Top 10 Greats

Joga Bonito

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This has obviously been done to death along with the all time XIs but haven't seen one recently.

Ronaldo and Messi have more or less been dominating the scene for the past decade or so and are more or less viewed as shoe-ins for the top 10 by most fans. So how highly do you rank them?

Does their unprecedented dominance at club level warrant top billing, or do you still rate other greats who arguably thrived in more competitive eras and have attained success at both club and international stages, above them?

I'm going to arrange my top 10 in tiers

1st Tier
1) Diego Maradona
2) Pele

2nd Tier
3) Messi
4) Franz Beckenbauer
5) Johan Cruyff
6) Cristiano Ronaldo
7) Alfredo Di Stefano

3rd Tier

Now it gets tricky imo. Plenty of competition for the last 3 spots.

Michel Platini
Zico
Ferenc Puskas
Eusebio
Sir Bobby Charlton
Franco Baresi
Lothar Matthäus
Gerd Müller
Zidane
Van Basten
Ronaldo

8) Michel Platini - One of the greatest playmakers ever & a deadly and decisive goalscorer rolled into one sumptuous package. Would probably be top 5 if he had more luck in the WCs and a more prolonged peak - he was a fine player for Saint Etienne no doubt, but I reckon he could have made the move from Ligue 1 a tad bit earlier.

9) Gerd Müller - This might seem like a hipster choice, but I seriously can't think of a better big game player, who has done it all on the biggest stages. It didn't matter if it was the WC, Euros, Bundesliga or the European Cup, he scored and he did it in style and decisively. There were games were his team were on the defensive or weren't playing well and Müller would drop deep, work his socks off AND still somehow conjure up a winning goal out of nowhere. I get that he's not the flashiest player around but why should that matter? Simply put, if you were the coach and had a life or death match coming up, you'd simply put him up front, end of story.

10) Ferenc Puskas - Harsh to leave out the others and my bottom 3 could very well feature different names on a different day but Puskas it is. Would probably be rated higher if there was more footage of him in the early fifties and if there was a balon d'or back then. No doubt a victorious, injury-free World Cup campaign would probably have pushed him up a few notches.
 
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Moby

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Seems fair. There might be a few shouts to move Messi into Tier 1 but I think it's fine as it is.

For me the only change would be having Ronaldo instead of Puskas. While he missed on some club level trophies and longevity he had an elite career with Brazil and in terms of talent and applying it against numerous top tier opponents he is absolutely up there. One of the most unique names in this list and would be in my top ten.
 

Enigma_87

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For me:

Tier 1:
1. Pele
2. Maradona
3. Messi

Tier 2:
4. Johan Cruyff
5. Franz Beckenbauer
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
7. Alfredo Di Stefano

Tier 3:
8. Ronaldo
9. Lothar Matthäus
10. Michel Platini
 

Joga Bonito

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Seems fair. There might be a few shouts to move Messi into Tier 1 but I think it's fine as it is.

For me the only change would be having Ronaldo instead of Puskas. While he missed on some club level trophies and longevity he had an elite career with Brazil and in terms of talent and applying it against numerous top tier opponents he is absolutely up there. One of the most unique names in this list and would be in my top ten.
Sounds fair enough.

For me:

Tier 1:
1. Pele
2. Maradona
3. Messi

Tier 2:
4. Johan Cruyff
5. Franz Beckenbauer
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
7. Alfredo Di Stefano

Tier 3:
8. Ronaldo
9. Lothar Matthäus
10. Michel Platini
Surprised to see Platini below Matthäus and Ronaldo. Any reason in particular or just a matter of personal preferences?
 

Enigma_87

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Surprised to see Platini below Matthäus and Ronaldo. Any reason in particular or just a matter of personal preferences?
To me Fenomeno in terms of pure peak level is tier 1.

The only reason I'd put him tier 3 overall (he's still borderline tier 2 for me) is because we were deprived from seeing his peak for longer period of time - like those in tier 2. The other reason is that he doesn't boast with the same achievements at club level for various reasons.

