The best games of the best players

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

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thanks. In terms of domestic games from his best years I've seen three games (or the 50 minutes highlights) - according to my notes. The 1979 game against HSV where he seemed to be near his best; he had one of his best goals here and Keegan also played well. A 1980 game against Dortmund which was a mid-level team at the time and kicker graded it with a 2.0 (together with 6 other players). And a 1-7 loss against Fortuna Dusseldorf, which was graded with a 3.0.

    Not many other games seem to be available anyway now I look at collectors websites (from his 1979 - 1982 years; where he was at his best). Maybe one other.

    More sporadically he was at times near his best between 1982 and 1984 (although not always when it was needed the most).

    My recommendations would be HSV 1978-79, Soviet Union 1979-80, maybe the 1981-82 EC semi final vs CSKA Sofia (for finals and semi finals).

    Yes I think Van Hanegem was at/near his best there in the match. Not so sure about Cruijff physically.
    (something similar applies to England 1977, compared to how he's noticeably sharper and faster in the Hercules game, the PSG highlights, vs Northern Ireland)

    Without Cruyff he was also fine against West Germany in the 1975 friendly, as well as a few Feyenoord games in Europe.

    Thanks. Think I saw the 40 minutes version (my notes say: 'extended highlights') but see now that the full game is available too.

    This is him against France at the 1982 World Cup. Saw the full version and FF gave him a 5/6.

    The RSSSF overview page on the Ballon d'Or showed Robson, next to the other names.

    Gaps remaining are: Charlton? Moore? Yashin, John Charles, Bergkamp, Schuster.

    For Sivori I'd recommend the 1962 game against Real Madrid, but if others have seen other good games by him it would be nice to hear. He did have a tendency to be very erratic (as well as more than 30 times being send off in his career), but the Real Madrid game shows his upper ceiling well.

    Will give some ideas on these later.
    comme repped this.
  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Just quickly, think Schuster could be the game v Netherlands at Euro 80. Had a major hand in all the goals that Allofs scored in a 3-2 win.

    Yashin was outstanding for the Rest of the World against England in 1963. Made a number of saves to deny Greaves. That same year he was also excellent in a game against Italy in Rome the quarter-finals of the Euros. Saved a penalty and made a number of other good saves (not seen the whole game only highlights). Lukas Tank also mentioned the 1966 WC game against West Germany and he was right on this as Yashin made some very good saves.

    Moore would be Brazil in 1970.

    Chalrton maybe Portugal in 1966.
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  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #128 PuckVanHeel, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Yes, for Schuster I thought against Netherlands and Belgium at euro 1980.

    After his knee injury some research is required, but 1984-85 is the standout season. One of the two seasons he was foreign player of the year, and only season Don Balon placed him in their first XI. He played enough games and was regular in form/attitude.

    From this season the 2-5 Valencia match is often mentioned, and despite the poor video quality I could see why. His later employer Atletico Madrid was the main challenger but not certain about whether he reached his potential against them in 1984-85. Later at Atletico Madrid he's famous for the Copa del Rey finals and a game against Manchester United in Europe. That's quite possibly also his best European game after he left Cologne (difficult to asses his level against Nottingham Forest, on 30 minutes footage). I have really no idea which other European game it can possibly be - it can't be from 1985-86 for sure.

    If others (@wm442433 is a fan?) have other specific games in mind - that's good. Like Sivori, his potential was high - that is why he fares well in the RSSF overview (nevermind the flaws/imperfections/instructions of the Ballon d'Or). And he won things with all three Spanish top teams.

    It is often mentioned Yashin had errors at World Cup level, including the semi final, but that doesn't take away that without those many other saves it would have been a much higher scoreline.

    John Charles might be the most difficult one of all. What has surfaced of him? Only one or two Juventus games as far as I know, and one 1958 World Cup game.

    Bobby Charlton has a lot more - the trouble is that I've seen relatively too much of after his thirtieth birthday (for example the Real Madrid, Anderlecht - without Best and Law - games). I'll get back to him, to the best of my ability.

    I had listed previously that Bergkamp had no shortage of production against elite sides (in particular next to contemporaries), but a pick remains difficult. Tend to feel two/three games of him against AC Milan (played three in total; missed the other three of which Inter lost two and tied one) somehow give a good impression of his range of skills while still being pacy at that stage of his career - maybe only slightly less fast than in 1992. He played for an inferior side. Only major drawback is the total lack of significance (in collective consciousness). Full games are easily available (including Liam Brady punditry and compliments) but 1993-94 here and 1994-95 here (both at San Siro).

