Is Zico, not Maradona, the second best player?ever?

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Izzy9, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Speaking about scoring directly from a corner kick: Eusebio did it more than once (three times IIRC) and one of them is on tape.


  2. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    Now that was never a comparison that was given any serious thought during their generation.
  3. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    Maradona's prime started around 83 lasting until 90, though he was injured and exhausted at WC90.
  4. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    Why that ? That's weird to say the least.


  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    This is a good watch



    I saw it a few years ago. Last match of Platini for 'Les Verts'.

    I also liked the comment at the BBC last week. It was something like "he was better as a football player".
  6. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    For me, Maradona had better ball control in close space (than Zico who's like Cruijff required a bit more space to be explosive) - Obviously Maradona got great acceleration and ball maneuveour than them all. The way he controls the ball had nver been seen before and after - the closest one was last seen with Ronaldinho , but he could only do the same OFF pitch.

    Pele has rarely missed that many header goals and I believe he got the HIGHEST header goals in history. I have to check on the number ... (easily 100+)Other great headers like Van Basten, Bierhoff, Crespo ... could not socre more than 40. It's also easy to see why, as Pele is regarded as the "best athlete" ever in football history = in term of fitness, Speedy, stamina and agility on ground as well as in the air.

    Yes I have seen Rivelino, zico scored from freekick, and Maradona had a great freekick on sideline close to corner@
  7. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    Thanks for that. Classic game that I hadn't seen since years. Platini was asked by St Etienne coach Robert Herbin to play centre forward that night and no surprise he scored twice. Battiston was everywhere.

    On a side note, the 1983 French Cup final one year later between PSG and Nantes was still better : there was beautiful offensive football (no surprise concerning that great Nantes team), a lot of drama and Jose Toure's uncredible goal (4,05). What a player he was. What a shame that injuries, poor mental and bad luck ruined his carreer.

  8. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    well .. I can see you ONLY rated him playing with big leagues!

    The truth is ... back in the 70's most great players DID NOT NEED to go playing in Euro big leagues ... So miscounting Maradona 78-82 was not so FAIR and ACCURATE. Take Zico as example, and if we based on such criterion then Zico had no "primed" time? Or just 1 year with Unidese?
  9. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    They were just too far apart to be compared in a serious manner. They played in different continents at the height of their powers. With Maradona and Zico it was different. They were fighting for the accolades of best player in their continent between 1979-1982. And the majority of world pundits didn’t have Platini in their top 3 until after WC82, which by then started to become a comparison between Platini-Maradona.
  10. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    What is prime for you?
  11. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    Also prior to Pele, there existed spectacular headers of the ball according to articles that are in my possession. Some names that come to mind were: Arsenio Erico, Moreno, Samatier, Dixie Dean, and Tommy Lawton.

    Some of them were authentic athletes with exceptional leaping and heading abilities. According to El Grafico, Moreno and Erico were unrivalled in this regard.
  12. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    According to some reports that I own, it is believed that Zico was still seen as one of the top 5 in the world at least until the end of 1984; he did not play much for Udinese in the season of 84/85. And then injuries back in Brazilian football became an issue. Even then, when healthy, he was still a formidable foe to contend with.

    When he broke his ligaments around August of '85 (I think that was the month), many people thought that he was done. He came back in Feb. of ‘86 and scored a hat-trick in Fla-Flu. It was then that some hopes were brought back. The media labeled it: “Resurrected from the ashes”.

    Zico went on to say: “Practically I’m in my best form for Mexico '86.”

    But by the WC, he still had some pain.
  13. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    Yes, the injury was at the end of August, against Bangu in the Copa Guanabara, after suffering multiple fouls.
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    What are more classic games in his St Etienne era? (1979-1982)
  15. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    I found another article about the hype and hoopla surrounding “el Pelusa” at the age of 21.

    It was written from the press of Switzerland after Barcelona defeated Servette 4-1 in a friendly on September 21, 1982.

    This is what they were saying:

    “Superman”, “Maradonastar”, “Prodigious”, “Genius”, “super-player”, “the Mozart of football”, “fabulous”, “Idol”, “acrobat and juggler”, “seducer” and “superstar”.

    “Even injured and playing with the flu, and under antibiotics, the world's superstar executed some fantastic plays and scored the first goal which brought the whole stadium to their feet.”

    The journal of Geneva stated: “Barcelona illuminated the game with its genius. The fabulous Argentinian star justified his fame that he’s acquired throughout the world”.

    “Stronger than Cruyff, and stronger than Beckenbauer, only Pele is superior. This was the Beethoven of football, while Maradona is still a young Mozart.”

    So clearly he was regarded above the rest, since only mortals that were retired could rival and surpass him, which makes any comparisons in his generation futile.

    But I always say: “the power of propaganda is the strongest weapon ever created.”
  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Playing at Barcelona at least gives you exposure, i.e. more than playing at Nancy, St Etienne or 1960s Ajax.
    The most interesting part of his career is the hype when he played at Boca Juniors or, more remarkable, Argentinos Juniors. But as you yourself said, the 1979YWC probably put him on the radar of many followers.

