Yes, Futre was very special when he was younger.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)
If anything I rate Park higher now than when he was playing. It might just be due to the fact that we've had so many shite workhorses in the last few years, but I now recognize to a much larger extent that it takes more than just running around like a maniac to actually influence games the way he did. Having a player with that combination of immense football intelligence and work rate is a necessity in a winning team. The current Liverpool side seems to have about ten of them, for example. Park never kicked up a fuss about not playing every game either. Great player. If we could clone him and bring him back I'd have him in a heartbeat.Ji-sung (much more than a rudimentary workhorse who was only there to provide balance and shadow Pirlo).
I remember it wrong regarding the duration, but he only was not a regular, when fit, at the start and end of his stay there.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.
Yeah feels like many east Asian players got good work rate and not so big ego. Those with talent are often gerat to have around.If anything I rate Park higher now than when he was playing. It might just be due to the fact that we've had so many shite workhorses in the last few years, but I now recognize to a much larger extent that it takes more than just running around like a maniac to actually influence games the way he did. Having a player with that combination of immense football intelligence and work rate is a necessity in a winning team. The current Liverpool side seems to have about ten of them, for example. Park never kicked up a fuss about not playing every game either. Great player. If we could clone him and bring him back I'd have him in a heartbeat.
This is completely spot on.I'd second Beckham... he's such a celebrity that I think people forget he was genuinely a world class footballer.
Totally agree with this. In the very early 90s Romario looked like he was going to become one of the all time greats. He maybe didn’t quite get there, but he’s gone from being nearly an all-time great to not being talked about at all. It’s really weird.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.
I think the french league didn't add much to his legacy. For most people what's still fresh in the minds is the United stint. Had he gone to a more respected league he would get the recognition he deserves. Look at Lukaku, went to the Italian league and has already changed the perception about him in 6 months.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.
You clearly don't remember RaúlRaul was great but 2nd strikers basically don't play for big teams anymore for a reason. I'm not sure how to evaluate that or how prime Raul would have done as a false 9 type. Can't imagine him out wide or dropping and playing as the most offensive midfielder in a 3 really.
It is interesting to see the names people are bringing up, particularly in light of threads like this that endeavour to name a succinct who's who for each decade - just to see how many names from a thread like that are after thoughts in the general footballing consciousness, not just from fans, but more so from the media who make no real concerted efforts to keep the legends alive.Totally agree with this. In the very early 90s Romario looked like he was going to become one of the all time greats. He maybe didn’t quite get there, but he’s gone from being nearly an all-time great to not being talked about at all. It’s really weird.
I’ll add one to this: No-one ever mentions Matthias Sammer these days but for about 18 months he was pretty much the best European player on the planet.
That's a mad, mad shout. I always rated Shevchenko as the best striker of his time - he was a complete player. Better than Henry, for me, who was certainly flashier (and scored a lot) but went missing in key moments. Shevchenko was a beast for Ukraine as well.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.
No one's had a shout for Nedved till page 3 - probably the best example of this. Juve did good business selling Zidane on and getting Nedved. Nedved never shone in the extremely key moments like Zidane did, but on the whole he was around about on par with him (or maybe just a step lower - but there was certainly a consideration to be made).Luis Figo and Rivaldo were both considered Zidane’s equals in the late 90s and early 2000s.