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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:44 am 
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Surely Xavi and Iniesta both belong in the top 30 if Spain manage to win this tournament?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:36 pm 
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I don't know. I see Spain and Barca's success not of individuals, except with the exception of Ronaldhinho and Messi, but rather as a collective effort. I do not think that because they acquire silverware that they should both be lofted up to the top 30. I still think Spain is more of a success of a great team, rather than individual performances.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:19 am 
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You don't think Xavi and Iniesta are absolutely spectacular players in their own right?

I mean, compare Iniesta and Zidane for a second. Zidane is greater, for sure. He has a couple more eye catching "moments" (not that Iniesta doesn't). But there isn't all that much great difference between the achievements of the two. Is Zidane really more skillful than him? This is not an argument to put Iniesta in the top 10 btw.

Spain and Barca are absolutely the result of amazing collectives but so pretty much all the great teams. We still have to reward the best players of those teams on the list. Messi is clearly top 10 now, and if Xavi and Iniesta are the heart of the midfield of the first team that wins 3 international tournaments in a row, well I don't see who in the 20-30 range can compare with what they've done.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:30 am 
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I think Iniesta is overrated and Pirlo is better than him. Spain's success is due to 10 years of hard work at Barcelona, which I agree is a collective effort. Pirlo has been able to replicate his form for more than one club as well as country, each team using a different system of players. Xavi can go up because he was playing at a high level before Iniesta came, but I would hesitate to move up Iniesta.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:31 am 
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I think Pirlo's a fine player who deserves a good position on this list (or even a very high one if he can lead Italy to this title) but I wouldn't put him ahead of Iniesta. Iniesta almost has the same passing ability as Pirlo (maybe not long range, but in terms of incisive throughballs, absolutely) but allied to that, he's one of the greatest dribblers I've ever seen - I can only think of Messi better than him in that regard at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:09 pm 
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totally agreed there, I was discussing with some friends that iniesta may indeed be second in line for ball control in the current generation after Messi.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:03 pm 
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I just think there are a lot of other players that have been as good as them, but have not had the same team success and therefore suffer for it on this list. Which I think is a shame. I don't think Iniesta is as good at through balls as Pirlo, but thats sort of a nonpoint and doesn't really matter to what im saying.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:12 pm 
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At the end of the day, inspiring your team to success is a big part of this list. And it's not like Xavi and Iniesta are like squad members who are collecting medals ala John O Shea or someone - they're the key members of their teams, at club and international level. I just can't see how there's been a "lot" of players who have been just as good as them, and have just as good credentials for this list.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:21 pm 
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at the rate iniesta is progressing, he is surely bound to overtake pirlo and even his colleague xavi as one of the most precise and fluid midfielders around today.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:13 pm 
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To be honest, the comparison with Xavi and Pirlo isn't quite fair, since they're both deeper lying midfielders than Iniesta, but in terms of precision and fluidity? Can't see how either would beat him.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Pirlo is one of the most precise passers in the world, you giving Iniesta dribbling is just nitpicking at attributes. I could easily give Pirlo long range passing, and free kick/ set piece ability but as Chem said this is besides the point.

Barcelona is a system club and it makes ranking individuals a bit harder than usual. Iniesta has always been more of a secondary player for me. I think he is very good, but he does not merit all of the praise that he gets from everyone. Some people actually think he is better than Xavi, when he has been riding on his coattails for most of his career. Sure, he has shown up in some big and important matches but his overall contribution and end product leaves much to be desired.

Another thing you guys need to look into is their respective supporting cast. Pirlo has had much less of one at both club/international level and still puts up better numbers than Iniesta. He has also been able to do it for different clubs, while Iniesta has only been at one his whole career. Pirlo was unfortunately and unjustly ignored post Calciopoli, but his performance at the 2006 World Cup was much more influential than anything Iniesta has done for Spain. People tend to forget how much Xavi was ignored before Barcelona became so popular.