    Equally interesting is indeed that Cruijff was only remotely compared to Pelé after the 1974 World Cup and not after his three EC wins (although the manager of Jena in 1970 made that comparison, "the European answer to Pelé"). In some way that is understandable, look at the statistics such as the 'chances created' (a record) while that World Cup is in the top three WCs since 1966 with the most fouls committed. But on the other hand some have doubted whether he reached his peak at that tournament.

    Also interesting is indeed that Platini came into the 'best of the world' discussion after the 1982WC, while he was pretty disappointing and below his average level on that World Cup. He was a bit hyped in the 1970s as 'the next big thing' but was between 1978-1981 a bit off the radar, somehow. Interestingly, before the 1978WC Cruijff predicted that Platini would "become the most applauded European player in the coming 5 years." But it did not turn out like that.
  17. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    Yes, because even though he was considered a revelation in the 1978 season, it wasn’t until 1979 that the world took note. One of them was Beckenbauer, whom played against him in a friendly prior to the YWC, and then again in 1980. Everything seemed to go so fast from then on, with the European clubs wanting him.

    Interestingly, I found an article in Mundo Deportivo after the 1-1 draw in the Intercontinental cup of Sep. 1972, where the article says: “Cruyff, the white Pele”

    Then there were some comparisons that were made in 1970 as you said and again in 1973 according to the Spanish articles - but like you said, never at such a young age as was the case with Maradona.

    They compared him to Di Stefano as well, in 1974, but Di Stefano downplayed it. Alfredo was speaking to Czibor, who said that “it was ridiculous”. Di Stefano responded: “you know how what’s old is forgotten and what’s new is still fresh in the memory”. Then in May of 1986 he took another shot at Cruyff, saying when Barcelona lost Sotil, Cruyff’s career was over at the club, since he depended on him to excel. This guy Czibor also downplayed Maradona in May of ‘86, saying he’s a good player, but he may not make it. According to Czibor, there was no one better than Kubala.
  18. juventino13

    juventino13 Member+

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    Maybe he is because Maradona is not the second, but the first ;)
    Pipiolo repped this.
  19. PuckVanHeel

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    Domestically his 1960s part tends to be forgotten too. That is not fair IMO. He won between 1965 and 1970 four out of five league titles, which was and is unprecedented. And especially in his first few years he played against better equipped and more professionalized teams. He did not win the league title in 1969 but in defense of him one can say that he missed five games in that season and was injured for large parts (although that was also true for 1967/1968).
    He won two domestic cups as well (1967 & 1970). He was one time runner-up (1968), but did not play in the final due to an injury. In 1966 Ajax lost in the quarter-final without him. Only in 1969 he was fair&square outplayed and outclassed.

    And his friendlies against other club teams abroad were not widely covered too, even domestically.

    That is an objection that is often raised against him, also helped by the comments he made. Allegedly, he was not only dependent on Sotil at Barcelona but also on Keizer at Ajax. However, his biggest fans like to respond that Keizer was nothing without him (for example the start of the 1970/1971 season when Cruijff was injured and Ajax slipped to sixth place) while Cruijff did perform without Keizer in some important phases (the Liverpool game at home in 1966; the 1967/1968 season when Keizer was suspended and injured and missed nine games while Cruijff only missed one league game, and played in injured condition). But still, his harshest critics tend to say that he could only win things with Krol, Neeskens and Keizer as partners.

    Anyhow, about Platini: it is indeed true that the Platini as best of the world debate only started after 1982 World Cup, with Guerin Sportivo naming him in the top three or even higher. Which remains strange because he disappointed at the World Cup with the healthier Giresse stealing the spotlights.
  20. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member

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    That seems to be the case. Even Brian Glanville wrote after the WC that Giresse was the ‘General’ of the French squad, and that he ‘shined’ above Platini.

    It could be possibly related to the fact that by then he was already affiliated with an Italian team. Newspapers like “Stampa” from Turin put him up there with Maradona and Zico by 1983.

    On the other hand, in the Spanish media, the likes of Maradona, Zico, Falcao and Rummenigge seemed to be regarded higher than him that year.
  21. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    The games vs PSV Eindhoven in 1979 (6-0) and vs Hamburg in 1980 (5-0) are the most obvious ones.



  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Yes, I know these, but I thought about domestic games.

    I have both on DVD :) (the second against HSV in highlight form though).
  23. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    It could be related with the fact that Saint-Etienne was already on the downhill when Platini joined them. He had stellar performances with 'Les Verts' but at the end of the day he won only one championship. There's also the fact that the French NT was quite unconsistent in those years despite some great performances from Platini : France didn't shine in WC78 and failed to qualify to EC80 for example. It's only the victory vs the Netherlands in 1981 and vs Italy in the early months of 1982 and of course the WC82 that definitely put France and Platini on the map.
  24. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    Well there was a game vs Valenciennes in 1981 in which Platini scored four goals. There were great games vs Nantes in 1979 vs Nantes (4-2) and Bordeaux (3-3). One famous victory was vs Aimé Jacquet's Bordeaux in 1982 (with Giresse, Tigana, Tresor, Lacombe etc) (5-0).
  25. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Is that on video? Saint Etienne even played with 10 men for large parts in the match :eek:

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