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Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Daniel96, Oct 29, 2011.
Rate Them In Order, and why.
1- In pure ball skills: Maradona = Pele > Zico > Cruiff >= Ronaldo (IMO)
2- In realistic ranking (based on career achievement and most available lists)
- Pele (99% as #1)
- Maradona (80% as #2)
- Cruijff (90% as #3)
- Ronaldo (varied from 8 to 15)
- Zico (varied from 14 to 36)
Mine would be
If Ronaldo didnt get injured so many times then he would be Number 1 of all time for sure.
so thats why i put him 2nd.
Pele is the greatest, but when he played it was so different, all the defenders were bananas back then. If he played in the late 80s or later then he wouldnt have been as good. But ill still put him number 1.
Zico above Cruyff make no sense in terms of achievements, skills, impact on a match and the game in general and lifting a country from mediocre regions towards the top with just 12 million citizens at that time.
No, Cruyff is up there with the very best just as Di Stefano and Beckenbauer. Maradona and Pele aren't in a seperate league or whatever, especially Maradona whose 1986 campaign secured his rise above his contemporary peers.
So much fail in just one post.
Putting Ronaldo above Zico is only because he was a more recent player and played in Europe. But as far as acheivments goes and true level of player imo Zico is above Ronaldo. And saying Zico is more skillful than Cruijff is totally wrong.
Ronaldo's Speed, Dribbling and Finishing made him the best striker of all time.
He is fifa player 3 times, world cups highest goal scorer and won the world cup 2 times.
All of that with all the injuries he had.
My impression would overall be:
Pele would seem to have an edge of Cruyff and Maradona perhaps at his best (and his career achievments possibly put him further ahead if looking at it that way although Cruyff's 3 European Cups and Maradona winning Serie A with Napoli plus winning a World Cup in prime form would be considered pluses - if Pele didn't have the opportunities for those things though his general goalscoring records and South American/Intercontinental Cup success plus 2 World Cups and a goal during a third probably should be considered to top the others).
The reason I'd tend to give him an edge on prime form would be that he was both a phenomenal goalscorer and brilliantly skillful and imaginative too. Compared to Maradona, though he might've been slightly less adept at surging or slaloming runs from midfield he was more complete in terms of being great with right foot, left foot & head. Compared to Cruyff he was probably a better all-round goalscorer/striker too though again perhaps Cruyff's dribbling from deep/on the wings was better and arguably Cruyff's passing skills reached their peak while he was still in top physical condition in terms of stamina/speed etc?
I'm putting Ronaldo alongside Zico mainly on his prime form though to his credit he did still excel and achieve a World Cup win later in his career by which time he might've become a better finsiher than before. He was harder to stop in his prime when running with the ball and also harder to disposess etc becuase he could withstand challenges well, but Zico was more elusive, more accuarte and well-timed with his passes and shots too I think. They would probably have made a good partnership.
I think Cruyff probably had a bit more than Zico overall physically and was a more complete player. I would say (like M.Laudrup) he was just as skillful as Zico overall on his day, though he maybe wouldn't be quite as good at very quick movements alied with close control (eg Zico's assist for Socrates in '82) as Zico had a lower centre of gravity. On the other side Zico wouldn't be as good with er..Cruyff turns and probably not at rounding goalkeepers on the run etc. They were possibly equally imaginative. The comparison has some similarities to the Laudrup/Zico one - Cruyff did say Laudrup was the player that most reminded him of himself after all - but Cruyff had an exceptional goalscoring record too and extreme pace so I would have thought he's nearer to Pele's level than Zico's.
Hving said all that, as these players all played in similar roles (Ronaldo admitedly more of an out-an-out striker and Pele and even a lot of the time Cruyff playing more as strikers too perhaps) it might be interesting to rank them in individual categories such as the following:
Maybe some others could be added, even including more defensive things like tackling as well as work-rate and stamina.
Just using the ones I listed I'd go for:
Shooting - Pele (5), Zico (4), Cruyff (3), Ronaldo (2), Maradona (1) (I know Maradona could score some great goals though)
Dribbling - Maradona (6), Cruyff (7), Ronaldo (5), Pele (7), Zico (5)
Passing - Zico (10), Cruyff (11), Maradona (9), Pele (8), Ronaldo (6)
Imagination - Pele (13), Zico (14), Cruyff (14), Maradona (11), Ronaldo (7)
Heading - Pele (18), Cruyff (18), Ronaldo (10), Zico (16), Maradona (12)
Balance - Pele (23), Cruyff (22), Maradona (15)(could be higher in terms of change of direction etc but I considered his left-side preference), Zico (18), Ronaldo (11)
Variety - Pele (28), Maradona (19), Cruyff (25), Zico (20), Ronaldo (12)
Speed - Maradona (24)(focusing on acceleration - maybe others quicker over 100m), Cruyff (29), Ronaldo (15)(could he be higher?), Pele (30)(ditto?), Zico (21)
Ball skills - Pele (35), Maradona (28), Cruyff (32), Zico (23), Ronaldo (16)
Goalscoring instinct - Pele (40), Ronaldo (18), Zico (26), Cruyff 34), Maradona (29)
Free-kicks - Zico (31), Maradona (33), Pele (43), Cruyff (36), Ronaldo (19)
Ronaldo seems to come out behind when seperated out like that but his pure unstoppable running with the ball at pace makes him closer than suggested IMO plus he was a prolific goalscorer even if his finishing skills/accuracy might not quite've matched the others.
