Top Ten Best Passers Ever

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Dearman, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Manolo

    Manolo Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 14, 1997
    Queens, NY
    Anybody who saw Carlos Valderrama enough times would include him in this list. He had eyes in the back of his head. He almost never seemed to make the obvious pass...which made him so difficult to defend against. In my lifetime, he's the best pure passer of the ball I've seen. Every forward that played with him became prolific. Colombia has not been the same since he retired.
  2. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Arsenal FC
    Roman Riquelme
    Carlos Valderrama
    Xavi Hernandez

    Are all better passers than Zinedine Zidane, as far as I'm concerned, and Zidane played with the best strikers the game had to offer: Ronaldo, Raul, Inzaghi, Vieri, Henry, Trezeguet, etc.

    I'm not saying Zidane is not a great passer, but in my opinion, he was not good enough to be in a top 10 passing list; great passer, just not great enough to make it to a top 10 best passers ever list.

    Carlos Valderrama and Xavi Hernandez, are amongst the smartest I have seen, in the art of always finding a way of being free from mark.

    Valderrama in particular was difficult to predict, because he could send passes with both feet, so you never really knew where the pass was going.

    I'm glad that Spain won their first World Cup with Xavi Hernandez in the midfield.

    But I'm also bummed out about Riquelme, I think Argentina would've been a real threat, with Riquelme in the midfield.

    Also, Dennis Bergkamp was a great passer as well as a great dribbler.
  3. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    Well first of all, Valderama and Xavi are more like "control midfielder" a la .. "playmaker" in attack

    Zidane was strictly a "playmaker" in ATTACK (better vision)

    If you purely count on the number od successful passes, then yes you may be right. But football is not a game for passing ball around but to put the ball in the net as final verdict. Hence Zidane was excellent in this - organize the attacking scheme for the forward lines. You also forgot that Xavi even had BETTER supporting cast in Barca (Eto'o, Ronnie, Iniesta then Messi Henry Ibra..)and Spain (Villa, Torress, Iniesta, silva, Cecs ...)

    Riquelme was half way between Xavi toward Zidane (in style ) but he was very unconsistent (except few years 2005-2007)
  4. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    So Xavi is more of a control player, yet still led La Liga in assissts the last two seasons. Seems like he's more than capable of making a "killer" pass. He has been the linchpin of the two greatest passing teams in modern history and completed the most passes in WC history. He should be on any list of greatest passers.

    Laudrup for me is also a shoe in. The way he could draw in a defense, thread the needle on a 40 yard through pass, hitting his forward in stride, all while looking in another direction was just ridiculous.
  5. phil80

    phil80 Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Out of the players I've watched:

    Laudrup (possibly the most underrated player)
  6. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    Well, Forlan was twice liga topscorers and also EUFA golden boot in 05 and 09, does that make him "automatically" be "on any list of greatest strikers"? Hell NO

    judging a player not for one or few peak years but overall career! Xavi still got some years left to prove whether he would be deserved on that list- right now , he won;t make it to TOP25 best passers surely
  7. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    You may have a point that Xavi has really only had a few years of dominance, but part of that is he used to play in a much more holding role.

    I was simply replying to your assertions that Xavi's passes don't result in as many goals as Zidane's, and that's just not true. Zidane was better than Xavi in many ways, but passing is not one of them. Over the last few seasons Xavi's vision and "killer pass" have been better than Zidane's was at the peak of his powers.

    Xavi's entire game revolves around his ability to disect midfields and defenses with his vision and passing. He doesn't have Zidane's dribbling skill, so it's pretty incredible he is able to orchastrate attacks through his distributing skill alone.

    I don't think his assist numbers are what put him in the top list of any passers, but I do use them to support his ability to make the "killer pass" and breakdown defenses.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Xavi Hernandez - Mr Throughball[/ame]
  8. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    I never said that! I meant Zidane was consistently a great passers from SeriA to Liga to international level Euro & WC - In fact, Zidane did not have that many goals nor that..."many assists" to back up his HIGHLY PRAISED status - check back my comparison way back between Ronaldo and Zidane as who is better of last decade!

