/ messi, the greatest ever..?

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
So, lionel messi has broken the record for the most goals in a calendar year, with 86 and counting

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20661031

he's looking an odds on certainty for a 4th consecutive world footballer of the year

is he the greatest footballer ever?

cheers
gregor
Rampikino - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

On balance I think yes.
Pinged - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Difficult to assess Messi on a level with players in English Prem. La Liga is really a two horse race...maybe 4-5 nowadays but the quality of the teams in bottom 3/4s of table is not great, therefore can we truely say he's best ever until he plays in Prem.

He's very, very, very good, dont get me wrong. But there is no chance he'd bag that many goals in the premiership.

Van Persie up there for me. And of course the greatest ever is Eric the King
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Rampikino:

too early to say, for me

i think he still needs to put in a defining performance at a world cup to be classed in the same bracket as pele, maradona, ronaldo (the tubby brazilian one) and zidane

if he does that in brazil in 2 years, and keeps playing like he is now until then, then i think the debate will be over...

cheers
gregor
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: The main criticism that is levelled against Messi seems to be that he has not really lit up a major international tournament (think Maradona 1986). When you consider how the club game has superceded the international game as the pinnacle of the sport over the past 15 years it does ring empty to say that Messi has not done it at the highest level though.
For consistent brilliance over a number of years Messi is up there with anyone, it would be great to see him really shine at the next World Cup though, it might restore a little lustre to the event.
Irk the Purist - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I think a rainy Wednesday in Stoke should be arranged. See if he can do it then.

(He could)

The best I've ever seen, but I'm only 30.
IainRUK - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Not sure.. sort of feel for Ronaldo as in most generations he'd be clean away..

But I also agree re La Liga.. its no coincidence that Ronaldo and Messi both score 50-60 goals a season at club level..

But these guys aren't pure goal scorers either which shows how good they are.

However neither have won a world cup.. until they lead their international teams to that and perform at the highest level I don't think they can be called best ever.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Pinged:

sorry, but that is nonsense. the bottom end of the EPL is cluttered with mediocrity and comedy defending is not exactly had to find. rooney's second goal yesterday was well taken, but he shouldnt have had that sort of space in the city penalty area. and that was the top two sides- one of whom has just been dumped out of the Champions league, without even a europa league consolation ticket.

whereas malaga have just topped their CL group. barca and real are a class apart, but the rest of the league arent exactly pub sides...

i think its entirely possible he'd score more goals if he was in the EPL- the lumbering trolls that pass for centre halves in the nether reaches of the league wouldn't get anywhere near him.

van persie is good- but on a level with pele and maradona? i don't think so....

anyhow, everyone knows the *real* test of a footballers mettle is the scottish lower leagues- if he can keep up these performances on pitches that resemble ploughed fields after heavy flooding, in sub zero temperatures, in front of 27 people, then, and only then, will he be the greatest...

;-)

gregor
GrahamD - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Putting the bar at winning a world cup is pretty tricky for Ronaldo in much the same way that it was for George Best in his day.
wbo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: For me no. He might be the most technically outstanding player, but he hasn't seemed able to totally change games at the highest level by simply imposing his will to win on them.

Maradonna pretty well dragged Argentina to world cup victory by himself, and then repeated the feat with Napoli winning Serie A and the UEFA cup. In ocntrast Messi seems to disappear in the current Argentina squad.
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Pinged:
You a Red by any chance?
Cantona couldn't even hold down a regular place in his National team ...Zidane, Platini, Fontaine are French players that leave Eric in the shade.
Van Persie would be lucky to make a list of the top 20 Dutch players.

If you look at the European results of the middle ranked Spanish Clubs in Europe I think you might see the quality in that league runs a little deeper than you stated, did you notice that Malaga finished top of their Champion's League group ahead of AC Milan? Things have shifted in the last 5 or 6 years, and the premiership is no longer the yardstick of European leagues, Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid was symbolic of the handover of power.
Which is all to say that Messi's feat is pretty impressive, and that yes, more than likely he is the best there has been. Technically he does things RVP can only dream about!
IainRUK - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator: Not sure re Cantona.. that was why he ended up in England..

But anyway, I think Portugal have a good enough team to win a major tournament.. and they should have won one recently..
victim of mathematics - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Eric the Red) Not sure.. sort of feel for Ronaldo as in most generations he'd be clean away..

Poor duck.

> However neither have won a world cup.. until they lead their international teams to that and perform at the highest level I don't think they can be called best ever.

Nobody has ever been good enough to win a world cup on their own, so how is it possibly fair to judge an individual player by whether or not they have? Would you still insist on this if Messi was from San Marino?
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics:

great players are defined by their performances

pele scoring 2 in the WC final age 17, maradona dominating WC86, zidane scoring 2 in the final of WC98, ronaldo 4 years later- the greatest perform on the biggest stage, and make already good teams into world champions

given that messi is argentinian, its not like he's playing for a minor country with no chance of winning.

however, i think its unfair to judge in on this yet- argentina in 2010 had problems that were not of his making (their manager), he will be at his peak in 2014, on s american soil, it should be quite something to see...

cheers
gregor
bouldery bits - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

He's no Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
IainRUK - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics: No.. re San Marino.

