The best players of the 1982 World Cup

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Comments Brazil-Argentina game
    Show Spoiler

    "This is what I had expected and hoped too. Brazil, the football machine, like they are now in the shape of their lives: supple and in all lines fast and vivid. Nobody has a good answer on that, also not the Argentinians. Not in this shape."

    "It was a good game, that should be emphasized."

    "Brazil has proven that they are in the eyes of many the main favorite."

    "But then the Argentinians. They came here as a favorite. But if I try to track why they are favorite, then you come to the following conclusions. Argentina became world champion in 1978 because they possessed a team with superb, malleable and hard working guys. They had the support of their own crowd and organization. Also through that they reached the final and not totally without luck they won the title as well.

    Then they come here to defend their title. That is in itself a hard job because everyone here wants at least achieve a little success against the world champion. If you are, say, El Salvador, then you are immortal until your death. How it all developed in the opening game against Belgium is still imprinted in our minds.

    The Argentina of today is again a team with a large amount of players with work ethic as their natural disposition. But they are and think like individualists too. I did not see a tight and coherent team. That is why they lost against the football machine on their peak.

    I already hinted on this place and on television what might be a pragmatic solution. Yesterday I heard my former master Michels expressing the same idea. Bear in mind, it is not the ideal picture. My initial pragmatic solution would be that they only allow one individualistic type in the team, and that is obviously Maradona. He is one on one a nightmare for every defender and an not ignorable asset. By this I do not mean all action should depend on him, on the contrary, the others should help and relief him, feed more options to him, and maybe those will eventually even score more goals as him."

    "I'm like others tempted to compare Brazil with the Orange team of eight years ago. Comparisons have always limitations, even two apples are not the same. Still, this are two apples and not an apple and an orange. Players like Socrates, Junior but also a type like Serginho are golden boys for a national team."

    "I doubt whether we will see better football in the following matches of the tournament. It is a gut feeling of mine that this was a team in action on their very peak. In previous games they looked vulnerable at a few scarce moments but lets hope that justice will prevail."
     
  2. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    A friendly comment.

    My first impression when i see this rating is all 3-stars players were running for MVP?
    I mean, not for being the best in their respective positions, but in an overall ranking?

    So, that's rated equally the likes of Zoff, Gentile and Scirea with the WC82 stars like Rossi and Falcao.


    I also personally think that when we're talking about best performers in a WC, most tend to think in the players from teams who reached the final stages (Final and SF matches), in most cases, 7 matches overall for that teams.

    So, those players with less than 1/2 matches for SF teams can't be considered for the ranking, imho.
    Just as a Merit Inclusion or the best performer in a single match.
     
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I agree that Zico is hard to rate and maybe borderline three stars.

    Zico was at his best against New Zealand with two goals and two assists. But as I said elsewhere, New Zealand was lowly ranked and exactly the type of opponent that gained an entry with the expansion.
    https://www.bigsoccer.com/community/threads/1980s-decade-all-star-lineup.1864996/page-6#post-26777782

    Zico was seen as the star in this game. Various reports saw him as the best and thanks to Vegan I know that El Grafico ranked him with a 9 in this game.

    Zico was arguably overshadowed though in the USSR and Scotland game. Especially in the Scotland match he wasn't the best around. As indication (I know it is anecdotal) El Grafico ranked him with a six.

    In the second group phase he reached a high level against fine opponents. First against Argentina, but unluckily Passarella made a revenge foul on him and Zico wasn't completely fit any more in the game against Italy. He still made a fine assist and performance though despite not fully fit.

    I think overall it is still worth three stars, especially if you give the second group stage more weight. Overall Falcao and Socrates performed better in some of the games, but he was still good I think.

    Why does Belloumi get one star?

    I also think that Shilton was good but that WC had many good goalkeepers: Schumacher, Pfaff, Mlynarczik for example.

    Show Spoiler

    In the next one he made the prediction that Brazil would progress instead of Italy.

    He also said: "I've stated a few times earlier that France played fresh and spry on this championship. Fine and modern football. Attractive to watch but also inspired by the idea that the ball should be played deep and wide, by which you should use all of the attacking talent you have at your disposal. And that is what the French have with people like Rocheteau and Giresse. Both scored by the way against the Irish two goals of great class, I wished I had scored those.

    Their talisman Platini is not in his best shape but nevertheless he has an added value and does what he can do. Many star players only rely on a few moments if they are in half-fit condition but even a Platini at half of his powers is of added value throughout the game.

    People often ask me "who is the best player?" Of all-time, this year or this tournament. Like I have explained many times before, I don't prefer the phrasing of that question. If you translate it in the player who shows to the best extent all aspects and dimensions the game has to offer, in so far these dimensions can be identified by human beings, among all successful teams Giresse did the best effort in showing most of them. The best balanced and all-round performance applicable for an instruction manual."

