A Hypothetical Question

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A Hypothetical Question

Post by messixaviesta on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:55 pm

Time for another one of my hypothetical questions. I guess I haven't posted one for quite some time. Smile

Consider the Portuguese national team the way it is today. Replace C.Ronaldo with Messi. Does this team now become good enough to win the world cup?


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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by kiranr on Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:10 am


Messi creates more than CR. There is no doubt about that. So, Portugal with Messi will create more goal scoring chances than with CR.

I feel Portugal will have a higher chance of winning the world cup than with CR in it.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by Harmonica on Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:17 am

Portugal actually has a defence and midfield, so yes.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by BarcaKizz on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:20 am

People on the forum these days don't like hypotheticals apparently...

I, however, love them. I think he would improve them for sure. Portugal have everything Argentina lack. Stability, organisation etc. Both a solid defence and a midfield, all you need on top of that is Messi, the one man attack. From the wing Cristiano struggled to involve himself enough and influence the game. Messi is the more well-rounded player and as said, he'll come deep and float about. He'd fit them well.

Pereira - Pepe - B. Alves - Coentrao
Mereiles - Veloso - Moutinho
Nani - Messi - Danny/Oliveira

Still lacks a partner up front but better IMO.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:32 am

No, I dont think so.

They would be better, but I dont think they would win a WC or even a Euro's.

The would be very relient on Messi's goals. They lack finishers of chances, Danny and Nani are creators while every number 9 they have reeks of average.



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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by BarcaKizz on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:54 pm

@The Franchise wrote:No, I dont think so.

They would be better, but I dont think they would win a WC or even a Euro's.

The would be very relient on Messi's goals. They lack finishers of chances, Danny and Nani are creators while every number 9 they have reeks of average.

Indeed... coming back to the actual question, no they wouldn't win a WC but like I said, it would be an improvement. Team definitely lacks finishers.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by messixaviesta on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:57 pm

Thanks for the replies.

kizz, your comments are great and my thoughts were on similar lines.

dani, your point is valid. The best option as kizz suggested is to use Messi as creator and finisher. However it will of course be difficult. Here too he will playing the same Maradonaesque one man show role that he plays for Argentina but the big difference will be that the much greater solidity around him will leave him with less to worry about especially in terms of conceding needless goals.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by alexjanosik on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:09 am

I have been thinking of the same question for sometime now so its nice that you made a thread jd.
IMO Portugal would become one of the strong favorites for the WC.
Portugal have everything Argentina lack.They have a worldclass defense, one of the best in international football.So they wont ship in many goals.
Portugal also have a very good midfield.Their midfield is competitive,offers protection to the defense and also is good enough on the ball to give it to Messi in dangerous areas.
I dont agree with dani's assessment about them being very reliant on Messi's goals for 2 reasons.
One,as Spain have showed at the WC and this Euro's,you dont need a ton of goals to win tournaments.Spain 1-0 their way to the WC.
They also won the Euro without playing a striker in most games.So in tournaments as short as the WC,tons of goals are not important.
Second reason is our last season.Last season Messi was everything in the final third for us.He took almost the entire responsiblity of goal scoring and creating in the final third and delivered brilliantly.So if he can be a one man army for us in the final third in a league and CL season against a Madrid juggernaut and almost take us over the line,I am certainly sure he can do it over 7 games at the WC.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by kiranr on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:33 am


And Portugal will not hesitate to play counter-attacking football.

Messi in a counter-attacking system is highly dangerous, more so than CR i believe because of his ability to dribble past several players and his ability to pick out a pass, both which CR can't do as good enough as Messi.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by messixaviesta on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:05 am

