ballon d'Or really belonged to 2 individuals for 10 consecutive years??
2008 - Ronaldo by some distance, but it must be noted that Iniesta and Xavi were superior at the Euro.
2009 - Iniesta and Xavi are both rated higher than Ronaldo.
2010 - Xavi and Sneijder arguably deserve to be rated higher than Ronaldo; also, Iniesta continues to have better high profile performances than Ronaldo.
2011 - This is debatable, but I think that Iniesta continues to have a better influence in the high profile games.
2012 - Messi or Ronaldo, but again, I think that Iniesta continues to have a better influence in the high profile games.
2013 - Ribery was marginally better than Ronaldo in my view, and in a year that was dominated by German Football. And probably, Arjen Robben was also better than Ronaldo, in terms of big game performance and maybe also in terms of overall value; not to mention the fact that Real Madrid spent most of the 2013 calendar year in 3rd place in La Liga, which should not happen, not ever, if Ronaldo at the time had ever been anywhere near as great as his brand established he was.
2014 - A weak year actually, with Messi having an injury-hit calendar year, and with Ronaldo having a very ordinary influence in the Champions League KO Stage, not to mention that Atletico Madrid won La Liga which again tells the story of a rather weak calendar year for all the players involved; which then ultimately adds to World Cup 2014, where Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez were far better than Ronaldo was... and where Germany won the World Cup without having a traditional stand out performer. At any rate, to say that "Messi and Ronaldo dominated in 2014" is a huge overstatement in my book. Maybe Ronaldo deserved it on the basis of him having his strongest calendar year in La Liga, but even then, to say that Ronaldo 'dominated' is just false and misleading.
2015 - Messi or Ronaldo.
2016 - Neymar and Suarez were - for prolonged periods of time - the best players in the world. Honestly, Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or because he scored 3 goals against an 8th place Bundesliga club, and because Portugal won the Euro Final with Ronaldo on the bench, which apparently makes you superior to everybody else.
2017 - Ronaldo; but again, it cannot possibly be stressed enough... that Ronaldo's worst statistics in his 9 years in La Liga was good enough for Real Madrid to win La Liga, which Ronaldo won only 2 out of 9 times, which tells the story of a player whose true value is very overrated in long formats such as La Liga, his stats are impressive, but he must be seriously lacking in several fundamental areas for his statistics to have such little hold on Real Madrid's actual form in La Liga. (For reference, I think that Francesco Totti - same as Lio Messi - is a better league player than Cristiano Ronaldo ever was in his Real Madrid career... Totti had a better all-round game, with goat-level passing and creativity, and without negatively affecting the production of world class 'peasants' such as Benzema, Higuain, Dybala, etc.)
2018 - Messi by a distance in my view, but the fact that Luka Modric won it tells the story.
Any way you look at it, the above is not an entire 10 consecutive years of Messi and Ronaldo actually being 'so much better' than the rest of the players; in fact, if you ignore that Messi ever existed, Cristiano Ronaldo was the undisputed best in the world in 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2017... Not consecutive years, literally not a single year there directly links with the next year, and certainly that is not an entire decade of 'dominance' either.
Without Messi, there is no incentive to 'gift' the Ballon d'Or to Ronaldo in what was a clear effort to inflate the Messi v Ronaldo rivalry.
Present a single source that rated xavi or sneijder as superior to CR in 2009/10
Or iniesta in 2011(this had me rolling over in laughter)
From 2007-2014 ronaldo was the best european player bar non
Maradona 1986 is probably the only player that could challenge and potentially win against messi/ronaldo for the 2012 ballon dor(by a thin hair line i might add)
Both players scored a combined total of 132 goals and 50 assists in a single season
For whoever says "stats arent everything"
When they are as mind boggling as those they are the be all and end all of any discussion
Combined with the all round superlative close dribbling of messi (and throughballs)
The crossing and open space dribbling of CR 2012 was LETHAL(his crossing precise as nearly any conventional winger you can mention)
These two were in another dimension and
Andres Iniesta was "competiting" in a parallel universe
Its a bit of both. You cant have one without the other and be that beloved.
If Barca 08-12 played as well as they had but never won they would not be endeared by the many fans that have become barca fans since that time. Winning is a must. Entertainment is a must. If you have all winning and no entertainment, you get Mourinho. If you get entertainment and no winning you get Robinho and Okocha. But if you get both, then you get a lot of love and respect
For me, its ronaldonho's entertainment and able to do it against top teams and win. It's not one or the other, its both
@leadleader great post! I always like your detailed post with a lot of depth in detail. I think this topic is a thread in itself. For now, I am answering just the 1st part. I will get to the other parts later. In such environment benzema would be a non factor, as much as I love him. Messi would be destroyed. Defenders simply got away with too much compared to today.
All points you brought up were good and I have no disagreements with any points made.
