Iniesta vs Zidane

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by TheNewEra, Jan 11, 2016.

?

Who was greater in his prime ?

Poll closed Jun 4, 2016.
  1. Iniesta

    36.1%
  2. Zidane

    63.9%
  1. Jan 11, 2016
    #1

    TheNewEra Knows Kroos' mentality

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    Recently I had this discussion about a current player Andres Iniesta and Zinedine Zidane, who was the better player in their prime?

    They both have similar styles, maybe Zidane was more of an artist in the way he moved and manipulated the ball, but Iniesta is the better dribbler and passer of the ball.

    Title Breakdown: (Iniesta, Zidane)
    Note for fairness as Zidane played in Italy I've merged league cups (La Liga and Serie A to "League Cups" and so on).
    League Cups: 7, 4
    Domestic Cups: 3, 0
    Champions League: 4, 1

    (discarded trophies such as super cups as they require prerequisites)

    International Honours: (Iniesta, Zidane)
    World Cup: 1, 1
    European Championships: 2, 1

    Individual Honours: (Iniesta, Zidane)
    Ballon d'Or: 0, 1
    UEFA Team of the Year: 5, 3

    Appeareances/Goals:
    Iniesta 372, 34
    Zidane 506, 95

    Note I can't find the assist totals for Iniesta and his stats are subject to change

    There seemed to be something magical about Zidane in his prime, a talking point is that Iniesta has been at the same club, where as Zidane started at Cannes, went to Bordeaux, Juventus and finished his career at Real Madrid.

    You could say Zidane was more important for France, but if Zidane was in this current Generation would he be in the top 3 players in the world each year with Messi and Ronaldo? Zidane was playing alongside Ronaldo Fenomeno, would he look like a lesser player with the likes of Messi if he played today?

    Was Zidane more influential on his team like Iniesta is for Barcelona in his prime?

    Both brilliant midfielders Iniesta and Zidane but it's hard to pick who I would prefer in a starting XI.

    Opinions?
  2. Jan 11, 2016
    #2

    foolsgold Full Member

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    Zidane was head and shoulders the best player in the world, Iniesta isn't and never has been.
  3. Jan 11, 2016
    #3

    Ryan7 Full Member

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  4. Jan 11, 2016
    #4

    TheNewEra Knows Kroos' mentality

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    The question is though would Zidane be the best player in the world with Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, which Iniesta has had to deal with?.
  5. Jan 11, 2016
    #5

    Galactic Incorrigible pest

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    Iniesta is an incredible player who has been playing in an unbelievably good squad.

    Zidane is just a true artist. He could win games on his own. Similar to Maradona.
  6. Jan 11, 2016
    #6

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    This argument doesn't work because Zidane wouldn't have been that had he played in the current generation. Competing with Figo/Raul is different from competing with Messi.

    However, I personally would go for Zidane as well. There's no vast gap between the two but Zidane had more individual personality to his game from what I saw of him.
  7. Jan 11, 2016
    #7

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    Also, maybe Iniesta's last few years have hurt him slightly in this regard?

    This season he seems to have stepped it up a notch, but for awhile he's been flat and intermittently turns it on for the odd CL tie.
  8. Jan 11, 2016
    #8

    KM I’m afraid I just blue myself Staff

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    If Messi and Ronaldo were playing in Zidane's era then he wouldn't have been the best player in the world as well.
  9. Jan 11, 2016
    #9

    Moby Dick who hates the homeless

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    Would he be the unquestionable best in the world (when was he ever?) in the presence of Messi and Ronaldo scoring 50+ goals every year?

    Iniesta did come third, in whatever that award represents.
  10. Jan 11, 2016
    #10

    Moby Dick who hates the homeless

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Uncanny.
  11. Jan 11, 2016
    #11

    foolsgold Full Member

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    Hard to say, for me he was clearly the best player in his generation, the period between Maradona and Messi belongs to him. It's not all about goals, he controlled games and his vision was stunning. Between 98 and 04 he was peerless.