    "The questions arises what the Netherlands would have done if they had qualified. I know the answer."

    "The French deserved their place at this world championships. They played with guts and fantasy, and did not show fear. They deserve our gratefulness and compliments."

    "The European game looks good. The Czechs, the Polish, Scots, Russians and Belgians look good and have young talent as well. Many teams lost in a honorable fashion and went home with their heads up high."
     
  4. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Well, my original rankings were as follows:

    Ratings

    World Class *** – Performing consistently to an exceptional standard. Among the finest players in the world and performing at a level comparable with the very best in your position. (Guideline – 15-20 players a season)

    International Class ** – Performing consistently to an excellent or sporadically to an exceptional standard. (Guideline – 20-30 players a season)

    National Class * – Performing consistently to a very high standard or sporadically to an exceptional or excellent standard. (Guideline – 50-70 players a season)


    But that doesn't really work for a tournament. I think realistically that I'm judging them as being the best in their position rather than the best overall.
     
  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Last bunch of comments:

    Show Spoiler


    "The Italians provoked the agony of most Spanish football fans through their playing style and preceding games, but truth is that their quite surprising win against Brazil was deserved. It was for most a bit unexpected but they exploited the weak spots of Brazil in a way you can find peace with it, concerning this single match. They showed that their usual patience is a good counterweight at the heavy conditions in which this tournament is played."

    "The Polish went down in an honorable way. They battled stubbornly, brave but also with energy and great abundance of class through the end. But it was not meant to be. The great absentee, which operated as a dark cloud over the game, was Boniek. The man who can strike on decisive moments with purity and efficiency.
    Without him the burden was too much on Lato, the tireless laborer. Incredible how much that man worked, he was an example and incitement for all of his younger team mates. The heart of many was with them, which their diligence and tenacity deserved."

    "Besides, it was a semi-final of a world championship that does not deserve this label. The overall play was poor. Really quality football was scarce and that the Italians won was the merit of one man: Paulo Rossi, the smart striker who is always on the right place if the other one does not pay attention."


    Show Spoiler

    Before the final there was a small conversation between the anchorman and himself.

    Anchorman:
    "Talking about this final, you can think about them what you want but those ones are standing here nevertheless."

    Cruijff:
    "Well, for me the world champion is the one who played the best football, not the one who has accidentally a victory more or less."

    Anchorman:
    "That is Brazil in your eyes."

    Cruijff:
    "Brazil first and also the French. We have now those two finalists because they accidentally scored sometimes a goal more with a bit more or less luck, or a fewer amount of goals against.

    We can hope that in the final the one or other will score a goal as soon as possible. In that case the other has to react. I don't think it will happen."

    Anchorman:
    "You don't expect a nice final?"

    Cruijff:
    "Probably not. Both play very cautious and reactive and I think in this case the Italians have the better chances. Why? They are used to wait and be patient. They don't get progressively nervous and wait for their opportunities. In the heat we have seen again in the past weeks that this is important both from an energy saving perspective as well as an efficiency perspective, the opponent will not have as many opportunities as usual to correct their little slips and mistakes. In the heat with high humidity slight errors are deadly and the Italians can wait, wait and wait for their moments.

    On the other hand we know from experience that the Germans have an extra breath while the others are out of breath in the last 15 minutes. They become stronger, start to walk more while the others are out of breath.
    Considering the whole tournament I would not give them a chance at all but they are nonetheless inexplicably in the final so they have a chance. Still, considering the players, the preceding games and how this quality of the Italians matches with the circumstances here I give the most chances to the Italians."


    After final:
    Show Spoiler

    "The Italians won deserved. They showed more bravery and fantasy, with more fervor and tenacity."

    "It looked for a brief while that our neighbors had once again the luck on their side in this tournament. That was after 30 minutes of play when the excellent referee Coelho handed out a deserved penalty kick and Cabrini was the unlucky one to miss. The Italians, a bit weakened by the absence of Antognoni, looked shaken for a brief while. I also started to wonder where Rossi was in the game.

    Well, he appeared 10 minutes after the break and that happened on a psychologically important moment. He scored a fine goal, his sixth consecutive one, and his move provided the abundance of confidence and concentration the Italians needed at that moment in the game. They were waiting to inflict the final blow. Two further goals of Altobelli and Tardelli finished it off."

    "This doesn't mean that Italy is the best country in the world. They themselves don't believe this, I taste. Eventually, this championship is won by the one who collected the most points and managed to score or steal a goal on a lucky, or right, moment but not by the teams or players who played the best and most modern football."


    PDG, that was it basically (in essence).

