An era is officially over

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Post by sportsczy Wed Jun 07, 2023 8:29 pm

With Ronaldo, Messi and Ibra either retired or now playing in retirement leagues...  an era has ended.

These are the only 3 players that were must-sees for 2 decades.  Everyone talks about Messi and Ronaldo... but remember that Ibra won the league in all but one season from 2001 to 2016.  He has over 500 club goals and 60 NT goals.  I'd add Ronaldinho in there but his peak was way too short and, thus, didn't really define an era.

All three were one of one, meaning completely unique.  

Benzema and Suarez being gone too make it feel even more like an end.

We now have Mbappe and Haaland, who are also unique despite being very young.  We need a few more. I'm sure players will emerge.  Neymar should have been there too... but he took the Ronaldinho path.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:26 pm

first time i've seen someone trying to push Ibra alongside Messi and Ronaldo as era-defining Laughing

Ibra is a mercenary, a unicorn in his own right, but a mercenary, an island of his own. I think there's a bunch more players of the 2000s that football fans hold closer to their hearts and minds.
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Post by sportsczy Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:38 pm

Maybe you were too young...  in fact you were.  But he won the league title 14 out of 15 times from 2001 through 2016.  Other than a Barca one, he was the dominant force on all of those by a mile.

Nobody was better as a 9 than Ibra because he was so unique and completely dominant.   There was nothing you could do with him.

He may not be Messi or Ronaldo... but that's only because of CL results.  In terms of just football, he was every bit as good as anyone.

Hala, help me out here.
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Post by Harmonica Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:45 pm

This is what I'll always remember when talked about Messi and Zlatan.

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Post by sportsczy Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:52 pm

Zlatan highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln35qLphK4I
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Post by El Gunner Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:20 pm

sportsczy wrote:Maybe you were too young...  in fact you were.  But he won the league title 14 out of 15 times from 2001 through 2016.  Other than a Barca one, he was the dominant force on all of those by a mile.

Nobody was better as a 9 than Ibra because he was so unique and completely dominant.   There was nothing you could do with him.

He may not be Messi or Ronaldo... but that's only because of CL results.  In terms of just football, he was every bit as good as anyone.

Hala, help me out here.

he may have won all those titles in lesser leagues, but was he really the main reason/driving force behind those titles all the time?

has he ever even had a top 5 Ballon d'Or finish?
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Post by jibers Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:25 pm

sportsczy wrote:Maybe you were too young...  in fact you were.  But he won the league title 14 out of 15 times from 2001 through 2016.  Other than a Barca one, he was the dominant force on all of those by a mile.

Nobody was better as a 9 than Ibra because he was so unique and completely dominant.   There was nothing you could do with him.  

He may not be Messi or Ronaldo... but that's only because of CL results.  In terms of just football, he was every bit as good as anyone.

Hala, help me out here.


Utter rubbish. Ibra is one of if not the most ovverated player in the modern era. He won those titles because for the most part he was in dominant teams. Inter won a treble immediately he left, Barca regained their cl immediately he left, big games against the best he went missing. The only team I would say he did a real carry job for was Milan in 10/11 but Serie A was trash. Could only be a big fish in a small pond.

This hyperbole has to stop ffs. He was simply nowhere on Messi's level as a footballer. and comparing him to CR is an utter joke.

Unbelievable. Oh and yes I saw ALL of Zlatan's career.

Highlights merchant.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:32 pm

Harmonica wrote:This is what I'll always remember when talked about Messi and Zlatan.


lmaooo Zlatan was SICK! rofl there really was levels to it. How that 2nd Messi goal is even humanly possible, i don't know
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Post by Thimmy Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:32 pm

Harmonica wrote:This is what I'll always remember when talked about Messi and Zlatan.



Off the top of my head, he scored a decisive goal against us in El Clasico while playing for Barcelona. Would've thought that was a more memorable opposing team than Zaragoza hmm
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Post by Harmonica Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:58 pm

Thimmy wrote:
Harmonica wrote:This is what I'll always remember when talked about Messi and Zlatan.



