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The Greatest Player That Ever Lived?

His sublime skills meant that the only way to stop him was to kick him out of the game - as he often discovered to his cost!

He comes across as a true gent and a really nice, caring person.

He was not a "flawed genius" who was notorious for cheating, or drug taking.

He played "the beautiful game" as it was meant to be played.

He inspired his national team to win the World Cup - 3 times!!!

The incomparable PELE.

Leg end!

posted on 27/11/20

*todays

posted on 27/11/20

totally agree milky and peks ref the boxing..

the amount of times ive debated this at work with my pals is untrue !!

posted on 27/11/20

Lets hope there's a couple of Bamford goals tomorrow to celebrate

posted on 27/11/20

comment by The Spanish Italians - it’s all coming home again (U21595)
posted 8 hours, 19 minutes ago

times have changed, but to 'compare' you can only look at acheivments of the player, but thats the only thing that hasn't changed..

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Even the achievements have changed, at least if we're talking in terms of trophies and accolades.

For example, in bygone days you could only ever contest the European Cup if your team had won its domestic league the season before (or the European Cup itself). Nowadays, the top teams get a new crack at it every single season, which for players like Messi or Ronaldo means that they'll have had perhaps 15, maybe even 20 chances to win it before they retire. (Someone also rightly mentioned how a series of changes in the game also allow for longer, healthier careers nowadays.)

Secondly, talent today is hoarded to a far greater extent by a smaller number of teams, meaning those that are in with a realistic chance of winning the big trophies are far fewer, whether it's the CL, the league or the FA cup, for example. Playing on one of those teams also means having better players around you who can help you shine; the media attention and coverage is also far greater, ensuring that these player remain firmly in the spotlight even when their teams aren't hoovering up the trophies.

On the international scene, far more teams qualify nowadays for the Euros or World Cup, thus increasing the number of opportunities a player might have to feature in one. With the number of slots on offer today, there's a fair chance that someone like George Best would've at least had a fighting chance of playing in a World Cup or two.

Even individual awards have changed. Maradona or Pelé weren't even eligible for the Ballon d'Or because it was for European footballers only, and the FIFA World Player award didn't even exist. Every season now also has its FIFA and UEFA teams of the year. And even if those two had been eligible back then, they would have needed to consistently contest the CL and/or be winning domestic leagues, which was a much more difficult thing to achieve.

All in all, I concur with the assertion that players can only fairly be judged within their own era, and even then the peculiarities of each one means (as has been pointed out in this thread) that it can be very misleading to try to judge them using current-day criteria only.

comment by Mattyp (U8926)

posted on 27/11/20

comment by peks - 1974 (U6618)
posted 7 hours, 10 minutes ago
very true milky

no way towards heavyweights are better than the 70s era ones

maradona was the most gifted footballer most of us (who are old enough) have ever seen

He would have excelled in this era too
infact his career would have been longer and his prime far longer (as he wouldn't have had the crap kicked out of him every match, played on perfect pitches, and would have remained in better shape physically for alot longer)
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his career would have been far, far shorter as his cocaine habbit would have been caught and he wouldhave got banned

posted on 27/11/20

comment by it'sonlyagame (U6426)
posted 2 hours, 12 minutes ago
comment by The Spanish Italians - it’s all coming home again (U21595)
posted 8 hours, 19 minutes ago

times have changed, but to 'compare' you can only look at acheivments of the player, but thats the only thing that hasn't changed..

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Even the achievements have changed, at least if we're talking in terms of trophies and accolades.

For example, in bygone days you could only ever contest the European Cup if your team had won its domestic league the season before (or the European Cup itself). Nowadays, the top teams get a new crack at it every single season, which for players like Messi or Ronaldo means that they'll have had perhaps 15, maybe even 20 chances to win it before they retire. (Someone also rightly mentioned how a series of changes in the game also allow for longer, healthier careers nowadays.)

