Feed The GOAT
Morning,all. Our genial host MAHE is out of commission with man-flu at the moment. Lucky it’s not bird-flu,that can kill! Anyway,he has thoughtfully asked me to put up an old post from a previous life(!) re the Greatest Of All Time. From June 2018
I thought I would lay out my thoughts on the best ever for anyone thats interested..if not sorry for the long post .
Anyway if you read hope you enjoy and I cant promise a reply although I’ll scroll through at some stage. Cheers.
I enjoy the blog debating the greatest of all time. Theres many older posters who have a different opinion to the younger among us. Our esteemed colleague 16 Roads has posted clearly that Diego is the greatest ever.
Sir, until these last few years I agreed with you, and thought surely there will never be greater.
He mesmerised me did Diego . I had never ever seen anyone possess that much control over the football and that control could be exerted by many different body parts , not just the usual suspects.
Although his career ended on a sour note he has since made me laugh many times,, his antics such as shooting reporters gathered outside his house , and having a heart attack after not sleeping all night then deciding to have beer and cheese for breakfast , while quite a bit overweight . Why his comments and eye covering antics only this past week has made me laugh.
His club record is impressive enough and leading Napoli to the title twice is the highlight. To score 38 in 58 games for Barca is not too shabby either plus theres 3 cups in his first season there as well as having the added distinction of being the first Barca player to be applauded by arch rival Real fans according to wiki
We all seen him demolish Engerland single handedly on the way to lifting the World Cup,, deservedly imo for the amount of skill he displayed during the competition.
He did not dominate any league for any long amount of time but did indeed lift himself and his teammates to heroic feats,,feats that seal their place in history. 86 is the standout moment . Its also worth pointing out , in my book anyway , that the quality of the AC Milan side that Napoli beat to the titles was frightening with names such as Gullit , Rijkaard , Baresi , Maldini , Van Basten.
I would sum him up by saying the most gifted player of his generation and possibly ever but was at war with himself and the game for long stretches.
Pele was the best of his generation , and is rightly feted for sure. In my book to claim the greatest ever ones talents would need to be spread across a few arenas so as the challenge might be viewed in more context. This he did just about I guess we might say.
The great man won league titles in his homeland ( 6 ) with a couple of Copa Libertadores thrown in for good measure.
Although that domestic title haul might be matched by say Ryan Giggs his crowning achievement is lifting the World Cup 3 times.
This alone bears a hell of a lot of weight.
He became a national treasure and his tally of over a thousand goals is incredible , simply stunning.
But I would ask of Pele and indeed all these pretenders to the throne how did he affect the game ? Did he change the game ? Was he groundbreaking or a trendsetter ? What made him different to some other great players ?
When I watch his games and highlights I see a player who was outstanding at a lot of different things and that has allowed him to be in this conversation.
Amazing at dribbling,,goalscoring,,endurance,,vision on the field,,and had the drive to match the skill. Ive probably missed something .
He seems to me the ultimate all rounder but on the attack side of things.
I would sum him up by saying he has stellar international pedigree and had a good club career.
That he deserves to be in this conversation there should be little doubt in anyones mind.
Messi,,this blog kisses his arse you know. He can do no wrong on these pages hey. Well for most that is.
If I take all emotion out of it and look at Messi up to this point here is what I see,,,
The most naturally gifted player of this generation. But with that being said, he should have achieved more by now especially on the international stage if he were to be considered the greatest ever. Right now hes being eclipsed by his rival ,, big time .
He might be winning titles domestically right now but hes not been producing it on the biggest stage in Europe where he plies his trade. Hes never produced it on the World stage either . And theres an argument that 4 Champions leagues medals might be considered par for the course for any superstar player at one of the mega clubs . Ronaldo has 4 medals also. Messi has won more leagues yes but CR7 has won other big league titles not just in the one country plus he has delivered international silverware so surely he has surpassed Lionel ?
The International manager has admitted to tailoring his team due to Messi’s demands. Yet they suck. The weight of expectation seems to weigh too heavy many a time on his small shoulders.
Your biggest rival just done the incredible in 3 big cups in a row.
The honest to God reason hes in this conversation at all is because he has magic in that left peg of his . Real , sublime , shake your head at times magic . BUT, Ive seen it before. Diego dribbled like that and scored goals like that before Messi was even thought of. And Diego produced it on other stages than the domestic Spanish scene. Bigger stages.
So Messi certainly isnt doing anything thats not been done before. Or is nothing we havent seen the likes of before.
So to analyse his career to date, he has been the focal point of a mega club which has recently dominated domestically is his highlight. LIke I say at a mega club 4 Champs league winners medals is pretty much standard for one of their top players. He basically has one tick in his la liga career and one tick for getting 4 winners medals in Europe.
