How good is lionel messi?

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Post by DuringTheWar Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:22 pm

Ok since this new place is to encourage intelligent discussion and no trolling i decided its worth digging this topic up again. Do you think messi is

a) the best currently
b) the best of the last 5 years
c) the best of the last 10 years
d) the best of the last 20 years
..... and so on

Of course explain your choice as well. Obviously this is a difficult topic to get an agreement on becaus imo, people have had differing levels of exposure to different players, different criterias about what makes a player better, and some plainly dont have the intelligence to be fair-minded about it. But, i hope there can be some intelligent discussions anyway
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Post by Valkyrja Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:30 pm

The best in the last 5 years.
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Post by Albiceleste Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:45 pm

Best player I've ever seen. (Not including youtube.)

Watched my first football game in 1995.

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Post by Harmonica Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:34 pm

From 1986 World Cup, the best player I've ever seen. He's like faster, sharper Maradona, with every quality being good or great, and his consistency is just unparralled. Somebody said that Messi is, Maradona meets Gerd Müller, and with some sense that describes him pretty good I think.

So best of last 25 years.
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Post by DuringTheWar Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:52 pm

There are far two many differences between maradona and messi to say one is simply a "faster/sharper" version of the other. They are different players, played different roles for their team, and utilised different strengths

Messi has been consistently boss by the way for 4 years, that isnt unparralled
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Post by Ganso Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:26 pm

Top 3 of all time
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Post by gondov Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:29 pm

my answer is simple.

The best there has ever been.

My reasons being, players/ defenders these days have become more athletic and nowadays pretty much every player facing messi is as prepared as they have ever been , physically and accessibility to all kinds of information to help them

The level of international games has now been surpasssed by CL and even some league games, for me. Many will argue that leo will only be considered great if he wins something for argentina, but I disagree. For me the consistency he has shown in the league and CL is enough to convince me.

He has beaten the ALL TIME goal scoring records so its settled in that department. Most of the all time greats have had their reputations explode due to some out of this world perfomances in certain important matches but for me, Messi has continued to do it since he was 19. The way he has handled the pressure should also be applauded.
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Post by DuringTheWar Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:20 pm

gondov wrote:My reasons being, players/ defenders these days have become more athletic and nowadays pretty much every player facing messi is as prepared as they have ever been , physically and accessibility to all kinds of information to help them.

On the otherhand, can you name 5 all time great defenders that messi played against? this era the last 5-10 years has been weak in terms of great defenders. Perhaps, partly because it slowly turning into a non contact sport. If you watch portugal vs brazil in 1966 or argentina vs italy in 1982, you would see how it was much more a "man's game", and how defenders were very prepared to boot pele and maradona off the field. Its two very different situations for players pre 1990s and players post 1990s, its my opinon that for creative players with skill the game is easier today than it was. Read xavi's comments from recently, talking about how grateful he is to be playing in this era because the past was more "physical"

gondov wrote:
The level of international games has now been surpasssed by CL and even some league games, for me. Many will argue that leo will only be considered great if he wins something for argentina, but I disagree. For me the consistency he has shown in the league and CL is enough to convince me.

So how does this excuse messi not winning with argentina? regardless of what level the champions league is at he has still failed to leave a lasting impression on an international tournament. Im not saying he needs to win one, but at least have a performance for the ages if he is to be considered the best the sport has seen, he still can do that, but he hasnt yet. If he has the opportunity taken away by injury or something, i wouldnt hold it against him, but if he has the chance and fails again to leave a lasting impression, then that isnt really acceptable for "the best there has ever been". Someone like di stefano didnt have the chance to shine at world cup, he didnt fail as messi has (in case someone makes this comparison)


gondov wrote:He has beaten the ALL TIME goal scoring records so its settled in that department. Most of the all time greats have had their reputations explode due to some out of this world perfomances in certain important matches but for me, Messi has continued to do it since he was 19. The way he has handled the pressure should also be applauded.

