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[Archived] Ballon d'Or


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http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2013/jan/07/lionel-messi-ballon-dor

Messi has done it again. What do we think - does this make him the best player ever? Should Ronaldo have won it given he won the bigger trophies? If he is not considered the greatest ever now what would make him the greatest ever?

Personally I think that he can't be considered the greatest ever until he does one or both of the following - prove himself under a different system in a different league, or lift the world cup.

Also it is difficult to call anyone the best ever when the game has changed so much over the years and we have poor footage (or no footage at all) of the greats from yesteryear.

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Personally I think that he can't be considered the greatest ever until he does one or both of the following - prove himself under a different system in a different league, or lift the world cup.

Well I'd have him at Rovers but we aren't changing our style to kick-and-rush for that overrated Ramon Vega-wannabe.
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Never quite got the argument that a player has to win the World Cup to be considered the best of all time. World Cups are so circumstantial. All sorts of things beyond one person's control can affect a game and then that's it for four years. There are dozen of variables, including 22 players, officials, managers, climate etc. It's overly simplistic to say that an all-time great can simply override them all "because that's what the best players do".

For example, it seems to have become conventional wisdom that Maradonna single-handedly dragged 10 other complete donkeys who couldn't kick a ball in a straight line to the World Cup back in 86. That's to overplay things. His Argentina team would not have beaten the Spanish team in 2010, and it probably wouldn't have beaten the Italian team in 2006.

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For example, it seems to have become conventional wisdom that Maradonna single-handedly dragged 10 other complete donkeys who couldn't kick a ball in a straight line to the World Cup back in 86. That's to overplay things. His Argentina team would not have beaten the Spanish team in 2010, and it probably wouldn't

have beaten the Italian team in 2006.

It shouldn't have beaten the England team in '86.

:angry:

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That doesn't soften the blow.

I'm just about over it now though, to be fair.

It's only taken 26 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days to get there but I can honestly say, I don't count the hours, minutes and seconds anymore.

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messi is very fortunate he is playing in a time, were physical contact is almost forbidden. Im by no means saying he isnt gifted, but you take a look at what maradona was served, while playing in spain and compare that to the treatment messi gets, you´d see a wee bit of difference.

And to those saying pele was fortunate to be playing alongside some great players. The only team EVER to win the 2 biggest international tournaments 3 times and in a row, is spain. The entire core of the spanish team, that would be central defence and midfield are all from barcelona. His teammates like puyol, busquets, the guy who dates shakira and the 2 midfield maestros, iniesta and xavi. That is one hell of a core to build your team around.

When comparing messi, with the greatest of other era´s its not fair to say, oh the game has developed and what not, you simply have to acknowledge what they did to their comtemporary opponents and in that compariosn, he still falls short of the absolute greatest. Absolutely no shame in that and he is closing the distance though, so perhaps its better to let him finish his career and then se if he ends up in an atg list.

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Does he fall short though? The lad (still only 25) scored 50 goals in 37 games in one of the top two leagues in the world at the age of what, 23, 24? 73 in 60 in all competitions. Similar ratios this season. I mean, what the hell is that? Pele scored more, but he never ventured outside of Brazil into the top leagues. There were also a lot more games then. Pele has a better international record though, although that Brazil team was all conquering, whereas this Argentina team are not. Barcelona are too, but so were Santos. Anyway, not that goals are all it should be about. In a way it's a shame that Messi will spend at least his best years at Barcelona, as if he could replicate his form here too, there could be little doubt remaining.

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Ronaldos goalscoring record is pretty impressive too and for me, in the Prem, I dont think anyone will score so many goals, I mentioned to a mate at weekend that perhaps RVP would score bagfuls with the Barca midfield, he did it with the poorest Arsenal team for a decade and has continued at Man U!

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Maradona is the greatest player to ever play the game in my book, but Messi certainly has the oppertunity to steal that crown because he's young enough.

He'd need to move clubs for a start, which I can't see happening anything soon, and why would he move?

Great talents both of them with Maradona being the best, for the time being.

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It's a fix ronaldo should of won, when messi won it last time it's because he won more trophies than ronaldo despite scoring less goals, this year it was the opposite yet he still wins.

Same with the FIFA team if the year that was made up of all Barcelona and Madrid players except falcao. RVP and Pirlo should of clearly been in it.

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  • Backroom

The best player ever imo is Zinedine Zidane. Admittedly I've only watched the game for about 15/16 years, but my father (rather ripe at 69 years old) holds Maradona and Zidane as a tie for the top spot. Cannot decide.

Both skilful with either foot, wicked changes of pace, both hardmen when they needed to be and had the ability to change a match.

There's a difference in that Pele and possibly Messi are the greatest goalscorers of all time. But neither had that overall, more rounded game that a midfielder will have.

WC argument is bs. Does it make geoff hurst a better player than Messi? Hell no.

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it's a shame that Messi will spend at least his best years at Barcelona, as if he could replicate his form here too, there could be little doubt remaining.

Yeah, until he's proved himself in a freezing cold midweek cup replay at Wigan, he can never be considered truly great.