    For Moore I had the 1970 game against Brazil, but also the 1966 final in mind (PDG1978 has mentioned it a few times too in the past). In terms of ball playing and passing, including an assist, the final shows him at his best.

    From what I've seen (and I saw seven long highlights and full matches where I thought it might be representative) I agree with previous assessments that he was more dominant and flawless for country than club. So in all likelihood it will stay at a national team game (or a few games), but for Charlton it might be fair to pick out one or a couple club matches. Charlton was arguably more consistent (and more 'king') for country as well, but some club games would do justice to his legacy and for what he was/is remembered.
  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Maldini also still missing.

    Throughout career there are some options but the 1994 Champions League final will probably feature in most lists. It is likely the best final he played (with 2003 as second best - a game not devoid of chances/shots to the extent it is remembered today).
  5. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, Moore actually had 2 assists in the Final ofc including the final goal, but I did think it was overall a very accomplished performance, matching his reputation, but to be fair Alan Ball was given MOTM.

    Perhaps one for Rummenigge could be Monchengladbach away in 80/81?

    CSKA Sofia at home does seem a good call indeed on the face of it, with the key contributions and with the assist for the opening goal particularly standing out.

    Likewise, for end product I suppose Leicester away in 97/98 is an obvious call for Bergkamp (even more than for Rummenigge it can be that he shouldn't be judged just on that though, and surely in many other games he displayed more in terms of link play etc):

    At World Cup level maybe his best overall would be South Korea in 1998 even? But on the easier side of things compared to other games I suppose.
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  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thanks for these comments @PDG1978 and the correction on Moore. Indeed, he had two assists in the 1966 final.

    Yes, for Rummenigge I left out the shorter highlights - only considered the longer highlights (30+ minutes) or full games which I thought was the main premise of the thread.

    Especially since by that stage Borussia Monchengladbach had regressed to mid-table status with only Hannes and Matthaus at some stages rated as of international class level (clearly not as many players as in the 1970s). But for a 1.0 rated game during his two peak seasons it is a good call definitely. I remember we (me?) had noticed this highlight before. If it was a short highlight against say Hamburg SV then I had maybe thought of it, by lack of longer material.

    In 1979-80 he had a 1.0 rated game against Cologne, which qualified for Europe and was ranked fifth. In 1980-81 Borussia Monchengladbach was indeed the best opponent he got a 1.0 against, placed sixth.

    The Leicester game always returns among the dozen evergreens, and I can see the idea somewhat because Leicester conceded the 3rd fewest goals in the league. The original Martin Tyler commentary helps a lot ("Well, there aren't many players in the game who can do this and make it look so ridiculously simple"). It was a quality hat-trick without penalties or tap-ins.

    At the same time, recollected moments like this distort his career. It has happened with a few players where a couple of recycled moments start to dominate everything, but it is easily forgotten he had quality goals as well against Desailly (against France), Maldini, Kohler and some others. It is easily forgotten that also without scoring (and yes, he very rarely had a tap-in and 5 penalties across all competitions) he demonstrably helped his side to win games, and had a statistically proven impact on Arsenal.

    The 2016 Opta Yearbook by Duncan Alexander has a nice passage:

    "The great oddity of Ronaldo's Premier League career is the lack of hat-tricks. Although the metamorphosis from a winger into a bona fide scoring forward took place in his time at Old Trafford, he registered only one hat-trick. Once upon a time that would have been unremarkable, with icons such as Eric Cantona, Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Bergkamp and Marlon Harewood all ending their Premier League careers with a single treble. But we know what happened when Ronaldo moved to Spain; the world changed and goals became as common as insects, with endless hat-tricks as a corollary."

    edit: just checked for trivia and Bale has one EPL hat-trick but three in La Liga (without being penalty taker, mind).
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  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    So I'd say for the young Charlton the 1957 and 1958 FA Cup finals are the best bets.

    After this there is a void until 1963 (except for a 1960 Hungary game, which he lost 0-2 and did not play at his best; a 1961 Portugal game where he did not impress). Which is a pity because his highest scoring seasons took place between 1958 and 1961. From 1962 there is the World Cup match against Brazil.