@alexjanosik wrote:I have been thinking of the same question for sometime now so its nice that you made a thread jd.
IMO Portugal would become one of the strong favorites for the WC.
Portugal have everything Argentina lack.They have a worldclass defense, one of the best in international football.So they wont ship in many goals.
Portugal also have a very good midfield.Their midfield is competitive,offers protection to the defense and also is good enough on the ball to give it to Messi in dangerous areas.
I dont agree with dani's assessment about them being very reliant on Messi's goals for 2 reasons.
One,as Spain have showed at the WC and this Euro's,you dont need a ton of goals to win tournaments.Spain 1-0 their way to the WC.
They also won the Euro without playing a striker in most games.So in tournaments as short as the WC,tons of goals are not important.
Second reason is our last season.Last season Messi was everything in the final third for us.He took almost the entire responsiblity of goal scoring and creating in the final third and delivered brilliantly.So if he can be a one man army for us in the final third in a league and CL season against a Madrid juggernaut and almost take us over the line,I am certainly sure he can do it over 7 games at the WC.

alex, it's great that you like this thread and were thinking of the same thing.

Your comments are spot on brilliant and I pretty much agree with every word.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by messixaviesta on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:06 am

@kiranr wrote:
And Portugal will not hesitate to play counter-attacking football.

Messi in a counter-attacking system is highly dangerous, more so than CR i believe because of his ability to dribble past several players and his ability to pick out a pass, both which CR can't do as good enough as Messi.

Very true

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:03 am

But Spain only played well twice, one vs Portugal, there were lucky to the win the Euros with such a poor level of player.

I am sure Portugal would be competitive, but they are compeititve already, they almost beat Spain. I just dont think Messi takes them over the edge (as much as he better than Cristiano) because Spain would still win anyway, despite them not even being consistently great.

In short, Spain are luckly they could get away with playing without a striker. Because it worked for them once in the entire tournament.

Yes, Messi carries us for goals. But I dont think thats ideal and in the end that was as big a downfall as any for us. We have been at our best when we have other players in the high double figures (Pedro, Villa, Etoo, Henry) not when Messi scores all the goals and everyone around him cannot finish.

Also, at least while we had no goalscorers we have willing runners to create space. Alexis, Pedro, Villa, all while not scoring still made the same runs.

Danny and Nani do not make those runs, ever.



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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:06 am

In short, perhaps they would have a chance at a Euro's (seeing as technically Portugal was pretty close as it was) but if teams play at a high level (while they didnt) then a team with such a flaw shouldnt.

I also dont think this Spain wins the WC in South Africa with this level of performance.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by harhar11 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:39 am

@The Franchise wrote:But Spain only played well twice, one vs Portugal, there were lucky to the win the Euros with such a poor level of player.

I am sure Portugal would be competitive, but they are compeititve already, they almost beat Spain. I just dont think Messi takes them over the edge (as much as he better than Cristiano) because Spain would still win anyway, despite them not even being consistently great.

In short, Spain are luckly they could get away with playing without a striker. Because it worked for them once in the entire tournament.

Yes, Messi carries us for goals. But I dont think thats ideal and in the end that was as big a downfall as any for us. We have been at our best when we have other players in the high double figures (Pedro, Villa, Etoo, Henry) not when Messi scores all the goals and everyone around him cannot finish.

Also, at least while we had no goalscorers we have willing runners to create space. Alexis, Pedro, Villa, all while not scoring still made the same runs.

Danny and Nani do not make those runs, ever.




Even so they were better than their opponents in every game bar Croatia.

That I agree 100% with

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:59 am

Portugal were better than every team they faced, then equal with Spain.

Germany was better bar Italy, so on and so forth.

Its about level of performance to me, and frankly Spain didnt even need to consistently reach a high level. They did so only twice.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by harhar11 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:28 pm

@The Franchise wrote: Portugal were better than every team they faced, then equal with Spain.

Germany was better bar Italy, so on and so forth.

Its about level of performance to me, and frankly Spain didnt even need to consistently reach a high level. They did so only twice.

IMO I thought the first 45 min Portugal were slight the better team then in the 2nd half they were equals but in extra time spain were all over portugal and deserved to win.

Oh and Germany were better than Portugal as well..

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:31 pm

Yes, but thats not the point im making.

