The (to be) best players of 2020s

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Sexy Beast, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Yes. Alves has more production than some of the 'attack minded' names on that list anyway. After all, Alves provided more assists to Messi than anyone else.
     
  2. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    What would be your top 10 then?
     
  3. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Honestly, I wouldn't be able to tell you :oops:

    I don't do these kind of lists very well. Every time I attempt to think about these things, I get way too invested lol.
     
  4. Milan05

    Milan05 Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Club:
    AC Milan
    This is actually a really good point, I hadn’t thought of it before. I feel like we need a separate list for goalkeepers and defenders altogether.
     
  5. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Anything related to future is relevant in this thread.

    I was wondering if some of more knowledgeable members about history here can help me. Is Pele considered top 10 of 1970s or even top 5?

    I am thinking both Messi and Ronaldo are capable of getting in top 10 of the next decade given some conditions..

    There is an issue in determining whether 2, 3 great seasons in a decade by one player is better than 8 good seasons by another.

    By far the best way to classify players imo is by the year of their birth. Everyone born in 1990s is in one category, the 1950s another and so on. There would be now confusion then with players that peak early or late in their careers or someone whose peak coincides with the turn of the decade. You classify them by year and then look at their career in entirity
     
  6. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    But surely, someone born in the 1999 would face much more similar circumstances to someone born in 2001 than someone born in 1990.

    Also, how do we take into account the different positions, again? This is always a point of contention. Defenders usually don't reach their peak until 27+ while there are plenty of attackers who enjoy their best years in their earl-mid 20s.
     
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  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Is Van Basten one of the best players of the 1990s for his two great years in the decade? (second half of 1990-91 to first half of 1992-93) He is rarely thought as such and he was 5th and 1st in the world player of the year vote for 1991 and 1992. Michael Laudrup himself said in 1993 he was the only one to be a great footballer and a great scorer at the same time.

    Cristiano is almost 36 at the end of 2020. Messi 33.5 by then. It's not unlikely those brands and proteges age as well as the Tim Duncan's, Tiger Woods and Federer of this world, but I wouldn't necessarily count on it.

    We already see dents in Cristiano his consistency at multiple levels (and him picking his games) the last three years. Not to mention Juventus as a whole not improving so far, in points, in goals scored etcetera.
     
  8. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    How exactly would they run into similar problems?

    The natural way of dividing football history is decade by decade so if you play well in two decades, your output is halfed. You wont be recognized as a top 10 in neither of two decades, but if we make top 10 list for players that were born in 1950s, we have very clear criteria for who gets in and who doesnt, then you take it from there. Zico, Platini and co in this case would be part of 50s. Cruyff wouldnt although he shared the stage with them for awhile.

    Its not ideal classification because someone like scholes and xavi would be considered part of two separeted lists although one could argue they played in the same era,.. thats all true, but at least everyone is given equal chances.

    As for positions, i have no solution other than making seperated lists.
     
  9. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    I agree they should theoretically drop their standards very soon, but they shouldnt have been this influential at this age either. People keep saying their era is done from like 2014, but then again, i come home to watch big games, quarter finals of 2019 ucl,.. Juventus 1-0, Barcelona 1-0, goalscorers? The same ones as 12 years ago. Its ridiculous, but last seasons they were running the show in ucl.
    I can see them physically declining but still getting creative in finding new roles for themselves. I can see Ronaldo still winning games at 38 s
    With some penalty box headers. How much physically does it take to produce few moments of brilliance per game? He just needs to get a bit more creative and learn how to pace himself even more.

    I can see Messi scoring 10 free kicks per season, pulling out rabbits from the hat with his through balls.

    I mean it is the season before turning the decade and they are still the best when needed. If some with 3 seasons can get into top 10 of the decade, i can see it somehow happening for them. If any two players in history will play well in their late 30s, it is going to be those two guys. Messi is not that old anyway.
     
  10. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I've seen many lists that do the the 10-year span every 5 year interval. That could be a half-way solution.

    Obviously, there is no ideal solution for something like this.
     
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    For Ronaldo I think the hat-trick against Atletico was a major thing. Those Atleti boys really showed a lack of effort imho. In the group stage Cristiano was far behind Mbappe (top assister of the entire campaign), Neymar etcetera.

    Also this 2018-19 Champions League campaign was an example of pacing himself. Take the match against the feeble Atleti side out and some gloss goes away. One goal (vs Manchester United) and two assists (vs Young Boys, Valencia) in the group stage. Two goals against Ajax from standard situations.

