Coronavirus Champions League - Grand Finale - Enigma/Pat vs Sjor/Invictus

With players at their career peak, who would win?


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GodShaveTheQueen

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.................................................ENIGMA/PAT................................................................................................SJOR/INVICTUS



TEAM ENIGMA/PAT


Formation: 4-3-3.
Style: Direct, balanced in possession looking to capitalize at every opportunity. Pressure the opposition midfield and force them into error by overloading that area.

Player Profiles:
GK: Gordon Banks
- Complete keeper, one of the best ever with the most famous save in the game.
LB: Roberto Carlos - Attacking full back. One of the best in history providing width in attack and also being solid at the back. One man flank.
RB: Philipp Lahm - Playing his natural role as balanced right back.
CB: Gaetano Scirea - Libero. The ultimate reader of the game - grace, elegance, composure, intelligence, pace, the almost Zen-like Juve man had all of these in spades. He will carry out the ball from the back and add numbers to the midfield too.
CB: Karlheinz Forster - As a stopper - he's right up there with the very best. Intimidating, reliable and fantastic pure defender, 2 times WC finalist and EURO winner, German player of the year in 84, he will dovetail Scirea nicely in the heart of defence.
DM: Pirri - defensive midfielder. Protects the back four drops back when Scirea surges forward. He was well known for his ferocity, leadership skills, tactical acumen and versatility.
CM/B2B: Jean Tigana - one of the finest B2B midfielders and part of the famous carre magique. Tigana was the defensive workhouse of the team and would also venture forward to create opportunities for his teammates and he was also deployed on either flank due to his fiery pace and killer passes to slit open opponent’s defence. A perfect box-to-box midfielder who contributed to every aspect of the team.
AMC: Sir Bobby Charlton - United legend - raised in the north-east, he began as a winger, but morphed into a marauding forward playmaker. He will pull the strings in midfield and also provide significant danger in front of the goal
RW: Luis Figo - In his natural right winger role. His service for Spencer, who is reknown for his ability in the air is clear route to goal.
SS: Ferenc Puskas - roaming second striker in his natural role, playing off Spencer. Creative forward and exquisite finisher he will be in his peak incarnation as a focal point of the attack.
CF: Alberto Spencer - Complete CF and fantastic finisher in the box and outside it. Spencer possesses top notch finishing ability and especially aerial threat that could provide advantage, especially with Figo's delivery on the right. Alberto Spencer is the top scorer in the history of the Copa Libertadores and one of the best South American players of the twentieth century. In 1959, he joined Penarol where he was to become a legend. He scored 326 goals, won three Copas Libertadores, two Intercontinental Cups and seven championships during his stay in Montevideo. Four times top scorer in the Uruguayan league and still holds the record for being the top scorer in the history of the Libertadores Cup with 54 strikes. In the Intercontinental Cup, Only Pele has scored one more goal than him.

Defence: Great unit that plays to its strengths. Bobby Carlos will be an attacking LB, whilst Lahm will provide balance on the other flank. Scirea and Forster is a classic sweeper/stopper combo with Scirea marshaling the back four.

Midfield: Pirri and Tigana are well oiled unit with Pirri able to play as a DM in holding role, whilst Tigana is a bundle of energy that can cover an awful amount of grass. Sir Bobby and Figo are well known for their work rate and they will also contribute to the midfield being able to dominate that part of the pitch, providing us with advantage there and pressuring the opposition into error, whilst launching quick counters when the ball is recovered.

Attack: Puskas/Spencer is a very similar unit to Puskas / Kocsis. Spencer is again reknown for his heading ability and one of the best in history for that matter. Both will dovetail nicely and play to their strengths. Figo will be our creative outlet on the right with his ability to find Spencer in the box, but also create advantage in one on one situations. Sir Bobby will provide threat from deep and starting from his favorite deeper position.

Advantages:
1. Team that plays like a unit with clear and designated roles
- a back four that is in their zone and in natural roles. A midfield that dovetails with a holder, classic B2B in his favorite right side and Sir Bobby working both the left channel and pulling the strings in the center. Puskas / Spencer combo that combines the creativity, pure strength and aerial ability that Puskas can work off and a natural right winger to stretch the defence on the right.
2. Numbers in midfield and controlling the proceedings - Apart from Pirri / Tigana, we have a lot of players able to contribute in the middle of the park(Figo, Sir Bobby, Scirea, etc) and gain control there, suffocating the opposition players and launching quick breaks.

TEAM SJOR/INVICTUS


Formation: 5-3-2/5-1-2-2


DEFENSE

RUUD KROL
, CIRO FERRARA, PAOLO MALDINI, DANIEL PASSARELLA and ERIC GERETS form a robust and complete platform for the team, with 2 World Cup titles, 3 World Cup final appearances and 9 European Cup titles between them. Krol is well positioned to provide an exquisite attacking threat on the left flank while being remarkably secure and efficient in the defensive phase...



Alongside him is the best left-sided defender in football, Maldini — renowned for his technical ability, athleticism, sliding tackles, stamina, composure, energy, marking, awareness and ability to anticipate a threat from the opposition.



A real monster… I find it incredible he has never been World or European Footballer of the Year. Alongside Franco Baresi he was the best defender I’ve ever seen in my career — Marcel Desailly
Mirroring Paolo on the right is another renowned ambassador of the Italian school of defending, Ferrara — who excelled as a quick and combative centerback, and peaked as the leader of the vaunted Juventus defense under Lippi...


First, I learned by watching the best. When I got to Napoli, I played alongside Ciro Ferrara — one of the greatest defenders in the history of Italian football — Fabio Cannavaro

Certain performances standout from Ferrara; a game between two Italian giants in Juventus and Inter in the 97/98 season saw Ferrara come up against an on fire Ronaldo. The rest is history.

Ferrara occupied an unenviable position, marking often regarded the greatest Brazilian striker of all-time behind Pele. Regardless, he managed to get forward, play key passes and outmuscle Ronaldo on several occasions, keeping the attacker relatively quiet.
On the extreme right Gerets is widely regarded as one of the top fullbacks from Europe, with his mentality and workrate earning him the nickname "The Lion of Flanders".

Through the middle is Passarella, who is tasked with organizing the defense and bringing the ball out from deeper zones. Since this is a final and space will be at a premium everywhere on the pitch, even one key moment could define the proceedings — and Passarella didn't take take long to convert defense to attack — be it carrying the ball, or pinging it directly into team-mates positioned in final third with a great deal of precision (like in the 1978 World Cup final where he created an opportunity for Argentina's 2nd goal):


He was called "El Gran Capitán" (the Great Captain, nickname of Argentine independence hero José de San Martín), "El Kaiser" (an allusion to Franz Beckenbauer) or "El Caudillo" (the Chief) because of his leadership ability, his passion, and his organisational prowess on the field. He was a defender who often joined the attack, and helped generate and finish offensive plays. He was the top scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches His aerial game was effective both defensively and in attack. Passarella and Chilean Elías Figueroa are considered the best defenders in the history of South America.
In goal, SEPP MAIER was the core of Germany’s World Cup and European Championship winning defense and Bayern’s trio of European Cups — and was voted 4th in the World Keeper of the Century poll.


MIDFIELD

VALERY VORONIN, KEVIN DE BRUYNE
and ZINÉDINE ZIDANE offer an exquisite blend of technique and up-tempo playmaking ability in the central portion of the pitch. Voronin reprises his fabled holding midfielder role, which he perfected at his peak — capable of being a factor in possession as well as negating the influence of the likes of Eusébio, allowing the players alongside-ahead of him the freedom to exert maximum creative influence on the match.



Through the right half-space is the decisive and efficient De Bruyne. A quick and elegant player on the ball, his positional sense, tactical intelligence, movement, workrate and direct style of play enables him to take advantage of spaces in the opposition's defense, and subsequently create chances and goalscoring opportunities for himself or his teammates. In this setup, he should be able to explore the full extent of his simple yet remarkable playmaking skill set through the half-spaces as someone who is adept as co-existing with other playmakers without hogging the ball, and he should positively thrive in the presence of Seeler and Müller further up the pitch as they will gobble up a fair percentage of the chances he invariably creates. Like Passarella, he has a knack for creating something in a split second — and could be another target for the former's passes forward in terms of creating gilt-edged chances for the strikers...



