Footballers rated higher when active than after

RedDevilCanuck

Quite dreamy - blue eyes, blond hair, tanned skin
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Saha. Had it all.

couldn't stay on the pitch.
 

montpelier

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Oct 24, 2011
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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)
Yes, Futre was very special when he was younger.
 

MackRobinson

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I'll never forget watching a team who played against Stoke, electing to concede a corner rather than a throw-in because of Delap

Legend
I remember Chelsea completely shitting themselves one match. It was glorious to watch.
 

INeedAbsynthe

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Oct 1, 2019
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Lucio

Truly incredible in his prime but seems overlooked and forgotten these days, he’s actually still playing.
 

Red Stone

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Ji-sung (much more than a rudimentary workhorse who was only there to provide balance and shadow Pirlo).
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.
 

Gio

★★★★★★★★
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Jan 25, 2001
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Bonnie Scotland
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Rangers
Franck Sauzee was highly respected for Marseille, but his reputation suffered as his international career was sandwiched inbetween France’s successes in 1984 and 1998.
 

Hound Dog

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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.
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.

And of course there is also that CL final display that he had which means that even a casual football fans in the 90s would be sure to know about him.

The same could be said for Stojkovic due to the 1990 WC but, club wise, he fell of the radar a couple of years later.
 

RightSaidFredTheRed

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3 pages in and haven't seen a mention for Clarence Seedorf

Pele rated him in the fifa 100 back in 2004.

Others in that list with limited mentions...
Javier Zanetti
Cafu
Roberto Carlos (used to be mentioned all the time, but I've not seen his name pop up for maybe 10 years)
Davor Suker
Pavel Nedved
Robert Pires
Christian Vieri
George Weah
Edgar Davids
Rui Costa
Gheorghe Hagi

The above used to be names kicking about all the time, but are rarely mentioned now.

Pires is one who almsot feels taken for granted. Im not convinced he has ever quite got the credit he deserves. Phenomenal player
 

FrankDrebin

Don't call me Shirley
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Aug 25, 2019
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A Alien invasion.
Alvaro Recoba
He's the opposite.

He's rated higher now than he was when he was playing,well that's if he could get off the treatment table and be arsed that is.

A likeable character but his laziness was unmatched.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Sep 13, 2014
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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.
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.
Asians in general are shorter and not as physically impressive as European players normally.
I feel like for good tactical managers you might be able to find more gems from that part of the world.
Son is obviously now very good.
Okazaki might be underrated during Leicesters run. He did a good job to suppport Vardy and Mahrez who got all the glory.
 

FrankDrebin

Don't call me Shirley
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A Alien invasion.
Saha. Had it all.

couldn't stay on the pitch.
Even on a good day his finishing was erratic.
Great allround player though,outside of the indifferent finishing. Perfect foil for Ronaldo and Rooney.
 

SilentStrike

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Nov 8, 2014
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When it comes carreer vs legacy probably Effenberg has the biggest contrast. I never see his name mentioned, ever. Forget he existed even. Was probably the best central midfielder for a period of 2 years or so.
 

TheReligion

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Mario Jardell, Marcello Salas, Javier Saviola, Ze Roberto, Giovanni, Adriano, Edmundo, Ariel Ortega, Juan Pablo Sorin.

South America is rife for this lot.
 

RightSaidFredTheRed

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Certainly not top tier, but a great player anyway is Karol Paborsky. He used to be a favourite of mine and if it wasn't for David Beckham he'd almost certainly be seen as a United legend. Instead he got just 32 games and disappeared off the radar a little
 

NoPace

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Raul 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.
 

ricky-romeo

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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.
This is completely spot on.

For those who watched Becks from 1997 to around 2005 or 2006 will know how good he was at his peak. Infact i think his highest peak was around 1998 to 2002 or 2003 before he went to Real.

He was arguably the best right winger in the world alongside Figo in the late 90s and early 2000s. Season in season out he will guarantee us 10-15 goals and 15-20 assists which even today would be a great return for a right winger in a 4-3-3, and he did that in a 4-4-2.
 

FrankDrebin

Don't call me Shirley
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A Alien invasion.
Beckham's best season for me was the 2002 campaign.
It was his highest scoring season (17 goals) but his overall influence in the team,having been doubted the previous season, was as strong as it had ever been.

He seemed to be one of few players coping well with the certainty of Ferguson's retirement.

And,going back to his goals,he scored some real beauties in that rather underwhelming campaign.
West Ham away, Deportivo away, Sunderland at home,Fulham at home on the opening day.
Marvellous.

Overall,that season was one of my favourite United campaigns.
Our defence was all over the place but we looked like scoring everytime we ventured forward.
 

Pantscat

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Jun 21, 2019
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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.
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.
 

