The (to be) best players of 2020s

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

  1. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Inspired by this conversation: https://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/rooney-robinho-messi-c-ronaldo.256978/
    I want to create a place where we try to predict the future best players so that, looking retrospectively, we can reflect on our thoughts. There is something extremely amusing in seeing people getting things right, but especially amusing in getting them horribly wrong like in the case of Robinho. Plus, i would love to have on a record, players that were overlooked.

    With no further ado, if you are willing to risk future embarrasment, what is the top 10 list of players in 2020s?

    Just to start things out this is my very first draft for top 10:

    1. Felix
    2. Mbappe
    3. De Ligt
    4. De Jong
    5. Rodrygo
    6. Alisson
    7. Foden
    8. Bernardo Silva
    9. Kane
    10. Messi
    *i will definitely update this list

    (If you find thinking about late 2020s too daunting, you can focus your list on the best players of first half of the decade (2020-2025))
     
  2. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    #2 Tropeiro, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    U21: Mbappe, Sancho, Havertz, Félix

    About the new BR generation, watching the São Paulo State League I was more impressed with Gabriel Martinelli (who is now at Arsenal) than with Rodrygo. Another one that most BRs speaks well is Reinier, but he is only 17 and just started in the profesionals this week against Emelec.
    For now all are still promises, and of these Vinicius is the weakest technically imo (even tho his GI is bigger than the one of Rodrygo for example).
     
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  3. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    I have never heard of Martinelli. Will definitely check him out.

    I am curious, what do you dont like about Rodrygo? What do you think he misses to be among the best?
     
  4. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Kubo is definitely one i am considering for the list. Atm i feel like ive put de jong and de ligt a bit too up the list.
     
  5. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    Technically he is a very good player, but he tends to take fewer risks than what you could expect for a elite player and can spend several minutes in ostracism and not feeling bothered with it.
    He has a weak physique for the elite and a tendency to frustrate more easily than other players as well which makes him have less impact on matches than his technique might suggest.
    In Brazil he couldn't deal with the athleticism of the defenders and often felt intimate because he could not win the 1vs1. But he was already sold to Real Madrid, so let's see...

    PD: Martinelli is a very direct player, with a good finishing ability, off-ball movement, pace and OK skills with a good mentality.

    All are promises though.
     
  6. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    You'll never know how he will develop, but Sancho looks great for a 19 year old.
     
  7. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Neymar will be in his peak during the first half of the 2020s, so he could be the leading talent of that generation.

    It's pretty crazy, but I actually believe Messi can continue to dominate as the best player of the first half of the 2020s. If he stays injury free, I can see him adapting and maintaining his no.1 status until he's 34-35.
     
  8. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    No, he will not imo. Injury and weak mindset will take some good years out of his career starting this year. Other than that he's 27 (already peaked imo), maybe by 2022 he's already back to Brazilian football.
    I agree, I see Messi dominating until 2025 in fact, his (lack of) physical decline is excellent near the players who are past 30, he is technically amazing and plays with the best team in the world. He will work for a long time yet, at 31 years old and he is still producing what he produced at his peak (23-28) without missing any detail of his game, adapting in some things and improving in others.
     
  9. Ariaga II

    Ariaga II Member

    Dec 8, 2018
    Paul Pogba will usher in a new type of superstar footballer. The new type of player will stroll on the field in designer jeans and fright wigs instead of a club kit. They'll fiddle with their "smart" phones on the pitch, and occasionally punt the ball into the stands when a teammate dares to pass to him. He will complain to the referee when the battery of his phone is running out. Nonetheless, fans of his club Pampers Wankendorf will vote him the best player of the UAEFA Abu Dhabi Walmart League. Old timers will nostalgically remind the kids of legit pros like Ronaldinho and Romario.
     
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  10. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    I dont think being patient is necessarly a bad thing about player but now when you say it, he really is not very driven when on the ball, unlike Vinicius. Although Vinicius is football wise, less talented player, he at least is very direct when on the ball. (Note: this is the opinion of being scared ive formed watching preseason matches. So he might just be scared to take on risk in Real. Tho I've been following him through various highlights and compilations before he officially signed with Real. Never seen full 90 minites of competitive match from him)

    Plus, yeah he physically doesnt seem to be a dominate force, something that i believe is the most important factor in football, hence the likes of Mbappe will reach higher peak than likes of Bergkamp.

    For that reason i believe he might eventually change his position to attacking midfielder. He has all the qualities the one would need. Technically good enough, teamwork driven player with good sense for pass and goal as well.

    Now i think 5th place is a bit of a stretch for him. Should be lower.
    Yes, i dont know why i didnt think of him.

    He is a proper winger. Belongs in a tier of players that would already be competitive for rotation in any team in the world and still only teen.

