Top 5 individual performance in CL history

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Isaías Silva Serafim, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Off the top of my head I'd throw in Gianni Rivera (probably in preference to Altafini: Altafini credited Rivera I know with being the creator in the early 60s team and the ratings show Rivera as the main star in general albeit I'm talking about Serie A ratings and we don't know for sure they'd be very similar in the CL, but I know Altafini did score plenty of goals and also goes back before Rivera joined AC Milan...but on that note Rivera also has the late 60s, most notably the 1969 Final).

    I think if Savicevic was allowed to merge his Red Star Belgrade games in (which wouldn't add anything for CL of course, but would for EC/CL) he'd be a candidate, although the same might be said of Shevchenko adding in his Dynamo Kyiv period obviously.

    Like Primo Calcio said it's harder for defensive players, but Baresi was a star of the late 80s campaigns and was still contributing in the mid 90s (albeit missing the 1994 Final). Rijkaard as box to box midfielder might come into the mix I guess too potentially.

    I feel like Platini's peak level, as in best level of play, could be better, but the 1983/84 season saw Juventus playing in the Cup Winners Cup, so maybe it's a better claim for 'European competition' in general (or world club competition, then the Intercontinental Cup can come into it as well as the 1985 European Super Cup game). Van Basten too I'd say, for pure class and top level play (as much as it might be argued about whether he was a better soloist as a young Ajax player, did better in Euro 88 than in any particular CL edition overall etc), but I see what you mean about Kaka - whether we use the word peak, prime, or whatever, he had a very good run of CL form and impact from his first Milan season on, taking in a MOTM display in the 2005 Final as well as the consistent impact and form in the 06/07 competition.

    Savicevic's best Milan games in CL being these I think:
    Milan Barcellona 4-0 finale di Champions League 1993/94 un Milan stellare il più bello - YouTube
    Ultima chance per Savicevic... parola di Sandro Piccinini e Salvatore Bagni (Milan Porto 1993) - YouTube
    PSG Milan AC 1995 - YouTube
    CL-1994/1995 AC Milan - PSG 2-0 (19.04.1995) - YouTube
    Talking of playing in other Euro competitions though (with less entries to the CL for clubs of each league, which lead to Ronaldo Nazario not playing CL in 96/97 or 97/98 of course for example too), this was another good one from 95/96 UEFA Cup
    Dejan Savicevic ● Skills ● AC Milan 2-0 Bordeaux ● UEFA Cup 1/4 Final 1995-96 - YouTube
    (He missed the return game, where Milan went out btw)
    This one is a bit more mixed/less impressive overall I'd say, but is uploaded too
    Dejan Savicevic ● Skills ● AC Milan 2-0 Sparta Prague ● UEFA Cup 1995-96 - YouTube
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  2. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #27 carlito86, Jan 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
    Kaka 06/07 vs Van Basten 88/89 isn’t close IMO

    When the end product is comparable(10 goals a piece and comparable assist tallies with 3 for Kaka and two for Van Basten)
    The differentiator is what they do outside of goals

    Kaka 06/07 was scoring goals on his own (even if his best solo effort was in 2004 against fernabache)
    the ones in 2007 against Celtic and Manchester United were iconic and legendary

    Celtic was not a pub team back then either
    They beat a very good Manchester United team with a legendary freekick by nakamura

    They drew against benfica and they drew against Ac Milan
    They were a very hard team to crack and it required Kaka to go above and beyond what a normal world class player is capable of to break the deadlock

    They reached the champions league quarter final back then which is really unthinkable now

    His penalty against Bayern Munich he won so it’s his goal 100%
    Then scored against Manchester United/Liverpool back to back
    The two most successful English teams of all time

    Outside of goals Kaka 06/07 needn’t the passing of Michel platini and for sure he was a better passer as Van basten anyways
    by himself Kaka could travel with the ball at his feet across the same distances as Michel platini could spray the ball
    60 yard runs into the box and taking a shot on goal
    To me that is markedly more impressive and difficult

    The worth of platinis passing ability from midfield was dependent on the composure and finishing ability of the player at the end of it be it boniek or whoever else

    Kaka was by himself doing all the work from the moment he receives the ball in midfield up until the point he takes the shot in the box