Through the left half-space is Zizou, playmaker and game-controller supreme. There always was an intrigue about him. His introverted but unflappable demeanour, his assured elegance on the ball, his blessings and his curses combined to form a player whose talent was almost hypnotic. To watch Zidane was to watch a theatrical display of immaculate ball control. And for all his grace, there have been few players that have possessed such a powerful and accurate shot.
The best player of the last generation. He would control games, but most importantly, he always performed on the big occasions — Ruud Gullit


STRIKE FORCE

In the second-striker position is UWE SEELER. The greatest striker Germany has ever produced behind Gerd Müller, he possessed the unique ability to form a telepathic understanding with his co-attackers and involve himself in the deeper or wider game to a point where he was almost a dual striker-winger/forward — all while establishing himself as one of the best examples you'll ever see of aerial prowess at the position, working hard on and off the ball and being an extraordinary natural goalscorer — to date, Seeler boasts the second highest goal tally of a German footballer with 575 scored in competitive matches, second only to his team-mate in this team.

8 official matches together
23 goals (scored in every game)
16 goals between them


Up top is the machine-like GERD MÜLLER — renowned for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box, arguably the most goalscorer of all time with 1 World Cup Golden Boot, 1 EURO Top scorer title, 4 European Cup Top scorer titles, 2 European Golden Shoe titles, 7 Bundesliga Top scorer titles — as well as holding the all-time goal-scoring record in the World Cup with 14 goals for 32 years. Key here is the 1970 FIFA World Cup, where Golden Boot Müller combined with Seeler to plunder 10 goals for West Germany in just 6 matches!

 

Himannv

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What happened to all these teams in the finals? They've all become weaker after reinforcement.
 

Enigma_87

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Good luck @Šjor Bepo @Invictus !

What happened to all these teams in the finals? They've all become weaker after reinforcement.
Neither team upgraded in the best way possible, but still I'm pretty happy filling the holes that were left from the players we dropped.

Scirea/Forster is as good pairing as it gets in terms of classic sweeper/stopper combo and Sir Bobby brings a lot to the table, both in midfield and his contribution in the attacking third.
 

Šjor Bepo

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good luck as well @Enigma_87 @Pat_Mustard

Dont really have anything negative to say about your team, maybe just a bit suspect defensive wise on the left size. Will get back on Pirri as well, personally i thought he was a b2b player but im aware i know very little about him so will wait for invi to get online as he is a expert on him.
 

Himannv

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Good luck @Šjor Bepo @Invictus !



Neither team upgraded in the best way possible, but still I'm pretty happy filling the holes that were left from the players we dropped.

Scirea/Forster is as good pairing as it gets in terms of classic sweeper/stopper combo and Sir Bobby brings a lot to the table, both in midfield and his contribution in the attacking third.
Does your team work more like a zona mista? Just trying to figure out what Lahm really does in this game. I don't see him and Figo getting much joy against Krol and Maldini, nor do I see him having his hands full out wide. Just assuming he tucks in centrally when defending?
 

Enigma_87

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A good piece on Alberto Spencer, who is one of the underrated greats in drafts:



South America has long been a cradle for many of the world’s most celebrated footballers. Names such as Pelé, Maradona, Messi and Di Stéfano trip from the tongue, and there are so many others who would comfortably fit alongside such exalted company. It is however probably true to say that the fame such luminaries of the game have enjoyed was made possible by either competing in World Cup tournaments, joining top European clubs, or both. Would any of those stellar names be so well-known without those circumstances being in place?


If, instead, let’s say for example an outstanding forward was born in one of the less internationally successful South American countries, and hence was denied an opportunity to play in the global extravaganza of a World Cup tournament, or was denied the chance to cross the globe and earn the money available and fame at one of Europe’s premier clubs, would that make him a lesser player, or merely a lesser-known one?

It’s an interesting issue to ponder, but to perhaps help to sway the decision one way or the other, this is the story of such a player; someone who excelled as one of the continent’s most prolific goal scorers, achieved enviable records in major competitions and felled some of Europe’s top clubs in the Intercontinental Cup competitions of the early to mid-sixties. It details how he racked up goals aplenty in the continent’s premier club competition and earned outstanding acclaim both in his country of birth and where he spent most of his career. So, put your initial thoughts to one side for a moment and read about the achievements and glory of one of South America’s finest ever footballers. It may make you rethink the answer to the question above.

Alberto Pedro Spencer Herrera, forever known as Alberto Spencer, was born in Ancón on the Ecuador’s Santa Elena peninsula on 6 December 1937. Whilst his mother was Ecuadorean, Spencer’s father was a Jamaican of British origin who was in the country as an employee of the Anglo-Ecuadorian Oil Company, a subsidiary of the organisation now known as BP. His British heritage would later lead to a number of attempts to bring the player to Britain in order to represent the country of his father, but the moves came to nought. Had fate took a different turn though, who can say how the world would now look upon the name of Alberto Spencer.

Like so many children of his era, playing football in the local streets was a popular pastime, for this particular boy however, the sport would be his passport to fame and glory. Spencer’s elder brother, Marcos, took him to the Everest club, based in Guayaquil to demonstrate his younger sibling’s ability to the staff there. It took little to persuade the coaches that that this young kid had an amazing potential and they took him on board. He would make his debut for the first team at the tender age of 15. In six years with the club, he would score 101 goals in just 93 games, and the rest of the clubs in the country inevitably sat up and took notice.

In July 1959, Peñarol, one of the top clubs in Uruguay were on tour in Ecuador and played a game against Barcelona SC, where Spencer was now on loan. It was time for his big break. Now into his early twenties, the promise of his teenage years had been converted into the gold standard currency of goals, and the Uruguayan club’s manager, Hugo Bagnulo was impressed enough by Spencer’s performance in the game to recognise the value he could add to his team. He instructed scout Pibe Ortega to sign the player for Peñarol as soon as the game was completed. The deal was struck and the legend of Alberto Spencer was born.

Already hugely successful, Peñarol’s new acquisition would turn the club into one of the most fearsome outfits in South American football and deliver a period of domination across the continent and beyond. Spencer brought with him the priceless contribution of goals. A natural finisher of the highest order he not only had that innate ability to be in the right place at the right time to finish off moves, but his all-round ability also meant that he could conjure up chances – and the goals that followed – from seemingly innocuous situations. The gift of being ambidextrous meant that beating a defender on either side was equally comfortable to him, and there was no ‘safe side’ that defenders could seek to shepherd him down. On top of that he had searing pace and the boundless energy of a natural athlete. Tall enough, although not necessarily towering, he was prodigious in the air, a springing leap and powerful neck muscles leading to many a headed goal. The great Pelé himself was once moved to say that, “Someone that headed better than me was Spencer. I was good, but he was spectacular heading the ball. In general, he would do it with a burst, but without actually sprinting.” It’s some accolade, but one born more out of respect than hyperbole. Spencer’s new club would be the beneficiary of such attributes.

In his first season with the club, Peñarol won the Uruguayan Primera División, losing just a single game, and amassing 44 goals across the 18-game season.
Their greater success though would come in the Copa Libertadores, a tournament for which Spencer would develop a particular liking. It was the first year that CONMEBOL had organised such a tournament, the South American equivalent of the European Cup, securing the initial title would be a major coup for whichever club prevailed.

In the Preliminary Round, Peñarol faced Bolivian champions Jorge Wilstermann in a two-legged tie for a place in the quarter-finals. Entertaining the Bolivians at the Estadio Centenario, in the Parque Battle area of Montevideo for the first leg, Peñarol reduced the return encounter to almost meaningless status by rattling up a 7-1 victory. Spencer netted four times in the romp and announced himself to the competition in which he would become the record goalscorer – netting a further 50 times – by the time he retired. A 1-1 draw in Bolivia scarcely offered a fig leaf of cover to the Bolivians to disguise the way Spencer had exposed them eleven days previously.

The semi-final against Argentine champions San Lorenzo was, understandably, a much closer affair. A 1-1 draw at home, suggested that the Uruguayan club would face a tough examination back in Buenos Aires, and such was the case when a tight game ended goalless, requiring a play-off to decide who would reach the final. Back in Montevideo, the scores were still blank at the hour mark, but just a minute later, Spencer put the home side ahead. With goals at a premium for most of the remaining time, it looked enough to see Peñarol through, but with time ebbing away, prolific Argentina striker José Sanfilippo levelled just four minutes later. In typical fashion though, almost immediately Spencer struck again at the other end to decide matters. It was an example of the way his decisive strikes would swing things for his club in the coming years.