Ive watched enough football from the 80s and 90s and some of those uncalled tackles are unreal! Messi could definitely not dribble anywhere near to the extent he does now. But I think CR7 would adjust. He wouldnt get as many calls and penalties for his diving but CR7 has the mentality to adjust.
The point you made about Dybala was excellent as well.
I'll be looking to read and comment on the rest of your post
I am always very skeptical when people make speculations as big as these ones. I mean we still could mention many other top players. But dont forget, here alone, you just mentioned 5 players who played around the same time. And this is excluding other players in that caliber during that time period. As a result success has to be shared. Not every player will reach incredible heights. Remember, Messi and Ronaldo are 2 players that are head and shoulders above everybody else!! Just the 2 of them. And you just mentioned 5. At least. Remember there are players like iniesta, robben, xavi, neymar, suarez, etc. who dont compare in totality to what Messi and CR7 do. And can you tell me that iniesta, xavi, robben, neymar, and Suarez dont measure up with totti, nedved, henry, and Zidane??
The only player I would entertain is R9. Thats it. And you know as well as anyone that such heavy speculations have been proven wrong several times in history. I mean, we are essentially trying to predict not only a couple of players but how several parts work in order to control a whole market. And such a thing is just to complicated to make the type of predictions you have made about players in previous eras.
Not sure how the era of the 90s was much worse than the mid 2000s EPL especially for high volume dribblers as CR
Roy keane was given carte blanche by SAF to kick the shit out of CR in training sessions to toughen him up.
Nobody in EPl history recieved the level of abuse he did by fans and players in 2006/07
These are two from 06/07 i can remember that were particularly violent and uncalled for
I dont have the time to go through individual match comps to prove my point
Suffice to say that any suggestion that he did not come up against hatchet men intent on breaking his legs is ludicrous
I find this interesting. But for every ball on d' or debate you make, you cant act as if the player of your choice was a clear cut favorite.
Do you really believe that if your player of choice Iniesta had won ball on d'or in 2011 and 2012 that there would not be an uproar for a Messi who was breaking all kinds of records in addition to playmaking?
Do you think that if xavi or iniesta had won in 2010 that people really would believe that they performed individually better than a player CR7 who was scoring goals left and right in addition to being a dribbling threat?
There's always a different opinion. It doesnt matter who wins. If sneijder won it, it wasnt because he was better than Messi or CR7, it was he happened to be a top player on the team that won. That's it. If sneijder didnt win CL, you can bet that he wouodnt even be considered, had they lost in the final.
The fact is Messi and CR7 dominated a huge part of history.
Leadleader talks with conviction about players as francisco totti without knowledge that when CR came up against him in a direct QF encounter at 22 years old he completely obliterated his team and created 6 goals in 2 matches
He outplayed him in every concievable aspect
"Cristiano Ronaldo can decide a game on his own
Weve seen what he did last week against us in Rome and what he has regularly been doing in the premiership
We just have to hope he doesnt play well"
Totti knows and confirmed that a barely 22 year old ronaldo was clearly far above and beyond his own level but leadleader insists tottis serie a career is comparable to a guy who scored 34 la liga hattricks in 9 seasons
It becomes more outrageous with every post
We get he is facing RAPE charges(unproven as of yet)
Still though it is highly hypocritical of him( and others) who clearly despise him but have no qualms about giving maradona his due even though he was recorded on camera beating up his wife
Coke sniffing,referee threatning,mixed with despots/dictators
Pele stealing money from disadvantaged kids through his supposedly charitable organisation
And other iconic sports figures as mohummed ali formerly known as cassius clay who was advocating that the white man was the devil incarnate born in laboratory lol as per the teachings of the "nation of islam"
Tyson and his rape conviction is known(i dont think he did it but many think he did)
Are we expecting sports figures to be role models
This kind of utopian view about how world supposedly is makes me cringe
My admiration for CR is for what he does on the pitch
As soon as he steps off his private life is completely irrelevant to how i view him as a footballer
I never understood why he is singled out for criticism
Maybe it makes self righteous people feel better about themselves
Talk about tiger woods and your a fan(so is my father too )
10 or so years ago he was embroilled in a sexual scandal that almost completely derailed his career
The "moral crime" was adultery
The press hung him up to dry
100 or so years ago adultery was a criminal offence i believe punishable by prison and even death in some cultures
100 or so years ago he wouldve been a villified black sports player with no chance of redemption
Im not trying to draw an eqivilance with adultery (which is consensual) and rape (morally apprehensible)but there are many cultures and systems that have and still continue to do
With CR people will find any reason to hate
And now rape
At least now his detractors believe they are able to justify their hatred for him(outwardly)
I appreciate above all consistency in arguments that are presented
If CR deserves to be disparged for being a morally reprehensible human being than so does maradona,so does pele,so does francisco totti(a gifted player but dirty and a racist),
Abuse from the fans, maybe. I assume only Diego Simeone in 1998 could've suffered more if he was playing in England. From the players, not really.
