Do you believe the last 20 years has seen the best players in football history?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Sunspear17, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Feb 24, 2018
    #1

    Sunspear17 Full Member

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    If you were to compare the likes of Pele, Eusebio, Best, Maradona and other top players from that era to the top players in the last 20 years, would you consider this recent era the most successful for clubs and players?
  2. Feb 24, 2018
    #2

    Fortitude TV/Monitor Expert Scout

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    No.
  3. Feb 24, 2018
    #3

    Nevilles.Wear.Prada Full Member

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    Live TV has helped people to see great players like never before. So yea.
  4. Feb 24, 2018
    #4

    Rifer Full Member

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    Within my lifetime so far, so yes. Different football era than before, not sure how football was then and so not sure how best the best players of the past 'actually' are. Seeing is more believing.
  5. Feb 24, 2018
    #5

    VBI Full Member

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    In terms of talent, I'm not sure. In terms of fitness and tactical awareness, almost certainly yes, because that's where all the real sports advancements have been made.
  6. Feb 24, 2018
    #6

    Nanook Full Member

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    The standard of players in every sport is vastly superior today than it was in the 60s and 70s and football is no different. I think players like Muller, Pele, Best, Beckenbauer would struggle at Championship level if they played today.
  7. Feb 24, 2018
    #7

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    Probably not. Can only imagine what the likes of Best & Maradona could do in todays conditions. Perfect pitch, defenders not allowed to tackle, easier off-side laws, and all the sports science etc.
  8. Feb 24, 2018
    #8

    Random Task Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    Absolutely yes.

    Significant advancements in training facilities, tactics, strategy, technology, medicine and nutrition have made it possible for a footballer to reach his maximum peak performance level, as it has for many athletes across wide variety of sports. Of course if these advancements were made available to past players such as those mentioned in the OP, then who knows how good they could have become.
  9. Feb 24, 2018
    #9

    DrRodo Full Member

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    Do you mean if we time machine bring them now? Because if they were born in this time im pretty sure with their talent and todays preparation training and nutrition advances they would still be at the top by now
  10. Feb 24, 2018
    #10

    Fortitude TV/Monitor Expert Scout

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    Right. If you're not wumming, please tell of a boxer in the weight classes of Sugar Ray Robinson or Mohammed Ali who are 'vastly superior' to either of them.
  11. Feb 24, 2018
    #11

    Raoul Admin Staff

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    Definitely. As said above, the overall approach to football is more advanced today, which is generally creating better footballers.
  12. Feb 24, 2018
    #12

    Seanus New Member

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    I know this is all about opinions, but yours is wrong :)
  13. Feb 24, 2018
    #13

    Nogbadthebad Full Member

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    No.

    You just see more of these guys than you have ever seen of any generation previously, anmd they hyped to the max by the media.

    The same media that would have you believe John Stones is a world class defender and the reincarnation of Bobby Moore I might add.
  14. Feb 24, 2018
    #14

    United never give up Banned

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    Its hard to tell as there have been great players in all eras of football, and tv wasnt around to highlight the greatness of past players to such an extent

    So while I can't definitively say yes to OP's question, I believe we have seen the best individual player in history (Messi), whose freakish talents probably won't be fully recognised to we reflect upon his retirement.

    I genuinely believe that Messi is underrated big time

    EDIT: Meant to say, what exactly are your thoughts @Cal? @Peyroteo - do you think Messi is the GOAT? Im fairly new to the Caf but I just got the impression that neither of you really rate him, and wanted to hear out your opinion
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  15. Feb 24, 2018
    #15

    Number1 Banned Verified Moaner

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    Hard to say unless your in your 50's and have memories from those years so you can compare different eras.

    Will say we have been blessed with flare players recent years though Messi/C.Ronaldo/L.Ronaldo/Ronaldinho/Neymar etc. Midfielders have also been great, aswell as goalkeepers.

    The decline is in defenders, certainly last 10 years.
  16. Feb 24, 2018
    #16

    Mufc84 New Member

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    I find this hard to analyze. The footballs then were so much heavier compared to the light ones now that spins around and doing u-turns in the air. It's easier now for the players to run with the ball at high speed etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2018
  17. Feb 24, 2018
    #17

    Peyroteo Professional Ronaldo PR Guy

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    I think we should judge players in relation to their own era. Very tough to compare across different eras since football changed a lot. Even comparing players today will be largely subjective so I don't really care.

