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Posted by el principe Monday, May 16, 2011 Go To Comments


In late 1980's we had Maradona, Burruchaga, Pumpido, Ruggeri, Batista. Only Maradona and Burruchaga were among the best in the world. In early 1990's we had Maradona, Caniggia, Goycochea, Ruggeri. In late 1990's we had Batistuta, Crespo, Veron, Ortega, and Redondo. In early 2000's we had very few stars. They were mostly those who played for mediocre teams such as Paris st. Germain (Pochettino), Celta Vigo (G. Lopez), Valencia (Ayala, Aimar, Kily G), Gallardo (Monaco), Roma (Batistuta, Samuel), Bayer Leverkusen (Placente), Rangers (Caniggia). Only Veron who played for a top team, Manchester United. I remember at the time we had very few players who were in top 50 of FIFA player of the year. At one point, only Juan Veron made the top 50 list.

Then one man was born and he changed it all, his name is Lionel Messi. Discovered somewhere around 2004 when Barca -who had the best player in the world, Ronaldinho-  played in a league game. Messi made it as a substitute and he scored in a lob only to be ruled offside. Then a couple minutes after he scored exactly the same lob from the same area. I already knew that the guy was "something". 

Lionel Messi seemed to lead the new generation of the Argentina top players. Suddenly the likes of Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Roberto Ayala, Walter Samuel, Javier Zanetti, Juan Sorin, Juan Riquelme, Pablo Aimar were looking really promising.

If in early 2000's our players played for mediocre teams, then our players started to fill the roster of the top 50 FIFA player of the year and started playing for the best teams in Europe.  Our players reached their peak somewhere around 2008 when we had most of our players playing for top teams in the world such as: Barcelona (Messi), Real Madrid (Higuain, Gago), Manchester United (Carlos Tevez), Inter Milan (Samuel, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Milito), Liverpool (Mascherano), Bayern Munich (Demichelis), Porto (Lisandro Lopez). From mediocre teams to the big teams just in a few years. From just 1-2 players in top 50 FIFA player of the year to 5-7 players in top 50 FIFA player of the year.

Lionel Messi won the FIFA player of the year 2 years in a row in 2009 and 2010. Something that our last best achievement was the 3rd place. I think it was Gabriel Batistuta for Fiorentina when he almost won the serie A in 1999. 10 years after Batistuta, we had no one who was among the top 3 FIFA player of the year. Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Cannavaro, Kaka, CR7 dominated and always won it. 


I am convinced that Lionel Messi will win FIFA Player of the year 2011 for the record breaking 3rd time in a row. I am sure that at least Tevez, Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, and Mascherano will make the top 50 FIFA player of the year. Things have changed. Our players have been the key attributes in big teams.

However, strange things happens. Where are the titles? The last title we had was COPA AMERICA 1993. If after the COPA AMERICA 1993, we lacked of world class players, it is normal that we did not win titles. Players who played for big European teams always brought them titles. Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho gave Brazil 2 world cups. Zidane gave France 1 world cup and a silver medal of world cup and a bunch of trophies for Juventus and Real Madrid. Luis Figo gave titles to Real Madrid. Kaka gave Brazil and Milan a combination of world cup and Champions cup trophy. What about us? Yes Messi gave Barca a lot of league titles and a Champions cup, but what about Argentina?

I come up with this formula: 

TOP PLAYERS ALWAYS BRING TITLES! <---That is the formula

Now I think it is just about a matter of time before our top players bring us titles. The formula has always worked for more than 100 years since the game soccer was discovered in England. It has even more accurate accuracy than the famous, Paul the octopus. Paul had one mistake in Euro 2008 and was perfect in WC 2010, but the formula has never made any mistake: THE TOP PLAYERS WILL ALWAYS BRING TITLES!

Now I will show the complete list of the current best players in all eleven posiition including where our players currently rank. I will use our traditional Argentina way. 1 means goalie; 4 means right back; 3 means left back; 6 means stopper, 2 means sweeper with leadership; 5 means defensive midfielder, 7 means left winger, 8 means versatile midfielders; 11 means second striker, 9 means main striker, 10 means playmaker. Some players are too versatile to play in one position, but I would put them in their best position. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo can play anywhere in midfield and forward, but for me his best position is second striker, so I would put him among the top players of the second striker.

World Best number 1 (Goalkeeper):
1. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain)
2. Manuel Nauer (Schalke/Germany)
3. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
4. Victor Valdez (Barcelona/Spain)
5. Joe Hart (Manchester City/England)
6. Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray/Uruguay)
8. Peter Cech (Chelsea/Czech)
9. Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal/Poland)
10. Hugo Lloris (Totenham Hotspur/France)
11. Samir Handinovic (Inter Milan/Slovenia)

World Best number 4 (Right Back):
1. Daniel Alves (Barcelona/Brazil)
2. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)
3. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea/Serbia)
4. Dario Srjna (Shakhtar Donetsk/Croatia)
5. Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/France)
6. Maicon (Manchester City/Brazil)
7. Rafael (Manchester United/Brazil)
8. Micah Richards (Manchester City/England)
                                                                                                                    9. Mathieu Debuchy (Lille/France)                                                                                                                                        10. Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City/Argentina)