But he has the supporting cast to win a world cup with argentina...
IainRUK - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: France always had problems.. yet Zidane made them the most succeessful team of their generation..
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to bouldery bits:

lol, presumably delivered in a dry northern accent... could this be the most scathing put down in football...?

and while were on the subject, what *has* he done on grit...?

;-D

gregor
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs) France always had problems.. yet Zidane made them the most succeessful team of their generation..

yes- his performances at the WC06 were nearly superhuman- it was the closest i've seen to one person taking on an entire team singlehanded that i can remember (yes, there were another 10 french players on the pitch, but they didnt seem to add much...)

cheers
gregor

Padraig on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

There's only one BEST there's ever been!!
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coinneach - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

These posters have obviously never seen Dennis McQuade play................

:-)
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: Don't know if he's the best ever, but he's certainly booked his place in my hall of fame, next to Carlton Cole and Tony Daley...

Zidane was absolute class. George Best would have a look-in too.
Sean Kelly - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: Personally I always thought of Edison Arantes do Nascimento as the best there has ever been!
In reply to Sean Kelly: He weren't as good as Pele!
cb294 - on 10 Dec 2012
Forget all the ones you guys listed, scoring goals is overrated anyway.

The greatest ever is of course Claudio Gentile (and yes, he single handedly kicked Italy to the 82 title...).

CB
Al Evans on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to cb294: I'm with the Best votes here, unfortunately finished before his prime, but there are so many and you wonder how they would have done at a different time in a different place, would Marradonna or Di Stephano even feature?
alanw - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Worth noting as well that Best most likely did most of his amazing feats while either drunk or hung over ;-)

I'd also add Van Basten as a great player whose career was cut tragically short.
Paul Hy - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Pinged: if La liga is a 2 team league, what is the Premier? prob a 4 team (oh, prob 1 after Sat!!) Messi is simply the best there's ever been and by a very long way and i've not seen him dive.
Ian Black - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Pinged
> anyhow, everyone knows the *real* test of a footballers mettle is the scottish lower leagues- if he can keep up these performances on pitches that resemble ploughed fields after heavy flooding, in sub zero temperatures, in front of 27 people, then, and only then, will he be the greatest...







I'm sure there are several Sevconians that'll vouch for that...


The New NickB - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I watched Maradona at his peak in 86, Plattini was probably a little past his best when I was old enough to taken proper notice, I am too young to have watched Pete, Best, Pushkas etc.

I have not doubt that Messi has done enough to join the greats, but judgement of the greatest will always be subjective based on an emotional response, for me it is Zidane.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Ian Black:

Had to look that up... Urban dictionary to the rescue as usual...
Ian Black - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Pinged:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs)
>
> Difficult to assess Messi on a level with players in English Prem. La Liga is really a two horse race...maybe 4-5 nowadays but the quality of the teams in bottom 3/4s of table is not great, therefore can we truely say he's best ever until he plays in Prem.








PMSL. Even though it is a bit early for the friday joke!!!

stevieb - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to wbo:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs) For me no. He might be the most technically outstanding player, but he hasn't seemed able to totally change games at the highest level by simply imposing his will to win on them.
>
> Maradonna pretty well dragged Argentina to world cup victory by himself, and then repeated the feat with Napoli winning Serie A and the UEFA cup. In ocntrast Messi seems to disappear in the current Argentina squad.

+1
Messi has never managed a defining performance in international football, like Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff etc.

Also, he's a player of his generation, when skilful players are much more protected than in the past. Maradona, Pele, Best et al were subjected to horrendous treatment and still kept coming back for more. Messi has never had to cope with that, but I think in the past he would've been neutralised much more by dirty tactics.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs)
>
> I watched Maradona at his peak in 86, Plattini was probably a little past his best when I was old enough to taken proper notice, I am too young to have watched Pete, Best,

Pete best?

Was he not in the Beatles...?

;-)
Ian Black - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Ian Black)
>
> Had to look that up... Urban dictionary to the rescue as usual...






The team formerly known as Rangers:-)

The New NickB - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Bloody American predictive text. Don't you remember Pete, he was Pele's even better twin!
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Ian Black:

Did you write the entry then...?

;-)

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

;-)

I read peles autobiography. Difficult to believe in the current era where even pub league matches are probably filmed and put up on YouTube, but most of his goals were never filmed. I think if I had a time machine, that's one of the first things i'd do, go back and see him play....
Ian Black - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: Ha, as if! I only found out from a Rangers supporting mate.
Sean Kelly - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: I remember one Pele goal I saw live, when as the defender advanced towards him he pushed the ball past him to the right but ran to the left, collected the ball behind him and scored. Pure magic. Even Wrighty at Arsenal always said he had wished he had the skill and vision to try that! Abnd he scored a small matter of 127 goals in 1959 season so Messi has some way to go aside from matching 3 winning world cup medals!
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I like climbing - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
He has to win a world cup first.....
Tiberius - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

First, I think we have to make it plain we're talking goal-scoring footballer, I doubt centre-half's will get much of a look-in.

Second, you can only really judge it on the time they played. As someone pointed out above Messi probably wouldn't be as successful if defenders were still allowed to kick him up in the air.

I think Maradonna would still be successful now, but Messi would probably not have been successful in the 80's.

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