The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:10 am

I don't even want to hear about Germany tbh.

They were a very young team and flopped at the Euros.

Nobody considered them even close to favoured before the tournament aside from "it's Germany" and "they hosts".


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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by rincon on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:12 am

That's why I said not on paper, and when it came to it, during the tournament Germany established themselves. By the time they knocked out Argentina they were favorites.
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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by sportsczy on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:14 am

You've got to be kidding Rincon.  Brazil... yes.  Italy and Argentina, no.  Italy and France were given quasi the same odds despite the uncertainty surrounding France (Zidane and Domenech basically).  Argentina had Heinze as a starting FB....  nuf said.

If England fans want to argue they had they had second most talented team... I'd buy that.  But nobody else.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:18 am

Disagree on Argentina tbh, they were insanely talented.

Pekerman was pretty much the reason they didn't win the WC IMO.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by sportsczy on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:25 am

Insanely talented in midfield and the attack. Defensive fullbacks were very meh for Argentina. Keeper was some unknown dude that never amounted to much either Roberto A.... something.

From top to bottom, France had WC talent everywhere... all the positions. We had ZERO depth at attacking mid, which is why Zidane was so critical. That was our weakness... but it was on the bench at that position.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by sportsczy on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:28 am

Anyhow, my point was that Spain have Isco, David Silva, etc. to handle the creative side. France had no other option than Zidane to create for the strikers. So Zidane had a real opportunity to shine... while Iniesta isn't asked to carry that big a load so his opportunities won't be as many.

I actually hope Iniesta shines as he's one of the few barca players I've always respected.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by rincon on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:35 am

@sportsczy wrote:Keeper was some unknown dude that never amounted to much either Roberto A....  something.  


Mad disrespect at El Pato Abbondanzieri, BC get in here ffs. Never forget that it was his injury that preceded Argentina's loss at penalties with Leo Franco having to come on. Better than Barthez.
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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by sportsczy on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:47 am

That's him...  he was so good that the best offer he got was Getafe in Europe.  Remember he had a "Karius" moment for them at some point. He wasn't horrible though. Just not a top keeper.

Barthez was a bit crap come 2006.  I won't deny that.  He was at OM and I was tempted a few times to call for a contract on him.  Landreau was far better than him... but that's Domenech for you.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by guest_07 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:20 am

People forget that 2006 argentina played like champion cause riquelme was so great at that time

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:32 pm

@sportsczy wrote:That's not true dude.  France was seen as likely the only team that could compete with Brazil in terms of talent.  The question was whether they'd show up.... and if Zidane had enough left in the tank to lead them.  Domenech was a train wreck... so that created doubt too.  But NEVER the talent.

So you remember distinctly wrong.

We were the only other team that had WC players at every position.

Zidane was the best player in that WC.  Iniesta won't be.  In fact, as great as Iniesta is, he's not in the same category as Zidane.  It's a false comparison.  Zidane is the in the category of Maradonna, Pele, Platini, Messi, Ronaldo x 2, Cruyff, etc.  Iniesta is in the category just below that.  In fact, I rate Xavi higher than Iniesta tbh...  Zidane defined his era along with R9.  Messi and Ronaldo define the current era.  There was a 3-4 year gap there and, imo, Ronaldinho was the king of that small gap in time.

No I remember this quite well but anyway since it's a matter of two people remembering differently and both being sure of it, lets drop that here.

Zidane was the best player at WC 2006? Yes he was although some felt Fabio Cannavaro should have been chosen. Zidane came to the limelight from the Brazil game though. Before that France's best player had been Patrick Vieria.

I think I said before that I don't expect Iniesta to be the best player this time. I just wanted to bring out this parallel.

I can accept your categorization of top players. I can also accept that Xavi can be considered better than Iniesta. Xavi is my second favorite player and I find it almost impossible to formulate any argument against the maestro. From mid 2008 to end 2011, a period of three and a half years, he was the most dominant central midfielder I have ever seen and quite possibly ever seen in football.

The link given below has a top 100 players list that agrees well with your views. I also find it quite agreeable :-

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/fourfourtwos-100-greatest-footballers-ever-no1-diego-maradona

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:44 pm

@sportsczy wrote:In fact, here were the odds:

Brazil 5/2
England 8/1
Germany 8/1
Argentina 8/1
Italy 19/2
France 14/1
The Netherlands 14/1
Spain 16/1
Portugal 23/1
Czech Republic 32/1

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0606/S00154/odds-to-win-2006-world-cup-from-pinnaclesportscom.htm

That vindicates my memory. 6th favorites in the bookies odds is what I said.  Very Happy

As for who was considered the second most talented squad that's mostly a matter of opinion. We cannot have a definitive answer for it. Argentina had a very talented squad. Italy fell down a little lower in estimation due to Calciopoli (they were still my second favorites though) but even now if you read that squad it was top quality all around.

Also you are right that Spain were rated lower but they started off so well and France started off so badly that by the time they faced each other Spain were the favorites (not in my book though) as others are saying. In fact France had such a terrible start that they were almost out of the world cup till half time in their last group match against Togo after which an inspired performance from Patrick Vieira turned things around.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:57 pm

@rincon wrote:That's why I said not on paper, and when it came to it, during the tournament Germany established themselves. By the time they knocked out Argentina they were favorites.