    Kaka 06/07 could do this 2 or 3 times a game in all his great games the way Michel platini could spray 40-50 yard key passes 2 or 3 times a game in his best EC games

    I won’t talk too much about recent players now but For me to consider limited players like benzema with 0 dribbling threat he has to impact all ties with his scoring
    All ties

    The way Van basten 88/89 did in the SF and final
    The way cristiano 16/17 did in the SF and final
    The way Karim Benzema categorically did not

    I don’t disqualify benzema 21/22 for being a very limited dribbler but I will penalise him for not scoring open play goals when the only thing he offers is goals

    The double standards employed by some here(not you) are impressive

    When Messi produces less impressive G/A statistics as cristiano in his best champions league seasons
    The differentiator is what Messi provides outside of goals
    Namely Number of dribbles and key passes

    When cristiano 2013/14 dribbles at twice the rate (25) or Karim benzema(12) In 2021/22

    he records more impressive Total goal/assist statistics(22 G/A vs 17 G/A)

    he does so in less games

    and he scores demonstrably superior solo efforts it doesn’t matter anymore

    Personally I would never put any of cristianos champions league seasons at Real Madrid above Ricardo Kaka except the ones where the statistical output blows Kakas away

    Kaka 2006/07 had 11 G/A involvements in the 2006/07 that deserve full credit
    6 non penalty goals
    1 penalty goal that he earned/scored vs Bayern Munich
    +3 assists
    This achieved as the most devastating ball carrier ever IMO

    Cristiano 2016/17 had 18 non penalty goal/assist involvements
    Over 80% of his goals coming against the best teams of his era and marking all knockout rounds in a significant way

    In 2013/14 he had 21 G/A involvements I will credit him for
    15 non penalty goals
    1 penalty he earned
    5 opta assists
    Excluding 1 penalty he scored but didn’t earn/win

    dribbling at twice the rate(25 successful dribbles) as the only other two players to score 15 goals in a single champions league season(both of whom required 2 penalties to score those 15 goals BTW)

    Robert lewandowski CL 19/20(with 12 successful dribbles)
    Karim Benzema CL 21/22(with 12 successful dribbles)

    If the statistical output is identical I will always give the edge to Kaka 2006/07 because he was for sure a more dangerous dribbler than cristiano ever was at Real Madrid except his first season IMO
    However If ronaldo has a significant edge in G/A statistics doing so against better teams then Kaka faced then I will give cristiano the edge

    I will not give him the edge over Kaka in campaigns like 2015/16 where he pulverised shit teams though
    And I will not give the edge to cristiano in campaigns where he didn’t impact every single tie(2017/18)

    That’s my thinking anyways
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  3. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    #28 PDG1978, Jan 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
    I feel like you have a good understanding/insight re: Kaka's 2006/07, and I'd say that his contributions were crucial in the main, and that Milan team was a bit more light on the attacking side than it had been previously (though Seedorf did especially well as an attacking midfielder in the latter stages - especially QF and SF I think).

    Van Basten did have a decent share of assists in 88/89 though (considering his goalscoring output), and offered more than just his goals. I think you probably saw this before but it's a good example I think

    Then in 89/90 he did have assists like at home to Real Madrid, and the one in the Final, and he had to face defending like this for example too

    I know I posted before stats etc to show his contribution level was very good for Milan in the EC (let's not forget Gothenberg 92/93 of course too), though the sample size was smaller than for Messi/C.Ronaldo I'd admit.

    Without wanting to get myself too much into other aspects you comment on above, on the face of it I see what you're saying about Benzema (not that some of his chances weren't nicely taken for example), though still need to look through full performances I've not seen and decide exactly what I think overall. What is probably fair for you to say is that if any Messi fans were using the Penaldo tag-name then they should take that into account (and not change their 'criteria for greatness' or whatever) for the 2022 World Cup, otherwise it'd seem a bit contradictory, but yeah I don't want to get further into that kind of debate. For what it's worth I suppose I wouldn't have Messi 2022 massively far behind Kempes 1978 that I rounded out my attempted top 10 with (only on topic because I compared those ten to the CL campaigns I guess!), and don't feel it's ridiculous or something if someone chooses him in their own top 10, although I could think of quite a few others potentially where I'd think similar.
  4. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Arsenal FC

    That's an exceptionally difficult proposition, especially because almost everyone will mention forward players. From what I can remember...

