Nordic Ghost Yeti | Haaland at City

Zehner

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I've seen Mbappe already deliver a bunch of times when his teams looks dysfunctional, (not the last UCL of course), either France or PSG.
I've yet seen Musiala step up when it looks rough for Germany and Bayern, same goes for Pedri and Gavi with Spain and Barca.

Also it's an insult that you are really putting exciting players to watch like Eto and Henry with pure goalscorers like RVN who didn't have much on his game outside of scoring like Haaland.
I don't know what you're on about, I never claimed Henry, Eto'o and van Nistelroy were similar. Actually, I named Eto'o and Henry as they were similar to Mbappe and van Nistelroy because he was similar to Haaland in terms of contribution outside of goals.

But although Eto'o and Henry were not only great goal scorers with electric pace but brillant dribblers and creators in their own right, they were outshone by team mates who scored less in Zidane and Ronaldinho.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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He's scored a hattrick after being invisible for 70 minutes. You can argue that it is Haaland's job. I'd argue that you want your best player to be on the ball more often than a couple of times a game. Which is why the best players aren't played as strikers. There's a reason that you find no strikers if you go through the commonly agreed top 10 - 20 players in history. And if you find one then he's had a role in which he was much more involved, e. g. R9.

Thing is, in the Messi era you never had to make that distinction because the best playmaker in the world was also the best goal scorer. Cristiano was a similar case in his younger years. But before them, it was always playmakers that were rated the highest. I mean, you already mentioned KdB and I believe this is very telling. He's nowhere near in terms of stats but when you watch City and both players are on the pitch, it sinks in that he's the focal point of this team, the one everyone runs through when he's on the pitch. And many of the young playmaker talents emerging right now have the potential to be better than him.
That’s just not true, Cristiano’s most successful part of his career was playing as or like a striker and when he played as a winger he was more like Mbappé is now. Van Basten, Gerd Muller, Eusebio, Puskas, Romario would make most people’s top 10 or 20 as well as Cristiano, a top 20 would include as many strikers as playmakers for most people. Strikers have always be valued, for over a hundred years at this point.
 

devaneios

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Do Kane and Son just not bother to score as much then?
Maybe they do not play for a team that produce as much goal chances as City(in terms of number and quality)? Maybe they do not have the freakish physicality to bully defenders and the same positional instinct to put themselves in better position to score(especially in Son's case)?

Relating great goalscoring with great shooting technique it's like relating high number of assists with great passing skills and vision, when in fact many assists(most of them I'd say) are trivial skills-wise.

Mbappé and Salah are two other players who score a lot without having nothing special in their shooting ability. Compare their goals with Griezmann's, for example, who scores a lot less, but has a much nicer shot.
 

devaneios

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Of course Mbappé is not top 20 in terms of technique. I mean, Payet and Parejo are clearly more technical players.

The guys trying to make it looks like a Messi x Ronaldo kind of comparison are out of their minds. What makes Mbappé world class are the same things that make Haaland world class: pace and movement/positioning. Of course he's better technically and is a better dribbler(and Haaland is stronger and a better finisher), but definitely it's not his on the ball gameplay that makes him notably great.
 

Mas Risky

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Messi and Cristiano have really lead to a goal obsession in such debates. Before them people looked much less at goals.
Because scoring goals is hard, and nobody has delivered the output with the same consistency as those two players. Really, we are not talking about 2 or 3 seasons, but one full decade and then some. It's unheard of.

And now we have Mbappe and Haaland, who are in their early 20s and could potentially do the same.

I love the technical midfielders that you mentioned, but I don't think they will have a greater influence on the game compared with Mbappe and Haaland. Their ceiling is Andres Iniesta, who is, for me, the greatest technical midfielder of all time but didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he is not a goalscorer.
 
