Next Ballon d'Or winner that isn't CR7 or LM10 (and when)?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by BocaFan, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #7451 PuckVanHeel, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    Messi has however played for some phenomenal club teams. Barcelona's routing record against Real Madrid (for many the #2 side in the world between 2010 and 2018) without Messi tells a story; then we are not talking about narrow wins but some complete routs.

    There were less possibilities in Maradona's time to establish his dominance over his peers and I say that as someone who is critical about some of his career aspects (his delivery against top sides in some years; the factual influence not matching the narrative; that virtually all of his biggest achievements came courtesy of a handball; Napoli spending big time; the lukewarm/inconsistent showings in continental competitions; some other things).

    Pele his dominance in perception was to an extent a product of Brazil's dominance (Santos also started winning just before him); in that sense a parallel with the Barcelona situation. Pele was the single best in the world because Brazil was the single best in the world (and yes, Pele would be my #1 if I had to make a pick) - the latter was a more obvious observation to establish. That was in a pre-stats age an 'advantage' he had.

    Furthermore, you are negative about Cruijff in my eyes (19th best world cup player) and yes, placing der kaiser in the same tier (dearman et al. goes even one step further, in terms of overall personality and contribution, which is worse than seeing parity in football abilities; when you talk about non-contemporaries as Jimmy Hogan, then fine) amounts to being negative. He himself said in 2010 Messi will win "five, six or seven" Ballon d'Ors in his career (when he had two golden balls) and said in 2015 that if he was forced to make a choice Pelé and Messi are the top two.
     
  2. Edhardy

    Edhardy Member+

    Sep 4, 2013
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Those two routes (4-0 and 5-1) were really a case of perfect timing IMO. I can't imagine the same being repeated in 2011/12 or 2016/17. Neither manager in charge at the time of the route lasted much longer or went into the match with much chance. If we had Barca thrashing less chaotic versions of Real or say coming close to overturning the Bayern rout I'd see it differently.
     
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  3. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Yes, he has and he has taken advantage of that good fortune. At the same time, you do wonder to what extent Messi papers over a lot of cracks in those sides. If he shoulders some of the blame for a number of humiliating defeats, what do they say about the players around him?

    He has made a lot of players look very good and dug Barcelona out of a lot of holes. Even when Spain were in their dominant phase from 2008-12, the lack of a Messi was evident in the sterile nature of a lot of their play. Without someone who can add that directness and unpredictability, they looked pedestrian in long stretches.

    On the flip side to all this, he has played for an utterly dysfunctional Argentina for a large part of his career. Part of that must stem from the way his presence inhibits others but he has hardly had much help in his efforts to win international trophies.

    I have said I think that Cruyff is probably the most significant figure in the history of football. I'm not going to go over the World Cup ranking again.
     
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  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #7454 PuckVanHeel, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    Okay you can argue that but there are some more examples against high quality opponents like easy wins against an Inter team winning the treble, or again against Inter this season.

    See:
    https://en.as.com/en/2018/10/28/football/1540734041_482895.html

    Main point is just that Pele was readily seen as the single best because Brazil was the single best.

    Of course a Barca with Messi is better than without, I wouldn't argue otherwise (Busquets, Messi, Pique and the hard working Suarez cover some weaknesses).

    More like Maradona not being able to establish dominance very easily (but yes, Jonathan Wilson has made an argument around his 'failure' at not-yet-superclub Barca, before he joined minnow Napoli).
     
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  5. Edhardy

    Edhardy Member+

    Sep 4, 2013
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    I definitely agree with the general point. I just feel matches such as the two vs Madrid don't accurately define the edge Messi has. The group stage meeting with Inter back in 2009 is a better indicator perhaps. Of how teams face Barca when Messi isn't playing too.
     
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Based on some of Riquelme his national team games, his tournaments (including the Olympic tournaments), and what he did for Boca Juniors (with the Intercontinental Cup much more important for SA sides than Europe, as shown by the number of fans travelling along) I can see why some might think that. This happens to an extent also here, with reliable national team performers and the ones who did good things for clubs back home (e.g. Philip Cocu scoring two goals in a CL semi final for PSV) having a plus.

    But being subbed out in crucial must-win games would never happen to a Zidane, Ronaldo or Messi (unless injured, tired). It is also not entirely strange Riquelme couldn't fit at a big European club. He needed liberties and luxuries and you can only get away with it if you - like Messi and Ronaldo - produce an incredible amount of goals. Riquelme his goals and assists (inflated by penalties, half of his La Liga goals were penalties, and many set piece assists) were not enough to compensate for this. Even for Rivaldo (excluding penalties he wasn't the most productive player of his club in any season) and Neymar it is sometimes tricky business and the same has happened to players as Hagi like you said.

