Footballers rated higher when active than after

JDubz

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Joe Hart's seen as a bit of a joke nowadays, but 4 golden gloves is nothing to sneeze at, especially when coming up against prime De Gea, Cech etc. The defence was good, but you could only really say Kompany was World Class.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Joe Hart's seen as a bit of a joke nowadays, but 4 golden gloves is nothing to sneeze at, especially when coming up against prime De Gea, Cech etc. The defence was good, but you could only really say Kompany was World Class.
Yeah peoples ratings can go down fast near the end. Sanchez might experience the same. At least here he will.
 

Invictus

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Günter Netzer, methinks. For a period of time he was among the most outstanding midfielders in football for his commanding displays with Mönchengladbach (arguably as good as Beckenbauer and Müller's Bayern Munich in a domestic sense from the late '60s to early '70s) and West Germany — and was clearly very well regraded as he missed out on the 1972 Ballon D'Or to Beckenbauer by only 2 votes — but hardly mentioned as one of the greats these days, at least in casual conversations. A similar fate to a lot of other German footballers who aren't always romanticized in the wider media/commentary circles, including his rival Overath. The fact that he fell out with Schön for a bit and didn't have a barnstorming international tournament apart from EURO 1972, and that they've produced other exceptional midfielders after him (most notably Matthäus, Breitner, Schweinsteiger) probably doesn't help matters in terms of establishing/fortifying his legacy.

Also Raúl González: unlucky in the sense that his peak didn't coincide with the greatest and most successful Spanish national team and Cristiano replaced him as the #7 at Madrid, Rivaldo: one the most wonderful players of the last 30 years but strangely not rated as such by many, and Mihajlović: one of the best multi-purpose players of the modern era but oft-forgotten.

For United players I'd say Johnsen (a better centerback than he is often considered these days with the narrative that Stam was a singular rock), Cole (a superb striker but not recalled very fondly in certain contemporary circles) and Ji-sung (much more than a rudimentary workhorse who was only there to provide balance and shadow Pirlo).
 

Denis' cuff

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Denis Law.

Absolute King of the Stretford End and worshipped at Cantona levels. A dazzling player. Never seen anyone as quick since. What was between his ears gave him a yard start and followed up with aggression and no mean skill.

greatest Scottish player of all time.
 

Denis' cuff

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Günter Netzer, methinks. For a period of time he was among the most outstanding midfielders in football for his commanding displays with Mönchengladbach (arguably as good as Beckenbauer and Müller's Bayern Munich in a domestic sense from the late '60s to early '70s) and West Germany — and was clearly very well regraded as he missed out on the 1972 Ballon D'Or to Beckenbauer by only 2 votes — but hardly mentioned as one of the greats these days, at least in casual conversations. A similar fate to a lot of other German footballers who aren't always romanticized in the wider media/commentary circles, including his rival Overath. The fact that he fell out with Schön for a bit and didn't have a barnstorming international tournament apart from EURO 1972, and that they've produced other exceptional midfielders after him (most notably Matthäus, Breitner, Schweinsteiger) probably doesn't help matters in terms of establishing/fortifying his legacy.

Also Raúl González: unlucky in the sense that his peak didn't coincide with the greatest and most successful Spanish national team and Cristiano replaced him as the #7 at Madrid, Rivaldo: one the most wonderful players of the last 30 years but strangely not rated as such by many, and Mihajlović: one of the best multi-purpose players of the modern era but oft-forgotten.

For United players I'd say Johnsen (a better centerback than he is often considered these days with the narrative that Stam was a singular rock), Cole (a superb striker but not recalled very fondly in certain contemporary circles) and Ji-sung (much more than a rudimentary workhorse who was only there to provide balance and shadow Pirlo).
They had some fabulous players. Never forget when they beat England at Wembley with Netzer absolute masterclass but my favourite was Beckenbauer. Enjoyed watching him more than some of the more celebrated forwards of the time, maybe because he always seemed constantly involved as the game revolved around him. Never seen a player make it look so easy. Sometimes looked like he was playing against children.
 

