The 100 Best Football Players According To Pel?
March 4, 2004 10:23 AM   Subscribe

"And The 100 Best Ever Football Players Are..." The great Pele, himself one of Time's 100 List, has just presented his very own list, not entirely as diplomatic and Kofi Annan-like as FIFA would perhaps have wished, as it includes, imo, some quirky and interesting choices. It was announced today, so there's time to bitch about unacceptable omissions and incomprehensible inclusions before the print mob get their dirty little hands on it and tell us all what to think.
posted by MiguelCardoso (45 comments total)
* pats himself on the back for not exploring farther the football/soccer confusion and opening with, say, "Why Are There Only Two Americans In The 100 Best Ever Footballer Players List...And They're Both Women?!* ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2004

Where's Joe Montana? Or Steve Young? What about LT and Marcus Allen? Who's this Pele guy? Is he a kicker? He'd have to be with a name like "Pele."

posted by eyeballkid at 10:29 AM on March 4, 2004

i saw pele at the smithsonian when i was a kid - big fur coat on and two beautiful women, one on each arm ... talk about a player!
posted by specialk420 at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2004

I don't see Bo Jackson on this list. Bo knows football.
posted by joeadk at 10:55 AM on March 4, 2004

Where's Garrincha? The greatest dribbler of all time and inventor of the 'banana kick' played 60 times for Brazil and was on the losing side just once, in his final game.
posted by liam at 10:57 AM on March 4, 2004

Is this really best ever or just best active?
posted by McBain at 11:06 AM on March 4, 2004

Wow, I hadn't noticed Garrincha was missing - that's incredible. What a joy to watch him play, like a mad spider, weaving a parallax game of his own round the one everyone else was playing, a bit like the Web and the print media. He has to be one of the Top Ten.

I'm shocked. Thanks for reminding me, liam!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:07 AM on March 4, 2004

All my favourites are on that list. Although I do think this list is focussing more on recent history, I bet a comprehensive list will include many names from the past we are not aware of.
posted by riffola at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2004

i would definitely say this list is slanted toward recent history. too many young frenchmen.

Garrincha has a move named after him, fer fick's sake (though Maradona's dribbling skills are comparable).

another great winger missing is Stanley Mathews, one of the sports first "superstars."
posted by mrgrimm at 11:26 AM on March 4, 2004

So Gianfranco Zola doesn't make it but Veron does. Think those anti-impotence pills have addled the great Pele's brain a little.
posted by ciderwoman at 11:27 AM on March 4, 2004

And what mrgrimm said. Matthews was indeed one of the greats, as was the recently deceased John Charles.
posted by ciderwoman at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2004

Pity he didn't order them from 1-100. Would have been lovely to see J.C. the Redeemer at the top of the list.
posted by prolific at 11:32 AM on March 4, 2004

I wonder if the portraits of Maradona are sly commentary on his legacy.
posted by jpoulos at 11:33 AM on March 4, 2004

**send Dick Butkus in to tackle all the soccer boys and break their legs**

Actually, soccer was fun to play when I was a kid, but it's an absolute bore to watch.

Now, put on some baseball, you communists.
posted by jonmc at 11:33 AM on March 4, 2004

Batigol's portrait is stunning. Wish I had some disposable income.

And isn't it a little early to be declaring Ronaldinho one of the best ever?
posted by jpoulos at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2004

Thanks for your input, jon. Led Zeppelin sucks.
posted by jpoulos at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2004

This looks like it is just the 100 that this particular fellow was able to photograph or otherwise represent for printed resale.....
posted by grabbingsand at 11:40 AM on March 4, 2004

This fellow meaning Robert Davies, not Pele.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:43 AM on March 4, 2004

Talking about the photographs, I nominate the two following for the Guinness Book Of The Greatest Rip-Offs Involving The Ratio Between Photographic Quality And Price:

For over $15,000, Figo.

But the winner is, for around $10,000, the second photograph of Eusébio.

Never has so much been asked for such crap "photographs" and "photoshops".
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2004

No Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper ever to win the European Footballer of the Year Award??
*places cap over heart, begins bellowing Soviet National Hymn, remembers there's no more USSR, falls silent in confusion*
posted by languagehat at 12:06 PM on March 4, 2004

It's supposed to be Pele's greatest *living* players--hence some of the omissions.

Goes to show that when one person makes a list, and makes up their own criteria for who's on it, you can...make a lot of money selling pictures? I dunno....
posted by andycoan at 12:08 PM on March 4, 2004

How could he leave off Steve Claridge? I'm shocked and disappointed. Drop Nakata and bring in Claridge.

(On preview) Seriously though, I hope John Charles was on the list before Saturday.
posted by squealy at 12:14 PM on March 4, 2004

Still breaks my heart that Gazza never fulfilled his endless potential (or quieted his demons enough) to make such a list. What a waste.

but it's an absolute bore to watch.

Man... sigh... to each his own I suppose. I guess even after all the interest that team USA generated with their quarterfinal run in the last World Cup, some people over here will just never get why it is "the beautiful game". Oh, well. More for the rest of us.
posted by psmealey at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2004

Is this really best ever or just best active?

Oops, right you are, McBain! Apologies to all others. This is, in fact, Pelé's list of the 100 greatest living footballers, according to FIFA's brief explanation. I should never not have included the word Ever in the title.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2004

No Gazza?