 World Best number 3 (Left Back):
1. Phillip Lahm (Bayern Munchen/Germany)
2. Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)
3. Patrice Evra (Manchester United/France)
4. Jordi Alba (Barcelona/Spain)
5. Ashley Cole (Chelsea/England)
6. Aly Cissokho (Valencia/France)
7. Alexander Kolarov (Manchester City/Serbia)
8. Leighton Baines (Everton/England)
9. Gael Clichy (Manchester City/France)
                                                                                                                             10. Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan/Japan)

World Best number 2 (Sweeper/Leader):
1. Carles Puyol (Barcelona/Spain)
2. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City/Belgium)
3. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United/England)
4. John Terry (Chelsea/England)
                                                                                                                                                5. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus/Italy)
6. Pepe (Real Madrid/Portugal)
                                                                                                                                                 7. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)                                                                                                             8. EZEQUIEL GARAY (Benfica/ARGENTINA                                                                                   9. Lucio (Juventus/Brazil)                                                                                                                                                           10. Diego Lugano (PSG/Uruguay)

World Best number 6 (Defender/Stopper):
1. Nemandja Vidic (Manchester United/Serbia)
2. Gerrard Pique (Barcelona/Spain)
3. Thiago Silva (AC Milan/Brazil)
4. Phil Jones (Manchester United/England)
                                                                                                                           5. David Luiz (Chelsea/Brazil)                                                                                                                                                    6. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool/Slovakia)
7. Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund/Bosnia)
8. Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)
9. Sebastian Coates (Liverpool/Uruguay)
10. Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke/Greece)

World Best number 5 (Defensive Midfielder/Deep Lying Playmaker):
1. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona/Spain)
2. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid/Spain)
                                                                                            4. Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy)                                                                                                             5. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munchen/Germany)                                                                          6. Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/Germany)                                                                                                                              7. John Obi Mikel (Chelsea/Nigeria)                                                                                                                                       8. Michael Carrick (Manchester United/England)                                                                                                               9. Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma/Italy)                                                                                                                                   10. Javi Martinez (Bayern Munchen/Spain)

World Best number 8 (Attacking Midfielder):
1. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain)
                                                                                                                                        2. Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
3. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal/Spain)
                                                                                                                                            4. Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast)                                                                                                                     5. Frank Ribery (Bayern Munchen/France)
6. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool/England)
7. Frank Lampard (Chelsea/England)
                                                                                                                                     8. Oscar (Chelsea/Brazil)                                                                                                                                                             9. Tony Kroos (Bayern Munchen/Germany)                                                                                                                     10. Christian Eriksen (Ajax Amsterdam/Denmark)

World Best number 7 (Winger):
2. Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona/Chile)
3. Pedro (Barcelona/Spain)
4. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munchen/Holland)
5. Gareth Bale (Totenham Hotspur/Wales)
                                                                                                                            6. Juan Mata (Chelsea/Spain)                                                                                                                7. EZEQUIEL LAVEZZI (PSG/ARGENTINA)                                                                                                               8. Nani (Manchester United/Portugal)                                                                                                                                    9. Ashley Young (Manchester United/England)                                                                                                                10. Tello (Barcelona/Spain)

World Best number 10 (Playmaker):
1. Xavi (Barcelona/Spain)
                                                                                                                                                            2. David Silva (Manchester City/Spain)
3. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid/Germany)
4. Kaka (Real Madrid/Brazil)
5. Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan/Holland)
                                                                                                                               6. Santi Cazorla (Arsenal/Spain)
7. Marek Hamsik (Napoli/Slovakia)
                                                                                                              9. Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)                                                                                                                 10. Sami Nasri (Manchester City/France) 

World Best number 11 (Second Striker):
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
                                                                                                                       2. SERGIO AGUERO (Manchester City/ARGENTINA)                                                                                            3. Neymar (Santos/Brazil)                                                                                                                                                            4. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England)                                                                                                                5. Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona/Chile)                                                                                                                                           6. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/Germany)                                                                                                                                    7. Luis Suarez (Liverpool/Uruguay)                                                                                                                                         8. CARLOS TEVEZ (Manchester City/ARGENTINA)                                                                                                 9. Hulk (Zenit Petersburg/Brazil)                                                                                                                                             10. Mario Balotelli (Manchester City/Italy)

World Best number 9 (Striker):
                                                                                                               2. Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid/Colombia)                                                                                                                 3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG/Sweden)
4. Robin Van Persie (Manchester United/Holland)
5. Mario Gomez (Bayern Munchen/Germany)
                                                                                             7. Edinson Cavani (Napoli/Uruguay)                                                                                                                                       8. Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi/Cameroon)                                                                                                                                         9. Fernando Torres (Chelsea/Spain)                                                                                                                                     10. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke/Holland)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
3. Xavi (Barcelona/Spain)
4. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain)
5. Mario Gomez (Bayern Munchen/Germany)


Updated: October 7th, 2012


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Posted on 9/6/2013 at 3:39 PM

(United States)
Posted on 5/20/2011 at 7:35 PM
What a joke !!