The whole "CR7 was unfairly targeted" narrative was invented by Man Utd fans. For the first time, their star player wasn't protected like they were used to so they thought that the world was out to get one of their own.
Man Utd was so powerful that they used to get away with murder. You gave the example of Roy Keane, There were plenty others:
CR7, once he became public enemy number one post EURO, basically had his "Man Utd shield" taken away. He was fair game. However, he wasn't "kicked out of the game" more than others. He was just being given the same treatment that others suffered.
Take this Eduardo injury
Or this Ramsey injury
Or this Diaby injury
The only difference was Ronaldo was lucky he never had his leg broken like so many others.
This is not just a Man Utd thing, although Man Utd got away with it more. Any public darling would get away with things. Contrast the stick foreigners get for diving with Englishmen diving. Or look back at Shearer and his elbows (although, back then CBs were much tougher as well, so I always felt like it was fair game).
The combination of being the most fouled player and the most hated player simultaneously is a distinction not shared by any player in PL history
He was the best player under those circumstances
I dont want to engage in a tit for tat discussion comparing which examples are worst
You picked 1 example from 3 different players(freak incidents)
I picked 2 examples from one player and in the same season
You can take my word(or not) but there are dozens more similar type fouls just from 06/07
You can find the match comp on youtube but here below is a a brief overview of the kind of treatment he regularly received(vs middlesborough late 2006)
It's because it's Ronaldo," he (SAF)said. "There's been a stigma attached to the boy which is not deserved. He's a great player, a fantastic player, a phenomenal player. But there's a guilt complex there. He had nine fouls against him in the first game, when he didn't have any protection at all. I hear people saying it wasn't a penalty, but it was clear."
These other arsenal players were unfortunate to suffer such injuries
But they were freak incidents(there is a whole backstory on the keane incident that you did not mention
It was a case of revenge gone too far
He did not target him for no reason at all whatsoever ok)
Players purposefully and intentionally targeted CR for harsh treatment
Coming out in the press and saying explictly what they were going to do to him(something that is unheard of today)
eduardo,ramsey and whatever other arsenal player you will pull out of the hat were unlucky but were nobodies to be targeted intentionally
They werent volume dribblers who were man marked by 2 players at all times,hated by the fans of the country they play in and hated by defenders who couldnt deal with them.
What was/is actually so bad about Pelé?
The worst thing you can say about him is that he broke three times the leg of his opponents, on one occasion when the ball was out of play and there wasn't a duel (this never happened to him). There are also English newspaper articles of the 1970s where he praises/supports dictatorships. What more?
I don't think he was a serial cheater/fraud in the way some other greats were (e.g. Maradona, Del Piero, Zico, Beckenbauer, also Garrincha, the 1950s Real Madrid buddies) - and I even considered/thought about he had some powerful friends up there like Havelange.
Telling is his achievements are rarely 'contested' in terms of blatantly wrong/dubious referee calls (and I'm not talking about two centimeters offside calls but very obvious things). You can say England was weakened in 1958 and France played with 10 men, but largely the results were without controversy (in his favor).
I misunderstood you before then mate, when I praised your initial response - "rape is a terrible and reprehensible crime" or words to that effect. If you remember I did say well done for saying that, even though you're a big fan of his. I know nothing has been proven yet of course, but from those comments I did think you'd be losing admiration for him if proven that he violated a young girl and left her in a messed-up mental state etc (as alleged).
I'm not asking you to make "nicest guy in football" candidates your default favourite or something though - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer perhaps or someone like that, as you can enjoy and idolise who you feel like. I just thought you were going to be coming down on the side of what is right ahead of being a fan of a player, when you made those initial comments. I suppose, I realise this week (although the feeling he was a nice guy surely did influence me anyway) that possibly my favourite player did get that "nicest guy in football" tag from a team-mate recently lol, but I'm not trying to claim the moral high ground and it's impossible to compare various players in that way in reality I'm sure anyway!
(from 7 mins)
I'm not going to claim Messi watched another video of his before he became a quality free-kick taker either lol (whether he was better in that one respect only than Messi at the same age - hmm, maybe!):
I know we're not here to discuss who is the nicest guy anyway, but I do agree with Kingsley that we should all try to be the best people we can be.
Back on topic, I do kind of agree with you if we narrow things down to 2004-2006 (not trying to take too much away from Ronaldinho, or Lampard/Gerrard despite my Colin Bell post recently stating kind of the same feeling about that period...and not forgetting Henry or the emerging Kaka), but it's just when you made it the whole 1995-2005 era I didn't feel the same. In that period I think there were many excellent players and still quite a decent level of parity between teams in top leagues too. If there is one part of your post I might question it might be Suker being 'good' at club level in 1998 as I think he'd fallen out of favour at Real by that time, and the 1998 WC was kind of a revival for him.