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I don't think any player of the current generation will get close to Messi. Which is why I think the names I mentioned can become better players than Mbappe and Haaland. With Haaland his shortcomings are clear but I think Mbappe's contribution outside of goals is overrated. There are many players who have better game reading ability and technique than Mbappe both in terms of dribbling/controlling the ball as well as in terms of passing.





Why not? Goals aren't everything.
So what is the measure, goals scored + goal assists?

If you don't score yourself then the next best thing must be providing the pass for someone else to score?
 

Zehner

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That’s just not true, Cristiano’s most successful part of his career was playing as or like a striker and when he played as a winger he was more like Mbappé is now. Van Basten, Gerd Muller, Eusebio, Puskas, Romario would make most people’s top 10 or 20 as well as Cristiano, a top 20 would include as many strikers as playmakers for most people. Strikers have always be valued, for over a hundred years at this point.
Cristiano was much more than a pure goal scorer in his prime. He was one of the best dribblers on the planet. Eusebio and Puskas were also much more than goal scorers. Eusebio. And from those you mentioned, I doubt van Basten, Müller and Romario would be in many top 10 rankings. Pelé, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Cristiano, Beckenbauer and Cruyff are pretty much set and then there are still Di Stefano, Zidane, Platini, Zico, Garrincha, Ronaldinho and Best.



So what is the measure, goals scored + goal assists?

If you don't score yourself then the next best thing must be providing the pass for someone else to score?
I don't think you can generalize this. Sometimes the second to last play might be the most important, sometimes it is the last touch.

There's a metric called xGC ('GC' meaning 'goal chain') that measures in how many chances you were involved in any capscity. That metric is dominated completely by players like Messi and Neymar. Benzema and Lewandowski actually outperform Haaland in xGC as well. Mbappe is the best of the strikers but still clearly behind the best AMs.

There's also a metric called shot creating actions. Same picture here.
 

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Because scoring goals is hard, and nobody has delivered the output with the same consistency as those two players. Really, we are not talking about 2 or 3 seasons, but one full decade and then some. It's unheard of.

And now we have Mbappe and Haaland, who are in their early 20s and could potentially do the same.

I love the technical midfielders that you mentioned, but I don't think they will have a greater influence on the game compared with Mbappe and Haaland. Their ceiling is Andres Iniesta, who is, for me, the greatest technical midfielder of all time but didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he is not a goalscorer.
Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but scoring goals isn’t the most difficult key stats, the most difficult seemed to be getting assists.

Just look up the stats, add up the top 10 assist counts and compare it to the sum of top 10 goal scored count of every season. Assists seemed to be at least twice as rare as goals for any player
 

Zehner

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Because scoring goals is hard, and nobody has delivered the output with the same consistency as those two players. Really, we are not talking about 2 or 3 seasons, but one full decade and then some. It's unheard of.

And now we have Mbappe and Haaland, who are in their early 20s and could potentially do the same.

I love the technical midfielders that you mentioned, but I don't think they will have a greater influence on the game compared with Mbappe and Haaland. Their ceiling is Andres Iniesta, who is, for me, the greatest technical midfielder of all time but didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he is not a goalscorer.
I'd take Iniesta over Mbappe or Haaland any day. And their ceiling is actually even higher than Iniesta. Musiala is already at 42 scorers in the Bundesliga in roughly 4500 minutes of football. Iniesta never had such output and wasn't even a starter when he was Musiala's age.

The most difficult thing in modern football is playing in tight spaces when the opponent presses you. Which is why City is currently the best team in the world and has been dominating the best league in the world almost at will for years.
 

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The most difficult thing in modern football is playing in tight spaces when the opponent presses you. Which is why City is currently the best team in the world and has been dominating the best league in the world almost at will for years.
The tightest space often is the box, and Haaland plays excellently there, albeit very physical. I can accept someone rather watches more elegant players like the ones you mentioned, but it is a stretch to say they are so much better than Haaland.
 

