The Ballon d'Or Revised (France Football 2015)

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    In 2015 France Football published a special edition which looked at the history of the Ballon d'Or. One of the articles included was a review (written by Thierry Marchand) of what might have happened if the Ballon d'Or had been open to players from around the world prior to 1995.

    In short they did the following:

    1958: Kopa > Pele
    1959: Di Stefano > Pele
    1960: Suarez > Pele
    1961: Sivori > Pele
    1962: Masopust > Garrincha
    1963: Yashin > Pele
    1964: Law > Pele
    1970: Muller > Pele
    1978: Keegan > Kempes
    1986: Belanov > Maradona
    1990: Matthaus > Maradona
    1994: Stoichkov > Romario

    Anyway, I've seen some confusion on this previously and the current Wikipedia article on the Ballon d'Or makes out as if this was some formal re-allocation. It wasn't. It was one article by one person, not a true re-evaluation.

    I've translated it below and tried to retain some of the character without trying to re-write it. Some of the idioms are hard to capture.

    We Won the Prize

    Who would be the victors of the Ballon d’Or if the current rules, which allow all the players from around the world to compete, had been in force from 1956? Here is a new reading of the story.

    When it was initiated at the baptismal font in 1956, the Golden Ball was meant to be a comprehensive award, but the list of the time was limited to the continent of Europe. It must be said that no one at the time was in a position to do better, to observe, let alone judge, the South American championships and the top performing players there. Europe dominated the world of football with its economic stature and attracted, from the beginning of the 1950s, the stars from Argentina (Di Stefano to Real), from Uruguay (Ghiggia to Roma, Schiaffino to Milan) or from Brazil (Julinho to Fiorentina) and at that time, Pele did not exist yet …

    Without internet or television, with still rudimentary means of transport to travel the world, it was not easy to get an idea about the value of a player, including those in the Old Continent. The written press had its relays, its correspondents, those who saw, and those who were present throughout Europe. For a long time, the Ballon d'Or only rewarded a European representative. It was not until 1995 that the trophy took on a global dimension by recognising (finally) the best performing player in a European club, whatever his nationality and, from 2007, the best player in the world. But the enlargement had become almost redundant as Europe is now a land which has a near monopoly on the best players. For nearly forty years, the greatest South American talents saw before them the most prestigious individual trophy without being able to touch it. It is this frustration that we are going to arbitrarily attempt to repair.

    The Pele Years

    He appeared like a comet, the revelation of the 1958 World Cup, in which he almost never played because of a knee injury. He did not play the first two matches of the Selecao, only coming into play against the USSR for the final first round match. At seventeen Edson Arantes do Nascimento was not yet Pele. It was from the quarter-finals, against Wales, that he set out. What followed was a tornado: six goals in three games, a symbol of the explosion of an incredible talent. Didi, who was voted best player of the Swedish World Cup, could have made a perfect Ballon d'Or 1958. But the Botafogo midfielder, who was soon to join Real Madrid (where he’s be a failure), was already getting on at twenty-nine years old, and his talent was more collective and less flamboyant than that of the future King. Pele had a freshness, madness, instinct, genius. Above all, he scored enormously, dizzying goals at the end of galloping runs, sprinkled with dribbling that twisted blood and tricks out of the hat of a magician.

    In 1958, Pele scored eighty goals in the colours of his club Santos. Some will object that the value of the opposition was not comparable to that of the Spanish or Italian clubs. They will be told that Pele's has no equivalent either. And at the time the World Cup represented much more than just a competition. It was a magnifying mirror, because it was a huge, huge showcase in which the Spanish Di Stefano never had a place, unable to advance La Roja in his qualifying group in 1958, before withdrawing through injury in 1962.

    Pele was the man of the World Cup. He contested four, won three and left his imprint on two (1958 and 1970). Between these dates, he piled up the goals, especially between 1958 and 1961, where his performance resembled the upward bidding of an auction: 100 goals in 1959, 110 in 1961. It is at this time that he reaches his peak. It is also where he will win awards and acquire an international dimension. Winning multiple times of the National Championship and that of his state (Sao Paulo), Pele wins in 1962 and 1963 the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup against Benfica and AC Milan. Those who saw the semi-final of the 1963 Copa Libertadores, facing the Botafogo of Garrincha and Jairzinho, still speak with sobs in their voice. The man behind the equaliser in the first leg (1-1), Pele managed a triple in the return (4-0) in one of the most famous games of his career. Top scorer of the tournament, he will lead his team to the triumph in the final against Boca Juniors.

