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
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #151 PuckVanHeel, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    Yes thanks for your idea (despite not providing a game in the end!).

    For Blokhin and those other two East European players (Shevchenko, Stoichkov) there are a handful games available, but Suarez stuck out for me. I'll return to Blokhin later. That is not an impossible task - some high profile games throughout his career at fairly 'big' stages.

    Yes, I came across the dribbling video when I was looking back at Thierry Henry's more elaborate comments and impressions (and nuanced comparison/juxtaposition with Zidane, Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Xavi, Iniesta, young Messi) in the Stillness and Speed book. Which is btw good in the respect that it takes a broader context and also gives a lot of room to the critical voices (not all of them sensible imho, but same can be said about some praise - below that dribbling video btw also a discussion on him vs Zidane where the 'fans' point out he had over 4 times as many career assists + (non penalty) goals than Zidane; which I find in itself not a great argument btw although I do agree both have a record of goals against good opponents).
     
  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I didn't have extra games to add (some Barcelona era footage - short highlights and suchlike seems to be promising I think, but the 1959 game vs France and the 1961 European Cup semi-final show that version of him, more as trequarista type inside forward) but I had meant the 1964 European Championships Final would likely be my pick (can't be 100% I pick it over those 1959 and 1961 games and I haven't watched that 1961 semi-final for example in full I'm sure). And I meant not the 1964 European Cup Final (I shouldn't type EC in this instance as it's confusing!) for sure in my view (I would give Mazzola MOTM in that IIRC, and made the video for his display of course too).

    Oh, I didn't know he'd made those comparisons in the Stillness and Speed book. Zidane is the one that comes to mind somehow I suppose, but yes as he still picks Bergkamp then he picks him over young Messi too it's true.

    Yeah, in general I would bracket Bergkamp a forward and Zidane a midfielder (certainly for a career overview) so those stats wouldn't be so relevant I think. But at times they'd have played basically the same role (free AM we could say - even maybe at times with Zidane not nominally deeper, but at least with a similar role/slot in the team). Maybe I even think of bracketing Platini as midfielder and Zico as forward (or 'in the hole' type player - often literally withdrawn away from the position of a striker wheras in England that wasn't typical and maybe only in Bergkamp's later years would he be playing as such to an extent...with Henry indeed ahead...albeit he was always a support striker who'd drop into the midfield etc while at Arsenal) but maybe that's more arguable and debateable and often they both get called AMs or trequaristas.
     
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Got round to watch the final 15 minutes of USSR vs Chile 1966 in the morning (not a great game, fairly boring) but Figueroa is at 19 genuinely good there - close to impeccable at defending and although his physique comes with creative limitations he is clearly good with/at the ball too. He corrects a couple of times mistakes by his team mates.

    He didn't score many goals in his career, for a defender, but wonder how many assists he would have. I guess it would be even a lot more out of balance (relative to his goals) than for example Passarella, Koeman, Beckenbauer.

    https://www.fussballdaten.de/person/franz-beckenbauer/vereine/
    https://www.transfermarkt.com/franz-beckenbauer/leistungsdaten/spieler/72347
    (even with wide criteria, including rebounds and such, like transfermarkt and fussballdaten does)


    For Blokhin I have to think further but this is a good start.





    + the 1975 match against Italy imho

    His best and most significant games would also include the 1975 Cup Winners Cup semi final, the 1975 Cup Winners Cup final, both legs of the 1975 UEFA Supercup vs Bayern, the 1976 European Cup quarter final against Saint Etienne. Also the 1986 Cup Winners Cup final obviously but need to think/look further what is missed in between.

    Same for national team games, although I can already say that his last significant match (not as fast as in his prime, but still a useful figure) was the 1986 qualifier for euro 1988 against France, which they won 0-2 in Paris and effectively ended Platini's illustrious national team career. Here in a friendly against England in 1984 (at Wembley) you can hear John Motson saying how dangerous he is (click to hear). He was 31 and 7 months at the time thus maybe not at his fastest any more.