I place Pirlo and Xavi miles ahead of Iniesta and none of them in a top 10 or 20 list. I'm not liking this new trend of having to throw every recent Barcelona player into a discussion of greatest player of all time.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Pirlo, Xavi, and Iniesta are good names. But better than Henry, Roberto Carlos and Figo?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Bruno wrote:
Pirlo, Xavi, and Iniesta are good names. But better than Henry, Roberto Carlos and Figo?


Henry, Carlos and Figo are all completely different players.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:29 pm 
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pink wrote:
Bruno wrote:
Pirlo, Xavi, and Iniesta are good names. But better than Henry, Roberto Carlos and Figo?


Henry, Carlos and Figo are all completely different players.

I know. I'm talking about "better" about being on the list.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Footballers (Soccer Players) of All-Time
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:55 am 
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pink wrote:
Pirlo is one of the most precise passers in the world, you giving Iniesta dribbling is just nitpicking at attributes. I could easily give Pirlo long range passing, and free kick/ set piece ability but as Chem said this is besides the point.

Barcelona is a system club and it makes ranking individuals a bit harder than usual. Iniesta has always been more of a secondary player for me. I think he is very good, but he does not merit all of the praise that he gets from everyone. Some people actually think he is better than Xavi, when he has been riding on his coattails for most of his career. Sure, he has shown up in some big and important matches but his overall contribution and end product leaves much to be desired.

Another thing you guys need to look into is their respective supporting cast. Pirlo has had much less of one at both club/international level and still puts up better numbers than Iniesta. He has also been able to do it for different clubs, while Iniesta has only been at one his whole career. Pirlo was unfortunately and unjustly ignored post Calciopoli, but his performance at the 2006 World Cup was much more influential than anything Iniesta has done for Spain. People tend to forget how much Xavi was ignored before Barcelona became so popular.

I place Pirlo and Xavi miles ahead of Iniesta and none of them in a top 10 or 20 list. I'm not liking this new trend of having to throw every recent Barcelona player into a discussion of greatest player of all time.


Dribbling nitpicking? I think not. This is a key part of Iniesta's game, that burst past a couple of players that can break a line of a team's defence. I'm thinking of goals like the ones Xavi and Messi scored against Arsenal a couple of years ago - all created by Iniesta's dribbling.

I think every truly great club/team has a great collective system - sure the system is a big part of what makes Barca/Spain great - but at some point, you have to credit the players who perform in that system for making it work.

I think you vastly underrate the level of Pirlo's supporting cast. For Milan: Stam, Cafu, Rui Costa, Seedorff, Gattuso, Kaka, Shevchenko, Crespo, Maldini, Nesta. For Italy: Maldini, Gattuso, Nesta again and add on Cannovaro, Totti, Del Piero, Buffon. I'm not pretending it's as strong as Iniesta's supporting cast (I think Milan runs Barca somewhat close in individual skill, Italy 06 less so), but let's not pretend Pirlo had a bunch of mugs to work with. I think the fact Pirlo changed teams and won something at Juve is to his credit, but I don't think it's a reason to knock anyone who stays at a club for very long either.

Can you explain what you mean by better "numbers" from Pirlo? He certainly doesn't score as much as Iniesta, and I can't imagine him assisting more from his deeper position. In any case, I think Iniesta is an example of a player who's value goes beyond pure numbers. Even though he probably doesn't score as much as he could, you can't sum up what he brings to the team by pure baseball style statistics. The guy just brings it when it really counts, both in the Champions League and internationally. I really don't see what justification you have for claiming he's some chancer riding off Xavi's coattails.

No need to exaggerate my position about this, btw. I'm not asking for Dani Alves or Pedro to be put in the top 10. I just think the 3 true greats of these two teams deserve to be recognised. It's not like it's a one season wonder - I'm not asking Wesley Sneijder to be put up high. This consistent level of domination has gone on for 5 years now (and as you say, Xavi has credentials from before then too), and it's these guys who are the centre of these teams. I agree Xavi should be the higher of the two, as he kinda embodies that tiki taki ultra possession of the ball with his regular 100+ passes a game, but I also think you shouldn't separate him and Iniesta too much, since they've worked in tandem so much for their teams.


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