Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Legends of the Past IV

My good friend Mr. West pointed out that there are few players who transcend time and for him these are the players that are truly in the upper echelon of the footballing world. I would agree somewhat with this assertion. These players are known by everybody who has an interest in the sport of football because of their play on the field that seemingly puts them in another time period of the game because they have already passed the standards for greatness in their own time period. But I would not agree that these players cannot be compared with players from the past and future. For me it is a simple matter of transposition as I have already let Aaron know.

The game has become increasingly about speed and strength as these fine tuned athletic machines trod on the green daily. I honestly wish it wasnt that way because to me it has taken a way from the purity of the game. Case in point George Best- smoked, drank and partook in the same activities that the ballers of his day did. But the complete wizardry with the ball at his feet was not lost. Could the same be said for Messi? If he did not partake in daily fitness tests, drank beers daily, partied all night as these past heroes did, would his feet have the same trickery? Would the mental speed which controlled his feet as he glided with the ball still mantain the same level? I think not. As Aaron said, the game was based on a purely technical ability back then. And with that, my feeling is that the greats of this age would not be the phenomenal talents they are today without the conditions of todays game.

In the same way, I feel that George Best would have had a ball playing todays game because he would have been blessed with the same skill set that he had and would have been even more enhanced by the military like regimen that he would have had to undergo to play for Machester United. But the question is whether his passion would have been the same if he had to go through hoops as he would have to presently. This is important because in my book, passion breeds talent- it is the presence of passion that allows one to work tirelessly at perfecting their craft.

But there are timeless wonders such as Ronaldo, Zidane, Riquelme, Van Nistelrooy, Inzaghi, Maldini, etc. whose games have not relied heavily on speed and in some cases fitness for reasons such as injury or the fact that they were simply not built that way. I will hand over to Mr. West to continue our discussion.

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