The real (fat) Ronaldo is the best ever, in my opinion. Or at least the most exciting to watch - the power and directness of the fake (popstar) Ronaldo combined with the skill of Messi. Best of both worlds.

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It's a fix ronaldo should of won, when messi won it last time it's because he won more trophies than ronaldo despite scoring less goals, this year it was the opposite yet he still wins.

Same with the FIFA team if the year that was made up of all Barcelona and Madrid players except falcao. RVP and Pirlo should of clearly been in it.

I would have Falcao just over RVP.

My team would have been -

Buffon

Zabaleta Kompany Ramos Marcelo

Xavi Pirlo Iniesta

Messi Falcao Ronaldo

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Yeah, until he's proved himself in a freezing cold midweek cup replay at Wigan, he can never be considered truly great.

The real (fat) Ronaldo is the best ever, in my opinion. Or at least the most exciting to watch - the power and directness of the fake (popstar) Ronaldo combined with the skill of Messi. Best of both worlds.

Is the first sentence genuine? Because if so it contradicts your second remark.

If it's sarcasm then that's fine but I can't tell sometimes.

I don't understand when people say Ronaldo is better than Messi because Messi's never done it in England.....neither have most of the all-time greats or a lot of the best players at the moment.

Messi has proven himself in the Champions League against the world's best defenders, in freezing conditions in Scandanavia and Russia, in far more intimidating atmospheres than in England in Turkey and other parts of Eastern Europe, against overly-physical teams and he has done it against the best English teams.

If Mata, Cazorla and Zola can handle the English league so can he.....Messi is quite strong as well, and his low centre of gravity means he doesn't get pushed off the ball too much.

If he ever came to England he would score bucket loads because he's an unbelievable footballer.

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Marcelo was great last year for Madrid......Ashley Cole (because of AVB) was terrible in the 1st half of last season.

He won the Champions League and played a major role but it's down imo to individual performance over the course of a season so I'd say Marcelo was better.

And "one of England's best players" at a international tournament is a bit of a nothing statement.....Heskey was one of your best players in South Africa.

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Is the first sentence genuine? Because if so it contradicts your second remark.

If it's sarcasm then that's fine but I can't tell sometimes.

Umm... that was indeed in jest, replying to bluebruce's comment.

Definitely Fat Ronaldo over Messi for me, though. If it wasn't for the injuries he suffered, I don't think there'd be any debate at all.

He was a magician with the ball, *plus* he did it at different clubs in different countries, *and* he dominated in the world cup, *not to mention* he could easily kick the living crap out of Messi and Maradona *at the same time* in a street fight.

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I tend to think that there is a upper band of 'best players of all time', and after that it's purely situational i.e. Messi is the best of all time under these circumstances, Pele under these, Maradonna under these etc. They're all very different so it's hard to compare.

Personally I like Messi - his team play isn't as good as, for example, a Zidane and his forward play and strength might not be quite the equal of Pele or Maradonna (or either of the Ronaldos) or a few others, but he's one of the few players who is brilliant at both; he is a great creative midfield player and a ridiculously prolific striker. Often in the same game.

You also have to consider the football of the time - surely the likes of Puskas, Di Stafano, Eusabio etc. deserve a mention?

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  • Backroom

You either have to look at the specific job they do, or their overall play. I believe Messi is a great forward, while Zidane is great in all areas (including defensive stuff). I'd even put Sir Nobby of Stiles forward as one of the great defenders ahead of your Nevilles or Moores.

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I would have Falcao just over RVP.

My team would have been -

Buffon

Zabaleta Kompany Ramos Marcelo

Xavi Pirlo Iniesta

Messi Falcao Ronaldo

The fact Xabi Alonso got in over Pirlo is a travesty, especially considering Juventus' season and Pirlo's exceptional performances in the Euro's.

The Buffon one is a tough one. Personal bias aside, again, he was part of a team that remainded unbeaten during the league season, and only conceded 16 goals in Serie A, with 21 clean sheets and the highest shot-to-save ratio in the top five European leagues.

Part of me thinks that FIFA overlooked Juventus and its players because of the Scommessopoli.

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Definitely Fat Ronaldo over Messi for me, though. If it wasn't for the injuries he suffered, I don't think there'd be any debate at all.

He was a magician with the ball, *plus* he did it at different clubs in different countries, *and* he dominated in the world cup, *not to mention* he could easily kick the living crap out of Messi and Maradona *at the same time* in a street fight.

Actually it is very hard to argue with your logic here. I bet Messi never gets his wallet stolen by a tranny though :D

I tend to think that there is a upper band of 'best players of all time', and after that it's purely situational i.e. Messi is the best of all time under these circumstances, Pele under these, Maradonna under these etc. They're all very different so it's hard to compare.

Personally I like Messi - his team play isn't as good as, for example, a Zidane and his forward play and strength might not be quite the equal of Pele or Maradonna (or either of the Ronaldos) or a few others, but he's one of the few players who is brilliant at both; he is a great creative midfield player and a ridiculously prolific striker. Often in the same game.

You also have to consider the football of the time - surely the likes of Puskas, Di Stafano, Eusabio etc. deserve a mention?

I like your first point - how do you claim the best ever in a subject which has changing standards? Truth is you probably can't but it is fun to debate.

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