If there would be one thing I might question in ko's posting since I logged on last (maybe I haven't read everything from everyone - it moved on fast!), it could be the Salah over Neymar idea. I actually feel Salah probably does benefit from the increased goalscoring possibilities in this era, and I feel his form in general (especially this season) has been quite variable and at times not great. I do think he'd have been able to score some of his best goals in previous eras though - I wouldn't think things would be so massively different. I'd probably feel Neymar has more capacity overall as a great player (maybe ko didn't say otherwise though), while I didn't really feel that way against Figo myself (yes, Figo didn't do some of the things Neymar did, but then he did some great things himself in terms of skilled goals etc also). I tend to think Hazard is the better player than Salah too, but for 2018 calendar year I'd put Salah ahead - he really had a purple patch in the early part of the year and it looked like continuing in the CL Final until Ramos intervened.
I always thought that Arsenal had the opposite of a 'shield' - for whatever the reason defenders had a free-card to kick when they played against Arsenal, which I think is why there were so many broken legs at Arsenal in such a short period of time. But in general terms, 2006/07 was cleaner than the 1990s, and by a distance I'd add.
And Ronaldo could've been 'lucky' that he didn't get his leg broken, but he also definitely was a serial diver (and probably especially in his Man Utd days), and serial divers RARELY ever get seriously injured. To be clear: I'm not saying that luck had nothing to do with it, but I'm convinced that the diving nature of his game protected him a lot, even if he was getting kicked, by the time those kicks occurred Ronaldo was already going down, which means that said kicks are not landing on 'exposed' legs with weight on them (the way that Diaby's leg was caught with weight on it, for example).
Which brings me to my next point: diving - especially serial diving - is only viable when the referee gives you those fouls, but if the ref doesn't (and the ref didn't back in the 1990s), diving might protect you but it will offer nothing to the club itself, which is probably one of the big reasons as to why it wasn't done anywhere near as profusely as Cristiano Ronaldo or David Beckham did it throughout their respective careers. Diving when the ref never gives you the foul, means giving the ball away, so there was little incentive to do that in the 1990s.
I read previously the havelange/pele relationship
however this is not what im referring to
Its not my job or place to nit pick the faults of players whoever they maybe
In reality i dont hate any footballer for the simple reason i dont care about them enough as human beings
Why waste time exerting my energy on hating someone that doesnt know i exist
Its pretty futile i think
CR in this case just happens to be a footballer who is phenomenal at his profession
I would defend messi if he was accused of the same charges until they were proven in a court of law
And even then i wouldnt suffer from a moral dilema when asked to give
My opinion on his footballing quality
He is a phenomenal player and always will be
A scandal like lance armstrongs could change my perception of him(or CR)
To what degree im not certain
Do people feel genuinely uneasy when they hear a micheal jackson song on the radio or do they sing along even though he made numerous out of court settlements for child sexual abuse?
Like i said above all i appreciate consistency in arguments
If you feel a certain way about CR because of what is accused of thats fine but please be consistent in your analysis of others who also have serious character failings(you from what ive read are consistent and this is a admirable quality
A little biased towards dutch players lol but i would probably be also and probably am tbh with my favourites)
This appeared on my youtube feed earlier Today
His real madrid career was almost ended before it even started
Even by the standards of bad timed tackles this was pretty reckless and even Brutal i dare say
Worst of all it happened in a friendly fixture against juventus in 09/10
this is a foul that ended the career of players like baggio and R9
I dont believe in luck per se but if there ever was to be a lucky player who overcame many obstacles it could be him
Ballon d'Or 2009: Messi (1st), Ronaldo (2nd), Xavi (3rd), Iniesta (4th).
Ballon d'Or 2010: Messi (1st), Iniesta (2nd), Xavi (3rd), Sneijder (4th), Forlan (5th), Ronaldo (6th).
Ballon d'Or 2011: Messi (1st), Ronaldo (2nd), Xavi (3rd), Iniesta (4th).
The Ballon d'Or itself is as obvious a source as there is, and Xavi in fact did better in the 2010 calendar year, Xavi was in fact 3rd for three consecutive years, Xavi was 3rd in 2009 (which to some degree counts as part of the first half of the 2009/10 season), Xavi was again 3rd in 2010 (which to some degree counts as part of the second of the 2009/10 season), etc. On the other hand, Ronaldo finished in lowly 6th place for the 2010 calendar year, and 2nd (just one place above Xavi) in the 2009 calendar year, and 2nd (just one place above Xavi) in the 2011 calendar year. And so, using the Ballon d'Or as a source, Xavi definitely did better in 2009/10, capping off the season by winning World Cup 2010.
Also take note of how Ronaldo was not 'gifted' positions in 2010, a World Cup year, especially a World Cup year that occurred before the Ballon d'Or began 'gifting' awards to CR7 in what was a clear effort to balance the Messi v Ronaldo rivalry.