Posted on 5/20/2011 at 5:01 PM
I realy apreciate & understand the formular, but one thing to focuse on, is for playmaker player with the sense like Roman, not Roman in pérson cos he's weak, we need fresh & young like Pastore, take a look

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/19/2011 at 8:30 AM
Jack, I'm not saying I'd want to see our players playing for big teams and then get wasted. You said some of them: Di Santo (Chelsea), Garay (Madrid), Maxi Lopez (Barca). I think Messi is the only one who was bought by a big team as a youth but does live up the expectation. Other than that, they all pretty much fail. I'm not talking about "mediocre" teams like Fiorentina who bought Batigol or Roma who bought Balbo. I'm talking about really big teams. Maybe Zanetti is a close one. He was bought as a youth I think after the Olympic 1996, then he lives up the expectation.

I agree, rather than seeing the youth get wasted up, I prefer them playing for smaller team. I actually read a good article a year ago. I totally forgot his name, he was supposed to be as talented as Messi. He came to Europe when he was very young, but now nobody remembers his name now because he came to Europe too early. If I'm not mistaken, I think he plays for a second division team in Argentina or something now. Maybe some succeed doing that like Pastore, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Lavezzi, but I think a lot more fails.

What I was really trying to say is that if they play for really big teams (as key important players, not just bench warmers) somehow affects the chance of winning trophies for example: France 1998 winning side have Candela, Lizarazu, Vieira, Djorkaeff, Deschamps, Desailly, Zidane, Thuram, Petit, Lebouf, and Karembeu who played for either Juventus, Madrid, Munchen, Roma, Inter, Milan, Arsenal, or Chelsea.

Brazil winning side in 2002 have Cafu, Edmilson, R. Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Roque Junior who played for either Roma, Lyon, Barca, Madrid, or Inter.

Italy winning side in 2006 have Buffon, De Rossi, Gattuso, Pirlo, Vieri, Toni, Totti who played for the big 5 mostly Milan, Inter, Juventus, Roma, or Fiorentina.

And then Spain in 2010 have Casillas, Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Villa, Torres who played for mostly Barca, Madrid, Valencia or Liverpool.

But when you take a look at the winning side of 1994 or earlier, Brazil in 1994 didn't have that much players in Europe. Germany in 1990 and Argentina in 1986 mostly had players who played in their local league, so things have changed really.

(United States)
Posted on 5/19/2011 at 12:45 AM

In a perfect world, all of our players would stay in Argentina, there are plenty of "big teams" in Argentina, as well as big games. Playing Barcelona/United/Liverpool/Inter, are not the be all and say all of futbol.

(United States)
Posted on 5/19/2011 at 12:42 AM
Well el principe, you do not need to play for these European teams to be "mentally ready". As the previous Podcast said, we have some massive games in Argentina. Boca-River, Racing-Independiente, Rosario Centra-Newll's.. A lot of our players have played in big games back home, so I do not think it prepares them mentally. If you make the cut for Argentina, that means you are a hell of a player.

I know you are basing it if they play for Man U or whatever it will make them think "I am ready for the big time", which I do not think is really good. Look at Sergio Ramos, guy gets burned time in and time again, the guy plays for Madrid but is not that good. Plus, if they get signed by a Madrid or Man U, they will have to rot on the bench for time. We had a nice prospect in Franco Di Santo, who basically wasted his time at Chelsea' youth development, did not do when he went on loan. The likes of Gago,Garay have wasted their time at Madrid. I would rather play for a side like Mallorca which I know I will get playing time, then rot away on Madrid's bench. There is only so much time and place for players to play for "big clubs" for them to really make an impact. I mean look at Maxi Lopez, got signed by Barcelona at a young age, did not play much, became a journeyman, bounced from one league to the other and finally found his place at Catania. You do not want to go somewhere and just sit or get called and play for 15 minutes. Time and development is very important.

As for Batigol he did not leave for many reasons, he had his family in Florence. He had already understood the Italian language, our cultures are very similar. He did not want to pick up his family, and go to United, which the culture is vastly different, and he had to learn a new language.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/18/2011 at 11:45 PM
Oh I forgot one thing. I put Hulk instead of Falcao. In my point of view Hulk is better and more highly rated than Falcao. After the Copa America I definitely would upgrade this list, but suggestions are always welcome.

I would also think of making my own formula to determine the value of strikers. Maybe something like: (goals x 3) + (assists x 2) + (number of games x 1) + (the club position: 1st position means 20 points, 2nd means 15, 3rd means 10) + (the rating of their leagues: Spanish/Italian/English = 20, Portugal/France/Germany = 10) + (the Champions league/UEFA league status) or something like that. That would come up with the total points and the total points would decide who's the world hottest strikers! I would apply this for the number 9 and 11 (main striker and second striker) only.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/18/2011 at 11:37 PM

Well put Jack. Totally agree with you. You wrote something I missed totally. Yeah luck factor was important in football. I'm sure Denmark in Euro 1992 and Greece in Euro 2004 wouldn't have been Euro champions had the competition been repeated again that year. That was, for me, especially the Greece one, pure luck.

If you look at my list, there is one team that doesn't have too many players on the top but is at least the world second best team: Netherlands. But they had easy paths on their way to the final. The only hard opponent they encountered before the final was Brazil. I also think like you if we were in group A (Uruguay place) or group B (France place), we would have made it to the final.