Secondly, talent today is hoarded to a far greater extent by a smaller number of teams, meaning those that are in with a realistic chance of winning the big trophies are far fewer, whether it's the CL, the league or the FA cup, for example. Playing on one of those teams also means having better players around you who can help you shine; the media attention and coverage is also far greater, ensuring that these player remain firmly in the spotlight even when their teams aren't hoovering up the trophies.

On the international scene, far more teams qualify nowadays for the Euros or World Cup, thus increasing the number of opportunities a player might have to feature in one. With the number of slots on offer today, there's a fair chance that someone like George Best would've at least had a fighting chance of playing in a World Cup or two.

Even individual awards have changed. Maradona or Pelé weren't even eligible for the Ballon d'Or because it was for European footballers only, and the FIFA World Player award didn't even exist. Every season now also has its FIFA and UEFA teams of the year. And even if those two had been eligible back then, they would have needed to consistently contest the CL and/or be winning domestic leagues, which was a much more difficult thing to achieve.

All in all, I concur with the assertion that players can only fairly be judged within their own era, and even then the peculiarities of each one means (as has been pointed out in this thread) that it can be very misleading to try to judge them using current-day criteria only.

————

That’s a brilliant comment, very good points there

posted on 28/11/20

comment by Mattyp (U8926)
posted 19 hours, 19 minutes ago
comment by peks - 1974 (U6618)
posted 7 hours, 10 minutes ago
very true milky

no way towards heavyweights are better than the 70s era ones

maradona was the most gifted footballer most of us (who are old enough) have ever seen

He would have excelled in this era too
infact his career would have been longer and his prime far longer (as he wouldn't have had the crap kicked out of him every match, played on perfect pitches, and would have remained in better shape physically for alot longer)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
his career would have been far, far shorter as his cocaine habbit would have been caught and he wouldhave got banned
----------------------------------------------------------------------

It’s a possibility. But Coke was the Recreational drug of choice back then... so he may well never have touched any drugs had been born 30 years later, and put into the footballer bubble that exists today.

posted on 28/11/20

The Maradona we knew would quite simply never have existed nowadays. While Matty's right in that he would never be able nowadays to make a years-long drug habit compatible with elite level sport, neither would he have made the same career steps he made back then.

Anyone as outrageously talented nowadays will get picked up by one of the European mega clubs way, way earlier than when Maradona came to Spain, aged 22. He'd have enjoyed all the advantages of state-of-the-art sports science, training, nutrition and the likes from his teens, and his career, education and social circle would have been very carefully monitored from an early age. The likelihood of his ever having become a coke fiend would be infinitely lower than it was back then.

On the flip side, he may also have had some of his basic footballing instincts reined in, had shedloads of work put into him developing a capable right foot, perhaps at the expense of his other-worldly left foot; he'd have had humility and discipline drilled into him from a very young age, probably at the expense of his not taking any kind of schidt from anyone and perhaps modifying his mental approach even further.

In short, I think there's a good chance he might have ended up being fairly similar to Messi, his football more streamlined, more efficient, more calculating and his private life far more controlled.

Personally, I'm glad to have lived through both their careers and got to watch them both in their prime, but if there was a parallel universe in which one of the two had to be wiped form the face of football in order for the other to exist, as a spectator (rather than as a club manager or director) I'd choose to forgo Messi and preserve the raw, mercurial, unpredictable, unfettered and inspirational football of Maradona every single time.

comment by NJS (U8272)

posted on 28/11/20

Interesting analysis particularly your last paragraph....

Personally I wouldn't argue with last paragraph but I would change it round and preserve the consistency, the mercurial, unpredictable and inspirational football of Messi every single time.

For me the season after season consistency of Messi brilliance i.e...shooting accuracy, intricate passing skills, intricate and sometimes explosive unpredictable dribbling skills....I think Messi was more intelligent in football terms than Maradona.

Artistically Messi was Picasso and Maradona was Van Gogh....excuse my indulgence, haha...

posted on 29/11/20

You missed the 'unfettered' bit.

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