    We could go on like this for a long time, and even give him the Ballon d'Or for the entire decade of the sixties. In 1964, the year in which he managed to score eight goals in a championship match against Botafogo, six of which were struck in the space of thirteen minutes. But, even if his productivity does not hold (97 goals in club of 1965, a year when he ends top scorer of the Libertadores), his impact will be diluted from the mid-60s. Exhibited more and more often in Europe during lucrative friendly meetings, he’s less present on the South American scene (only one Libertadores played in from 1965), the King derives a ransom (money) from his glory, but it’s not always to his advantage. Wildly fouled by the Portuguese and Bulgarians at the 1966 World Cup, he retired wounded, and Brazil with him. To better rise from the ashes in 1970.

    For all those who were lucky enough to have reached an appropriate age at that time, the 1970 World Cup, the first broadcast in colour on TV, remains forever a high point. Pele is twenty-nine years old. We already know that this World Cup will be his last. We also know that Brazil are perhaps the most beautiful team of all time. More than the goals of Pele (4 anyway), it is his gestures, his individual actions, which will live long in the memory: the devilish 60 yard lob over the Czech goalkeeper Viktor, the bewildering feint that mystifies the Uruguayan keeper Mazurkiewicz, the lightning header against England and the reflexes of Banks, the no-look pass to Carlos Alberto on the fourth goal Brazil in the final ... Many times he comes close, but nobody cares that he misses. The gesture, here, takes precedence over everything. He actions live long in posterity. Pele will win his last World Cup. He will be crowned Ballon d'Or 1970. His seventh and last.

    Garrincha: The time of a summer

    We can not pretend to not give priority to the World Cup, the flagship competition that consecrated the majesty at the time, and to hide Garrincha in the annals of the Golden Ball. If one sticks only to club football, the year 1962 is owned by Pele, who dominates with Santos (see above). But at the World Cup in Chile, the King injured himself on a long-range shot in the second match against Czechoslovakia. We will not see him any more this tournament. In two matches and some dribbling from another galaxy, Garrincha then becomes the absolute ruler, a man shining in a firmament in which he was not necessarily the brightest star.

    "The Angel with Curved Legs" had already demonstrated the extent of his talent in 1958 at a World Cup where the English press described him as "a mix of Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney and a snake charmer". "Stronger than Pele," said Welsh defender Mel Hopkins. More popular in the heart of the Brazilian people, also "the little bird" (Garrincha in Portuguese) inspired the chants of the fans. From the quarter-finals, he will wow the crowds, however hostile as they are, as in the semi-final against host country Chile (4-2). "What planet does Garrincha come from?" asked a local newspaper, as Garrincha, author of the first two goals for Brazil, had eliminated England single-handedly in the quarter-finals (two achievements, including one of his famous banana shot, another "Thierry Henry-esque” moment before the hour). Garrincha will not be the man of the final against Czechoslovakia, a meeting he should not have played. Expelled against Chile, after having responded to a new aggression, his suspension will be lifted after the intervention of the Brazilian Federation. But he will play the final diminished by a strong fever. Brazil will be crowned champion, Garrincha top scorer and best player of the tournament. And, at the end of the year, receive the Ballon d’Or of France Football.

    Kempes - In the Tournament

    In the official history of the Ballon d'Or, the World Cups represents many intersections of crossed paths and destinies. Often, the trophy created by France Football has crowned if not one of the winners of the flagship test of international football (Bobby Charlton, Zidane, Cannavaro), at least the top scorer of an edition (Gerd Muller, Stoichkov), when it was not both at once (Ronaldo, Paolo Rossi)). Frequently, they have only come to life on the end of the campaign, or from the knock-out phase, which is almost the same. This is the case of Rossi, whose six goals were scored in the last three matches of Italy in 1982. That of Garrincha also, which we have unofficially committed in 1962. It will also be that of Mario Kempes, who is admitted to the pantheon for his contribution to the Argentine title of 1978. At the age of twenty-four, Kempes was not a stranger in 1978. He played in Spain (Valencia CF), scored a lot (39 goals during the season 1977-8) in a championship where he had just been crowned two times in a row as the top scorer, and his growing physique of a gaucho (what a mane!) ensured he would be at the forefront. In a poisonous atmosphere created by the political context of the era and the horrors of the military junta, Kempes inspires and gives relief to Argentina.