    That is the mechanical part; from an aesthetic, emotional and 'in the moment' point of view I can see how it evolves.
     
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  7. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018

    Just to clarify that I do not agree with the methodology of this site to evaluate at least the set pieces xG, so likely Messi had considerably less xG + xA than 8.1.
     
  8. ChizzyChisnall

    Feb 2, 2017
    Club:
    AC Siena
  9. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
  10. ChizzyChisnall

    Feb 2, 2017
    Club:
    AC Siena
    The 11.84 xG on set pieces for England really jumps out, but yes I can see how there could be something fishy there.
     
  11. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
  12. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    It’s impossible to know if that dominance in the Spanish league is unparalleled in other top leagues throughout the history of the game.

    Which brings me to my point: his specific dominance in many categories has to do with where and under what settings that player obtains that level of sustained efficiency.

    Cruijff and Maradona were like Messi in their own leagues (dribbling/scoring/playmaking) but outside their confines that dominance was reduced to the nature of adapting to new teammates, different environments, lower scoring in Spanish and Italian competitions and just more parity in general.

    The Barcelona of Cruijff and Napoli of Maradona were minnows compared to the luxury of what Messi shared at Cataluña.

    In other words, in today’s era that produces higher goalscoring in Italy and Spain, where defenders are handcuffed as the game became ‘softer’ over the past few decades, it’s not so difficult to accept why La Liga is small fish to fry for Messi.

    I’ve said it before, he’s the Rafa Nadal of his league, but outside we only have a reference of how he can perform outside of that comfort zone with the NT and it’s where things balance itself out (you can’t buy the best players) where there’s a remarkable decline in Messi’s capacities that reduce all of those attributes that you have mentioned.

    In Argentina there’s lots of scepticism that Messi wouldn’t shine in the same way in the first division if he played on the South American continent. He’s viewed as a ‘one-club’ player, that needs a special cast of directors/actors that assemble around his talents to bring them to great effect.
     
  13. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    And because he’s viewed by many as a disappointment for the NT.

    I think it’s become a big problem for Messi and it seems too capricious and detrimental to the NT: he wants to win something and doesn’t matter how; that’s why he vents his frustration on others. He doesn’t want to retire empty handed. It’s not unlikely seeing him play until the age of 40 in order to win something. Realistically his physical best has passed him but don’t count him out in 2020 CA (another tailer-made event) and Qatar 2022. The view in Argentina is out of so many continuous attempts something may finally crack and go through, but at what cost ?

    Because it’s one thing to do it with Barcelona (although the former Chelsea had their formula at the time at stopping him) and another to adapt to playing for another team and demonstrating that same brilliance.

    I think he was generally always viewed as the premier player in the game, at least according to many press voices, it just wasn’t as media-frantic as it is now with all the “GOAT” conversations in sports in general.

    Don’t mention that to Ronaldo’s fans... jijijiii
     
  14. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    And for the number 1-2 team in the world, according to the ELO rankings in 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    As emperor for many years now he has to shoulder much of the blame for the deficient final results.
     
  15. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011

    I can understand the reasoning but have some issues. If Barcelona is literally the best side in Spain then standing out against the lower ranked sides is not that remarkable in the grand scope of things. And while it’s a remarkable achievement to sustain domestic supremacy over the rest for a decade it’s not historically groundbreaking at one club (Pelé at Santos, Angel Labruna at River Plate, Di Stefano at Madrid and Cruijff at Ajax).

    The true demonstration of being the continent or world’s best is to demonstrate it outside that domestic setting (unless of course a certain league boasts the world’s best players as Serie A in the 1980s once did).

    The Champions League is the real parameter for Messi as Europe’s club ruler but historically it’s not been as dominant as some believe. In the latter stages of the competition where things balance itself out he’s struggled. He’s not separated himself from his main competitor of his epoch (Ronaldo) and internationally for his country he’s underachieved despite having favorable circumstances and settings set for him to triumph.

    I think he’s not ticked all the boxes in his illustrious career to tilt the balance in his favor over the career achievements of past legends.
     
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  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes I see that and two matches is always just a small sample. On the other hand, the gap between Barcelona and Real Madrid was just three and four points respectively before those two matches.

    That's still a relatively small gap in the table (and it wasn't because of Barcelona leaking points left and right in the other matches), by 00s and 90s standards certainly.