The final tie was against the Paraguayan club, Olympia, who had thumped the Columbian champions Millonarios in the other semi-final. Playing at home in the first leg, it was inevitably Spencer that scored to give them the home victory that stamped their triumph after a 1-1 draw in Asunción. For all their relative success to date, Peñarol could now claim a continental title. They were the champions of South America. It wouldn’t be the last time that they would have that honour. Individually, Spencer was the tournament’s top scorer that year. Again, it was an accolade he would repeat as his club prospered.

The only blot on the Peñarol copy book was a defeat to Real Madrid in the first Intercontinental Cup. Following a 0-0 draw in Montevideo, Los Blancos crushed the Uruguayans at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring five times, as the greats of that outstanding team, Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento and Herrara all helped themselves to goals. A late strike by Spencer was meagre consolation, but if the pain of defeat hurt, Peñarol would have their revenge five years later. Indeed, club president Gaston Guelfi would bd looking for glory ahead of that though. Hardly downbeat in defeat, he bullishly declared: “Next year we’ll be champions of the Americas again and then we’ll beat the Europeans in the Cup. Penarol will be world champions.”

The following season was another one of domestic dominance for Spencer and Peñarol. The league title was secured by a clear three points from Nacional, and with the club netting 51 times, their total was a dozen clear of the runners-up total goals. Spencer would help himself to more than his fair share of the strikes, finishing as the league’s top marksman with no less than 18, equating to a goal in each and every game.

The Copa Libertadores competition that year would again see Peñarol prosper, but one of the other qualifiers would offer the chance of an emotional return for Alberto Spencer. His former club, Barcelona SC had qualified to represent Ecuador and faced and faced Colombian champions Sante Fe in the Preliminary Round. A 0-2 defeat in Guayaquil’s Estadio Modelo – a ground that would later be renamed in honour of Spencer as the ‘Estadio Modelo Alberto Spencer Herrera’ after his death – meant there would be no emotional homecoming. At least fro this year. That would have to wait. In more prosaic matters, Peñarol faced Club Universitario de Deportes of Peru. In the home leg, Spencer notched a brace in a 5-0 romp. Although Peruvian pride was restored with a 2-0 victory in the second leg, the Uruguayan club progressed with some comfort.


The semi-finals pitted them against old rivals from the previous year, Paraguayan club, Olimpia. A 3-1 victory, without Spencer getting on the scoresheet gave Peñarol a comfortable lead to take to Asunción, where the home team failed to pull back the advantage. A 2-1 win being insufficient to prevent Peñarol reaching their second consecutive final.


In the home leg in Montevideo, the game against the Brazilians of Palmeiras seemed destined to drift to a goalless draw, but in such times, a team needs their man to step up. As on so many other occasions, Spencer answered the call with an 89th winners. It meant that the 1-1 draw in the Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, was sufficient for Peñarol to retain the trophy.

The Intercontinental Cup was still in its infancy, and the format of the competition had clearly not been fully thought through. Rather than aggregate scores deciding matters, in the event of each team winning a game in the two-legged tie, points were awarded on the result on each game, two for a win and one for a draw. It was a format that initially looked likely to deny Peñarol the trophy. Pitched against Portugal’s Benfica, a 1-0 defeat at Estádio da Luz, hardly looked secure, and in the return, the paucity of that victory was ruthlessly exposed. A five-goal victory, with Spencer scoring twice, was more than decisive. The less then well thought out rules meant however that, despite the drastic imbalance in goals, both victories carried equal weight and a deciding play-off would be required.

In front of some 60,000 fans in Montevideo, Peñarol went ahead early through José Sasía, before Eusebio scored his first goal in international competition to equalise from the penalty spot. Sasía would settle the issue though just ahead of half-time with his second strike. Guelfi’s pledge had been honoured. Peñarol were champions of the footballing world, and although he had not scored in the paly-off game, Alberto Spencer had been a key driver in that triumph.

In 1962, Peñarol maintained their stranglehold on the domestic league securing their third title in a row. This time their margin over Nacional – again the bridesmaids – was doubled to six points and with Spencer top scorer across the league again, the club netted 54 goals. Spencer would score 16 of them. The Copa Libertadores would produce mixed fortunes though. A more bloated tournament, with two clubs representing each country, saw Peñarol, as holders, only introduced at the semi-final stage, where they would, ironically face compatriots and perennial league runners-up Nacional. There seemed little inferiority complex in the first leg however as Nacional ran out 2-1 winners. In the return, a brace by Spencer contributed to a 3-1 victory, and as the play-off game ended level at 1-1, goal difference was used to settle the encounter. Peñarol prospered with Spencer’s two goals making the difference between progress and elimination.

In a strange match-up with Brazil’s Santos, who included the incomparable Pelé in their line-up, both clubs lost the home legs. Initially Santos triumphed 1-2 in Montevideo, with Spencer’s strike being outweighed by two from the visitors. Then, at the Estádio Vila Belmiro, another double by Spencer saw Peñarol triumph 2-3. On neutral turf at the Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Santos triumphed 3-0 with a brace from Pelé. For the first time, Peñarol were compelled to pass on the title of South American champions. On an individual note though, even though he had only played in two rounds of the competition, Alberto Spencer was the tournament’s joint top scorer.

The 1963-63 season proved to be a fallow one for Peñarol. After slugging it out in the league across the season, Nacional eventually took the title by a single point. The two clubs had ripped up the league between them and the club in third place was a full nine points behind the runners-up. It’s certainly not unconnected that Spencer also had a relatively poor year. He missed three games and his league total of nine goals was only slightly higher than half of the toll of the previous year. Finding the back of the net was less of a problem for both Peñarol and Spencer back in the Copa Libertadores opening round, and this time there was a homecoming for the Ecuadorean striker.

Peñarol were paired with Spencer’s first club, Everest and although, perhaps with emotions getting the better of him, he missed out in a five-goal romp for the Uruguayan club in Guayaquil. Back in Montevideo things were back to normal. In a 9-1 victory, Spencer scored five times. Peñarol would lose out to Boca Juniors in semi-final however and were compelled to contemplate that it would now take a major push if they were to regain the South American title and the hegemony they had enjoyed in the first couple of years of the tournament.

The league had a much more familiar look about it at the end of the season in 1964. Peñarol had this time dismissed all comers fairly comfortably. An absence from the season’s Copa Libertadores – champions Nacional took the single berth available that year – may have helped to ease the number of games the club had to play. If so, it reaped domestic dividends for Peñarol. Winning 16 out of 18 games and drawing the remaining two was an outstanding performance and took them a dozen points clear at the top. Conversely, Spencer had his worst season ever with the club, although his goals to games ratio was stunningly good. Injuries curtailed his first team appearances, limiting him to just six games. He did however net six goals in that time, equating to a goal per game and echoing his strike rate in 1962.

The league was retained the following year, although Nacional ran Peñarol much closer, cutting the gap to five points, and Spencer was back among the goals scoring a dozen times in the league to propel the club to the top. He was however absent for that year’s assault on the Copa Libertadores. In his absence, Peñarol found their way to the final, but were soundly beaten in a play-off by Argentina’s Independiente. It had now been some years since Peñarol had dominated the South American championship. The following year though would bring back the glory times for the Montevideo club, and the man scoring the vital goals would be Alberto Spencer. The league title would escape their clutches with Nacional prospering again. Peñarol would be frying bigger fish.

Another change to the Copa Libertadores saw two teams from Uruguay competing, and Nacional joined Peñarol. Placed in a group with two clubs each from Bolivia and Ecuador, the Uruguayan clubs finished first and second in their section. Somewhat surprisingly, across the ten game group fixtures, where Peñarol would score twenty goals, Spencer only netted twice. Less surprisingly though, in both cases, they were the key goals that decided games. For the semi-final group, Peñarol and Nacional were joined by the Chileans of Club Deportivo Universidad Católica.

Things started badly in the section, with Peñarol losing the opening game to a single goal in Santiago. From there though, their form picked up and Peñarol won all three of their remaining fixtures, topping the group and heading for the finals. Spencer’s absence from the scoring sheet across the four games though suggested to some that perhaps his powers were on the wane, or that other teams had found an effect way of neutralising the striker. He would confound such suppositions.


Facing Argentina’s River Plate in the final games, Peñarol secured a 2-0 victory in Montevideo before travelling to Buenos Aries. In front of 60,000 passionate Argentine fans in the Estadio Antonio V. Liberti, the Uruguayan club looked to be in control, leading twice before being pegged back; the second goal for the visitors coming from Spencer. A draw would have seen the championship going back to Peñarol, with Spencer’s goal again looking decisive, but a strike for the home team from Ermindo Onega finally turned the game in River’s favour and a play-off would be required.