    Anonymous in the first round, he scores six goals in the last four meetings, ie three doubles, against Poland, Peru and the Netherlands in a tense final (3-1 after extra time), to pass the test with flying colours. What would happen today? In the first match of the second round, against the Poles, Kempes who opened the scoring, conceded a penalty in the 39th minute for a saving handball on the line, the same reflex judgment that caused Luis Suarez to be expelled in 2010 in the quarter-final against Ghana and suspended for the semi-final. A different age, different rules. On the field of Rosario, Mr. Erikson went neither yellow nor red. Deyna missed a penalty and Kempes could continue to pour out his passion. He was voted best player of the World Cup, footballer of the year in South America and now Ballon d'Or 1978 ahead of Kevin Keegan, who had not won anything that year and didn’t even went go Argentina with England, victim of Poland in qualification (Comment: Actually it was Italy who eliminated England).

    Maradona: And God in all this?

    We can never compare Pele and Maradona because these two are incomparable. Some will be offended by the disproportion between the number of Golden Balls "awarded" to one (seven for the Brazilian King) compared to the other (two for the Argentine Pibe), but the study of their respective cases reveals two things: 1. Maradona, unlike Pele, played in Europe (eleven years, from 1982 to 1993) and was able to compete with the continent's major players; 2. The competition at that time (roughly 1980s) was much harder than twenty years earlier. When Pele erases from the winner’s enclosure Law, Yachine, Masopust or Sivori, Maradona has to steal from Rummenigge, Platini, Gullit or Van Basten, which is not quite the same thing, especially since they all played simultaneously in the same championship as he, in Italy.

    We will not return to the qualities of Maradona, his technique, his vision, his passes, his dribbling and his play … with his hand. More about his influence. If he did not win anything with the Barca (1982-4), far from being a powerhouse like they have been in the 21st century, he inspired Napoli in that decade, a side who enjoyed the most beautiful period in their history. Maradona offered two league titles in 1987 and 1990, at a time when Serie A (which he was top scorer in 1988) was the best league in the world, and a UEFA Cup in 1989, a competition whose level was then well above the current Europa League. To claim victory, Napoli had to knock out Bordeaux in the eighth-finals, Juve in the quarter and Bayern in the semis. It is at this time, that is in the latter part of the 80's, that Maradona reaches his pinnacle. This is where he accumulates the titles. He’s on fire.

    In Naples Maradona reached stratospheric heights, but it is with Argentina that he takes his place in eternity. In 1986 first, where he remained almost silent during the first round of the World Cup (one goal in the group stage against Italy) and until the quarter-finals. After that, he’s on fire, the “Hand of God” (against England), that special goal at the end of a sixty-meter run where he rips apart Bobby Robson's team, his two brilliant goals (the second especially) against Belgium in the semis, the decisive pass for the winner of Burruchaga in the final against West Germany. His first Ballon d’Or.

    The 1990 Word Cup is more debatable. This year, the Pibe is hampered by an ankle injury. He will not score, will have less impact on the game and will miss even a penalty in the quarters against Yugoslavia. But which player really emerges from poor World Cup, where Salvatore Schillaci is elected best player and scorer? Who has more aura, charisma, personality than this Maradona who will lead an underwhelming selection until the last act for one of the most traumatic World Cup finals in history? Matthaus the Golden Ball? Although he is world champion, he only scored once (a penalty) from the eighth finals and his West Germany are never irresistible. Maradona has shone all year round, scored more goals in the league (16 goals against 11 for Matthaus) and especially conquered the title of Serie A (winning 17 games at home) against a Milan just crowned double champion of Europe, while Inter of the German finished third. But is there debate? Maradona wins the Ballon d'Or for the second and last time.

    Romario: The Last of the Hindered

    In his editorial of France Football dated December 26, 1995, Gerard Ernault, editor, outlined the reasons that caused the amendments to the Ballon d'Or and especially its rules: 1. the quota of non-European players in the European clubs has become too important to be ignored; 2. the majority of these players take on important roles in these same clubs; 3. Europe is not their retirement home, but the ground for their learning and achievement. George Weah is the first beneficiary of these new rules that extend to the entire planet the rightof the eligible players. And Romario the final victim of a code that has become too strict, not to say obsolete. In 1994, the native of Rio won the lot. The World Cup with Brazil, the championship of Spain with Barca, also finalist of the Champions League, as well as the titles of best player of the World Cup, top scorer in La Liga (30 goals in 33 matches) and FIFA player of the year (now FIFA Ballon d'Or since its twinning with the trophy of France Football in 2010), not forgetting some other trinkets, such as champions’ champion of the newspaper L'Equipe. It’s hard to do better.

