Footballers rated higher when active than after

B20

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A common phenomenon is footballers who gets put on a piedestal after retirement and remembered more fondly when no longer playing.

But what about players whose reputation seems to suffer from history passing?

I'd propose Ruud Gullit as one. Often seen as the third man in the Dutch trio and by now more of an asterisk to Van Bastens generational talent. I'd argue that back in the day, it was a lot closer between the two in the late 80s than history remembers today.

Or Stefan Effenberg. One of best passers of the ball you'll see, with plenty of leadership and aggression to go with it. Best midfielder in the world in his heyday. Not like he didn't have big performances either. Yet barely gets a mention in discussions of great midfielders.
 

Pughnichi

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Dion Dublin was a decent striker scored a few goals for us in the early successful years and now...is doing homes under the hammer
 

krautrøck

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A lot of people seem to have forgotten just how insane Ronaldinho was during his peak years.
 

matherto

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A lot of people seem to have forgotten just how insane Ronaldinho was during his peak years.
He’s been harmed by Messi and Ronaldo doing a decade at the same level instead of two and a bit years.

He made any match watchable. Most insanely fun player ever I think.
 

JPRouve

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Maybe, Djorkaeff. He seems to have been mainly forgotten and is rarely mentioned when people talk about french attacking players.
 

DOTA

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I'm far too young but I've always been quite surprised that for someone who won the Ballon d'Or twice you don't hear that much about Kevin Keegan's playing career.
 

André Dominguez

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The list is quite big, but I would like to mention players like Ronald Koeman, van Basten, Brehme, Mathaus, Roberto Baggio and Paulo Futre who were some of the best players to set foot on a pitch but people barely mention them.
 

BusterGonads

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Think the list of all time greats is getting bigger and some need to be cut. So players like Gullet, Zico, Matthaus and Baggio would struggle to be remembered if they didn't have the outrageous skill of Ronaldinho and a world cup to their name
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Gerrard maybe? People will remember the slip mostly. At least for us United fans that is the first we would think out.
Terry for the same reason potentially. Although he won CL later too and won more titles.

Giggs and Terry also did disgusting things outside football which fans should remember.
Scholes probably too. Even me being a big Scholes fan since forever probably rate him less now than I did.
Mainly due to his job in media after. He was better being silent and focused on his football.
Also in general since England never did much at any tournaments the recent generations might not be rated as highly.
It applies to Lampard, Terry, Scholes, Gerrard, Rooney etc.

Most historical giants got the name due to massive world cup or euro performances. Although CL giants there days will be remembered too.
 

DVG7

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I suppose it’s to be expected, each generation will understandably latch onto players from their own time, and if you look at the people most actively involved in footballing discussions these days, a large portion of them probably weren’t born when guys like Gullit played. I love listening to the previous generations talk about who were the stars of their time, and I recommend the draft forum for people who really have their act together when it comes to discussing the players of yesteryear and just how good they were. A Brazilian kid who was In his teens during the late 60s, early 70s, I can’t imagine there’s any way of convincing him that anyone could ever be better than Pelé, but his name has slipped over the years from an absolutely certainty at #1 or #2 best player of all time, and it’s in large thanks to the efforts of the two freaks of today, who have frankly caused a reassessment of many a legend.

I fear this this will happen with Iniesta, who is probably my favourite ever player to watch live, but over time when people become less aware of him, his trophy count will look incredible but his personal stats just don’t add up to what he was, arguably the best midfielder of his generation.
 

Prometheus

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I think Di Maria is going to be one such player. Maybe it's just the bad stint at United, but I think a lot of people already fail to appreciate how good he's been for a decade now. After he retires I think people may forget that he was good at all.
 

12OunceEpilogue

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Gerrard maybe? People will remember the slip mostly. At least for us United fans that is the first we would think out.
Terry for the same reason potentially. Although he won CL later too and won more titles.

