Nov 27, 1997 HOF criteria (Stephen Davies, Massa Sugano, Steve Jones, Marcelo Weinberger) Jan 20, 1998 Matthews, Edwards, etc - all-time greats? (Edward Lor, Stephen Davies) ============================================ Subject: International Football Hall of Fame Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 18:54:37 -0800 From: steve d (firstname.lastname@example.org) The first entrants into the new International Football Hall of Fame (to be built in Manchester) have been announced: Pele George Best Bobby Charlton Johan Cruyff Bobby Moore The above 5 were voted for by 500,000 people in 110 countries over the Internet. To be eligible a player must have been retired for 3 years. The remaining 20 places below were decided in the last week by footballers and sports journalists. Gordon Banks Marco van Basten Franz Beckenbauer John Charles Kenny Dalglish Duncan Edwards Eusebio Tom Finney Garrincha Jairzinho Stanley Matthews Gerd Muller Michel Platini Ferenc Puskas Roberto Rivelino Alfredo di Stefano Lev Yashin Billy Wright Zico Dino Zoff In future years organisers will induct 5 new entrants. Also announced were the five players who will hold the title of "Future Hall of Famer" for a year. These are current footballers and were again chosen over the Internet. They are Diego Maradona, Alan Shearer, Ronaldo, George Weah and David Beckham. The obvious UK bias is immediately noticeable as is the lack of any Argentinian or Uruguayan players in the initial 25. Any suggestions on next years five inductees? ------------------------------------------------ Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 16:51:03 -0500 From: Massa Sugano (email@example.com) Some missing names: Omar Sivori Paulo Roberto Falcao Luisito Suarez Names that don't belong: John Charles Roberto Rivelinho Duncan Edwards As an juventino, I must say that the inclusion of John Charles at the expense of Omar Sivori verges on the ridiculous. Of course, the site of the Hall of Fame building is at Manchester (of all places), so I guess Wales is closer than Argentina. I don't know much about Billy Wright and Tom Finney, but it sounds fishy as well. > Also announced were the five players who will hold the title of "Future > Hall of Famer" for a year. Shows the intelligence of the average fan. Again, if we had to choose a yound English player, it should be Paul Scholes not David Beckham. > Any suggestions on next years five inductees? Should be: Paulo Roberto Falcao Omar Sivori Luisito Suarez Frank Rijkaard (3 yrs would have passed) Giacinto Facchetti / Schiaffino / Gianni Rivera / K.H. Rummenige Massa Sugano (......baggio, gullit, romario, batistuta ahead of shearer, weah.......) ------------------------------------------------ Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 12:06:14 -0800 From: steve d (firstname.lastname@example.org) As a juventino it may interest you to know that John Charles was voted Juventus' greatest ever foreign player a couple of years ago - a true gentleman of the game who was world class in defence or attack. If he hadn't been injured for the quarter-final game against Brazil in 1958 we might have seen Wales as World Chamions :) Also where do you suggest the Hall of Fame is built? New York? From what I have seen of the plans the Hall will be a celebration of football. Perhaps you could combine a visit to the IFOH with a vist to Old Trafford to see Juventus in the champions league (if they ever qualify again). Some facts for you: Billy Wright 1947-1959 105 caps - 90 as captain (first player to reach a century of international games - an incredible number of caps in that era). Tom Finney 1947-1959 76 caps - 30 goals - England's greatest ever winger - considered to be better than Stanley Matthews by many who saw him play. Duncan Edwards 18 caps 1955-58 - England's youngest player - died at age 21 in the Munich aircrash - considered the most complete midfield player to play for his country. I'm not justifying the inclusion of these players - in my original post I pointed out the ridiculous UK bias - it's just they were all great players who may not be known to everyone out there. >Again, if we had to choose a yound English player, it should be Paul >Scholes not David Beckham. There was no compulsion to vote for an English player - remember this used the highly dubious method of Internet voting. I think the idea of a Future Hall of Famer is a bit gimmicky anyway and will probably be used to attract media attention to the awards each year. ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 15:16:26 -0500 From: Massa Sugano (email@example.com) RED DEVIL wrote: > John Charles belongs in the HOF, he was an incredible player. I > remember seing him (I was very young) before he went to Italy, and he > quite possibly is the best player who ever played for Juventus. Both of you should know that John Charles was not voted as the best foreign Juventus player of the century. You must have got it form a misguided source, as that honor fell (obviuosly) to le Roi, Michel Platini. What did you think, duh? John Chalers was voted somwhere between 7th and 9th best among all the players (foreign or Italian), if I remember correctly. Stick to what you know. Omar Sivori was third on the list, after Dino Zoff. I bet both of you don't know jack shit about Sivori. I challenge any of you to write me a consice account of his career. As for Duncan Edwards and Billy Wright, give me a break. Krol, Scirea, Passarella, do these names ring a bell? Of course, I realize that the voting was done on the Internet. That's why I'm trying to enlighten some hapless souls on this medium. :-) Massa Sugano (........charlton one of best 5 ever......yeah right...........) ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 18:43:03 -0800 From: steve d (firstname.lastname@example.org) Massa Sugano wrote: > Both of you should know that John Charles was not voted as the best foreign > Juventus player of the century. Sorry - it's what I read - I'll recheck my sources in future. > that honor fell (obviuosly) to le Roi, Michel Platini. I'd have assumed it would be Platini so I was quite shocked myself. > [...] Stick to what you know. A bit harsh. > Omar Sivori was third on the list, after Dino Zoff. I bet both of you don't know > jack shit about Sivori. I challenge any of you to write me a consice account of > his career. Jose Omar Sivori was born in Argentina. He played as a "media puntada" for Juventus in the late 50's, early 60's. Voted European player of the year in 1961 (after taking up Italian citizenship). One of the last of the Oriundi. Regarded as one of the all-time greats throughout the world. Missed the 58 WC due to the Argentinian policy of not selecting players playing in foreign leagues. Played in the 62 WC in Chile for Italy. Significantly missed the infamous 2-0 defeat by Chile after playing in the first two games against Switzerland and Germany. He would probably play up front in a Juventus all-time XI which would look something like this: Zoff Scirea Gentile Kohler Cabrini Tardelli Platini Deschamps Charles* Bettega Sivori *Charles comes in for Rossi (the Italian Ian Rush) who is suspended on match-fixing allegations. > As for Duncan Edwards and Billy Wright, give me a break. Krol, Scirea, > Passarella, do these names ring a bell? It would also appear that you knew "jack shit" about Billy Wright. Ignorance comes in many nationalities these days. steve d (......only trying to redress the anti-Welsh bias in Massa's postings....) ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 02 Dec 1997 09:11:01 +0100 From: Steve Jones (email@example.com) *Applause* One of the put downs of the year, pure class. Duncan Edwards is a suprise to me as he was 21 when he died, he was however already a regular England international. And the youngest player to ever pull on a full England shirt. Now for Billy Wright: He was converted from a forward into a wing-half and then into a splendid centre-half, who went on to play in more than 650 games for the Wolves (490 in the Fotball League) and he became the first Englishman to win a century of international cap -105 in all, 90 of those as a skipper, and also took part in the England World Cup teams of 1950, 1954 and 1958. Only Bobby Moore can possibly equal him when it comes to being England's best ever defender. A total gentleman he was award the CBE in 1959 for services to footall. A brilliant passer of the ball he was also memorable for his fairness and clean play on the field, often said to be the foundations for the hard but fair reputation and style of English defenders. A total footballer. Could have reached his century of caps much earlier but of course there was a World War going on at the start of his career (which put paid to Wolves legend Stan Cullis getting into the record books as a player, although he managed it as a manager). ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Tue, 02 Dec 1997 06:12:57 -0500 From: Massa Sugano (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm sorry to diappoint you, Steve, but I've known quite well who Billy Wright is. It doesn't take a lot of time to do check the web. I haven't seen him play, but neither has any of us unless we happened to see some odd tapes. But I know about Wright, just like we all know about Hadrianus or Donatello. He was a technically skilled, inspirational midfielder, comparable to a cross between Andreas Moeller and Demetrio Albertini, among today's players. He mostly played for your favorite team Wolves, the team that was claimed to be the number one in Europe. So the Champions Cup was duly installed, and unluckily for the Wolves, it came a year too late. They didn't win the English league in the season before the Champions Cup innaguration. As a result, Real Madrid won the first ever European title. ......or so the story goes. We thus have this "myth" of the invincible Wolves, which was only unlucky not to have a chance to show their worth. More realistically, Real would have won anyways. You can't argue with Alfredo Di Stefano. Also, earlier in the 1950s there were Honved of Puskas and Koscis as well as the Milan of Schiaffino and Liedholm. At best, we could only claim that Wright led the defense of a team that was conceivably among the top 5 in Europe. So the only evidence for Wright's prowess are the domestic titles he won with the Wolves and his 100+ caps. As for the caps, there are planty of lesser players that have won as many, including Thomas Ravelli and Eric Wynalda. As for the level of contribution to his national team, well, England was quite mediocre during his period. Now I've only see clips of England's perfomance in the World Cups and in Europe in the 1950s, but records show clearly that they were not a team comparable to the likes of Brazil, Uruguay, Hungary, and Germany. The 1950s were not a great period for England and Italy. So back to the original point, is Wright decidedly better than Paulo Roberto Falcao, Luisito Suarez, or Frank Rijkaard? As the game changes over the ages, it is impossible to directly compare Billy Wright's play on the field with these three center-halfs. However, we can compare their achievements. Falcao was already elected as South America's player of the year before he came to Roma, having won the Libertadores. Luigito Suarez, as is well known, was the most valuable midfielder of the Grande Inter, and I guess I won't need to list the personal and team titles Suarez obtained. Interestingly, many