    Pele saw btw in March 1982 Brazil, Germany, Spain and Argentina as main favorites with Belgium as major dark horse. During that same press meeting he also made the famous comment that "there is only one Beethoven", meaning himself :p

    Before the start of the world cup he changed his prediction a bit, which he maintained until the second round: Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Belgium.
     
  6. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    Personally, i think that rated in an overall ranking (no matter their position) would be better.
     
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I disagree. I don't think this is possible. How is it possible to decide between Thuram and Zidane for WC98? Or Cannavaro or Pirlo in 2006?
     
  8. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    I think he means there shouldn't be a three star ranking for each position and players should be put to the same standards not to their best among their position standards.
     
  9. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Puck, it seems like in typical Dutch fashion, Cruyff is resentful of the ultimate winners. Previously he had said Brazil needed the climate to beat USSR, but after the final does not deem Italy but Brazil as the real champions. France played some beautiful football, but lost to England and blew a 3-1 lead in overtime to Germany, that does not spell champion to me.
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Then the question is: what is that standard? If the standard is "consistent exceptional performance" for a three star rating then Zico does not qualify. Not many in world cup history would qualify.

    Regarding this WC I feel though that some of the defensive positions are more contested as others. The left-back position seems to have no clear winner or elite group (unlike right-back position which has grossly three names to chose from), for example.
    The right-wing position also seems to have no clear cut elite group, unlike the left-wing position which has an elite group. Similarly, there was apparently a consensus about the goalkeeper position (I have to say though that IMO Dasaev was not markedly better as others in the tournament).

    Fair enough. It notice though that you do not repeat your belief that he has always been jealous about Maradona, a belief you have often expressed.
     
  11. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Exactly you can't use the same "consistent exceptional performance" standards for a short tournament and comme already said that's not what he does.
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Regardless of that it is always iffy and shaky I feel. In some ways doing it for a tournament is easier than for a season. In some ways not.

    Don't know if it is smart to do this because on previous occasions it was without a blink or wink denied, and sometimes even accompanied by insulting pictures or words, but it wasn't Conti who missed the PK. It really was Cabrini.
    I still did it to correct this wrong perception.
     
  13. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Why don't you think Zico was consistent? To me, he had an excellent match on four of the five, and a good one against Italy, but could not conjure that moment of magic to earn Brazil the equalizer.

    As for left backs, I think Junior, Cabrini and Gordillo all shined, and I would rate Zoff as the best keeper of the tournament, with Dasaev, Schumacher and Shilton right behind.

    Not sure what you mean at the beginning, the smiley was in crediting Toninho Cerezo with an assist for Rossi's first goal. But yes, my mistake, it was Cabrini who missed the penalty in the final. Conti actually earned it and he played brilliantly in it, involved in two of the three goals.
     
  14. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Thanks again. Seems that Cruyff would indeed see Giresse as player of the tournament if he had to choose, and that the Yugoslav midfielder (I'll check him out as much as I can) he mentioned would be in Cruyff's tournament selection if he did an excercise like comme is doing.
    France and Brazil are my favourites to watch too from this World Cup (and for my vote on my thread about entertaining World Cup sides I chose them along with Holland '74). Both did come pretty close really, but Italy were deserved winners all considered - if the games were played on another day it could be different but they came out and won vs Brazil (they had to win rather than draw) then won fairly comfortably in the last games. I don't think Gentile would get away with so many fouls now but to an extent he was also disciplined because of course red cards could be issued for any really over the top foul.

    EDIT - Seems Pele didn't pick out France or Italy before the tournament then, though interestingly Cruyff mentioned France (possibly for the style of play, but still interesting). Also Pele gave Germany more chance in March than when the tournament kicked-off or after the early stages then...
     
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Gentile was suspended though for the semi-final against Poland just as Boniek - two cautions. This time no mercy from FIFA like they did before (in 1966 for example).
     
  16. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    Thanks Schwuppe, you really get my point :)

    In the WC82, arguably 4 players would get the 3-stars rating (mostly in AM position).

    So, the players who makes the Best-XI with the lowest overall ranking, in this WC would be the fullbacks and then, wingers and CBs.
     
  17. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I'm not entirely convinced. I can do this for the right-backs and left-wingers as well but someone like Scirea was both often included in all star teams (based on vote and ratings) and also has a high OPTA ranking (based on mathematics), place 7 to be precise. A high triangulation (multiple methods point to the same direction) so to speak.

    Same is to a lesser extent the case with players like Littbarski, Boniek, Dasaev, N'Kono, Gentile and Gerets.

    As said, some positions are more contested as others; some positions have a clear elite group and others not. Either because you had not many strong performers (so no definite conclusions), or the opposite (relatively many strong performers without a clear winner).

    The odds of bookmakers are obviously more reliable as the opinion of Pelé or Cruijff, even though they are funny to read.