Having said that - he's the greatest #9 the game has ever seen and as hard it is to separate players in different roles and positions, I'd always choose him first from the tier 3 bracket without a second thought.

As for Matthaus - he's the greatest B2B midfielder that I have ever seen(if we discount Beckenbauer/Di Stefano from that role) and probably I'd have him as a personal preference in front of Platini, due to being a tad more complete, whilst also instrumental and a main man in both phases for both club and country.

Platini and Zico are really tough to separate for me and again matter of personal preference - the reason I have Platini as top 10 is because he's IMO undisputed leader when it comes to passing and vision of all GOAT's.

Also you have missed Romario(not much between him and MvB IMO), Garrincha / Best (as the greatest wingers that also can have a claim), Xavi (greatest playmaker) and Figueroa(again not much between him and Baresi for example) in tier 3.
 

Joga Bonito

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To me Fenomeno in terms of pure peak level is tier 1.
Yeah in terms of talent he was up there with the very best.
Having said that - he's the greatest #9 the game has ever seen and as hard it is to separate players in different roles and positions, I'd always choose him first
That's definitely subjective though. There's no clear consensus as to whether Van Basten, Gerd Müller or Ronaldo is the best #9 and some would consider Romario to be amongst that company too.

As for the rest fair enough, it's tight margins and everyone is bound to have differing views.

Also you have missed Romario(not much between him and MvB IMO), Garrincha / Best (as the greatest wingers that also can have a claim), Xavi (greatest playmaker) and Figueroa(again not much between him and Baresi for example) in tier 3.
It isn't really a definitive list of all tier 3 players though, just those whom I personally thought had the strongest claims to the last 3 spots, and it'll be different for every other poster.
 

Enigma_87

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That's definitely subjective though. There's no clear consensus as to whether Van Basten, Gerd Müller or Ronaldo is the best #9 and some would consider Romario to be amongst that company too.
Yeah, we're definitely splitting hairs and obviously everyone on that list including Romario might have a claim for it. Muller as you mentioned comes with a pedigree of scoring some very important goals and probably is the best pure goalscorer in that company. I feel Fenomeno is the most complete and his peak level wins it for me.

It isn't really a definitive list of all tier 3 players though, just those whom I personally thought had the strongest claims to the last 3 spots, and it'll be different for every other poster.
aye, there is also the positional value, as generally defenders are less rated compared to attackers, yet for example Figueroa was winning awards at his peak in very elite company.

Out of curiosity how high do you rank Romario compared to Eusebio, Van Basten, etc? He probably divides most opinions as some rank him very high, yet others probably underrate him.
 

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sign up, they said. it's a fun draft, they said.
To get a bit of controversy going: I'm not sure Cristiano belongs in the top 7 company, as he's almost universally seen here. I'd have him more towards the top end of tier 3. I know the arguments for his inclusion in the GOAT bracket, and since his post-2015 late career excellence I can kind of accept that view. (Before that I'd have simply rejected it, and it was already widespread at that time.) But I feel in comparison with the top 5-6 something is missing. (Can't say too much about Di Stefano tbf, and would just include him by default.)
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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1. Di Stefano
2. Maradona
3. Pele
4. Cruyff
5. Messi
6. Beckenbauer
7. Fenomeno
8. Garrincha
9. Platini
10. Zico

I dont think any defender (except Kaiser) or central midfielder (including Matthaus) deserves to be in there as I don't expect them to have as much impact on a team as a attacker would.

The impact should be so huge that even in a team full of GOAT's you should be able to say the team was build around this particular player.

I don't think CR, Baresi, Matthaus satisfy the above condition. The rest of the names were not in my contention.

Garrincha and Zico really need to be in there for me. Wingers dont get their due usually, but winning your team a WC singlehandedly from the RW spot while also having a huge impact on one more WC win is just a ridiculous achievement.

Zico again underrated AF in these lists but when it comes to being special, he was up there with the best.
 