    So this is a player whose catalog is fragmentary and has gaps for some years, but tends to become 'hard' because there is something to chose from. There are also some games that I've no notes from and struggle to clearly recall (the 1983 game against a full-strength France, for example - can't tell whether he was good or bad there)
     
  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    @comme @PDG1978

    Do you have an idea on his best qualifying games and tournament games?
     
  5. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Blokhin was very good when the USSR beat Portugal 5-0 in qualification for Euro 84.

    In terms of tournament games his best was against modest opposition, New Zealand in 1982, I thought.
     
  6. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I can't add anything on this one to be honest. Maybe in future if you ask I can just respond if I do, but this time I thought it best to make a post to let you know (even if it adds a 'useless' post to the thread) as I hadn't previously said I'll just respond when I can add something positive or anything...and you did tag me directly (could have let you know by PM but doing it this way this time again....even though our current PM is already massive so it doesn't need to be kept free from answers like this maybe!)
     
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Is that full game available somewhere? See only brief or very brief highlights on collector's websites.



    Ah OK thanks. Yes I'll try to come back to it later but just posted above what I had already collected or found back. At his very best he was truly a menace for world class defenses.

    In the 1966 Chile vs Italy game Rivera was also pretty fine. Maybe not surprising with his through balls + chances created stats. In through balls he is top five all-time at World Cup level despite playing fairly few games/minutes (I don't make this up).

    Just as clarification: I don't think Figueroa was on the ball among the very best, but he was very good and defensively strong. Based on the penetrative passes and actions he had it makes me wonder though how many assists he has (at the top level). Most of those glory passes on the two YouTube videos were made at the World Cup.
     
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    There are differing views about his play though. John Foot's work writes that he "played well" but was essentially dropped in other games because "not for his play, but for his influence on the way Italy played." It is true that the manager Fabbri explicitly criticized his languid style.

    I'd say that he wasn't the worst Italian player (in the Chile game, also the North Korea game - his 2nd game). While he was languid, he was also error-free on the ball for his time (on display too in the Italy vs Argentina 1974 game, where he is quite decent as well), and he did create openings or chances at times. The Chile match doesn't qualify for his 'best games' because his 2nd half was a level lower by him, but his very first pass of the match was immediately a hard one, a through ball with a nice curve - which is difficult for pros to execute, to immediately get your very first pass in the match right.

    Either way, by complete lack of material and matches to see Figueroa at his best, the 1966 World Cup games against USSR and Italy give a good glimpse on his defensive potential, at the age of 19.
     
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  9. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I'm not sure of much beyond that. You can hear on commentary Alan Parry saying that he was the star of the show.
     
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  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    wm442433 had this as take on Blokhin and I broadly think in that direction. He had very good years between 1974 and 1977, when he was 21 to 25 years old. Then he had a few more difficult years, more or less playing in isolation (also looking at it with benefit of hindsight). Difficult to judge this - he was in part also dropped for political reasons perhaps.

    Near his 30s he had a few good years again (particularly 1981 and 1983) as well as intermittent displays of quality until 1986.


    It is by the way notable that his first and last significant international display (excluding the 1972 Olympics - he was already league topscorer and voted 2nd best in the league but was saved for the Olympics rather than euros) came against France. The qualifiers in 1973, where he scored a goal, and in 1986 again vs France.

    Either way, my idea was tilting towards this (heavily leaning towards what is available).


