Worlds Best Ever… Who Cares?

Now ever since I can remember watching football we have had this debate… Who is the best footballer ever?

I hate this debate, as for me there is no way of settling such an argument, it is pointless in fact because its all down to personal choice. We have no criteria to judge every single player that has ever played. The debate used to be between Maradona and Pele but even then people would add to the mix Johann Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano, Franz Beckenbauer or whoever. I would personally add Garrincha and Frenc Puskas to that list of great players during their time, even though I only go on stories from those that have seen them and youtube videos.

Now we add Lionel Messi to the mix. A great player no doubt but can he be classed as the best ever? I don’t think so but then again I don’t think we can collectively come up with a definitive answer. The fact we now debate whether or not the Champions League ┬áis the yard stick to prove greatness and not the World Cup has proven to me the ‘Best Player ever debate’ is nonsense. We can’t even agree on what tournament means more. Pele and Maradona never played in the Champions League so it would be unfair to then take points away from them because of that… And here is my main point… The reason you can’t have this debate in my opinion is that times change! We will never no what Pele could do in this generation or what Messi could have achieved in the 50’s or 60’s.

The game has changed so much now. The balls are lighter easier to control, pass and get in harder longer shots. Referees protect players more. Back in the 60’s Pele could be kicked off a match, now Messi can win a freekick and the defender can be cautioned quicker. The game has gone global, the whole world can now watch Lionel Messi score a beautiful lob or skin four or five players. How many worldwide seen Pele or Puskas at their peak week in week out? That fact may also help Pele as the myth may grow by the lack of footage but either way it is hard to compare. Nowadays players like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have got top nutritionists, doctors and tactical analysis’s that mean their bodies and minds are always at a peak, back in the 60’s Brazilian players went to witch doctors for advice, in the 70’s and 80’s European sides had a physio with their magic sponges. So obviously as athletes they will evolve into better players generally and peak for longer.

Then you have to remember that unlike Messi, Pele and Maradona had no real equivalents to look to for advice or learn from their mistakes. Pele was the first star of coloured televison, the Brazil team and those yellow strips may again have helped to create a myth. Unlike Pele, Maradona moved to Europe as the huge world star, no one had really done that before in the world of TV and mass media. Those led to problems off the field and he had no one to guide him. Messi when it comes to media coverage can look at Ronaldo or David Beckham and think at least I am not in that league and he can look at what happened to Maradona and learn from his mistakes.

So in point the debate is very personal and we have too many ways of adding points to suit our arguments without really finding out the real answer. I have always been a fan of great players of their generation. Since I have watched football I have purred over Roberto Baggio, Hristo Stoichkov, Eric Cantona, Romario, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi but do not feel the need to place them in any particular order.

I know I am probably the only one standing out in the wet and cold while everyone else is inside in the warmth debating the issue but in all honesty I don’t care I am happy with my point of view.

5 Responses to “Worlds Best Ever… Who Cares?”

  1. I’m inclined to agree to an extent. It is, in truth, impossible to determine the greatest ever footballer. Although sometimes it’s still fun to discuss who we think is the best or, at least, the best we have seen in our lives. I’ve enjoyed watching the likes of Zidane, Ronaldinho and now Messi, the latter being, for me, the best player to have played in my lifetime. But varying opinions are what’s great about football. Such debates are far less reliant on stats than they are in other sports, in football it’s more about personal perceptions and judgements.

  2. Yeah I dont mind ‘Best Player in our lifetime’ as it is a personal opinion & you cant get that wrong.

  3. Whilst I in essence agree, complaining that we can’t possibly judge retired footballers is like telling a historian they can’t study Ancient Rome.

    Secondly, just because a debate doesn’t have a definitive answer that doesn’t mean it’s not worth having, (can you tell I studied philosophy?). What does becomes tiresome is when partisanship and nationalism come into it or people start making huge jumps in logic.

    But then that would still be fucking irritating if you’re debating tiddlywinks, so I guess the people having the debate are more the problem than the debate itself.

  4. Haha I am not saying we can’t judge retired players, I think comparing players from different eras is a bit unfair given steps forward in technology & nutrition.

    This particular debate isn’t worth happening in my opinion but as I stated I know I maybe in the minority.

    I don’t acutally mind people debating but I think they have to realise that they can’t get mad when people point out that all they can have is a personal choice that they cant prove to be fact. Which a lot of folk can’t get their head around.

    Thanks again for commenting as ever you make me think.

  5. I think you can’t be the worlds best player for years but just a moment and people are still being born soccer legends

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