    There are differences in that, just as Barcelona make some changes in approach. Many fundamental aspects remain the same throughout, but Suarez et al. will by plan or by instinct make amends.
     
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  17. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    I have a question. Not that I'm on either side but at what point do you say one is better than the other. If you choose Messi, how much greater does he have to be? Because CR7 has proven to be more consistent over different environment for whatever reason. Is it not ultimately who has played at the highest peak???
    And I'm just asking an honest question.

    I ask this because I also have this thinking between Maradona and Cruyff. At club level, as far as consistency is concerned, I give Cruyff a clear edge. But on his day, I give it to Maradona. Sometimes I think Cruyff is better, then I see the best of Maradona and I think otherwise. In any case, I think there is a case to be made both ways.
    I never really in the past put CR7 near Messi. But his adaptability is quite something. To me, Messi still coming deep and trying to start plays and slowing it down is counter productive, for Argentina. And it wont help the team if he doesbthe same as at Barcelona as you have two dynamic players joining in De Jong and Griezmann. While CR7's lack of involvement in games is actually helping him to become more adaptable and win more. In Messi's best years for team success, he was not the focal point as he has been the last couple of years, although he looks outstanding individually (his Barca years)
     
  18. Estel

    Estel Member+

    May 5, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    The above made me think of doing an excercise of counting Messi's success rate in major senior international tournaments (CL, WC, CA). Doing so I surmise that currently he has won 4/22 (which is an 18.2% success rate) that he has featured in i.e. if we include the CL with Ronaldinho as MVP, and exclude the 04/05 CL wherein he featured in only 1 game as well as the Centennial CA(which was an unofficial tournament for all intents and purposes).

    Compare this to the pre-CL era greats who have a claim to the top spot and who played for equally strong teams relative to their opponents -

    Di Stefano 6/15 which is a 40% success rate (including precursor tournaments to EC, Libertadores as well as the one unsuccessful WC qualifier with Spain)

    Pele 5/13 which is a 38.4% success rate (excluding the Libertadores wherein Brazil/Santos withdrew or Pele did not feature even if Santos played, including the one wherein Santos was unable to qualify as well as the 62 WC).

    Considering that these above mentioned greats weren't exactly significantly inferior in the domestic competitions in terms of their dominance over their peers, when compared with Messi, they seem to have the better claim to the number one spot.

    Btw, Cronaldo is 6/24 by my reckoning which is a 25% success rate (excluding the recently concluded Nations' League which I am still undecided on in terms of placement amongst major senior international tournaments).
     
  19. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Tricky question to respond. When you have two heavyweights go at eachother the margins of superiority are slim. I respect @comme his opinion but in my view I don’t see that significant difference of Messi over Cristiano to place him in separate tiers. It’s like Nadal vs Federer. For Cristiano to hold his own in the same era is a testament to his greatness despite not innately possessing some of those don given abilities that Messi possesses.

    In terms of highest peak : it would have to be determined what are the parameters. @comme values sustained brilliance of domestic consistency as a major requisite and of course the Champions League. But eras are not like for like, over the years tournament formats have changed, rules have changed and ever since the 1995 Bosman law was introduced Europe’s leagues have dramatically changed.

    Has Messi reached higher heights at the Champions League from the quarterfinals-finals ? 3 magnificent campaigns in 2009, 2011 and 2015 (some of which were shrouded with controversy vs Chelsea in 2009); marquee goals vs Real Madrid in 2011 and vs Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semifinals of 2015, and architect of their triumph in the final in Berlin. But Cristiano’s Real Madrid won a hat-trick of cups in a row which is unprecedented in the Champions League era. To accomplish that feat in Europe is a blow to Barcelona’s morale and rubs salt into their wounds on the continent.

    However it must be pointed out that in the old format 2 Champions League titles for Messi (2009 and 2015) and 3 for Cristiano Ronaldo (2014, 2016 and 2017) would have never materialized. In other words, they really are more at that Eusebio level, but with Eusebio providing multiple championships that never again Benfica repeated.

    The real champion of champions was Alfredo Di Stefano, rightly winner in 1989 of the ‘Super Ballon d’Or’, for the outstanding European club player of those past 3 decades (1959-1989). It’s highly unlikely that a club will ever win 5 European Cups in a row again.

    At the NT level has Messi reached greater heights than Cristiano ? Maybe, but again some have sold short the quality of Messi’s teammates and how certain perks/controversial circumstances have favored him.
     
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  20. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    it’s certainly an exercise that would spark debate.
     
  21. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Which club seasons in Europe was Maradona ever leading in scoring/assisting/dribbling?

