Ronaldo (R9)

DCSPUR

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Ronaldo has 2 both winners, a golden ball and a golden boot, in fact if memory serves, he should have had three but was ill before the final in 94? Point is Messi has played in very strong Argentina sides, and although there is always some internal politics, he has never produced his Barca form in world cup. If he had he would have been the difference to them winning the big one imo. I am not trying to put him down in anyway, but it's the difference for me between Ronaldo and Messi, and why I put Ronnie slightly above Messi in the list of best in my lifetime. Argentina without Maradonna for example would never have lifted the world cup in 86.
saw the original Ronnie at the 2002 WC semi and final....the difference maker no question. There is a case that he could be the GOAT....that illness in 98 and injuries muddy the water. Had he been 100% in 98 Brazil would likely have won that final....and without his injuries he'd have another 2-3 CL. Debate would now be whether anyone is better than The Phenomenon
 

ohtottenham!

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Ronaldo played in 2 finals and has 2 world cup winners medals, a golden ball and a golden boot. Point is Messi has played in very strong Argentina sides, and although there is always some internal politics, he has never produced his Barca form in world cup. If he had he would have been the difference to them winning the big one imo. I am not trying to put him down in anyway, but it's the difference for me between Ronaldo and Messi, and why I put Ronnie slightly above Messi in the list of best in my lifetime. Argentina without Maradonna for example would never have lifted the world cup in 86.
Agree, but would go further. Argentina would have struggled to get out of the group stage without Maradona in '86! There'll be generational biases in any assessment of the GOAT.

There'll be complaints about Maradona's drug addictions and cheating, and how he was the antithesis of a model professional. All true...but he's still the best player I've ever seen. Would love to see a prime Maradona play in the modern game.
 
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Spurs 1961

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Good debate about best players of the last thirty years. Ronaldo was just awesome at his best but Messi for me is the most complete player. However doing it at the very highest level is something both Ronaldo and Maradona achieved above Messi.
 

RichieS

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Good debate about best players of the last thirty years. Ronaldo was just awesome at his best but Messi for me is the most complete player. However doing it at the very highest level is something both Ronaldo and Maradona achieved above Messi.
Is the World Cup really "the very highest level" any more? I've yet to see another that has matched the quality of the first 2 I can remember (USA and France).
 

Rocksuperstar

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Is the World Cup really "the very highest level" any more? I've yet to see another that has matched the quality of the first 2 I can remember (USA and France).
The general feel of World Cups has changed for me over the years - whether that's due to the event being different or me just getting older, who knows?

Mexico '86, i was ten years old, so it was just a spectacle like no other - to be fair, i barely remember the details, but the look of the whole thing is burned into my memory.

I have romantic memories of World Cup '90 ("I'd watch out for it if i were you..." Brian Clough, circa 1989), Cameroon in the opening match shocking Argentina with an outstanding effort, and even now i can practically recite the path England took from the memory of some amazing goals. Same with '94 and the Euro's in between - was that a good era, or just a good age to be watching football at?

The other thing to think about is where the game is at now compared to back then - 1990 was pre-Premier League, players were players not media darlings or teenagers on wages that could support a small country. It was much more a game and something to celebrate and weird stats to pour over. Now it feels more like work, the stats translate to monetary worth, the value of the games relying on sponsors who pay astronomical amounts.

Equally, the age of information has demonstrated the effect a World Cup can have on an area and the dark shit that goes on to get the infrastructure in place, the way taxes are not paid and income goes almost exclusively back to FIFA rather than the "hosts". Basically, it used to be fun and felt fun. Now it's about making as much money as possible off the backs of Countries that can't even afford to pay the workers a fair wage to put the damn thing on.

Certainly has lost a lot of it's shine as each year passes.
 

RichieS

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The general feel of World Cups has changed for me over the years - whether that's due to the event being different or me just getting older, who knows?

Mexico '86, i was ten years old, so it was just a spectacle like no other - to be fair, i barely remember the details, but the look of the whole thing is burned into my memory.

I have romantic memories of World Cup '90 ("I'd watch out for it if i were you..." Brian Clough, circa 1989), Cameroon in the opening match shocking Argentina with an outstanding effort, and even now i can practically recite the path England took from the memory of some amazing goals. Same with '94 and the Euro's in between - was that a good era, or just a good age to be watching football at?

The other thing to think about is where the game is at now compared to back then - 1990 was pre-Premier League, players were players not media darlings or teenagers on wages that could support a small country. It was much more a game and something to celebrate and weird stats to pour over. Now it feels more like work, the stats translate to monetary worth, the value of the games relying on sponsors who pay astronomical amounts.

Equally, the age of information has demonstrated the effect a World Cup can have on an area and the dark shit that goes on to get the infrastructure in place, the way taxes are not paid and income goes almost exclusively back to FIFA rather than the "hosts". Basically, it used to be fun and felt fun. Now it's about making as much money as possible off the backs of Countries that can't even afford to pay the workers a fair wage to put the damn thing on.

Certainly has lost a lot of it's shine as each year passes.
Yep - I agree with a lot of this. I remember watching USA '94 as a 9 year old (would never have guessed you had a decade on me!) and having no prior knowledge of these amazing players in seemingly obscure teams - Stoichkov, Hagi, Valderrama, - it felt like a privilege to be able to watch. Nowadays there are no undiscovered gems left and that takes some of the shine off for me.
 

gavspur

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Yep, same for me with World Cups. My first actual memories come from the Mexico '86 World Cup, let alone football memories. I remember being gutted that England had light blue shorts on vs Argentina when my kit had dark blue. I was running in and out of the front room with my ball as I was so excited I couldn't still. Annoyed the hell out of my dad. 1990 was amazing, there were a lot of evening games, and the stadiums looked massive. We got to see Maradonna cry too, along with our own tainted genius. And yeah, looking back, I think '98 was the last good one. Thing is, everyone loved the England team back then, more kids had England kits than league team kits. The arriviste of players like Terry, Cole etc, just distanced the supporters from the team I think. Shame.

As for R9, he was truly amazing. The most complete striker I think I've ever watched. I first heard about him in '94 as he went to the World Cup but didn't play. They were all saying Brazil had this kid, who was a genius, but they never played him. His time at Inter and Barca was him at is peak.
 

Kiedis

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Watched him when he played in the Olympics in 96. Brazil had an older player named Ronaldo in the squad, so R9 was actually called "Ronaldinho" then. Then he went to Barcelona and I managed to watch a lot of games then too. He was absolutely mesmerizing, and on a whole other level than after his knee injuries.