The point is, while Spain were never the worse team in any game bar Croatia, others teams can say similar things.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by the xcx on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:00 pm

Pre Euros, Portugal was a laughing stock to everyone. Their defence was laughable, and the midfield was nowhere to be had, they were okay overall but inconsistent because they never actually dominated the midfield or so to speak and the linkup between the defence wasnt good either. What kept Portugal aside was their direct style of attacking football tho, poor mans RM basicly. Bento did a fantastic job in the Euros tho.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by alexjanosik on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:32 pm

@The Franchise wrote:But Spain only played well twice, one vs Portugal, there were lucky to the win the Euros with such a poor level of player.

I am sure Portugal would be competitive, but they are compeititve already, they almost beat Spain. I just dont think Messi takes them over the edge (as much as he better than Cristiano) because Spain would still win anyway, despite them not even being consistently great.

In short, Spain are luckly they could get away with playing without a striker. Because it worked for them once in the entire tournament.

Yes, Messi carries us for goals. But I dont think thats ideal and in the end that was as big a downfall as any for us. We have been at our best when we have other players in the high double figures (Pedro, Villa, Etoo, Henry) not when Messi scores all the goals and everyone around him cannot finish.

Also, at least while we had no goalscorers we have willing runners to create space. Alexis, Pedro, Villa, all while not scoring still made the same runs.

Danny and Nani do not make those runs, ever.




dani
The point is not whether Messi carrying us in the final third was ideal or whether it ultimately led to our downfall.
The point is whether he can do the job.And as proven by last season,he most certainly can.Had he hit the penalty or converted the couple of chances he had in the second leg(99 times out of 100 he converts those) we would have most probably won the CL again.
He also carried our attack in the league against the Madrid juggernaut.So if he can do it over a league and CL campaign against the Madrid juggernaut, there is no reason why he cant do it over 7 games.
As you said yourself,the level of NT football is lower.
Regarding the point you make about runners,Villa missed half the season for us.Pedro was poor all season and missed a lot of games either through injury or through being benched.We played a lot of the second half of the season with Messi and the other forwards as Tello,Cuenca,Iniesta etc.Neither of the 3 are off the ball runners.Alexis was the only other runner but then he too missed a lot of games.So Messi did prove that he could carry the attack even without runners over a considerable stretch of games.He was a post away from taking us to the CL final.So I certainly think he can make it work with Nani and Danny.

I agree that Spain would be the main opponents and Portugal would find it tough against Spain.But I never said Portugal would be the favorites.I think they would be one of the favorites but would be underdogs against Spain.
But with Messi in there I ceratinly think they can beat Spain.As Portugal showed they can more than match Spain.They can press as they did in the Euro or they can play counterattacking.Ball breaking to Messi on the counter with Busquets and Alonso in front of him.As great as Busquets is and as interestng a battle it would be,and as great as Alonso is(LOL), there is only one winner in such a situation 9 times out of 10.
Spain would be the favorites,but with Messi thr I give Portugal a fighting chance.Plus Xavi might not be thr in 2014 and I really dont think Spain will be the same without Xavi pulling the strings.They wont be able to control games as much and they wont be able to 1-0 their way to victory.
So it will be interesting.
Ofcourse this is all purely hypothetical but fun nonetheless.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by messixaviesta on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:55 pm

I would go so far as to say Spain with all their players fit and at their best against Portugal also at their best but with C.Ronaldo replaced by Messi could make for a great world cup final. This is unfortunately an era when there is no strong team in international football with the sole exception of Spain. Sometimes this idea has come up that seeing Messi against his Barca team mates in a game where the stakes are really high could be quite something. However Messi needs at least some kind of support for it and if Argentina continues to have pathetic defenders and hardly better midfielders then a crucial match between Spain and Argentina would not really be worth awaiting.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Franchise on Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:15 pm

Yes but Alex my orignal point was not simply its not ideal, but its a big enough flaw to cost them not winning the WC.

I cannot agree with you about the runners.

Yes, Pedro sucked and Villa was injured. But there is it doesnt matter of Pedro sucks or not, or if Alexis sucks or not, their level of performance doesnt dicate how they move on the pitch.

Whenever Pedro and Alexis played together with Mesi (as in, 3 real forwards) Messi and the team were considerably better.

When Messi played with Cesc and/or Iniesta, he was worse and the team even more so.

