There are a number of great player, guys in the top 100 all time of there position, who have never received any major individual honors, or even got any votes for individual honors. I would like to discuss these players top seasons, because if you did not see them it can be very hard to determine, and also discuss why they never got any individual honors. A number of the truly great fullbacks of all time have never received any individual honors. I know fullback is a difficult place to earn honors at, but great players like Maldini and Roberto Calos have placed as high in individual honors (many teams of the year, defender of the year, top 3 in major player of the year awards). Javier Zanetti: Never earned an individual honor of any type despite being thought of as an all time great fullback (comme has him as the #11 right back of all time). No teams of the year, not even UEFAs which is a popularity contest. During his career, players he was thought of as superior to (Angloma, Neville, Ferreira) were winning ESM team of the year awards. Why do you think this happened? Also what were his best seasons? Early in his career, 96-00, he had a better goalscoring record and was more aggressive offensively, but i have heard it said that he was weaker defensively at that point than he was later in his career and the inter teams from his early career were not very good (other than 97/98). Was he at his best sometime in the middle of his career, 02-04, or was he a late bloomer and became really great as more of a utility player, 06-10, where he was playing a ton of games and captaining very successful teams. 06-07 is a particularly interesting year to me as it was the first year he moved to the midfield, as Maicon arrived and Cambiasso got hurt, he then led a record setting champion in appearances that was missing its top midfielder. I thought he was great in the treble year, making timely runs, moving to left back and doing a great job on Messi, playing in the midfield etc. Cafu: He made a couple of UEFA team of the years in his Milan days, but I don't think those were his best years, he was just playing for a high profile team and had become a popular player at the time (the two major criteria for UEFA team of the year). The more credible team of the year award, the ESM, he never won, and like Zanetti was continually beat out by the same 'lesser' players. He is generally ranked as a top 5 or 10 fullback of all time (comme has him #2 right back) and was a very aggressive attacking player, so why has he never earned any individual accolades, much less the mountain of accolades that his counterpart Roberto Carlos received, despite the fact they are both attacking players and that many rate Cafu slightly better? What were his best seasons? Zambrotta: Another great fullback whose only awards were a couple of 2006 teams of the year earned because he was part of the world cup winning teams. What were his best club seasons? Were they early in his Juventus career when he was a he was more of a midfielder/wing back, or later in his juve/barca career near his world cup winning campaign? I have heard 02/03 thrown around as his top season, but that may have been because of the teams great success during that season. Ryan Giggs: The ultimate example of a all time great at his position (#4 left winger by comme) never getting a whiff of a major trophy. Winger, unlike fullback, is a glory position. Great wingers are often magnets for individual awards (Figo, Beckham), and Giggs had a captivating electrifying style. Read some of the quotes his great contemporaries and rivals made about him (Del Piero, Zidane), they cried watching him play, he was the player sent by God etc. After a few young player of the year awards he never received any other accolades. He never really dominated after that like people had thought he would, he was just consistently very good with flashes of total greatness, but he never seemed to put together a truly great season. It seemed that in his early days, with the team built around Cantona, Giggs thrived as the clear secondary playmaker, making runs off Cantona's hold up play and whipping crosses into the large physical target he provided. With the treble team there was so much competition for the playmaking roles, he was great in spots but could disappear from games, with Keane bossing the ball in the midfield, Beckhamn making plays on the right, or Scholes through the center. Was he the best during the treble years but just played within a system where he got less opportunities, or was he at his best in his younger days when he arguably influenced games more, like 93-94 when he had his most productive season playing with Cantona a year removed from his young player of the year awards (17 goals). Paul Scholes: Another all time great from the Man U treble team that missed out on the individual awards. With some of the hyperbole from players and pundits floating around about this player it should be shocking he has never even gotten votes for the Balon D'or. He had the same situation as Giggs, competing for playmaking roles with two all time great wingers with a midfield partner determined to dominate the midfield with the force of his will. You got a feeling that if a team was built around his playmaking skills he could have received those individual accolades. His most productive year was when he scored 20 goals he was moved directly behind a dominant striker (Ruud) instead of playing a flat 4 man midfield next to Keane, although to me scoring between 10-12 goals a year in a flat 4 man midfield is just as impressive. In my opinion his best year was 06/07, despite only scoring 7 goals he was moved deeper and bossed the midfield was his movement and short passing the Keane used to, to go along with the great long passing, killer ball, and long distance shooting he always had. What do you think were his best seasons? Do you think Scholes, Giggs, and to a degree Keane all suffered from Beckham being the most popular player on the team and when pundits felt the need to give a Man U player individual awards because the teams success Beckham was the obvious target?