    Main thing is to actually watch full games of the past since I believe there are a lot of fans who compare players without really doing any research on it. So to answer the question, I don't really know.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  18. Feb 24, 2018
    #18

    Invictus Best Poster 2015 Staff

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    Probably not. Humans haven't evolved over the last 50-60 years, and the crème de la crème of footballers haven't mutated to a new breed since the times of Pelè, Maradona, Cruyff, Best and co. as regards pure, dare I say it, unquantifiable and timeless, talent. You could argue that post-modern and contemporary footballers are more freakish and consistent from an athletic standpoint across the board, and more polished and fitter because of advancements in nutrition, dedicated coaching from a very young age, personal training and so forth, but aside from peerless combo-freaks like Fenômeno (who would likely stick out in any era) - a lot of it is transferable. e.g. someone like Pelè was jumping several feet in the air and running at sprint speeds over his career back in the day:



    I'd imagine he would push the envelope even further as an athlete in the contemporary game because of the progression of sports science and dedicated fitness or training regimes. Aside from that, most of the advancements in football as a team game have been tactical (the base level of tactics from a collective standpoint is higher than in the '50s or '60s - something that's reflected in the standard of average contemporary players being higher than the average players from that era as part of the collective) but those players could always learn that in training.

    Not to mention, a lot of top attacking players were getting butchered back in the day, and rode waves of nasty tackles week-in and week-out (mostly prominently - Maradona) while playing on horrendous pitches with relatively shoddy equipment - that's something a contemporary player doesn't always have to grapple with because of better infrastructure and the influx of money and referees cracking down on discipline. Reckon Fergie put it best — “I always think that great players can play in any era”.
  19. Feb 24, 2018
    #19

    Basso New Member

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    Just look on a picture of Jan Molby in his liverpool shirt and you will find your answer!
    Players these days are sublime athletes and the game is much faster.
  20. Feb 24, 2018
    #20

    Pexbo has never watched Star Wars

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    If we're talking raw talent in a vacuum then it's impossible to know.
    If we're talking peak ability reached, again it's impossible to know.


    Invictus' opening line - Humans haven't evolved over the last 50-60 years - is bang on. There's no genetic reason that players today would be better than they were in the 60s/70s/80s, the difference is the advances in diet and training methods.


    To put it simply, if Pele, Maradona and Best were born in 1986 and came up through a good academy, they'd almost certainly have been competition for Ronaldo and Messi. Just how much they would stand out is open to question as their respective abilities might not have the same impact in an era where the average has risen.

    If you played the Barcelona of 2011 against the Real Madrid of 1958, Barcelona would likely win by a 15 goal margin.
  21. Feb 24, 2018
    #21

    RedRom "Where's Lingard?"

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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes, and so people will always view things like this thread in a similar way when talking about players that they have seen.
  22. Feb 24, 2018
    #22

    BAMSOLA Has issues!

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    No but it has seen the fittest and most tactically aware.
  23. Feb 24, 2018
    #23

    JK-27 Full Member

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    This.

    Also, talent is subjective. Some used to say Best was better than Cruyff, some said Cruyff was better than Best.

    I remember a story Best told where before a match a journalist said what was it going to be like playing against the best player in the world (meaning Cruyff). Best was annoyed he wasn't considered the best, so to prove a point during the match, even though they played on opposite wings, Best got the ball, ran all the way over to the other side of the pitch where Cruyff was and when Cruyff tried to tackle him he nutmegged him and then ran up the pitch to set up a goal. Fecking legend.
  24. Feb 24, 2018
    #24

    James Peril Full Member

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    This is very, very wrong. Not allowed to tackle!? Have you seen Maradona’s most famous goal? Ten defenders not tackling at all, completely unprofessional. Defenders back in the 70’s and 80’s were atrocious. See Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard, Bale etc etc, they are chopped down every single game.
  25. Feb 24, 2018
    #25

    meninred New Member

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    Not really ..every generation has produced some exceptional players .
    like 3 - players per decade.