Physiocrat

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To get a bit of controversy going: I'm not sure Cristiano belongs in the top 7 company, as he's almost universally seen here. I'd have him more towards the top end of tier 3. I know the arguments for his inclusion in the GOAT bracket, and since his post-2015 late career excellence I can kind of accept that view. (Before that I'd have simply rejected it, and it was already widespread at that time.) But I feel in comparison with the top 5-6 something is missing. (Can't say too much about Di Stefano tbf, and would just include him by default.)
Agreed. I'm not sure I'd even have him in the top 10. This is mainly because he attempted to be a one man team most of the time and was incredibly wasteful with his ridiculous number of long-shots which have no chance of going in. He got worse at Madrid for that and it annoyed me at Utd. Messi on the other hand definitely deserves Tier 1. I'm not entirely sure of tier 3 but the top 2 tiers is pretty settled in my mind.

Top 10

Tier 1


1) Maradona
2) Messi
3) Pele

Tier 2

4) Der Kaiser
5) Cruyff
6) Di Stefano
7) Platini

Tier 3

8) Puskas
9) Van Basten
10) Baresi
 

Enigma_87

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To get a bit of controversy going: I'm not sure Cristiano belongs in the top 7 company, as he's almost universally seen here. I'd have him more towards the top end of tier 3. I know the arguments for his inclusion in the GOAT bracket, and since his post-2015 late career excellence I can kind of accept that view. (Before that I'd have simply rejected it, and it was already widespread at that time.) But I feel in comparison with the top 5-6 something is missing. (Can't say too much about Di Stefano tbf, and would just include him by default.)
I was in your boat until recently, but his body of work in his later career and the ability to stay fit, close to his peak and decide big games pushed him in the second tier, IMO.

Still a bit undecided in terms of that second tier and Fenomeno. Would probably tip him in at the end due to pure ability.
 

Gio

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It might be helpful to try and define each tier.

Tier 1 - the majority view one of these as the greatest of all time
Tier 2 - players who were both the greatest or thereabouts in their position and yielded a wider influence across the breadth of the park, influencing shape and systems on and off the ball.
Tier 3 - players who were the greatest or thereabouts in their position/role

Tier 1 - Maradona, Messi and Pele
Tier 2 - Beckenabuer, Cruyff, Di Stefano and Xavi
Tier 3 - Ronaldo, Muller, Cristiano, Zico, Platini, Baresi, Maldini, Matthaus (could go on)

It's really difficult to weigh up influence on the collective compared to individual ability. Each of the tier 3 players have a strong case to be superior to the tier 2 players based on their individual ability. For example, it would be reasonable to say that Baresi has purer defensive qualities than Beckenbauer, that Zico is sharper and more inventive in the final third than Di Stefano, or that Muller and Cristiano are more ruthless goalscorers than anyone in tiers 1 or 2.

Ultimately the purpose of football is for teams to win games and the tier 2 players are greater starting points for building a winning team as you can fit pieces of the complementary jigsaw around them in a way that multiplies the qualities of the jigsaw pieces and reinforces the ability of the centrepiece. In contrast the tier 3 players are more flexible as they can be confidently dropped into other teams as the missing jigsaw piece, whereas the tier 2 centrepieces will simply not fit in the wrong team.

In my eyes after tier 1 it's almost two separate tiers:
GOATs
Influence Kings ------------ Positional Kings​
 

harms

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Gio’s posts makes a lot of sense. Messi, Pelé and Maradona are the clear standouts for me and it’s really hard to separate, say, Cruyff and Zico/Ronaldo in terms of individual ability, but I’d still put the likes of Cruyff/Beckenbauer/Di Stefano ahead of the rest based on their influence & historical importance.