    In fact, Romario is almost the most indisputable Ballon d'Or ... that never won the Ballon d'Or. What did the Brazilian striker do this year? Everything. From his three goals and a decisive pass during an intoxicating Clasico (5-0) in January to the destruction of Manchester United (4-0 in CL) in November ("The worst night of my career" says Steve Bruce), to punching Diego Simeone in an encounter with Sevilla (a five game suspension) and, it is on the summit, a World Cup where he will have mark on the scoresheet at all the matches, except in the round of 16 (1-0 against the United States, a goal of Bebeto scored on a Romario pass) and in the final (0-0 against Italy), although he did hit the post. We don’t need any more examples! As playful as he was a great player, lucky as well as inimitable, Romario was an explosive phenomenon that should have won much more than this phantom Golden Ball that is awarded here. He was only twenty-eight in 1994, and all his time competing with his countrymen Ronaldo (elected in 1997 and 2002) and Rivaldo (1999). A tumultuous relationship with Cruyff and mismanagement of his career meant otherwise. But others have had the Golden Ball for less than that.
    Perú FC, celito, peterhrt and 3 others repped this.
  2. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #2 carlito86, Nov 5, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    This is typical revisionist propaganda with regards to Romario (undisputed ballon dor winner?)
    For starters He could score more than 2 goals in 10 champions league matches in 93/94

    He was not Brazil’s clear best player in the World Cup knockout stages (bebeto contributed as much as he did from the QF onwards)

    There is absolutely nothing conclusive pointing towards Romario being the best performing player of that World Cup
    He was outscored by stoichkov and salenko both playing in less matches.
    In stoichkovs case we have a player who outscored him playing for a demonstrably weaker NT,and contributed well beyond goals (Romario was a goalscorer,stoichkov a playmaking forward/winger)
    Not to mention Roberto Baggio was the clear best player in the World Cup knockout stages (4 goals compared to 3 by Romario plus more involvement in building attacks and of course creating his own goalscoring opportunities as opposed to being totally reliant on service as Romario was from the QF to final)

    Stoichkov to Romario is what Neymar was to Suarez(and there are many including myself that think Neymar was more important for Barcelona than Suarez )

    Romarios World Cup had a fairytale ending not because of his own actions but due to a miskick by baresi and baggio
    If he did not win that final there is every chance baggio would’ve won the golden ball and ofcourse stoichkov became automatically disqualified from being in contention because of his “premature “ exit

    Romario was arguably the best league performer of 1994 but in the way Suarez was in 15/16(both top scored and top assisted)
    Others who could not match him statistically but we’re just as influential(arguably stoickkov and definitely Eric cantona In 1993/94 which was in my estimation his best career season and one of the finest individual campaigns in premier league history

    Although not a pure goalscorer his shooting technique was of a very high calibre
    Cantona was a creative forward not a CF like Romario
    In his Manchester United prime he regularly started attacks from deep within his own half(vs Sheffield United for example) and had the vision of a world class playmaker not Micheal laudrup or Dennis bergkamp (at arsenal not Ajax where he was essentially a striker) but in the mould of a roberto baggio(a “false playmaker”)
    Cantonas assist vs Tottenham in 92/93 remains one of the greatest technical passes I have ever seen
    Cantona scored 25 goals to romarios 32 in all competitions
    But as a playmaking forward cantona created WAY more (I’m not talking just aboutt final ball assists but rather his involvement in build up was on a considerably higher level than strikers like Romario,papin,shearer etc)

    Cantona in his prime years combined the scoring of a World class striker (scoring 20-25 goals was the expected return of World class strikers at the time)and the creativity of some of the best playmakers of the day (not the very best like laudrup or hagi but a level below)

    Romario did run Manchester United ragged in 94/95(matter of fact so did stoichkov even SAF referencing him specifically)

    Bottom line
    His case for the 94 ballon dor isn’t as watertight as you’ve made it seem(it is an arguable one not a undisputed one certainly not in the same way Cruyff 72 and 74,platini 84,R9 1997 Ronaldinho 2005,CR7 2008,Messi 2009,2011 and 2015 were undisputed by anyone
  3. ko242

    ko242 Member+

    Jul 9, 2015
    Amazing read! More like this would be greatly appreciated
    carlito86 and comme repped this.
  4. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    To be clear, I haven't done anything. A journalist from France Football has.
    leadleader repped this.
  5. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    I think a case could be made that Diego Maradona was the undisputed best player in the world in 4 seperate calendar years