If I added power, agility and vision:
Power - Ronaldo (24), Pele (47), Cruyff (39), Maradona (35), Zico (32)
Agility - Zico (37), Cruyff (43), Pele (50), Maradona (37), Ronaldo (25)
Vision - Maradona (42) (debateable but partly compensating for rating him lower on imagination etc), Cruyff (47), Zico (40), Pele (52) (maybe peaked in '70 in this respect?), Ronaldo (26).
So still the same results IMO, but I stick by having Cruyff and Maradona in the same bracket and ditto Ronaldo and Zico. Adding tackling, work-rate and stamina plus versatility and others might've helped Cruyff more than anyone probably anyway, although I've noticed Pele was a genius at retaining possession with block tackles while he was dribbling as well as nutmegs, dummys etc of course.
Perhaps Cruyff isn't technically at the same level as Pelé and Maradona but it is of course no coincidence that he is the only one of all names here who succeeded as a coach. He was very intelligent. There is even a famous incident where he as a technical director of Ajax descended downstairs to help/correct coach Beenhakker. The result: a certain 0-2 loss was transformed in a 2-3 win in a timespan of 10 minutes or so. Of course, Beenhakker didn't like that move of mr. Cruyff.
Things I would change:
Shooting: I think Zico was the best hitter of them all. Could kick the ball hard and yet bend it in all thinkable possibilities. Personally I don't think Pelé was as a good shooter.
Imagination: no clear winner I think.
Heading: Cruyff himself said that this was his least developed part of his game as a centre-forward. Despite making some important goals with his head, he felt his technique wasn't great (his positioning though was unrivalled).
Variety: Cruyff was also a decent defender, also mainly relying on his positioning. Had a decent sliding tackle (certainly better than Maradona, not better than Pelé though). Cruyff could act on plenty of positions really. Perhaps only Zico edges him in this department because Zico was also a triple-A playmaker besides being a top notch centre-forward, second-striker and inside-winger (which could Cruyff do as well).
Goalscoring instinct: of course Pelé scored a lot of goals but how effective was he? How many chances did he waste? I did watch some footage of Zico and was really amazed by how little chances he needed to score a goal.
Free kicks: difficult to asses because it was not the primary responsibility of Cruyff and Pelé (at Ajax Piet Keizer did that job if I recall it correctly). Both weren't first in the pecking order.
Interesting points and indeed imagination would pretty much be a tie with Ronaldo a bit behind although he did have a good knack of using his tricks creatively. Cruyff was dubbed "Pythagoras in Boots" so his imagination and vision as well as being very accurate with angled passes etc shouldn't be underestimated. The more I see of Pele the more impressive his finishing seems from drives to chips, placed shots after clever dribbling to volleys after great control. His variety of finishing skills was probably the best IMO.
Sorry to confuse with the variety category (I wasn't meaning versatility but variety of skills/different ways of creating and scoring etc - there might be some overlap though eg Cruyff could play very well as a winger because he created and dribbled/passed and crossed so well from wide positions).
Seems you'd have Zico a bit higher in some categories even though you don't necessarily rate him higher than I do overall from what you've said here and elsewhere. I think an excercise like I did might benefit his score more than Ronaldo's because he would excel in a number of categories some of which are closely related wheras maybe Ronaldo's high-pace dribbling is a stand-out attribute that ought to get weighted more heavily in reality.
Ronaldo has not even 1/10th the skill of Maradona, he himself would admit as much. You are pretty much all alone in this opinion, if you consider Ronaldo equal to Maradona.
No, Pele and Maradona are always the top two. Three to six depends on the raters, but Pele and Maradona always above the rest.
He is still nowhere near Maradona or Pele. Or Cruyff or DiStefano even.
Because you say so.
Yes but it was more calculated I think. I don't precisely know the anatomic history of the other candidates but I know from Cruyffs biography that he had as a child 'misformed' feets (according to the GP), so he needed special boots in order to play football. That he loved to play with the outside of his feets was not to impress the crowds but to relieve and conserve the inside of his feets. I won't say he was crippled or so but he had his limitations in using his varied skills.