T1.
1. Pelé (ability, longevity, unparalleled success on both international and club level)
=2. Maradona (best peak and a brilliant resume on both international and club level, but he doesn’t have the longevity compared to another two)
=2. Messi (his peak level is very close to Maradona and his club career is simply incredible, but there are questions over his performances for Argentina)

T2.
=4. Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Di Stefano
7. Cristiano. I have to put him here, even though in my eyes there would always be this unfair label of “not being as good as Messi” next to him. He was not a catalyst for any radical tactical changes or anything, but his obsession with his performances that had led to him to 1. Improving (in the younger days) 2. Adapting (when he had already went past his physical peak) is simply unparalleled. He is someone that I’m personally very reluctant to put very high on those lists for whatever reason, but he lefts you no choice – just like he had managed to mostly keep up with Messi for all those years despite the visible difference in terms of their natural talent.

T3.
8. Ferenc Puskas. He suffers from the lack of footage – if we had more of it, he would most certainly cement his place in the second tier and maybe even as the greatest European footballer of all-time.
=9. Michel Platini
=9. Zico

There’s a whole bunch here that I find impossible to separate – starting with Platini and Zico and continuing with Ronaldo, Müller, Van Basten, Xavi, Garrincha, Matthäus etc.
 

Moby

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Seeing Puskas being rated over Ronaldo is pretty interesting to me. Personally I am unable to see many clear cut factors to put him over the likes of Ronaldo or Van Basten.

Comparing him to Ronaldo, surely everyone would agree that in terms of individual ability, Ronaldo is pretty much the absolute top tier and I don't see anyone on that list who can be considered 'clearly' over him in that regards, when you consider traits such as dribbling, skills and tricks to beat players, creativity, shooting technique, composure in front of goal etc. I wouldn't expect many to hold Puskas in a greater regard when it comes to those attributes. Similarly for physical attributes, Ronaldo has absolutely electrifying pace with that massive frame bulldozing past players at the speed of a Ferrari, sure Puskas was quick but with Ronaldo you are talking about absolutely un-catchable pace along with that kind of close control. Neither were regarded incredible in the air, but in terms of pace, acceleration, agility etc you'd generally give it to Ronaldo.

In terms of achievements, Ronaldo surely has the better NT career in the sense that he dominated two World Cups, with the 1998 WC being the one filled with quality teams and competition and he absolutely decimated opponents in there, while laughing his way to the top scorer in 2002 despite coming back from terrible injuries. Puskas himself has a great goals to game ratio, but him not winning the 1954 WC puts him behind Ronaldo.

For club career, yes Puskas has those European Cups with Madrid, but honestly, the quality of competition at the start of the EC has been debatable, and Puskas himself arrived at the latter stage of his career with Di Stefano being the front man by far. Full credit to Puskas for still being able to score goals at that stage and it's why he's regarded so highly, Overall his club achievements surely rank higher, which is maybe the only category where I think he comes out on top.

Overall I'd personally go for Fenomeno ahead of Puskas in pretty much every scenario. Even in terms of versatility, you can play Ronaldo up front, in a front two or in a front three either up front or out wide.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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The '50s and earlier greats suffer greatly from the lack of good quality footage. I don't believe it's really possible to compare them to greats from more recent decades with hundreds of games available in better quality, other than on the more statistical and team accomplishment side of things.

Puskas and other hungarian greats that were at peak in the 40s and first half of the 50s suffered a lot from the war and not playing the '50 world cup where they would have been at least as strong.
 

Cal?

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No Cristiano? That's surprising.
Clearly I meant Cristiano Ronaldo, even google agrees (If you search "Ronaldo", the first answer is Cristaino Ronaldo wiki page)

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima doesn't feature in the top 10
 

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Tier 1: God Tier:

Pele
Diego Maradona
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Alfredo Di Stefano
Franz Beckenbauer
Johann Cruyff


Tier 2: GOAT Tier (overall)

Luis Ronaldo
Michel Platini
Ferenc Puskas
Garrincha
George Best
Eusebio
Lothar Matthaus
Zico
Gerd Muller
Franco Baresi


Tier 3: GOAT Tier (Positional)

Rest of the usual suspects
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Tier 1
Pele=Maradona
Messi


Tier 2
Beckenbauer =Cruyff
Di Stefano

Tier 3
Matthaus
[Maldini=Baresi]
Ronaldo
Zico=Platini
Garrincha=Best
CR7
Puskas
 
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2mufc0

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Diego and Pele at the top of the pile then you can argue about the rest as there isn't too much between them.
 