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The tightest space often is the box, and Haaland plays excellently there, albeit very physical. I can accept someone rather watches more elegant players like the ones you mentioned, but it is a stretch to say they are so much better than Haaland.
This response actually sums up what I mean quite well. What has elegance to do with this? Maybe you didn't mean it that way but you make it sound as if Haaland builds the house with hard, honest, efficient work and the playmakers then puts some pretty paint on the walls. Easy to the eye but meaningless in the bigger picture.

But I'm not talking about aesthetics but efficiency. When you look at advanced metrics, it shows that Musiala and Sancho were actually involved in more chances per 90 than Haaland while Bellingham and Wirtz got very close. And you can actually argue that it is much harder to be involved that much in their positions because a) the average striker has a much higher 'chance involvement'/xGC than the average AM/CM and b) they also do more other productivd stuff that doesn't show in stats, e. g. ball retention/defending with the ball, closing down lanes, pressing, etc.
 

stefan92

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This response actually sums up what I mean quite well. What has elegance to do with this? Maybe you didn't mean it that way but you make it sound as if Haaland builds the house with hard, honest, efficient work and the playmakers then puts some pretty paint on the walls. Easy to the eye but meaningless in the bigger picture.

But I'm not talking about aesthetics but efficiency. When you look at advanced metrics, it shows that Musiala and Sancho were actually involved in more chances per 90 than Haaland while Bellingham and Wirtz got very close. And you can actually argue that it is much harder to be involved that much in their positions because a) the average striker has a much higher 'chance involvement'/xGC than the average AM/CM and b) they also do more other productivd stuff that doesn't show in stats, e. g. ball retention/defending with the ball, closing down lanes, pressing, etc.
Oh I definitely didn't want to say that elegant play is meaningless - it can be quite effective, and your examples (as your stats prove) excellently combine an elegant style of play with getting meaningful numbers. All I am saying was that Haaland might use physical power to move past a defender where someone else would use some highly technical trickery - in the end both achieve the same.

But in general I feel like you often overlook that playing other positions is different to CM/AM and you basically judge the quality of a player on how good he would perform in that position - it often feels like you think just inferior players get moved to another positions. And that's simply not true. It is extremely hard to do what Haaland does and he definitely is amongst the best in the world. I just don't think that judging him by the same stats as a CM makes sense when you ignore that he is much better in some regards than a CM.

Ultimately this opens up a wide field of discussion about how to make players playing in different positions comparably - they can only be judged in relation to their roles on the pitch which massively vary.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Cristiano was much more than a pure goal scorer in his prime. He was one of the best dribblers on the planet. Eusebio and Puskas were also much more than goal scorers. Eusebio. And from those you mentioned, I doubt van Basten, Müller and Romario would be in many top 10 rankings. Pelé, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Cristiano, Beckenbauer and Cruyff are pretty much set and then there are still Di Stefano, Zidane, Platini, Zico, Garrincha, Ronaldinho and Best.
Ronaldo was one of the ‘best dribblers on the planet’ but Mbappé isn’t? As I said, third top dribbler in the last World Cup, double as many successful dribbles as Pedri per game. He even had more key passes per game than Pedri. Last year’s Champions League again more dribbles than Pedri. Last 3 Champions Leagues he was top 10 in the dribbling stats, reaching a high of second behind Messi in 2021/22.

Anyway this thread is about Haaland and if you’re using Haaland as an example then yes it applies because he’s nowhere to be seen in such stats.
 

Zehner

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Oh I definitely didn't want to say that elegant play is meaningless - it can be quite effective, and your examples (as your stats prove) excellently combine an elegant style of play with getting meaningful numbers. All I am saying was that Haaland might use physical power to move past a defender where someone else would use some highly technical trickery - in the end both achieve the same.

But in general I feel like you often overlook that playing other positions is different to CM/AM and you basically judge the quality of a player on how good he would perform in that position - it often feels like you think just inferior players get moved to another positions. And that's simply not true. It is extremely hard to do what Haaland does and he definitely is amongst the best in the world. I just don't think that judging him by the same stats as a CM makes sense when you ignore that he is much better in some regards than a CM.