He has beaten some all time goal scoring records, pele still has a more impressive record, as does puskas. Not settled at all then is it?
Most of the all time greats were thought of highly for their performances over a long period of time and "out of this world perfomances in certain important matches". Pele from the age of 17, maradona from the age of 18. Perhaps someone like platini, he wasnt considered that great until euro 84, but the true greats were exceptional throughout, obviously though they had some doubters before their great performaces in important games, just like messi has now
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Post by billionmillion Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:45 pm

I dont understand how you give a question then start to bash him. reading your comments it seems that you love all players except messi. i'm yet to see a single good word about him from you. so arguing with hater doesnt make a sense

as gondov said today they watch youtube videos and prepare against messi and others. today's football doesnt lack technique and skills it just became more difficult and effective. Everything improved even in olympics all records are broken.

and if today defense suck then how World Cup 2010 has lesser goal per game ratio compared old days? i believe today's conteraro as good as your old legend defenders if not better. he will not be legend because today internet and comparisons makes everyone look like a joke. in old days media and tv treated everyone with respect. today also they do like this. ..difference is today there is internet so every person can give his opinion and troll anyone . getting respect is much much difficult today
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Post by Die Borussen Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:48 pm

he is the best right now & and the last 5 or so years

i dont know about the greatest ever, havent seen pele even in youtube xD while maradona seems impressive i still cant judge

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Post by The Sanchez Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:52 pm

Have started watching football from 2003 onwards and well he is the greatest that I have ever seen. Ronaldinho and Zidane are behind him and by far...
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Post by jibers Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:10 pm

He is the best player in the last 20+ years. The only player who came clsoe in terms of talent was R9 but he got injured too many times. He is a level above Ronaldinho, Zidane and the rest of the 2000s crew.
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Post by MindGames7 Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:10 am

Messi is a great goalscorer who contributes in other areas a bit and is quite good at dribbling. He takes a lot of unnecessary risks in the final third, and so it's no wonder he scores so many "spectacular" goals. Personally I find him a very selfish player and wouldn't have him in my team if I was a manager of a top football club. He's the best striker in the world at the moment but all strikers are overhyped.

The best players ever are more in the mould of Moore, Beckenbauer, Matthaus, McGrath, Davids, Guardiola and in the modern day, Thuram, Zanetti, Nesta, Ferdinand, Thiago Silva, Busquets. That ball playing centre back / sweeper / holding midfielder type. They are the most complete players.

After that it's registas and attacking midfielders like Xavi, Scholes, Platini, Zidane and Iniesta.

Only then do forward / wing players like Messi, Totti, Pele, Maradona, Bergkamp, Cantona, Figo, Giggs, Beckham come into consideration.

Obviously some things overlap, like some registas are so good that they become as important to their team as the central defenders, or some forwards become so good that they become as important to their team as the central midfielders, so the way I've presented it isn't entirely accurate, but I'm sure you understand my point.

Anyway, on Messi, he's the best forward / winger currently playing, but not as good as the best attacking midfielders like Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes (considered attacking because he's so crap defensively and his range of passing makes his areas of influence further forward), Fabregas and David Silva.
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Post by Harmonica Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:31 am

Diego Armando Maradona wrote:There are far two many differences between maradona and messi to say one is simply a "faster/sharper" version of the other. They are different players, played different roles for their team, and utilised different strengths

Messi has been consistently boss by the way for 4 years, that isnt unparralled
I didn't mean they are exactly the same. What I meant by faster and sharper, was in qualities like: dribbling, ball manipulation, passing, decision making etc. And Messi has played same role for Argentina, and can play pretty much any role from midfield to attack.

211+95@219 games in top flight football, that's an average of 53+24@55 games in 4 seasons. Even in his lowest form he usually produces a goal scoring situations or assist in buildup play. Never seen consistency like this.
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Post by MindGames7 Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:31 am

jiopsi wrote:Even in his lowest form he usually produces a goal scoring situations or assist in buildup play. Never seen consistency like this.

Yes you have.

He produces goal scoring situations and helps in build up play but Iniesta and Xavi, and even Fabregas and Thiago are the masters of these things in his team alone, never mind in other teams. If any good striker played with Xavi and Iniesta behind them, you would expect them to score the most goals in Europe every season. If just any good midfielder played behind Messi, however, you wouldn't expect them to create as many goals as Xavi and Iniesta do. Guardiola's brilliant tactics help as well.

And then people wonder why Messi and Ronaldo aren't Gods on the international stage. Rolling Eyes
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Post by Harmonica Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:52 am

MindGames7 wrote:
jiopsi wrote:Even in his lowest form he usually produces a goal scoring situations or assist in buildup play. Never seen consistency like this.

Yes you have.