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If you value longevity at the top as the ultimate matrix, Messi and CR7 have to be in Top 4. These two insanely dominate the game for more than a decade, either individually or team/club wise. If they're not from the same era, each of them could've won 10 Ballon D'Ors.
 

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The order does not really matter but, here we go:

1) Maradona
2) Pele
3) Zico
4) Johan Cruyff
5) Franz Beckenbauer
6) Ronaldo
7) Messi
8) Cristiano
9) Eusebio
10) Baresi

Challengers: Platini, Di Stefano, Henry

An Ecstatic player always belongs to the tier 1 FYI
 

BlackShark_80

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Tier 1 (The Greatest of All Time):
1. Pele
2. Maradona
3. Messi
Tier 2 (Almost The Greatest of All Time):
4. Cruyff
5. Di Stefano
6. Beckenbauer
7. Cristiano
Tier 3 (The Greatest In their Position/Role):
8. Ronaldo
9. Platini
10. Puskas
11. Garrincha
12. Zico
13. Best
14. Zidane
15. Charlton
16. Eusebio
17. Meazza
18. Matthaus
19. Baresi
20. Muller
 
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Revan

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I'll go by Great as someone who at his time was better than his players. I truly believe that elite players like Ibrahimovic or Robben were far better than someone like Pele, that even Nani was better than Garrincha. Same as how US army is stronger than Macedonian or Roman Empires, and that some second-tier army like Swiss would totally annihilate the Great Mongolian Empire. So by that definition of greats, I would go with:

1) Pele
2) Messi
3) Cristiano Ronaldo
4) Maradona
5) Cruyff
6) Di Stefano
7) Beckenbauer
8) Platini
9) Best
10 ) Eusebio

My top 7 is set one stone though the ranking can change. Messi and Ronaldo can swap positions, and to a lesser degree so can Maradona and Ronaldo. Similarly, Cruyff and Di Stefano can swap positions. I have Pele ahead of Messi and Ronaldo simply because he dominated both club's and national teams game, while Ronaldo and especially Messi have underperformed when it comes to national teams football.

The bottom three is a bit harder cause there are many more players who deserve to be there and who have a very good claim to replace any of those three players. A probably incomplete list contains Meazza, Matthews, Garrincha, Puskas, Charlton, Muller, Zico, Rummenige, Matthaus, Van Basten, Baresi, Zidane, Luis Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Xavi.

No keeper on my list. Lev Yashin is considered as the greatest keeper ever, but probably the keeper position is the one that has improved most, and his highlights look incredibly pedestrian. I actually think that Buffon has a good shot on being the greatest goalkeeper ever, but I wouldn't put him anywhere near the top 10 or even top 30 of the greatest players (by the same logic, I have only 2 defenders in top 10 and top 10+).

If the list was top 10 best players, then it would be a totally post 1980 list.

As always though, there is a lot of romanticism in these lists. The old players get overrated, the modern ones get underrated despite that for example Pep's Barcelona (or any other great modern team) would have finished with double-digit goals against Brazil 1970.
 
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oneniltothearsenal

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I'll go by Great as someone who at his time was better than his players. I truly believe that elite players like Ibrahimovic or Robben were far better than someone like Pele, that even Nani was better than Garrincha. Same as how US army is stronger than Macedonian or Roman Empires, and that some second-tier army like Swiss would totally annihilate the Great Mongolian Empire.
:lol:
Yeah, it's exactly like comparing a nuclear arsenal in 2020 to the Roman Empire of 2000 years ago.
 

Revan

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:lol:
Yeah, it's exactly like comparing a nuclear arsenal in 2020 to the Roman Empire of 2000 years ago.
Yes, they are bigger, stronger, faster, have better diets, have been trained since an earlier age, have better coaches, have dedicated coaches for pretty much everything, have better footballing strategies, have better steroids/doping. Oh, there is also a much bigger pool of players to start with.