Ultimately this opens up a wide field of discussion about how to make players playing in different positions comparably - they can only be judged in relation to their roles on the pitch which massively vary.
I know it is a bit controversial but I think ultimately, the best players will naturally end up being played in the areas between the lines. Maybe you've read the Maradona quote on fullbacks usually being the worst players on the pitch since they're "playing in areas where football isn't played". I think by extension, this underlines that you want to play your best player in the area in which he can influence the game the most and conclusively that certain positions will never be occupied by the best players. And ideally, that's an area in which he is on the ball a lot but also in close proximation to the goal.

Now you can argue that Haaland's tactical role is the striker, that he's needed there and he simply fulfills it. Which is true in general. But it also means that other players are trusted with the playmaking responsibilities instead and that Haaland may end up with very few touches if the game is a close one. We've seen this a few times when he faced superior opposition with Dortmund. He ended up having no impact at all because his team wasn't able to progress the ball to him. They didn't make him count. But you always want to make your best player count so you play him in the position where he has the most influence. Which means: Deep enough that is is very difficult to cut off the "supply chain" but also high enough that he can cause harm.
 

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Because scoring goals is hard, and nobody has delivered the output with the same consistency as those two players. Really, we are not talking about 2 or 3 seasons, but one full decade and then some. It's unheard of.

And now we have Mbappe and Haaland, who are in their early 20s and could potentially do the same.

I love the technical midfielders that you mentioned, but I don't think they will have a greater influence on the game compared with Mbappe and Haaland. Their ceiling is Andres Iniesta, who is, for me, the greatest technical midfielder of all time but didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he is not a goalscorer.
Modric and Zidane did though without scoring much compared to say Platini or Lampard. Win the ballon d'or that is.
 

Mas Risky

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Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but scoring goals isn’t the most difficult key stats, the most difficult seemed to be getting assists.

Just look up the stats, add up the top 10 assist counts and compare it to the sum of top 10 goal scored count of every season. Assists seemed to be at least twice as rare as goals for any player
It can be interpreted in many different ways. It is possible that football has developed in a way that strikers need to create their own chances.

I'd take Iniesta over Mbappe or Haaland any day. And their ceiling is actually even higher than Iniesta. Musiala is already at 42 scorers in the Bundesliga in roughly 4500 minutes of football. Iniesta never had such output and wasn't even a starter when he was Musiala's age.

The most difficult thing in modern football is playing in tight spaces when the opponent presses you. Which is why City is currently the best team in the world and has been dominating the best league in the world almost at will for years.
You would put Iniesta on a well-functioning attacking team. But if you need an extra ten to twenty goals in a season while having a not-so-great midfielder, any manager would prefer a competent goal scorer.

By the way, where did you get that number of goals scored by Musiala? 42 is his shirt number. He scored 23 goals in four seasons, less than our own Jadon Sancho (38) while he was in Dortmund in the same time frame and age bracket. Let's see if Musiala can do what Iniesta did: win the man of the match award in the Euro final, Champions League final, and World Cup final.

Modric and Zidane did though without scoring much compared to say Platini or Lampard. Win the ballon d'or that is.
You need to see their competitors and the context, though. Zidane won the Ballon d'Or in 1998 after winning the World Cup and scoring two goals in the final. His nearest competitors are Davor Suker, who scored 10 goals in the league, and Ronaldo (14). Modric single-handedly led Croatia to the 2019 World Cup final, scoring two goals in normal time and in penalty shootouts. I'm not saying goalscoring is the only metric to judge a player's stature, but visible contributions such as goals while winning important trophies are quite good indicators of a player's level.
 

