Feed The GOAT

Howdy Bhoys,

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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Get well soon,old bean. We’ll lose our audience if I have to write all the articles-although there’s a special one from one of our site members on Saturday.

Difficult to argue with your top four,but there are a great number of “nearly men” just from the 60s and 70s. I’ll throw in a couple of the obvious ones-Cruyff,Beckenbauer,Best.

But how about some superstars that we sometimes forget nowadays.

Eusebio,Muller,Seeler,Puskas,Di Stefano. There’s five guys named goals-around a goal a game over an entire career,and some of them played until they were forty!

I’m sure some of the people on here can provide us with more.

Btw,a sadly-deceased friend mentioned once that wee Jimmy and Di Stefano were close friends up until the wee man’s sad and premature death,with Jimmy and Bertie going over to visit quite regularly. I don’t know how true that is,and as a result,I don’t know how true a certain tale of high jinks on a plane is. But it sure sounds like that wee scamp,and I’ll tell you about it when I see you!

Awe Naw

One of my most memorable games was when we actually lost to the Arabs in the 2nd leg of a league cup Semi Final in 1981 0-3

Attendance about 20,000

We stayed behind in the pishing rain singing celtic celtic celtic over and over again for about 30 mins after the final whistle.

I remember seeing Jim McLean being interviewed on BBC that evening stating that with that magnificent level of support Celtic would never die.

Cosy corner bhoy

On this topic the sad thing is that no Scottish player could feature in this category though Jimmy Johnstone entertained us immensely.I can’t think of any better than CR7 though John Charles was some player as an individual.

On the previous topic….
ATOB: I remember that game well! I remember even more that my brother bought his round in those days??.Was that the game I took my shirt off in The Flying Horse?


Pretty sure it was. That’ll teach them to deny entry to your daughter for the crime of wearing the green!

Also the game where I broke the land-speed record from Barrhead to Mount Florida due to the strange coincidence of two brothers having a timepiece failure simultaneously. In the pub,too. Spooky.


I was at that game-their second goal knocked the stuffing out of us.

It was a bloody mile offside!

big packy

hi majoc, proud to have seen 4 players in the flesh who I would consider world class, jimmy johnstone, bobby Charlton, Eusebio and johann Cruyff, hope you are well, if you see mahe tell him to get well soon.hh.


All fine and dandy in a cold Swindon,bud. I saw Jimmy plenty of times,and all the better for it. I saw Cruyff once,in his twilight as he helped Ajax destroy us 2-2. I also saw George Best,a couple of times for Hibs and once for Fort Lauderdale. I won’t relate the story of post-match the latter here,though. The goal-scoring record of the five that I referenced is phenomenal,worth having a Google. This wasn’t a case of a player hitting a golden streak,they all did it right through long and illustrious careers.

And by the way,CCB is showing off by mentioning John Charles. He’s allowed to do that-but for him,I wouldn’t have seen ANY of them!


Hi Majoc/Mahe.

I find it difficult comparing the abilities of players from different eras, simply because the game has changed so much in the last fifty years.

However the pleasure given to the fans in any era is easy to quantify.

For me, as a Tim, the list is as follows:

Billy McNeil
Jimmy Johnstone
Bobby Murdoch
Tommy Gemmell
Kenny Dalglish
Paul McStay
Henryk Larsson
Bobby Charlton
Johan Cruyff
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo

If I had to choose just one, it would be Ronaldo – his record is second to none, if he was German, Brazilian, French, or, Argentinian, he would have a World Cup winners medal – as it is his European Championship win with a mediocre Portugal team, is right up there.

His stature, physicality, fitness, mobility, speed, ability on the ground/in the air, his all round contribtion to the team, his goal scoring and longevity, in a game now played at high speed, is why I deem him to be almost the perfect footballer.

So the head says Ronaldo, but in the heart will always be Jinky.


CR7 has reinvented himself from a lightweight winger,a one-trick pony to an absolute superstar of the game. His dedication to his profession,his fitness,his all-round game,are second to none,IMO.

Two goals in particular emphasise this for me. The first is his incredible overhead kick against Juventus.
And the second one is against Man Utd,a header where he gets quite incredible height into his leap.

Incredible skills,yes-but unbelievable technique and athleticism.


Majoc- could not agree more….and two beautiful goals. He says he will play till he’s 40, I hope he does. I have never seen him let his head go down on the field. He wants to play every minute of every game – just like a wee boy in love with football.

He lit up Old Trafford not only for Man Utd, but the whole English game and left with their best wishes – He, sometimes single-handedly’ raised Real Madrid to great victories and left in an honourable way. Now he is leading Juventus toward their very own ten in a row.

If only our Griff had 10% of his application & dedication, we wouldn’t have to be scouring the world for a striker.

All this excitement about them signing Defoe reminds of the big build up and anticipation when they signed Joey Barton. Maybe not a great analogy but nothing should be taken for granted. Who knows how he will perform. But the feeling is he’s a title winner! (The hope of the desperate).



I believe that there will be one out the door to pay for these expensive loan deals.

The only marketable players they have on their books are Tavernier and Morelos – who will it be?


Very very welcome to hear Brendan saying that the January window is the most important one for us. It always should have been bearing in mind that we are playing qualifiers in July.

He also talked about a variation, not a complete change, in the way we play – glad to hear it – a Plan B at last!

With the upfront situation now addressed and Brendan saying a couple more are expected in the door this month, surely the Boyata/Benkovic summer gap must be addressed in this window.

Central defence is really a conundrum. We will play our strongest i.e. B&B, in the run-in, meaning we could be top-heavy in this department from now till June. When and where will a new pairing get a chance to play/ gel?