Similarly, a good undergraduate student in physics knows more about quantum mechanics than the inventors of quantum mechanics. Or an average modern doctor is better than a great doctor 100 years ago.

There is absolutely nothing to suggest that somehow despite all the advances, football has regressed.
 

harms

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Comparing him to Ronaldo, surely everyone would agree that in terms of individual ability, Ronaldo is pretty much the absolute top tier and I don't see anyone on that list who can be considered 'clearly' over him in that regards, when you consider traits such as dribbling, skills and tricks to beat players, creativity, shooting technique, composure in front of goal etc. I wouldn't expect many to hold Puskas in a greater regard when it comes to those attributes. Similarly for physical attributes, Ronaldo has absolutely electrifying pace with that massive frame bulldozing past players at the speed of a Ferrari, sure Puskas was quick but with Ronaldo you are talking about absolutely un-catchable pace along with that kind of close control. Neither were regarded incredible in the air, but in terms of pace, acceleration, agility etc you'd generally give it to Ronaldo.
L. Ronaldo certainly trumps Puskas at any physical category, but in terms of technique it's not that easy. Ronaldo would be ahead in dribbling, but Puskas had a better shot (Ronaldo had a fantastic shooting ability, but I never felt like it was an all-time great one, he was never too reliant on it; while Puskas' certainly is) and from what I've seen of that Hungarian team, Puskas was a better/more creative passer (although, again, Ronaldo was pretty good at it). It's hard to compare their goalscoring proficiency because the football was so different, so I'll say that it's a tie.

In terms of achievements, club-wise Puskas absolutely trumps Ronaldo, and he didn't even had the luxury of performing in European Cup at the time of his actual peak. Country-wise I'd give it to Ronaldo, but then Brazil's regime didn't change in 2000, forcing Ronaldo in exile, while Puskas only had one shot at winning the World Cup.

At the end, this is a boring question of peak vs longevity. The difference in peak level was probably not too big, and it's a shame that we have so little footage of Puskas at his physical best – but it's highly likely that Ronaldo was still better (it's pretty much the consensus that if pre-injury Ronaldo kept up performing like he did for 10+ years, he'd end up as Pelé/Maradona's equal). But Puskas had managed to perform at the highest level for almost 20 years, and at his peak he was undoubtedly the best player in the world (and probably the best player in history... at the time) – while post-injury Ronaldo had only showed glimpses of his all-time potential from time to time.

So yeah.
Peak: Ronaldo > Puskas
Ability: Ronaldo ≥ Puskas
Career: Puskas > Ronaldo
 

Revan

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I know, I know, but my favorite statistic of all time for Luis Ronaldo is that Gabriel fecking Jesus has as many UCL goals as him, in significantly less games.

Ronaldo is definitely a what could have been. Probably a bottom top 20 player that had potential to be a top 5 or so if not for injuries. I have seen people taking against Zlatan that he never won UCL. What about Ronaldo never winning it too, reaching only once semis, and winning only one league title in Europe while playing for more than a decade for clubs like PSV, Barcelona, Inter, Real Madrid and Milano? I guess it doesn’t matter, cause he was good at stepovers.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching him and together with Batistuta he was the first player I admired when I started watching football. But his career was nowhere near as good as people pretend it was.
 

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I know, I know, but my favorite statistic of all time for Luis Ronaldo is that Gabriel fecking Jesus has as many UCL goals as him, in significantly less games.

Ronaldo is definitely a what could have been. Probably a bottom top 20 player that had potential to be a top 5 or so if not for injuries. I have seen people taking against Zlatan that he never won UCL. What about Ronaldo never winning it too, reaching only once semis, and winning only one league title in Europe while playing for more than a decade for clubs like PSV, Barcelona, Inter, Real Madrid and Milano? I guess it doesn’t matter, cause he was good at stepovers.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching him and together with Batistuta he was the first player I admired when I started watching football. But his career was nowhere near as good as people pretend it was.
Dude..... 2 x Balon d'Or and 3 x World Player of the Year. And this is with injuries. How many of those awards does Gabriel Jesus or Zlatan have?
 