Off the top of my head, he scored a decisive goal against us in El Clasico while playing for Barcelona. Would've thought that was a more memorable opposing team than Zaragoza hmm
Did you actually watch the match? One of the most memorable games, ever. Messi scores insane hat-trick, Zlatan can't buy a goal from multiple 1on1's, suddenly Zaragoza goes from 0-3 to 2-3, and then when needed again Messi casually gets penaldo from the next attack, giving Zlatan finally a goal.
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Post by Vibe Thu Jun 08, 2023 6:22 am

I don't think Ibra is Messi/Ronaldo level, but he's not far behind.

He's been semi retired for 7-8 years already, but let's not forget before. Man was a force. One of the players that defined a generation.

What worries me is the lack of upcoming strikers. Other than Haaland and Mbappe, the well seems dry. Sure, there are some talents but I see nothing on the level of players that retired or are about to.

La Liga top scorers: Lewandowski, Benzema, Joselu, Griezmann, Borja
All well over 30

EPL: Haaland, Kane, Toney, Salah, Wilson
All over 30 bar Haaland and Toney doesn't strike me as someone to take over

Serie A: Osimhen, Lautaro, Dia, Leao, Lookman
Ironically Serie a brings youth but can they reach those heights, I'm not so sure

I hope more players emerge, because this list doesn't inspire confidence in me. Maybe wingers are making a comeback, they grew out of favor a bit after the inside forward became popular around the beggining of the last decade, and the the wingbacks appeared with 3 man backlines becoming meta again.
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Post by Harmonica Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:11 am

Cronaldo isn't on Messi's level, Zlatan even less.
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Post by rincon Thu Jun 08, 2023 11:33 am

Fully agree with Sports. With Messi, Ronaldo and Ibra gone the era is finished.

And yes, Ibra was the only forward who approached the two aliens. Until Neymar at least. One of the era defining players.
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Post by Nishankly Fri Jun 09, 2023 3:44 am

First time I am reading about Ibra since 2017. A great from the era but he was finished about 5 years back globally.
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Post by Casciavit Sat Jun 10, 2023 1:10 am

A guy who did nothing in the CL despite playing for multiple top teams in Europe is not the third best behind Messi/CR
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Post by Nivash Sat Jun 10, 2023 11:13 am

Casciavit wrote:A guy who did nothing in the CL despite playing for multiple top teams in Europe is not the third best behind Messi/CR


R9 is the benchmark for what a striker should be, yet, the same argument could apply to him

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Post by El Gunner Sat Jun 10, 2023 11:22 am

Zlatan is a unicorn, it would be absurd for strikers to look at him as the benchmark because you cannot replicate his technique along with that height and athleticism.

Prime Suarez is the closest thing we've seen to R9.
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Post by jibers Sat Jun 10, 2023 1:22 pm

Nivash wrote:
Casciavit wrote:A guy who did nothing in the CL despite playing for multiple top teams in Europe is not the third best behind Messi/CR


R9 is the benchmark for what a striker should be, yet, the same argument could apply to him


1 R9 never played for a super team and he already had an outstanding world cup. R9 was rightfully regarded as the best in the world at his time. Zlatan was never near the best in the world convo.

Zlatan was in stacked teams throughout his career. Inter sold him and won a treble, Barca sold him and regained their cl.

Plus R9 is seen as a benchmark for who? Maybe when he was in his early teens and few years at inter. That was what, 4 years at best off my memory?