    Those saw Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Spain as favorites.

    When I was looking for this tournament I found new info regarding the odds btw.

    I'll update the thread I opened a while ago.

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/community/threads/whate-were-the-odds-in-the-tournaments.1945504/
     
  18. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I saw the new odds you found Puck, thanks. Arguably Cruyff was closer to the mark with France than the bookmakers seemed to be, but on the other hand only an each way bet on France would have paid out ;). They were in the same tier as a few nations with less talented players but a greater recent history in big competitions it seems (Poland, Belgium for example) plus Scotland.

    I did notice on the Euro '80 thread comme did restrict the *** ratings amongst defenders and goalies (to none I think - I checked yesterday). The World Cup in '82 is better documented and more highly regarded so a comparison might be tricky but assuming Scirea played similarly in both tournaments his great run forwards and assist in the Final might be enough to put the iceing on the cake and earn him a *** rating for the World Cup (could we say the same about Zoff's save vs Brazil?). On the other hand I suppose defensively it could be argued Socrates managed to get the run on him for his goal against Italy (I think that was just a great assist by Zico though) and though it was a great finish he did manage to outwit Zoff and score at the near-post too.

    btw the main reason I didn't suggest a *** for Socrates was that then we'd have a team that went out before the semis with 3 top ratings amongst the midfield/attack. Plus it's comme's ranking and not mine and I'd already mentioned a few areas where I might tinker with it which were more clear-cut opinions of mine. While Zico provided the best and most brilliant moments and Falcao was the most consistent perhaps (partly going by the quote of uriamanda I posted before) Socrates was maybe half-way between the two I think.
     
  19. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    imho, only the contenders for Golden Ball award should deserved a 3-stars (the higher rating).

    Whether some position had many strong performers, it would be show with the large numbers of players listed and with the higher rating among positions.

    In contrast, the position with worst performers should had less amount of players and rated lower.

    So you had both view, a list position by position and an overall ranking.
    But that's me :)
     
  20. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Maybe switch around Littbarski and Conti then? Conti did score a great goal against Peru, and was excellent in the final and semi-final.
     
  21. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Cheers mate.

    I think Platini was well below par in the early stages and gradually came into it more. Both he and Rummenigge were slighlty injured so did extremely well given their condition.

    I will have a it of a think about some amendments to the list.
     
  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    You're welcome and thanks for the reply. I appreciated Cruyff's comments about both Platini and Rummenigge as I do think he described the situation correctly and in a bit of detail. No doubt that Rummenigge was still effective and to the best of his capabilities at that time probably though (partly he relied on others but also he was clinical and precise).

    Don't feel like you have to change anything just because of my post if you don't agree with it though as probably everyone's opinions and observations would vary a bit. I'd not think it was innacurate to put Conti and Littbarski on the same level though (maybe I'd even switch them round myself but that'd be debateable I think).
     
  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, I'd say so.

    Regarding Rummenigge and Platini.



    Rummenigge still scored goals despite injured but it is good to contrast this with Rossi. What did Rossi apart from scoring one goal more that elevated him above Rummenigge in the OPTA rating? Rossi wasn't very involved in the game either. Rummenigge usually was, despite the fact that scoring goals was his main job, but was injured this time and understandably not as lively as usual.

    The difference is that Rossi was very efficient, according to OPTA he made 13 shots in total, 7 shots on target and 6 goals. That is why he is on top. Rummenigge wasn't as clinical and is outside the top 40 (ranked on 9th place among his team-mates).

    Even more remarkable is that Platini is still ranked on the 19th place, despite missing one game (which they punish a bit, I'm sure about that). In 1986 he was on 12th place btw. In both cases he was the second best French player in the ranking, in 1982 behind Giresse and in 1986 behind Tigana.
     
  24. leszek-antonio

    Mar 16, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Poland
    Boniek and Smolarek of Poland. Especially Boniek had a fantastic tournament. One of the best in the world back in those days.
     
  25. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    I believed I said a while back that Opta might have put a bit too much weights on winning goals scored in final, semi and quarter games at WC, besides the stats of sharp shooting (as you mentioned). Those have made Rossi looked more supernatural in such a short 7games event. While it makes sense to put weight on winning goals (especially final, semi games) they OPTA might have neglect the category participating and creating chances for teams ... and deduction of games when player could be "disappeared" .... (to be fair)

    As for Rummenigge, he did very good at that WC82, but not great! He did look good with 5goals scored, but in reality he got a hat trick vs Chile and was scoreless in round2 and final game. The best player in Germany 1982 was Littbarski - In the final, Germany attack got LOST with Italy defense (one of the best ever in WC history if not the best) Note that Gentille was not ordered to man mark Rummenigge like he was asked against maradona and Zico.
     

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