The best games of the best players

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I'm interested in trying to put together a list of some games to try and watch the best players at their best.

    What are the defining games of the legends? Maradona against Belgium? Best against Benfica? Charlton against Portugal? Eusebio against North Korea?

    I've included below the only (that I'm aware of) games which have got full marks from Gazzetta dello Sport. What about France Football, Kicker or other publications?

    Oleg Salenko v Cameroon (1994 World Cup)

    Roberto Baggio v Parma (2000 Serie A Play-off)

    Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro v France (2006 World Cup)

    Lionel Messi v Bayer Leverkusen (2011 Champions League)

    Robert Lewandowski v Real Madrid (2013 Champions League)

    Gonzalo Higuain v Frosinone (2015-6 Serie A)

    @PDG1978 @Gregoriak @PuckVanHeel @peterhrt
     
  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Some spring immediately to mind but I am also particularly interested in those which aren't just defined by lots of goals.

    Having said that, some other obvious choices from recent years:

    Lothar Matthaus v Yugoslavia 1990 World Cup

    Franco Baresi v Brazil 1994 World Cup

    Roy Keane v Juventus 1999 CL

    Fernando Redondo v Manchester United 2000 CL

    Rivaldo v Valencia 2001 La Liga

    Ronaldo v Manchester United 2003 CL

    Ronaldinho v Real Madrid 2005 La Liga

    Zinedine Zidane v Spain 2006 World Cup

    Lionel Messi v Arsenal 2010 CL

    Gareth Bale v Inter 2010 CL

    Neymar v PSG 2017 CL

    Cristiano Ronaldo v Bayern 2017 CL
     
  3. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    i think this is great. i am also curious in watching the best games specifically from players outside of this modern era.
     
  4. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Nice thread comme, and thanks for the tag. I will have a think about what ideas I can contribute. I suppose we are looking at very best performance wise and/or most significant (ideally both perhaps; for many players I suppose a lot of us will still be unaware of the very best performance wise and might never be able to see certain games which certain players got rave reviews for in newspapers etc).
     
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  5. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Did you make a list of the 6/6 France Football ratings somewhere?
     
  6. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think at one point I was picking those out wasn't I. I know I had missed a few on the first attempt. They are not a bad reference to work from I suppose - I'll have a search over the next days of my own posts etc to see if there was a final list with all of them.

    A couple of the ones which might fit the 'can't verify but seems an option' tag could be for example Pele vs Bahia in 1961 and Eusebio vs Real Madrid in 1965 although for the latter I never really looked into whether there are reports suggesting he had a really great game in general - obviously he scored two excellent and significant goals and played in the free-kick for the final goal too.
     
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  7. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Pele said his best game was for Santos against Benfica in the Intercontinental Cup in 1962.

    That same year Garrincha played two of his greatest matches - against Flamengo in the Carioca and against England at the World Cup.

    One of Beckenbauer's finest games was the 1976 European Cup semi-final against Real Madrid.

    Matthaus thought his most outstanding club performance was against Napoli in 1989.

    Gareth Bale was not the only one to save his best for a European encounter with Inter Milan. There was also Netzer in 1971, Cruyff in 1972 and Henry in 2003.
     
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  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, so often this leans to "most significant" type of things.

    Thierry Henry vs Internazionale in 2003-04? For sure it is not a national team game because he (rarely) scored or had crafty assists against the big teams. Alternatively vs Leeds in 2004 ("electrifying, electrifying").
    Bergkamp vs Everton in 2005 is a good candidate too (7-0). At the age of 36 the outstanding force behind a record win for Arsenal and record defeat for Everton, in the first half without Thierry Henry too (who wasn't there in the famed Newcastle 2002 game either) and creating all three goals.

    Beckham vs Barcelona in 1998? Figo vs England, Fiorentina, Chelsea or Real Madrid where he turned Roberto Carlos inside out - probably.
     