    10/06/1973 - Soviet Union vs England (friendly)
    23/04/1975 - PSV vs Dynamo Kiev [CWC semi final --> also the 2nd leg for sure
    14/05/1975 - Ferencvaros vs Dynamo Kiev [Cup Winners Cup final]
    08/06/1975 - Soviet Union vs Italy (friendly)
    09/09/1975 - Bayern Munich vs Dynamo Kiev
    06/10/1975 - Dynamo Kiev vs Bayern Munich (he scored all three goals, from open play, over both legs)
    05/03/1976 - Dynamo Kiev vs St Etienne [European Cup Qf] --> maybe the 2nd leg too
    06/04/1977 - Dynamo Kiev vs Borussia Monchengladbach [EC semi final] --> maybe also 2nd leg
    07/09/1977 - Soviet Union vs Poland (friendly) --> 4-1 demolition, scoring 2 from open play
    19/06/1982 - New Zealand vs Soviet Union [World Cup group stage]
    16/03/1983 - Hamburg SV vs Dynamo Kiev [EC QF] ---> not the other leg, but certainly good here
    27/04/1983 - Soviet Union vs Portugal [euro qualifiers]
    09/10/1983 - Soviet Union vs Poland [euro qualifiers]
    02/06/1984 - England vs Soviet Union [friendly]
    27/08/1985 - Soviet Union vs West Germany [friendly]


    Of the famous 1985-86 Cup Winners Cup campaign the games against Atletico Madrid (final) and 5-1 demolition of Rapid Wien (somewhat lucky finalist of previous year) stand out, but although Blokhin played his part those were arguably team efforts more than anything else. He was almost 34 years old.

    In the first half against Brazil in 1982 he wasn't too bad either I thought (per my notes).
     
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  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    The other national team game standing out in goal production against top opponents is the 1982 game against England (the friendly, not the World Cup match of the same year). Which I've now watched in full.

    http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/rummenigge-intlg.html
    https://www.transfermarkt.com/karl-heinz-rummenigge/nationalmannschaft/spieler/72343


    "
    Match Report by Norman Giller
    England had the better of the first-half during which new cap Gary Mabbutt hit a post with a fierce cross shot, but the Germans took control when Pierre Littbarski came on as substitute just twenty-four hours after helping Germany beat England 3-2 in an Under-21 international in Bremen. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge ended brave resistance by England's overworked defence in the seventy second minute when he delicately chipped the ball over Peter Shilton, and shortly after he held off a tackle from Terry Butcher as he swept the ball into the net from a Littbarski cross. Tony Woodcock scored for England four minutes from the end with a shot that went in off the bar. Luther Blissett came on as a substitute in the eightieth minute for his first taste of international football.
    "


    http://www.englandfootballonline.com/Seas1980-90/1982-83/M0571WGr1982.html
    http://englandstats.com/matches.php?mid=571
    https://impromptuinc.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/1982-england-west-germany-1-2-0-0/

    Not sure though whether England (and to a lesser extent West Germany) played with their strongest line-up - in other Wembley friendlies they did. Think that England played with 6 regulars (Shilton, Sansom, Thompson, Butcher, Wilkins and Mariner) plus 2 subs (Woodcock and Rix). West Germany played with 7 to 9 regulars (B. Förster and Matthaus the doubtful cases) but also two debutants (Strack and Meier).



    I'm inclined to think it were two decent/good goals but he rarely/never moved past players and the body feints were better in previous years (certainly better in the 1979 game vs USSR, where Blokhin did not play btw but it was still a strong team). In 1979 there are some sharp crosses to see, but not here. It is actually really comparable to a CR7 performance of the past couple of years. A physically strong and lethal goalscorer, but not much else here.

    Still, he did not waste the ball too much either, was clinical and that counts for something. It was a better display than 1979 against Argentina for example.

    Here, as a contrast, a 1977 performance against Italy (his first of six goals against opponents of that class)*. In terms of gliding past players it was possibly/probably his best (surely better than in any of his encounters against Brazil, the other World Cups collecting superpower).

    *) 'that class' = Brazil, Argentina, Italy, England, Spain, France. 6 goals, 2 assists in 23 games. (+ 0 goals, 0 assists in 2 vs Uruguay; 1 goal, 0 assists in 4 vs Netherlands).


    In style progression and evolution there is indeed a very strong parallel with Cristiano Ronaldo, including the evolution in strengths and weaknesses over time. Whereas the development of aforementioned Blokhin indeed has a slight resemblance to how his idol Cruijff changed over the years (Blokhin being a big fan of the 'young' Cruijff when he, Blokhin, first entered the scene). I say 'slight' because Blokhin evolved into a supportive, catalyzing player as a support forward rather than into a midfielder.