Well certainly not away from home, I hope. Our away form is the key to the title, just as it has to be held responsible for this neck and neck race we are in at present. We have thrown at least nine points away.

Will we risk the treble by using Scottish Cup games for experimentation? If we go out then we will probably hand Sevco their first silverware.

The next six months is the equivalent of the ‘high press’ for our ambitions – let’s we can beat it.

big packy

hi ghuys, im glad bayo can score with his napper ,im fortunate ive seen billy mcneil score some important goals with his head Scottish cup against Dunfermline and Vojvodina at parkhead European cup, Henrik was also brilliant in the air,but I believe maybe wrongly that jimmy mcgrory scored more with his head, anyway welcome to paradise mr bayo.hh.

A thing of beauty

Late to parade as usual
Not sure if that was the game, as I said I don’t remember much of the pre match. I do though remember the barman’s face whatever day it was, after saying “no colours” and you handing me your top. GIRUY springs to mind. As for the GOAT, I’m torn between Diego and Ronaldo. Both tremendous players but maradona carried Napoli and Argentina himself so I think he pips it. Plus he did it with a lifestyle a rock n roll star would be proud of!!!

A Thing of beauty

Interesting you think we will go with Benkovic and boyata after the window. I’m concerned that neither of these players have a long term commitment to the club, especially boyata who has probably signed a precontract elsewhere. Are you not concerned over the commitment level and willingness to go in where it hurts when their minds are on the next phase of their career. I certainly am and again the lack of forward planning has left us in a very weak position.


ATOB – yes of course I have concerns, however, they are our best pairing and we need the best over the next six months.

The Rangers are not looking long-term, they are throwing everything at toppling us in the next six months – we must meet this challenge head on.

We have a younger squad with the important players on long-term contracts – I don’t think we are neglecting the future.

Because we are unable to shop in the multi-million marketplace, we must look at every way to bring in the best we can. Having access to top players on loan deals through our relationships with top clubs like Man City and PSG is vitally important. I imagine that in the near future we will have at least three top loans at any one time.

The reason that we are able to set up relationships with some of Europe’s most wealthy clubs is that it is well known that we run an honest, stable and successful club. We have top administrators, great management/coaching staff and world class facilities.

There will be great changes in world football in the coming years. Bosman was not the end, there will be other adjustments to the registrations and contracts of players. Bosman really killed the ‘ownership’ of players’ registration by clubs. I believe that contracts will get shorter and players registrations will eventually be in their (or agents) own hands in between contracts. Signing a player on a six month deal, similar to a loan nowadays, will be commonplace in the future.

There will be some players who will of course wish to stay with a club for longer periods, however I can see clubs putting together new squads every season.

My memory is very bad now, But I can remember a bit about horrific stories regarding players before Bosman. Young players tied into contracts they could not get out of. Even when things went all wrong. I seem to remember Jim McLean was notorious for signing teenagers up for long contracts when they could barely tie up their boots. And a very sad story about a player with Airdrie.

I’m guessing the site has went to sleep now, so,
Feed the GOAT reminded me of
Feed the Birds
which was stolen from this song:

The Pearl Fishers Duet. This is the best version ever. Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill.


Seems Celtic are interested in Andrew Guttman. Who he,you might well ask?

Well,if this article is anything to go by,he won’t be lacking in effort and application. Oh,and he’s one of the highest-rated youngsters in USA.


The Gombeen Man

Thanks Jim, I didn’t know that. What a lovely way to finish the day.

I hope you are well? Music is a great way to communicate and connect.

Thanks and sleep well.



Hi J the T.

Yes you are correct, contracts were abused by some, however we seem to have gone to the opposite end of the spectrum now.

The game is run by agents, people who have never put anything into the game and never will, but will take out every penny that they can.

It is said that many of the top clubs in the EPL could let their fans in for free, or, at most for a token charge, due to the amounts they receive from TV companies – but as the money keeps increasing it all goes into the pockets of agents and players.

With billionaires sitting in the directors-box and multi-millionaires on the field of play, how long will it be before the average supporter loses their affinity for those who use their club only to get rich? How long before they realise that their club is not theirs, but merely a franchise? – probably not until the first owner decides to relocate the club. Why not have Man City based in the Emirates with the same players when the inevitable elite European/World league arrives?

The World Series of Football!!!!


Gold ,,
Interesting chat. We must explore further when I’m not under the weather.
You see roving players, I see roving clubs.
Take Barca , they could literally pimp themselves around from league to league and any and all would snap them up.
How much would the Chinese super league pay for ten years of Barca,,usa league after that ,, then the prem etc .
A Harlem globetrotters type of thing .
Once leagues start merging , big changes come , who knows what will happen.
A world league indeed .
Anyhow as I’m in bed with a water bottle and hot whisky , which movie,,,
A bridge too far
Or. The longest day

Por Cierto

He’s a Left Back, cover or replacement? por cierto

Por Cierto

Wonderful, just wonderful! Thanks, jimthetim53 por cierto.

New article,folks!

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the reply gold. Can I just add that the Huns are not a well run club and are certainly not honest but they have managed to get themselves a couple of good loans in for a good period of time. Clubs are happy to off load surplus players for all sorts of reasons and I’m not keen on polishing other clubs diamonds but I do appreciate your point that it is the way of the modern game. Your prediction for the future would bring football to a grinding halt in my opinion. How could clubs plan for the future, invest in a youth structure if they don’t or can’t buy players for more than a season. I think you’d need to expand a bit more on that for me but appreciate your thoughts on the future for our club. It doesn’t sound rosy!!