    1. Lio Messi 2011.
    2. Karim Benzema 2022.
    3. Ronaldinho 2006.
    4. Lio Messi 2015.
    5. Cristiano Ronaldo 2017.
    6. Pavel Nedved 2003.
    7. Kaka 2007.
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  5. LaPulga22

    LaPulga22 Member

    Messi FC
    Mar 10, 2023
    Can someone Show me a UCL campaign with this Level of General Play???
    For the Love of The Game I Pick these two every day of the week over Deceisive Robotic 16/17 Poachnaldo campaign.

  6. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #31 carlito86, Jun 18, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2023

    The closest would be 2007/08(scoring glorious goals,creating chances with vision via throughballs or crosses,ball carrying and dribbling)

    And he was at that Messi level(of all round play) in the 2008 final against one of the best teams of all time


    The Premier league Top 4 in 2007/08 were the 4 best teams in Europe
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  7. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    Top 10(including European cup) 1 per player
    1-Messi 14/15
    2-CR7 16/17
    3-Cruyff 72/73
    4-Platini 84/85
    5-Di Stefano 57/58
    6-Puskas 59/60
    7-G Best 67/68
    8-Van basten 88/89
    9-Eusebio 64/65
    10-Benzema 21/22
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  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Obviously since I made these posts we have some Sofascore data, and although I don't say it should be taken definitively, I guess it would contribute to me casting even more doubt on my own idea that Kaka could be so high up a list with 06/07 (I think I'd still be having him higher up with that season than their ratings suggest though, and quite likely somewhere among the top CL players overall given what he'd already done in some games of prior seasons from 03/04 onwards and obviously including the 2005 Final even if the Sofascore rating for that one isn't mega-high either - I'd stick to a much higher rating for that game by him myself I think though)!

    Also newly-available is some nice interesting work by @CristianoPuskas (maybe since my last comment to you was a bit of 'criticism' re: Ronaldo Nazario analysis then it's good to be giving some kudos here) on Zidane's big chances created (not necessarily complying with OPTA-standards by his own assessment but nevertheless nice work to put it together). Hey, maybe it even contributes to me thinking if not Kaka 06/07 as 'runner-up' or squeezing between the two top Messi seasons then why not Zidane 01/02 doing that (given also a good end to his CL campaign in general, even if without a huge amount of direct BCCs as such, and a good to excellent general performance in the Final with an iconic goal included of course)....
    It's good to highlight chances created for players in general I guess anyway, as the difference between them and assists is often more about the play of the team-mate. Could this one be Zidane's best ever pass even for example?
    Fußballkönig on X: "Game. 36 - AS Roma (H) 2001/02 First Group Stage R5 1 BCC" / X
    I was thinking though that this one shouldn't really be a BCC by any measure in my estimation to be fair (less so than the great pass vs Dynamo Kyiv away in 97/98 that wasn't called one, with understandable reasoning I guess because of the finish still required)
    Fußballkönig on X: "Game. 39 - FC Porto (H) 2001/02 Second Group Stage R3 1 BCC" / X

    I suppose overall I'm still inclined to think Messi 2014/15 first, for CL-era, but then pretty unsure about second place (but as with most of us I surely didn't really watch enough of all the candidates full games and/or review them enough retrospectively - in this sense it's a bit harder than making attempts for World Cups probably to be fair too, albeit I guess some of you do see every touch of every game by some players in current/modern era CL editions at least....)
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  9. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021
    disagree for Cruyff campaign being that high, for me several Zidane seasons, especially 96/97 and 97/98 were better than Cruyff's best. Top 10 will be filled with Puskas/Messi/Di Stefano/Cristiano
  10. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021

    Kaka have no business in very top tier
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  11. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    If sofascore didn’t exist we would forever be blinded by nostalgia.
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  12. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    Zidane flopped in 96/97 & 97/98 UCL finals while Cruyff dropped back to back masterclasses in finals: 8.5 in 71, 8.5 in 72 & 9 in 73 (ZZ 6.5 in 97, 6 in 98, 8 in 2002 still inferior to Cruyff performances)
    Sorry but no, ZZ is simply not on that level
    Cruyff 72/73 was class in every single game hence I rated him highly, he faced Bayern, Real Madrid & Juve btw, & destroyed CSKA Sofia which knocked ajax out of UCL just a season after
  13. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021
    it msu
    I agree on the final thing - but Zidane never faced a team in final as bad as Panathinaikos 1971 which was rated outside top 100 accordinng to elo. according to xG in every finals, Ajax always dominate. It is good to mention that Zidane never had a team as calibre as the great Ajax