André Dominguez

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Denis Law.

Absolute King of the Stretford End and worshipped at Cantona levels. A dazzling player. Never seen anyone as quick since. What was between his ears gave him a yard start and followed up with aggression and no mean skill.

greatest Scottish player of all time.
Scotland used to have so many talented players. What went wrong?
 

André Dominguez

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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.
Romario was one of the best strikers to ever play the sport, it's a shame if anyone fail to recognize this . Shevchenko excelled on a system that suited him, pretty much like Diego Tristán from Deportivo who everyone would rate as one of the best strikers in the world at the time, but when Depor went bankrupt and he had to play elsewhere, he couldn't score even if his life depended on it.
 

Dannic

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Recency bias is such a massive part of this. Players can be brilliant for a number of years but they are more remembered for their faded last experiences rather than their earlier ones (the opposite is also true).

As a Liverpool fan I always thought that Kanchelskis was great, but now I mostly remember him as a nothing player for Everton rather than a fast, direct, skillful winger at United. Rooney and Gerrard both have the same problem, where their last year/ years seem to have overridden the fact that they were insane players not only at their peak, but for a sustained period (yes, I know Rooney hasn't retired yet!). Raul, Iker Casillas could also be put into this sort of category.

I think there's also a tendancy for players that aren't the absolute best in their position or team to have this problem as so much of the memory goes to the star. We move from "he was great, but not quite as good as X" to "he wasn't nearly as good as x". Someone mentioned Rivaldo and I think that's also a good shout. He always seems to be not as good as someone else and therefore isn't remembered in the same way.

The last part for me is that when players are active we highly value consistency. Do they do it week in, week out, year in, year out. However, our memories focus upon highlights and although these players can have incredible highlights, some more mercurial players can surpass even that. E.g. from here I feel that Ole is seen as a much bigger legend than the likes of Yorke, Cole, Sheringham etc, but was he a better player, or was he associated with more of those incredible moments?
 
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Paul_Scholes18

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Recency bias is such a massive part of this. Players can be brilliant for a number of years but they are more remembered for their faded last experiences rather than their earlier ones (the opposite is also true).

As a Liverpool fan I always thought that Kanchelskis was great, but now I mostly remember him as a nothing player for Everton rather than a fast, direct, skillful winger at United. Rooney and Gerrard both have the same problem, where their last year/ years seem to have overridden the fact that they were insane players not only at their peak, but for a sustained period (yes, I know Rooney hasn't retired yet!). Raul, Iker Casillas could also be put into this sort of category.

I think there's also a tendancy for players that aren't the absolute best in their position or team to have this problem as so much of the memory goes to the star. We move from "he was great, but not quite as good as X" to "he wasn't nearly as good as x". Someone mentioned Rivaldo and I think that's also a good shout. He always seems to be not as good as someone else and therefore isn't remembered in the same way.

The last part for me is that when players are active we highly value consistency. Do they do it week in, week out, year in, year out. However, our memories focus upon highlights and although these players can have incredible highlights, some more mercurial players can surpass even that. E.g. from here I feel that Ole is seen as a much bigger legend than the likes of Yorke, Cole, Sheringham etc, but was he a better player, or was he associated with more of those incredible moments?
Yeah we see that now. Your players gets hyped a lot for doing good. Others may get underrated since they struggle a bit.
 

DWelbz19

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Wonder how Ozil will go down. Supreme playmaker to absolute joke within 2 seasons.
 

Jerzol78

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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
Matthaus might be the wrong example here as he it the one with a world cup win (and the best player of that tournament as well).
 

Nick7

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Romario was one of the best strikers to ever play the sport, it's a shame if anyone fail to recognize this . Shevchenko excelled on a system that suited him, pretty much like Diego Tristán from Deportivo who everyone would rate as one of the best strikers in the world at the time, but when Depor went bankrupt and he had to play elsewhere, he couldn't score even if his life depended on it.
Tristan dropped off well before Deportivo went bankrupt. Got injured, then lazy and fat if I remember.
 