    In 88 he would have to lose to Marco van basten who had one of the most complete and dominant seasons ever by a striker (imo just as good as R9 in 97 and a level above elite any striker that came afterwards)
    Nobody could win(as the main star) the European Cup,European championship(score in both finals) and the scudetto to top it off in a single season

    1989 could very well go to maradona even though Van Basten was still at that level of the previous year maradona propelled Napoli to a uefa Cup (against legitimately good sides) and finished high up in the league table
    Van Basten won the scudetto and European Cup again scoring crucial goals throughout
    In 79 maradona looks to have played at a very high level(the level of best player in the world)
    I’m not sure about the level of competition he faced but from a technical perspective 79-81 looks to have been maradonas best time.

    I think it is remarkable that a player like maradona who’s career was effectively finished at 29 years old could be the best player in the world in 4 or arguably 5 seperate years
    (not exactly the same level of consistent domination as Messi 09-12 but maradona had a major injury setback and played on 4 different teams in 3 different countries between 77-90)
  6. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Arsenal FC
    It is beyond me how you cannot understand that your character-assassination against Romario is, in fact, typical revisionist propaganda against a player that you clearly dislike.

    At any rate, it's fairly easy to demonstrate the fact that Romario was Brazil's best player in the KO stage, and Bebeto was clearly a secondary player with less responsibility in the team as it was Romario who was playing in the more difficult central areas of the pitch, making the Brazil team click, with Bebeto playing in the less crowded wide areas. Romario was Brazil's best player in the group stage and again in the KO stage... At the same time, Bebeto was very important to the team and underrated in the grand scheme of things, but there is no question that it was Romario who was playing the more difficult role and who was the unique, different player, who was making Brazil tick.
  7. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    I believe the South Americans playing in their home had little chance outside of any World Cup year.

    The Pelé years seem more about the author’s sympathy to the reputation of the player than any actual realism. Europeans really didn’t care what was transpiring outside of their continent and even moreso without the technology of today to witness the work of the player.

    The only certainty based on sufficient evidence is that 1986 would go to Maradona.

    Originally I had thought about Pelé in 1970, Kempes ‘78 and Garrincha 1962, but insufficient evidence backed it up.
    carlito86 repped this.
  8. celito

    celito Member+

    Feb 28, 2005
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    Romario was still the better player from QF onwards even if their numbers were equal.

    How many of Stoichkov's goals were PKs and FKs in that WC ? Typical nonsense point.

    With Baggio I agree he was the same if not better than Romario in the KO rounds. Romario uncharacteristically missed quite a few fairly easy goals in the KO rounds. Could have scored at least 4 or 5 more goals.

    Probably so had Italy won the WC. Although, Baggio missed the PK, Romario made his.

    Cantona is a legend at ManU. But I question the overall level of the EPL back then.
  9. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    1.)bebeto was man of the match vs Holland with an assist for Romario in addition to scoring a very good goal himself
    Romario scored one header against Sweden I don’t remember him doing anything after that to be honest with you
    Romario 94 especially from the QF onwards is a player whose performance can be purely defined by stats.
    He was a player against Holland,Sweden and Italy totally reliant on service
    There is an list a mile in length of strikers would could score the goals Romario scored against Holland and Sweden if given the opportunity

    2.)Stoichkov was on set piece duties because he was good at taking them
    Romario was nowhere near a free kick specialist nor was he a main pk taker for Barcelona (I believe koeman was)so he did not take them
    Stoichkov is a player outside of goals and assists also clearly better than Romario with his off the ball runs,chances created and general warrior mentality that inspired his country to the SF

    3.)Romario missing 4 or 5 chances to add to his tally(your claim) does not go in his favour it goes against him
    I don’t know what proportion of his chances were against the only legitimately good sides he played (namely Italy,Sweden and Holland)but I do know he missed some glaring opportunities vs Italy (chances that were created for him)
    Missing tap in opportunities is usually if not always a bad thing
    Missing chances to score against USA (a team filled with 2nd tier division players)prevented him for racking up goals vs an amateur NT side (which the USA definitely were in 1994 and Cameroon were hardly any better-roger milla was like 105 years old and he is a player that was totally overrated because of World Cup performances)

