How many active players are blessed with genius?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Dark Savante, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    This thread isn't an excuse for people to reel off the best players in the world. It's intended to highlight offensive or defensive genius amongst active players.

    Now, to be a 'genius' you don't neccesarily have to be one of the best players in the world. An example of a player I'd call a genius who used to play is Matthew Le Tissier. He's not very well known outside of England and he barely played an international game, but if you ask anyone who saw him play you'll hardly find a person who refutes him as a genius.

    I feel there are quite a few genial players out there who do not get much mention because they're either not playing at top teams or they are flawed genius' a player who kind of inspired this thread is Alex of Fenerbache. He's very much a Le Tissier of modern times, not known by the world at large, but those who have seen him at his best would attach a monicker like genius to his game.

    I'd like to see if a list can be generated and perhaps agreed upon of those rare players that fit into this bracket. Let's throw out, or shall we say, get the very obvious ones out of the way.


    and concentrate on others. Or get a much more extensive and obscure list going.

    It's also be nice if people separate God-given natural ability from the nuances that makes a player genial
  2. Bertje

    Bertje New Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    Perhaps Bergkamp is not what he used to be, but no such list is complete without him. Barry van Galen (AZ) is also a great example.
  3. megamac20817

    megamac20817 Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Buenos Aires
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    Ortega might fit into this category, as he's heralded as a great player still in Argentina, and is vital to a Newell's team that won the title not too long ago and who are in the running alot now.
  4. Teso Dos Bichos

    Teso Dos Bichos Red Card

    Sep 2, 2004
    Purged by RvN
    I'm not even sure if I would accept the five 'obvious' ones as being blessed with genius. They are clearly very good at what they do, but I don't see why they deserve that label on the basis that they are/were some of the best attacking players around. For me, genius is more than simply being one of the best at attacking/creative play. It is the ability to do the unexpected, something completely ridiculous and pull it off successfully.

    While all of the five are clearly capable of making things look easy, which makes them top players, I don't think some deserve the genius status. The Le Tissier example is a very good one. To all that watched him play, he was a genius. Yet he was never considered one of the best players around. Most would say rightly so. Despite that he had something that most players never have, he had some sort of x-factor (I hate that term) that put him on a level above. I think it is far too easy to apply the genius label to the obvious ones mentioned. Great at what they do? Of course, but not genius. Not unless you want that term to become meaningless, like 'world class'.

    I think we need to create a proper definition, before even considering naming players.
  5. CL39

    CL39 New Member

    Dec 17, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Joe Theismann (the ex-NFL quarterback and now TV analyst)
    would disagree w/ sporing figures being called genius. As he
    stated during a match broadcast....

    "People in football (NFL, he talking about) should not be called genius.
    A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
  6. phishnchipz

    phishnchipz Member

    Jul 22, 2004
    With my definition of genius meaning possessing talent of the very highest echelon. For me, this would mean judging players by the level of their very BEST performances, ignoring inconsistencies. Thus, I would say Totti, Recoba, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Rooney. Wow, look at those R's. I've probably missed quite a few.
  7. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    I can see his point!:)
  8. saosebastiao

    saosebastiao New Member

    May 22, 2005
    Beckenbauer was a of the greatest defenders and playmakers ever. He had a mastery of the tactics of the game, and knew how to implement them on the field. The fact that he was good only magnified it. It was like he was the sole manager of the team while he was on the pitch.
  9. SirManchester

    SirManchester Member+

    Apr 14, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Absolutely correct, Beckenbauer was a genius, he even took his genius to the business and manegerial world.

    Anyway, some recent ones I would label as genius would be


    The only ones playing today that I would label as genius would be


    and possibly Ronaldinho, who might just be so good at what he does, but doesn't necessarily scream genius.
  10. The Potter

    The Potter Member+

    Aug 26, 2004
    Stoke City FC
    Nat'l Team:

    Bergkamp was the first name that sprung to my mind.
  11. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    I agree that the idea of genius isn't clear. DS seems to have a fairly clear idea of what he means in his first post, but aside from pointing to Le Tissier as an example he hasn't really enunciated what he means, aside from it not being natural ability. I can see this thread devolving into people just naming the best players, because that's what they define as 'genius' - which is precisely what wasn't intended.

    I think Dark Savante needs to set some clearer parameters about what he means if this thread is going to get anywhere in terms of being enlightening.
  12. ForeverRed

    ForeverRed Member+

    Aug 18, 2005
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Ok how bout a modern defender for a change?

    Jamie Carragher.....he isn't a starter in England's NT and he never really comes up first when people talk about the best defenders in Europe (Terry, Nesta, heck...even Ferdinand) but when it comes to PURE defending, he is a genius.