claim that Suarez still wasn't appreciated enough since the media focused on local products such as Sandro Mazzola. Frank Rijkaard was the heart of the Dutch European Championship campaign of 1988 and Milan's two European Cups. Basically, being a regular fixture of a non-succesful national team and winning a few domestic trophies isn't much of a criteria for inclusion among the world's best 20 players. I won't mention Sivori here as I happen to be a Juventus supporter. The same goes with Duncan Edwards in comparison with Krol, Passarella, and Scirea. Krol was an integral part of the Ajax-Dutch revolution of the early 1970s; he made history. Passarella, together with Kempes, was the driving force in Argentina's long-awaited victory in 1978; this puts him more or less on the same level as Bobby Moore. His club record has also been impressive. Scirea not only was libero of the highly talented Juventus side of the 1980s, he was the defensive leader of arguably the greatest defensive unit in the history of football--Italy 1982. I apologize if I have any factual errors, but the point that I am making should be clear. Is Wright better than Falcao, Suarez, and Rijkaard? No. Is Edwards better than Krol, Passarella, and Scirea? No. Whoever happens to read this hould be careful not to take this as an evidence of anti-English bias. Seriously, if someone proposed even Scirea himself should be among the top 20, I would still argue against it. Giacinto Facchetti or Passarella should get the nod before Scirea, and thus obviously before Edwards. Similarly, just because I am a juventino it doesn't mean I will start claiming Marco Tardelli to have been a better player than either Falcao or Rijkaard. We should try to be neutral in these affairs. ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 02 Dec 1997 13:15:35 +0100 From: Steve Jones (email@example.com) > [Billy Wright] He played more as a defender than a midfielder, but he could play anywhere on the park. > More realistically, Real would have won anyways. Except on the one occasion they played... when Wolves won... strange that. > You can't argue with Alfredo Di Stefano. ONE player. You could also say you can't argue with Puskas, who seemed to have a high regard for Wright. And I'm not saying that Puskas or Di Stefano don't deserve a place in an all time top 50. BUT as defenders of the age went he was unsurpassed. (One of my sources being ex-Wolves, Liverpool and Wales goalkeeper Cyril Sidlow who played behind Wright when Wolves won the War Cup, he rates him as the best defender he has ever seen play). > At best, we could only claim that Wright led the defense of a team that > was conceivably among the top 5 in Europe. No "At best" we can claim he was the leader of the best team in Europe, realistically we can say that he was the leader of one of the top 5 teams in Europe. > As for the caps, there are planty of lesser players that have won as many, > including Thomas Ravelli and Eric Wynalda. There is no arguing with you here, 100+ caps for England is _just_ the same as getting 100+ caps for the US, hell how can you argue, 90 times as captain means nothing eh ? So lets get this straight, because Billy Wright played in the days before widespread European football he can't be compared to players who played 30 years later, quite probably correct, but it remains the case that during the 50s he reigned supreme both on and off the fields as a perfect football ambassador. > Is Wright better than Falcao, Suarez, and Rijkaard? No. IYO, in the opinion of others (for instance the panel that decided on those outside the top 5) he is either comparable or better than those players, your bias appears to be that because they are English they can't be good, well fair enough thats your position. You promote other players of later eras who did things that were not avaible to players of earlier eras as proof of their superiourity. Yup I'm biased as hell, but Billy Wright was always known as a model proffesional. And walks with ease into an England all time defence alongside Bobby Moore, with Gordon Banks in goal. Now this could of course just be nationalistic pride, but I am finding it hard to see a country in the world that could beat this as the basis for a strong defence. > Is Edwards better than Krol, Passarella, and Scirea? No. Duncan Edwards _died_ when he was 21, personally I think this should rule him out as his talent was never fully realised. On the other hand he was the youngest ever player to play in an England shirt and is oft regarded as being the best, in terms of skill and creativity, who ever pulled on an England shirt. His talent was snuffed out and we'll never know how good he could have been. But what was people's opinion on your candidates when they were 20 years of age ? ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 3 Dec 1997 20:31:10 GMT From: marcelo@apollo.HP.COM (Marcelo Weinberger) The Eurocentrism of this discussion makes it a little laughable... Actually, Massa is trying to avoid that but even in his arguments it seems like Sivori was born more or less the day he arrived in Italy. Did you guys know that when Sivori went to Europe he had already won a South American cup with Argentina? Did you guys know that the Argentinian national team that won the 1957 Copa America, based on Sivori, Angelillo and Maschio (none of which played in WC'58), proved to be superior to the same Brasil that a year later won the WC on European soil? So, do you really think that Sivori played for a "non-successful national team"? In fact, with all due respects to Wright and Edwards, the subjects of this discussion, which of course I didn't see directly in action, I cannot understand why they would be preferred