After the first article on the discussion of goalkeeper and defenders of the Ballon d’Or Dream Team, today we continue expressing our opinion on midfielders and forwards.
In the defensive midfielders’ positions, the French magazine proposed twenty candidates for two positions, choosing Lothar Matthäus and Xavi Hernández for those two positions. And right from the get-go we can see the controversy.
It is important to clarify that it is not about belittling the winners, it is rather a matter of understanding the context and the ways in which the selection was made since most of the people who voted did not see, for example, József Bozsik, who was part of the legendary Hungarian Golden Team of the 1950s, Didi, a Brazilian midfielder who was the best player of the 1958 FIFA World Cup that included Pelé, Josef Masopust, winner of the 1962 Ballon d’Or or Luis Suárez (not to be confused with the Uruguayan striker of Atlético Madrid), legend of FC Barcelona and Inter Milan. What I am trying to say is that players like Xavi, whose impact was more recent, had a much better chance of being a winner over other players who could be better or more influential. But this is not an insult to the Barcelona legend who achieved pretty much everything in football.
In the attacking midfielder sections we have the two players that are widely regarded by most as the best players of all time, Pelé and Diego Armando Maradona. However, this section must have been a real pain for voters because in this particular position we can find the likes of Alfredo Di Stéfano, Michel Platini, Ferenc Puskás, Zinedine Zidane, Bobby Charlton or Raymond Kopa. That’s simply too much quality. In other words, in this category, the choice could be correct and, at the same time, be unfair since players of a unique level would be left out. In fact, some players who appear as defensive midfielders actually had more offensive roles and had to be included as attacking midfielders or be left out of the whole discussion. In addition, if you move up Pele’ and Maradona to their real position, you need to leave on the bench either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, and this would not be accepted by those who finance footballs, sponsors…
After more than a century of football, it would be impossible to come out with the best 4 midfielders without creating controversies. In addition, the way people live football is certainly different from one individual to another and often the choices are based on different factors. As an example, I guess that nobody will choose Ronaldinho as one of the best 4 midfielders ever, but I also guess that when you are tired and want to relax, you search his name on the Youtube… Let’s move on to forwards for the happiness of sponsors!
And, of course, Lionel Messi is the right winger of the Ballon d’Or Dream Team while Cristiano Ronaldo is the left winger. Incredibly, one of the competitors of Messi was David Beckham despite few of you would remember him as a footballer. To cut the story short, for the greatest right winger in the history of football there are only two names available: George Best or Garrincha. The rest, including Messi, leave it to the teenagers. If you have two choices for the best right winger, unfortunately you have only one for the left winger. I am sorry for Cristiano Ronaldo and others who were or are amazing players, but nobody can reach Johan Cruyff.
The role of striker becomes completely redundant when you play between Best/Garrincha and Cruyff. You can choose your butcher, your uncle (with or without legs) or even me… you win, and you win big simply because you have two unstoppable wingers and Yashin between the posts. However, in case Cruyff gets injured and Garrincha or Best found a bar serving alcohol nearby the stadium, then yes go for Ronaldo (the real one, the Brazilian one). If there is also Marco Van Basten or Puskas on the bench would be better.
That’s all. As I said, jokes aside, it is hard to compile the best team ever despite it is a lot of fun. There are too many legends in the football history to limit the choice to only 11 guys. Yep, part 2 done, now I can go back to watch Ronaldinho on Youtube! Cheers!