Revan

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Dude..... 2 x Balon d'Or and 3 x World Player of the Year. And this is with injuries. How many of those awards does Gabriel Jesus or Zlatan have?
Yeah, he was great. I didn't say that Jesus or Zlatan were as good, I was just making examples to put his record on perspective. His record in UCL and in club titles is extremely underwhelming though. One league title in career is beyond poor considering the cubs he has played for.

We have the same top 7 though (different order but same players) so let's be friends.
 

GameOn

Full Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
324
Tier 1 (The Greatest of All Time):
1. Maradona
2. Pele
3. Messi

Tier 2 (Almost The Greatest of All Time):
4. Beckenbauer
5. Cruyff
6. Di Stefano

Tier 3 (The Greatest In their Position/Role):
7. Matthäus
8. Platini
9. Müller
10. Cristiano
11. Puskas
12. Zico
13. Best
14. Zidane
15. Charlton
16. Eusebio
17. Ronaldo
18. Garrincha
19. Baresi
20. Xavi


Cristiano's ranking in the third tier will probably make some fans mad, but here's my explanation:

I admire Cristiano for his dedication and work ethic. He's truly a maniac in a positive sense of the word. However, he just isn't "transcendent", when you watch him. I don't know how to describe it, but you probably know what I mean.

In a way he's actually the modern day Gerd Müller. Looks a bit more elegant on the pitch, but in terms of effectiveness and playing style Müller and Ronaldo in the later stages in his career (after he turned into more of a true striker) are almost the same.

Müller: 453 league games, 398 goals (0.88 goals per match), 103 assists (0.23 assists per match)
Cristiano: 554 league games, 447 goals (0.81 goals per match), 156 assists (0.27 assists per match)

As you see, the numbers are stunningly similar. It's also not like Müller had it easier at all, since no striker of his generation (or up until this day really) comes even close to matching his goal ratio. Defenders were also getting away with murder back then.

Even their major trophy record is almost identical. Müller won 5 major trophies (3 CL, 1 WC, 1 EC) and Cristiano won 6 major trophies (5 CL, 1 EC).
 
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Joga Bonito

The Art of Football
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
7,714
Tier 1 (The Greatest of All Time):
1. Maradona
2. Pele
3. Messi

Tier 2 (Almost The Greatest of All Time):
4. Beckenbauer
5. Cruyff
6. Di Stefano

Tier 3 (The Greatest In their Position/Role):
7. Matthäus
8. Platini
9. Müller
10. Cristiano
11. Puskas
12. Zico
13. Best
14. Zidane
15. Charlton
16. Eusebio
17. Meazza
18. Garrincha
19. Baresi
20. Xavi


Cristiano's ranking in the third tier will probably make some fans mad, but here's my explanation:

I admire Cristiano for his dedication and work ethic. He's truly a maniac in a positive sense of the word. However, he just isn't "transcendent", when you watch him. I don't know how to describe it, but you probably know what I mean.

In a way he's actually the modern day Gerd Müller. Looks a bit more elegant on the pitch, but in terms of effectiveness and playing style Müller and Ronaldo in the later stages in his career (after he turned into more of a true striker) are almost the same.

Müller: 453 league games, 398 goals (0.88 goals per match), 103 assists (0.23 assists per match)
Cristiano: 554 league games, 447 goals (0.81 goals per match), 156 assists (0.27 assists per match)

As you see, the numbers are stunningly similar. It's also not like Müller had it easier at all, since no striker of his generation (or up until this day really) comes even close to matching his goal ratio. Defenders were also getting away with murder back then.

Even their major trophy record is almost identical. Müller won 5 major trophies (3 CL, 1 WC, 1 EC) and Cristiano won 6 major trophies (5 CL, 1 EC).
Good post