Whale in a goldfish team: All time XI

paulscholes18

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AWB and Maguire? What about Zaha and Robertson, they weren't/aren't one man teams by any stretch.
Robertson at the time looked like he would be a good back up to Luke Shaw where Maguire would have walked into the first team. AWB is the best full back in Europe at defending. Most top players have at least a semi decent player in the same side as them.
 

dz united

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George weah playing for Liberia is the best example of this. The only African player to win Ballon d'or playing for a country that was and still is awful at the game.
 

antohan

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Zico at Udinese in the 80's? He's had Causio with him, but he was on the wrong side of his 30.
Serie A of the 80's had some similar cases due to the foreigners rule.
Elkjaer winning the league for Hellas Verona? That takes some beating, although there was also one Hans Peter Briegel around.

Certainly qualifies if Hazard carried this Chelsea side.
 

1966

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Messi this season is within a shot to be fair. He's directly responsible for 41% of their goals and also for bringing the ball forward via dribbling or passing (33,6% of that is done by Messi). On paper they have a great team but in reality he's carrying them like he never did before.
Kane has had a few seasons scoring ~40% of the goals for Spurs already. That's a sign of pretty heavy dependence. Messi also does a lot else though.

On that note, Kane in 14/15 isn't a bad shout. Spurs' season was going to shit and even Poch's job prospects were in question before Kane became a starter. You can see when he entered the the first team just by looking at the pattern of results from that season.
 

JamesB__

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Ibra for Sweden, surprised it’s not already been mentioned.
 
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Gareth Bale in getting Wales to the 2016 Euros.

I think he got 8 of our 11 goals including a few winners.

I know we played well at the tournament and a brilliant team effort v Belgium but in the qualifying, he was immense

(also scored in all of our group matches to get us to the knockouts.)


Now I come to think about it, he might be a good buy for United? :angel:
 

tomaldinho1

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Shearer at Newcastle, after they turned average
RVP with our last title winning team, gosh were we over the hill by then
 

Halds

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How good was Schmeichel for Brøndby before we signed him? Anyone know?
He was pretty damn good. But a one-man team? Nah.. They had John Faxe too ;)

Brøndby was a great team though after danish standards. A few minutes from making it to the Uefa cup final in 1991 against Roma. And the core of the danish team that won the Euro's in 1992 were from Brøndby or were former Brøndby players.
 

King7Eric

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Might be a bit controversial but Rooney in 09/10 season. Berbatov wasn't great that season, Nani only really appeared in the 2nd part of the season, VDS, Ferdinand and Vidic all spent significant parts of the season injured and our defense wasn't as imperious as in previous seasons. A lot is made of Valencia's great season but in reality he had a purple patch from January to March and his form faded away when Rooney got injured.

While he undoubtedly had good players around him I'd say Rooney's season was similar to Messi's this season where when he didn't show up there was no one to pick up the mantle, as evidenced by our loss to Chelsea, draw at Blackburn and collapse against Bayern when he came off.
 

Fortitude

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Sort of modern xi

---------------------------------Van Persie (Utd)
----------------------------------Tevez (West Ham)
Neymar (Brazil'14)-----------------------------------De Bruyne (Wolfsburg)
--------------------------Mascherano(Arg)---Keane (ROI)
Rodríguez (early 20's)-------------------------------------------Seitaridis (Greece '04)
--------------------Hyypia (Liverpool)---------Rio (B.C. Vidic)
---------------------------------------DDG (you pick)


All time another time.
 

IrishRick

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Roy Keane when Ireland qualified for the World Cup in 02 was immense. Against both Holland and Portugal he stepped up and said that we are not afraid of you, we belong. There is a reason Saipan was such a story. We had just lost our most important player, our only world class one, a man who would lead by example. He was an inspiration at that time
 

11101

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The national team was better as a team than the shite Messi has had to put up with (most real top quality clashes or overlaps with Messi bar Di Maria, and Mascherano down the spine).

Re: Napoli, they also finished 8th after he arrived. It was only with the likes of Ferrara, Baiano, De Napoli, Crippa, Alemao, Carnevale and Careca that they finally rose to the top. Still remarkable when Milan had THAT Dutch trio and Italian All-Star Defence, but it wasn't a one man job.
I've never really bought that. The recent Argentina teams have included players like Aguero, Di Maria, and Mascherano.