However I just stressed the importance of playing for huge teams like Barca, Madrid, MU, Chelsea, Arsenal, Milan, or Inter for the mental factor. Once our players play for huge teams like those, the world would acknowledge that they are one of the best in the world + they will have a chance of winning the FIFA top player of the year/best defenders/best goalie/best midfielders/best attackers. That would definitely increase their mentality and belief that they are one of the world best. Skill wise, they are the same, but mentality wise, they are much higher. For example, Nemandja Vidic is praised as the world best defender. I just read an article today on about Nemandja Vidic. Imagine if the same Nemandja Vidic plays for the likes of Sampdoria, or Blackburn Rovers or Sporting Gijon. Would we consider him the world best defender? No... not until he moves to the big club first then he will have a chance.

The same went to Batigol. He was one of the world best strikers when playing for Fiorentina (If Ronaldo Assis were never born, Batigol would have single handedly dominated the world), but his reluctance to move to big teams (all the big teams in the world from Barca to MU wanted him at the time) made him not that much of a world class striker he's supposed to be. He only moved when his career was on the way down to Roma.

(United States)
Posted on 5/18/2011 at 7:18 PM
I do not think to be the best players, you need to play for the best clubs* I meant to write OR you need to play for the best.

(United States)
Posted on 5/18/2011 at 4:56 PM

Just wondering, where are the likes of Falcao on the list? Falcao has been on FIRE!

I would not say our boys in the early 2000's played for "mediocre teams", Valencia was a major force in the early 2000's, led by Aimar, Kily and Ayala. Monaco played great stuff and Marcelo Gallardo was named best footballer in the league for a season. Deportivo de La Coruña were a force in Spain,Real Sociedad had a nice run and almost won La Liga. Saviola had a year with Barcelona when he signed, and banged in 17 goals in La Liga. We had players in Roma likes Samuel and Bati. Lazio and Parma had nice runs in the Serie A with the likes of Crespo and Almeyda playing for them.I did not see anything about Bianchi's Boca who beat Real Madrid for the Copa Intercontinental twice with Boca.

Football seems to have a cycle and we are back at that cycle that only 2 or 3 teams at the most, will trophies in European football. There is not a balance anymore, it's all about money,money,money! Hell in Portugal, I do not know for how many years, there has been only 1 team outside of Benfica,Sporting Lisbon,and Porto that has won their league.

I think we have come to the stage that if our players do not play for the likes of, Barcelona,Madrid,Milan,Inter,Juve,,Bayern Munich,Lyon,PSG,United,Liverpool,Arsenal or whatever, they are mediocre.

I do not think to be the best players, you need to play for the best clubs. If you look at Europe, Denmark won the 92 title while the Landrup brothers on the bench. Look at the Greek side that won Euro 2004. We had a great qualifying run for the 02 WC, only lost a single game(To 3 PK's that Ronaldo scored). To win a trophy, not only do you need to have a good team, but a bit of luck. Man, if we had Uruguay's path for the 2010 WC, we just might of made the final. We had to beat Mexico, then Germany,Spain,Holland to win the WC. While Uruguay's path was, South Korea,Ghana, then they played the Dutch. The Brazilians on the WC in 02, by beating, Belgium,England,Turkey then Germany(A really poor German side to say the least). The Germans reached the semis by beating, Paraguay,US,South Korea. A lot of things need to fall your to win the title.

Regardless, it was a good article, I enjoyed it, but I do not think you really need to have a top 10 player in each position to really win. Of course you need talent, but also a bit of luck is needed. Good job el pricipe.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/18/2011 at 1:00 PM

Madrid used to rely on the Dutch players 3 years ago. They had Nistelrooy, Huntelaar, Van Der Vaart, Robben, and Sneijder. They all were/are excellent players, but their record didn't say so. Once they sold them one by one + getting a better coach like Mourinho, they start to look strong.

I wouldn't argue with you about Robben, I agree with your point. His only weakness, other than his injury prone, is that he doesn't really make players around him better as in the case of the Gomez being the top scorer mostly without him.

But CR7 and Kaka were definitely upgrades over Robben and Sneijder who play in exactly the same position. Sneijder is excellent for Inter and Holland because he wants to prove his worth.

Posted on 5/18/2011 at 5:36 AM
Robben can be the go-to-guy...
He was the go-to-guy when Bayern Munich almost completed the treble last year. He was the go-to-guy when he dragged Holland to the World Cup final and was one miss away from becoming a WC hero.
The player's unbelievably fast and is an excellent dribbler. The reason that Real Madrid sold him, was because he's injure prone. His only problem is that he's made of glass. If he was playing all these years without injury, I can guarantee you that he would have been in the top 3 in the world.
Another thing, Madrid was not smart enough to sell him... Both him and Sneijder were sold, and they both were seen playing with their respective teams in the Bernabeu in the Champions league final.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 3:21 PM
Robben and Di Maria are different in that Robben is a go-to player while Di Maria is more of a team-player. Robben will never be able to work with Messi or CR7. The same way CR7 will never be able to work with Messi because all three of them are go-to player. That's why Madrid was smart enough to sell him when they got CR7. Robben is too selfish to be able to work with the 2 of the best in the world.

Di Maria is a great teammate. He's one of the leading assist leaders in la liga and was the leading assist leader in Portuguese league prior to that. Di Maria is a good teammate for both CR7 and Messi. He's one of the reasons why CR7 looks almost as good as Messi.