    For the national team he can't be bothered to perform against Italy, Poland, Ukraine and Serbia in competitive games (or the UNL final on home ground...), but then scores four past Lithuania (with one penalty and a goalkeeper richochet that was maybe an own goal - if that was not an own goal how is this in the books as an own goal?).

    Crucially, he has been performing below his expected goals for a few years now, and at times also below his expected assists.

    He was outscored by Quagliarella, Zapata and Piatek (all for far worse teams) in Italy and the odds aren't high those will go down as great players. Juventus as a team is not performing better so far (maybe also not worse, but time will tell).

    As great as Cristiano Ronaldo is, if I'm forced to place a bet I don't see him outperforming Mbappe (or who else, Neymar, Kane...) past the year 2021.
     
  12. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    I would already say that Mbappe in a Juventus context would already score more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo, and all that left for him to really pass Cristiano Ronaldo is to perform in the big games (his second match vs United last season was terrible). Neymar is a different player, he's a better ball carrier/dribbler, creator/passer than Cristiano ever was, and his work is not exactly to score goals, his records and ratings vs TOP15 clubs (according whoscored) is indeed comparable. Kane is also more accurate than Ronaldo (Big Chances Missed vs Goals, Sofascore).
     
  13. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    The most important thing for a goalscorer is not finishing, it is getting in the chances to finish, getting the right shots. Ronaldo is better at that than anyone and with delivery of great teams, it doesnt take much for him to get into the sweetspots and score.
    Atalanta was better offensive team. Juve struggled for their standards and even in that environment, Ronaldos expected non penalty goals per 90 minutes metric is unparalled by Zapata and co.

    Zlatan is playing professional football at the age of 37 and Ronaldo is more talented and more driven version of Zlatan. I am sure Ronaldo will still be here for a long time scoring goals. Getting to figures like 160 ucl goals and stuff..

    After 2016 season i thought it is only getting worse from now on for him. He was clearly in declines, but he reinvented his game, he adjusted. He will do that again.

    Cruyff said that you only have ball in possesion for few minutes whole game. If it was about those few minutes, everybody would be a freestyler. It is what you with the remaining 90 minutes that defines a great player. Ronaldo has the experience and has the knowledge of the game. He has the drive and successful formula for staying fit. He played many games in his career where he didnt do anything in it but still scored goal or two and won it. It doesnt take a lot.

    And remember, Ronaldo and Messi are ones thta push boundaries of what was thought to be possible. If someone 15 years ago told you that soon, there will be two guys scoring 50+ goals every single for more than 10 years. One of them would at one point score 91 in one year. The other would score 17 goals in ucl, then again 16, then 15, won 10 ballon dors between each other, you would call him crazy.

    I am not closed to the possibility of them still shining in late 30s as different, more stricted players. It wouldnt be the first time they would do such thing.

    Messi is more of a mistery in that regard to me. I dont know how far he is willing to puah his career being a very family guy and not obsessed with achievements. He might just like Marcel Hirscher, at one point say it is enough and go do something else or at least play less competitve football. For Ronaldo i have no doubts he will at least try to be the oldest this or oldest that. I think he will. Is that enough for top 10?
     
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  14. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    I do not believe that reaching the best positions or the best balls is more important than finishing the chances well, maybe they are on the same level of importance.

    But the point is Ronaldo didn't catch the best shots/positions last year and he was often shooting from bad angles (his xG per shot wasn't as good). On the other hand I would say that Mbappe has this reading of Ronaldo and is much more athletic today to reach these balls, allied to being a more powerful finisher (today) these factor could put him on a better level than Ronaldo, especially if he becomes a factor deciding big games.

    Understat
    xG per shot (open play) Cristiano Ronaldo 18/19: 0.10 (0.43 Goals per match)
    xG per shot 14-15 to 17/18 season (open play): 0.15 (0.72 Goals per match)
    Different league and different team.
     
  15. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    #65 Sexy Beast, Sep 11, 2019 at 3:12 PM
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 3:17 PM
    Then read this.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.th...er-city-goal-scoring-expected-finishing-skill

    Ronaldo literally for last 4 seasons is having an average finishing abilities yet it is probably only Messi who scored more goals in that period. Dont get me wrong, finishing matters, but getting into the chances is vastly more important. Finishing is only changing the extremes. Another two variables that are much more important for scoring than finishing are: quality of your team and quality of oppoistion.

    All of those three factors have bigger impact on the number of goals we see at the end of the season.

    Well, he doesnt need to be better than Mbappe. Youve gave one extreme example, the only teen along side Pele himself that scored in wc final.