I must say this once at least even though it is off topic. Today we see Germany as this invincible favorite that has too much talent in almost every position. In 2004 they were considered and had performed as hopeless. Very little of these technical qualities that are seen now were evident then. With very little in terms of talent a man who is unfortunately given so little credit turned Germany's fortunes around - Jurgen Klinsmann. He said that even with that team he would play attacking football and he delivered on that promise. Slowly he convinced all his doubters. Joachim Low then built on top of that and got a next generation so much more talented. Not for a moment do I want to take away any of Low's credit but Klinsmann's contribution should never be forgotten. When he was given the job it was a gamble but he brought Low as his assistant and since then Germany have only gone forward.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:02 pm

@guest_07 wrote:People forget that 2006 argentina played like champion cause riquelme was so great at that time

I think no one has forgotten that. Pekerman taking off Riquelme is still criticized. Riquelme would have been rated much higher in history if he had taken his teams to the finishing line. He came close a few times but fell just short. Not always was it his fault but it is what it is.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by guest_07 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:28 pm

@messixaviesta wrote:
@guest_07 wrote:People forget that 2006 argentina played like champion cause riquelme was so great at that time

I think no one has forgotten that. Pekerman taking off Riquelme is still criticized. Riquelme would have been rated much higher in history if he had taken his teams to the finishing line. He came close a few times but fell just short. Not always was it his fault but it is what it is.


only you & me mentioned it, meaning my sentence on people already forgot on it is not far fetched

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Hapless_Hans on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:05 pm

@sportsczy wrote:
@Hapless_Hans wrote:
@Doc wrote:I too also recall France not being the "2nd best squad" in 2006 so that makes it two guys who "remember distinctly wrong" I suppose.


Argentine were the best team in 2006

2002, not 2006


Yes. 2006. The best team.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Hapless_Hans on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:10 pm

@guest_07 wrote:
@messixaviesta wrote:
@guest_07 wrote:People forget that 2006 argentina played like champion cause riquelme was so great at that time

I think no one has forgotten that. Pekerman taking off Riquelme is still criticized. Riquelme would have been rated much higher in history if he had taken his teams to the finishing line. He came close a few times but fell just short. Not always was it his fault but it is what it is.


only you & me mentioned it, meaning my sentence on people already forgot on it is not far fetched


What the hell man.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by guest_07 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:17 pm

@Hapless_Hans wrote:
@guest_07 wrote:
@messixaviesta wrote:

I think no one has forgotten that. Pekerman taking off Riquelme is still criticized. Riquelme would have been rated much higher in history if he had taken his teams to the finishing line. He came close a few times but fell just short. Not always was it his fault but it is what it is.


only you & me mentioned it, meaning my sentence on people already forgot on it is not far fetched


What the hell man.


sorry hapless_hans

i forgot about you

my eyesight is not longer sharp like before

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Hapless_Hans on Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:12 pm

It's alright. I forgive you.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Harmonica on Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:22 pm

@sportsczy wrote:But France was the second most talented team in the 2006 tournament....  and Zidane only played for that NT the last 3 qualification games (and saved our ass since we were out before then).

They were given a good chance once Zidane came back... not before.

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It was a crazy talented team.  We just had no creative midfielder (all DMs and B2Bs) until Zidane came back.

Iniesta plays nowhere the role that Zidane did for that France team.  We were a complete headless chicken without him.
WC06 group phase, France tied twice with Zidane and won crucially without him.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by M99 on Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:51 am

@Cruijf wrote:Sports not only overhyping France currently but retroactively as well Laughing


@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Damn people have short memories.

Nobody saw those performances coming from Zidane coming at the time at all.

He was coming off a couple of sub par seasons for Madrid and the expectation was it was just the last tournament for a legend.

Nobody really expected anything from him, which is why the performances were so celebrated. Part of it was because it was that great but it was also nobody expected it.

I say this because of the ruling out of Iniesta having a swansong tournament, some are acting like Zidane was expected to perform like that and that wasn't the case at all.



Yep exactly whats happening here.

Brazil were by far the favorites. They were coming off a run of win, runners up, win and had the undisputed best player in the world leading the side (Ronaldinho) and also had Kaka, Juninho and Adriano in their primes. The likes of Lucio, Ze Roberto and Gilberto Silva were world class too. Cafu, Carlos and Ronaldo were aging and thats what screwed them+unbalanced tactics/formation.

England were a close second, EPL hype was at its prime, the team had genuinely world class players in every department. France and Italy were nowhere near favorites. Italy were pegged to have a poor World Cup because everyone thought morale would be really low because of Calciopoli and it looked like half the team would be in Serie B in the coming season. Like Mole said, no one expected Zidane to carry France or for France to make the final over Brazil/England/Argentina, all hopes were in fact on Henry after he took Arsenal to the CL final and was the best PL player that season.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Valkyrja on Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:57 am

@sportsczy wrote:That's not true dude.  France was seen as likely the only team that could compete with Brazil in terms of talent.  The question was whether they'd show up.... and if Zidane had enough left in the tank to lead them.  Domenech was a train wreck... so that created doubt too.  But NEVER the talent.