    All in all, to give it more body, 1977 vs Italy and 1982 vs England can be added to that list (vs England with the remark that he didn't do much else than making good runs and good finishing).
     
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  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Think it is maybe also interesting to highlight when players play distinctively different roles in about the same season/year.

    The below are maybe not his absolute best, but they were among the better ones in the 1996-97 season.



    Zidane in a noticeably controlling, almost defensive role (against a 'bad' Milan to be fair). Deeper than usual.



    Zidane in his usual, more offensive and creative role. Among his handful best this season (national team + club combined).

    See for example also the difference between how JC14 plays here below, and earlier in the year against England (one of his more famous games).

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4c0a5u
     
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  13. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Not sure he was making Peterhrt's final cut IIRC, but for a big/significant game with a high level performance (despite missing a clear chance - I guess more than cancelled by making one for Henry and initiating the move that actually led to the goal Henry did score, albeit assisted by Pires's back-heel).....

    Patrick Vieira vs Valencia in 00/01 (home leg) might be a good call - I partially verified by watching some of the first half in which I felt he was already impressing and then moving on to the 'recommended' portion of the second half, yesterday on Footballia
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2001/apr/05/championsleague.sport
     
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    For Gianni Rivera I watched yesterday and today the long highlights (45 minutes) of the 1973 Cup Winners Cup final, as well as the full match of the 1974 edition.

    I'd say neither of them are somewhere remote to his best, and the commentator Barry Davies is also heard saying "we haven't seen much of him, and none of his skills" in 1973. In 1974 he was man marked out of the game.

    The 1972 UEFA Cup semi final (also long highlights) is a lot better with some stellar pieces of ball control, plus danger creation.

    I think I have a good picture now of his club games, I'll post that tomorrow. But are there national team games that were good or very good? Not only the World Cup, but also qualifiers and friendlies.
     
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I guess it'd be interesting to see for example the Finland home game from 1964 or the Poland home game from 1965, to look at his overall performance...but I guess those wouldn't be available in full as far as you know?

    I started looking at the Barcelona vs Betis Copa Del Rey Final of 1997, for Figo's performance mainly. With still extra-time to watch I'm thinking 9 out of 10 give or take (partly knowing what happens in extra-time). In some ways hard to call with the amount of times he gets fouled when receiving the ball, or after taking a good touch or starting a good dribble etc. The vast majority of the time he's doing good/useful things and sometimes exceptional.
     
  16. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I think for Figo vs Betis I'd go with somewhere close to 9 out of 10 eventually (if using full or even half marks then surely 9 out of 10 exactly), so I think it can be among his best as well as most significant at least. Although sometimes the opposite can apply (it's more ideal to watch a full game rather than only a 'touches by X player' video on Youtube even if all touches are shown), in this case maybe I'd have liked the Youtube video option to review to see how it seemed in that form compared to other displays, but I guess I'd estimate it slightly below or about the same as vs Atletico Madrid in an earlier round (where he also received a lot of fouls and some bad ones) - maybe overall slightly less on the positive side, but maybe his best contributions were more impressive/crucial and it was a close to optimal display given the fouls and also at times maybe his team-mates not playing him the ball or making best use of the space he provided after an incisive little dribble or something.

    Of the World Cup performances in the range of Cruyff vs Brazil 1974, Garrincha vs Chile 1962, Bobby Charlton vs Mexico 1966, Kempes vs Netherlands 1978. So I wouldn't be sure France Football would score it 6/6, but if they would see it like me (and even if they just give good weight to the crucial moments if impressive) I doubt they'd give it less than 5/6 based on my impression of one viewing of the whole game (with focus on him, even if a second viewing would help if I really wanted to do that!). I'm not sure what rating he received for it in Spain tbh, but I knew from highlights it could be a good one to look into (a bit like Charlton vs Mexico indeed - maybe out of the two I expected the Figo display to be as good as it was slightly moreso...and potentially even better, but perhaps given the circumstances I'd still just about rate it the higher if I make a call right now, marginally).
     