    From 1963 there is the World XI game, the Scotland game, against East Germany, another FA Cup final. There he was still a winger. The Scotland game is 25 minutes highlights and he's noticeable in the 2nd half.

    I think the Charlton that is stereo-typically remembered is the one between 1964-65 and 1966-67. There is however a caveat in that there is more from 1968 available (just after his best, per reporters and I think it might be correct by looking at the couple tougher matches), than there is from 1966-67. These 1964-65 to 1965-66 years are also the years where he had the upper hand over Law in the FWA voting. In 1962-63 (his first at ManUnited), 1963-64 and 1966-67 Law had the upper hand in the voting, before persistent injuries limited his capabilities.

    As good as I can (and have seen) I'll catalog these 1964 - 1967 years.

    Seven games for West Ham United, I meant.
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    @PDG1978 @comme

    Think this would give a decent impression of Bobby Charlton during his early 20s and the phase he's remembered best for (his 1964 to 1967 incarnation).

    1957 Aston Villa vs Manchester Utd [FA Cup final]
    1958 Bolton Wand vs Manchester Utd [FA Cup final]
    1963 Manchester Utd vs Leicester [FA Cup final]
    1963 England vs Rest of the World (??)
    1963 East Germany vs England (??)
    1964 Manchester Utd vs Tottenham (league)
    1964 Arsenal vs Man Utd (league)
    1965 Nottingham Forest vs Man Utd (league)
    1965 Manchester vs Chelsea (league)
    1965 Manchester vs Liverpool (league)
    1965 Manchester Utd vs Benfica (the home game, not Best's away game)
    1965 Leicester vs Man Utd (league)
    1965 Manchester vs Tottenham (league)
    1966 England vs Mexico [World Cup]
    1966 England vs France [World Cup - maybe?]
    1966 England vs Portugal [World Cup]
    1966 Man Utd vs Chelsea (league)
    1966 England vs Wales [Euro qualifiers]
    1967 England vs Scotland [Euro qualifiers]
    1967 Manchester Utd vs Tottenham [Charity Shield]
    1967 Manchester vs Arsenal (league)
    1968 Manchester vs Liverpool (league - list this now as it is on youtube)

    From what I've seen he had a tendency to do well against Tottenham Hotspur and to a lesser extent Liverpool. He had generally a hard time against Leeds United (not saying he was 'useless' there, but not his world class self).

    I tried my best!
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  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #134 PuckVanHeel, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    This is an example of what I mean. 1992 against Italy, albeit a 'friendly'

    Admittedly his team mates helped a lot to score two goals against Maldini, Costacurta, Sacchi et al., but the English commentary is telling.

    "That is beautifully finished. Well this fellow can do absolutely nothing wrong. That really was a quality piece of finishing and I'm afraid to say that was another defensive nightmare for Alessandro Costacurta. Here he is with his Milan team mate Van Basten. Van Basten gets the better of him, finds Bergkamp. Now just look at this, the way he chips that up, pure class. Real Madrid twice tried to sign this young man, he prefers to stay in Holland for the moment, but what is he going to be worth when he is transferred if Lentini is worth 13 million.... And there is Arrigo Sacchi."

    I have sympathy for the people who place his national team career at a comparable level to Robben (both 37 goals), with comparable impact against the bigger teams at major tournaments and friendlies (case can be made one is better, but it is not wildly off tune). But this past week it is so easy for the press to juxtapose Newcastle, Leicester against a national team game for the other player. What about the 1993 qualifiers against England with elimination at stake? Two quality goals in two different matches.

    He had also two superb and important assists against Nesta's double winners Lazio in the Champions League for example (making a superb through ball and assist through the defender's legs), which is somehow a forgotten moment compared to the turn and through ball vs Montero's and Thuram's Juventus. This is apparently what memory and the mind can do.

    As a funny and nice view, here is Robben as 16 years old scholar in 2001, while still living at his parents. Romario was his idol and favorite player apparently - he saw him for the first time when PSV played against and in Groningen. Interesting sight! (it appeared in my twitter timeline three days ago)

    In the same way Bobby Charlton can not just be only that Portugal 1966 game. He has played well and with distinction against defensively better opponents (with, sometimes, elimination at stake).

    See now - after I had posted my ideas - you had also picked the 1967 Charity Shield game (the 30 minutes highlights at least) against Tottenham Hotspur. :thumbsup:
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  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    In tandem to Bobby Charlton also Eusebio came to the fore.