over, say, Pedro Dellacha, to mention the best Argentinian defender of the fifties, or over Uruguayan defenders such as William Martinez, of the WC'54 Uruguayan team which in its way to the semifinals beat precisely England, a player who later won everything with Pen~arol, including the 1961 Intercontinental Cup and multiple local and South American championships; or over Santamaria, who played for the same WC'54 team and later in Real Madrid. As for center-halfs (if you consider Wright as one), the obvious choice is Obdulio Varela, the hero of Maracana 1950 and also a player who beat England in 1954 playing on one leg (which BTW excluded him from the semifinals against Hungary); but even a center-half from the fifties like the Argentinian Pipo Rossi can claim at least as much as Wright. Schiaffino was indeed a brilliant Uruguayan "media punta" (in today's terms), and you guys know him for his years in Milan, even though he was already past the best point of his career when he got there (he had already been a world champion 5 years before, and even then he was a well-established player in South America!). But many in Uruguay will tell you that he wasn't better than his countryman Walter Gomez (who played a similar position during the same years), who coudn't play for the national team in WC'50 and '54 because he was playing abroad (for River Plate, where he played most of his career). Did you guys hear about Walter Gomez? Well, then your discussion should probably be confined to European players from the fifties... I won't bore you with many names which you probably never heard of, since I think my point is quite clear... ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Wed, 03 Dec 1997 22:28:31 -0500 From: Massa Sugano (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for putting some sense to this debate. BTW, I did not know exactly what titles Sivori had won back in South America, but I'd expected him to have won several already--why else would Gianni Agnelli pay a world record fee? Actually, even if he had not won any continental titles, he'd still have had a better claim than Wright or Edwards for having been successfull in two different leagues. Mark Hughes >> Ian Rush, in modern British terms. In an essence, Schiaffino's being a winner in two different continents might mean that he "proved" more than Walter Gomez, who I presume stayed in South America. Now I don't know how the people compared the two players. Was it that all agreed Gomez to be better, as in Denilson vs Rodrigo? Or was it only a slight difference, mostly a matter of preference, like Rivera vs Mazzola? ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 4 Dec 1997 22:50:15 GMT From: marcelo@apollo.HP.COM (Marcelo Weinberger) Yes, Gomez played most of his career in River Plate, where he arrived from Nacional in early 1950. He had been suspended for a year in Uruguay for knocking a referee. During these years the River fans went crazy with him, which actually started their traditional love for Uruguayan idols (even today, at the end of his career, Francescoli is god for them). He returned to Nacional in the late fifties to finish his career. In River he played together with Sivori. For example, a typical forward line for River in 1955 included Vernazza, Sivori, Walter Gomez, Labruna, and Loustau (from "La historia del futbol argentino"; Labruna and Loustau were veterans from "La Maquina" of the forties, which also included two of the best Argentinian players ever, Pedernera and Moreno, and in the late forties Di Stefano). Indeed, I agree that there is a clear difference between someone like Schiaffino who proved himself in two world cups and in a different continent, and someone that played mostly in a local league, even if the Argentinian league was arguably one of the best in the world in the early fifties. I think that most people would give the upper hand to Schiaffino mainly because he was a world champion, but when you ask older people they tend to tell you that Walter Gomez's talent could not be matched. Of course, their memories are usually subjective (to begin with, Schiaffino played for Pen~arol while Gomez played for Nacional, which already implies a huge bias one way or the other). There is also the equivalent of Duncan Edward's myth in Pepe's brother, Raul Schiaffino: they played together in Pen~arol around 1946-48, but a knee injury finished his career quite young. Well, many old Pen~arol fans will tell you that Raul was better than "el Pepe," but that's a natural trend, and that's why when I read about Edward's death and how good he was, I'm sure there is a lot of subjectivity there... > I'd expected him to have won several already--why else would Gianni > Agnelli pay a world record fee? Good point... although Sivori's case is less dramatic than Schiaffino's or Di Stefano's, in the sense that he was pretty young when he went to Italy (I think he wasn't a regular starter in River until 1955). It's amazing for example that the Spanish tend to think that Di Stefano developed as a professional in Spain, whereas he actually arrived in Madrid after almost 10 years of playing professional soccer in River and in Millonarios of Colombia! ====================================================== Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 4 Dec 1997 10:08:45 GMT From: email@example.com (Huw Morris) Marcelo Weinberger wrote: > I won't bore you with many names which you probably never heard of, > since I think my point is quite clear... But this is exactly the thing the internet is good at. We all have our own heroes, but nobody can know the footballing history of every region in the world. I'd never heard of Walter Gomez, and I'm sure there are many other South Americans worth considering for the Hall of Fame. I saw another article this week bemoaning the fact that none of the game's "pioneers" were honoured. That is, players from the '20s and earlier. No player should be excluded because of the era in which he played, just as no player should be excluded because of the region in which he played. ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 4 Dec 1997 23:19:27 GMT From: marcelo@apollo.HP.COM (Marcelo Weinberger) > but nobody can know the footballing history of every region in the > world. I agree, but I guess that you also realize that some regions are more likely to be home of the best players of the world at a given time than others... It definitely doesn't make sense to discuss the fifties while ignoring, say, Uruguay and Argentina, whereas not knowing the footballing history of, say, Japan, is probably not going to hurt much my conclusions... > I'm sure there are many other South Americans worth considering for > the Hall of Fame. Actually, I think that the RSS archive contains a posting I sent a few years ago with an account of some of the best South American "media puntada" (or # 10's) in the history of the game. > No player should be excluded because of the era in which he played Actually, I read in the Uruguayan media a few months ago that FIFA acknowledged that shortcome, and consequently they were going to have some kind of homage to Hector Scarone before the WC. Hector Scarone is widely consider to be the best player of the 20's and 30's (of course, also a "mezza punta"), Olympic Champion in 1924 and 1928, world champion in 1930, and probably the first South American player bought by an Italian club (after the 1928 Olympics; he then returned to Uruguay to play the 1930 WC but emigrated again and also played for Barcelona). ======================================================= Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 18:56:47 -0800 From: steve d (firstname.lastname@example.org) Paul Mettewie wrote: [snip Marcelo and Paul's discussion regarding the oriundi and great South American players of the 50's and 60's which had arisen from the International Hall of Fame thread] The main problem I would suggest is the total lack of coverage of South American football in the UK (especially) and probably most of Europe. Consequently most people only become aware of players like Denilson when they emerge onto the "World Stage" at tournaments such as Le Tournoi and go totally overboard about his abilities on the basis of one performance. There has been a small rectification of the problem recently with Channel 5 in the UK showing the Brazilian play-offs and some other South American action but it's on at 2am in the morning (they also do similar Asian and South African football shows). With the current "overkill" of football in the UK it's sometimes hard to fit it all in. Here's a list of the football I can receive with my standard TV and cable system. A live Italian game on Sunday afternoon - highlights of the league the following saturday One or two live Spanish games on saturday/sunday, highlights in the week. Live Champions league, CWC and UEFA Cup games (Tuesday-Thursday) FA Premier League games live on Sunday/Monday. Premier league highlights Saturday night/Sunday morning. Div 1 games live on Friday/Sunday. Various English cup games - FA and Coca Cola Cups. Eurogoals on Monday night. Scottish highlights Tuesday night. International games etc etc And you have to fit in going to live matches as well!!! You can appreciate the dilemma a young and inexperienced fan has in the UK - with all this football thrown at him he's overwhelmed and cannot apply the necessary quality filter so when the S. American football is shown at 2am in the morning it is easy to ignore. There is also no reporting of the S. American leagues in the UK papers thus leading again to a widespread ignorance. And if this is the case these days then you can imagine that pre-1960 is like the Dark Ages to these fans (among which I include myself). My only real knowledge of players like Sivori is from the RSS Archive and as footnotes in football history books (e.g. Sivori - European player of the year 1961). It would be interesting to know from someone like Marcelo whether a similar situation exists in Uruguay with regard to players and football in the UK pre-1960 (e.g Dixie Dean, Billy Meredith, Billy Wright, Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse - the great Arsenal and Huddersfield sides of the 30's). When I first read of the IFHOF I thought it was a great idea. Then a newspaper published a list of 150 possible suggestions - some of the UK names there were laughable (Peter Reid anybody?). From then on I took a highly sceptical view and when the 25 were announced it turned out to be no surprise that the "spaniard" DiStefano was the only Arg/Uru representative. Basically what they should do is rip up the list and start again and I should take some holiday time and visit the next Copa America. ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: International Football Hall of Fame (IFOH) Date: 10 Dec 1997 00:49:43 GMT From: marcelo@apollo.HP.COM (Marcelo Weinberger) Yes, it may be the case, if I take myself as an example, but this applies exclusively to English football, not European in general. I knew who "El Divino" Zamora was (although mainly by the goal Piendibeni scored to him when his team visited Uruguay in the 20's...), or Piola, or Meazza (even though I knew more about Orsi, Monti, Guaita, and, of course, Andreolo, i.e., the Argentinian/Uruguayan oriundi), or even Sindelar (was that the name of Austria's wonder?), and of course Puskas, Czibor, Kubala, etc. From the English camp, I could probably mention just Stanley Mathews. The reason may have to do with: 1) The relative pre-war isolation of English football. 