Two days later, the sides met again at the neutral ground of the Estadio Nacional, Santiago. Past the hour mark, all seemed up for Peñarol with River leading 2-0. The first goal came after 27 minutes, when a ball was pulled back for Daniel Onega to fire home. The strike from the player who would go on to become the tournament’s leading goal getter that year, sparked excited celebrations on the sidelines as staff and coaches leapt into the air. Then, just ahead of the break, a long punt downfield by the Argentine goalkeeper saw a Peñarol player lose possession to Jorge Solari. The midfielder scampered forward and fired in a shot from just outside the area. It deceived goalkeeper Mazurkiewicz and crashed into the top of the net. If the celebrations following the first goal were excited, these were ecstatic. As well as staff from the Argentine bench flooding on to the pitch, photographers gathered around the players to grab the images of the team now surely destined to lift the trophy. The downcast demeanour of the Peñarol players offered tacit acceptance of the seemingly inevitable.

With time running away though, a quick free-kick into the Argentine box found Spencer, and the ace marksman, displaying enviable balance and poise, volleyed home. Peñarol were still trailing though and celebrations were muted. One Peñarol fan did manage to get onto the pitch and whilst taunting the River players, Spencer quickly grabbed him and escorted from the field, clearly thinking there was still time to get level.

Six minutes later, Peñarol were indeed back on terms. A tackle on Spencer on the edge of the area saw the ball break to Abbadie who fired high into the net. Now came the full celebrations. Players, staff and photographers filled the pitch. It was a totally different game now. For all that though, there were no more goals until full-time and a period of extra-time was required to separate the teams. The next goal would be vital, and at such times Peñarol would look to their talismanic striker. He wouldn’t be found wanting.

Just three minutes were left of the first period of extra-time when a cross came in from the Peñarol right flank. Rising around twelve yards from goal, Spencer validated Pelé’s assessment of his aerial ability powerfully nodding the ball inside the far post. From two goals down, thanks largely to Alberto Spencer, Peñarol now lead. River Plate had shot their bolt, and when Pedro Rocha nodded Peñarol’s fourth goal with time almost done, it was merely the icing on the cake. It was the return of the kings of South American football, and their crown prince was Alberto Spencer

A few months later, Peñarol were pitted against Real Madrid in the Intercontinental Cup. After Peñarol’s victory in 1961, first Santos and then Intetnaztionale of Milan had dominated the competition, winning twice each. The Italians’ crown had now slipped though, and with Real Madrid regaining the European Cup after beating Partizan Belgrade, it would be the Spaniards facing Spencer and his team-mates for the world crown in a repeat of the 1960 final when Los Blancos had destroyed Peñarol at the Santiago Bernabeu. It was time for revenge.

As had been the case six years earlier, the first leg was to be played in South America and the Uruguayan club knew that they couldn’t afford to have another goalless draw if they were to regain the world crown. Alberto Spencer was on the case though, and goals after 39 and 74 minutes by the home team’s star striker sent the Uruguayans across the Atlantic in positive mood. Their confidence wasn’t to be misplaced.

Although now an entirely different Madrid team – shorn of Di Stefano, Gento, Puskas, etc – from the one encountered by Peñarol six years earlier, it was still a formidable home line-up and the early pressure suggested that the tie was far from over. Peñarol fought back though and, who else, Spencer had the ball in the net after a fumble by home goalkeeper Betancort. The referee however deemed that the forward had fouled the goalkeeper and ruled out the strike.

A goal wasn’t far away though, and when a clumsy Spanish challenge in the box resulted in a spot kick on the half-hour, Rocha netted to put Peñarol three goals clear. On 42 minutes any lingering doubts were extinguished when Spencer played a wall pass on the edge of the home area, before accelerating clear and clipping the ball past Betancourt for a delightful finish. In the second period, Madrid pressed but the well-organised Peñarol defence held on without undue concern. Peñarol were once again the top club on the planet, and three of their four goals had come courtesy of Alberto Spencer. It was the zenith of the club’s achievements, and although further league success would follow, the club would never hit such heights again.

The success against Madrid had also brought the exploits and talents of Spencer to a wider audience. Just a few months short of his 29th birthday, European clubs were taking notice of Alberto Spencer. In particular, at Internazionale, legendary Argentine manager Helenio Herrera had his Grande Inter team in full swing, and the Ecuadorean was seen as the ideal player to relaunch the Nerazzurri bid for European dominance. Oil tycoon Angelo Moratti was then head of the club and he was keen to follow the advice of his massively successful coach. Both resolved to bring Spencer to the Giuseppe Meazza.

Peñarol resisted the initial approach from the Italian club, but when they returned later with an increased offer, Moratti was confident that he would swing the deal. He was rebuffed however. Peñarol insisted that Spencer was not for sale at any price; such was his perceived value to the club. Inter were sent home with empty hands and a still full cheque book. Alberto Spencer was going nowhere.

In the following two years, Peñarol secured the league title. Firstly, by six points from Nacional in 1967, before repeating the feat in 1968. On both occasions Spencer topped the goal scoring table, but time and tide wait for no man, not even exceptional athletes and his time in Montevideo as the club’s prime goalscorer was ebbing away. In the 1968 Copa Libertadores, Spencer would score ten goals whilst Peñarol lost in the semi-final to Palmeiras.

In 1969 Peñarol lost out to Nacional in the title chase, and Spencer wouldn’t lift another league title with the club. Late in that same year, with Spencer just a few days ahead of his 32nd birthday, Peñarol triumphed in the Supercopa de Campeones Intercontinentales, played between the four South American winners of the Intercontinental Cup. Spencer would net twice across the six games the club played.

The 1970 title went to Nacional again, seemingly confirming the shift in power between the two Montevideo clubs. Spencer would notch a dozen league goals, and in the Copa Libertadores, Spencer’s seven goals would help to take Peñarol to the final, but they would lose out to Estudientes.

It would be the Ecuadorean last season with the club. In 1971, he travelled back to his home country and rejoined Barcelona SC where, now in his mid-thirties he would help the club win the Serie A title, scoring 12 goals in 20 league games. Although he played a couple of league games the following season, his last hurrah came in the competition that he had graced with so many goals. Playing for Barcelona he scored in the Copa Libertadores to bring his total goals in the tournament across his career to 54. No-one has scored more, and when considering the calibre of players to have competed and excelled on that stage, it’s an outstanding achievement. He would also score in excess of 500 goals for his teams across all competitions, including 326 for Peñarol

For an Ecuadorean who spent so much of his life in Uruguay, it’s perhaps less surprising than would otherwise be the case that he played on the international stage for both countries – not moving from one to the other registering a change in nationality, but representing Ecuador from 1959 to 1972 and, during the same period, turning out four times for La Celeste as a ‘guest’ player in Friendlies. His single strike in those games for Uruguay came at Wembley against England. With him being the only Ecuadorean player to score at Wembley against the Three Lions, add in the fact that the Ecuadorean national team has never played at the stadium, and there’s an intriguing quiz question just waiting to be picked up.

After retiring in 1973, Alberto Spencer moved to Montevideo and in 1982 was made an honorary Consul of Ecuador stationed in his adopted home city. He suffered a heart attack in September 2006 and passed away in November of the same year. Now with the story complete, perhaps it’s time to reconsider that question. To be ranked among the greats of the footballing world, does a player need to have achieved fame in a World Cup or play for a top European club? The tale of Alberto Spencer suggests that such may not necessarily be the case. So, move along there Pelé, Maradona, Messi and Di Stéfano, you need to find a seat alongside you for Alberto Spencer.

and some videos:
 

Synco

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@Enigma_87
Was Förster a monster in the air? Your backline + DM doesn't offer much size (all below 1.80m), and he'd be the only candidate I'd have in mind to possibly control the airspace. (Correct me if I'm wrong there.)

Seeler/Müller is a serious aerial threat, and even if Förster can take over defending one of them in a situation, it looks like a constant danger. Even more so when he might be pulled out by Müller's or Seeler's extensive movement & the other one attacks the gap.
 

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Does your team work more like a zona mista? Just trying to figure out what Lahm really does in this game. I don't see him and Figo getting much joy against Krol and Maldini, nor do I see him having his hands full out wide. Just assuming he tucks in centrally when defending?
It's flat 4-3-3, mate.