    1950s..garincha..distefano..puskas
    1960s.pele..usebio..yashin
    1970s..cruyff..muller..beckenbauer
    1980..maradona..platini..zico
    1990s..vanbasten..romario
    2000..ronaldo lima..zidane
    2010..c ronaldo..messi
  26. Feb 24, 2018
    #26

    Bobski Full Member

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    Recency bias exists in all sports, and there is always this generational disconnect between those who value the era they grew up with as the most relevant. Mine was the 90's and early 00's, loved the relative parity and how the talent was spread, made for a far more dynamic and interesting European landscape.

    Top level talent will always exist, where I think this era lacks is the next tier, countries like Holland, Portugal, Czech Republic and the Balkan countries don't seem to be producing the numbers of previous times.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  27. Feb 24, 2018
    #27

    Jaybomb Banned

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    Messi and Cristiano are the two best of all time next to Pele.
  28. Feb 24, 2018
    #28

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    Bollocks mate.

    You can't go in the way they used to in the 70s and 80s anymore. Thats a fact.
  29. Feb 24, 2018
    #29

    Raees Boing Boing Baggies

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    The recency bias seems especially strong in this generation. In many major sports there is strong arguments for decline - yet seems to always be this belief that football is impervious to such drops in quality and each new generation will definitely be better than the last
  30. Feb 24, 2018
    #30

    P-Nut0712 fan of well-known French footballer Fabinho

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    I think it's gotten worse if anything. In some of the past decades you had several players who could claim to be around the same tier as Ronaldo and Messi are now. Yet these 2 have dominated the sport by themselves for a long long time now.
  31. Feb 24, 2018
    #31

    Globule signature/tagline creator extraordinaire

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    Better athletes? Yes.
    Better footballers? Not necessarily.

    If the star players of yesteryear were playing today they too would have better lifestyles and fitness. Sure, they'd be against fitter opponents, but they would also benefit from better pitches and less reckless tackling.
  32. Feb 24, 2018
    #32

    Redplane Full Member

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    That's exactly how I see it. Same could probably be said for just about any sport really. For instance, would Mark Spitz have been able to compete with Michael Phelps had he had the training tools, technology, diet etc at his disposal at that time? Probably yes.

    Only major issue we seem to be overlooking in favor of yesteryear's athletes.. And this is a dark one : but how many of them got away with doping at that time? Clearly it's not an issue that will likely ever go away (see Lance Armstrong, Russian athletes etc) - but you could only imagine it being way more common for quite a while.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  33. Feb 24, 2018
    #33

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    That 60s list is wank without Best. Feck how anyone can include Yashin and leave out Best???
    Even Banks was better than Yashin
  34. Feb 24, 2018
    #34

    palavra_united New Member

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    Saying that defenders from 70s and 80s were not tackling like today - please watch this -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfuD282WiWM I can only imagine if this happens during a game nowadays. I doubt that it will finish at all.
  35. Feb 24, 2018
    #35

    Charles Miller Full Member Verified Moaner

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    I get that the existence of Messi and watching all leagues in tv/internet lead people to think we are in some magical age of football.

    Before Bosman ruling the majority of the top players around the world, especially south americans, would not automatically move to europe. In my opinion this fact is responsible for many european fans to believe the current set of players is so great.
  36. Feb 24, 2018
    #36

    barros Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Besides TV and all the advances we have way more players than in the past so that’s obvious we have better players than before
  37. Feb 24, 2018
    #37

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Apart from messi and ronaldo the rest is just the ussual best player of the era.

    There's alot of legendary great players in every era, we just happen to witness messi and ronaldo in our lifetime.
  38. Feb 24, 2018
    #38

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Maradona and best on the contrary won't be playing with so much space with today's game employing defensive midfielder shielding the back 4 and mostly 5 midfielders all over the park.

    Not to mention defending has also improved over the years tactically. Defenders now are also fitter than they were 20 years ago.

    They'll be up against internationally capped defenders every week, even the relegation fodder are filled with international playes, albeit from a lesser country.
  39. Feb 24, 2018
    #39

    jem Full Member

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    But clearly you have to measure them within the times and conditions in which they played. If not, and going by your standard, Jesse Lingard is a better player than George Best.
  40. Feb 24, 2018
    #40

    BeforeKeanetherewasRobson Full Member

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    You can't compare.

    Tactics, pitches, sports science, nutrition, refs, etc have changed so much.

    That said, I'm pretty sure the TRUE greats would have made it anytime.... Pele, Best, Cruyff, Platini would all be great today.

    Would Messi or Ronaldo be great in the 60s? ..... probably too.