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It can be interpreted in many different ways. It is possible that football has developed in a way that strikers need to create their own chances.
Sure, if every striker are R9s and Messis, they create their own chances. Too bad in reality there are only one of R9 and one of Messi, so no, others still create chances for the strikers.

Explain to me how else it can be interpreted? Why are assists so much harder to get than goals?
There are several players with more than 500 goals in the careers, there is not a single player with more than 500 assists. Why is that so?
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Sure, if every striker are R9s and Messis, they create their own chances. Too bad in reality there are only one of R9 and one of Messi, so no, others still create chances for the strikers.

Explain to me how else it can be interpreted? Why are assists so much harder to get than goals?
There are several players with more than 500 goals in the careers, there is not a single player with more than 500 assists. Why is that so?
Well part of that reason is that assists were not properly recorded for most of football history. Some players may well have got more than 500 assists many years ago, we just wouldn’t know.
 

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Well part of that reason is that assists were not properly recorded for most of football history. Some players may well have got more than 500 assists many years ago, we just wouldn’t know.
Maybe, but if we look at modern football record, the player with the highest assist is messi with 390 (maybe its 400 now). Compare it to the number of players in the modern era who scored more than 400, it is obvious assists are harder to get than goals
 

FrankFoot

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Sure, if every striker are R9s and Messis, they create their own chances. Too bad in reality there are only one of R9 and one of Messi, so no, others still create chances for the strikers.

Explain to me how else it can be interpreted? Why are assists so much harder to get than goals?
There are several players with more than 500 goals in the careers, there is not a single player with more than 500 assists. Why is that so?
What are you talking about, there a bunch of strikers that create their own chances too, R9 and Messi aren't the only ones historically

And now is more required for strikers to at least know how to create few chances for their teams unlike 50 years ago, where most strikers were the Haaland type.
 

BuddaBuddy

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Sure, if every striker are R9s and Messis, they create their own chances. Too bad in reality there are only one of R9 and one of Messi, so no, others still create chances for the strikers.

Explain to me how else it can be interpreted? Why are assists so much harder to get than goals?
There are several players with more than 500 goals in the careers, there is not a single player with more than 500 assists. Why is that so?
It's sort of obvious I think.
Quite a few goals comes directly without there being a pass first:
Out of the top of my head:
- You nick it out of the opposition player, shoot and score (you might toss in a dribble first if you like)
- Keeper saves and you score from a rebound
- You take a pen (these days you might get an assist from being fouled, not sure, but you've also got your fair share of hand balls)
- Direct from free kicks

So pretty much by definiton there would be more goals than assists.
 

Red in STL

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It's sort of obvious I think.
Quite a few goals comes directly without there being a pass first:
Out of the top of my head:
- You nick it out of the opposition player, shoot and score (you might toss in a dribble first if you like)
- Keeper saves and you score from a rebound
- You take a pen (these days you might get an assist from being fouled, not sure, but you've also got your fair share of hand balls)
- Direct from free kicks

So pretty much by definiton there would be more goals than assists.
Give the Noob a thumbs up, he/she is right
 

Swoobs

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What are you talking about, there a bunch of strikers that create their own chances too, R9 and Messi aren't the only ones historically

And now is more required for strikers to at least know how to create few chances for their teams unlike 50 years ago, where most strikers were the Haaland type.
Ya i know that, of course there are supremely talented ones other than r9 and messi historically, just few and far in between. Not gonna name or even remember all of them
 

Swoobs

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It's sort of obvious I think.
Quite a few goals comes directly without there being a pass first:
Out of the top of my head:
- You nick it out of the opposition player, shoot and score (you might toss in a dribble first if you like)
- Keeper saves and you score from a rebound
- You take a pen (these days you might get an assist from being fouled, not sure, but you've also got your fair share of hand balls)
- Direct from free kicks

So pretty much by definiton there would be more goals than assists.
Yes you are right, hence it means assists are harder to get than goals because an assist cannot exist without a goal but a goal can exist without an assist based on your above explanation
 
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Mas Risky

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Sure, if every striker are R9s and Messis, they create their own chances. Too bad in reality there are only one of R9 and one of Messi, so no, others still create chances for the strikers.

