World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

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World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu May 29, 2014 6:20 pm

Who have been the greatest players in the history of the World Cup? This was the one simple question posed to the 40 judges by the Guardian, and they were allowed to define it as they wished.

It should be pointed out that not all judges votes carried equal weighting - the 6 'legends' had their votes multiplied by 3.66 and the 12 international journalists had their votes multiplied by 1.83 to equate them to the 22 Guardian journalists. Basically, that meant one vote from a 'legend' was 3.66 times more important than a sports writer. This becomes particularly relevant when you see that 2 of the legends were African (too many African players on this list), and one of them was Lothar Matthaus (ridiculously rated No.7 overall!).

Anyway, it's a starting point for a discussion….

http://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2014/may/27/the-world-cups-top-100-footballers-of-all-time-interactive

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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Thu May 29, 2014 8:49 pm

Interesting but deeply flawed IMO. Eusebio ranks very highly on the basis of playing in 1 tournament.
He scored 6 goals in said tournament (4 I think against those small Koreans) - hardly top 10 or whatever.

Gascoigne is about the 50 mark or so. Staggering that he's in it at all.
Raymond Kopa of Hungary is totally excluded despite being a fabulous player.

AND

Paul McGrath's omission is an insult, as is the exclusion of another Irish duo - Kevin Kilbane and Big Mick McCarthy.
Furthermore, Pele's position @1 is dubious. Maradonna single-handedly dragged Argentina to glory, whereas Pele was surrounded by a raft of legendary players (many of whom are in the list).
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu May 29, 2014 10:27 pm

Well, I suppose it depends on the criteria you use. For me, Eusebio is fine, but I'd be thinking more about his club form to compliment what he did in 1966. If it's all about what you did in the World Cup itself, then I can understand Matthaus and Muller at 7 & 8, but would question how Messi got as high as 51. Paolo Rossi (18) poached 6 goals in 3 games, but did little else.

Some of the English names are grossly over-rated. Bobby Charlton at 14 is ridiculous no matter how you think about, it while I just don't get the appearance of a Cameroonian goalkeeper ahead of the like of Kopa, Ocwrik, Tigana, Nedved, Guillet or Van Basten.

Boxty's point about Gazza is well made, and his positioning just ahead of the 3 Uruguayan legends is embarrassing.

And then you have Rivaldo at 27, and Socrates missing completely.

And No.81 would have been too high at No.981.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu May 29, 2014 10:28 pm

Boxtyeater wrote:
Raymond Kopa of Hungary is totally excluded despite being a fabulous player.

Aye, and even he wasn't half the player that Raymond Kopa of France was...
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  OMAR on Fri May 30, 2014 6:46 pm

Gascogne included Batistuta not 

I'll go no further
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri May 30, 2014 9:19 pm

I suppose this all depends on how you define the question. If you decide that you are being asked to name the greatest footballers to appear in the world cup, well that is very different to determining the best players during the actual tournaments.

For example, if you were just ranking players on the world cup tournaments, then Leo Messi would barely make the top 100. However, he is very possibly one of the top 10 players to have played in a world cup. So, 2 lists it is:

Greatest Players in World Cup tournaments
1. Maradona
2. Pele
3. Ronaldo
4. Zidane
5. Garrincha
6. Beckenbauer
7. Maldini
8. Schiaffino
9. Platini
10. Matthaus

Greatest Players to have played in a World Cup
1. Maradona
2. Cruyff
3. Pele
4. Messi
5. Beckenbauer
6. Puskas
7. Zidane
8. Garrincha
9. Eusebio
10. Platini

The likes of Johan Neeskens, Didi, Obdulio Varela, Giuseppe Meazza, Leonidas, Xavi, Lilian Thuram, Franco Baresi and Zico were all greats who warranted some thought for both lists, while George Best and Alfredo Di Stefano weren't eligible for either.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Fri May 30, 2014 10:16 pm

From a purely personal point, I'm always mindful of the 1970 competition. Boxty Mór, for some strange reason, became enthralled with it, hay and turf were treated as irritants as the whole focus descended on the soccerball. We barely had a telly, (we only had electricity 4 years) yet he instantly took to Peru, on the basis that they were "impoverished poor baxtards".

Well we got full value for the support, as Teofilo Cubillas and Hector Chumpitaz cajoled and bullied the last ounce of effort from their colleagues and gave some stirring performances. 44 years ago all the same....

He put in a rousing performance of effin' and blinding when they made their exit. There were Marty Duffys on the go then as well - according to himself. Great times.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri May 30, 2014 10:33 pm

That's the beauty of the World Cup - the latching on to a side/player/people that stir the imagination and heart-strings.