Zlatan has had his whole career and has flopped every single time.
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Post by Warrior Sat Jun 10, 2023 3:09 pm

Messi and Ronaldo been on top for so long it's crazy. One played with prime Ronnie and prime Mbappé, the other played with prime Van Nistelrooy and prime Rashford. Such longevity at high level is insane and as far as i can tell the only other guy who has been consistently a top player during that time span is... Ibra

Ibra who don't belong in the best of the world convo, just in this past decade Lewandowski, Suarez and Benzema are better than him with better palmares. But in my heart he is above all 3 of those guys. A staple of the football world during 20 years, scoring 500 goals, the attitude, the swag, the highlights.
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Nishankly wrote:First time I am reading about Ibra since 2017. A great from the era but he was finished about 5 years back globally.


He did well at Milan in the uncle Zlatan role, still useful on the field he had good goal ratio and would create chances for his teammates. It's only in the last season he became more uncle than Zlatan.
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Post by Nivash Sun Jun 11, 2023 1:02 pm

jibers wrote:
Nivash wrote:
Casciavit wrote:A guy who did nothing in the CL despite playing for multiple top teams in Europe is not the third best behind Messi/CR


R9 is the benchmark for what a striker should be, yet, the same argument could apply to him


1 R9 never played for a super team and he already had an outstanding world cup. R9 was rightfully regarded as the best in the world at his time. Zlatan was never near the best in the world convo.

Zlatan was in stacked teams throughout his career. Inter sold him and won a treble, Barca sold him and regained their cl.

Plus R9 is seen as a benchmark for who? Maybe when he was in his early teens and few years at inter. That was what, 4 years at best off my memory?

Zlatan has had his whole career and has flopped every single time.


Galacticos 1.0 wasn't a super team? Similarly too, the Barca and Inter sides he was a part of before joining Madrid were as stacked as the teams Ibra has played for in similar parts of his career. R9 was great and a benchmark until injuries started catching up to him toward the end of his Madrid career, which gives him (assuming we exclude PSV, where he was still amazing) between 1996 - 2005/2006, which is about a decade.

The argument is that Ibra comes into the conversation after Messi & Ronaldo, which is fair even if only from a longevity perspective.

Zlatan will never have done anything internationally having played for Sweden, but he's consistently been in league winning sides.

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Post by titosantill Sun Jun 11, 2023 1:33 pm

an era is over but Ibra didnt have to retire for that to be the case. I think the era was on life support after Cristiano and Messi had been separated from la liga match ups. its now officially done with both of them out of european football. zlatan's a great player but he wasn't a defining piece of the ear, the debate wasnt messi vs cristiano vs zlatan. he like everyone else from 08 to 18 was a tier below. i think his time at inter was the closest you could attempt to compare him to those two.

and i like zlatan btw, i think there can be no argument that he has scored the best goals of any forward (not just strikers, wing forwards and attacking midfielders too) past or present but he isn't in the era conversation.
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Post by El Gunner Thu Jul 06, 2023 10:46 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWRj89Jw-m4

so have we actually answered this question?

If we are talking pound for pound peak performance, i believe it's Suarez. If we are talking unique skill level it's Iniesta. But perhaps he and Xavi being on the same club and national team at the same time makes them cancel each other out a bit too much. But if we also factor in longevity and how relevant he has made Croatia, it has to be Modric, right?
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Post by Pedram Thu Jul 06, 2023 11:19 am

Xavi? no lol

It's between Iniesta and Modric. I'm going with Modric because of longevity, lost counts of how many masterclass performances he's had for us in the CL, directly responsible for many of our successful campaigns.
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Post by Vibe Thu Jul 06, 2023 11:27 am

Interesting question. Obviously Ronaldo is a lock for #1 and Messi for #2, but 3rd is wide open for discussion.

Personally though, I think you can't look past Iniesta.
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Post by Davis Thu Jul 06, 2023 12:16 pm

Good question. I'd say Messi and Ronaldo are definitely number 1 and 2 respectively. As for 3rd... I'd say Modric. He's still amazing at 37, and has pretty much led Croatia to a World Cup final, 3rd place play-off win, and a Nations League semi-final. Modric still manages to be a superb dribbler, passer, and crosser after all thsse years.
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