Giggs and Terry also did disgusting things outside football which fans should remember.
Scholes probably too. Even me being a big Scholes fan since forever probably rate him less now than I did.
Mainly due to his job in media after. He was better being silent and focused on his football.
Also in general since England never did much at any tournaments the recent generations might not be rated as highly.
It applies to Lampard, Terry, Scholes, Gerrard, Rooney etc.

Most historical giants got the name due to massive world cup or euro performances. Although CL giants there days will be remembered too.
Definitely Scholes. We all knew how great he was when he was playing but now we have to put up with Scousers acting like he was some kind of water carrier :rolleyes:

In fairness I would say Ian Rush is nowhere near as appreciated outside Merseyside as he should be, though I'm guessing we're going a little off topic talking about players underappreciated outside of their fanbases.

What about Robert Pires? Not a player I hear much about when we're talking about the great Arsenal sides of the 90s/00s but he was in the thick of the action at Highbury from 2000-06, did the business for his country and was always a player I very grudgingly admired.
 

harms

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I'm far too young but I've always been quite surprised that for someone who won the Ballon d'Or twice you don't hear that much about Kevin Keegan's playing career.
It's mostly because he isn't at the general standard of multiple Ballon d'Or winners like Di Stefano, Platini, Cruyff, van Basten etc. It can be argued that he's one of the weakest Ballon d'Or winners even if we take every winner in the account — behind Belanov and maybe a few others like Simonsen, Owen and Rossi. Obviously, every player who had managed to win Ballon d'Or is an outstanding player, but the late 70's is probably the weakest period of the TV era in terms of the concentration of the individual and collective talent.

He was also overshadowed by Kenny Dalglish in the eyes of Liverpool fans because most of their European domination came after Keegan had left. I'd probably rate him somewhere around Rooney in terms of his talent and skillset.
 

KirkDuyt

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A common phenomenon is footballers who gets put on a piedestal after retirement and remembered more fondly when no longer playing.

But what about players whose reputation seems to suffer from history passing?

I'd propose Ruud Gullit as one. Often seen as the third man in the Dutch trio and by now more of an asterisk to Van Bastens generational talent. I'd argue that back in the day, it was a lot closer between the two in the late 80s than history remembers today.

Or Stefan Effenberg. One of best passers of the ball you'll see, with plenty of leadership and aggression to go with it. Best midfielder in the world in his heyday. Not like he didn't have big performances either. Yet barely gets a mention in discussions of great midfielders.
This is not a bad shout actually. I think Van Basten speaks more to our imagination. He was graceful in his movements, almost like a ballerina, while Gullit was simply a powerhouse. Truly a man on a field filled with little boys. That's of course selling him short, since he was also a brilliant multifunctional player, but he's seen as the brawn to Van Basten's brain.

That goal in 88 further overshadows Gullit of course, even though Gullit scored the crucial opening goal.
 

harms

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I've been going through some of the all-time best XIs made up by players from the 80's and the name that often appeared there was Manfred Kaltz at right back. Perhaps it was the fact that he hasn't played for a traditionally big club, even though he had won the European Cup with Hamburg SV, but today his name rarely features in any lists of outstanding fullbacks/right backs. His attacking qualities, mostly his crossing, but also his mazing runs and middle-range shooting was absolutely sublime and he was one of the few right backs that actually managed to be the most important players in their (quite successful, I might add) sides, a lot like Dani Alves at Sevilla.
 

harms

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This is not a bad shout actually. I think Van Basten speaks more to our imagination. He was graceful in his movements, almost like a ballerina, while Gullit was simply a powerhouse. Truly a man on a field filled with little boys. That's of course selling him short, since he was also a brilliant multifunctional player, but he's seen as the brawn to Van Basten's brain.

That goal in 88 further overshadows Gullit of course, even though Gullit scored the crucial opening goal.
It's pretty much always the case when one of the players of similar level does something historical at the big stage. Look at Platini vs Maradona after the 1986 World Cup — before that Platini was often named by his contemporaries not only as the best player in the world, but also as the best player in history. Now he's shoved somewhere at the bottom of an all-time top-10, if he even makes it. Same with van Basten and that Euro-88 volley.

