PBP: Xavi Vs Pirlo

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by the one and only, Jul 13, 2012.

?

So who's better???

  1. Xavi

    18 vote(s)
    34.0%
  2. Pirlo

    31 vote(s)
    58.5%
  3. Both overrated

    1 vote(s)
    1.9%
  4. Iniesta will always steal the spotlight from them

    3 vote(s)
    5.7%
  1. LegendarySunrise

    Jan 26, 2016
    New York
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Every match? Even when surrounded by Messi, Busquets, Iniesta, Sanchez against Bayern in 2013? Even at Xavi's prime in 2008-10 and was surrounded by his world class teammates, he was nullified by Cambiasso and Zanetti, Ballack and Essien when he faced inter and Chelsea in the CL. Even against a very weak Brazil led by Neymar in 2013 while surrounded by Iniesta, Alonso, Busquets, Silva, Fabregas, Xavi couldn't even dominate the game.
     
  2. LegendarySunrise

    Jan 26, 2016
    New York
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I would really like to see how prime Xavi while surrounded by Alonso, Iniesta, Busquets, Silva, Fabregas could have performed against a French team led by prime Zidane Vieira Makelele,or an Italian team led by prime Pirlo, Totti, Gattuso, Perrota, Camoranesi
     
  3. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Indeed from these two posts it can be said that Zidane was already a star before WC98 then the legendary performance in the final set his status in stone.

    I would think most football journalists watch every WC match given the magnitude of the event. I watched every match of WC14, WC10, etc.
     
    Estel repped this.
  4. Estel

    Estel Member+

    May 5, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Journalists might prefer to watch the games in-person though which would make it almost impossible to catch every game. I do think however that they might catch the ones which they didn't watch in-person, later on, via a repeat telecast.

    Best bet - Someone like RoyOfTheRovers who would probably be able to explain in much more detail how journalists manage their time during big tournaments.
     
    Pipiolo repped this.
  5. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Maybe I'm cynical, but I just don't believe that. Or at least, perhaps you're right that "most" journalists watch them all, but I think at least a substantial minority of them do not. And when we depart from the World Cup, I am completely certain that the vast majority do not watch every club match for all the top players. Which further weakens the argument that votes for Zidane shows that he wasn't inconsistent for his club.

    I have no actual evidence for any of that, of course, but it's just a strong intuition.
     
  6. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    I'd love for you to tell me what Zidane did in that Brazil match that was so great. He was an attacking midfielder who literally created zero chances for his team. He got an assist from a set piece (in which the opposing team fell asleep basically). Otherwise, he really didn't do much of anything that looked quite dangerous.

    Meanwhile, he certainly was accurate in his passing and impossible to take the ball off, but that describes Xavi every match. What did Zidane do against Brazil that Xavi doesn't do all the time? The only thing I can think of is that Zidane did a few flashy tricks. But the end result of those tricks wasn't any different from the end result of the pirouettes Xavi does multiple times each match.

    I don't disagree that the Ballon D'or is about media attention, but you must be kidding if you think that Sneijder played at the level of Messi that year. He had lots of team success, but no way was he at Messi's level. You MIGHT be able to argue that he was temporarily at Xavi/Iniesta's level. I don't agree with that, but the fact is that winning the World Cup boosts you in voting more than losing in the finals does, even if you've also won a treble with your club. So even if you thought Sneijder was actually at their level, it's no surprise he ended up behind.

    That's just made-up stuff. I've never seen Zidane individually decide a game for himself, unless it was via a goal (in which case, I'm sure I could also find matches where Xavi had a goal that decided the match too, so that'd be kind of a silly point). Zidane simply never dominated a midfield like Xavi did. You can say that that's because Xavi had incredible teammates, and, to some degree, that's true. But he simply never controlled a game like Xavi did, nor did he get tons of goals and assists.