    Unfortunately, other than streams, i dont have access to bundesliga matches so i dont have full idea of what he is potentially capable of.

    This same applies to Havertz, even more so because he doesnt play in ucl.

    I think Neymar's peak is gone. Its the myth that players reach their physical primes in late 20s. It depends from player to player and given Neymar history of injuries and antics (is that the right word?) he wont get better.

    He might have 2 world class seasons in 2021, 2022 that might make him a candidate for top 10 but after that, to see Neymar in 30s perform better than others in 20s? I dont think so.

    2nd draft:
    1. Mbappe
    2. Felix
    3. Foden
    4. De Jong
    5. Sancho
    6. Alisson
    7. Bernardo
    8. De Ligt
    9. Messi
    10. Puig
     
  11. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Very few players reach their competitive peak at the time of their physical peak, anyway. The difference between modern era footballers is that their physically decline from their early 20s to their late 20s-early 30s is minimal compared to previous eras. This allows them to retain athletic competitiveness and also benefit from the added longevity which brings with it experience, maturity, and crucially, a fully developed skillset.

    Messi obviously lost a bit of pace and agility compared to his younger days, but his peak is post-2014 when he became the total attacker that he was.

    This is not to say that every player reach their peak in their ate 20s. Some reach their peak during their peak athletic years, or perhaps they're unable to sustain their peak well into their 30s. Neymar would follow a long line of Brazilians if he did.
     
  12. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Yes, i can agree with that. My general sense from watching players age and develop that 23, 24, 25 years of age are their physical best. It might be a bias tho.
    Plus there are some clues in other sports like swimming that would suggest that peak is in early 20s.

    However i think 2010-2013 Messi is his prime but that would be for reasons not necessarly relevant to his physical prime.

    Well do you think Neymar has discipline to perform in his 30s? Talent is unquestionable..
     
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  13. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Olmo is the best player we (Dinamo Zagreb) had since Modrić. He wasnt that impressive to me 2 years ago but he developed into primeum talent.
    He is player to watch for.

    I find it shoking that no one was willing to pay 40M this summer for him. Thats is a steal in this day and age.
     
  14. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
  15. Afghan-Juventus

    Afghan-Juventus Member+

    Oct 14, 2012
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Afghanistan
    bookmark this page will be really fun to look back at 10 years from now.
     
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  16. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    More thoughts written down more fun it will be so feel free to make an input.
     
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  17. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    I think Sancho's pure talent is unreal. Probably second only to Messi (Neymar too to be fair). I think Felix is up there as well. However, I think Sancho lacks an aggressiveness that Messi and Ronaldo have. So I dont know how dominant he can be. I feel like Sancho can be very passive.


    I would like to put Demebele as a mention. The only thing I question is his commitment to the game. As he appears to lack a focus and high interest in off the field stuff. But if he were to have the mentality of an elite dedicated athlete, I think he would be awesome. But his technique and decision making isnt the greatest.

    Hey, @Sexy Beast i remember we had a debate maybe 1-2 years ago because you doubted the level of play from Sane. Looks like he is turning out to be pretty good. For a player that saw the bench a lot. He is only 1 of 3 players in the EPL to have double figures in goals and assists. What do you think now???
    I suppose we also didnt define what great or elite were to both of us in describing Sane. I also remember you rated Eriksen very high at one point. Madrid or Barca caliber. I disagreed. You thought he was on rakitic's level but I didnt see it. I never see him getting to that level.
     
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  18. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Oh, i have many players in my mind. I should perhapse make the 20+ players shortlist.



    For Dembele,..exactly 3 years ago, before he played any significant game in dortmund, i was among first to say he is one of the most talented players out there (that ive seen) and i still think he is and i still think, as i mentioned in conversation with Mbappe some time ago, that Dembele is naturally more talented footballer than Mbappe. I think i phrased it in the sense that Dembele has higher potential, but its not necessarly better right now (back then).

    If he hasnt improved much, if any, from the age of 20 (joining Barca) to 22, there is nothing about him that makes me confident to say he will improve significantly from the age of 22 to 24 when improvment becomes much less possible. Now reasons for that can be many: injuries, no discipline, whatever, i dont care. It just doesnt give me any confidence in him. And considering that top 10 of the decade is the kind of list that the likes of Ribery and Robben perhapse dont get in, Dembele has long way from achieving anything close to that level.

    Any words you could use to describe Dembele in 2017 can be applied today. And his preseason isnt impressive either. He keeps doing the things he naturally can do (dribbling, both foot) and shows no improvement whatsoever in the areas of his weaknesses, like short passes, movement, etc. He stagnated.