    This is most probably fiction
     
  22. Edhardy

    Edhardy Member+

    Sep 4, 2013
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    And how did they do in their 'fail' attempts. Surely football can't be as simple as winning the trophy = success & not winning the trophy = failure.

    Were Modric (2018), Robben & James (2014), F de Jong (CL 2019), Peru (CA 2019) and so on failures?
     
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  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #7473 PuckVanHeel, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    Some care is needed though:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Some things are noticeable:
    • Other figures of his generation, most notably Puskas, were not eligible. They couldn't steal away some of the votes. Is the final outcome still the same with Puskas in the mix?
    • We see a generational effect. There are instances like Stanley Matthews his vote (who voted exactly the same way at other occasions) but there is a tendency to go for your own generation.
    • We see of course geographical effects. The viewers going for Platini, former anschluss friend Austria going for Beckenbauer. Players voting for their own countryman (Rummenigge, Gullit).
    • The cartel nations preferred Di Stefano, the peripheral countries were less likely to vote that way.

    With respect to those five European Cups: those are nice but keep in mind at the same time there were 'only' two domestic championships and zero Copa del Generallisimo those years (with Di Stefano as naturalized citizen eligible to play). They needed some hastily organized replays (in their own stadium) to progress, some ghost penalties, giving whole trucks of golden watches to officials, and also didn't every eligible club and opponent enter the competition, in the early years.

    That 60s/70s Ajax team was close-ish to do the same. In 1969 losing the final against a team later embroiled in numerous bribery scandals (at the European stage, most notably vs Leeds), in 1970 the semi final ruined by a referee called Kurt Tschenscher (someone who also ruined the de facto semi final with Brazil in 1974, getting players injured). This time without hastily organized replays for a second chance... There is also that 1990s Juventus team of course getting to four consecutive finals (and five within six years), and the Real Madrid team of recent years had maybe done the same with Modric not injured in 2015.

    Every great player had their luck, though not all to the same amount (and a few centimeters offside call is not the same as a handful ghost penalties).
     
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  24. Estel

    Estel Member+

    May 5, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Are Modric, Robben, James or De Jong in the discussion for the no.1 player across eras? What is the point of discussing about the no.1 player across eras if we take into account every consideration to justify a failure to achieve the ultimate goal? Is professional international football played for the participation trophies now?

    Furthermore, so long as the same metric is used for comparison with other players, what is the problem with the methodology, considering that there does not seem to be any inherent unfairness? Is it simply that it shows a favoured player in a poorer light than people are accustomed to seeing?

    The point is very simple. Players like Di Stefano and Pele were able to rise to the occasion more often than a player like Messi could, at the highest competitive level that they played at. That is a very significant consideration when talking about the no.1 player across eras, in any sport for that matter. Else every highly talented but comparatively unsuccessful player would be in the discussion for the no.1 spot, considering that each and every one of them had their own extenuating circumstances which affected their team trophy haul.
     
  25. Edhardy

    Edhardy Member+

    Sep 4, 2013
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Use Puskas (54), Eusebio (66) and Cruyff (74) if you'd prefer. I think the point remains the same anyway.
    I've never read anywhere where these players were described as flops. Puskas perhaps could have been or should have been, but Eusebio & Cruyff met and surpassed expectations. How can that be a failure? Their tournaments are actually positively remembered.

    Further, can your system be used for league campaigns? E.g Pele has 6 out of 16 successful league campaigns, and Maradona was only able to show up for 3 seasons in a career that spanned 20?
    After all, leagues are the bread and butter of a players career, they spend the larger part of their career playing league games.

    I feel the metric ignores a lot of things conveniently, to fit specific narratives, and it works with many inaccurate assumptions. Even without digging deep, we can't pretend that the European Cup that Di Stefano contested is anywhere near similar to the UEFA Champions League that Messi/Ronaldo have been a part of.

    http://xtraimmortal.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-evaluated-scorecards.html?m=1

    I don't entirely agree with Dearman's final product here and sometimes I wonder how he arrived at certain figures but I appreciate the attempt to take each tournament in context, and ultimately that's what it's about.


    PS: It doesn't work in every sport as you say. Context always plays a role. And the context which favours our favourites and discredits their rivals always seems more objective to all of us.

    Senna vs Schumacher vs Hamilton vs Fangio?

    Ali vs Ray Robinson vs Floyd Mayweather vs Langford/Greb

    Jordan vs Lebron James

    Federer vs Nadal vs Djokovic (absolute number of titles or number of title by tournaments participated in - the result becomes different).
     
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