in General Topics
Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:11 am
• 41 Posts
Di Stefano was undoubtedly the star in that Madrid side, but Messi is fast catching his compatriot (who passed away in 2014) in terms of goals. Not only that, but the Barca forward is plying his trade in a much more competitive era. These days, players are fitter and superior technically, tactics are better, rivals are stronger and faster too, while any look at cheap FIFA 16 Points old footage also shows just how much goalkeepers have improved since the days of black-and-white broadcasts. The conditions now are more difficult, but still the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is posting the most impressive stats in the history of the game. And with Messi, the numbers only begin to tell the story of his incredible influence.
Back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Ballon d'Or was an award reserved for European players. Although Argentine, Di Stefano won it twice during his time at Real (in 1957 and 1959), but that was because he had started to represent Spain in 1957. However, neither Pele nor Maradona were eligible for the prize.
Even if they had been, it seems unlikely that either would have matched Messi's achievement of claiming the Golden Ball five times. Because even though Pele won three World Cups, Garrincha was very much the star in 1962 as the striker missed most of the competition through injury. Maradona, meanwhile, would have won several, but five seems unlikely in a decade in which three-time winners Marco van Basten and Michel Platini were at their peak.
"Pele and Diego Maradona both made a huge difference, " Messi's former Barca teammate Xavi recently said. "But football has evolved. The players are better than they were, the game is better. And Messi stands out as the best at the best time in the history of football. "
He is probably right. Despite the difficulties that come with comparing time periods, soccer has indeed evolved and Messi is dominating an era that is supposed to be hardest in the game's history like no other player before him. And he's doing it with what looks like effortless ease.fifiaqowe