I don't think anyone would deny that Baltazar did exceptionally well at Atleti. If you don't rate Lineker, how come he performed so well for Leicester, Everton, Spurs and England as well as in his first season in Barcelona? Rush was excellent at exploiting the space in behind defences. At Liverpool a large number of his goals were scored through running on to balls over the top or in behind played by Kenny Dalglish. In Italy there was very little of that space because of the defensive nature of the game. It's worth noting that Rush actually didn't do that badly in Italy. He scored 13 goals in 40 games in all competitions, which while unspectacular was far from terrible. He was the 13th top scorer in Serie A in his season there for a team who were a shadow of their former selves. That was a major disappointment based on his Liverpool form but as time goes on the magnitude of his failure grows. Van Basten scored at a similar rate in Serie A in the 1987-8 season. In terms of individual awards he really doesn't. Papin won the Ballon d'Or in 1991 while Rush finished fourth after people that had played at Euro 84. Swap the seasons around and Rush wins the Ballon d'Or while Papin finishes fourth (at best). Meanwhile in international terms Rush played for Wales and is the all time top goalscorer. Papin had the luxury of playing for France and despite that never set the world on fire. Rush scored more goals for Liverpool alone than Papin scored in his entire career. God knows. Cruyff (while a great player and manager) is certainly known for his strong opinions. Ask yourself, you have arguably the best striker in the world at your disposal (112 goals in his last 5 top flight seasons, 26 goals in 3 years at international level), he is a noted penalty area specialist. Why would you play him on the wing? Yes, I'm talking in the future. It certainly supports the fact that he had a markedly superior set of players around him.