    Eusebio is something as this?

    Santos vs Benfica (friendly, scored famous hat-trick)
    England vs Portugal 1961 (World Cup play off - Portugal lost 0-2 but Eusebio was best player on the pitch)
    Benfica vs Real Madrid 1962 (European Cup final)
    Czechoslovakia vs Portugal 1965 (World Cup qualifier, 50 minutes highlights)
    Portugal vs Brazil 1963 (friendly, Pelé played)
    Feyenoord vs Benfica (European Cup semi final)
    AC Milan vs Benfica (European Cup final - played well, especially with Benfica reduced to 10 men)
    Portugal vs England 1964 (friendly)
    Spain vs Portugal 1964 (friendly)
    Real Madrid vs Benfica 1965 (European Cup quarter final, home and away)
    Portugal vs Hungary 1966 (World Cup)
    Brazil vs Portugal 1966 (World Cup)
    Portugal vs North Korea 1966 (World Cup)
    Atletico Madrid vs Benfica 1967 (friendly; 15 minutes highlights)
    Italy vs Portugal 1967 (played in Rome - like the 1963 Brazil match a high-profiled friendly)
    Juventus vs Benfica 1968 (European Cup semi final, home and away)
    Benfica vs Celtic 1970 (European Cup)

    His best game after the persistent injuries is the 1973 game against a South American XI, and against France. He definitely looks healthier there than in the 1972 'Independence Cup' games against Argentina and Brazil (although he was useful against Ajax in the European Cup). His scoring rate in 1973 also sort of suggests this and it matches with what I saw.

    I know that of the 1968 semi final against Juventus only brief highlights exist/surfaced, but given stage and opponent, the quality of the goals scored, and that Juventus was pre-match favorite to win the tie, thought it makes sense to include it. Same for Celtic in 1970. Celtic was favorite to win (and they won).

    Any other options where he might look good? The 1961 play off game at Wembley has some incredibly dull commentary, but his individual performance is worth checking out. Granted, England provided ample space to him to do his thing in midfield and the inside-forward position, but he hit the post two times, Springett had to make three more saves.
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  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #136 PuckVanHeel, Oct 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    Oh, I see now the one video is deleted and the other one has actually not all of his 37 goals. This one has.

    Here some quite informative comments by himself about that Leicester hat-trick.

    Do you happen to have ideas for Alberto Spencer? He was listed previously. To be really honest (and I might be wrong), I struggled to see what was so good about him but think I have only seen 40% of his material or so.

    This was among the better ones.

    Although it is possible Real Madrid did not take the match too serious.
  12. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    No, at one point I tried to look at some footage/highlights etc but I don't recall and I don't think I found, or at least looked at in full, full games or all his touches like that video. I think if he had one stand-out attribute it may have been his heading - I believe Pele said it was better than his own.

    Going back to Savicevic, I'm wondering how close his 1988 game vs AC Milan would actually be to his best ever (or if it could be a prime candidate even). It's not possible for me to review the games shown on Channel 4 from 94/95 in which he impressed me playing for AC Milan though (one home game fairly early in the season comes to mind, but more for general play and near end product than actual end product possibly). The Fiorentina home game which can be seen to a good extent is a good one for him, but not a best ever candidate I'd say.
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  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I know I've referred to this excellent documentary previously, but it shows several of his best or most significant displays. Including against Dynamo Kiev indeed, or that 'impossible' volley against Real Madrid.

    No surprise, it was made by an accomplished filmmakerørgen_Leth
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  14. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Kevin De Bruyne received a deserved 10 from The Times for his performance against Stoke. Absolutely outstanding display.
  15. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I tried to collate together some of the information in this thread in respect of some of the biggest players. Might have missed some in the last couple of pages:

    Stanley Matthews

    V Bolton 1953 FA Cup Final

    Ferenc Puskas

    V England 1953

    V Eintracht Frankfurt 1960

    V Benfica 1962

    Di Stefano

    V Nice 59/60

    V Eintracht Frankfurt 59/60


    V France 1958


    V Flamengo in the Carioca

    V England at the World Cup 1962

    Garrincha (Brazil) vs Chile 1962

    Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos,


    Pele (Brazil) vs France 1958
    Pele (Brazil) vs Sweden 1958

    Pele (Brazil) vs Mexico 1962

    Santos against Benfica in the Intercontinental Cup in 1962.