Robben will never be half as good as Messi or CR7 even if he's surrounded by Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets-Alves-Villa-Pedro or Ozil-Di Maria-Higuain/Benzema-Alonso-Khedira-Marcelo. He's a go-to guy, but the bad thing is he's not that productive unlike Messi or CR7. As a team player, he's not a good team player. That's the reason why I put him not that high.

I admit individually, Robben is better than all number 7 I list, but it's just that fact above that makes me put him lower. Munich leading scorer, Gomez scored a lot more when Robben was in injured list. What does that say?

Posted on 5/17/2011 at 1:04 PM
Interesting lineup from Slicer. Lamela is still pretty green but actually holds on to the ball more than Pastore. We will probably never see this, at least anytime soon, but it is intriqueing.

Yeah, Robben can be a jerk but he is a tremendous player. If Di Maria ends up being half the player Robben is that would be nice.

Posted on 5/17/2011 at 10:55 AM
If you think that Bale and Di Maria rank higher than Robben, then you must be crazy! No offence man, but if Robben wasn't injured all the time, He'd be rated equal to Messi and Cr7.
Rojo as 10th best left back in the world? umm I don't think so... He doesn't play in a big league and is still unproven. Same goes for Sergio Romero.
As for Lavezzi being 7th Best Versatile Midfielder, He's more like 27th Best.

Our Best Eleven and most interesting starting line up so far should go like this...

-- Zabaleta -- Samuel -- Mascherano -- Zanetti --
---------------Cambiasso -- Banega -----------
------------ Lamela -------- Pastore
-----------Aguero -------- Messi

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 1:56 AM

Yeah the ranking thing is like Miss Universe contest. It's always debatable as who's better than who. Actually I plan on keeping this updated every 1-2 months. Just like in ATP tennis ranking or the FIFA ranking, the players ranking also never stop moving. I'm sure after the Copa America, these ranking will be different. I just hope we would agree that the likes of Rojo, Romero, or Pareja are that high or even higher (meaning that they will have a good tournament) ;)

One thing, I talked about this to Ziggy via email. One of the reasons why I write this is you know we're all crazy Argentina fans. We don't need to always read Tim Vickery's articles or's football experts articles if we want to read good articles about Argentina. Why not us??? Are Tim Vickery or those experts more die hard Argentina fans than us? I doubt it. So if we have more passion about futbol Argentino, then why don't we be creative? write/analysize something that are at least as good as theirs! It's all about how much you love Albiceleste. Tim Vickery or some of those experts might be better than us when it comes to posting articles about the global football, but not the Argentine football!

Roy Nemer
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 12:52 AM
Good post and it makes one analyse (or atleast it made me analyse) where our players rank with the rest of the players in the world. Looking at the rankings posted, I can't agree with it.

Romero as the 11th best goalkeeper in the World? Germany alone has around 5 goalkeepers better then him. Spain has atleast 3 goalkeepers better then him, that's already 8. United States have about 2 that are better and Brazil has a handful better then Romero. That's excluding Cech, Van der Sar and a Buffon who could barely stay healthy. No way is Romero at 11.

Rojo as #10 at left back? Did I miss something? While there is somewhat of a lack of good LB's in the world, there is no way Rojo is at #10.

Pareja at 15th best when it comes to number 6? I highly doubt it.

Mascherano (along with Cambiasso... when on) are probably the two best defensive midfielders in the world. Not that the others mentioned on the list aren't good, they are, but I think Mascherano and Cambiasso are the two best in the world.

Lavezzi at #7? Sorry if it looks like I'm nit picking, but he would be in the double digits (and sometimes after I'm done watching one of his matches, in the triple digits).

Pastore at #7? I like el flaco and all, but do people really rate him that high? No doubt he's extremely skilfull and the potential for him to be big is huge, but not yet. He has been off since around December or so.

Aguero I would probably rate much higher on the list (ahead of Muller, Rossi, Hernandez and Di Natale. Probably even ahead of Neymar).

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 2:51 PM
I just afraid if Messi as #9 in Argentina does not work at Copa, we will not win it. Batista no other tactics.

Messi as #9 in Barcelona is different, he has Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Pedro, Villa and they are very fast, skillful, and not easy to lose the ball (*my mind think of Pastore* He is overrated!!! You should watch Palermo every week, and you will know)

Maybe just send local seleccion (or Velez?) to play at Copa, they are better. Vamos MOUCHE, CHAVEZ, MORALEZ, PEREZ, YACOB

I'm frustrated. If they don't win the Copa, there will be more Messi hater in this world.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 2:18 PM

I agree with you. I would add more. Argentina have two major weakness. These two factors did cost us some WC, some Copa America, and a Confederation cup.
1. counter attack defense. Brazil showed that to us in the final of Copa America 2007 (Basile) and the Confed cup final 2005 (Pekerman) and the QF of the WC 2010 against Germany (Maradona).

2. As Ziggy said and you said, our winning mentality. If we conceded a goal against a big team that are good at counter attacks (Brazil and Germany especially), that's usually a problem for us. You know the last time we won the game after the opponent scored first was 5 years ago. Argentina vs Mexico in the WC 2006 second round! Mexico scored first, but we won 2-1.