    As for being reliant on a system and teammates, tell me this. How much success did Zidane have without an all-time great DM behind him? As I see it, when Makelele left Real Madrid, Zidane's performances became much less impressive. Zidane needed to have a guy behind him to do the dirty work, while he roamed around without defensive duties. So yes, he was reliant on a system, of sorts.
     
    leadleader repped this.
  7. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Your argument against Xavi really rests on a Confederations Cup match!??! How many much-more-important matches for Spain did Xavi dominate? Spain's midfield dominated the opposing midfield every single match for 3 straight major tournaments. That is unprecedented. Yet you want us to focus on a Confederations Cup match instead...
     
    ko242 repped this.
  8. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Is that the best you can do? Are you trying to act like Xavi did not dominate when he finally played good teams? Because he dominated a bunch of Clasicos, multiple CL finals, tons of matches in the World Cup and the Euros (including absolutely destroying Pirlo's midfield in the 2012 Euro Finals), tons of other KO stage matches in the CL, many matches against Atletico Madrid, etc. You know you are desperate when you can hardly point to a match against a big team that Xavi didn't dominate except a Confederations Cup match.
     
    ko242 and leadleader repped this.
  9. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    So basically...you just don't like tiki-taka?

    Most Spanish teams try to play the same low-tempo, tiki-taka kind of game. You may not like it, but it's not an ineffective style, as demonstrated by Spain and Barcelona's dominance of world football this generation.

    The fact is that those Spanish teams are better passers and more technically proficient than their counterparts in other leagues. They are typically also less athletic, I'd say. It's a trade off, but it doesn't make them worse. Just different in a way you apparently don't like. In fact, La Liga teams' success in the Champions League and Europa League seems to indicate that La Liga is easily the strongest league in the world. Of course, it's unclear how much weight to put on the Europa League, because I'm not certain every team takes it seriously. But it is undoubtedly true that Spanish teams have absolutely destroyed non-Spanish teams in European competitions in the last handful of years. And not just Barcelona and Real Madrid. Teams like Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Villarreal, Seville, and Athletic Bilbao have found considerable success in Europe. Notice that it's actually incredibly common for Spanish teams to only be knocked out in Europe by other Spanish teams. Is that indicative of a weak league?
     
    Pipiolo repped this.
  10. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Xavi is better than all the guys you mentioned except Messi. So remind me how he is supposed to play better than all those guys just because he's on a team with them.
     
  11. LegendarySunrise

    Jan 26, 2016
    New York
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    That is your opinion and I respect that. But for me, not a single cm/DM playmaker in the last 15-20 years has surpassed the level of 2003-07 Pirlo, influence-wise and individual ability-wise. Be it Guardiola, Redondo or Xavi.
     
    ko242 repped this.
  12. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    #237 lessthanjake, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    But surely you agree that Xavi is better than the Spain/Barcelona players you mentioned in the post I was responding to (besides Messi, as I said)? Iniesta is the only one you mentioned that I think anyone would put ahead of Xavi.

    The point being that it's a bit silly to say that Xavi's team is so good that he is expected to play better than his teammates played.
     
  13. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    #238 leadleader, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    Ah, could you possibly be talking about the Italian teams that "choked" at Euro 1996 and at Euro 2004 and at World Cup 2002 (and failing to even qualify to Euro 1992; and getting eliminated at Italia'90 by one of the worse rated Argentina teams ever), was Italian football in its splendor?? If so, I'll still readily go with the far more consistent Spain 2008-2012.

    Well what happened to Pirlo's passing accuracy in 2012-13?? The man was making lots of bad "easy" passes; in fact, he literally assisted Bayern Munich's first goal with one of them bad "easy" passes, in what was a 4-0 thrashing where Pirlo looked woefully inefficient (in addition to having literally assisted Bayern's first goal).

    In any case, according to you, Pirlo was the Benjamin Button (in-reverse) of football players. His passing didn't improved with age (whereas over 90% of midfielders get better as passers the older they get). Thank you for clarifying yet again that you know f*ck all about even a player you claim to have "watched closely."
     