2) If England had beaten Uruguay in WC'54 as Hungary did (rather than loosing 4-2), I would know about Mathews' teamates more than I know about Puskas. 3) The English style, which despite the admiration for the English pioneers and the English air game, was considered as being too unsophisticated. I don't know the situation nowadays (I've been living abroad for 14 years), as the English national team is playing excellent soccer (or is it that I just loved Hoddle's style when he was a player, he and Waddle didn't look like English!) So I must admit that I never heard of these players, but on the other hand they never had a significant impact outside their country, whereas I was mentioning players that in many cases won a WC! In fact, regarding reason #3, I remember that in the early 80's a TV station in Uruguay started showing tape delayed Premier League games. In a country where people can watch anxiously even a pick-up game, this should have had its market share (at the time, we had Argentinian, Spanish, Italian, and German soccer). But after a few months they stopped showing it: nobody cared, even though it was the golden age of English club football. Today you have live telecasts from Argentina, Brasil, Italy, Spain (maybe others), but as far as I know no England. So when some English rss'ers talk about the popularity of their clubs around the world, they should know that this is probably confined to former colonies only. When I arrived in Israel in 1984 and saw how popular English football was there, I couldn't believe it. They actually thought that it was the best in the world, it took until the late 80's for them to realize that the Italian league was vastly superior. There always was an excuse for every failure of the English national team, and when Ronnie Rozenthal joined Liverpool and David Pisanti joined QPR, they had arrived to the promised land... --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: Why are Europeans ignorant of S. American football? (was IFHOF) Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 18:49:38 -0600 From: Paul Mettewie (email@example.com) steve d wrote > [snip] South American football is well covered here in the US (unfortunatelyto the detriment of European football) due to the heavy Latin influence in the States -- and I have no problem with that, as I appreciate the playing of soccer in Brasil, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and elsewhere on the continent. But I do think that some of the Euro-centricism in RSS is based on money, money being: 1) Buying many (though not all by any means) of the best soccer players and putting them on European sides. This I have already addressed this at length elsewhere in this thread so I won't return to that particular dead horse and beat it into an alternate universe. 2) The presence of the Internet is more pronounced in Europe and English is more often spoken in Europe and since this group is conducte in about 95% English -- those posters from South America and elsewhere who don't speak English are excluded. (soccer information overload stuff snipped - very good but I started to OD on this and I don't even get the channels you get Steve!) > There is also no reporting of the S. American leagues in the UK papers This surprises me as the Italian papers always have sections on Brasil, Argentina and the other countries -- of course, so many players come from there that it would not be wise to exclude the Italian soccer fan from what is happening with Fluminese, River or Millionarios, etc. But your point is well taken -- Euro-centric posts on RSS are not so much a function of arrogance or even the argument I advanced that money has shifted more interest over to Europe, but simply because the many RSS contributors are European and therefore operate from within the information parameters they have access to. Is there any doubt now that information is truly the most valuable commodity of all (at least GOOD information is anyway)? ============================================================== Subject: Re: Who is this Matthews? (was Real Madrid best club) Date: 20 Jan 1998 07:43:10 GMT From: "Edward Lor" (KELor@worldnet.att.net) steve d wrote: > firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: >> By the way there are a couple of >> players in that top ten list that are suspect specially this guy with an >> english last name that I've never heard of in my life (Im not talking about >> Charlton). > >Blessed are the ignorant for they shall inherit the dearth (of Real >Madrid EC1 wins in the last 31 years). > >The player you appear not to have heard of in your life is Sir Stanley >Matthews - the first ever European footballer of the year - legendary >winger - great bloke - multitude of caps and goals - played until he was >50 - has an FA Cup final named after him etc etc. > >Either: >i) You're very young >ii) You don't get out much >iii) You haven't a TV >iv) All of the above I used to think Stanley Matthews belonged to an elite group of players who are the all-time best in the world, a set including Pele, Puskas, Cruyff, etc. That's probably due to exposure of a purely English football media in my early years. Now come to think of it, I have second thoughts. And I knew about Matthews probably decades earlier than you do. Why would I have excluded Matthews? Easy, what has Matthews achieved in the international scene? And it's not as if Matthews didn't have the chances like the pre-World Cup legends, e.g. Dixie Dean, Alan Morton and Billy Meredith... In Matthews' era, England's international achievement included: 1) a humuliating 1st round