    Zidane was famous with his silky movements while holding the ball - superb control - that implied building up the team spirits. Plus his vision , presised passes made him stood out from the crowd.

    Xavi of last 2,3 years were great. BUT he was NOT the main or key guy that a team putting ALL HOPE for like that way France or Real look up to Zizou! At Barca that was Ronaldinho, and now is Messi. At Spain, probably David Villa or Torres!
  9. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    That sounds like that's what you were implying. Maybe I misunderstood.

    I'm certainly not saying Xavi is a better player than Zidane. Only that that I rate him a better passer. Xavi deserves to be on a list of all-time great passers.
  10. Area 51

    Area 51 Member+

    Sep 5, 2009
    Manchester United FC
    Rui Costa

    Absolutly shocking he hasnt been mentioned before, and reveals just how underrated he really was.
  11. dor02

    dor02 Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    UC Sampdoria
    Nat'l Team:
    Good call. Even as PSV, he already could make fantastic passes.

    I'm not sure if I can do a Top 10 now but I'd put in Platini, Valderrama, Totti and Rivera.

    I've only seen YouTube clips of Bochini but he made some great through-balls.
  12. Chop77

    Chop77 New Member

    May 22, 2009
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Rui Costa....remember watching him with Fiorentina and Milan... he'd place that ball perfectly on the feet of his teammates..just ridiculous and hugely underrated
  13. Dearman

    Dearman Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    Bangkok, Thailand
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Nat'l Team:
    For my newest knowledge, I'll go for new rankings.

    1. Platini
    2. Didi
    3. Luis Suarez Miramontes
    4. Gianni Rivera
    5. Gunther Netzer
  14. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    Netzer had a good eye:

  15. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
  16. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member+

    Jun 18, 2007
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Laudrup and Cruyff for me.
  17. Seaside Mafia

    Seaside Mafia New Member

    May 29, 2005
    Excellent work, but I'm still recoiling in horror at the Charlton-esque comb-over from 0.39 to 0.42
  18. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member+

    Dec 5, 2005
    This isn't true at all. Riquelme was excellent for Boca since he pretty much started all the way till Barcelona. He won multiple league titles and 2 Libertadores. He moved to Barca and he underperformed but he was misused as a winger by a manager who didn't even want him. We all know what he did with Villarreal a tiny club just coming up from the second division at the time. They had only played I believe one or two seasons in La Liga. He was arguably the best player in La Liga ahead of Ronaldinho in 2005 but was wayyy underrated because he played for such a small club. Villarreal wouldn't be known and be in the position they are able to acquire good players without the influence and the way Roman helped put them on the map.

    He returned to Boca won the Libertadores and another league title playing out of his mind and he's still playing well but has been plagued by injuries. Even then last year he led the league in assists despite Boca underperforming.
  19. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    Well you don;t have to introduce Riquelme to me ;)
    I know what he can do and what he has achieved. However I totally DISAGREE with your bold statement. In 2005, Ronaldinho was in his best form ever and was on part with the all time great (just that year) as he destroyed liga and UCL. There is NO WAY Riquelme could be better, not even closed I;d say. At his best form, Ronaldinho could win games on his own, NOT Riquelme, or rarely he could have.
  20. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member+

    Dec 5, 2005
    I'm talking about the 04-05 season when Riquelme scored plenty of goals, more than Dinho, lead the league in assists and helped Forlan, who was deemed a failure at ManU just the year before, win the pichichi. He took an unknown club to finish third in La Liga and qualify for the CL which he later helped take them to the semi-finals.

    I don't think you understand who Villarreal were at the time. The equivalent now would probably be a player scoring 15 goals, leading the league in assists and taking Malaga to third place and later the semi-finals of the CL.

    He helped Forlan become something again and as I said he helped make them known. At the time the only "stars" he had playing with him were Sorin and Rodolfo Arruabarrena. Maybe Senna also, I don't remember. But none of them were really "stars". You can't compare that with Barca.