OL29

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Sep 17, 2010
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I don’t hear much about David Trezeguet these days, maybe due to the fact he stayed with Juve after the match fixing scandal but he was elite in his prime.
 

Gringo

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Never watched him play but when was the last time you heard the name Hugo Sanchez ? It's been a while. I can feel this happening to Radamel Falcao, during those stints at Porto and Atletico he was probably the most dangerous striker I've seen in the modern era.
 

redDNA

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Redondo:
One of the best DMs of his generation, was immense for Madrid, but his less successful stint at Milan didn't help him,as ge was almost completely forgotten before he retired.

Requelme:
On his day,he can make opponent's midfielders look like school kids with his ,passing, vision,movement, creativity and tempo.He was so good that Argentina lost to Germany in 2006 WC after he was substituted.
He would have been fondly remembered if he applied himself especially at Barca.

Michael Ballack : Was absolutely brilliant,but was unlucky with injuries, his near misses with trophies and the fact that Schweinsteiger was influential for German world cup win ,will further help ease his memories.
Others include:

David Villa
Nedved
George Weah
Gabriel Batistuta
Stoichkov
Samuel Ossei Kuffour
Forlan
 

njred

HALA MADRID!
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Nov 3, 2001
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Liverpool
I think a lot of these players would be remembered better if there was some kind of Museum or a Hall of Fame somewhere like they do in the States. Say what you want about it, but a place like a Hall of fame keeps legendary players in legendary status. There are so many players that are just forgotten and won't be remembered at all
 

RedFan84

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I'll probably keep some not so famous names here ...

Yossi Benayoun , a lot of what he did is not being rated now. A good footballer and someone who was always putting in effort. You could count on him to turn up in a match and give a 7/10 performance most days.

Eidur Gudjohnsen - Played for major clubs and always seemed a spare wheel. But a deeper dive tells you the real worth of the guy for the teams he's played for and his importance.

Dirk Kuyt - Someone who was limited as a footballer but tireless and never shied away in a match


Coming to Manchester United , There are probably plenty of players that I felt weren't being given their due even when they were playing and lesser now. Names like Sheringham , Cole , Mcclair among the 90s guys. Doubt many people think of them when they refer fondly to their class of 92 etc.
 

flappyjay

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Feb 12, 2016
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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.
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.
 

Son

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Garrincha. Won a World Cup almost single handedly to increase Pele’s legacy more than his own.

Stefan Effenberg. Fearsome player. 7 Bundesliga Team of the Year appearances and European club footballer of the year winner in 2001.

Roy Keane. Doesn’t get enough respect from some football fans. He was up there with the very best players in the world.
 

giorno

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Jul 20, 2016
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Real Madrid
Raul 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.
You clearly don't remember Raúl :D

He was part of great attacking trios at club level his entire career, pretty much. Capello had starting from the left wing, to join Suker and Mijatovic in a front 3 in attack while tracking back and helping the defence as a left winger in a 442

With Heynckes and Del Bosque he won the CL playing as a #10 behind two strikers, then he was part of the galacticos attack with Zidane, Figo and Morientes/Ronaldo. Towards the end of his career he was often used as a wide forward

Raúl could play anywhere across the attack
 

Albin Johansson

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Yaya Touré - along with Agüero the city player I've rated highest. He was a beast and had an unreal drive that made it possible for him to cut through any midfield line. In contrast to Agüero though, he was replaced in the pep system in a similar way to what Zlatan was experiencing at Barcelona.

Fletcher - i still feel that we might have given Barcelona a better game if he had avoided being red carded against arsenal in that CL semi against arsenal. The man could boss a midfield at an incredibly high level although no other team's fans would admit it.
 

Fortitude

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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.
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.

A hall of fame was mentioned by @njred and as American as it sounds initially, I'll bet greats of each era are not as readily forgotten as they are in Europe, where, if you're not of their era, or having their stories passed down or on to you, you have to be a bit of a sports nerd and do the research and digging yourself.

It must also be quite surreal for these players to have been literal world stars for a time and then fade into obscurity outside of the league & nation they performed in - a Romario, Baggio or Batistuta (as examples) could walk freely and unnoticed in a hell of a lot of places in the world now, I would wager, where as during their time, they were icons and heartthrobs.

I wonder if the social media era superstars will see an uptake in post-career fame and fortune; I'm thinking equivalent stars will not be as easily or readily forgotten.
 

_00_deathscar

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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.
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.

Much like Torres, he was clearly past it when he moved to Chelsea (and/or it was too late for him to adapt to a whole new league/pace of play/style etc). He shouldn't be judged on that at all - not with the career he had before all that.
 
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_00_deathscar

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

In many ways, it echoes my earlier post about Henry/Shevchenko.