    England 1964, Venezuela away 1969

    1970 (Brazil) vs Czechoslovakia


    - Scotland 1954 WC
    - Hungary 1954 WC

    For AC Milan, going purely with the important/big game and important/big contribution scenario (and impressive goals/assists at that quality wise as can be seen on Youtube) maybe these:
    - Juventus (h) 1955/56
    - Manchester United (h) 1957/58 - European Cup

    Alberto Spencer

    V Real Madrid 1966

    V River Plate 1966


    Santos 1961, Czechoslovakia away 1965

    Eusebio (Portugal) vs North Korea 1966

    v. Brazil 1966

    Giacinto Facchetti

    Gianni Rivera

    1963 and 1969 EC finals stand out, as well as the 1970 World Cup semi final

    Paco Gento

    Luis Suarez

    v. USSR 1964

    Raymond Kopa

    vs Brazil 1958 World Cup,

    vs West Germany 1958 (friendly),

    vs Spain 1959 (friendly)

    Jozsef Bozsik

    V England 1953

    Lev Yashin

    1963 England v Rest of the World

    1966 West Germany

    Dragan Dzajic

    1968 match against England (in involvement/touches not the best, in effect quite good), and the 1976 match against West Germany in the first half, against Vogts

    George 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

    Bobby Charlton

    Mexico 1966, Tottenham (Charity Shield) 1967

    Portugal 1966

    Bobby Moore

    W Germany 1966
    Brazil 1970

    Diego Maradona

    Napoli v Ujpest Dosza in Naples.

    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)

    Lazio home 84/85, Roma home 87/88

    Daniel Passarella

    V France 1978

    Roberto Rivelino


    (Brazil) vs Argentina 1982

    Paulo Roberto Falcao

    (Brazil) vs Argentina 1982

    Juventus 1983

    Hector Chumpitaz

    Teofilo Cubillas

    (Peru) vs Iran 1978

    Scotland 1978 World Cup

    Elias Figueroa

    Franz Beckenbauer

    1976 European Cup semi-final against Real Madrid.

    Soviet Union 1966 WC, Soviet Union 1972 Euros

    (W.Germany) vs England 1970

    4-1 Bayern away victory in spring 1972 in Stuttgart

    1974 Atletico Madrid

    1976 Real Madrid

    Gerd Muller

    1972 USSR (Friendly)

    Bayern's 6-2 vs. Hamburg in 1976-77

    Dortmund 3-1 1970

    Sepp Maier

    vs Netherlands (1974 World Cup)

    Paul Breitner

    1974 5-0 Bundesliga away victory of Bayern in Hamburg

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    (W.Germany) vs Chile 1982

    Johan Cruyff

    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

    Italy home Euro 76 qualifying, Poland home Euro 76 qualifying

    (Netherlands) vs Sweden 1974

    V Argentina 1974

    V Bulgaria 1974

    V Brazil 1974

    Wim van Hanegem

    Ruud Krol

    Marco van Basten

    England Euro 88, Real Madrid home 88/89 EC

    West Germany 1988

    Gaetano Scirea

    Dino Zoff

    Michel Platini

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

    Portugal 1984


    Maracaná in 1993 vs Uruguay


    Ronaldo (Brazil) vs Germany 2002

    v Manchester United 2003 CL


    v Real Madrid 2005 La Liga

    Roberto Carlos

    Oliver Kahn

    vs USA 2002

    Lothar Matthaus

    V Napoli in 1989

    v Yugoslavia 1990 World Cup

    Franco Baresi

    v Brazil 1994 World Cup

    Paolo Maldini

    v Brazil 1994 World Cup


    v Valencia 2001 La Liga

    v Denmark 1998 WC

    Roberto Baggio

    vs AC Milan 1992 (Serie A)

    v Parma (2000 Serie A Play-off)

    Gianluigi Buffon

    v France (2006 World Cup)

    v Romania (Euro 2008)

    Zinedine Zidane

    Brazil WC 1998, Portugal Euro 2000

    v Spain 2006 World Cup

    vs Dynamo Kiev (away) 97/98

    vs Brazil (2006 WC)

    Thierry Henry

    V Inter 2003 CL

    V Leeds

    Lilian Thuram

    vs Croatia (1998 World Cup)

    Luis Figo

    vs England, Fiorentina, Chelsea or Real Madrid

    Ruud Gullit

    vs AC Milan 1993 (Serie A)

    Fiorentina 1992

    Frank Rijkaard

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

    Dennis Bergkamp

    Argentina 1998

    Leicester 1997-8

    Pavel Nedved

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

    Michael Laudrup

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

    George Weah

    vs Bayern 1994-95 Champions League

    vs Barcelona 1994-95 Champions League.

    vs Juventus in 1996.