    Cruyff was very inconsistent, in fact, especially in quarter finals and semifinals. Saying he was better than Zidane is not a bad take, but none of his campaign deserves to be ranked in top 10
  14. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    Cruyff vs Bayern Munich 72/73
    Almost Nothing to see here

    0 big chances created from open play

    1 assist from a corner

    World class shooting

    World class passing

    Running in straight lines and running the ball out of play
    There are few examples of this in the comp
    And they lead to nothing

    Nice header

    Cruyff vs Cska Sofia

    0 goals against Real Madrid
    With finishing like this it is no surprise

    Vs Real Madrid 72/73(Home)

    vs Real Madrid 72/73(Away)

    A wild red card foul by Johan Cruyff vs Real Madrid 72/73(away)

    Two footed challenge wouldn’t even require VAR today

    This the injustice that Dutch players have been subject to throughout football history
    So sad
  15. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    some selected videos ain't fooling me bruh, I watched every Cruyff game in full and these are my ratings
    8.5 vs Bayern (A)
    7.5 vs Real Madrid (H)
    8.5 vs Ream Madrid (A)
    9 vs Juve final
    That Cska Sofia team beat ajax without Cruyff just a season after
  16. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    If you ignore Panathinaikos there's still Inter & Juve
    Even his performance against Milan 69 (7/10 performance) is better than ZZ ones in 97 & 98
    His 68/69 campaign is clear of ZZ campaigns, 10/10 vs Benfica was a legendary performance from him.
  17. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    You and this thread is a good reminder why I was absent here for a while. Immune for basic facts and statistics.

    Yes, Panathinaikos was not a good team but they beat the Champions of England, back then #1 in the coefficients. Cruijff played better against Panathinaikos than any other player of that time did against them. Ajax remains in attendance the smallest team to win the EC.

    Meanwhile, it has been proven how FIFA did Germany huge favors in 1966 and 1974 (while Scotland didn't have that luxury in 1974 and saw players banned).

    I also think Cristiano had some better campaigns than 2016-17 but that is for another time.
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    This was a Milan team that conceded very little, in particular in non-away games.–69_AC_Milan_season

    Cruijff created a penalty in the final. He was the only player of his team to receive BdO votes, very unusual for a finalist, even back then.
  19. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #44 carlito86, Jun 11, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2024


    This is the weakest form of victory(even weaker than winning on penalties or by golden goal)

    Thankfully it is scrapped now

    you can’t possibly talking about Arsenal(the actual number 1 ranked team in England and Europe in 1970/71)?

    Arsenals first ever game vs panathinaikos was in 1981
  20. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021
    Juve was never 9/10, have some standarts

    the truth is that Cruyff never produced an UCL performance as good as Zidane vs Kyiv 98 (A) or Ajax 97, and I rate both 9/10
  21. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021
    can also argue Panathinaikos was nowhere to be seen in Europe before of after that season. great team in 70/71 no doubt, but it just once in a lifetime purple patch. Yes Cruyff have great performances in 71 and 72 final I agree
  22. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    You are god of fallacious arguments, do you know that?
  23. ffff15

    ffff15 Member

    Sep 29, 2021
    I rate controlling the tempo and dictating the play highly, Cruyff created a 1 big chance & his dribbling was impressive as well, very progressive.
  24. CristianoPuskas

    Manchester United
    May 27, 2021
    he was just decent troughout the game. Ajax comfortably dominating. second half was average. no chance, any time any day in any universe it is 9/10 lmao
  25. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid

    Cruyff being a 9/10 vs juventus 1972/73 is a complete joke

    The only two worthy of that(and more)

    is this

    and maybe this

    savicevic vs Barcelona 93/94 was better than Cruyff vs juventus 73

    heck even Gianni Rivera vs Ajax 69 was better

    Xavi vs Manchester United 2009

    you are literally the king of exaggerations

    for what?
    Pin point exactly what he did to be worthy of such a rating

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