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  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I think this does a bit of a disservice to him. Other than that game, the European games that are recalled and memorized the most often are (some of them recalled more often than Inter 1972):

    Liverpool 1965-66
    Real Madrid 1966-67 (esp. Spanish press)
    Nuremberg 1967-68
    Benfica 1968-69 (esp. French press + Platini)
    Bayern 1972-73
    Feyenoord 1974-75
    Liverpool (2nd leg, away) 1975-76
    Athletic Bilbao 1976-77 (?? unsure ??)
    Ipswich Town 1977-78
    Aston Villa 1977-78
    PSV (2nd leg, home) 1977-78
    Celtic 1982-83
    Tottenham Hotspur 1983-84

    @PDG1978 has watched a lot as well and might have some ideas to chip in too.
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    At league level probably the 0-5 against Real Madrid, to a lesser extent 1972 against Feyenoord (1-5) and at the time itself also the 1976 game against Real Madrid.
    http://www.bdfutbol.com/es/p/j5282.html?rival=2


    Zidane at league level perhaps 1997 vs Milan? 2003 Valencia? Gareth Bale vs Chelsea 2010?
     
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Last idea for now and maybe an odd suggestion but suddenly Laurent Blanc vs PSV in 1991 pops up in the mind. Features Romario and Valderrama as well. It must be among the best international games Blanc played in his career.

    Weah vs Bayern and Barcelona in the 1994-95 Champions League. Also vs Juventus in 1996.
     
  12. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Romario at the Maracaná in 1993 vs Uruguay, which qualified Brazil to the WC. He said it was his best match for the NT and it probably was.
     
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  13. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Some standout goalkeeper performances.

    Dasaev vs Netherlands (Euro 1988 group stage)

    Sergio Goycoechea vs Italy (1990 WC)
    Sergio Goycoechea vs Peru (WC qualifiers 1993 in Lima)
     
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  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    This is a bit of a mix between best or significant:


    Michael Laudrup vs Uruguay 1986 (World Cup)
    -- vs Valencia 1992 (league)
    -- vs Dynamo Kiev (1993-94 Champions League)

    Stoichkov vs Barcelona 1989 (Cup Winners Cup semi finals)

    Laurent Blanc vs PSV 1991 (Cup Winners Cup)

    Roberto Baggio vs AC Milan 1992 (Serie A)

    Ruud Gullit vs AC Milan 1993 (Serie A)
    [not 'best', but significant]

    Frank Rijkaard vs AC Milan 1994 & 1995 (UCL, both legs)

    George Weah vs Bayern 1994 (UCL)

    Andriy Shevchenko vs Barcelona 1997 (UCL, both games)

    Del Piero vs Monaco (1998 Champions League)

    Davor Suker vs Germany 1998 (World Cup)

    Batistuta vs Manchester United 1999 (UCL group stage)

    Totti vs France 2000 (european championship final)

    Michael Owen vs Germany 2001 (WC qualifiers)

    Pavel Nedved vs Real Madrid 2003 (UCL semi final, both legs)
    -- vs Netherlands 2004 (european championships)

    Steven Gerrard vs West Ham 2006 (FA Cup final)
    [perhaps 'better' than 2005 UCL final]

    Kaka & Seedorf vs Manchester United 2007 (UCL semi finals)

    Xavi vs Arsenal 2010 (UCL, in London)

    Pirlo vs England 2012 (european championships)
     
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  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #15 PuckVanHeel, Sep 20, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    A nice counterpoint against the 2004 Leeds game where everything was running smoothly is something like the comeback game (1-3 behind, 5-3 win) against a fairly good Middlesbrough, also in 2004.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjhgaj

    It equalled the all-time unbeaten record of Nottingham Forest, 42 games.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2004/aug/22/newsstory.sport10
    https://amp.theguardian.com/football/2004/aug/23/match.arsenal
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/3564572.stm
     
  16. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think Laudrup vs Dynamo Kiev also in 91/92 (home) can be an option.

    Kaka in the 2005 CL Final vs Liverpool, albeit on the losing side eventually.

    Shevchenko vs Lazio 1999, and perhaps vs Arsenal and/or Bayern in 98/99?

    The obvious one for Suker for me is probably vs Denmark in 1996.