    He has such great organizational skills--making all defenders around him better. He can read plays instantly and is always ahead a couple of moves.
  13. Fulham Fan

    Fulham Fan New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Bay Area
    I think Henry's a genius. His shots on goal - inside of the foot from twenty yards, outside of the foot from absurd angles - are almost mathematical. I always watch him.
  14. dor02

    dor02 Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    UC Sampdoria
    Nat'l Team:
    Zidane had it but he is near the twilight of his career. He isn't the magical player he once was.

    At the moment, the players blessed with genius are Ronaldinho, Riquelme, Messi, Henry, Totti and Cassano.

    Ronaldinho and Riquelme don't need any explaination. They're simply magical.

    Messi is still young but he has so much confidence in what he does and he just has that midas touch. A unique player who can remarkably still improve.

    Henry has proven recently that he can do more than score quality goals. He can create play, influence his teammates in many ways and he gives the team some extra drive that is required to win matches. Arsenal should be thankful that Ancelotti was that gullible. Not that it was Ancelotti's first time in making such blunders.

    Totti can be temperamental but when he is on fire, he is magical. Great at free kicks, great a dribbling and he can score beautiful goals. Until his recent injury, he looked more like the real deal than before. If only he has more of a brain and more consistency, he could be one of the greats.

    I think Damien Lovelock sums up a description of Cassano pretty well.

    "Very talented but insane."
  15. poorvi

    poorvi Member+

    Feb 5, 2006
    Nat'l Team:
    Eric Cantona & David Ginola

    Rarely called up for the French National side, but true geniuses of the game.

    From the currently active players: Mehmet Scholl and Kanu
  16. tpmazembe

    tpmazembe Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    The Midfield (S.Fla)
    Its clearly subjective, but I'd like to understand how Ronaldinho is less obvious than the 3 you mentioned before him. Could you explain what he lacks relative to them?

    From my point of view he screamed "potential footballing genius" at age 17. He's only confirmed it since.
  17. Teso Dos Bichos

    Teso Dos Bichos Red Card

    Sep 2, 2004
    Purged by RvN
    He's one of the very best at what he does, but that is it. When you break his game down it is quite simple and he is basically a winger playing inside. I just don't see him having that extra quality, the ability to do something outrageous, unexpected. It's the same few tricks used to great effect each and every time. Not wanting to knock him, but when you watch him play the word genius never springs to mind, particularly in comparison to other players. I just don't think he has that extra quality required to merit the genius tag. He might prove me wrong, as the talent is definitely there. Talent doesn't equate to genius though.
  18. tpmazembe

    tpmazembe Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    The Midfield (S.Fla)
    I'm sorry Teso, but that is one of the most shortsighted statements I've ever seen on BSoccer.

    Ronaldinho is the personification of creativity, intelligence, audacity, and the unexpected on a modern football pitch.
  19. Teso Dos Bichos

    Teso Dos Bichos Red Card

    Sep 2, 2004
    Purged by RvN
    I guess I phrased that wrong, but the overall sentiment remains.
  20. StrikerCW

    StrikerCW Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Perth, WA
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with Tesos. The term genius should apply only with those, if you'll excuse my New Yorkian, who can 'pull something out of their ass' at any one moment when something is needed. They can just do something simply ridiculous that 99% of PROFESSIONAL footballers couldn't do in the first place. They can call upon their hidden reserve of skill in a moment which is monumentus.

    Cantona is the best example for me. I think Bergkamp had a touch of it as well :p.

    Today.. you can smell it on Rooney; Zidane had it. Henry also has it on occasion for me (on occasion.. not all of his goals that are pure skill are 'genius' though). One player who definatelly doesn't have it but has damn good skill and flair is Ronaldo. He is no genius in my view, just a damn good player.
  21. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I think Gamst Morten Pedersen deserves a mention, to an extent; especially on set pieces.

    And since everybody is just listing the obvious names again and again, I'll add Lee Trundle of English League 1 Swansea to the mix. Shame he doesn't do it more consistently, or didn't move to a bigger club in the last 3-4 years (teams like Birmingham and West Brom could really use somebody like him to break a game open and give them some spark).

    A different kind of genius was also Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (at least befroe his horrific injury troubles). His genius didn't come in the form of audacious off the cuff play, but rather in his reading of the game from the bench. This was the reason why he was so effective coming on as a sub for Man United for many years.
  22. condor11

    condor11 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2002
    New Zealand
    you mean like Ronaldinho?:D
  23. schmuckatelli

    schmuckatelli New Member

    Nov 10, 2000
    Defensively, I'd say Paulo Maldini is a genius, though a waning one. Only occasionally beaten, but never outwitted.
  24. StrikerCW

    StrikerCW Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Perth, WA
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I've seen him do it a few times. :rolleyes:
  25. King-James

    King-James New Member

    May 27, 2005
    More like an inside player playing as a wide forward.

Share This Page