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Is a world cup medal needed to be considered one of the best of all time ? Watch

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    "Great teams win the World Cup, not great players."
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    (Original post by C.Almasy)
    Any real football fan will tell you that Pele's is one of the most shameless self promoters of all time, and overexaggerates his own talents when the team he was in was great. Maradona is above Pele, and in my mind, above Messi after the evidence of this tournament.

    Also keep in mind, Maradona played on terrible pitches, with higher standards of defensive play, and also with way more lenient (and therefore dangerous) refereeing on tackles. He was really hacked at by the opposition back in those days.
    The flipside of that is Messi plays in a generation where the standard of football is much higher, with more well trained defences and players who are much fitter etc.

    To truly standout in this generation of football shows how good Messi really is imo (and it's not just one season, he's been doing it for years).
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    The flipside of that is Messi plays in a generation where the standard of football is much higher, with more well trained defences and players who are much fitter etc.

    To truly standout in this generation of football shows how good Messi really is imo (and it's not just one season, he's been doing it for years).
    I don't see what more he can really do apart from winning the WC to prove he is the best ever really in terms of a consensus view. A few more Ballon d'Or wins and CL trophies is all I can really think of. Either that or move to a weaker club and still win league trophies (like Maradona). He is 27, 5 or 6 years left to realistically stake his claim.

    I worry for his future really in a footballing sense, just something seems a bit off with him after his injury. He is always vomiting, and he just does not seem totally there.
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    Alfredo Di Stefano.

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    (Original post by Stinkum)
    Messi is the best player of all time. Better than Pele. Better than Maradonna. World Cup is meaningless. Cristiano Ronaldo is an amazing player and along with Messi he's the joint best player of all time as well. Football is really amazing now, we have the 2 best players of all time in their prime.
    You are probably right in that a modern great like Messi would destroy a golden oldie like Pele, but only because in Pele's day half of the other team were part-time electricians who smoked 20 a day and training mostly consisted of going to a muddy field somewhere and playing a match against your team-mates.

    Had they had the benefit of today's armies of nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, etc etc, it is impossible to say what calibre of player Pele or Maradona might have become, and whether they might have surpassed Messi. So the only way to compare is to gauge how much better they were than players in their own time and compare that to Messi now.

    Of course the whole issue is muddied by the fact that football is a team game, despite what the players' sponsors and brand managers want you to think. Pele and Maradona will have learnt to play, and to excel, only within the specific tactical frameworks popular at the time and with the team-mates they had at the time. With different tactics or team-mates - for example, those of today - Pele and Maradona might have been decidedly average and some other player might have risen to prominence.
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    Whether he wins this WC or not, I will consider him the greatest of all time and will argue as such. I think it's pretty natural to want to have seen the GOAT in your life time. His dominance at club level is a sound enough argument tbh, people get too caught up in international IMO.

    Also what I think will help his case is that he won the golden ball. As people forget the performances in this WC, who knows they may actually think he was the best player...
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    (Original post by C.Almasy)
    I don't see what more he can really do apart from winning the WC to prove he is the best ever really in terms of a consensus view. A few more Ballon d'Or wins and CL trophies is all I can really think of. Either that or move to a weaker club and still win league trophies (like Maradona). He is 27, 5 or 6 years left to realistically stake his claim.

    I worry for his future really in a footballing sense, just something seems a bit off with him after his injury. He is always vomiting, and he just does not seem totally there.
    The true greats of the game are about consistency (at a ridiculously high level) and longevity. I think so long as he carries on winning (both as a team and individually) and breaking records, he'll eventually prove to all that he is the GOAT.

    Tbh the days of Maradona and one player being able to dominate a league are so much harder than before. Even teams like a Levente or Stoke or whoever else you don't expect to be great are becoming better and better.

    More and more players want to play top flight football than before, along with advancements in every field from physio to diet to training to scouting to everything, means the standard across the board has and will continue to improve.

    I don't really see how going to a crapper team shows Messi to be any better? Just would show that he's an individualist player. Teams will just foul him more and target him more and just man mark or two man mark him to stifle him.

    He's probably still achieve Maradona-esque figures of 1 goals every 2 games tbh (see his stats at Napoli).

    I do wonder how much Messi is still enjoying football? Probably starting to wear him down, the amount of expectation and relentless pressure. I do wonder if he will retire early because of all this.
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    I think he either needs to win a WC or go to another league (Premiership etc) and win everything there to truly be considered the best 'ever'

    But certainly he is on the list of best ever footballers. Gareth Bale won't have much hope if thats the case. He'll more than likely never even get to play in a world cup.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I do wonder how much Messi is still enjoying football? Probably starting to wear him down, the amount of expectation and relentless pressure. I do wonder if he will retire early because of all this.
    (Original post by C.Almasy)
    I worry for his future really in a footballing sense, just something seems a bit off with him after his injury. He is always vomiting, and he just does not seem totally there.
    This bothers me, too. I really think he could have done without a World Cup this summer so he could be properly rested. It seems crazy to say it given that he scored 41 goals in 46 appearances, but last season wasn't his best and he looked somewhat jaded.