In 1986 Argentina scored 14 goals. Maradona was responsible for 10 of them. He attempted more shots and created more chances than the rest of the team put together. It was as much a one man job as any cup win in history.
 

antohan

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I've never really bought that. The recent Argentina teams have included players like Aguero, Di Maria, and Mascherano.
I mentioned Di Maria and Mascherano, not Aguero as he rarely even starts due to overlap/clashes (same for Dybala). That's no better than playing with Valdano, Burruchaga, Ruggeri. The entire backline and keeper would start ahead of present day Argentina, they played Marcos Rojo in a World Cup Final FFS.

In 1986 Argentina scored 14 goals. Maradona was responsible for 10 of them. He attempted more shots and created more chances than the rest of the team put together. It was as much a one man job as any cup win in history.
And yet Gary Lineker was top scorer with 6. Go figure.

It was not a one man job, it was the best tournament individual performance we've ever seen.

The runner up is Platini 1984, and while he was top scorer and tried so many shots, etc you can hardly say he carried Giresse, Tigana, Fernandez, Bossis...

The beauty of Maradona wasn't his goals or attempts, it was that he elevated everyone around him. Anyone who played with him had his best form playing with him. That's what makes him THE GOAT to me, he didn't carry teams, he made both good and average players perform like world beaters.
 

Snow

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The national team was better as a team than the shite Messi has had to put up with (most real top quality clashes or overlaps with Messi bar Di Maria, and Mascherano down the spine).

Re: Napoli, they also finished 8th after he arrived. It was only with the likes of Ferrara, Baiano, De Napoli, Crippa, Alemao, Carnevale and Careca that they finally rose to the top. Still remarkable when Milan had THAT Dutch trio and Italian All-Star Defence, but it wasn't a one man job.
I'm wary of how much referee bribing has influenced matched in Italy in the past. A coincidence that the season where teams wouldn't know the refs ahead of time that Torino won the league and then it was immediately scrapped because the big teams didn't like it?
 

Normandy

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Maguire played with Robertson at Hull. Iirc he only started playing regularly for them in his last season there too.
 

Swordsman

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Maradona with Argentina and Napoli, pretty much any year but especially 86 and 87.

Gerrard for Liverpool a few times.
The Argentina 1986 World Cup Squad was Much More than Diego Maradona.

There was Burruchaga, Valdano, Jose Brown, Batista, Ciuciuffo, Pumpido, Ruggeri all were at their very Best in that World Cup but Maradona was the Best player in that Tournament.

Also the master mind of Carlos Bilardo should be appreciated more than anyone, for his tactical brilliance.
 

Isotope

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Zidane with France in 1998 World Cup.

Cantona, United in mid 90's
 

redtony

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Kante at Leicester (tbf Vardy and Mahrez were great too, but you couldn't help thinking Kante shouldn't be there)
 

Isotope

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Do you mean 2006? Because in 1998, it was practically the opposite outside the final.
Yeh, in 2006 he was their best player, but France had so many world class players, from defense, midfield to attack.
In 1998 though, they had world class defence, but meh midfield, and awful attack. He was their only world class player other than defence with Deschamps (unless you call Djorkaef as world class). I think he made more impact in that team more than 2006.
 

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Henrik Larsson at Celtic. Wish he would have signed for United way earlier than he did.
 

FootyCrew

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They werent great in the national team, and at Napoli they definitely were that poor. They finished two spots above relegation the season before he arrived.
Maradona with Napoli finished 8th in Serie A, in his first season.And that season was called by many italian journalist to be his best(individually) in Italy...still finished 8th, as the team needed some transfers to actually do something relevant.
He needed to wait for the arrives of Careca,Alemaõ,Ciro Ferrara,Fernando de Napoli, Andre Carnevale, etc to actually challenge for Serie A title.
 