He will play his natural game. You have to bear in mind that Krol is the main provider of width on that left side, so he would be caught up field on occasion which will open up opportunities for us from that side. Also Maldini dropping wide to cover opens up spaces for Spencer, Puskas and Sir Bobby in the middle.

Also 5-3-2 opens up space for both Lahm(on the overlap) and Figo - both of them are excellent providers out wide and can supply the forward line given the space.

Bear in mind that Maldini is not playing LB here, so our right flank should have joy, considering he has to tuck in a lot to cover the center.
 

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Where we see we have a slight advantage is that not only we have almost a GOAT defence that suits every single defender to a tee but in addition to that we have 9 out of 10(all except Zizou who will also contribute though(so not like Messi, Garrincha, Stojkovic etc.)) that are in elite tier in their positions when we talking about work rate and defensive qualities.

On the other side of the spectrum we have a glorious front two that shines so bright even with one player on the end of his career. They(team) scored in every game they played, only in one they didnt score personally and in that game both were heavily involved in a team goal, Muller with assist and Seeler with a pass to Muller. We fully expect they continue their run, specially considering the creative juices behind and opponents that could easily struggle against two aerial grenades in the middle.

Most of them raise to the occasion, while we can here talk about Passarella, Maldini, Seeler and even KDB this should be the focus on Muller and more importantly Zidane.
Muller record speaks for itself:
3 European Cups wins - 3 goals in the finals(not scoring in one)
WC win - scored a winner
Euro win - scored 2 goals

Zidane is a player that pretty much always raised to the occasion and took the final by a storm. If you want a club level there is a CL final and his MOTM performance and majestic volley in 02 final that pretty much became the most iconic moment in the history of the tournament.

His national record isnt to shabby either with a mesmerizing MOTM performance against Brazil in 1998 crowned with 2 goals in a 3:0 victory.

Obviously there is a 06 final which was a end of his career and the old grumpy grandad moment after Materazzi's masterclass, thankfully we not using death bed version of Zidane nor enigma has cnuts in his team so we good!
 

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Was Förster a monster in the air? Your backline + DM doesn't offer much size (all below 1.80m), and he'd be the only candidate I'd have in mind to possibly control the airspace. (Correct me if I'm wrong there.)

Seeler/Müller is a serious aerial threat, and even if Förster can take over defending one of them in a situation, it looks like a constant danger. Even more so when he might be pulled out by Müller's or Seeler's extensive movement & the other one attacks the gap.
Forster had a very good leap.



I really don't recall him struggling in aerial duels from what I've seen from him.

Also height is not everything as you mentioned - Seeler is below 1.70, Muller is 1.76..

Banks is one of the best in terms of commanding his area and collecting crosses. Forster, Scirea, Pirri are also top notch readers of the game and positionally excellent.

Also bear in mind that we have the upper hand in the middle (well at least IMO), so we should control the proceedings and pressure the opposition into error whilst not give them much space and opportunities to create many chances.
 

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Agree with Enigma, height isnt an issue when you defending against shorter attackers. Having a good or even a very good leap wont be enough here, both Seeler and Muller are absolute GOATs alongside Kocsis, Bierhoof, Pele and Cristiano when it comes to heading so to even stand a chance against them in that specific duel you need a similar level at the back and from what i know enigma lacks that - your Vidic, Godin, Kohler etc.
Not to even mention the struggles if they isolate a fullback on the cross, absolute carnage.
Not only that, with a low center of gravity and a nose for goal they are immense at low crosses as well so De Bruyne(as the main threat, backed with good crossers in Gerets and Krol) can pretty much send any type of cross he wants(and he has pretty much all of them in the locker) the 2 grenades will be on it.

Disagree on the midfield battle obviously.
 

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Also height is not everything as you mentioned - Seeler is below 1.70, Muller is 1.76.
Sure, but that was never the point - them being extraordinary in the air for their size (Seeler one of the best ever) doesn't say anything about the ability of smaller defenders to hold them off. It has to be established for each individual player.

But your argument how you plan to defend them is clear, cheers.
 

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Sure, but that was never the point - them being extraordinary in the air for their size (Seeler one of the best ever) doesn't say anything about the ability of smaller defenders to hold them off. It has to be established for each individual player.

But your argument how you plan to defend them is clear, cheers.
No problem mate. Also I think Scirea is getting a bit underrated in terms of aerial ability in drafts. Yes having someone like Batistuta or Vieri who is also a battering ram and physical specimen would definitely trouble him, but against short/stocky strikers I don't see him losing many physical battles individually.
 

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Agree with Enigma, height isnt an issue when you defending against shorter attackers. Having a good or even a very good leap wont be enough here, both Seeler and Muller are absolute GOATs alongside Kocsis, Bierhoof, Pele and Cristiano when it comes to heading so to even stand a chance against them in that specific duel you need a similar level at the back and from what i know enigma lacks that - your Vidic, Godin, Kohler etc.
Not to even mention the struggles if they isolate a fullback on the cross, absolute carnage.
Not only that, with a low center of gravity and a nose for goal they are immense at low crosses as well so De Bruyne(as the main threat, backed with good crossers in Gerets and Krol) can pretty much send any type of cross he wants(and he has pretty much all of them in the locker) the 2 grenades will be on it.

Disagree on the midfield battle obviously.
Defending against Cristiano, Bierhof, Pele, Spencer is different to me compared to defending against Seeler and Muller. Seeler and Muller are great in the air for different reasons compared to the ones mentioned. We have to factor that they excelled at finding space and their main weapon was not the direct aerial battle but their positional sense and the ability to assume the right spot.

Scirea is an exceptional reader of the game, Forster - same one of the best. Assuming the right position and commanding the space is something they excelled for club and country and were one of the best defenders during a very defence oriented era in the 80's.

Defending against set pieces in our half we also have Spencer back for that particular aspect of the game, so that works both ways.

Besides as a unit I can see our midfield/defence closing up spaces quickly and limiting those crossing options either way.
 

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Also @Synco
Coming from @Pat_Mustard who dig up the source:

On the Forster aerial discussion this is from Kicker Magaine's synopsis on Forster in their 'Ranking Order of German Footballers':

"Arguably Germany’s best pure defender, a very reliable and consistent stopper who like his older brother Bernd did not offer much in terms of offense. A rough edged man-marker with a decent touch, aerial prowess in spite of his average height. His great asset was that his performance level remained constantly high year after year, always reaching between 90-100% of his potential, which made him Germany’s no. 1 stopper from 1978 until his premature retirement from international duties after the 1986 World Cup when he was just 27 years old. Despite his combative edge he avoided to get sent-off more than one time in his 272 Bundesliga games. His playing style was considered as hard as that of his older brother but his touch was definitely superior. "

He was mentioned positively in Kohler's profile too:

"... his biggest asset however was - just like that of his idol Karlheinz Förster - the ability to fully concentrate on his job for the whole 90 minutes and hence being a very reliable defender"
 

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Yep, that's why I asked for him. Obviously provides a much needed element in your setup, although I think the issue of the double threat remains (see post #9). The fullbacks aren't irrelevant in that regard either, as they may have to defend inside sometimes, when the defense as a whole is drawn towards one flank.

Very interesting piece + vids on Spencer, I guess that's how lesser known players get more established in drafts.

@Šjor Bepo @Invictus
Maybe you can say something about defensive/offensive balance on the flanks in your 5-3-2? If I understand Enigma correctly, that's a main argument from the opposition in terms of attacking your backline.
 

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Defending against Cristiano, Bierhof, Pele, Spencer is different to me compared to defending against Seeler and Muller. Seeler and Muller are great in the air for different reasons compared to the ones mentioned. We have to factor that they excelled at finding space and their main weapon was not the direct aerial battle but their positional sense and the ability to assume the right spot.

Scirea is an exceptional reader of the game, Forster - same one of the best. Assuming the right position and commanding the space is something they excelled for club and country and were one of the best defenders during a very defence oriented era in the 80's.

Defending against set pieces in our half we also have Spencer back for that particular aspect of the game, so that works both ways.

Besides as a unit I can see our midfield/defence closing up spaces quickly and limiting those crossing options either way.
Disagree completely. While yes, they were predators in the box and had great positional sense they were also exceptional(specially Seeler) in the direct aerial battles, most often against higher players that were also best jumpers/headers in their team.
Here they are against Bobby Moore for example, absolute elite tier when it comes to reading of the game and organization skills(like Scirea), marking Seeler for his goal and in no mans land for Muller goal.