If Messi never exists, that is, if Ronaldo never has that 'unicorn' to chase, you can rest assured that Ronaldo would have had several other years like 2010; a lowly 6th place for Ronaldo in the 2010 Ballon d'Or metric, despite the fact that Ronaldo 2010 was basically as great and as industrious in La Liga as he ever was, the difference being that in 2010 there was no immediate nor prolonged incentive to simply 'gift' awards to Ronaldo.
Which reminds me: What exactly is the difference between 2010 and 2013?? In both calendar years, Ronaldo was more or less equally productive in La Liga but without winning anything, but for some reason Ronaldo finished 6th in 2010, and for some reason Ronaldo finished 1st in 2013... Why such a massive difference in perception when Ronaldo essentially did the same thing??
The only explanation that makes enough sense in my mind, is that before the Ballon d'Or of 2013 was awarded, Messi had 4 Ballon d'Ors and Ronaldo only had 1 Ballon d'Or, it was a massive 4-1 advantage for Messi, it was not exactly a great rivalry if the Ballon d'Or was that one-sided, and so Ribery was denied the Ballon d'Or that he deserved (certainly more than Ronaldo, that's for sure), so that Ronaldo could get his 'free gift card' award to make it 4-2 in a year in which Messi disappointed, and in a time where Messi looked like he would continue to dominate for years to come.
After a certain point, Ronaldo could spend most of the 2013 calendar year in 3rd place in La Liga, Ronaldo could in fact not win a single trophy in the 2013 calendar year, and yet somehow Ronaldo could still win the Ballon d'Or 2013 because his rivalry with Messi needed to be artificially inflated on the basis of inexplicable 'free gift' Ballon d'Or awards such as the 2013 one that Frank Ribery should've definitely won.
After a certain point, Ronaldo doing nothing at World Cup 2014 was simply almost entirely downplayed or just downright ignored by the Ballon d'Or; the first time I can remember the World Cup having almost zero effect on the Ballon d'Or standings.
At any rate, Ronaldo's statistics in 2009/10 are amazing but almost exclusively against vastly inferior sides that Real Madrid would also beat without Ronaldo scoring that many goals, in fact, Gonzalo Higuain scored more open-play goals than Ronaldo in 2009/10, and nobody in their right mind would argue that Higuain was anywhere near a top 5 finish in the Ballon d'Or podium.
Question: What happened in the Champions League Round of 16, when Real Madrid truly needed the great Cristiano Ronaldo against an extremely beatable Olympique Lyon??
Real Madrid 2009/10 finished first in their group, Olympique Lyon finished second in their group (Fiorentina finished first in the group, which tells the tale of how thoroughly beatable Lyon was), and then Ronaldo's statistics went missing when he was up against a semi-decent opponent that wasn't as vastly inferior as most of the clubs in the group stage; Real Madrid was eliminated in the Round of 16, and Ronaldo disappointed against an extremely beatable opponent in Olympique Lyon.
Also worth noting, is the fact that Ronaldo could not 'elevate' Real Madrid so as to beat AC Milan 2009/10, which was a very beatable AC Milan. AC Milan managed to earn a 3-2 win and a 1-1 draw, and again, this is a very beatable AC Milan side (3rd place in the Serie A). So again, when Real Madrid stumbled vs. Olympique Lyon in the Round of 16, it was not the first time that Ronaldo had failed to 'elevate' Real Madrid against opponents that were not better than Real Madrid.
Apparently you seem to think that that is 'superior' to Xavi in 2009/10, which tells the story of a person who masturbates a little too much and too blindly to Ronaldo's cult of personality, without having any consistent understanding of how statistics actually - realistically - work in this sport. There is a reason for why Ronaldo's big games occur - the vast majority of them - after 2016, with so very few of them occurring in the 10 years (literally an entire decade in his prime) of his pre-2017 career.
With Andres Iniesta, his big games - the vast majority of them - occur exactly when Iniesta was at his best, not after Iniesta is 30 years old and suddenly finds himself in a weak era.
Yeah because Ronaldo doing - what exactly did he do? - against Barcelona 2010/11 both in the Champions League and La Liga, is the stuff of legends am I right?? Oh well, at least Ronaldo scored a consolation header in the Copa del Rey Final.
Being the best European player is not the same thing as 'dominating' and it certainly does not win you the Ballon d'Or as you can see from Ronaldo's lowly 6th place finish in 2010.
Again, after 2010, the Messi v Ronaldo rivalry built up very quickly, with Messi already 4-1 in front as early as in 2012, so Ronaldo gets generous placement on the Ballon d'Or metric ever since... Without Messi, Ronaldo does not get that generous treatment, Ronaldo does not get an automatic 2nd place or 1st place just because the rivalry needs to be artificially inflated on the basis of inexplicable hubris...
And, honestly, there is no need for wild speculation: the 2010 calendar year (without the intimidating Messi of later years) has Ronaldo in 6th place, and the 2018 calendar year (without the intimidating Messi of earlier years) has Ronaldo losing out to Luka Modric... Why does that happen, how does Ronaldo get beaten by Luka Modric, how does Ronaldo get a lowly 6th place finish, when Ronaldo is supposed to be so much better than any player not named Messi??