Check out this graphic:

The ranking graphic will show us that we've been just a great team, but not the best team (2nd-7th in ranking) in the last 10 years. But the fact that we did not win anything in years really weaken our mental.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 1:54 PM
Argentina suffers from the lack of'Team' chemistry. Someone who follows Argentina for a long time is totally aware of that. Not a very quality post imo. And Argentina had the best share of players in the early 2000s, something that the poster mentioned like vice versa.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 1:46 PM

As for Lavezzi, well I'm not his fan at all, but I'm never biased. When someone that isn't my favorite plays good, I would say he plays good. I used to dislike Nelson Vivas, but I remember one time he was the man of the match in a game, I gave him the highest rating of the game too in my report. 13 years ago, I was on a forum that called Batistuta list. I was a huge fan of Batigol. People there were dying to see him as the FIFA player of the year of 1999, but I was the one who said Batigol did NOT deserve to be the FIFA player of the year. Why? Simply because there were others better than him. I have no problem with you disliking Lavezzi, but I'm just writing facts that he's not someone that just runs. He's the leading assist of Napoli and the highest rating player of Napoli and the third average leader in Napoli.

As for Bale and Di Maria. I'll start with Bale. First of all, I hate England more than I hate Brazil and Lakers. I'm never a fan of any English player, but again, I repeat I'm not biased. All fans would mostly agree including Madrid leaders and Barca leaders and MU leaders and Inter leaders especially Maicon who was embarassed by Bale in the 2 meetings in Champions league that Bale is one of the best wingers if not the current best. Why would Mourinho be interested in him when he already has Di Maria or CR7 as left winger? That shows his quality.

As for Di Maria, I notice that you're number 1 Di Maria hater on this forum, that's fine. I'm not really that much of a Di Maria fan as some people here thought of, but I DISAGREE TOTALLY with people who say that Di Maria is crap and that the likes of Sosa is better than Di Maria. It annoys me when someone doesn't talk about reality football. IF one day Sosa is better than Di Maria, then I would be the first who says that Sosa is a better player than Di Maria, but the fact doesn't suggest that. That's why I'm talking about the truth as I am a fan of reality football not fantasy football. The reality football say that Bale and Di Maria are two of the best. I have put the comparison between Di Maria and Ozil in the past in one of my posts only to come up with Di Maria being the better one. I speak the truth man, not fantasy or anything biased.

As for Rojo? What makes you think that I compare him to Burdisso, Fazio, Milito, and Otamendi? Rojo is a left back, those above are a center back. I'm not saying Rojo is the best in the world, but don't just consider Spartak Moscow, Rojo is a secure starting left back for Argentina.

As for Messi, again, here is the update of the latest reality football from Batista's latest interview:
"Mi 9 es Messi" meaning: my number 9 is Messi.

CR7 isn't a number 9, I agree, but Messi is playing number 9 for both Barca and Argentina, although some of us who love fantasy football here are too slow to accept this fact.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 12:30 PM
I mean "after Brazil out from WC 1990 in Italy"

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 12:29 PM
Hope Argentina can win the Copa, since Brazil is in rebuilding phase.

Very sad, but I have to admit Brazil is bigger than Argentina after WC 1986. Argentina can only win when Brazil in rebuilding phase after they out from (ex. Copa 1991, 1993).

YES, our players are TOP players...for their clubs :)

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 12:29 PM
@el principe:
one more thing, Messi scoring 52 goals does not make him a number 9. Higuain is number 9 (good enough), Crespo is number 9 (excellent), Batistuta is number 9 (legend). But Messi ain't. He's no target man. The fact that Batista said that Higuain and Messi are my 9s speaks about his ignorance and about how desperate he is to copy Barca system without any thinking and invention. Its like he's memorizing Barca's system but not understanding it.

Ronaldo (Real Madrid) has also hit 51 goals and he is not a number 9.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 12:22 PM
The problems:

If Argentina conceded goal first, they never come back (4-0 against Germany)

If Argentina score first, the opponent can strike again (USA, Ecuador), and it becomes draw

If Argentina score first, the opponent can strike again, and they need miracle to win the game (Portugal)

Our players are TOP players....YES...for their clubs.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 12:15 PM
@el principe
lets start with Lavezzi: i do not actually give a damn if he is the top scorer in Italy, the player with most assists, the player with most dribbles, i do not even care if he outshines Messi every week. when he plays with Argentina he runs like a headless chicken and since your formula is trying to solve the NT puzzle then my evaluation is based on the NT yes Lavezzi is a wrong choice.

as for DiMaria, Bale: you certainly are confusing yourself...yep my friend you managed to do that with your formula. i did not say they are not good, but your classification puts them as among the best in the world! they are good but not that good, unless your an English media follower (to support Bale) and a person who just loves low IQ players (to support DiMaria)...again they are good but not among the best 5 in the world!

Rojo? so being better than Burdisso, Garay, Milito, Fazio, and Otamendi makes him among the best in the world?!

PS: thanks for the advice ;)

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 10:56 AM
Off topic:

Tweet from Batista just now:

Worldeleven confirmó que será Albania ,en el estadio de River, el rival a enfrentar el 20 de Junio.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 9:37 AM
Btw, Mohd, Lavezzi is currently the third highest average in Italy serie A and is one of the leading assist of serie A. Certainly not a player who just runs.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 9:27 AM

Of course there would be some who disagree with me when I rank those players. That's normal. I even disagree with the's castrol ranking except the number 1 and 2 (Messi and CR7).