He could go on to become the greatest ever but it would surprise me. If I were to sum him up hes the latest genius,,magical to watch but doesnt have the most impressive trophy haul or the drive that would be needed to back up any serious claim about being the best ever.
Which leads to Cristiano.
Hes now 33 , and has publicly announced his plan to play until 41 . We are now witnessing CR mark 3 ,, the third phase of his career.
You wont need me to give the details. But here are some facts.
Delivered the goods bigtime in the English top flight ,, the biggest stages in Europe ( Champions League and European Championships ) and as you read this is lighting up the world stage.
Another version of Cristiano will arrive also if he is to play until 41 logic would suggest. That same logic would also suggest he will succeed in making the transition to whatever type of player and style that he deems necessary to transition to.. I foresee a low mobility quarterbacking role at a second tier club of his choice. It could be argued that a second tier club signing CR7 would automatically become a first tier club but thats for another day.
So here we are 15 or 16 years or so later watching the same player not only win but shine at the very top level,, still. And consistently. Hes been winning things for 15 years now and theres another half of that again roughly to come.
Wow. And then to the bigger arguments,,has he changed the game,,has he stood out from other greats,,was he a trendsetter etc?
Would be hard not to answer yes to all. Have we seen any other player perfect 3 different roles ? Would you bet against him perfecting 4 positions ?
What does he do different than others? Well weve never seen stepovers like that before. Those stepovers that were first laughed at are now a serious weapon in his arsenal . His own club team mate fell for it to give away a pen in his opening game, and he trains with him almost daily. Its blink of an eye stuff and he has invented and perfected the art of his own style of step overs.
Then his free kicks. He has perfected those. Remember there was this thing about kick the valve a certain way and the ball would react a bit different. He figured that out, and perfected the art.
No one could hit a free kick like it at the time . All the professionals were trying it and no one could. Why just last week his last gasp equaliser was sublime magic under huge pressure,,a pressure he seems to thrive under and indeed promote in order to drive himself on.
Changing the game? Well no one has ever ripped up the EPL from the left wing quite like him.
Right now he is Portugals mobile and floating playmaker and when he returns to Madrid one would imagine he will return to his almost classic centre forward position.
Trendsetting,,well hes redefining the meaning of the word dedicated. The others were or in Lionels case seem not to be anywhere near as driven as him. If they were we probably wouldnt be having this conversation. Hes not the most gifted of the 4 , I would say Diego was .
But I do believe the root of his success is his great physique. I have told my friends that if he chose to be a swimmer or tennis player he would probably be the best or one of in the world in that field for he is a supreme athlete and when that is matched with the right temperament greatness is possible.
When you consider the quality of the current Champions League later stages its probably higher than international football . It probably is the hardest tournament around.
When you throw in teams with bottomless pockets attracting the best coaches,, the fact theres two legs rather than the one in the World Cup ,, the travelling involved is greater as is the variety of playing surface and maybe the ref standard,,and hes dominating it like no one before in history has ever done.
Peles 3 world cups are amazing yes,,,but they are Brazil and just look at the quality of some of those players around him at times especially that 70 team,,they probably woulda won it without him that year many would agree I believe.
If we are being generous and counting the brazilian league title as a major trophy then Pele lifted 11 major trophies in his time.
Diego didnt have the equivalent club career and didnt dominate any league for any length of time. He delivered on the biggest stage with such a bang that its put him in the bracket of greatest ever but if you stack up the number of the beautiful games biggest prizes won by both then even the great Maradona gets left behind with 5 which includes an Argentinian title and a UEFA cup.
Messi’s trophies might number about the same as CR7’s but surely producing on the world stage now as we are seeing plus leading his country to success in the Euro’s places him above the wee man if their club trophy haul is roughly equal. Especially considering he is older and not as naturally gifted as his rival. Throw in a few unique patented moves of his own for a bonus point. And lets not forget Real specifically target the big cup over the league . Who could blame them. Its more prestigious and brings in more cash. Surely Barca would rather the big cup than another league ?
We are witnessing this phenom become clearly the worlds greatest player after 15 or 16 years of top flight football,,a time when most are far from prime. Yet he will go on. And on.
More records will be broken by the guy Ive no doubt. He looks like he could easily go on until 41 yet Messi looks like he would love to bail out at 31.
So to me at least he has overtaken the previous pretenders to the throne.
Diego burned soo bright but not as clear.
Pele enjoyed himself among friends and was stellar for the most part.
Messi is an imitation of Diego that hasnt burned as bright .
Cristiano is now the best ever as things stand and anything else is just the icing on his cake.
He is dominating the biggest games on the biggest stages for longer and more consistently than anyone before him. Taking home the biggest prizes in serious numbers.
Watch him while you can bhoys,,he might just be the greatest of all time indeed.
Hope youre all well. Mahe the Madman
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