For me it was the Brazilians in 1982, and that fateful day when Paolo Rossi killed the beautiful game once and for all. Every world cup since we hear an ignorant commentator inform us that 'the current brazilian side are more workmanlike that usual', but the truth is they have all been workmanlike since Tele Santana decided to see how many gifted playmakers he could squeeze into the one midfield. My favourite was Zico and, having waited 4 years to watch him again, I was aghast to see him miss a penalty during Brazil's qtr final defeat to France in Mexico.

I was in Sydney in 2002, and was swept away by the sea of red on the streets every time South Korea won a game. Guus Hiddink had them super fit for their home world cup, and while they may have got a fortunate break here and there, the truth is that they played a much better brand of football than the Spaniards or Italians who they slew en route to the semis. The Koreans in Sydney (and everywhere) love football, and each match brought a carnival atmosphere to the streets.

2006 was all about Zidane's farewell, and it ended in the most incredible fashion with his headbutt on Matterazzi, while in 2010 I was lucky enough to be in Spain at the time of their triumph, a team that is very much in the conversation for greatest national side of all time.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Sat May 31, 2014 12:56 am

Thomas Clarke seems to have an aversion to Italians for one reason or another. At this juncture might I remind him of the similiarities that exist between 2 experts in the black art of defending:

Both with similiar initials CG.....

Claudio Gentile = Conor Gormley.....
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Sat May 31, 2014 8:46 am

Boxtyeater wrote:Thomas Clarke seems to have an aversion to Italians for one reason or another. At this juncture might I remind him of the similiarities that exist between 2 experts in the black art of defending:

Both with similiar initials CG.....

Claudio Gentile = Conor Gormley.....

Just to show my impartiality, a team of great Italians. As they produced more top defenders than any other country, Maldini has been accommodated at RB ahead of Bergomi or Gormley/Gentile. I foresee a lot of 1-0 victories for this side…

GK - Dino Zoff
SW - Gaetano Scirea
RB - Paolo Maldini
LB - Giacinto Facchetti
CB - Franco Baresi
CB - Fabio Cannavarro
RM - Bruno Conti
CM - Andrea Pirlo
LM - Gianni Rivera
CF - Giuseppe Meazza
CF - Roberto Baggio
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  OMAR on Sat May 31, 2014 7:51 pm

No room for Del Piero ?
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Sat May 31, 2014 11:15 pm

OMAR wrote:No room for Del Piero ?

Seems not OMAR. TC's team looks good although I have reservations about Conti (Sandro Mazzola for me).
I had to look up Meazza in all honesty. An interesting man. Great shout on Gartano Scirea though, a truly wonderful player and a great sportsman. What a tragic end for him all the same at a young age.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:27 am

Boxtyeater wrote:
OMAR wrote:No room for Del Piero ?

Seems not OMAR. TC's team looks good although I have reservations about Conti (Sandro Mazzola for me).
I had to look up Meazza in all honesty. An interesting man. Great shout on Gartano Scirea though, a truly wonderful player and a great sportsman. What a tragic end for him all the same at a young age.

Gigi Riva and Paolo Rossi would have come ahead of Del Piero for me, but Sandro Mazzola over Conti was very strongly considered and perhaps should have been given the nod.  I also thought about Marco Tardelli ahead of Pirlo, but in the end opted for style over graft.  Gentile could have replaced Cannavaro in a move that would have seen Maldini play at centre back.  Scirea was a marvellous sweeper who would have improved just about any side.  Other close calls would have been Buffon in goals, and the housewives' favourite Antonio Cabrini at left back.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:23 am

Nesta was a better defender than Cannavaro although Cannavaro had a great World Cup in 2006 when Nesta was injured for all of the knockout stages.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:34 am

Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:Nesta was a better defender than Cannavaro although Cannavaro had a great World Cup in 2006 when Nesta was injured for all of the knockout stages.

He was perhaps more skillful, but Cannavaro's performances in 2006 were beyond anything that Nesta produced on the world stage. Perhaps Nesta would have done the same given the chance, but we'll never know as he just had so many injuries, hence I couldn't have considered him ahead of Cannavaro. Two excellent defenders, and two of many that the Italians produced.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  patk on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:59 pm

He certainly wouldn't be the most obvious exclusion, but I was slightly surprised not to see Miroslav Klose in the top 100, a player who only needs a couple of goals this month to become the all-time top scorer at World Cups, though granted his goals weren't nearly as important as Muller's or Ronaldo's. There's a few questionable selections among the 100 it has to be said so I thought he might have snuck in there just. As I say not the most obvious player left out, but his name was probably in my head as I had seen the German squad named just before I read this article.

