By Prince Dulzy
For a very long time the debate as to who is the greatest player ever has been going on, with divided opinion from the connoisseurs of the game.
But the point is there will be no end for who is the greatest of all time debate, therefore we cannot have the greatest player ever.
Players will come and go, and that will make people continue to change their minds on who they think is the greatest player ever.
Aside that, being the greatest player ever means there must be consensus – no divided opinion.
Something which has never happened, which is not happening, and which will never happen.
Everyone has his own opinion – people opting for who they think is the greatest of all time.
No one can force anyone to accept their opinion – it is an opinion, it must be expressed and respected.
But the bottom line is, none of the players we opt for would be considered the greatest player ever and none of them will ever be; they will only be recognised as one of the greatest.
Where it all started …
It begun with people choosing either Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé or Diego Armando Maradona Franco as the greatest player of all time.
It has been argued that both Pelé and Maradona single-handedly won World Cup for their country, so any one of them could be the greatest ever.
This is worth of ridicule because a lot of people have won the World Cup in the past – will not bore you with their names but at least a few will do.
Zinedine Zidane outstanding performance in 1998 secured France the World Cup.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (Il Fenomeno) also single-handedly won Brazil the World Cup in 2002.
Fabio Cannavaro heroics helped Italy overcome France in 2006 World Cup. Went ahead to win both FIFA World Player and Ballon d’Or.
Iker Casillas did some fantastic saves to prevent the Netherlands from winning the world cup in 2010, eventually Spain won it.
And just last year, Mario Gotze scored the only goal to help the Die Mannschaft clinch the World Cup trophy. Not forgetting the great performance from the safest pair of hands on the ball, Manuel Neuer.
So the World Cup cannot be used as a basis for choosing the greatest player of all time.
And this is the case, because currently the on-going debate as to who is the greatest player ever has shift between Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro and Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini.
Surprisingly, both have never won the World Cup. It was Messi who came close to winning it last year in Brazil.
So the question is, what criteria will people use now to choose the greatest player ever?
The argument now is winning UEFA Champions league, winning FIFA Ballon d’Or and scoring lot of goals.
This is interesting because both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have never scored more goals than Pelé, and don’t think they will ever.
Neither can the UEFA Champions league nor the FIFA Ballon d’Or be used because a lot of players have won it, even more than once.
So it is just preposterous to hear people choosing a particular player as the greatest ever, especially when there are equally best players, if not better than them.
To mention a few, the likes of George Best, Johannes Cruijff, Eusébio, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ferenc Puskás, Garrincha, Zico and Romário were equally best players.
Recently we had the likes of Ronaldinho, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo (IL fenomeno), George Oppong Weah, Abedi Ayew Pele, Roger Milla, and many more.
We will continue to appreciate what they did as players, and the thrilling moments they brought to the game.
But as to whether any of them is the greatest player ever, is totally uncalled for – It cannot be justified.
We will only recognise them as one of the greatest players – meaning there are lots of great players and not only one.
As far as the world is in existence, football will continue to be played, and that means great players will come-and-go.
There have been in the past, there are in the present, and there would be in future.