André Dominguez

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From Portugal, chosing players from the modern era:

Fernando Couto: was always a started for every club he went, and he only played in top clubs. He was one of the best center backs in the world for over a decade. He was a very complete defender: tough, strong, aggressive and his on ball skills were very decent. Plus, he would score a couple of screamers every season, since on long distance free kicks his clubs would use him once a while.
Sérgio Conceição: Overshadowed by Figo at National Team, he was a title winning player to have in the squad. A winger that would score double digits almost every season and always playing on top clubs. Aggressive, fast and hard-worker, but with a short-tempered character that sometimes didn't benefit his career.
Paulo Futre: Like van Basten, his sucessive knee surgeries ruined him very early. At 25 y.o. he already had about 10 surgeries to his knees, but also refs were much more lenient on violent tackles in the 80's and 90's. While his knees were OK, he was unstoppable at the pitch, and I really mean it.
João Vieira Pinto: Never tried to play outside Portugal after a bad 6 month spell at Atletico that let him a bit traumatized, this player is clearly one of the best Portuguese footballers ever. A very complete player that could either be a winger, an attack midf or a forward, was highly skilled and would score and assist plenty of goals every season. Could had played at EPL, Serie A or La Liga, but always refused to leave Portugal
João Pinto: A right back who was constantly on European team of the year, he was the symbol of FC Porto until he retired. Aggressive, very fast and his crossing was very good. On the post-match interviews he was thick as a brick, saying phrases that would leave everyone laughing (unintentionally, of course)
 

André Dominguez

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Tristan dropped off well before Deportivo went bankrupt. Got injured, then lazy and fat if I remember.
Oh, fair enough. Didn't remember his injury, but then again news back in the days didn't fly like today.
 

Irwin99

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Paul Ince. He'd boss the PL if he was around today and in his pomp. Fantastic player.
 

Di Maria's angel

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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.
Agreed.
 

Isotope

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Roy Makaay. He was as good as any legendary striker but never mentioned among the greats. Maybe because of his subdued performance with NT.
 

Fortitude

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From Portugal, chosing players from the modern era:

Fernando Couto: was always a started for every club he went, and he only played in top clubs. He was one of the best center backs in the world for over a decade. He was a very complete defender: tough, strong, aggressive and his on ball skills were very decent. Plus, he would score a couple of screamers every season, since on long distance free kicks his clubs would use him once a while.
Sérgio Conceição: Overshadowed by Figo at National Team, he was a title winning player to have in the squad. A winger that would score double digits almost every season and always playing on top clubs. Aggressive, fast and hard-worker, but with a short-tempered character that sometimes didn't benefit his career.
Paulo Futre: Like van Basten, his sucessive knee surgeries ruined him very early. At 25 y.o. he already had about 10 surgeries to his knees, but also refs were much more lenient on violent tackles in the 80's and 90's. While his knees were OK, he was unstoppable at the pitch, and I really mean it.
João Vieira Pinto: Never tried to play outside Portugal after a bad 6 month spell at Atletico that let him a bit traumatized, this player is clearly one of the best Portuguese footballers ever. A very complete player that could either be a winger, an attack midf or a forward, was highly skilled and would score and assist plenty of goals every season. Could had played at EPL, Serie A or La Liga, but always refused to leave Portugal
João Pinto: A right back who was constantly on European team of the year, he was the symbol of FC Porto until he retired. Aggressive, very fast and his crossing was very good. On the post-match interviews he was thick as a brick, saying phrases that would leave everyone laughing (unintentionally, of course)
Where's Deco?

I think he's taken a massive hit since retiring despite being regarded as an amazing player for Porto during the Uefa Cup run and the Champions League one and then going on to be a lynchpin at Barca.