    Despite Bayern tearing Barca to shreds the year before that, Messi posted the best goal scoring rate of all time:



    It's hard to believe that the above chart is real and I cannot wait to see him with Neymar and Suarez, both of whom should ease the burden on Messi.

    I notice a lot of people say that Messi has to win a title in another country before being considered the greatest ever. It should be noted how difficult a move would be, given the influence sponsors have on transfers these days. Messi is an Adidas athlete, which rules out almost everyone other than Chelsea, Bayern and possibly Man Utd, should Adidas take over from Nike. Man City and PSG are slim possibilities, but they would have to fund the transfer completely by themselves.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    The flipside of that is Messi plays in a generation where the standard of football is much higher, with more well trained defences and players who are much fitter etc.

    To truly standout in this generation of football shows how good Messi really is imo (and it's not just one season, he's been doing it for years).
    Players are fitter these days but I wouldn't say the standard of defending is higher: these things come in waves and cycles (like the standard of attacking players). In the 1990s defending was better than it is now: when Serie A was at its peak there were some incredible Italian and French defenders around (England had great defenders too).

    Where fitness and most importantly speed is a relevant factor is that slow plodders are not as prevalent in the game any more, had Messi played in an earlier era he might have been able to use his pace more effectively, now a lot of defenders are fit enough to track back quickly and teams can put a man on him who will be fit enough to harass him all game.
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    I don't agree that you need to have won a World Cup to be considered one of the all time greats.

    However this has mainly come up with Messi in the context of comparing him to Maradona. People were saying does Messi have to win the WC to be ranked up with Maradona. Well even if Argentina had won yesterday, Messi would not be regarded as good as Maradona. I think some of the Messi fans need to accept this fact: he is not as good as Maradona was. It doesn't mean he's undeserving of all his Ballon D'Or awards and rating as the best player of his generation.

    If you want to see how good Maradona was, youtube some of the games from the 1986 world cup: the full games (admittedly most won't have English commentary), not just highlights reels. You can't compare players on youtube by their highlight reels as everybody looks good there. If you look at full game footage you see how Maradona participated in a game: he was in a different league to how Messi was in this WC. Messi was a threat and showed moments of danger and scored some fine goals but look how Maradona would be involved from all over the field, not just his dribbling but his vision and passing. Whenever Maradona got the ball there was danger on, he created things from deep that made Argentina more dangerous, when they needed it he would pick the ball up and run, beat one, two men, draw a third and then with minimal backlift flick a ball perfectly through for someone to run on to. The reason everybody goes on about Maradona is because he was amazing. I think a lot of the younger generation just know Maradona as a 'name' like Pele, Cryuff, so think well the game must have got better today and Messi's the best today thus he's better.

    This isn't being negative on Messi I'm just saying watch Maradona properly: he was on a different plane to Messi and Ronaldo, the reason why the older generation won't accept that Messi is as good as Maradona is because Maradona was that good.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    I don't agree that you need to have won a World Cup to be considered one of the all time greats.

    However this has mainly come up with Messi in the context of comparing him to Maradona. People were saying does Messi have to win the WC to be ranked up with Maradona. Well even if Argentina had won yesterday, Messi would not be regarded as good as Maradona. I think some of the Messi fans need to accept this fact: he is not as good as Maradona was. It doesn't mean he's undeserving of all his Ballon D'Or awards and rating as the best player of his generation.

    If you want to see how good Maradona was, youtube some of the games from the 1986 world cup: the full games (admittedly most won't have English commentary), not just highlights reels. You can't compare players on youtube by their highlight reels as everybody looks good there. If you look at full game footage you see how Maradona participated in a game: he was in a different league to how Messi was in this WC. Messi was a threat and showed moments of danger and scored some fine goals but look how Maradona would be involved from all over the field, not just his dribbling but his vision and passing. Whenever Maradona got the ball there was danger on, he created things from deep that made Argentina more dangerous, when they needed it he would pick the ball up and run, beat one, two men, draw a third and then with minimal backlift flick a ball perfectly through for someone to run on to. The reason everybody goes on about Maradona is because he was amazing. I think a lot of the younger generation just know Maradona as a 'name' like Pele, Cryuff, so think well the game must have got better today and Messi's the best today thus he's better.

    This isn't being negative on Messi I'm just saying watch Maradona properly: he was on a different plane to Messi and Ronaldo, the reason why the older generation won't accept that Messi is as good as Maradona is because Maradona was that good.
    Luckily a players ability isn't decided over 7 games in a 4 week period then

    Pretty much every pundit who's watched the greats say messi is the best player they've ever seen

    So do the top managers e.g wenger, guardiola, ferguson
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    This isn't being negative on Messi I'm just saying watch Maradona properly: he was on a different plane to Messi and Ronaldo, the reason why the older generation won't accept that Messi is as good as Maradona is because Maradona was that good.
    I wouldn't say that the "older generation" are unanimously decided on Maradona as the greatest ever.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Players are fitter these days but I wouldn't say the standard of defending is higher: these things come in waves and cycles (like the standard of attacking players). In the 1990s defending was better than it is now: when Serie A was at its peak there were some incredible Italian and French defenders around (England had great defenders too).

