8 thoughts on “Who's The "Best Ever"? Who Can Really Say?

  1. To quote Gab Marcotti’s article again:

    “Every footballing culture has its archetypes. Ask fans in most nations to name the three greatest players of all time and the vast majority will include Maradona and Pelé (in some order). The third will depend on geography: Alfredo Di Stéfano, Johan Cruyff, Giuseppe Meazza, Franz Beckenbauer and, in Britain, George Best (or Denis Law or Sir Tom Finney or whoever). The point is, Maradona and Pelé are generally ever-present, with the third member of the triumvirate varying based on local taste and history. Why? Because they resonate in ways that the others do not, at least not on a global scale.”

    Judging by your name Mick, I’d guess you’ve got some green blinkers on there! But I never saw the guy play, so if you did, then you’re entitled to make that opinion I guess!

  2. If Ronaldo (The Brazilian) stayed injury free .. he could be with Maradona and Pele!

    In England… Players like Gazza and Stan Collymore would be amongest the greatest if they could resist doing bad habits!

    A question!

    What If King Cantona played for more two years with United and France?!

  3. I think the main thing that stops Cantona being put in the same class as the great greats is that he never really delivered in Europe, Roy Keane mentions it in his autobiography. Who knows what would have happened if he’d have stayed on, the margin between winning and losing, between being a legend and a failure, is tiny. We’ll never know what could have been, but had Cantona won a European Cup, it would no doubt have been seen as his defining moment. Instead, that is probably the Double of ’96. Oh, and THAT goal against Sunderland.

  4. Tom, I tried to come up with a similar list to yours about 10 years ago when I first started playing around with a computer and putting together my own websites as a hobby but much of it is personal likes and memories. Don’t forget that older players like Pele and Di Stefano never got the television coverage that has been available in the last few decades and that has an influence on opinions. Another is the fact that people like different things in footballers, for example I rate Berbatov one of the greatest players in the Premier League while many others genuinely think that he’s a liability so the whole exercise becomes very subjective. If this list had to be done again today there will be a number of changes to it but my top 3 – maybe even top 5, will be the same. http://homepages.tig.com.au/~cikku/legends1.html

  5. Cheers for that Frank, that list is exactly the kind of thing I was putting together, and I think my top 10 was pretty similar. In terms of players in the last 10 years who would push for a place in the top twenty, you’re probably looking at the likes of Zidane, Figo, Rivaldo, Maldini, Cannavaro, Ronaldinho, both Ronaldo’s, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, I’m sure there’s more worthy of a mention.

    I think another problem, which I didn’t mention in the article, is when people directly compare players from completely different eras. To ask who is better out of Gerrard and Lampard is fine, but Ronaldo and Puskas? I think it would be better, if people insist on making numeric lists, to do one for different eras of fotoball. But then again, but would the boundaries be for the eras? Pre-1945, 1945-1960, 1960-1975, 1975-1990, 1990-2010? Bah, who knows.

  6. Pele, who are by many seen as the world best player ever doesnt share that opinion. He says that di Stefano is by far the best player ever. And I have my own thoughts on why that havent been noticed by rest of the world. He had troubles with Argentina so he could not achive alot in world cups et cetera. He after some years (too many) switched to spain and almost by himself played them to world and euro cups.
    So for me, and clearly for Pele, di Stefano are the worlds greatest ever.

  7. You may very well be right Alex. Di Stefano was absolutely great, unfortunately not much television was around in his hey day. I still treasure my video of Real Madrids 7-3 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup Final in Glasgow but there’s not a lot more that can be remembered of him. I’m of an age in which I was growing up around the same time as Pele so I must admit that my thinking could have been influenced but it’s hard to argue against the great Di Stefano being an absolute football superstar.

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