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  17. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    One aspect I became more aware of is that in some vague ways perhaps there is a similarity between Gerrard vs West Ham in 2006 in the FA Cup Final (with the strike whilst injured/struggling at the end to win the game) and Figo's last goal vs Betis as at that point he'd finally started to feel the effects of the cumulative fouls or one in particular a few minutes earlier, but after seeming a bit more restricted briefly by that he created the opening, with dribbling and a nutmeg, and then poked the ball home himself for that goal (resisting a challenge on the way).

    Other games I have been having a look at (these two I was familiar with and might even have watched in full at the time) include Yugoslavia vs Spain in 1990, and W.Germany vs Yugoslavia from the same year. The former I watched to get a full impression for Stojkovic mainly; the video on Youtube is basically all his good touches I think, and there are maybe 3 or 4 mis-directed passes to add to it only. I can certainly understand France Football's 5/6 rating, and actually all their ratings for that game seem pretty good to me (Martin Vazquez for example - seems hard to go below 4 or above it really overall). On the other hand, though I haven't watched absolutely all of it un-interrupted, I felt some of the Yugoslavia ratings handed out for that 4-1 defeat to Germany look harsh - particularly Stojkovic as it seems closer to another 5/6 if anything maybe. 1 to Ivkovic the goalie also seems too negative really (I don't mean just 'cruel' but more that he surely merited better all in all - he did have one dodgy moment vs Spain to be fair though too!). Matthaus at 6/6 is understandable too though I think and maybe I consider rounding out my current idea of a top 25 WC displays with his game there, slightly moreso than Stojkovic vs Spain indeed (but perhaps Cannavaro vs Germany from 2006 as a second defensive display is in the frame, to go along with Moore vs W.Germany in 1966 which I rate very highly as Puck mentioned....or Pele vs Bulgaria in 1966 which Puck feels is better than vs Mexico in 1962 even I remember and maybe I could go either way on that call feasibly myself without too much doubt).
     
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  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Additions would be welcome but so far I came to this.

    The national team games are limited by that before 1970 only a few where he played have surfaced (and in some others he was completely invisible).

    The ones with an asterisk would qualify for 'best'.

    22/05/1963 Benfica vs Milan [European Cup]
    14/11/1963 Santos vs Milan [Intercontinental Cup] *
    13/07/1966 Italy vs Chile [World Cup]
    01/05/1968 Milan vs Bayern Munich [Cup Winners Cup] *
    15/05/1969 Manchester United vs Milan [European Cup]
    28/05/1969 Milan vs Ajax [European Cup] *
    14/06/1970 Italy vs Mexico [World Cup] *
    17/06/1970 West Germany vs Italy [World Cup]
    20/02/1971 Italy vs Spain [friendly]
    05/04/1972 Tottenham Hotspur vs Milan [UEFA Cup]
    09/06/1973 Italy vs Brazil [friendly]
    14/06/1973 Italy vs England [friendly] *
    14/11/1973 England vs Italy [friendly] *
    26/02/1974 West Germany vs Italy [friendly]
    19/06/1974 Italy vs Argentina [World Cup]

    Please add when appropriate. For example I haven't seen anything of the euro 1972 qualifiers.

    From what I've seen 1962 to 1964, 1966 to 1968 and 1972 to 1973 were his best years.
     
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    OK, I finished now with watching the 50 minutes highlights against East Germany in 1969 (World Cup qualifiers) and no, it doesn't really fit into above list. Neither does the 1971 qualifier against Sweden probably.

    Also the 1974 World Cup game against Haiti is an option (where he had 5 of his 10 through balls at all WC games), but of course this was sub-standard opposition.

    The 1968 Cup Winners Cup final against Hamburg is a better option, even with Hamrin as the main star of the show.
     
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    No, proper highlights or the full game does not exist, but it's also good to remember those were average opposition at the time (even next to Sweden and Austria in 1971, East Germany in 1969).