    We all admire Scholes as a player, even at Scholes peak, ZZ was miles ahead of him
  12. Jan 11, 2016
    #12

    sullydnl Ross Kemp's caf ID

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    Iniesta.
  13. Jan 11, 2016
    #13

    crappycraperson "Resident cricket authority" Scout

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    Gio covered this in a post in the other thread. Zidane was the ultimate big game player (so is Iniesta to some extent), but that also meant that he was not as consistent in regular league matches. During his time at both Juve and Real, he would not have survived the level of scrutiny both Messi and Ronaldo go through now days for their each and every performance.

    Iniesta both benefits and suffers from playing in such a loaded Barca team.
  14. Jan 11, 2016
    #14

    Skills Snitch

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    Zidane wasn't 'by far' the best player of his generation, that was Ronaldo who was robbed of back to back ballon d'ors because it was voted by idiots back then (maybe not but it certainly had a different criteria back then).

    Iniesta wouldve won it in 2010 for winning the WC if they still voted for it the same way.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  15. Jan 11, 2016
    #15

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

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    Iniesta. Said it in his thread. To be fair I only watched Zidane in his last 5 years as a player and from what is be seen, it's an easy decision.
  16. Jan 11, 2016
    #16

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

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    Iniesta still stands out in that Barcelona team. Even though he's playing with Messi, Neymar and Suarez. He's incredible. Best midfielder I've ever seen.
  17. Jan 11, 2016
    #17

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

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    I only saw Zidane play for Real Madrid and he was a passenger in too many games if I'm honest.
  18. Jan 11, 2016
    #18

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    I should be biased towards Zidane but I have to go with Iniesta. In terms of footballing ability, there isn't much difference between the two so I'll go with involvement in trophies won and Iniesta will eclipse Zidane by the time he retires.
  19. Jan 11, 2016
    #19

    Skills Snitch

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    Iniesta already has won more no? Critical in Barcelona's two CL titles in 09 and 11. More of a supporting cast in the other 2 - but still very important, especially in 15. More domestic leagues and cups too.

    Starred in European Championship in 12, was one of their best players in 08 too (but Xavi and Villa were probably the two real stars). Same for the WC - I thought he was possibly only second to Villa at the WC for Spain, and he was better the deeper they got.
  20. Jan 11, 2016
    #20

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    Yes of course and it'll be more impressive by the time he retires. Come to think of it, Messi's trophy haul will be ridiculous too.
  21. Jan 11, 2016
    #21

    UweBein Full Member

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    From my perspective Iniesta is the better player.
  22. Jan 11, 2016
    #22

    Zen Full Member

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    I'd love to seen the same availability of football for Zidanes ers, he doesn't win this so easily otherwise. People have been so spoilt by Messi/Ronaldo just banging them in endlessly, or performing nearly every game that think that's the same consistency that previous unanimous worlds best performed at.....I'm not sure they even came in the 20 odd years prior to 2008 or so.
  23. Jan 11, 2016
    #23

    Ish Lights on for Luke

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    A few years ago, I'd have undoubtedly said Zidane.

    Now I'll say Iniesta. But there's very, very little to choose between them IMO.
  24. Jan 11, 2016
    #24

    AltiUn likes playing with swords after fantasies

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    I'd go with Iniesta, I love ZZ he's my all-time favourite player alongside Ruud but there was just something about the way peak Iniesta played football that captivated me.
  25. Jan 11, 2016
    #25

    Annihilate Now! ...or later, I'm not fussy Scout

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    It depends... is this Starting XI for a Champions League final? Or a World Cup final? Or some other must win game? ... because then you'd surely want Zidane in there. (Yes, I realise Iniesta also preforms very well in big games - but there is that something extra about Zidane) He was possibly the ultimate big game player, and could step up to a level beyond anyone on the pitch at any point in his career.

    For your every run-of-the-mill La Liga game you'd probably go for Iniesta... Probably more consistent in that sense, and with Zidane there's always the chance he'd get bored and punch someone.
  26. Jan 11, 2016
    #26

    Manny Grammar Police

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    Zidane.