    Lionel Messi

    v Bayer Leverkusen (2011 Champions League)

    v Arsenal 2010 CL

    Bayern (14/15)
    Real Madrid (16/17)
    Man City (14/15)
    Man United (10/11)

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    V Bayern Munich (2017 CL)

    Philipp Lahm

    Manuel Neuer

    V Algeria (2014 WC)


    vs Arsenal 2010 (UCL, in London)

    V Real Madrid 2010 5-0

    Andres Iniesta

    V Manchester United (CL 2009)

    v Real Madrid (La Liga 15/16)

    Robert Lewandowski

    v Real Madrid (2013 Champions League)

    v Wolfsburg (2015/6 Bundesliga)

    Luka Modric

    V Barcelona (2016-7 La Liga)
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  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Yeah, you forgot Totti, Del Piero and a few others although "biggest players" is arguable.

    Think that a player with the significance of Zidane might deserve a bit more attention. I presume his best league matches (and Champions League matches for that matter) must have come in 1997-98, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 in particular. Maybe also the 2nd half of 1999-00 as an option. In terms of his "very best" state I'd doubt 1996-97, 1998-99 (one of his weaker seasons imho), the first half of 1999-00, and the seasons after 2003 would qualify.
  17. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I initially took all the players in Peter's list that had played in the TV era. Agree that leaves some important players out.
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Even during his best years he was perceived as inconsistent, but he might deserve a few more games. Think now that in the league he might have been better against Real Madrid (relative to all games played) than the teams that usually finish 3-7.

    2003-04 Sevilla home (league)
    2003-04 Deportivo la Coruna away (league)
    2003-04 Real Madrid away (league)

    2004-05 Milan home (UCL)
    2004-05 Real Madrid home (league)
    2004-05 Chelsea away (UCL quarter final)
    2004-05 Valencia away (league)
    2004-05 Real Madrid away (league) [lost 4-2 but played good]

    2005-06 Valencia home (league)
    2005-06 Udinese home (UCL)
    2005-06 Real Madrid away (league)
    2005-06 Sevilla home (league)
    2005-06 Werder Bremen home (UCL)
    2005-06 Chelsea home (UCL)
    2005-06 Milan away (UCL semi final)

    I don't think he has performances of note at domestic cup level.

    National team:

    2002 vs Belgium (WC)
    2002 vs England (WC) (until red card the best player on the pitch quite possibly)
    2005 vs Germany (Confederations Cup)
    2005 vs Argentina (Confederations Cup)

    I doubted about 2004 vs Germany but decided against it.
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  19. Lucas...

    Lucas... Member+

    Dec 18, 2012
    #144 Lucas..., Oct 18, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    Zico vs Guarani at the 1982 Campeonato Brasileiro's semifinal 2st leg was a really remarkable performance. Why it's one of the greatest matches of his career? Context:
    - Guarani was a strong team back at the time and had great players like Jorge Mendonça and Careca in the line-up. They also didn't lose a match in the competition until the semifinal and the quality level of the team was well-praised by the press.
    - At this time, even after all the years at the highest level, Zico couldn't get away of the negative comments coming from some (or a lot, I'm not sure about it) journalists and critics (usually from São Paulo and others states) saying that he can't performed at the same level outside Rio de Janeiro (more precisely Maracanã). He was called "Jogador de Maracanã" ("Maracanã's player") by them. This is something mentioned even today, sometimes. ( de maracanã zico&src=typd)

    So, in the 2st leg, at Brinco de Ouro (Guarani's home, with 52,000 attendance, the all-time record of the stadium), Zico scored a glorious hat-trick, including a nice header to tie the match and a beautiful first-time shot, with the right foot, from outside the area to put Flamengo in the lead. They ended up beating Guarani by 3-2 and qualified to the final. Maybe Zico didn't shut up the critics forever, but it was a great opportunity to prove his value. Jornal do Brasil classified the performance no less than "perfection". Armando Nogueira, one of the most important brazilian sports journalists during decades, said in a column that "maybe Zico doesn't agree, but for me, it was the most perfect exhibition of his career so far".