    I mean is that really so debateable? Have you seen the stuff that top strikers miss? Suarez, Cavani, Higuain, Morata, and co? It makes perfect sense that if you can maximize the amount of good shoting opportunities that it will have more effect on your goal tally than if you can hit the top corner from the dead ball 8 times in the row or 7 times.


    (If you think it is only because they cut off misses ,watch 4:30 part)

    Their finishing abilities are 10 out of 10, yet they are not earning dozens of millions a year. Why?

    What you do without the ball is where the magic happens.
     
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  16. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    his lay off and diving header vs ajax was genius stuff

    Van Basten doing that in his prime would be classified as legendary.
    Definitely not a Standard situations(for the second yes but definitely not the first)

    Can he be a top 10 player of the entire 2020 decade
    That's a long shot

    he'd have to have a iconic performance at 37 years old in WC2022
    Not entirely Improbable with this new golden generation of Portuguese players

    I envisage him overtaking Pele for official goals scored (he won't retire until then)
    Perhaps extend his lead in the champions league (Unless Messi overtakes him)

    I think last year was his last chance for a 6th European cup
    if he wins it this year he'd be aiming for a historic 7th (to lead outright ahead of gento)

    These are all milestones that will have to be taken into consideration
     
  17. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    I believe Ronaldo will play both Euro 2024 and WC 2026. Perhaps beating Roger Milla for the oldest goalscorer.
     
  18. Bavarian14

    Bavarian14 Member

    Bayern München
    Jun 1, 2017
  19. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    This is non story. He literally said he doesnt think of retirement. He said he could retire next season in the sense that he had his options oprn and doesnt stress about future.. news are making headlines over nothing.

    There is no way Ronaldo will retire with Messi still on top of his game. He might retire from Portugal if he wins euro but even that is extremely unlikely.

    He also mentioned he could play at the age of 41. That is around 2026 wc. He is competitor. He will continue to play and adapt
     
  20. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Another thing. Jordan retired than he came back in his 40s. Schumacher retired than he came back in his 40s. Alli retired than he came back.

    These extreme cases of competitors have a very hard time after they retire because they have invested their whole life in developing their craft. Cristiano Ronaldo is nobody outside the football pitch. His whole social status revolves around him being footballer, plus he optimized his every minute of life to become the best football player he can be and he has been doing that for what 15 years.
    He wont all of a sudden say: "okay, thats enough. I will retire and doin something else with my life." There is no "somerhing else" for such individuals. Thats why they come back.

    We will being watching Ronaldo for many years to come
     
  21. darek27

    darek27 Member

    Aug 29, 2008

    Yes, Messi will retire earlier and main records will belong to Ronaldo .
    It's sad because it should belong to Leo
     
  22. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #72 carlito86, Sep 13, 2019 at 2:17 PM
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 2:25 PM
    Zidane is widely considered (in popularity lists) as the premier player of the 2000s
    Despite the fact he retired in 2006
    despite the fact he lost the ballon dor to Figo in 2000
    Lost to Micheal Owen in 2001
    Lost to R9 In 2002
    Lost to nedved in 2003
    Lost to Shevchenko in 2004
    Lost to Ronaldinho in 2005
    Lost to cannavaro in 2006
    That is to say he was perceived to be inferior to a least 6 different players across different 6 years

    of course he had great achievements during that time frame
    MVP at euro 2000
    Good champions league campaigns in 01/02 (including iconic final goal) and 02/03
    One of real madrids best players in la liga 02/03
    After that it is blank until the QF vs Brazil 06

    Ronaldo will be 35 in 2020
    Messi 33
    They will have to have
    1 iconic CL or European championship campaign
    1 great match in the world cup KO stage(which they never had till now)
    1 league title

    That should be enough to seal top 10 of the 2020s decade
     
  23. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    No stat should belong to anyone. You either hold it, or you don't.

    That's like saying Michael Jordan should hold the all-time scoring record, and would have done so if he didn't retire thrice. Well, guess what, he did. Kareem was the one that went at it for 19 straight years, not Michael. Doesn't matter that MJ was the greater player, he didn't put in the work to own those record. Kareem did.

    The same may be true for Messi/Ronaldo. If Messi retires at 35 and Ronaldo at 40, then it is just the way it is. Ronaldo is willing to sacrifice and commit himself to playing at the top level to 40, Messi doesn't.

    Having said that, I'd like to give Messi the benefit of the doubt for now. He might not look as dedicated as Ronaldo, but you never know. Let's not underestimate him just yet.
     
    carlito86 repped this.
  24. darek27

    darek27 Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    Messi won't be greater if he scores less, less in UCL, won less UCL titles and NT titles, all put together .
    He will be La Liga king, no more no less
     

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