Crespo? Crespo aint earning his corn at the moment.

Roger Milla? Reeeespect. Guy is quality. I want a picture of him dancing round the corner flag.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2004

Actually, soccer was fun to play when I was a kid, but it's an absolute bore to watch.

Yeah. That's why every year, we talk about the half-time show and the commercials during the FA Cup Final. Oh, sorry, that's a different sporting event entirely.

Agreed, though, that it's a yellow card to Miguel for not mentioning the 'living' thing. But it's good to know that Puskas is still with us.

I'm particularly glad to see George Weah there, because of the way he retired near the top, and continues to do such good work for his native Liberia. Better than Pele shilling for Viagra, anyway.
posted by riviera at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2004

I think a lot of these nominations (*looks at the only two women on the list, for example*) are for political reasons. There is no way even Pele, who I saw play for the Cosmos in the '70s, actually thinks this is the real list. I can just hear Blatter now saying to him, Please, come on, we need some coverage for Asia, Africa and the US--puh-leeze oh great studly one!
posted by billsaysthis at 2:47 PM on March 4, 2004

Marco van Basten.
posted by the fire you left me at 4:39 PM on March 4, 2004

I am afraid to say that the inclusion of any women at all renders the whole thing an embarrassing and pointless diversion; and thats before you get to his male selections.

What the hell has Saviola done, apart from fall over a lot?

Rivaldho isn't fit to lick the boots of Rivelhino and why no Ardiles in the Argentina selections?

Why any Belgians?

Roger Milla, at his peak would have struggled to get a game with Hereford United.

Valderama was a clown

Wasn't Koppa a bleeding cyclist?
Trezeguet? Please!!!!

Abedi Pele.......whoooooooo?

Nakata? world class marketing gimmick, that's about it.

Sanchez?...........Noooooo, Noooooooo and thrice Noooooooo!

Romerito, who he?

Boniak, pah!

Hagi, sulky liability.

Dalglish, ok, but what about Willie Johnstone, Jimmy Johnstone, Jim Baxter

Diouf??? Do me a chuffin favour!

Bo??? Beam me up Scotty!

Rustu? Emre? Bleeding poultry old chap.

This is a piss poor list, it should be ashamed of itself.
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:56 PM on March 4, 2004

I'm just glad Georgie Best (another who didn't quite fulfil his potential) can still make the Top 100 Living Players. For the moment...

(and how about that - everybody knows you blew it George, but you're still one of the best!!)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:04 PM on March 4, 2004

This list is definitely a bit off.
posted by rudyfink at 11:30 PM on March 4, 2004

The world's most famous players are on the list -- all four of them.

As for the rest, who gives a rat's ass?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:09 AM on March 5, 2004

All you Americans saying "who cares", or making unfunny jokes about American football, shut the fuck up will ya?

I thought it was an odd list as well, until I realised that it was living footballers. That would explain the omission of so many players, such as Bobby Moore and Stanley Matthews. It also explains why there's a bias towards active or recently retired players.

Having said that, there are some bloody odd selections in there. Rustu? Diouf? A couple of token female players for political correctness? Oh come on.

And no Cyril Regis, either. :-)
posted by salmacis at 2:31 AM on March 5, 2004

And isn't it a little early to be declaring Ronaldinho one of the best ever?
posted by jpoulos at 7:36 PM GMT on March 4

Absolutely , the celtic midlfield will make him look like an amateur next week.
Good to see a celtic player in there as Scotlands best ever player.
I think i'll just start saying the word 'celtic' ; celtic , celtic , celtic , celtic ,celtic,celtic, celtic and celtic.
**send Dick Butkus in to tackle all the soccer boys and break their legs**

**Sends in Brian Clough to clip jon round the ear**
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:18 AM on March 5, 2004

At least Ronaldinho has won a world cup, which is more than Saviola has.

Come to think of it, Roque Junior has also won a world cup, so forget I said anything..
posted by salmacis at 7:11 AM on March 5, 2004

the celtic midfield will make him look like an amateur next week

By swapping shirts at the end?
posted by biffa at 8:13 AM on March 5, 2004

lol, biffa.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:30 PM on March 5, 2004

Two words :

Henrik Larson.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:03 PM on March 5, 2004

In fact , lets just see those words again:

H E N R I K ***** L A R S O N
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:05 PM on March 5, 2004

Henrik Larson

If he was any...
posted by biffa at 2:23 PM on March 6, 2004

lets get stripped to the waist and indulge in some manly wrestling , biffa.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:43 PM on March 6, 2004

Perhaps it's British slang but what does If he was any... mean in non-slang English?
posted by billsaysthis at 11:59 AM on March 7, 2004

sorry billsaysthis, not slang so much as the short form for a particular - and entirely predictable - argument, that goes, if he was any good why would Larson be playing in Scotland, essentially it implies that he isn't really that good, he just looks good because he plays where the standard isn't that high. I was just winding sgt.serenity up as he will likely have heard the argument a few times.
posted by biffa at 2:23 PM on March 7, 2004

biffa, Larson wants to go play in Spain... or maybe the EPL when he frees up in the Summer.

And you and the Sarge are invited to join our EPL and other discussions at SpoFi!
posted by billsaysthis at 5:36 PM on March 7, 2004

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