He produces goal scoring situations and helps in build up play but Iniesta and Xavi, and even Fabregas and Thiago are the masters of these things in his team alone, never mind in other teams.
I meant consistency in all levels, goals, assists, games played, big games, all around play, mesmerizing moments etc., basicly consistently being the best player in the field. And people you mentioned are not even close as consistent as Messi at all levels. Only thing you can say about those guys being consistent is passing, but then again relative to quality, it's hard to compare. Messi has the most passes in the final third (the hardest part of the field) in the whole Europe.

Case in point whoscored.com has Messi MoM 24/37 La Liga and 8/11 in UCL games this season, and watching every Barca game past 3-4 years, those number seems pretty correct to me. That's consistently being the best beyond anything.


If any good striker played with Xavi and Iniesta behind them, you would expect them to score the most goals in Europe every season. If just any good midfielder played behind Messi, however, you wouldn't expect them to create as many goals as Xavi and Iniesta do. Guardiola's brilliant tactics help as well.
Not even close to the truth. This season Iniesta assisted directly (meaning Messi wasn't involved in build up) Messi in 4, Xavi in 3 goals of 73. Messi is easily the most individualistic goal scorer, who scores a lot, in the world, probably ever.


Last edited by jiopsi on Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by MindGames7 Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:44 am

jiopsi wrote:I meant consistency in all levels, goals, assists, games played, all around play, mesmerizing moments etc. And people you mentioned are not even close as consistent as Messi at all levels. Only thing you can say about those guys being consistent is passing, but then again relative to quality, it's hard to compare. Messi has the most passes in the final third (the hardest part of the field) in the whole Europe.

Case in point whoscored.com has Messi MoM 24/37 La Liga and 8/11 in UCL games this season, and watching every Barca game past 3-4 years, those number seems pretty correct to me. That's consistency beyond anything.

Good points.

Firstly, consistency in all levels - you seem to be forgetting defensive contribution, consistently accurate passing and consistently good decision making, which he does not have compared to the midfield players that I mentioned.

Secondly, direct assists - you should know that direct assists are not a good measure of creativity. The passes that open up the defence are frequently not classed as assists.

Overall, your arguments would be true in a world in which the only things that mattered in football were the highlights on match of the day. However, Messi is a wasteful player who isn't very good at decision making and doesn't make much defensive contribution, so his overall influence on a team is less than most top class midfielders and defenders. I don't dispute, however, that he has all the talent to become as good as Xavi/Scholes/Iniesta/Fabregas/Thiago. He just hasn't matured to that level yet. I'm very excited to see what happens to him when he loses his pace and has to rely on intelligent movement, speed of thought and accurate passing to create goals, because I think he has the potential to become a much more influential player.
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Post by Harmonica Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:51 am

MindGames7 wrote:Firstly, consistency in all levels - you seem to be forgetting defensive contribution, consistently accurate passing and consistently good decision making, which he does not have compared to the midfield players that I mentioned.
Messi is a midfield/attacker, he's not supposed to waste energy defending all the time.

Secondly, direct assists - you should know that direct assists are not a good measure of creativity. The passes that open up the defence are frequently not classed as assists.
Messi is easily the most creative player in Barcelona. You would know that if you watched them play.

Overall, your arguments would be true in a world in which the only things that mattered in football were the highlights on match of the day. However, Messi is a wasteful player who isn't very good at decision making and doesn't make much defensive contribution, so his overall influence on a team is less than most top class midfielders and defenders. I don't dispute, however, that he has all the talent to become as good as Xavi/Scholes/Iniesta/Fabregas/Thiago. He just hasn't matured to that level yet. I'm very excited to see what happens to him when he loses his pace and has to rely on intelligent movement, speed of thought and accurate passing to create goals, because I think he has the potential to become a much more influential player.
I don't agree at all, you count decision making as, keeping the ball, or taking the easy road, there isn't any decision making in it. Almost everyone could do that in some level, and that leads into drawing game. People who take chances and succeeds, are the ones that make the hardest, or the best desicions.
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Post by harhar11 Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:22 am

jiopsi wrote:
Secondly, direct assists - you should know that direct assists are not a good measure of creativity. The passes that open up the defence are frequently not classed as assists.
Messi is easily the most creative player in Barcelona. You would know that if you watched them play.