    4.)Roberto baggio was better than Romario in the ko rounds it is not maybe/probably/arguably it is definitely
    Baggio scored more ko stage goals
    Baggio created his own goalscoring opportunities (not totally reliant on his teammates to create for him)
    He was a better dribbler and generally a more clutch performer due to the nature of his goals (late winners)
    In the final they were both unimpressive but baggio did come very close with a shot he created for himself
    Romario missed tap in opportunities
    Baggio was just a better performer and is intrinsically a better player

    5.)the all round strength of the premier league in the early 90s is questionable although to what degree is not certain
    In any case prime cantona at least for me was the better all rounder
    (The goalscorer,playmaker and the leader all rolled into one)

    It may seem as if I’m downplaying Romario but he is a player who’s worth is usually not more than that of a goalscorer (even in his prime btw it isn’t unheard for box strikers to make a healthy amount assists just check RVNs champions league assist record)
    In Holland he never scored more than 19 non penalty goals per season and was outplayed by bergkamp a player that struggles to make top 50 in many lists
    Essentially Romarios legacy was inhanced to that of a undisputed top 50 all timer on the back of a World Cup performance that I don’t think was particularly great at all
    Without it I don’t think he is necessarily better than Henry,ibrahimovic or Luis Suarez who were not inferior goalscorers and demonstrably better team players
  10. leadleader

    leadleader Member+

    Aug 19, 2009
    Arsenal FC
    United States vs. Colombia 2-1 win, and not an inflated win.

    Romania vs. Colombia 3-1 win, but a very inflated win where Colombia wasted at least 2 clear-cut chances, and where Romania scored at least 2 great goals out of nothing basically.

    Romania vs. Switzerland 1-4 defeat.

    United States vs. Switzerland 1-1 draw.

    United States vs. Romania 1-0 defeat.

    United States vs. Brazil 1-0 defeat.

    Overall the United States - amateur team or not - achieved very good results against competitive national sides, including 2 of the better sides at that world cup.

    Baggio did not created his own goal scoring opportunities, certainly not by dribbling. The goal vs. Spain was the closest thing to Baggio using his dribbling ability in order to open up space for himself, but even that goal, was largely created by the assist. Like Romario, Baggio created the vast majority of his scoring chances with his off-the-ball positioning, not with his on-the-ball ability. Furthermore, you are vastly underrating Romario's ability to run at defenders and create chances, as was the case vs. Russia, vs. Cameroon, vs. United States, vs. Holland, and vs. Sweden (twice vs. Sweden actually), with the only exception being a rock solid Italy that - knowing that Baggio was playing with an injury - dedicated themselves to defending all game long, and very nearly pulled off the 'catenaccio' win.

    In terms of dribbling ability and/or the ability to create chances on the basis of on-the-ball ability, Romario was clearly superior to Baggio, even though a fully fit Baggio was one of the all time great dribblers, but the fact is that Baggio was injured from beginning to end at WC 1994, and then he was completely injured in the Final, and so the world didn't quite see Baggio at his dribbling best, in fact Baggio was nowhere near his dribbling best... but at the same time, the fact that he still found the way to make himself dangerous says a lot about his goal scoring instinct and about his overall intelligence as a player. It's a shame that prime Baggio missed Euro 1992 and was then carrying a significant knee injury for the whole of WC 1994.

    But yeah, Baggio was pointless or plain average in the Group Stage at WC 1994, which is important because Italy was very close to a group stage exit... Romario was world class in every single game except the Final, so for me his Golden Ball over Baggio was easy to justify, and especially so given the fact that Brazil won the WC. Had Italy won the WC, then Baggio would've won the Golden Ball. At any rate, I fail to see why you can't appreciate what Romario did at that World Cup.

    And lastly: I actually think that Romario's on-the-ball ability was sharper and more of a factor in the games vs. Sweden (2 games) and vs. Holland, than it was vs. United States or vs. Russia or vs. Cameroon... In other words, I find it suspicious that you try so hard to discredit Romario on the basis of what he did against so-called 'amateur' teams, when Romario's on-the-ball ability was more of a factor in the games vs. Sweden and vs Holland, than it was in the games where you claim that Romario stat-padded against amateur teams. Italy is the one exception, and even then, it would be unrealistic to expect Romario to be in form for 7 out of 7 games at the World Cup.