  14. monere

    monere Guest

    Exactly. For me entertaining football means attacking the goal every few seconds at high speed, not completing 800 meaningless passes in the middle of the pitch until everybody gets bored and goes home

    I never said it's ineffective, just boring

    Wrong! It's not a fact that they are better passers (I can name at least 2 players in the top 20 clubs of Europe that can pass as well as xavi & co). The fact is that Spanish teams choose to pass more cause they're latins, and it's in the latin blood to love the ball, not to get rid of it ASAP so you can score. The entire La Liga is made up of ball lovers, who'd rather pass between each other like retards instead of attacking the freakin goal, which is why makes the league boring to watch (for me obviously), and the type of league that you can watch with your family before the fireplace while sipping a fine glass of wine. In that league nobody gives a shit about performance, about trophies, about challenges, even about remaining in the first division (as I demonstrated in a previous post). They're just happy ********ing the ball in the middle of the pitch to show off

    Define "absolutely destroyed"! Also, seeing how you hyperbolize simple football results when it comes to success of spanish teams reinforces my opinion of how much of an a$$-licker of spaniards you are. I still need to figure out why you hate Pirlo and Italian football so much, though...

    If the teams in La Liga would ********ing start challenging RM and Barca the league would be more competitive internally, and probably more fun to watch (albeit still boring for me due to the reasons I explained). Internationally, it's not a weak league (they have dominated Europe and the world in the last decade, and even if their domination has a lot to do with the decrease of quality of the Italian football, it's still their merit that they knew how to capitalize on this aspect).
     
  15. monere

    monere Guest

    Hating Pirlo much, are we? Good! It just means you recognize his worth and it's eating at you inside :D
     
  16. monere

    monere Guest

    I can't. I don't remember what they did in those competitions, and frankly speaking I never discussed in this thread (or anywhere else AFAIK) the quality of Italian football, internationally. If I didn't mention this yet then I'm saying it here and now so that pricks like you will not challenge me again: I only discuss Italian football at club level, because that's what I'm mostly interested in, and that's what I grew watching most of the time. So, sorry (not really) that I won't discuss international games with you, but I'm not knowledgeable enough.
     
  17. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Just because you don't like to watch it doesn't mean it's not good/effective. And Xavi is the master at it. Look past your bias against his style of play for a moment and try to actually discuss how good he is, not how boring you think his style is.

    And yet, that same league has been the dominant force in European competition, and not just through Barcelona and Real Madrid. You may not like the style, but it is objectively a strong league. It would be hard to argue that it isn't the strongest league in the world right now, actually. And Elo ratings back that up. Again, you may not like the style of play. But the argument you are making is that it is easy to dominate La Liga because the teams aren't good. THAT argument is simply not backed up by facts. Quite the opposite actually.

    Huh? How do I hate Pirlo? I've literally pointed you to posts I've made on this forum praising Pirlo, precisely so that you wouldn't have the weird knee-jerk reaction you just had. And I certainly don't hate Italian football: I've also made many posts praising Totti, who is one of my favorite players. Just because I think Xavi is better than Pirlo doesn't at all mean I hate Pirlo/Italian football. The fact that you can't understand that is a bit odd.

    And, I define absolutely destroyed as getting 2 beautiful assists in a 4-0 victory, while basically never getting dispossessed or making a bad pass. Spain's midfield dominated Italy in the Euro 2012 finals. That's a fact.

    You realize that Atletico Madrid won La Liga two seasons ago, right? You also realize that they're right up there again this season? Hell, Villarreal is within striking distance of the two two as well (only 5 points behind Real Madrid). La Liga hasn't been a two-team league in several years. Atletico is probably the 4th best team in the world.
     
  18. Estel

    Estel Member+

    May 5, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Yeah, I've never understood how Pirlo is compared to pure DMs. He has always played like a deep lying playmaker a role which is exactly similar to Xavi's. That is the reason why it makes a lot of sense to compare those two.

    In fact, a lot of the same stuff that is used in embellishing Xavi's attributes i.e. almost never made a bad pass, almost never had a bad game, etc. were used for Pirlo in his pomp years, which further justify the comparison.


    True, with the eyeball test of watching each player perform, for people who actually understand the sport, it is quite clear that Zidane is a level above Xavi in terms of ability. Some people just want to disregard that and go by pure stats/trophies won to try and make the opposite case (not always successfully but in their opinion, strong enough to 'win' :rolleyes: the argument, thus allowing them to sleep peacefully :D ), completely disregarding the effect of external factors on these aspects.