If you were not the best (and not the most memorable) player of your time, you're pretty much by definition belong in a different category, that's how memory works... even though in reality the difference in quality between Gullit and van Basten, or Platini/Zico and Maradona was not as big.
 

Gio

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Can think of three types of players this might apply to:
  1. Those who narrowly missed out on personal accolades (Raul, Dalglish, Litmanen)
  2. Those who did their best work week-to-week in the domestic game rather than in the higher-profile matches we more readily recall today (Barnes hitting his peak when English clubs were banned from Europe; Hugo Sanchez for 5-time-league-winning Real; )
  3. Those who played out-of-their-skin during relatively fallow periods for club and country just the wrong side of a successful generation. See how highly the twice European Cup winning Savicevic is commonly rated compared to Stojkovic who left Red Star a year early. Same fate befell Papin, despite winning a Ballon D'Or. Same with Raul again for Spain, or Ronaldo/Rivaldo for Barcelona. Or how Ballack isn't really considered as a potential candidate for a Germany all-time XI spot despite being a one-man band for much of the early 2000s.
 
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Annihilate Now!

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I'd second Beckham... he's such a celebrity that I think people forget he was genuinely a world class footballer.
 

Hound Dog

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Can think of three types of players this might apply to:
  1. Those who narrowly missed out on personal accolades (Raul, Dalglish, Litmanen)
  2. Those who did their best work week-to-week in the domestic game rather than in the higher-profile matches we more readily recall today (Barnes hitting his peak when English clubs were banned from Europe; Hugo Sanchez for 5-time-league-winning Real; )
  3. Those who played out-of-their-skin during relatively fallow periods for club and country just the wrong side of a successful generation. See how highly the twice European Cup winning Savicevic is commonly rated compared to Stojkovic who left Red Star a year early. Same fate befell Papin, despite winning a Ballon D'Or. Same with Raul again for Spain, or Ronaldo/Rivaldo for Barcelona. Or how Ballack isn't really considered as a potential candidate for a Germany all-time XI spot despite being a one-man band for much of the early 2000s.
I do not think this is the best example. Savicevic went on to become a key player for Milan for a decade, while Stojkovic's only notable club season on the big stage was the one after he left Red Star, when he lost the European Cup final to them on penalties. (trivia: He spit at his manager when he wanted him to take a penalty in the shoot-out).

Anyway, it is injuries that lead to Stojkovic being seen as a lesser player, not career choices.
 

harms

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I do not think this is the best example. Savicevic went on to become a key player for Milan for a decade
When was that? He only has one season for AC Milan with more than 30 appearances — not just in the league, in all competitions. It's hard to remember a season when he was a guaranteed starter for them without getting dropped or injured on the way.
 

Raj70

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Think the list of all time greats is getting bigger and some need to be cut. So players like Gullet, Zico, Matthaus and Baggio would struggle to be remembered if they didn't have the outrageous skill of Ronaldinho and a world cup to their name
Zico is criminally underrated, most casual fans under the age of 40 will not even know anything about him (especially in Europe). He is arguably a top 15 of all time and second only to Pele in Brazil. In the late 70's to early eighties he was the best/second best player in the world.

Brazil should have reached the world cup final in 1978, but somehow Argentina won their game 6 -0 v Peru to overtake them on goal difference (everyone knows that game was fixed). On these small margins a player's legacy can hinge on.
 

KirkDuyt

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Slighty different manner of underrated, but Roy Makaay is completely overlooked in Dutch football history. Makes sense, since he could barely get a game for the national team with guys like Ruud and Kluivert being his competitors, but he never got the respect here that he got in, for instance, Germany, where he was a clinical monster for Bayern. Same story with Jimmy Floyd Haisselbank.
 

Fortitude

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First name that comes to mind is Rivaldo. He gets dumped on at every possible opportunity, which is absurd. He was a superpower during his playing days, but one incident of play-acting has sullied his entire body of work, apparently.

Another is Shevchenko. Shevchenko was a god tier, dead cert elite striker for the annuls of time... then he went to Chelsea, and the rest is history.