Messi is without a doubt one of ours top 2-3 most creative player but the most? I dont know if a agree with that. Last season, ok I agree, but generally speaking Xavi tends to be our most creative player but last season was one of his worst season and Iniesta was very inconsistent, so Messi was forced to be our most profilic player and our most creative.

I agree 100% with what mind said about direct assist. Ronaldo last seaso got 16 assist while Iniesta got 12 and IIRC zidane average around 10 assist per season, are you telling me that ronaldo is more creative than both Iniesta and Zidane? Or does he get more assist because he plays furter up on the pitch?

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Post by Harmonica Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:40 am

harhar11 wrote:Messi is without a doubt one of ours top 2-3 most creative player but the most? I dont know if a agree with that. Last season, ok I agree, but generally speaking Xavi tends to be our most creative player but last season was one of his worst season and Iniesta was very inconsistent, so Messi was forced to be our most profilic player and our most creative.
IMO relative speaking yes.

Here's four of the more creative, play advancing statistics last 3 seasons in La Liga.

Key passes (resulting in a shot)
1. Xavi 249
2. Messi 224
3. Iniesta 128

Troughballs
1. Messi 116
2. Xavi 76
3. Iniesta 53

Assists (strict rules)
1. Messi 44
2. Xavi 28
3. Iniesta 17

Dribbles
1. Messi 507
2. Iniesta 177
3. Xavi 83
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Post by billionmillion Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:17 am

Messi scoring because of xavi and iniesta is wrong and proven wrong many times so bringing it doesnt make a sense. Last season when xavi/iniesta was injured messi still carried the team and made 2 hat-tricks without them. You will say important thing is to start the attack and scoring doesnt matter. Ok when he scored 4 goals against Arsenal it had nothing to do with xaviesta. Or when he defeated madrid in CL semi-final attack started by Afellay and himself. When he beat Madrid in Super-copa all 3 goals came from him, pique and adriano...the attack always goes into dangerous situation with messi.. so saying messi only scores only shows you dont have idea about him, messi is the man who starts most dangerous attacks and yes he also scores, but he can score with everyone sanchez, pique, adriano, keita, afellay whoever plays alongside him he will make a great partnership with him. buy who ever you want he will have great partnership with messi. so this is the ability that others dont have

Many Barca strikers had that midfield behind them, like Eto, Gudyonsen, Henry, ibra and now villa

Messi scores becuase nobody can beat his marker like him - He has the best acceleration in the game
Messi scores because he has the best shooting accuracy and is the most intelligent scorer in front of goal
He scores because he is the most agile player, nobody in the world can work with the ball as fast as him, so he can control the ball and shoot in 1 second
He scores because he is the best dribbler, so even if he doesnt get chance to shoot he can create it for himself and shoot

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Post by MindGames7 Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:39 am

jiopsi wrote:Messi is a midfield/attacker, he's not supposed to waste energy defending all the time.

Messi is easily the most creative player in Barcelona. You would know that if you watched them play.

I don't agree at all, you count decision making as, keeping the ball, or taking the easy road, there isn't any decision making in it. Almost everyone could do that in some level, and that leads into drawing game. People who take chances and succeeds, are the ones that make the hardest, or the best desicions.

Not only does Messi contribute little defensively, he also isn't very good at it. A lot of the time he gives away fouls or lets players go past him when he challenges them. Saying that it's not his job to defend doesn't defend him from the fact that he doesn't have as much of an influence on the team as the midfielders and the defenders.

Messi is not the most creative player. He takes the most risks and so creates the most goalscoring chances, but that doesn't change the fact that many of the risks don't come off and the team must then win the ball back and wait for a gap in the opponent's defence before they can (should) try again. Xavi in particular is smarter because he knows when it's worth taking the risk, and he knows when to be patient, make the opponents chase the ball around a little more and wait for them to crack. It's why Barca's players are able to play so many games a season without getting injured and seeming as fresh as ever when they get to cup finals and international competitions. They don't have to chase it around so much.

billionmillion wrote:Messi scoring because of xavi and iniesta is wrong and proven wrong many times so bringing it doesnt make a sense. Last season when xavi/iniesta was injured messi still carried the team and made 2 hat-tricks without them. You will say important thing is to start the attack and scoring doesnt matter. Ok when he scored 4 goals against Arsenal it had nothing to do with xaviesta. Or when he defeated madrid in CL semi-final attack started by Afellay and himself. When he beat Madrid in Super-copa all 3 goals came from him, pique and adriano...the attack always goes into dangerous situation with messi.. so saying messi only scores only shows you dont have idea about him, messi is the man who starts most dangerous attacks and yes he also scores, but he can score with everyone sanchez, pique, adriano, keita, afellay whoever plays alongside him he will make a great partnership with him. buy who ever you want he will have great partnership with messi. so this is the ability that others dont have