Having positional sense and organization skills helps but thats only half of the battle, the art of jumping is the second part - when to jump, how to jump(do you lean on your marker or you jump into him) and obviously the physical attributes that allow you how well you can execute the jump(hang time and how high you can actually jump) - Seeler and Muller mastered all this things and thats why they are in the Elite tier.

Regarding the midfield battle:
Peak as a goalscoring midfielder. Played as a DM/sweeper as he got older but not at his best. Similar to Matthäus (and many others).
Yes, but how can one prove it without any doubt...and with substantial evidence? Like, you can say that Zoco was Madrid's central anchor and Pirri peaked in the Ballon as a young early 20s box-to-box midfielder where he was Ballon D'Or Top 10 twice...and started playing deeper only when he began losing his legs + physical intensity (even the likes of Robson did this with age when they were demonstrably not at their peak), but that's not conclusive by any means. Just our word vs. theirs. :lol:
But even if Pirri was at his best id have it as an even battle, mid 3 is on the similar level individually(assuming Pirri was at his best, invi thinks he isnt) IMO, both tactically spot on with one side being helped by Figo and the other by Passarella.
 

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Defending against Cristiano, Bierhof, Pele, Spencer is different to me compared to defending against Seeler and Muller. Seeler and Muller are great in the air for different reasons compared to the ones mentioned. We have to factor that they excelled at finding space and their main weapon was not the direct aerial battle but their positional sense and the ability to assume the right spot.

Scirea is an exceptional reader of the game, Forster - same one of the best. Assuming the right position and commanding the space is something they excelled for club and country and were one of the best defenders during a very defence oriented era in the 80's.
One last thing, then I leave this issue alone - it's true for Müller (on the whole - although he was damn excellent at finding space), but not for Seeler. The latter could outjump defenders Cristiano style.
 

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Was Förster a monster in the air? Your backline + DM doesn't offer much size (all below 1.80m), and he'd be the only candidate I'd have in mind to possibly control the airspace. (Correct me if I'm wrong there.)

Seeler/Müller is a serious aerial threat, and even if Förster can take over defending one of them in a situation, it looks like a constant danger. Even more so when he might be pulled out by Müller's or Seeler's extensive movement & the other one attacks the gap.
That’s a good point. Förster was pretty decent in the air but his best qualities as a defender were definitely as a man-marker — he was not a Vidić-esque (or Brio-esque, which is more apt here) presence in the box.

Collovati, Scirea’s partner in 1982, was pretty similar to him, but you’d definitely want someone monstrous against those jumping midgets, especially since neither Carlos/Lahm/Pirri/Tigana are going to help much in that regard.
 

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Maybe you can say something about defensive/offensive balance on the flanks in your 5-3-2? If I understand Enigma correctly, that's a main argument from the opposition in terms of attacking your backline.
Having so many elite tier players in workrate/defensive ability segments it allows you to put more focus on the defending as a team rather then hoping your individual battles will go your way.
Having 3 at the back and a midfield holder(Voronin) allows wingbacks a lot of freedom to go up as they will always have enough protection at the back and when and if the ball is lost high up you also get help from the offensive players as they are willing to press, track back etc. Was started doing Seeler vs England compilation but sadly didnt have time to finish it, there was a sequence in the game where you had both Seeler and Muller tracking back and hunting the ball(Muller was hunting, Seeler was just dropping back) while other midfielders just stayed up.
Same cant be said for enigma's left side where you have Carlos where he is the main provider of width, having a offensive player on his side in Charlton and all that from a back four.
 

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Disagree completely. While yes, they were predators in the box and had great positional sense they were also exceptional(specially Seeler) in the direct aerial battles, most often against higher players that were also best jumpers/headers in their team.
Here they are against Bobby Moore for example, absolute elite tier when it comes to reading of the game and organization skills(like Scirea), marking Seeler for his goal and in no mans land for Muller goal.

Having positional sense and organization skills helps but thats only half of the battle, the art of jumping is the second part - when to jump, how to jump(do you lean on your marker or you jump into him) and obviously the physical attributes that allow you how well you can execute the jump(hang time and how high you can actually jump) - Seeler and Muller mastered all this things and thats why they are in the Elite tier.

Regarding the midfield battle:


But even if Pirri was at his best id have it as an even battle, mid 3 is on the similar level individually(assuming Pirri was at his best, invi thinks he isnt) IMO, both tactically spot on with one side being helped by Figo and the other by Passarella.
Again, my point was that both Scirea and Forster are one of the greatest defenders in the game. Their stature won't mean they would get bullied in the air in this particular case. Of course Seeler has a great jump but assuming the right position is what Forster and Scirea excelled at during the course of their careers.

Of course Seeler and Muller are elite tier, but same goes for Scirea and Forster when it comes to defending, marking your man and commanding the area.

In terms of Pirri - he played numerous midfield roles and excelled at all of them. There is a reason why he was so successful and he played so long at Real during his career. He started and was a midfielder at his peak and dropped to sweeper later in his career when he lost a step or two.

In terms of quality I can't really include KdB in the conversation, despite knowing how much you like him, to me he's comfortably the worst CM on the pitch.

Sir Bobby has enormous work rate and presence which is definite factor and if you use Passarella in the conversation that means he will leave space behind and as you know the wing back and LCB/RCB positions are very prone in 5-3-2 to leave spaces behind for Puskas/Figo/Lahm/Carlos, etc to exploit on the counter.

5-3-2 is usually a bit like a cheat code in drafts (can't say I didn't use it myself for same reasons :D ) as it masks all the deficiencies of that weak link - wing back / LCB/RCB, whilst also accommodating two strikers and #10 which often looks great on a formation sheet.

The truth is Krol will have a lot to do in both phases and lot of ground to cover which can easily lead to Figo and Lahm doubling on Maldini, who as good as he is, doesn't mean he's invulnerable and same on the other flank with Carlos/Puskas and Sir Bobby working the outside/inside left channel.
 

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Having so many elite tier players in workrate/defensive ability segments it allows you to put more focus on the defending as a team rather then hoping your individual battles will go your way.
Having 3 at the back and a midfield holder(Voronin) allows wingbacks a lot of freedom to go up as they will always have enough protection at the back and when and if the ball is lost high up you also get help from the offensive players as they are willing to press, track back etc. Was started doing Seeler vs England compilation but sadly didnt have time to finish it, there was a sequence in the game where you had both Seeler and Muller tracking back and hunting the ball(Muller was hunting, Seeler was just dropping back) while other midfielders just stayed up.
Same cant be said for enigma's left side where you have Carlos where he is the main provider of width, having a offensive player on his side in Charlton and all that from a back four.
Well not really.

Sir Bobby was left winger in the beginning of his career. He can work that left channel pretty well. Puskas is reknown to also be able to drift wide and work that channel.

On the other hand your left side in attack is mainly dependent on Krol providing the width, which is a lot lest potent as a threat compared to what we have :)

Also Voronin drifting wide to cover opens up a lot of space for Sir Bobby and Puskas in the middle in the zone between Zidane/KDB and your defence, which they loved to thrive in.
 

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Good luck @Šjor Bepo and @Invictus . Gatecrashing the thread just to address the Pirri discussion. Bdfutbol.com seem to offer the most comprehensive breakdown of his goals per season. Table below shows the relevant stats and you can click into it to see the matches he appeared and scored in. It doesn't really support the assertion that his goalscoring dried up as he got older as he was still hitting double figures per season into his 30s.


A 'here's one I made earlier' of him vs an excellent Monchengladbach side (Stielike, Vogts, Bonhof, Heynckes etc), playing as a libero and less than a week away from his 31st birthday. Still looks highly dynamic and physically capable to me:

 

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@Invictus you and mustard can have a go at Pirri, enigma and myself will cover everything else :D
 

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Again, my point was that both Scirea and Forster are one of the greatest defenders in the game. Their stature won't mean they would get bullied in the air in this particular case. Of course Seeler has a great jump but assuming the right position is what Forster and Scirea excelled at during the course of their careers.

Of course Seeler and Muller are elite tier, but same goes for Scirea and Forster when it comes to defending, marking your man and commanding the area.
Thats the thing, i dont question their defensive game, i question them defending two Elite headers of the ball because in terms of heading they are not Elite, not even close.


In terms of quality I can't really include KdB in the conversation, despite knowing how much you like him, to me he's comfortably the worst CM on the pitch.
comfortably:lol: he isnt even the worst one as i doubt Pirri peak was ever as high as KDB who is this year IMO best player in the world. All i all, there is nothing comfortable about it, worst one being Pirri or KDB. We can argue who of them two is in better position to showcase their talent and therefor being better in this game and in our opinion this is a slam dunk in favour of De Bruyne.