Romero? 11th isn't that high. And Romero isn't that poor. He's at least as reliable as Abbondanzieri.

Rojo, read my previous comment below. Pareja is better at least than Burdisso, Garay, Milito, Fazio, and Otamendi (all of the players called for Argentina lately) for me. Pareja is reliable, but very very underrated.

Lavezzi? I did not put him among playmakers. I put him as 8 meaning the versatile midfielders. Yes Lavezzi is a second striker for Napoli, but his ability to attack from both wings, especially right wings make me put him as number 8. I once said here that Lavezzi is our best right offensive winger we have. Di Maria and Bale out of the place? Wake up and just watch football. That's my advice. Ask 1 million random fans in the world, and they would say that Di Maria and Bale are among the best wingers!

Pastore as 7th is just his position for me. He's no better than the previous 6, but he can still play in big teams like Milan or Inter or Chelsea or Arsenal or MU and dominate. As for Messi, let the number 52 speak for itself.

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 9:18 AM
Rojo is anonymous. He just plays for Spartak, but he's the starting left back of Argentina and has been so far what we're finally looking for. Heinze was an average left back. We used him because we had absolutely no one better than him for left back. Papa, Ansaldi, Insua, Clemente, all tried there, but Heinze was better. When Rojo was tried, he showed that he's faster, stronger, taller, quicker, better in the air, younger, better offensively than Heinze. So he's kind of underrated.

Actually I was tempted to put Zanetti out of the top ten of right back. Not because he was that bad, but Zanetti is better as a right/left sided defensive midfielder than a right back. If there was a top ten of right/left sided DM, I would put Zanetti in top 5 for sure.

As For Neymar, he's even a better talent than Pato. Not as scarry as the young Ronaldo, but he's scarrier than Pato. He dominated the U20 tournament and is a superstar in Santos and has 3 goals in 3 games for Brazil so far. He can easily play for big teams in Europe and become a starter and look scarry. He's proven.

As for Busquets. Well during the defender crisis of Barca a while ago where they only had Pique as the healthy one, Barca tried Busquets as center back and Mascherano as DM. Then after a few games, Pep changed his mind. He tried Mascherano as center back and Busquets as DM. He sticks with that idea until now. So that means Busquets is better than Mascherano as DM for Barca. For me Mascherano is better in all defensive attributes: tougher, better tackler and marker, ability to read the game defensively, but Busquets is ahead of him in all offensive attributes (quick passing, killer pass, shooting, teamwork, reading the game offensively, heading). That's why he's untouchable as DM of Spain and Barca.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 9:03 AM
What Mohd said. Dead on.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 9:01 AM
Interesting reading and should bring alot of comments, but last I checked formulas work with numbers and elements. Not human beings !

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 8:57 AM
man you plugged in some players into the "world's best in position" just to make your formula work :)
- Romero is no way the 11th in the world...i will not start counting but its way an overstatement to call him among the best in the world
- Rojo? we just saw 2-3 matches of him, and he was so poor tactically that for once i was crying to have Heinzi back
- Pareja? not sure if he is even the best in Russia
- Lavezzi: a player that only runs deserves no mention. the fact that you placed him with playmakers is also another issue
- DiMaira? better than Robben, Pedro? no way. Note: Please get Bale out of there
- Pastore: i am (mainly was) his biggest fan but after watching most of Palermo matches lately, the guy is way overhyped...he has potential but he has a LOT of work to do...he is so lazy he makes Ibrahimovic looks active

note: Messi is not a 9, the "false" 9 position works at Barca because they are so dynamic and technically gifted. the same cannot be said about Argentina. Xavi/Iniesta/Villa/Pedro is miles ahead of Banega/Cambiasso/DiMaria/Lavezzi so with Argentina Messi HAS to be involved in play building...maybe Pastore can help in this area but he has to improve a lot.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 8:47 AM
Well nice work and i appreciate your formula!!! Best players do bring trophies and I hope Argentina can do it this summer!!!! But i do disagree with some of ypur evaluations!!!

MARCOS ROJO lies there with top ten????

ZENETTI after Rafel and Sagna??? r u serious??? common from where did rafael appeared???? Is that because he play for united???

Now most annoying thing: that punk neymar lies 3rd in your ranking??? common tell me what have he done till now??? he plays in brazilian league( drastically lower then european league!!!) oh may be he's there because he scored 2 vital goals against the "mighty scotland"..... i m really sick of this amateur punk!!!!

Finally, i think u appreciate Pep Guardiola a lot!!!! Busquets above MASCHERANO is something like rooney above Messi!!!!

el principe
(United States)
Posted on 5/16/2011 at 8:42 AM
You're talking about the mentality factor. I agree. However, the big-players-always-bring-titles factors are undeniable. You're saying in 1994 we had those players. OK, they were fantastic players, but Maradona was on the way down, Bati was just starting to get famous, that's why Fiorentina wanted him. He wasn't exactly the world class striker yet. Even Fiorentina got relegated to serie B one time! Caniggia was a lot of problem out of the pitch just like Maradona. Balbo was just above average striker. Redondo was a potential, but wasn't a world class yet. No actually we had no world class players at that time. They WOULD BE (Bati, Redondo, Ortega) or WERE world class (Caniggia, Maradona), but not during the 1994.