Romario also fits this category. The guy was a true phenomenon as a player; truly and utterly revered whilst active. For whatever reason, his legend is not carrying across generations, which is bizarre. It might be a case of Ronaldo overshadowing him, but the reality is, Romario was a monster well before Ronaldo even made a name for himself.

Will be back with more - history has 100's of these players.
 

NinjaFletch

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I'm absolutely certain Iniesta will go this way with people focussing on his lack of goals and assists.
 

M Bison

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Rooney - often gets slated on here because of his last few years, he was a different class in his earlier years.
 

Nines

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Rooney.
I know technically he's still about however the way he gets slaughtered on here/online you'd never have guessed he was England and United top scorer. Had it all in his locker and was a genuine top player. He was in the elite bracket consistently for the best part of a decade, just a shame he obviously burned out "early" compared to the usual trajectory.
 

fps

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Albertini at Milan. There’s a deep lying playmaker if ever there was one.
 

fps

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I'd second Beckham... he's such a celebrity that I think people forget he was genuinely a world class footballer.
Also, he was done as a world class footballer by the time he headed to Madrid imo and then became a very good player whose limitations showed a little more.
 

sullydnl

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I'm not sure if Roy Keane and Xavi are underrated now exactly, but the perception of them seems to have altered since they were at their peak, turning them into caricatures of the players they were.

Some people speak about Keane as if he was just a particularly effective destroyer rather than an excellent all-round midfielder. Meanwhile Xavi has become defined almost solely by his ability to keep posession, when the crucial thing about peak Xavi was that he kept the ball so well while also ripping teams apart with his creative passing.
 

Bebestation

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One player who is very unfairly talked about recently is Zidane for me. Just because he didn't play or score like Ronaldo & Messi people talk about him as he was a non existent player. I could watch him because he played like there was classical music in the background whenever he had the ball at his feet and he made the tempo of the game completely his whenever the ball arrived during that generation. Before the tactical possession and the pressing there was the pure Italian defensive structure to deal with & I really enjoyed watching Zidane's flicks and tricks to fool a few players that were needed to create the space for the players around him.

Italian league underrated players - Del Piero, Shevchenko, Gatusso, Nesta, Dida, Cafu (in comparison to Carlos?) , batistuta maybe

Germany - Ballack, Schweinsteiger, possibly Robben needs to be involved higher than he is being talked about before being forgotten?

Spain- Raul, Makelele, David Villa, Puyol

England - Beckham, Cech, Van der Sar, Rio, Terry, Gerrard, Rooney by our own fans.
 

11101

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Jaap Stam. Best defender the PL has ever seen but almost never mentioned anymore.
 

Bebestation

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Definitely Scholes. We all knew how great he was when he was playing but now we have to put up with Scousers acting like he was some kind of water carrier :rolleyes:

In fairness I would say Ian Rush is nowhere near as appreciated outside Merseyside as he should be, though I'm guessing we're going a little off topic talking about players underappreciated outside of their fanbases.

What about Robert Pires? Not a player I hear much about when we're talking about the great Arsenal sides of the 90s/00s but he was in the thick of the action at Highbury from 2000-06, did the business for his country and was always a player I very grudgingly admired.
I thought Pires was fantastic for Arsenal and one of my favourites there ( alongside a personal favourite called Arshavin) - I think he maybe move to a different club too late or didn't do too well at villareal so didnt have a long enough career at Arsenal - only 6 years where maybe only some were at his prime.

Jaap Stam. Best defender the PL has ever seen but almost never mentioned anymore.
Top player
 

Schweigaard

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A lot of German footballers. Andreas Möller, Thomas Hässler, Matthias Sammer, Mehmet Scholl.

Laughed a bit at the Scholes mention. He's the opposite, far higher rated after he retired than in most parts of his career. Gerrard is the more apt answer here, as he wasn't as extreme after he hit 30 as he was earlier in his career, so a lot of people tend to only remember the slip, and his average years as a deep lying playmaker.