Sir Bobby has enormous work rate and presence which is definite factor and if you use Passarella in the conversation that means he will leave space behind and as you know the wing back and LCB/RCB positions are very prone in 5-3-2 to leave spaces behind for Puskas/Figo/Lahm/Carlos, etc to exploit on the counter.
I mean this game isnt being played with morons like Alberto Moreno and similar ilk. of players. If and when Passarella goes up one of the two fullbacks will stay back and there is always Voronin who isnt joining up even if we are 5 down.


5-3-2 is usually a bit like a cheat code in drafts (can't say I didn't use it myself for same reasons :D ) as it masks all the deficiencies of that weak link - wing back / LCB/RCB, whilst also accommodating two strikers and #10 which often looks great on a formation sheet.
Thats true and i agree with that though what is the main weakness of the 352/532? Defending double wings. You only have that on the right side and its a bummer you a facing not only elite tier Krol but also one of the best defenders that the game was ever seen in Maldini but you also have to factor in both Muller and Seeler that often dropped back very deep and tracked back the runs from deep so id say there is a very good plan on stopping your biggest threat.

The truth is Krol will have a lot to do in both phases and lot of ground to cover which can easily lead to Figo and Lahm doubling on Maldini, who as good as he is, doesn't mean he's invulnerable and same on the other flank with Carlos/Puskas and Sir Bobby working the outside/inside left channel.
I mean if you factor Sir Bobby influence on your left side then its only fair to factor in both De Bruyne and Zidane on their sides, both loved to drift in and many would say the most iconic game Zidane ever played was exactly in this role when he was schooling Brazil samba boys in 06 IIRC.
Funny thing is how it only works on one side, what will happen when Carlos/Lahm lose possession and find themself up with even less protection behind and no mad bastards up front that are willing to hunt the ball like two fat dogs?
 

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Well not really.

Sir Bobby was left winger in the beginning of his career. He can work that left channel pretty well. Puskas is reknown to also be able to drift wide and work that channel.

On the other hand your left side in attack is mainly dependent on Krol providing the width, which is a lot lest potent as a threat compared to what we have :)

Also Voronin drifting wide to cover opens up a lot of space for Sir Bobby and Puskas in the middle in the zone between Zidane/KDB and your defence, which they loved to thrive in.
As i said previously, you are counting Charlton/Puskas for your team but ignoring support wide players on the other side.
 

Invictus

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@Invictus you and mustard can have a go at Pirri, enigma and myself will cover everything else :D
Not sure what I am supposed to debate here, to be honest. We can't prove much or give a tangible and all-encompassing and conclusive account of his capabilities as a box-to-box midfielder vis-à-vis his capabilities as a disciplined defensive midfielder, as was pointed out before, and it will mostly just be our word vs. theirs — a compilation here or there doesn't provide a genuine reflection of that when hours of hours need to be methodically examined. In my opinion (which is probably not worth much obviously), Pirri peaked as a young box-to-box midfielder with a fair bit of freedom. Zoco was Madrid's central anchor...Pirri would go forward, easy peasy. And like of a lot of players of his ilk, Pirri started playing deeper when he started to lose peak athletic capabilities and became more experienced...good, but not at his previous best. Again, just our word vs. theirs — so I'll leave the whole argument at that (as well as the coincidental fact that both of Ballon D'Or Top 10 finishes were as a central midfielder as he peaked there). He's not comparable to the likes of Rijkaard or Desailly or Voronin or Varela as a defensive midfielder — and that type of player was needed to appropriately shield the defense vs. the collective brunt of Müller, Seeler, Zidane and De Bruyne. Additionally, he won't be a major factor in the air on set pieces vs. Müller, Passarella, Zidane, Seeler — off De Bruyne's deliveries to boot. Again, all of this is in my opinion — far from conclusive, and I'm not trying to shortchange Pirri...quite like him if you look at my ranking votes, just not in this role, an imperfect comparison but would say the same for the likes of Matthäus or Neeskens (who were also unfortunately used as defensive midfielders in past drafts).

Cc. @Pat_Mustard
 

Enigma_87

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Not sure what I am supposed to debate here, to be honest. We can't prove much or give a tangible and all-encompassing and conclusive account of his capabilities as a box-to-box midfielder vis-à-vis his capabilities as a disciplined defensive midfielder, as was pointed out before, and it will mostly just be our word vs. theirs — a compilation here or there doesn't provide a genuine reflection of that when hours of hours need to be methodically examined. In my opinion (which is probably not worth much obviously), Pirri peaked as a young box-to-box midfielder with a fair bit of freedom. Zoco was Madrid's central anchor...Pirri would go forward, easy peasy. And like of a lot of players of his ilk, Pirri started playing deeper when he started to lose peak athletic capabilities and became more experienced...good, but not at his previous best. Again, just our word vs. theirs — so I'll leave the whole argument at that (as well as the coincidental fact that both of Ballon D'Or Top 10 finishes were as a central midfielder as he peaked there). He's not comparable to the likes of Rijkaard or Desailly or Voronin or Varela as a defensive midfielder — and that type of player was needed to appropriately shield the defense vs. the collective brunt of Müller, Seeler, Zidane and De Bruyne. Additionally, he won't be a major factor in the air on set pieces vs. Müller, Passarella, Zidane, Seeler — off De Bruyne's deliveries to boot. Again, all of this is in my opinion — far from conclusive, and I'm not trying to shortchange Pirri...quite like him if you look at my ranking votes, just not in this role, an imperfect comparison but would say the same for the likes of Matthäus or Neeskens (who were also unfortunately used as defensive midfielders in past drafts).

Cc. @Pat_Mustard
I'm not sure how relevant is this to the argument to be honest. Pirri was used in numerous positions - DM and anchor was one of them. Zoco also played as a CB or as a sweeper - case in point the 1971 CWC final where Pirri was exactly the anchor.

If you say that Pirti is not able to play as a anchor or DM then I completely disagree and I find it quite ingenious to say at least :) He excelled in all types of roles in midfield and later in defence and his tactical and defensive acumen is really not debatable at least for me. :)

If we are nitpicking - Krol never played as a wingback or put his best performances as a wingback in 5-3-2. He always had Cruyff or a winger in front of him when played as a left back in a back 4(be it Keizer or Rensenbrink). Here he's expected to be the main provider of width on the left - a role he didn't put his best performances in.

With Maldini as tucked in LCB and no other source of width on the left bar Zidane I'm not sure if Krol in that role is the best use of his powers. Ideally a (ahem) Carlos/Facchetti/Brehme type would be the best for that role and not someone like Krol without significant support. It's one thing to be an overlapper in 4-3-3, but a lot different as a wingback in 5-3-2, where his contribution has to be a lot more attacking than defensive and IMO is a reason for concern :)
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Pirri is absolutely spot on here. No questions asked.

Was this his best position? No.

Was this miles off his best position? Definitely no.
 

Šjor Bepo

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Pirri is absolutely spot on here. No questions asked.

Was this his best position? No.

Was this miles off his best position? Definitely no.
which is pretty much all we said.
Enigma declared KDB comfortably the worst midfielder on the pitch, which he isnt even if all players are at their best, Pirri not in his best role makes it just a laughable statement really.
Winning the midfield battle i have no issues with if he sees it that way, we dont but there is nothing wrong with seeing it otherwise(which there is in the first statement).
 

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Thats the thing, i dont question their defensive game, i question them defending two Elite headers of the ball because in terms of heading they are not Elite, not even close.

comfortably:lol: he isnt even the worst one as i doubt Pirri peak was ever as high as KDB who is this year IMO best player in the world. All i all, there is nothing comfortable about it, worst one being Pirri or KDB. We can argue who of them two is in better position to showcase their talent and therefor being better in this game and in our opinion this is a slam dunk in favour of De Bruyne.

I mean this game isnt being played with morons like Alberto Moreno and similar ilk. of players. If and when Passarella goes up one of the two fullbacks will stay back and there is always Voronin who isnt joining up even if we are 5 down.

Thats true and i agree with that though what is the main weakness of the 352/532? Defending double wings. You only have that on the right side and its a bummer you a facing not only elite tier Krol but also one of the best defenders that the game was ever seen in Maldini but you also have to factor in both Muller and Seeler that often dropped back very deep and tracked back the runs from deep so id say there is a very good plan on stopping your biggest threat.