Many Barca strikers had that midfield behind them, like Eto, Gudyonsen, Henry, ibra and now villa

Messi scores becuase nobody can beat his marker like him - He has the best acceleration in the game
Messi scores because he has the best shooting accuracy and is the most intelligent scorer in front of goal
He scores because he is the most agile player, nobody in the world can work with the ball as fast as him, so he can control the ball and shoot in 1 second
He scores because he is the best dribbler, so even if he doesnt get chance to shoot he can create it for himself and shoot


None of those strikers played in the situation that Messi plays in now.

Messi plays in a team now with up to 4 creative midfield players around him, which allows him to take more chances and not have to worry so much about the other players not being able to win the ball back or keep possession until he gets it.

Those other strikers you listed played at a time when Barca used just 1 or 2 creative midfield players, and 2 other strikers who were all like him. Taking chances, making fouls and giving the ball away.

And you can't use a few individual goals to prove that he's capable of doing that over a whole season, and scoring 80-odd goals or however many he scored. The fact remains that most of his goals are a result of Barcelona's defensive qualities and exceptional retention of possession, combined with the creativity of the players behind him.
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Post by Harmonica Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:47 am

MindGames7 wrote:Not only does Messi contribute little defensively, he also isn't very good at it. A lot of the time he gives away fouls or lets players go past him when he challenges them. Saying that it's not his job to defend doesn't defend the fact that he doesn't have as much of an influence on the team as the midfielders and the defenders.
He's actually one of the best players to get the ball back when he sets his mind to it. But then again, it isn't only his job, nor his only job.

Messi is not the most creative player. He takes the most risks and so creates the most goalscoring chances, but that doesn't change the fact that many of the risks don't come off and the team must then win the ball back and wait for a gap in the opponent's defence before they can (should) try again. Xavi in particular is smarter because he knows when it's worth taking the risk, and he knows when to be patient, make the opponents chase the ball around a little more and wait for them to crack. It's why Barca's players are able to play so many games a season without getting injured and seeming as fresh as ever when they get to cup finals and international competitions. They don't have to chase it around so much.
Again I don't agree, Messi is the most creative player in the world today. Also about decision making, quality of play: lets say, when you try a throughball, you are usually starting to attack, and that's hardly a situation where losing the ball risks a counter-attack, or rivals with advancing rewards. In other words its risk usually worth of taking, even if you loose the ball more. If you only try the easiest routes, not only is it easier to defences to spot, the end product aren't on average as good, as taking the harder routes.


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Post by billionmillion Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:47 am

MindGames7 wrote:
The best players ever are more in the mould of Moore, Beckenbauer, Matthaus, McGrath, Davids, Guardiola and in the modern day, Thuram, Zanetti, Nesta, Ferdinand, Thiago Silva, Busquets. That ball playing centre back / sweeper / holding midfielder type. They are the most complete players.

After that it's registas and attacking midfielders like Xavi, Scholes, Platini, Zidane and Iniesta.

Only then do forward / wing players like Messi, Totti, Pele, Maradona, Bergkamp, Cantona, Figo, Giggs, Beckham come into consideration.
I dont know you are kidding or you are serious. but if you are serious which one of the Attacking mids can do a thing like this? creating from nothing, this is how messi got his reputation not because of scoring

How good is lionel messi? Di-FK5S

seems you are really forgot who was messi after watching pre-season games
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Post by MindGames7 Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:58 am

The difference between us is that you both seem to be judging Messi based on the best things he's capable of doing, whereas I judge him on the overall positive influence he has on a match, on average.

Again, I'd like to make the point that I don't dispute that his talent is probably greatest on the planet, and the most incredible things he's capable of doing are things that no other player is capable of. But only when he matures and gets a better understanding of the game, could he become the greatest ever creative forward, because only then would he become the most influential attacking player in the team. Personally I think Thiago Alcantara will beat him to it. The maturity in his game is outstanding for a player of his age.
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