In 1998, Batigol was the world class player we had. Ortega was a talent, but had problems with his attitude, Lopez was just nothing special. (Remember back then I compared him to Rivaldo? He was nothing compared to Rivaldo who played the same position as him. That's the difference between world class player and an above average player). Veron was a world class player after the the year of 1998 not during the WC. The FIFA player of the year at the time showed it. We didn't have many players on the top 50 list.

In 2002, we had a good coach with a strong formation 3-4-3, however, we lacked of world class players. We had 2 world class defenders in Samuel and Ayala, but Ayala got injured throughout the tournament. Bati was on the way down. Crespo was at his peak, but Bielsa was too stubborn to play with 2 main strikers. Veron was overrated and over relied as if he were Maradona of 1986. Aimar was just getting started.

In 2006, Riquelme was our star, but he wasn't really the top player of a top Europe team. He was just a Villarreal player. Messi was just born plus he was half injured. Saviola wasn't really a world class striker. At least Barcelona didn't think that way. Crespo was on the way down. Sorin was good, but wasn't world class. The prove? He didn't play for any big teams. Tevez was just a talented striker of Corinthians.

In 2010, we had many world class! Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Milito, Aguero were the top strikers in the world along with Villa and Torres. Samuel was a world class defender. Mascherano was world class. So why in 2010 my formula of top-players-always-bring-titles did not work? Because of 2 things: Spain have even more world class players and because of one man: Maradona.

Using my formula, we have more world class players than our rival Brazil in Copa America. Unless there were some obvious coaching error like Basile in the Copa America final 2007 where we were too over confident by trying to all out attack Brazil in the final, we would win it. Brazil strength is in the back and 2 wing backs and goalie and a Neymar. Argentina is the other way around. Everything else but the back and the wing backs.

Posted on 5/16/2011 at 7:36 AM
Nice article El Principe... well thought of. Of course, the rankings for each position are debatable. Your theory also chooses not to look at player compatibility on the field and other factors.

However, yes it's true that big players win you trophies. I can barely think of a World Cup winning side that had no "big" players (well, maybe Italy of 2006 comes close). But still, the big players are never a guarantee. I think since '94, we never went to a World Cup without being potential winners:

In '94 we had Batigol, Caniggia, Maradona, Balbo, Simeone, Redondo, Sensini... etc.

In '98 we had Batigol, C.Lopez, Ortega, Simeone, Almeyda, Veron, Sensini, Zanetti, Ayala, Chamot, Roa...etc.

In 02' we had Batigol, C.Lopez, Crespo, Ortega, Sorin, Kily, Veron, Almeyda, Zanetti, Aimar, Ayala, Samuel...etc.

In '06 we had Crespo, Tevez, Saviola, Riquelme, Maxi, Lucho, Cambiasso, Sorin, Heinze, Ayala...etc.

In '10 we had Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Milito, Di Maria, Mascherano, Maxi, Samuel...etc.

All big teams which, just by looking at their names (at their respective times) were scary. But for some weird reason, Argentina have been greatly underachieving, failing to even pass the quarters. We might as well could have went with crap players and still reached as far.

I think it's more about confidence than anything else. Until recently, Spain were going through a similar fate in all competitions until finally they broke their duck in the European Cup. It gave them the confidence to go on and win the World Cup. France also gained the confidence after their '98 WC triumph to go on and win the succeeding European Cup.

Every one of the big football nations goes to the WC with big players... you can always count on that, and Argentina is one of them. The only thing missing from Argentina is confidence, a winning mentality. We need players that gain winning mentalities at club level and take that to their national team.

Messi is a winner with Barca (plus a leader), and now so are Mascherano and G.Milito (to a less extent). Tevez also just won an important cup for underdogs Man City, as a captain and leader. Therefore he's also important for the national team (and sadly Batista wont take him). Otamendi just won the league with Porto, without losing a game all season. So he's high on confidence.

As for others, the Real players arent really in any form of winning mentality. They may have won the Copa del Rey, but that's nothing to them and right now they have a general sense of inferiority and defeat to Barca. Higuain, Di Maria and Garay may be good... but are not club winners.

Inter Milan are on a big slump right now. They just lost their 5 year reign in Italy and had a terrible season. Maradona refused to capitalize on the treble-winning spirit of all 4 Argentines there last summer: Zanetti, Cambiasso, Milito and Samuel. It's a shame!

Anyway, the Copa America's coming. The only true winner and leader on the team we'll have is Lionel Messi and Mascherano. Batista should reconsider bringing in Tevez... especially after his gesture of wearing the Argentine flag during the FA Cup celebrations (respect!). If Argentina want to win the 2014 WC, they better win this Copa America at home. They better not screw this up!
    On this day in 2006, Lionel MESSI scored his first ever goal for the Argentina National Team. MESSI scored his first goal for Argentina on March 1, 2006 in a friendly match against Croatia. A match which ended 3-2 in Croatia's favor. 
    The media in Argentina has been reporting that the AFA has not paid Tata MARTINO or his coaching staff since October. 
    On this day in 2012, Lionel Messi scored his first ever hattrick for the Argentina National Team vs. Switzerland. February 29, 2012 marked the day Lionel MESSI scored his first hattrick for the National Team in a 3-1 win against Switzerland.

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