Explain to me how else it can be interpreted? Why are assists so much harder to get than goals?
There are several players with more than 500 goals in the careers, there is not a single player with more than 500 assists. Why is that so?
Are you being serious? The responsibility to create chances is distributed to all players on the right, left, and center, near or far from the final third, while scoring goals is mainly a forward's job in the penalty box.
 

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Are you being serious? The responsibility to create chances is distributed to all players on the right, left, and center, near or far from the final third, while scoring goals is mainly a forward's job in the penalty box.
Hence getting an assist is more competitive since u have many other competitors to get that 1 assist (right left center near far), so ya seriously its a harder stats to rake up.

As other pointed out, from a mathematical perspective,for every 1000 goals you will have lesser than 1000 assists. Combine it with what you have said, basically means more players sharing the smaller number (assists), isnt the conclusion obvious?
 
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SimonB3

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It's impossible to have an assist without a goal
It's possible to have a goal without an assist

Hence there's always going to be more goals than assists.
 

Mas Risky

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Hence getting an assist is more competitive since u have many other competitors to get that 1 assist (right left center near far), so ya seriously its a harder stats to rake up.

As other pointed out, from a mathematical perspective,for every 1000 goals you will have lesser than 1000 assists. Combine it with what you have said, isnt the conclusion obvious?
Yeah, but what's your point, though? A player doesn't "compete" with their teammates by boosting his assist numbers. Kevin De Bruyne is Man City's top goal provider because Pep allows him to play closer to the box instead of Gundogan's position. Liverpool has so many assists from their full back because Klopp wants his team to play that way.
 
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I’ll just leave this here and retire a safe distance :nervous: Mongo - 3 goals in his last 5 Prem games. Awoniyi - 7 in the last 5 (at least a goal in each game). Yes, I know it will probably be different by the end of the season but then Awoniyi doesn’t get the service Haaland does.
 

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Didn't he only have about 8 successful passes tonight? Did the same against Arsenal as well.
Tbh that’s what he does. Similar stats against Burnley but scored 2 and unlucky not to get a hat trick. He doesn’t do passes. Just shots.
 

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Well, they have Center Backs on the edge of the box passing the ball around, he can just move around in the box in this situation and doesn't need to come to get the ball at all. In a different setup, he would be asked to do a lot more.

I don't know if any of you watched the MNF this week, but it was very explained how Haaland played for Dortmund and how he is playing now in City, in Dortmund it was asked to sprint and involve in the play a lot more, which caused his injuries, etc. But now in the stacked and dominating City setup he can do a lot less and only focus on finishing the shots & fighting for the spot in the box, but he rarely has to sprint like 60m with or without the ball. Which is taking a lot less toll on his body and allows him to "rest".
 

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Cristiano was much more than a pure goal scorer in his prime. He was one of the best dribblers on the planet. Eusebio and Puskas were also much more than goal scorers. Eusebio. And from those you mentioned, I doubt van Basten, Müller and Romario would be in many top 10 rankings. Pelé, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Cristiano, Beckenbauer and Cruyff are pretty much set and then there are still Di Stefano, Zidane, Platini, Zico, Garrincha, Ronaldinho and Best.
Cristiano was a good dribbler in his prime just not "one of the best".
 

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Cristiano was a good dribbler in his prime just not "one of the best".
Messi, Ronaldinho, Robben, Ribery, Hazard, Neymar, Iniesta were better than him, maybe Kaká and Pato if we're being generous. And those players' peaks were distributed quite evenly over Cristiano's "dribbling prime" so that they were not all ahead of him. So I still think he was one of the best dribblers on the planet. Probably consistently top 5 or even 3 from 2006 to 2012 or so.