    If you say not even close you weren't watching. But I don't blame you since they were a tiny, unknown club at the time.
  21. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    yeah and I was talking about the same year (Riquelme's best season in Liga) and eventually he won the best foreign player that same year. However, like I mentioned, Ronaldinnho's 2005 was also his very best: UEFA CL best forward (even Barca fell out early), WPOY, Ballon Dor and FiFpro ...)

    Now I can agree with you that Riquelme's 04-05 season could be very much debatable better than Ronnie's earlier season 03-04 (when he also won WPOY) but not comparable to Ronnie's 04-05.
  22. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member+

    Dec 5, 2005
    You clearly didn't see Villarreal play just like most people. You are basing this on awards and underrating Riquelme to a massive extent for what he did for his club that season. Dinho is clearly a flashier player and he played for a bigger club so people saw him more and rated him wayy over someone like Riquelme which was totally false that year.

    You like stats, having more assists and more goals while playing for a small club at the time doesn't impress you?

    You can claim Dinho was better and that's a valid opinion but to claim he wasn't even close is totally false.
  23. DeutscheFussballFan

    Oct 17, 2009
    FC Bayern München
    I would definitely put the great Stefan Effenberg up there. Just take a look:
    [ame=""]YouTube - Stefan EFFENBERG skills compilation - christinayan[/ame]
  24. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Arsenal FC
    Zidane did not, I repeat, did not, had better vision than either Riquelme or Valderrama or Xavi.

    Zidane was ridiculous in terms of dribbling or simply shielding the ball around three opponents, that's the main reason for why Zidane was as good as he was: but to say that Zidane had more "vision" than Xavi Hernandez is simply fictional.

    When talking about passing, a lot of people have the tendency of not considering the fact that other skills such as dribbling technique and speed affect passing a great deal.

    Also, the teammates surrounding the player in question, are an extremely important factor that has a massive effect on the passing ability of any player; having Romario in front of you is not the same thing as having an unknown dude.

    If you compare a player like Carlos Valderrama with a player like Zinedine Zidane and you focused strictly on passing ability....

    Valderrama was the better passer in my opinion, a Valderrama pass reached the target at ridiculous speeds, I have rarely seen Zidane making the type of passes that Valderrama made.

    But again, unlike Zinedine Zidane or Laudrup, Carlos Valderrama was not a player that could run and dribble past two or three players and then slip the deadly pass, because Valderrama never had the pace to consistently run past players, which did affected his passing ability.

    So considering other factors, you could say that Zinedine Zidane is a more versatile passer than Carlos Valderrama or Xavi Hernandez....

    Because where Valderrama and Xavi depend on their intelligence to create a good passing angle; Zinedine Zidane could always decide "to hell with that", dribble around a couple of players, create a good passing angle via his dribbling technique, and slip the dangerous pass.

    That is a variety and a skill that certain players do not possess, some players cannot consistently create passing angles by simply dribbling past two or three opponents; Zidane was intelligent but if intelligence wasn't enough, he could always do it solo.

    My opinion is, Zidane is a more versatile passer, but Valderrama and Xavi are more accurate passers.

    As for Roman Riquelme, he is the best and most consistent passer I have ever seen, with every team he has played, he has been ridiculous with his passing.

    I completely disagree with you about Zinedine Zidane; Zidane played with Ronaldo, Christian Vieri, Del Piero, Raul, Inzaghi, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, etc, etc.

    Not to mention, that Zidane was supported by Makelele, who was the most important player for Real Madrid, and arguably just as important for France, and arguably the best defensive midfielder of all times.

    Zidane had much better players surrounding him than Roman Riquelme, the best Riquelme ever had was Diego Forlan.

    And Riquelme was never supported by a defensive midfielder as good as Makelele.

    Zinedine Zidane was an excellent footballer, one of the best of all times, but in terms of passing the ball, he is not as good as Riquelme or Valderrama or Xavi, as simple as that.

    You have your own opinion, I just happen to disagree with it, but that's Football/Soccer I guess.
  25. phil80

    phil80 Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    A lot of these passes require vision and precision.
    [ame=""]YouTube - Zinedine Zidane - Real Madrid Passing Compilation[/ame]

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