    I think he would excel beyond Iniesta in this Barca side, playing alongside Busquets and Rakitic and having MSN ahead of him.

    Would Iniesta look as good as he does for Barca in the teams Zidane played for?

    Another thing to consider is that they played in two quite different eras of football. I think Zidane's ability would transition better to 2008-2015 football than Iniesta would to that 1997-2003 period.

    Edit: I think I've made this more complicated then it needed to be.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  27. Jan 11, 2016
    #27

    VorZakone What would Kenny G do?

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    Consistency-wise Iniesta beats Zidane but in terms of peak talent I'd say Zidane was better.
  28. Jan 11, 2016
    #28

    prarek Full Member

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    Agree with this. Zidane was a big game player. But there were many smaller games which passed him by. And i followed closely his Real Madrid career. Maybe in Italy he was more consistent.
  29. Jan 11, 2016
    #29

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

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    I don't think Zidane had anywhere near enough work rate to play in Barca's midfield. I only saw him play for Madrid but from what I saw, he was a bit lazy. Just ambling about most of the time.
  30. Jan 11, 2016
    #30

    dumbo Full Member

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    Iniesta was a better all round player with an over all better career. Zidane had that talismanic quality.
  31. Jan 11, 2016
    #31

    ottosec Full Member

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    Zidane, no doubt, more talented and one of those players that carried games on his own.

    Some will say that Iniesta is more consistent, but that is probably down to the fact that he played in a very dominating team.
  32. Jan 11, 2016
    #32

    PedroMendez Acolyte

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    Zidane played in quite a few "big games", where he did play particularly well; especially for his clubs.

    They both performed ridiculously good for their national team. Both had very strong teams and both were able to raise their games to make the difference. Their performances for the national sides is on a similar level.
    In general Zidane was a lot more patchy for his teams. That said, for his club-teams, Iniesta never was the main-man. He had Xavi+Messi/MSN and Barca is a machine. They perform in a way, that Zidane´s teams never did for an extended period of time.
    Overall both players are more or less on the same level.
  33. Jan 11, 2016
    #33

    Trizy Full Member

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    Zidane was a match winner and leader for both his country and club, a joy to watch in every aspect of his game. Easily one of the greatest of all time and probably my no.1 until Messi and Ronaldo retire. Best memory was him vs one of the greatest country sides ever in Brazil, yet he stood on in that game like he was twice as good as everyone else and some of those players on both his team and Brazils will go down in the top 50- of all time.

    Iniesta is a great dribbler and passer under pressure but he just isn't on the same level of impact as Zidane, I'd imagine he'd disappear on the pitch before he'd try grab the game by the balls and lift his defeated team. Not half the player for me.
  34. Jan 11, 2016
    #34

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    Zidane for me, as special as Iniesta is/has been.
  35. Jan 11, 2016
    #35

    2 man midfield Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)

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    Only really caught the tail end of Zidane's career, so I'm more inclined to say Iniesta. Have seen clips of him at his peak, but I lived right through Iniesta being a genius in real time. 4 champions league titles is just insane as well.
  36. Jan 11, 2016
    #36

    GimmeAKitKat Four Brown Fingers

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    Iniesta for me, iv never enjoyed watching any player as much as him.
  37. Jan 11, 2016
    #37

    Bole Top Full Member

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    Iniesta.
  38. Jan 11, 2016
    #38

    Brown Toothpick Full Member

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    Iniesta. Far more consistent and less of a cnut.
  39. Jan 11, 2016
    #39

    ZIDANE Full Member

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    Zidane. He was great to watch and turned up in many big games. The Brazil match already mentioned and that goal in the CL final. I'd rather watch Zidane. In the same way I'd rather watch Ronaldinho than Messi. That doesn't mean that Ronaldinho is a better player than Messi. Iniesta was great, very consistent and bossed the midfield with Xavi since he was young but I'd put him alongside Scholes who Zidane was very complimentary about.
  40. Jan 11, 2016
    #40

    Escobar Poster originally known as Michel04

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    Zidane, no doubt. One of the best and finest players ever