He barely gets mentioned these days.
 

momo83

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Pretty much all the greats from the 90s rarely get mentioned. Batistuta, Del Piero, Baggio, Inzaghi, Cantona, etc
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Recency bias is such a massive part of this. Players can be brilliant for a number of years but they are more remembered for their faded last experiences rather than their earlier ones (the opposite is also true).

As a Liverpool fan I always thought that Kanchelskis was great, but now I mostly remember him as a nothing player for Everton rather than a fast, direct, skillful winger at United. Rooney and Gerrard both have the same problem, where their last year/ years seem to have overridden the fact that they were insane players not only at their peak, but for a sustained period (yes, I know Rooney hasn't retired yet!). Raul, Iker Casillas could also be put into this sort of category.

I think there's also a tendancy for players that aren't the absolute best in their position or team to have this problem as so much of the memory goes to the star. We move from "he was great, but not quite as good as X" to "he wasn't nearly as good as x". Someone mentioned Rivaldo and I think that's also a good shout. He always seems to be not as good as someone else and therefore isn't remembered in the same way.

The last part for me is that when players are active we highly value consistency. Do they do it week in, week out, year in, year out. However, our memories focus upon highlights and although these players can have incredible highlights, some more mercurial players can surpass even that. E.g. from here I feel that Ole is seen as a much bigger legend than the likes of Yorke, Cole, Sheringham etc, but was he a better player, or was he associated with more of those incredible moments?
Good post though i'd disagree with Kanchelskis at Everton. His first season there was the best of his career imo, 16 league goals from wide right midfield a great output, took a poor team that previously finished 15th to 6th. I've a good friend from Liverpool that has supported Everton since late 70s and he's mentioned it as arguably the best individual season performance he's watched at the club alongside Lineker 85/86. Second wasn't as good and full of negotiations to move to Serie A, but it was really the repeated injuries at Fiorentina and with the NT in a collision with Pagliuca during the 98 world cup playoff that put him into quick decline as a player.
 

Ramos

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Great players that happen to be part of a generation that comes just before the one that blows up. Resulting in them tending to be a bit forgotten.

So yeah Raul really is a great shout. Imagine if he was 4 or 5 years younger.

Another one in this category is Careca.
 
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André Dominguez

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Where's Deco?

I think he's taken a massive hit since retiring despite being regarded as an amazing player for Porto during the Uefa Cup run and the Champions League one and then going on to be a lynchpin at Barca.

He barely gets mentioned these days.
Barcelona fans won't I guess. And even more after Messi saying he was one of the most intelligent footballers he played and learned with.

His time at Barça was really good, if you remove his last season when he couldn't escape injuries anymore.
His ratio of recoveries VS losses on possession was amazing for an attacking minded midfielder
 

André Dominguez

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Rui Costa.
The last playmaker. He was intelligent enough to embrace a deeper role later in his career and actually succeeding. His last season at Benfica was very positive, he could had played a couple more if he had motivation.
 

fps

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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.
There was is also a sense of a natural order of things where we only remember these players as the gnarled veterans they became, struggling to stay up with a new generation who we then falsely judge as superiors. Oh I see someone already mentioned this. I think people have forgotten how good Batistuta and Shearer were. Extraordinary, rare calibre of centre forwards.
 
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Gringo

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Was going to mention Deco. Best #10 in world football hands down. Then Xavi and Iniesta came along.
 

Infordin

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Luis Figo and Rivaldo were both considered Zidane’s equals in the late 90s and early 2000s.
 

neilv93

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Jay-Jay Okocha, unreal player on his day. Used to absolutely love watching him play.
 
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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
He scored 2 goals in two years at United.

His only contribution to Untied'a success was when he broke his leg just after signing - not to be horrible but a good job he did as it meant we signed Cantona. By the time Dublin recovered Cantona and Hughes were a formidable partnership.

Dublin never played enough league games (10 back then) to get a medal in either season.

Nice guy but apart from the Cantona link, irrelevant in United's history.
 

Thepinhead

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I thought Rivaldo was a great player, but he rarely gets mentioned when talking about best brazilian players