    It may seem as if you're downplaying Romario because you are in fact doing what you said it seems... In fact, the mere fact that you think RVN is comparable to Romario is evidence of the fact that you don't understand the very first thing about Romario's playing style... To put it simply: Romario was a midget with underrated dribbling ability when inside of the penalty area, not a classical dribbler but a very dangerous dribbler when he grabs the ball in or around the penalty box; RVN as great as he was is nowhere near Romario in terms of dribbling ability nor in terms of generating penalty kicks, which in my view elevates Romario to a different/upper tier to the likes of Shevchenko or RVN or Batistuta, etc.
  11. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #11 carlito86, Nov 9, 2018 at 5:35 AM
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 5:45 AM
    basically every single player fielded for USA 94 played in the 2nd tier division of German football and other low tier leagues
    Squeezing out wins against Switzerland (I never new they were the barometer of greatness) and even against Brazil that just reflects terribly on Brazil ( USA 94 had no right beating any legitimate NT heavyweight)

    A injured baggio on one leg is not an inferior dribbler to Romario ok
    Romario was an overrated dribbler who tried a lot of difficult technical skills that he simply could not pull off or rarely
    (Different from maradona who tried the outrageous whether it be pass or skill and was way more likely to pull it off)
    Romario is not some playmaking striker and it is outrageous for you to even suggest so
    A lot of his assists in 93/94 were a result of earned penalties and simple passes with a handful of through ball “visionary assists”
    Earning loads of penalties is something prime Luis Suarez did very well especially in 13/14(earned like 10 pens)which proves my point that Romario did not have some unique skillset that could seperate him from modern day great strikers

    Prime baggio is intrinsically a better player than prime Romario and im sorry but it’s not even particularly close
    A striker (especially one that lives in the penalty area ,doesn’t drop deep is mostly reliant on service)cannot compare to a goat dribbler who is also the main scorer and playmaker of his team
    Romarios scoring record wasn’t even an outlier in his own era
    He never scored more than 19 non penalty goals in eredivisie
    He also Never scored more than 32 goals in a single season in Europe (and only did that once for the mighty dream team)

    Baggio was simply a better player(in their careers and specifically in World Cup 94) and matter of fact gheorghe hagi was better than both up to the QF(his level of performance was the best seen since maradona 86)
    You write a million essays on how CR scores well assisted goals but completely ignore the fact that all of Romarios goals in World Cup 94 were also well assisted and when the supply tap was turnt off he could not create his own chances

    Btw I did not compare van nistelrooys overall ability to Romario but in terms of passing and link up play I don’t see a difference
    Rvn also had GOAT trapping technique as good as Romarios.
    I’ll give a clear edge to Romario when it comes to ball skills and dribbling but that’s only because RVN did not try skills (he was a hit man in the penalty area with only an eye for goal)

    When he did try he produced a better dribbling goal than Romario ever managed in his career

    He almost became the Dutch maradona lol
  12. celito

    celito Member+

    Feb 28, 2005
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    If you don't remember Romario doing much else and just poaching, you haven't watched the games enough. Bebeto's goal vs Holland is nothing special. At least not any more than Romario's.

    I agree. You should have focused on other aspects of Stoichkov's game. To bring up goals vs Romario not being a striker himself is disingenuous to say the least since 3 of his goals were from PK. 5 goals in WC is a good tally for a striker. None of them being from the spot.

    Bebeto missed his share too. But whatever. Brazil were down a man for more than a half vs the USA who were just bunkering down.

    I agree with regards to Baggio as I said in my post. Romario missed 1 tap in vs Italy, not many, where the ball was still played behind him. And it was in ET hot as fuk conditions which played a role.

    Romario was 10x the goal scorer than Cantona. He was an intelligent player too who combined well with other players with one touch passes.

    He was also playing only 20-25 games in Dutch league. When he played 33 games in Spain he scored 30.

    To say Romario was just a goalscorer without other skills shows you don't know what you're talking about.

    leadleader and carlito86 repped this.
  13. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    #13 carlito86, Nov 9, 2018 at 10:41 AM
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 10:52 AM
    Okay celito so maybe I downplayed Romarios passing ability a little bit but a 5 min passing compilation is hardly representative of the career of a man that nearly played 1000 matches (offical matches and I would not be surprised if some came in friendlies against obscure Brazilian teams)
    Also I would appreciate if you don’t misquote me as I did not say Romario did have good ball skills.matter of fact I explicitly mentioned him having a clear edge over RVN.i just think he tried alot of difficult things and the percentage of things that came off successfully was low compared to many technical players