If you see Cruyff talking on television he always complains about the limited technique of modern footballers and that the physical aspect is overrated... But he also approaches the sport as a 'thinking game' (of which choosing your position individually and the 'field-occupation' of the team as a whole are the most important parts; this was his main focus as Barcelona coach as well). To give one small example; I recently watched the Czech-Holland game of 2004. Cruyff was there as a pundit for the Dutch public broadcaster. During half-time he said something about the mistake of Cocu which resulted in a goal for the Czech Republic. Cruyff said: 'if you stay on the left side of the pitch, receive (i.e. your first touch) the ball with your left foot and play (i.e. kick) immediately the ball with your left foot too, than you'll have no vision about what has happened at the right side of your body'. A really spot on analysis of 'what went wrong' but it underlines that football is for him a thinking game.
I think you will probably know the famous Cruyff-Olsen penalty (which was 20 years later replicated by Henry-Pires). He did not invented/imagined that on the pitch itself but declared afterwards he had studied the rule book a couple of weeks ago and thought that this kind of penalty was great way to spice up the game.
Can you give some examples or sent a PM about those footage? I watched the 'Pelé Eterno' DVD but I left with the impression that Zico was even a deadlier finisher and shooter (from outside the penalty-box).
Yeah, I misinterpreted that incorrectly. My bad.
Zico is indeed a victim of your system (which was a good try!) but all others as well. If you think about categories as positioning, leadership, vision and defensive skills (as said, he had a decent sliding tackle although he has the opinion that you're basically caught out of position when you need it; if your positioning is right you'll never need a sliding tackle, according to him), then that would had benefited Cruyff.
Perhaps in terms of (individual) skills at their peak-form. But if you add other categories such as achievements and number of peak years than Pelé is even in his own league!
Also, in Cruyffs last year, when he was at Feyenoord at the age of 37, he acted practically as a libero (could barely walk in some matches) and led the team to the double (Championship and Cup). A real legend! But now I'm partisan
Interesting - at the end of a Cruyff compilation it shows a couple of goals for Feyenoord. He's moving pretty smoothly but now I think about it they were not goals that involved a lot of running - he was walking past challenges almost. I guess you were more partisan once he'd moved from Ajax to Feyenoord , although I think his family were originally from Rotterdam not Amsterdam? The same compilation shows a few great goals for Ajax in the early 80's.
The Variety category confusion was my fault as it was a bit vague.
I'll have a look for an appropriate Pele video that shows a lot of his goals.
In the smaller games the 'official' libero was.... a young Ruud Gullit, at the insistence of Cruyff. Cruyff thought that it would help to develop the decision-making of Gullit and made him more versatile (however, when Gullit finally matured Cruyff expressed multiple times the belief that Gullit was not the right number 10 for the Dutch national team).
Often Cruyff was the fourth attacker on the line-up but in practice he was often a libero is my own impression (and I'm not the only one in Holland).
I did not live that era consciously but according to the stories I heard and read he was well-respected in Rotterdam before his move. Certainly even more afterwards. Feyenoord won the double and the European campaign ended in a aggregate loss (4-4 on aggregate) against Tottenham Hotspur (not a shame, Tottenham eventually won the 1984 UEFA Cup).
His biography don't say a lot about the ancestry of his mother but the family of his father is traced back to the 17th century. All from Amsterdam.
I'll probably add more later but here's a couple from outside the box:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-_ti5mkDJE"]Pele BEST GOAL EVER Part 110 Neverseen Before Pele (Impossible) Goal - YouTube[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvhI_38va0M"]Brazil 2 x 1 West Germany 1963 Friendly FULL GAME (Pele's Thunder Goal) - part 7 - (-MIN.7:09-) - YouTube[/ame]
If I add videos later I'm not sure if they might overlap a lot with Pele Eterno because I haven't watched that.
Laudrup > all of them
Another quality thread here I see
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZB_yYJtmeQ"]Johan Cruijff - Period at Feyenoord - YouTube[/ame]
Here you see a couple of nice assists/balls from his side where he is standing behind his own midfield! I think that fine header of a team-mate is against Tottenham isn't it? Also, in another match, he has a nice run across midfield which ended in a lob on top of the crossbar. Being like Beckenbauer His efforts were rewarded with the 'dutch footballer of the year award' (although his team-mate Ruud Gullit won the poll among professional footballers; can be compared with the PFA award whereas Cruyff won the FWA award)
Of course, youtube can a bit deceptive but it is a indication.
some other images, most of them aren't in the above compilation (the second goal is however a Van Basten goal in a infamous 8-2 win of Ajax against Feyenoord in Cruyffs year, all other images are Cruyff in action).
The small statuette he is holding in his hands at the end of the video is by the way the Dutch FWA-award.
there is btw no need to watch the segments before, that is just talking.
To correct this a bit:
However, a few days after his announcement that he would go on to play for a year at Feyenoord, a testimonial match was played at the Feijenoord Stadium for Willem van Hanegem. Cruyff played in that match too and was booed by a part of the crowd (not massively but it can be heard and the commentator mentioned it).