    Where fitness and most importantly speed is a relevant factor is that slow plodders are not as prevalent in the game any more, had Messi played in an earlier era he might have been able to use his pace more effectively, now a lot of defenders are fit enough to track back quickly and teams can put a man on him who will be fit enough to harass him all game.
    I still think attacking has improved a lot which makes defences look worse now.
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    It doesn't matter how good a player you are; if you're born in a country that has a poor team (or doesn't even have a team at all), you won't be winning any world cups any time soon.
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    LOOOL how can people say Maradonna and Pele are the greatest of all time without even seeing them play once bar 2 minutes BBC clips. Those two played in a generation of football well below the level of standard it is now.

    Messi has and will be the greatest player that ever lived.
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    Definitely not.

    I think Messi's reputation sometimes goes against him. His tournament would've been superb by anyone else's standards. Sure Maradona and Pele have won world cups, but Messi's surpassed both at club level, and still has 4 to 5 years to rip up a serious amount of records and win so much more. He's just the most sensational goalscorer, dribbler, passer i've ever seen. He has no equal in his era. All the talk about the Ronaldo-Messi debate does Messi a massive disservice. Ronaldo doesn't come close.

    Also, i just find it ridiculous that he's judged on something like not winning the world cup where it's far more important that the team produces together, and far tougher for an individual to win it single handedly. It's such a fine line. If Higuain hadn't missed that sitter, or Messi hadn't dragged that shot wide, then Argentina would be winners and Messi would have no equal among the all time greats. But given they missed those chances, it somehow takes away from his legacy. That's just wrong. Messi may not have proven that he's the greatest to have ever played by winning the World Cup, but there should be no arguments that he's one of the greats
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    No.

    Cruijff is the best ever and he has no WC medal whereas Kramer and Drum do?
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    (Original post by baconbutty)
    Luckily a players ability isn't decided over 7 games in a 4 week period then

    Pretty much every pundit who's watched the greats say messi is the best player they've ever seen

    So do the top managers e.g wenger, guardiola, ferguson
    Well I don't agree that pretty much every pundit who's watched the greats says its Messi. In fact Andres Iniesta who played with Messi says the greatest of all time is Michael Laudrup....

    But I do agree with your first line: you can't judge a player's ability over 7 games in a World Cup: you have to judge what they achieve over time. Which is why Messi has earned his place as one of the all time greats regardless. Maradona didn't get his GOAT rating from the 1986 World Cup alone but for achievements at club as well as international level, including being virtually a one-man domination in Serie A winning titles for Napoli.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I still think attacking has improved a lot which makes defences look worse now.
    I think what has improved a lot is systems and tactical innovations.

    One point that has to be made in Messi's favour, is that despite his great individual talent he is basically a systems man. He plays a role that the team needs, rather than expecting a team to be built about him. I thought it was interesting to read Ibrahimovic's book where he was talking about his time at Barca and spoke negatively about Messi for being not an individual, like, how come a guy with all that talent just acts like a quiet schoolboy doing what he's told to....but surely that's what a manager dreams about?

    In the old days, there were always big difficulties in integrating a great individual talent in a system. Which is why as Italy coach, Arrigo Sacchi had a big fall out with Roberto Baggio: because Sacchi was one of the first 'systems' coaches where it was all about designing a system that worked to make the effectiveness of a team exceed the sum of individual talents. He did this at AC Milan with other great players that were willing to fit to a system (Gullit, Rijkaard, Van Basten) but it didn't work with Baggio with Italy where him and Baggio were always at odds.

    Other teams built their team around playmaker players, Totti, Riquelme and the likes, the problem was the holding midfielder then evolved to a player that could stifle a playmaker and if that was all a team had, the threat could be negated. The managers that have been really successful in recent years: Rijkaard, Guardiola, Klopp etc have been managers that have had a system where even when they've had talented individuals, the individuals have been low-ego enough to work inside a system.

    This is a big point IMO for Messi - he could probably look better and be more glamourous if he wanted it to be all about him, and some of what I said before about how Maradona got in the game more than Messi was undoubtedly because Maradona wasn't a systems man, the system was play through Maradona. This is because Maradona played in teams far inferior to the ones Messi has played in.

    So although I always argue for Maradona as being the best, I would accept this point and credit it to Messi: he is not a glory hunter wanting to look good, he is a systems man and he uses his great talent within that. Which is why in the modern game he's been a player that has won a million medals rather than having the image of misunderstood genius'. It's probably also because he was schooled in football the Barca way.
 
 
 
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