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Demyanenko_square_jaw

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The criteria in the original post seem really tough. I mean if having one Handanovic level team mate is enough to possibly rule you out, there are hardly going to be anyone to pick, especially not players that are seen by most as among the very best in their positions as usually you have to be playing with a big team to get that kind of collective benefit of the doubt. Zico at Udinese is one of the only ones i can think of that comes close to that kind of gap between him and the rest while also recognised as undisputably one of the best in the world in his position.

Bulgaria for instance in '94 had Balakov in midfield who was a monster himself until the late 90s and the puppet master of the team. Letchkov who was a lazy career underachiever, but a great technician and in strong form around then and a few other good players like Kostadinov, Hubchev, Ivanov and the injury prone Yordanov.

Maybe Lajos Detari, the last great Hungarian talent moving to Olympiacos for a world record fee in the late 80s could fit as far as one player absolutely leagues ahead of the rest of his teammates, but he wasn't a world star. I don't think they were even the best team in Greece at the time and here was someone with the talent to at least potentially become one of the best midfielders in the world taking the money over career route. He scored about 30 goals in 60 games from midfield then eventually turned up in Serie A about three stone overweight, so fits well the whale bit too. Underachieving legend.

Dragan Stojkovic in the J-league with Nagoya Grampus became an all-time league legend with a team that was previously mid-table. Debatable if he was still a top player by then though, he'd been mostly injured for years before going there, maybe around 95 and 96 he was still elite. Some others that played in the J-league actually during their prime could fit like Leonardo at Kashima Antlers, but he at least had one or two good teammates like Jorginho.

Khoren Oganesyan at Ararat Yerevan during the late 70s-mid 80s was a terrific creative midfielder and NT regular with an excellent scoring rate in the defensive serie A like ussr league while the rest of his team were relegation or mid-table at best level, someone who really was carrying a team with little help at times. Hardly a world star though, he was doubted and slow to be trusted even domestically in the NT, likely in large part because of the amount of those that question any player at a smaller team. Maybe would be best known to English fans for running the show during the '84 2-0 friendly win at Wembley, a few months after that his career got cut short while still at his peak due to match fixing allegations.
 

blue blue

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The criteria in the original post seem really tough. I mean if having one Handanovic level team mate is enough to possibly rule you out, there are hardly going to be anyone to pick, especially not players that are seen by most as among the very best in their positions as usually you have to be playing with a big team to get that kind of collective benefit of the doubt. Zico at Udinese is one of the only ones i can think of that comes close to that kind of gap between him and the rest while also recognised as undisputably one of the best in the world in his position.

Bulgaria for instance in '94 had Balakov in midfield who was a monster himself until the late 90s and the puppet master of the team. Letchkov who was a lazy career underachiever, but a great technician and in strong form around then and a few other good players like Kostadinov, Hubchev, Ivanov and the injury prone Yordanov.

Maybe Lajos Detari, the last great Hungarian talent moving to Olympiacos for a world record fee in the late 80s could fit as far as one player absolutely leagues ahead of the rest of his teammates, but he wasn't a world star. I don't think they were even the best team in Greece at the time and here was someone with the talent to at least potentially become one of the best midfielders in the world taking the money over career route. He scored about 30 goals in 60 games from midfield then eventually turned up in Serie A about three stone overweight, so fits well the whale bit too. Underachieving legend.

Dragan Stojkovic in the J-league with Nagoya Grampus became an all-time league legend with a team that was previously mid-table. Debatable if he was still a top player by then though, he'd been mostly injured for years before going there, maybe around 95 and 96 he was still elite. Some others that played in the J-league actually during their prime could fit like Leonardo at Kashima Antlers, but he at least had one or two good teammates like Jorginho.

Khoren Oganesyan at Ararat Yerevan during the late 70s-mid 80s was a terrific creative midfielder and NT regular with an excellent scoring rate in the defensive serie A like ussr league while the rest of his team were relegation or mid-table at best level, someone who really was carrying a team with little help at times. Hardly a world star though, he was doubted and slow to be trusted even domestically in the NT, likely in large part because of the amount of those that question any player at a smaller team. Maybe would be best known to English fans for running the show during the '84 2-0 friendly win at Wembley, a few months after that his career got cut short while still at his peak due to match fixing allegations.
I've heard of Zico.