exit in 1950 2) a quarter final loss to Uruguay in 1954 In general, the decade after the war was an undistinguished period for the English national team, and that was Matthews' prime in his career. Of course, he also had the bad luck of have some years of his career lost to the war. I mean, the World Cup is the center stage, or the only stage, to showcase your INTERNATIONAL greatness. If you can't do anything in the World Cup, you could have done a thousand things in your domestic league, and it wouldn't have meant a damn thing. My list of candidates for the world's top 10 (in no particular order): Pele Didi Garrincha Jairzinho Romario Ademir Zizinho Ferenc Puskas Josef Boszik Sandor Kocsis Johan Cruyff Johan Neeskens Franz Beckenbauer Gerd Muller Bobby Moore Gordon Banks Juan Schaffino Odbulio Varela Diego Maradona Dino Zoff Disclaimer: I excluded some pre-WWII legends because I don't know enough about them, and they included Giuseppe Meazza, Giovanni Ferrari, Jose Nasazzi, Hector Scarone, etc. When I look at this list, several of them didn't reach the summit. But they were key players on the three best post-WWII teams that didn't win the WC: Brazil of 50, Hungary of 54 and Holland of 74. The list in the English HOF: Billy Wright, Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews, George Best, Duncan Edwards, etc. is a joke. I mean, what have they achieved at the world stage? And don't tell me they played a great game in the European Cup, or a great game in the FA Cup final. The European Cup is not the World Cup. And I would exclude a player who was an abberation to his country's talent: George Best, John Charles, Allen Simonsen, George Weah, Elias Figueroa, etc. Hey, who say life is fair? Do you think Pele would have been the king had he been born in, say, neighboring Guyana or Bolivia? Another hypothetical argument: you put George Best in a great country, he sure would have won a World Cup!!! How do you know? Ever heard of Zico? Socrates? Eusebio? Michel Platini? Karl-Heinz Rummenigge? Uwe Seeler? Sandro Mazzola? Gianni Rivera? Toto Schilachi? Hector Rial? Amancio? Francisco Gento? Alfredo Di Stefano? Raymond Kopa? Josef Masopust? It's not so easy to have a great World Cup run, even if you play on a team with lots of talent. You still need that special winning touch. And players not blessed with a great football country certainly cannot prove that they have that special winning touch, i.e. you can win the top prize with talented teammates. Yep, the luck of being a citizen in a football powerhouse is a big part of it. --------------------------------- Subject: Is winning the World Cup the only criteria for greatness? (was: Who is this Matthews?) Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 18:40:28 -0800 From: steve d (email@example.com) > [considered Matthews an all-time great] > That's probably due to exposure of a purely English football > media in my early years. Very valid point - everyone's views are coloured by the local media/access to information. > Why would I have excluded Matthews? Easy, what has Matthews achieved > in the international scene? 54 caps - 11 goals. First capped in 1935 against Wales last cap in 1957 against the Republic of Ireland. As you rightly say the war years robbed Matthews of 7 years of international football when he possibly was at his peak. > In Matthews' era, England's international achievement included: > > 1) a humuliating 1st round exit in 1950 Matthews didn't play in the infamous game against the USA. > 2) a quarter final loss to Uruguay in 1954 A defeat against the reigning World Champions - no disgrace in anyone's book. > I mean, the World Cup is the center stage, or the only stage, to showcase > your INTERNATIONAL greatness. [...] A bit simplistic. A player can shine for 7 years at national and international level and then be robbed of an appearence in the World Cup by an injury lasting four weeks. > The list in the English HOF: [...] is a joke. As I pointed out in the original thread. And it was voted for over the Internet after all. > I mean, what have they achieved at the world stage? [...] Duncan Edwards hardly had a chance though did he? > And I would exclude a player who was an abberation to his country's talent: > [...] Hey, who say life is fair? Life isn't fair - but then your suggestion isn't sensible. John Charles an abberation to his country's talent? If he hadn't been injured for the 1958 World Cup 1/4 final vs Brazil, we would have seen Wales as World Champions:) > Do you think Pele would have been the > king had he been born in, say, neighboring Guyana or Bolivia? Yes. As was the case with Eusebio - natural talent will out. > Another hypothetical argument: > [...] nice argument but then you spoil it by using > Toto Schilachi? Hopefully this was your sense of irony. > It's not so easy to have a great World Cup run, even if you play > on a team with lots of talent. As Brazil have shown us - e.g. the 1982 side. England's best ever team was probably the 1970 World Cup side yet it's the 1966 version everyone remembers. Even in that team Geoff Hurst who scored a hattrick in the final would not have been playing if Jimmy Greaves - a much more prolific and naturally gifted striker - had been fit. > You still need that special winning touch. And players not > blessed with a great football country certainly cannot prove that > they have that special winning touch, i.e. you can win the top prize > with talented teammates. I don't know, Maradona had a fair go at this in the 1990 World Cup. Never has one foot carried a country so far. Good post by the way. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: Is winning the World Cup the only criteria for greatness? Date: 22 Jan 1998 06:26:09 GMT From: "Edward Lor" (KELor@worldnet.att.net) > Matthews didn't play in the infamous game against the USA. Matthews played in the 1-0 loss to Spain that got England eliminated. Had they beaten Spain and then beaten Spain again in a play-off, they would have advanced to the final round. The loss to the USA would have been forgotten. Like West Germany's loss to Algeria in 1982, it became insignificant. Besides, if he didn't help England to beat the USA, either by playing in the game or by failing to play in the game, what kind of credit should he get? I am not trying to place the blame, I am searching for his credit. Notice No blame != getting credit. No blame can also mean: he was injured, he was not selected, he was suspended, he died too early. But all these means he didn't get the credit of helping England to win a WC. > A defeat against the reigning World Champions - no disgrace in anyone's > book. Again, if it's the reigning World Champs, tough. Afterall, the defending champ was beatable, as proven in their next 2 games. And should Matthews be given credit of being the main cog of a great team, a la Hungary, that eliminated the World Champs? Again, the answer is no. > A bit simplistic. A player can shine for 7 years at national and > international level and then be robbed of an appearence in the World Cup > by an injury lasting four weeks. Life sure isn't fair. > Duncan Edwards hardly had a chance though did he? Again, having no chance != you'll get the credit. Credits are given to people who 1) have the chances, AND 2) capitalize on the chances Notice the conjunction. Applicable to every aspect of life. > Life isn't fair - but then your suggestion isn't sensible. John Charles > an abberation to his country's talent? Well, enlighten us who else on the Welsh team is considered a world class talent? > If he hadn't been injured for the > 1958 World Cup 1/4 final vs Brazil, we would have seen Wales as World > Champions:) Would've, could've, should've don't mean jack. > As was the case with Eusebio - natural talent will out. Yeah? ever heard of Simoes? Torrez? Coluna? Jose Augusto? The 1966 Portugal team, as opposed to the 1958 Wales team, was loaded. -------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: Who is this Matthews? (was Real Madrid best club) Date: 22 Jan 1998 07:10:00 GMT From: "Edward Lor" (KELor@worldnet.att.net) Mike Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: >But Mathew's peak years were just BEFORE the second world war! By the >time the 50's games were being played, he was already into his forties >and continued at, or near, the top until his fifties. I know Matthews was still great in the 50s. His signature game was the 1953 FA Cup Final (I mean, can you imagine Pele or Schiaffino or Beckenbauer uses a domestic cup final as his signature game?) On the other hand, Matthews' career started in 1932. So basically, the first 15+ years of his international career was lost to 1) England's withdrawal from FIFA, and thus not eligible to play in the World Cup 2) the war >No, most of his best years were lost to the war. > ... >Sadly, England didn't enter the World Cup in the 30's. But that's life. He's not the first player in the world that lost World Cup opportunities due to factors he cannot control, so did Eddie Hapgood, Alan Morton, Dixie Dean, etc. As I said, you need a lot of LUCK to be considered an all-time best world-wide. Like if you had played in an era without international exposure, during the war, play for a weak country, etc., hey, tough luck. I mean, how many Uruguayans and Brazilians would have considered Matthews' or Dean's or Morton's achievement on par with Jairzinho's, Schiaffino's, or Garrincha's? -------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: Who is this Matthews? (was Real Madrid best club) Date: 23 Jan 1998 04:03:28 GMT From: email@example.com (Marcelo Weinberger) Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I mean, I've been saying that for years in this forum, I've been putting name after name of South American (and in particular Uruguayan) players that could have a better shot at the HOF, but when it's said from an English perspective, it becomes much more clear! ================================================= Subject: Re: Duncan Edwards - Hall of Fame system Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 12:23:27 -0800 From: steve d (firstname.lastname@example.org) Edward Lor wrote: [snip discussion about Hall of Fame] To clear up some of the misconceptions over the Hall of Fame here is a summary of the procedure (taken from Rothmans Football Yearbook 1996-97): 1) A player must have been retired for three years by June 30th of the year of election. 2) A player must have gained at least one full international cap. Nominations are then collected (via post, email, internet) - this list of nominations goes to a selection committee comprising an ex-player from each of the following countries: The countries were chosen as follows: 1) They must have either won or hosted a World Cup. 2) In addition a representative nation from continents not represented through this will also be selected. Thus: England; Germany; France; Switzerland; Sweden; Italy; Spain, Mexico; uruguay; Chile, Argentina; Brazil; USA; Japan; Morocco; Australia. This selection committee narrows the nominations down to 50. This list of 50 is then sent to a selected journalist from every FIFA registered country and the top five players each year enter the Hall of Fame. In the first year the top five nominees gained initial entrance and then 20 out of the list of fifty were allowed in. If these criteria were followed then it is entirely admirable - the big question is "if". The UK bias might suggest otherwise.