I mean if you factor Sir Bobby influence on your left side then its only fair to factor in both De Bruyne and Zidane on their sides, both loved to drift in and many would say the most iconic game Zidane ever played was exactly in this role when he was schooling Brazil samba boys in 06 IIRC.
Funny thing is how it only works on one side, what will happen when Carlos/Lahm lose possession and find themself up with even less protection behind and no mad bastards up front that are willing to hunt the ball like two fat dogs?
Well of course it's swings and roundabouts :) To me - a Roberto Carlos as a wingback and Puskas/Sir Bobby working that inside left channel is better than Krol/Zidane/Muller. And naturally you would disagree, but it is what it is :)

In terms of work rate - comfortably our side has 9 players that are well prepared to put a shift in with Spencer occupying your CB's. I'd argue that Sir Bobby/Figo will contribute more to the midfield and bring more control over it considering their style and ilk.

As for KDB, to me he hasn't done enough to be considered one of the best midfielders in an all time draft. I'll leave it for the voters to decide, but his body of work is not bigger than say a certain Yaya Toure who also has CL accolade to his name.

Pirri has 10 La Ligas, 1 EC (playing in a 2 man midfield next to Velasquez), several cups and finals to his name. To me is not even debatable, tbh :)
 

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which is pretty much all we said.
Okay, I havent read the whole debate.

Enigma declared KDB comfortably the worst midfielder on the pitch
I dont want to compare with the rest of the players on the pitch, but if there is a setup that gets the absolute best out of both Zidane and De Bruyne, this is it. Doesn't matter how anyone rates De Bruyne in an all time context, the setup elevates him a notch higher automatically.

I rate Seeler highly although don't love him as much as the rest here, but with Zidane and De Bruyne in those roles, for me it would have been a no brainer to start Romario with Muller. Romario's burst would have been amazing on the counters. You just need to look at the De Bruyne gif in the write up with the delicate touch. I am sure you had your own tactical reasons, but that is a few scan votes lots.
 
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Enigma_87

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which is pretty much all we said.
Enigma declared KDB comfortably the worst midfielder on the pitch, which he isnt even if all players are at their best, Pirri not in his best role makes it just a laughable statement really.
Winning the midfield battle i have no issues with if he sees it that way, we dont but there is nothing wrong with seeing it otherwise(which there is in the first statement).
I know you love him, but I really can't agree with this. KdB has achieved virtually nothing in CL and has been playing in a very dominant and possession heavy City team in PL.

When having a multiple playmakers in the team like here with Zidane and KdB I'd probably like to see them having more of the ball and the other team defending deep which is something our side won't give to you :)
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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On the game itself, agree that Lahm makes no sense there. Admittedly he won't be exposed that much there but that is a role I can't picture him at all in.

Spencer starting the final is such a feel good pick. Big credits to @Pat_Mustard for picking him in the reinforcements.

For team Invictus/Sjor, I have picked and defended both Ferrara and Gerets in the past.

But that right hand side looks in a lot of trouble. Puskas/Charlton/Carlos on the ball vs Ferrara/Gerets/De Bruyne off the ball is ending just 1 way.

After I saw team Sjor/Invictus in the PM, I had already decided that is where my vote was going. The setup is so well built and more importantly very unique from the usual 5 man defense teams here. Instantly fell in love with it.

I don't know who is on the bench but if they had a different attacking left wing back, and Krol started at LCB and Maldini at RCB, my vote would have been done and dusted by now.

But that current right hand side is not good enough for me. Will think more and vote tomorrow.
 

Šjor Bepo

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Well of course it's swings and roundabouts :) To me - a Roberto Carlos as a wingback and Puskas/Sir Bobby working that inside left channel is better than Krol/Zidane/Muller. And naturally you would disagree, but it is what it is :)
thats fair, i have no issues with that.

In terms of work rate - comfortably our side has 9 players that are well prepared to put a shift in with Spencer occupying your CB's. I'd argue that Sir Bobby/Figo will contribute more to the midfield and bring more control over it considering their style and ilk.
Thats the thing, its incomparable what Seeler/Muller give you defensive wise to Puskas/Figo. The difference is night and day, while your guys are willing runners and will do some part, this two are absolute nutcases that will run non stop and wont hide even when they need to sprint back and pretty much track back all the way to the backline.
Its similar to how people compare impact of someone like Beckenbauer to someone like Bobby Moore, Ferdinand etc. While latter ones are great on the ball, the difference is night and day.

As for KDB, to me he hasn't done enough to be considered one of the best midfielders in an all time draft. I'll leave it for the voters to decide, but his body of work is not bigger than say a certain Yaya Toure who also has CL accolade to his name.

Pirri has 10 La Ligas, 1 EC (playing in a 2 man midfield next to Velasquez), several cups and finals to his name. To me is not even debatable, tbh :)
Tell me, are we comparing careers or peaks? If we comparing careers i do wonder why the guys like Seedorf, Giggs and Sergio Ramos are not playing constantly in the finals ahead of the likes of Ronaldinho, Fenomeno, McGrath etc.
Body of work is irrelevant(though KDB already has a good one), all in matters are performances in the peak and that peak was introduced so we get rid of "one season wonders" such as Adriano, Mahrez and co. Think De Bruyne proved ages ago he isnt a one season wonder.
 

Šjor Bepo

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I rate Seeler highly although don't love him as much as the rest here, but with Zidane and De Bruyne in those roles, for me it would have been a no brainer to start Romario with Muller. Romario's burst would have been amazing on the counters. You just need to look at the De Bruyne gif in the write up with the delicate touch. I am sure you had your own tactical reasons, but that is a few scan votes lots.
Nah, dont like the Muller - Romario combo at all(while both are capable outside the final third, they live for moments in there and realistically both would love the same runs/routes), having Seeler there as the ultimate team player just elevates(both defensive and offensive wise) this team massively even though indivudually he is not on Romario level. Decision was easy even before taking into consideration how lethal their partnership was.
I know some dont read the OP so will post it here as well:
8 official matches together
23 goals (scored in every game)
16 goals between them
 

Enigma_87

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Thats the thing, its incomparable what Seeler/Muller give you defensive wise to Puskas/Figo. The difference is night and day, while your guys are willing runners and will do some part, this two are absolute nutcases that will run non stop and wont hide even when they need to sprint back and pretty much track back all the way to the backline.
Its similar to how people compare impact of someone like Beckenbauer to someone like Bobby Moore, Ferdinand etc. While latter ones are great on the ball, the difference is night and day.
The difference is Puskas/Figo are more viable options to exert control in midfield and not just press. It's getting the ball back, then moving it around and keeping it afterwards. Not only sprints and chasing people around.

Tell me, are we comparing careers or peaks? If we comparing careers i do wonder why the guys like Seedorf, Giggs and Sergio Ramos are not playing constantly in the finals ahead of the likes of Ronaldinho, Fenomeno, McGrath etc.
Body of work is irrelevant(though KDB already has a good one), all in matters are performances in the peak and that peak was introduced so we get rid of "one season wonders" such as Adriano, Mahrez and co. Think De Bruyne proved ages ago he isnt a one season wonder.
In CL KdB hasn't really proven his worth so far. No doubt he's not one season wonder, but him David Silva, Yaya Toure, Fabregas, etc - it's really a tossup for me who you would rate more and is down to personal choice in terms of ability, achievement and consistency.

In terms of draft - I'd consider both - peak and consistency because it gives a fair representation of their ability across multiple seasons. For example at his absolute pump Mbappe should be regularly picked in current drafts ahead some popular RW/LW options, but it's not the case and rightfully so IMO. :)

I'll be off for a while if @Pat_Mustard has the time to continue and will be back later... Good luck to both :)
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Nah, dont like the Muller - Romario combo at all(while both are capable outside the final third, they live for moments in there and realistically both would love the same runs/routes), having Seeler there as the ultimate team player just elevates(both defensive and offensive wise) this team massively even though indivudually he is not on Romario level.
For a 5 man defense with Voronin no less in front of them, it doesn't need too many team players in attack. Lets not forget Muller himself was already hard working. Its a counter attacking setup where you'd want to by incisive when the chances come your way and its hard to top Muller and Romario. If everyone is working hard, you don't have men up front waiting for this quick counters.

As I said, I think your personal decision is fine, but I wouldn't have done that. (I will end this here I guess as it has no bearing on the game and is just side stepping a good debate between managers)