    Zidane vs Dynamo Kiev (away) 97/98 might be my pick for him or at least one of the top ones.

    I'll add more in the next days but thought I'd kick-off with adding some for already mentioned names.
     
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  17. Akisa

    Akisa New Member

    Sep 20, 2017
    That's a nice list. I always remember the match of Oleg Salenko v Cameroon in 1994. It was very impressive at that time
     
  18. HopeAnderson

    HopeAnderson New Member

    Sep 20, 2017
    USA, Washington
    I always enjoy their beautiful games! That is why they are the best players!
     
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Savicevic vs Manchester United in 1991.
     
  20. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

    Jul 28, 2006
    Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
    Club:
    Celtic FC
    Country:
    Scotland
    Not sure if he's been mentioned already in the thread but Gheorghe Hagi --

    Real Madrid - Osasuna (1992)
    Romania - Argentina (1990 World Cup)
    Romania - Colombia (1994 World Cup)
     
  21. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, could be a main option for him. There is the game vs Milan in 88/89, various 90/91 CL games (appearing on Youtube for him now), the CL Final of 94 (though in some ways not completely at his best as you noted before), vs Porto in the 94 CL too, maybe some 94/95 Serie A games, vs PSG (home but away also very good and with an assist) in 94/95, vs Parma and perhaps Roma in 95/96. I'm not sure I find it easy to pick a really obvious one overall, and there could be others even, but certainly vs United he was combining his individual skills and his vision and taking various United players on regularly and successfully and also carving out some good chances.
     
  22. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    What about Maradona?
     
  23. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Based on newspaper sources and magazines, at European level, the newspaper of La Stampa gave him a perfect score of 10 in 1990-91 Napoli v Ujpest Dosza in Naples.

    Other perfect ratings from different sources.

    Argentina v Hungary 1982
    Argentina v England 1986
    Argentina v Belgium 1986

    Argentinos Juniors v Boca Juniors 1980

    Sevilla v Real Madrid 1992-93 (home match)

    There are more but difficult to find the matches available to view. The ones mentioned above are obtainable. And I've only mentioned perfect grades, so an 8 or 9 I've not included. Although in GS and other Italian sources it was virtually impossible to obtain a perfect 10. An 8 or 9 was basically as high as they went.
     
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  24. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Adding a couple for a dozen of the top legends, that haven't been mentioned yet including by myself:

    Pele - England 1964, Venezuela away 1969

    Cruyff - Italy home Euro 76 qualifying, Poland home Euro 76 qualifying (not saying I think they were better than all his 1974 WC games, but those are more obvious and known)

    Maradona - Lazio home 84/85, Roma home 87/88 (was tempted to include Red Star Belgrade away 82/83 and I see there are 10 minutes on Youtube that could be studied - I only watched the goals so far and didn't look into any match summary about his performance or in general)

    Platini - Manchester United home 83/84., Liverpool (Super Cup) 1985

    Di Stefano - Nice 59/60, EC Final 59/60 (picked those as both can be seen in full and he clearly excelled famously, even if his prime in general is thought to have been before that point I think)

    Beckenbauer - Soviet Union 1966 WC, Soviet Union 1972 Euros

    Best - Real Madrid away 67/68 (more for the assist than the overall game perhaps but probably a valuable/notable one to add), Rapid Vienna home 68/69

    Van Basten - England Euro 88, Real Madrid home 88/89 EC

    Puskas - England 1953, EC Final 59/60

    Eusebio - Santos 1961, Czechoslovakia away 1965

    Bobby Charlton - Mexico 1966, Tottenham (Charity Shield) 1967

    Zidane - Brazil WC 1998, Portugal Euro 2000
     
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  25. Milan05

    Milan05 Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Andriy Shevchenko vs Barcelona - 1997

    Andrea Pirlo vs Germany - 2006

    Ricardo Kaka vs Manchester United - 2007 (home and away)

    Gennaro Gattuso vs Manchester United - 2007 (home)

    Clarence Seedorf vs Manchester United - 2007 (home)

    Hernan Crespo vs Liverpool - 2005
     
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