Tello also runs off the ball, Cuenca while not running into goalscoring positions gives width, Nani I guess could do that.

However, Danny is a numnber 10 masquerading as a winger. He constantly comes inside, it would be much like playing with an Iniesta or a Cesc as a forward. It can work, but it looks akward, stale and flawed when he doesnt have a runner.

I dont disagree much with what you said about Spain, if you look, I did say Portugal now were a threat to Spain so of course with Messi they would be better and a bigger threat, but still not the team I would put my money on to win it all.
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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by harhar11 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:15 pm

@The Franchise wrote:Yes, but thats not the point im making.

The point is, while Spain were never the worse team in any game bar Croatia, others teams can say similar things.

I actually agreed with everything you said apart from that, I probably was being to picky Razz

Nameless wrote:Pre Euros, Portugal was a laughing stock to everyone. Their defence was laughable, and the midfield was nowhere to be had, they were okay overall but inconsistent because they never actually dominated the midfield or so to speak and the linkup between the defence wasnt good either. What kept Portugal aside was their direct style of attacking football tho, poor mans RM basicly. Bento did a fantastic job in the Euros tho.

Portugals midfield and attack was a laughing stock but not their defence. Remember they only lost 1-0 against Spain at the WC.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by alexjanosik on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:12 am

@The Franchise wrote:Yes but Alex my orignal point was not simply its not ideal, but its a big enough flaw to cost them not winning the WC.

I cannot agree with you about the runners.

Yes, Pedro sucked and Villa was injured. But there is it doesnt matter of Pedro sucks or not, or if Alexis sucks or not, their level of performance doesnt dicate how they move on the pitch.

Whenever Pedro and Alexis played together with Mesi (as in, 3 real forwards) Messi and the team were considerably better.

When Messi played with Cesc and/or Iniesta, he was worse and the team even more so.

Tello also runs off the ball, Cuenca while not running into goalscoring positions gives width, Nani I guess could do that.

However, Danny is a numnber 10 masquerading as a winger. He constantly comes inside, it would be much like playing with an Iniesta or a Cesc as a forward. It can work, but it looks akward, stale and flawed when he doesnt have a runner.

I dont disagree much with what you said about Spain, if you look, I did say Portugal now were a threat to Spain so of course with Messi they would be better and a bigger threat, but still not the team I would put my money on to win it all.

How many games did Pedro and Alexis start together,especially in the second half of the season.I am guessing not much.The second half of the season is crucial to the point.
Pedro was mostly on the bench or injured.Villa was out.So thats 2 runners out of the team.Tello and Cuenca played a lot of games.Even Iniesta played sometimes on the wing.And yet,if I am not mistaken we won more points in the second half of the season than in the first.In the first half of the season Messi was not scoring away from home.In the second half he started scoring and unless I am mistaken(khaled can back me up perhaps) we won more points in the second half.
So under non ideal conditions(Villa out,Pedro benched or injured),we won more points than when we had more runners in the team(in the first half when Villa and Pedro were available).
I dont agree with your assessment of Tello as a runner.He is different to Cuenca but I dont think he is a runner.He waits for the ball on the wing, takes the ball on the outside past the RB and cuts it back.Atleast he is nowhere near as good a runner as Pedro or Alexis.
Please note that I am not saying that we were better when we had no runners in the side.Its obvious that we are much better with 2 fit runners on either side of Messi.
Just that the stats suggest(can be misleading at sometimes) that we won more points in the second half(when we had no runners bar Alexis) than in the first half(when we had more runners).
That shows that Messi can make it work even without runners.He can be a one man army and coincidentally he also scored more goals in the second half of the season.
Whether he can make it work with Danny and Nani is another question.I think he can but then there is always Postiga for backup Razz

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by FennecFox7 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:10 am

As much as messi is better, besides him who's going to score? Nani and loltiga are not exactly world class finishers.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post by The Sanchez on Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:25 am

Giggity5313 wrote:As much as messi is better, besides him who's going to score? Nani and loltiga are not exactly world class finishers.

And with Ronaldo having more bad days than good days... you see where this is going...
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