    I do think those games happened in the years where he was near his best overall. He certainly wasn't in 1969 for sure, despite winning the Ballon d'Or, and yes he played very well of course in the semi final (in the 2nd leg, felling out with injury early in the 1st leg) and the final against a half-fit opponent.

    You made this highlight of him:


    Difficult player to properly rate and give an accurate appreciation, I think.
     
  21. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, I remember I scored that performance 8.5 out of 10 at the time I made the video. It probably doesn't show his absolute maximum potential over a 90 minutes I'd think it's fair to assume, skillset wise or attacking wise etc, judging by reputation and highlights/clips available, but the vision and passing qualities are evident (as they tend to always be it seems - vs North Korea in 1966 too - his WC chances created stats are great ofc).

    You made one for the Bayern game you picked out I think didn't you? Do you feel that's his best of all out of the available full games as opposed to highlights? Or second best perhaps if behind the 1969 European Cup Final indeed...
     
  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    These links show Figo's Betis game being highly regarded, but no ratings:
    https://translate.google.co.uk/tran...29/deportes/867535201_850215.html&prev=search
    http://www.marca.com/en/2015/03/05/en/football/real_madrid/1425558951.html

    I think I might start to review the Chelsea home game from 2000 this evening on Footballia too, and start to consider how I think that one compares overall. Maybe looking again at the Atletico game video for him from 96/97, I think his Betis display in the Final might be just as good or slightly better actually now, but they'd be close anyway IMO.
     
  23. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I managed to view all of Barcelona vs Chelsea from 2000 already (again - I think I saw it at the time).

    For Figo in that game I also think I'd go around 8.75 to 9. Less dynamic and fluent than against Betis I suppose overall (but still some good skills and wing play), but actually he made more chances and particularly in the second half laid on several with pinpoint crosses from open play and set pieces too, and the one to Kluivert for the penalty that was missed was with more of a pass albeit also lofted. His key contributions to goals, like against Betis, being actually the most impressive as well as most telling moments, and similarly good (even a bit similar in regards to incisive runs from the left or inside left slot).

    Whether those two are his best overall I wouldn't really be sure of course, but they'd be good examples of his good/top form, with significant moments of end product, in his 1st prime (circa around 1997) and 2nd prime (cira around 2000) respectively I think, and in notable games too.
     
  24. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, that was this match.
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x24d0px

    In creating of chances and such I think that was near his very best, but if others have other ideas that will be nice.

    About the England 1973 game Norman Giller wrote:

    "Italy scored their first ever win in England when Capello netted the only goal of the match in the eighty-seventh minute, steering the ball into the net after Peter Shilton had parried a shot from Chinaglia. England dominated the match for long periods but could not find a way through Italy's superbly organized defence. Veteran Italian playmaker Gianni Rivera was the outstanding player on the pitch, continually slicing open the England defence with a procession of precise passes. The match marked the hundred and eighth and final appearance of Bobby Moore, arguably the greatest England defender of all time."


    That made me realize that he didn't always play as a chance creator; sometimes more akin to Iniesta, like that England match (i.e. him with #8 and De Sisti with #10 or Bulgarelli with #10).
    As I said, difficult player to fully appreciate or accurately picture. In one season he also scored some goals (17 goals, with 7 penalties), and played closer to goal than in above video by the look of it.
     
  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I seem to recall especially in the second half he made a lot of chances in that Bayern game (from when I watched the video originally - good work making it).

    I saw extended highlights of that England vs Italy game (and England vs Yugoslavia from 1972 with Dzajic starring) on ESPN Classic. I vaguely recall some quality Rivera play. I suppose in cases like his, the fact so small a percentage of games can be viewed suggests that his very best games might well be unavailable, but on the other hand as far as high profile games go he did star in some we can see, and most notably the 1969 European Cup Final (not a flawless display, but a high quality one and with great and significant high points) so in that sense maybe we do see his most famed displays in full. We can't know for sure I suppose whether his best highlights that can be seen were accompanied by overall great displays in some or all cases.
     

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