    For Sane,.. i am glad you remember. If i remember correctly it was around the time of City v Liverpool quarter finals in 2018. The topic was the next ballon dor winner not named messi or ronaldo and City players were mentioned cuze City is one of the best team in the world and have good probabilities to win ucl which we know is very important for ballon dor. There were 4 names mentioned by someone: Aguero, De Bruyne, Sterling and Sane on which i said that Bernanrdo Silva is more likely to win ballon dor than sane for few reasons: he is better imo, he plays in the position that makes him touch the ball a lot yet he is offensive enough to score and assist. I dont think ive explicitly criticized Sane for anything, just that bernardo is better.
    And what would you know. In 2019 season, Bernardo by fans is voted Citys best player of the season, proving my little hypothesis right (that he is the kind of player that fans would notice in the team).
    As for this list, ive considered Sane, i was hesitant tho because i wanted to see him adapt to Bayern first... now i want to see if he recovers from this tough injury. So i am not sure.

    The thing about Sane that bothers me is that he can essentially play only one position. Guardiola virtually never put him on the right wing position which is odd because in his previous teams he did play with inside forwards that play with preffered foot opposite to the flank. Ribery right footed left flank, Messi, Villa, Mahrez,.. makes me wonder why. Probably is that Sane cant play it which is big minus in my book if he cant.
    Also i dont recall him playing right wing for Germany as well.

    I think he already had double figures when we talked about him. It was 2017/18 season.



    For Eriksen,.. i said: Rakitić is better player than Eriksen, but Eriksen more suitable to Barcelonas needs.
    See, i dont think the best team is necessarly build out of the best players, i believe its the systems that play.
    "Choose the best player for every position, and you’ll end up not with a strong XI, but with 11 strong 1’s." - Cruyff

    How many top 20 players Ajax team had? And they were arguably the best team in ucl. Team doesnt need 11 complete footballers that can attack, defend, do everything, to be great, it needs good players with complimentary qualities that funcionate as a group. Barcelona is the polar opposite. Somewhat disfunctional but they are by far the most stacked team in the world so they most often succeed based on individual moments of brilliance.

    If you need more examples. Pedro probably didnt belong in top 50 in the world back in 2011 yet he was the part of the best team of all time. Eriksen, relatively speaking, is the better player than Pedro ever was, the question is only whether he would suit Barca. I made very hypotetical argument because we will probably never find out if thats the case. Thats all

    The same way i believe Suarez still belongs in top 20 players in the world but i dont think he is showing his full potential in team like Barca. They often play on some of his weaknesses that are highlighted as he is ageing. If he played for liveprool right now that doesnt fancy the same attacking patterns as Barca, he would still produce one of the very best performances of the season and he would be undisputed top 2 striker in the world.

    I also mentioned Iwobi who is worse than Pedro in 2011 but i think he could have helped that Barca in 2018 to somewhat similar extant Eriksen could.
     
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  19. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord


    To be fair, he benefits from the confusion at the beginning (defenders drop focus because of a 'foul') but even Stevie Wonder is able to see he can play football.



    He hasn't yet done it against a top 15 opponent for club or country though (was really bad for Portugal NT).
     
  21. wm442433

    wm442433 Member

    Sep 19, 2014
    Club:
    FC Nantes
    Eduardo Camavinga :thumbsup:
     
  22. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    Skeptical.

    Black people generally reach their physical peak sooner.
    Victor Moses hasnt improved much since his teen years but was labeled hot prospect.

    That might be an anecdotal evidence but there is another clue. World cup under 20s, 18s and such are often won by Nigeria, Ghana and other african teams, when was the last time an Afrucan team won a senior world cup..
     
  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I see what you mean and don't necessarily disagree with you but think it is a plus in the good direction he has statistically very few poor touches and dispossession.

    For a physically gifted midfielder that is important, for a forward less so (i.e. Neymar and Messi are habitually the players who turn over the ball more often than anyone else in the world, but provided that they see enough of the ball this style works of course).
     
  24. Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Aug 11, 2016
    Zagreb
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    The general rule of thumb is, closer to your own goal you are, less mistakes you are supposed to make because they cost more. Its the nature of their roles.
    Therefore defenders should be judged not by the amount of great tackles or interceptions they make but the amount of mistakes they do.

    Attackers are the exact opposite, for example Salah, along side scoring 33 goals, also had the most big chances missed. As well as Mbappe last season.

    This is one of the reasons why attackers get more credit than any other positions. It is very easy to measure and notice ingenius moments but how do you measure a player not making mistakes.

    Midfielders are in between. They need both consistency and briliance.

    Having said all of that unrelated stuff, o really dont know anything about him. Ive seen literally 20 minutes of the game and his highlights.
    I think of pogba watching him play but that my be an inner racist in me :D
     
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  25. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    Lyanco, Milot Rashica & Ferran Torres are all destined for great things in the future.
     

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