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Thread: Fun debate
22-03-2011, 03:42 AM #1
Many people wonder what makes a legendary footballa, perhaps it is a special grin or a cheeky joke on the team bus. what do you guys think makes a playa legendary. honestly it is a word i am using at all hours of the day, perhaps an exagerration but quite often nonetheless.
personally i believe a legendary playa must have a stout heart and a naive mind, uncorrupted by the pain of the world, similar to buddha before he left his palace and was enlightened. it is possible to be a legend without these qualities but more difficult
22-03-2011, 04:05 AM #2
To me it is someone who makes the sublime look like the routine, which can include the more defensive players. Bonus points for having humility and understanding the world beyond football.
22-03-2011, 05:32 AM #3
I tend to be a more concrete thinker, so in answering this, I have to start with players I've seen that I'd call legendary and move from there. I've only been watching for two years, so I can only work from contemporary players plus snatches of memories from previous World Cups (02, 06, 10), but here's my list:
Zidane - Legendary b/c he had a way of making the most extraordinary play seem normal (for him). His penalty in the 06 WC captures it: If you say "a player will chip a penalty in the World Cup championship match against the best keeper in the world, it'll hit the inside bottom crossbar and go down and in," most people will laugh at you. If you say "Zizou will..." then the response is, "Yeah, I believe that."
Messi - Legendary for his inexhaustible ability to surprise and delight. In this way I see him as a foil to Zidane. Because of the brash, confident way Zidane played, we expect anything from him. But with Messi, it's different. He's smaller and it's easy to ask questions about his game: "He's just playing off Ronaldinho or Eto'o," "he's just benefiting from Xavi's passes," etc. And yet every year it seems that Messi unveils a new skill to surprise and delight us. He can do the Mardona-esque runs, we've always known that. Then last year we saw the ability to score goals in bunches and just completely crush the will of the other team. (See: Arsenal at the Nou Camp in 10.) Then this year we realized he's also one of the best passers in the world - see this year's Clasico at the Camp Nou. I think much of the difference between Messi and Zizou is personality: For Messi, he plays the game w/ such a childlike wonder that it's like we have to be regularly reminded "You're watching a remarkable talent." But Zizou was always so brash, so confident, and so solid that you expected the extraordinary.
Xavi - Xavi is the sort of player that cannot be invented by the imagination. If you're imagining the perfect central midfield player, you might imagine someone with the tackling ability of Dunga, the passing ability of Fabregas, the playmaking eye of Modric, and the quickness of Iniesta. In other words, you want someone who does everything reasonably well. You wouldn't imagine someone whose sense of the game and touch is so exquisite that nothing else matters because you wouldn't imagine that anyone could be so advanced in those areas as to make the others inconsequential. It's like imagining a basketball player whose jump shot is so good they shoot an automatic 80% inside 25 feet. You never even conceive of such a player b/c it simply isn't possible to be that good at a single task. This quote from a story about him says it all for me: "Where midfield play in the Premier League often seems gruelingly effortful, Xavi simply skates or spins into space and pushes the ball onto dangerous areas with minimal exertion. Indeed, while Xavi’s compatriot and possible future understudy Cesc Fŕbregas is more direct and most definitely more goal-prolific, he so far lacks the ability to orchestrate the course of a match simply by keeping the ball. In the first leg of last years quarterfinal between Arsenal and Barcelona, Xavi completed 95 passes—62 more than Arsenal’s top passer that evening. In the return leg he completed 105, 59 more than Arsenal’s top passer. And where possession statistics are incidental to Arsenal’s intricate passing game and elaborate finishes, they are fundamental to Barcelona’s and Spain’s, and both squads exploit Xavi’s ability to keep the ball until the right moment for him or the group’s other playmakers to supply the final pass." (And if you don't read them, you must start reading Run of Play on a regular basis.)
Those are the three names for me. The main commonality I see is that legendary players have a capacity for introducing fans to the extraordinary, of elevating our experience of the game to something we didn't know existed, of sweeping us up into the romance of the beautiful game. They do it in different ways - Zizou with his brash confidence, Messi with his childlike glee, and Xavi with his unimaginably brilliant control of the game, but they all, if you want to use more theological language, put morals like us in touch with the super-natural.
I'd imagine other players that might fit this criteria would be Ronaldo (Brazil's Ronaldo), Van Buyten, Kruyff, Jairzinho, Pele, Garrincha, Eusebio, di Stefano, Puskas, and a few others, but I haven't seen enough of them to know. Other current players on the edge of this, for me, are Cristiano Ronaldo, Iniesta, Eto'o, Rooney, Tevez, Robben, Villa, Bale, Gerrard, Lampard, Torres, and Drogba.
22-03-2011, 07:38 AM #4
A guy called Noel Godfrey Chavasse died in 1917. He was one of only 3 people to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice. Both times was for rescuing men under fire on the western front in no man's land. Eventually he was killed performing such heroics. Football players aren't legends.
22-03-2011, 07:50 AM #5
If 20 years after someone retired they are still constantly talked about like Pele and a few others then they would have gained a status as a legendary footballer. The same goes for any walk of life with Schumacker in F1 and A Senna.
Sometimes the lines can be smeared like with Sir Stanley Matthews who was not only a legendary footballer but he also served and fought for his country in WW2.
How many of these pri maddonas would do that these days?
Good question Gazza
22-03-2011, 08:47 AM #6
22-03-2011, 11:49 AM #7
With reference to the poster that differentiated between war heroes & footballers (footballas ?), it think players can be club legends but are NOT heroes (but are hero worshipped by many).
22-03-2011, 01:55 PM #8
I think there's a difference between a legend and a LEGEND....if you know what I mean
Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Maldini, Giggs etc...these are LEGENDS.
At the same time…Danny Rose is a legend
22-03-2011, 02:02 PM #9
there are two types of legends in my eyes
one is a maverick type player, might not stick around for a long time but in the period of time he is there he excites the crowd with his sheer ability and class, and he leaves a long standing legacy behind him once he goes and is fondly remembered by the fans e.g. cantona, zola or berbatov (but not the fondly remembered part)
one is a club stalwart, a clubman through and through, gives everything for the cause and although maybe not an attractive name on the back of shirts, he is respected by every fan for his sheer dedication and hard work e.g. giggs, maldini or mabbutt
22-03-2011, 02:31 PM #10
I agree with @dan-spur about Chavasse , but a person can become a legend within his own sphere or industry , maybe just not as seen by humanity .
The accepted difference between those that are good and those that are great is one of time , ie. the length of time spent being good .
22-03-2011, 06:52 PM #11
i can only think of 3 marradona pele and best these guys dominated the sport in there time swagger style true icons. shame gazzer never kept his head screwed on
22-03-2011, 06:59 PM #12
I,d love to reply to this thread but i cant get a word in................you lot talk to much LOL
22-03-2011, 07:00 PM #13
Last edited by BlueCrew LA; 22-03-2011 at 11:36 PM.
22-03-2011, 11:28 PM #14
i dunno when gazzer first stormed on the scene he was pretty special imo. best was more about the image but fook me he could play absolute class.
Cruyff, Beckenbauer good shout.
Last edited by stead_uk; 22-03-2011 at 11:31 PM.
23-03-2011, 12:56 AM #15
Okay sorry I do not think a guy who rescues people is a legend, maybe he is courageous but many courageous peoples abound. legends are uncommon, of course people will then say that people of exceptional courage are also uncommon. so perhaps the joke is on me. anyway congratulations, what a fun debate