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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:14 pm

Very good shout on Klose, Pat. If this is about performances in the World Cup, then his omission is a bit of a howler.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:42 pm

Here's something to kill an hour or two....featuring that winker - the greasy Ronaldo....

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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:02 pm

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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  OMAR on Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:57 pm

The Other Ronaldo has wintered well
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:24 pm

One of the very greatest died today - Alfredo Di Stefano. No expert would have him ranked outside the top 10 players of all-time, while many hold him as their No.1. Perhaps the first great all round footballer, a man who could run all day and dominated games like nobody before him and few since. In my opinion, one of the top 4-5 footballers who ever lived - a genuine soccer and sporting legend.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Boxtyeater on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:39 am

Thoroughly in agreement with all that TC. A top player in his time and a gent to boot. RIP.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  RMDrive on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:15 am

Well that was interesting. That period from the around 20 to 30 minutes in was absolutely incredible. Brazil just fell apart and I though the Germans were brilliant. When I watched Dublin in the league final this year, it struck me how every one of their runs had a purpose and was committed to absolutely. Germany were the same - the movement into space and the timing of runs was brilliant. And no flashy thread-the-needle passes required. Just simple pass and move. Magnificent.
Feel a bit sorry for the Brazil players. They are going to get absolutely roasted. Hope some players are not singled out as the whole lot of them deserve the blame.
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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  bald eagle on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:36 am

RMDrive wrote:Well that was interesting. That period from the around 20 to 30 minutes in was absolutely incredible. Brazil just fell apart and I though the Germans were brilliant. When I watched Dublin in the league final this year, it struck me how every one of their runs had a purpose and was committed to absolutely. Germany were the same - the movement into space and the timing of runs was brilliant. And no flashy thread-the-needle passes required. Just simple pass and move. Magnificent.
Feel a bit sorry for the Brazil players. They are going to get absolutely roasted. Hope some players are not singled out as the whole lot of them deserve the blame.

I love the German mentality and ruthlessness, it reminds me of what an old manager of mine said when we were hammering our parish rivals at their ground, his half time team talk was simple, he said "when your rivals are drowning, you ram the hosepipe down their throats, because they would do it to you! Go out there and embarrass them". That's what the Germans did last night!

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Re: World Cup's 100 Greatest Footballers

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:37 am

I'm glad to see Scolari accepting the blame for this defeat, as a huge portion of the responsibility must lie on his ample shoulders. He was never a good manager, and made his name on the back of Ronaldo/Rivaldo/Ronaldinho in a poor 2002 World Cup.

Scolari got this wrong on so many levels. He not only tolerated but actually encouraged his side to go on a crusade for the fallen Neymar, a man who I began to think had must have died, such was the volume of gestures in his memory. Caps, banners and even his jersey being held by the captain and goalkeeper during the anthems. Nonsense - he should have been forgotten when he left the squad, and proper plans devised to mitigate against his absence.

Then, as if he hadn't whipped up enough emotional frenzy, Scolari gave the captain's armband to the most emotionally volatile member of his squad, David Luiz. This was a man who needed to be calmed down, not wound up and let loose. A highly-strung centre-back is not who you want anchoring your side.

There is a great misconception in sport that passion alone is a huge attribute, but passion without direction and organisation is as big an Achilles' heal as you can find. Brazil lacked all shape and discipline, bombing forward and forgetting their responsibilities. Then, when the first goal flew in, they were so shell-shocked and crushed that they were unable to steady their ship and regroup, and instead they totally fell apart.

The 4 goals in 6 minutes are unlikely ever to be seen again in a game of great significance. For a supposedly organised, experienced and talented international side to concede 4 goals in a game is awful, but to concede 4 in 6 minutes is a disgrace. Here, the players deserve plenty of blame of their own. They were an absolute disgrace to their profession, and no tears should be wasted on this bunch of losers. These are well-paid professionals, yet they performed like a hastily cobbled together pub team. Utterly pathetic.

I feel bad for the Brazilian fans, as perhaps no country is more defined by soccer as they are. This was to be their crowning glory, redemption after 64 years of hurt following the 1950 final. Instead, what they got was the greatest humiliation in sporting history (yes, really - name me one greater). Their substandard side lucked and fouled their way to a semi-final, while their inept manager failed to correct any of the obvious flaws that had been highlighted in their previous 5 games. In the end, they got the mother of all beatings, and one that will take them a long time from which to recover.

If there is a silver lining, it's that perhaps this will force Brazil to go back to basics and try to develop footballers again. The Germans did it after Euro 2000, and look at what has happened since. Brazil should start by looking at the link to the 1982 side that I posted earlier on this thread, but their climb back to the top could take some time...
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