    In any case beside the occasional weighted through ball (not a team splitting one but short distance) and the occasional lofted “mid range” long ball alot of the passes were similar to the ones made by CR vs Spain (ie quick accurate short passes )which if done in the final third frequently shows the ability to change the tempo of an attack but is not what i’d associate with elite playmaking
    And lastly alot of those clips at least 70% were made when he was a Vasco de Gama is easier to look creative when your opposition is less than adequate

    Romario in Europe was not 10x the goalscorer of Eric cantona
    Matter of fact not even twice as good
    Romarios highest gpg ratio in Spain was 0.67(32 goals in 47 appearances)
    Eric cantonas was 0.51 in 93/94 and cantona being an actual playmaking forward created a substantial more amount of chances,dropped deeper consistently to help build attacks and of course scored VERY important goals (consistently I might add)
    His goal record does not compare to prime Henry,RVP,RVN,Suarez or even aguero but there is a reason he still is commonly ranked a top 10 player in PL history
    He was more than goals
  14. celito

    celito Member+

    Feb 28, 2005
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    You think people went through all his games and 5 min is all they could find ? C'mon man. Plus, I don't expect my striker to be play making much. Specially one from the 80s and 90s. That's just a silly criticism. I am not saying he had Messi or play making skills that of a great midfielder, but he wasn't just a box striker / put the ball back in the net guy. Specially in his younger years.

    Not gonna agree on Cantona. Cantona scored 165 goals in 440 games in his career It's not even an argument IMO. But yeah, Cantona was a special player with panache and other qualities Romario didn't have. But then again, completely different positions.

    Romario's CL scoring at Barca is an aberration IMO. He really only played one season in it for Barca. Suarez for example has scored only 4 CL goals in the last 3 seasons (this one included) which is piss poor with the team he plays on. It happens.

    And Let's not forget CL wasn't what it is today in terms of prestige. Romario probably couldn't care more about a CL game compared to a La Liga game.
  15. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    You don’t have to possess Messi level playmaking skills to be a world class playmaking striker (Messi and zico are untouchable as playmaking forwards)

    However it begs the question that if you cannot expect that much playmaking from 80s or 90s strikers than perhaps they shouldn’t even be compared to modern day forwards/CF like Suarez or Henry who were assist machines in their primes also shouldering a substantial amount of playmaking duties for their teams
    (Henry was perhaps Arsenal’s most significant playmaker after bergkamp and probably ahead of pires and Suarez was basically half of Liverpool’s goals supply in 13/14)

    I don’t remember Van Basten,Romario or even R9 for that matter undertaking so much responsibility for their teams
    Which leads me to think they are considered better players simply because of their aesthetical value not because of what they contribute to their respective teams
  16. celito

    celito Member+

    Feb 28, 2005
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    Henry is a completely different player and yeah, very versatile. I was a big fan of his game. Suarez is a strange one. Great striker, but incredibly goofy looking at times running with the ball and his passing isn't all that as he is very wasteful in possession. Romario's touch was better IMO.

    It's not because of aesthetics, it's because it's what the game called for back then. Their contribution were scoring goals and that's mainly what strikers were supposed to do back then. As I showed with Romario, that wasn't his only skill though. He had to drop deep in 94 WC for example because our midfield was lacking in creative quality. What forwards and strikers do a whole lot more today is defending.
  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Real Madrid
    Henry was never known for his defensive contributions and strikers who are like Suarez and Cavani are an exceptions to the rule not the norm.

    Just because it wasn’t in their job description to be creative team players does not mean we should excuse them
    Puskas was an inside forward( the precursor for the modern day attacking midfielder)
    Of all of us, he was the best. He had a seventh sense for soccer. If there were 1,000 solutions, he would pick the 1001st.” -
    Nandor Hidegkuti

    In this role puskas excelled as a passing specialist and goat level scorer
    So even if Romario had played his whole career in Europe and even if R9 did not get injured they would have no hope equalling his level because their all round game wasn’t remotely comparable

    Sadly we did not get to see this version of puskas instead we get the slow and overweight poacher version for Real Madrid

    Now on a much smaller scale Henry was also a great team player the focal point of attack and a prolific creator of chances on a level that neither R9 or Romario ever were.
    What is the true worth of R9s dribbling beyond a nice highlight reel

    So what if they looked more technical on the ball compared to Henry(and even Suarez)
    Did their superior technical skills help them win more trophies or win matches against defensively compact sides

    I enjoy watching r9 specifically probably more than any other player (besides savecivic) but i cannot understand why they are considered to be on a completely different tier to Henry or Suarez when he was arguably nowhere near as effective even in his prime

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