    Hell, with that kind of attitude I'm sure we will soon start reading about how there were seasons when Xavi was superior to Maradona - In specific seasons he was ahead statistically (for e.g. Maradona apparently had only 6 assists as per wide rules in 86/87 while Xavi had 10 in 04/05) and at par trophywise (Maradona won the Serie A while Xavi won the La Liga). If someone then brings up goals, it would be argued that Xavi played further behind and was second fiddle to both Ronaldinho and Deco (apparently) and thus had lesser oppotunities to score goals himself. It would also be argued that as playmakers, each players' primary function was to setup or assist goals and not to score themselves. Napoli being a relatively weak team would be swept under the rug with the mention of Barcelona 04/05 too having just come out of an extremely poor era (results wise) for the club. Ability to create threat on his own for Maradona would be juxtaposed against the assumed defensive importance of Xavi to Barcelona and since Xavi almost never lost the ball (classic hyperbole) he would have contributed just as much as a Maradona who would lose the ball in approximately a 3rd of the dribbles that he embarked upon. Same would then be done for other nitpicked seasons like Maradona 89/90 vs Xavi 08/09 (with minor adjustments) and thus the ball would be kept rolling.

    Simply put, it reeks of the rankest desperation. That is because, while multiple video based examples can be shown of how players like Maradona/Zidane could perform skills/score goals which were of extremely high technical level, the same cannot be shown in case of a player like Xavi to extoll his brilliance. This leaves those having an agenda to artificially prop up Xavi to as high a level as possible, needing to manipulate stats and team trophies to try and make a case for the same. Ultimately, such tiresome efforts simply end up demeaning the stature of a great player like Xavi in the eyes of many neutrals, an aspect which is lost on most of these keyboard warriors.
     
    gumbacicc repped this.
  19. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    This is incredibly disingenuous. You know full well that the argument against Zidane has been most strongly related to little things you'd only notice from watching his games, not from looking at stats (which don't give either player a conclusive advantage). Taking a bad first touch. Making an inaccurate simple pass (and please notice the word "simple" there. Don't go on the same rant about risky passes you've gone on a million times). Getting dispossessed because he lingered on the ball longer than he should have and invited pressure. Not pressing as much as Xavi. These are the sorts of things that have been talked about. It is precisely the eyeball test that has been used against Zidane. But your eyeball test only seems to care about performing flashy skills, rather than actually understanding the concrete results of what the player actually does. You act like you have some higher knowledge of football, but the irony is it really just comes down to you being seduced by flashiness.
     
  20. el-torero

    el-torero Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    malaysia
    Club:
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    in general, footballer should master the basic thing first, before go the next level

    in this case, passing is one of the basic thing that need to be mastered on (xavi is one of the master in this skill)

    that is why some player did one outrageous ball control skill in 1 match but failed in simple pass consistently
     
    lessthanjake repped this.
  21. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    But can Xavi do skills like the one below??

     
    lessthanjake repped this.
  22. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    @Pipiolo

    i think @carlito86 may have a point. however, im not sure if it very clear.

    in terms of Champions League play, Zidane was clearly above Hazard, no question!

    but if i look at the level that Hazard and Zidane (pre 98 world cup) both reached. Hazard may have the edge
     
  23. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    I think @Edhardy has a point. The safe method didnt work because if you look at the game, Barcelona did very little to nothing in terms of creating chances. I also believe xavi's passing percentage was damn near 100% in that game which shows the lack of risks.

    However, i think the biggest problem in Barca's tie with Munich in 12-13 were the circumstances of the Barca team. With Tito Villanova out, the assistant coach had no grip on the team and were simply not responding to him. Barcelona was in perhaps the worst form I've seen at that time from 08-15. with Messi coming back to his first match after being out for weeks, that didnt help
    (i dont think its so much a xavi thing as it is a collective thing during this time period)
     
    Edhardy repped this.
  24. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    If im not mistaken, Pique was actually the best defender for Barcelona in the 1st leg against Bayern Munich 12-13. I remember having that discussion with someone after the match.
     
  25. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    you mean like how Schalke, the 3rd place team, conceded 4 goals to Bayern Munich in 28 minutes at the Allianz Arena in the 13-14 season.

    Bayern won the league by 19 points to Dortmund (the 2nd place team) and 26 points to Schalke ( the 3rd place team)

    My point is, watching 5 games in la liga is not a good indicator to judge la liga as a poor league.
     

Share This Page