It is crystal clear what happens: Ronaldo's perceived invincibility - "only Messi can compete with him" - that invincibility significantly evaporates when Messi is not perceived as the mind-blowing intimidating 'GOAT' candidate that he was in 2011, 2012, and 2015, and in effect, that allows European players not named Ronaldo to compete for awards; but when you had Messi with a significant 4-1 advantage over the best European player, Europe itself began systematically putting down players like Ribery - going so far as to extending the deadline for voting in 2013, which could only realistically help a certain Portuguese player - with the clear aim of inflating Ronaldo's rivalry with Messi... After the legendary and balanced rivalries of the past, the Pele v Eusebio rivalry, the Platini v Zico rivalry, it would've been an embarrassment for Europe to have witnessed Messi dominating an era as thoroughly and as directly as that 4-1 advantage indicated back in 2012/13.
The Ballon d'Ors of 2010 and 2018 demonstrate what happens to Ronaldo's perceived superiority, when he can no longer exploit Messi's greatness. There is no chance in hell that Ronaldo wins the 2013 Ballon d'Or if Messi is not there to be exploited as the Superman to Ronaldo's Batman. Does Ronaldo win in 2011 if Messi never exists?? Probably not. Does Ronaldo win in 2015 if Messi never exists?? Definitely not, and again, I can categorically say that without even adjusting for the fact that Barcelona would definitely find another devastating player such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Luis Suarez to win both La Liga and the Champions League, which is why Ronaldo would not win the Ballon d'Or in 2011, which is why the Barcelona star forward not named Messi would beat Ronaldo on the basis of both team titles and individual impression, which would then add to the fact that Ronaldo is no longer competing against the impossible talent that Messi was early in his career, which would then ultimately take a lot of the bright colors away from Ronaldo's legacy. Luka Modric would not be the only player to beat the great Cristiano Ronaldo.
In a nutshell: if Messi never exists, Ronaldo does not get inflated - overrated - almost exclusively on the basis of clueless fans who think that Ronaldo is as great as Messi, which is precisely how Ronaldo looked a lot better than players not named Messi. Circular logic/nonsense at its very best, and a testament to the sheer power of statistical propaganda.
Ronaldo 2012 was arguably not better at all than Messi 2018, and Messi 2018 was beaten by a rather unimpressive Luka Modric, so in my mind, there is a very good possibility that - especially if Messi never exists - that Ronaldo 2012 gets beaten by several players, and not only by the great Maradona as you indicated above.
Which is why you are so often very wrong in many discussions where you think that you can simply insert Ronaldo's statistics, in your mind immediately ending any and every argument that you might disagree with.
Question: How does a player with those statistics spends most of the 2013 calendar year in 3rd place in La Liga??
^ Because stats are not everything.
Question: How does a player with those statistics win only 2 out of 9 La Ligas??
^ Because stats are not everything.
Question: How did Real Madrid win La Liga 2016/17 even though it was, in fact, Ronaldo's worst La Liga season in terms of statistics??
^ Because stats are not everything.
Question: Why is it that Ronaldo's big games in the Champions League KO Stage happen - the vast majority of them - after 2016, and not when Ronaldo was at his physical best??
^ Because Ronaldo's physical prime coincided with some great Barcelona teams and Bayern Munich teams and Atletico Madrid teams, so his best CL performances happen after those teams decline and after Ronaldo's physical prime. This is not normal, normally players deliver most of their big games well in their physical primes - Messi and Iniesta are modern examples of that - but for some reason, about 80% of Ronaldo's big games in the Champions League came to happen when Ronaldo was already 30 years old or older, well after his dribbling prime.
AC Milan 2007 Semi Finals = flop by Ronaldo.
Barcelona 2008 Semi Finals = flop by Ronaldo.
Chelsea 2008 Final = big game by Ronaldo (but he blew his penalty kick).
Barcelona 2009 Final = flop by Ronaldo.
Olympique Lyon 2010 Round of 16 = not a flop but definitely a disappointing performance by Ronaldo, and honestly, what Ronaldo did here could easily be improved upon by many players e.g. Andres Iniesta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robin Van Persie, Sergio Aguero, etc.
Barcelona 2011 Semi Finals = flop by Ronaldo.
Bayern Munich 2012 Semi Finals = good but far from great by Ronaldo.
Borussia Dortmund 2013 = flop by Ronaldo.
Stat-padded the whole of the 2014 Champions League KO Stage.
Atletico Madrid 2014 Final = flop by Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid 2015 Quarter Finals = good but not great by Ronaldo.
Juventus 2015 Semi Finals = not a flop but definitely a disappointing performance by Ronaldo, in fact, Morata directly outclassed Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid 2016 Final = flop by Ronaldo.
Bayern Munich 2017 Quarter Finals = big game by Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid 2017 Semi Finals = big game by Ronaldo.