    (the music is annoying, ignore it)

    Well, besides the goals, really was a great performance. Zico was closely followed all the time by the Guarani's midfielders and still was able to give good passes (1:10) and nice plays (1:21-1:37, 1:46, 3:00-3:20, 5:30, 6:55). Another thing that was highlighted in the match reports was the defensive efforts to help the team (as 4:15, 5:37 shows a little bit).
  20. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I've got around to watching the full England vs Mexico game from 1966 on the Footballia website (it's actually very good for World Cup games I see now - has loads of full games available), especially to try to rate Bobby Charlton's performance (on the Messi/Maradona etc thread I remember I said from highlights I thought it seemed a potential 8+ out of 10 type performance for him).

    I've watched the first half now and indeed I'd say it's on course for between 8 and 9 out of 10, with potential to even go higher (not to say I expect that but I might be able to watch the second half in full today, starting now). Apart from obviously a brilliant goal, there were some other stand-out moments, particularly a jink and great cross that Greaves headed just over, but also some quality passes to the right wing and increasingly towards half-time some crisp and precise inter-play. Also he played in a cross that led to an offside (disallowed) goal after it was headed on. I'll see how it progresses in the second half, but I know he does some more good things and plays the instigating role for the second goal too. There were a couple or so sloppier moments towards the start of the first half, but as he got more into the game he seemed to find his touch and became involved in a lot of England's most promising football. On one hand it's Mexico in the first round, but on the other hand it's remarked that they are playing with a lot of bodies back so not making it easy, and I suppose aside from the quality of the first goal, it also lifted England in general (and like I say he almost provided Greaves with a goal that would've done that before - a very takeable opportunity I think - the commentator says that Greaves isn't noted for his heading but then does mention he got a great one with a diving header IIRC in some other game, in Europe I think he said).
    PuckVanHeel and comme repped this.
  21. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, eventually I think I err more towards 9 than 8, but probably not over 9 (possibly a bit less if using small increments).

    He continued to play well to very well, and as the commentator remarks soon in the second half he was really having an active game at that point (he says one of his most active); being purposeful (getting into scoring positions, and playing clever and incisive balls) but also generally very accurate with his passing and with some quality dribbling. Generally when he tried something that didn't work it was close to doing so and a good sharp idea. Some good tackling too, including before the move he largely instigates for the 2nd goal (the commentator gives him pretty much all the credit). A couple of efforts at goal on his left side he doesn't quite catch right, but probably he is more consistently good than in the first half even if his very best moments came in that half.

    On France Football's scale I guess I give it 5/6 rather than 6/6, and maybe they'd have done the same but I wouldn't be hugely surprised had they given it a 6/6 given they gave a reasonable amount of them, starting 4 years later in 1970. I'm not sure I see it behind, not far behind anyway, Pele vs Czechoslovakia in 1970 all things considered, or Rivaldo vs Denmark in 1998 although that was at a later stage and in a bigger/more crucial game I suppose.
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    His best game for the national team so far is (I think) against the United States at the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. Where he created 10 chances (OPTA definition) in 120 minutes. Only 1 dribble and 1 through ball but more (accurate) passes and touches than anyone else. 7 accurate crosses + accurate long balls; 6 tackles, 4 interceptions. By WhoScored rated with a 9.93 - one of the highest of the tournament.

    He had similar games, perhaps, against other teams of the same caliber (esp. the qualifiers, where he has generally outperformed Hazard) but not at a final tournament in a KO phase. Against higher caliber teams there is only the friendly against Italy in 2015, maybe (also his only career win against a team of that level - didn't play in the 3-4 friendly against France)
    comme repped this.
  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    For who's interested, the parts showing him play football in actual matches are at 02:20, 14:30, 21:15, 26:52, 35:38, 40:20, 45:08, 47:02, 57:30, 01:03:47,
  24. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Of the ones I saw (game and/or video of his touches) the Euro 64 Final and I think the 1959 game vs France too. Maybe the 1961 European Cup Final but don't think I was very close to watching all of it in the end.

    I'd say not so much the 1964 EC Final, and not the Bologna game if it's the one that he had a video on Youtube for (if so then you commented on it Puck I remember and weren't so impressed either I think).

    Thanks for the Bergkamp dribbling video btw (you sent by PM - quicker to thank you here!).
    PuckVanHeel repped this.

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