Juventus 2017 Final = big game by Ronaldo.
PSG 2018 Round of 16 = not great but decisive by Ronaldo.
Juventus 2018 Quarter Finals = big game by Ronaldo.
Bayern Munich 2018 Semi Finals = flop by Ronaldo.
Liverpool 2018 Final = flop by Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid 2019 Round of 16 = big game by Ronaldo.
In terms of unequivocal 'big games' in the Champions League KO Stage, Ronaldo between 2007 - 2016 only has one legitimate big game versus Chelsea in 2008, compared to Ronaldo 2017 - 2019 who has 5 big games and could add more in the immediate future.
In other words, looking only at La Liga and the Premier League, Ronaldo's statistics are extremely similar goal-scoring-wise across those years 2007 - 2019, and yet the difference in terms of big game performance is a massive 5-1 advantage in favor of older Ronaldo, because older Ronaldo plays against lesser opponents in the Champions League, which is not surprisingly why Ronaldo enjoys a sudden dramatic climb in terms of 'big game' performances in the Champions League, and which is not surprisingly also the reason why Ronaldo's statistics have very little effect on La Liga; again, Real Madrid won it in 2017 even though Ronaldo almost didn't scored more open-play goals than bench player Morata. Long formats such as La Liga are not decided by Ronaldo scoring 7 goals in four games that occur in relatively quick succession, the way the Champions League is.
Which brings me to the following essential observation: Messi is first and foremost about the quality of his dribbling ability, the quality of his ball retention ability, the quality of his playmaking, making the resulting 'stats' something of a secondary feature. This is what 'genius' Messi shares in common with the likes of Maradona, Pele, Cruijff, etc.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, when you look at anything other than scoring goals, it is very much about quantity over quality, which is why him doing a lot of dribbling - when the dribbling itself is lacking in both quality and purpose - was not actually helping Real Madrid win La Liga titles; for example, Ronaldo could simply stop dribbling altogether, and at the same time score the same amount of open-play goals as bench player Alvaro Morata, and Real Madrid wins their 2nd La Liga title in the 9 years that Ronaldo played in La Liga.
If you are up to it, I challenge you to find video evidence of Ronaldo in his physical prime years with Real Madrid (2009 - 2013), video evidence of CR7 using his dribbling ability in order to assist goals scored by players not named Ronaldo... More precisely: count how many times Ronaldo uses his dribbling ability - not to draw a foul nor to take a shot himself - but to assist other capable players, and then go back and reconsider how many times Ronaldo uses his dribbling ability in order to assist himself, many times wasting his dribbling ability on crazy self-indulgent low percentage shots from crazy wide areas, definitely not helping the team at all even though he is racking up dribbling statistics in the process of misusing his dribbling ability.
The misuse of dribbling skill described above is, honestly, emblematic of Ronaldo's earlier years with Real Madrid. Ronaldo was - for the better part of his La Liga career - arguably detrimental to Real Madrid's form in long formats such as La Liga, because even though his statistics were staggering in terms of the sheer quantity of them, the quality of his copious dribbling was not actually helping the team anywhere near as much as it was helping Ronaldo's statistical drive...
I mean, it is not a surprise that Real Madrid became a more competitive team both in the Champions League (well, especially in the CL) and La Liga, at the same exact time that Ronaldo stopped dribbling altogether, and as a matter of fact, the less he dribbled, the better Real Madrid was. Well isn't that curious??
At any rate, the same would never ever happen with 'genius' dribblers such as Eden Hazard or Diego Maradona or Zinedine Zidane or Ronaldinho or Iniesta (when he could still dribble), that is, dribblers of very high quality, dribblers of a higher quality than Ronaldo - Real Madrid Era - ever was in that area, dribblers who do not need high quantity in order to consistently make a positive difference via purely their dribbling, etc. Football is a team sport, and just because CR7 could - in his earlier Real Madrid days - complete an impressive amount of inconsequential dribbling runs, does not mean that his dribbling contributions were in any practical sense anywhere near as productive or as valuable as his statistics would indicate on paper.
In slightly different terms: No team ever would become better if you had prime Maradona - or prime Messi, or prime Hazard, or prime Zidane, or prime Ronaldinho, or prime Iniesta - and forced them into practically never using their dribbling ability... On the other hand, with Cristiano Ronaldo we do have a case of teams immediately becoming better as a direct result of Ronaldo cutting down on his overrated and self-indulgent dribbling antics of the past; this is as clear-cut as evidence can be, when attempting to demonstrate that copious statistics are not necessarily a good thing in a team sport.
How many goals and assists did Ronaldo scored in 2010 when he finished in 6th place in the Ballon d'Or podium??
I'm willing to bet that Ronaldo 2010 scored more or less the same amount of goals-assists as Ronaldo 2012, probably more assists and less goals in 2010, compared to more goals and less assists in 2012, but his goal-involvement will probably be extremely similar. At any rate, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong with my assumptions here.
Question: Why was Messi delivering the majority of his 'big games' when he was younger, in his physical prime??
Question: Why was Ronaldo - "in another dimension" - not delivering the majority of his 'big games' when he was younger, in his physical prime??
Question: Why was Iniesta - "in a parallel universe" - delivering the majority of his 'big games' when he was younger, in his physical prime??
Personally, I think it's impossible to consistently answer the three questions above without the necessity of having to concede and accept the fact that Ronaldo - in his physical prime - was never ever at the same level as Messi, and that Iniesta - ridiculous as it may sound today - was actually more consistent across all formats. Ronaldo with his statistics and all actually had to wait until he was 31 years old or older before he had the impact that Iniesta and Messi (in their respective physical primes) had had on the latter stages of the Champions League.
What an outrageous hypocrite you are
The pro ballon dor argument is now a source your using against ronaldo
Well there goes into the garbage can every single one of your overrated ronaldo/zidane threads where you attempted to demonstrate they were overrated even though their ballon dor rankings suggest otherwise
Thanks for updating us all on your latest double standards
Alot of this is spammed rhetoric from other threads so i will address what i can be bothered to
Ronaldo being average/mediocre against lyon 2010 is to put it bluntly
He was voted MOTM in both legs
Let me entertain this lie momentarily
He "failed " against lyon
Why is a R16 match against a top 4 ligue 1 side a big match
Did you see what he did against the champions of ligue 1 marseille that same season
Of course you didnt(predictably)
You cherry pick matches at random to fit your agenda
In one year only finals matter
In the next a R16 matters(against lyon)
Bottom line is what matters are games ronaldo(his team)didnt progress beyond
If he does progress
The opponent was poor/overrated to begin with
They were past their prime
Now on to a more disturbing matter:
When you insist zlatan ibrahimovic could replicate the output of CR in any given KO match this is when you need to consider the possibility that your anti psychotic drugs are NOT WORKING
Get your dosage increased ok
The achievements and big game performances of CR between 2007-2009 outstrips anything iniesta did in 14 years at barcelona
In other words
what CR achieved by 24 years old in his club career is enough to put him at a higher historical rank than iniesta (his whole career)
When iniesta is the player hes being compared to his real madrid career isnt actually needed at all
Ronaldo turned in the ko stages in a big way during this period
Especially in 2009 but not exclusively this year only
11 of his 15 CL goals at manchester united came in ko rounds
From 2007-2009 ronaldo was almost exclusively a player who turned up in KO stages( a midfielder i might add)
While your at it calculate the ko stage record of prime ronaldinho
Neymar from the QF to final and tell me how favourably it compares against CR just in the 2007-2009 period
Ronaldo had 6 goal involvements in 1 QF vs roma
3 goal involvements in 1 SF vs arsenal
A puskas goal of the year to win a QF vs porto
Just who are you kidding(iniesta doesnt even compare to kaka in CL big matches
Thats even before we talk about prime del piero)
The pro ballon dor argument coming from you is ludicrous but just for fun
1 ballon dor
2x runner up
0 ballon dor
1x runner up
In the season iniesta finished runner up he was ranked by whoscored as the 21st best player in la liga
The 50th best player in europe by castrol
Ronaldo started the 2009 calender year as best player of the CL ko stages
And finished it as the highest rated in la liga and the champions league as per whoscored
Only injuries and suspensions prevented him from being player of the season
That was Ronaldo then... Is this the first time in a long time where he delivers (two goals) yet goes out? First since 2010 I think?
Ajax. 👌🏾♥️pic.twitter.com/JbccVgojn4— amadí (@amadoit__) April 16, 2019
Ajax knocking out the Juventus side led by Agnelli who is leading the charge to alter the Champions League format as head of the European Club Association— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 16, 2019
First time since 2010 a club outside the big four leagues reaches a CL semi (Lyon) and first time since 2005 from outside the big five (PSV). Who knows whether it will be the last, increasingly more likely
Ajax. 👌🏾♥️pic.twitter.com/JbccVgojn4— amadí (@amadoit__) April 16, 2019
Ajax knocking out the Juventus side led by Agnelli who is leading the charge to alter the Champions League format as head of the European Club Association— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 16, 2019
Ajax knocking out the Juventus side led by Agnelli who is leading the charge to alter the Champions League format as head of the European Club Association
Yeah, but this Ajax team is considerably better than those PSV or Lyon sides, for example. That Lyon team that made the semis was the weakest team at the semi-final stage for as long a I can remember. Worst was that it came at the end of Lyon's period of dominance and that team was significantly weaker than other Lyon teams.
Anyways, pathetic stuff from Juve. Ajax's second goal was so clearly coming, Juve was getting absolutely dominated leading up to it.
Funny enough, De Ligt said recently that Benfica were their toughest opponents this season and it's true. Benfica was the slightly better team over their two games, not sure how. Beating Juve and Real away is very impressive stuff.
Pray for @carlito86