So you remember distinctly wrong.

We were the only other team that had WC players at every position.

Zidane was the best player in that WC.  Iniesta won't be.  In fact, as great as Iniesta is, he's not in the same category as Zidane.  It's a false comparison.  Zidane is the in the category of Maradonna, Pele, Platini, Messi, Ronaldo x 2, Cruyff, etc.  Iniesta is in the category just below that.  In fact, I rate Xavi higher than Iniesta tbh...  Zidane defined his era along with R9.  Messi and Ronaldo define the current era. There was a 3-4 year gap there and, imo, Ronaldinho was the king of that small gap in time.


Not even close to the likes of Maradona/Ronaldo/Messi/Pele/Cruyff etc

Great player in his era probably top 3 but not close to the best players ever. He's infact closer to Iniesta than he is to these guys. His post-retirement aura makes him look better than he actually was.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:26 pm

@M99 wrote:
@Cruijf wrote:Sports not only overhyping France currently but retroactively as well Laughing


@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Damn people have short memories.

Nobody saw those performances coming from Zidane coming at the time at all.

He was coming off a couple of sub par seasons for Madrid and the expectation was it was just the last tournament for a legend.

Nobody really expected anything from him, which is why the performances were so celebrated. Part of it was because it was that great but it was also nobody expected it.

I say this because of the ruling out of Iniesta having a swansong tournament, some are acting like Zidane was expected to perform like that and that wasn't the case at all.



Yep exactly whats happening here.

Brazil were by far the favorites. They were coming off a run of win, runners up, win and had the undisputed best player in the world leading the side (Ronaldinho) and also had Kaka, Juninho and Adriano in their primes. The likes of Lucio, Ze Roberto and Gilberto Silva were world class too. Cafu, Carlos and Ronaldo were aging and thats what screwed them+unbalanced tactics/formation.

England were a close second, EPL hype was at its prime,  the team had genuinely world class players in every department. France and Italy were nowhere near favorites. Italy were pegged to have a poor World Cup because everyone thought morale would be really low because of Calciopoli and it looked like half the team would be in Serie B in the coming season. Like Mole said, no one expected Zidane to carry France or for France to make the final over Brazil/England/Argentina, all hopes were in fact on Henry after he took Arsenal to the CL final and was the best PL player that season.


Excellent post. Thumbs up I can hardly disagree with a word here.

Brazil were the overwhelming favorites. Maybe this is the last time a world cup had a single overwhelming favorite.

England were indeed 2nd. They have never before or after been rated that high. In fact after that failure I no longer include or talk about England as one of the top international teams. That was by far their best chance since 1990.

Germany were rated only because of their history and the host factor. There was very little of note in that team. I understand similar thoughts have been expressed by someone in an earlier post.

Argentina were not rated that high before the tournament started but became the overwhelming favorites after the 6-1 demolition of Serbia and Montenegro, perhaps the best international team performance seen in this century till then.

Italy actually had a marvelous squad. However just as you said Calciopoli supposedly lowered morale and expectations. Kudos to them for actually using that to raise rather than lower morale.

Lastly France's star man was Henry. A few even suggested they might play better without Zidane. They were 6th in the bookies odds - same as where Belgium is right now. Smile In fact Henry even said that after a long time they were not among the favorites.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by CBarca on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:43 am

Regardless of whether Iniesta is handed "the keys" to run Spain (which has rarely been how Spain plays anyway), Iniesta is a transcendent individual and one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and with an incredible international career to boot (nevermind his domestic career).

The parallels between Iniesta and Zidane are striking when you put it that way JD, and I think they exist for a reason. I'm not sure whether Iniesta will have the kind of tournament Zidane will have. I doubt it, to be honest. But I hope he does, and if he does I won't be shocked because he truly is an historic player.

Also I find the brushing off of Iniesta as not on the same level of Zidane as preposterous. What exactly has Zidane achieved that Iniesta hasn't? It's also not just been Iniesta there for a ride on some of the most talented Barca and Spain teams of all time, he was one of the best players and when the big moments were there to be had, it was always Iniesta. Shot Barca into the CL final in '09, was rushed back from injury in time to be the best player in the CL final. Game winner in 2010, as well as a brilliant tournament. Player of the tournament in Euro 2012. Masterful performance in the CL final in 2015, who was man of the match again? Andres Iniesta.

A debate between Xavi and Iniesta is fair. I don't know if I could say who I thought was better. To be honest, I too would probably favor Xavi just barely. However, to say that these players may not be on the level of Zidane...is ludicrous. Zidane would be honored to be in their company and indeed he is. They're all among the greatest midfielders of all time.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by messixaviesta on Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:57 pm

@CBarca wrote:Regardless of whether Iniesta is handed "the keys" to run Spain (which has rarely been how Spain plays anyway), Iniesta is a transcendent individual and one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and with an incredible international career to boot (nevermind his domestic career).

The parallels between Iniesta and Zidane are striking when you put it that way JD, and I think they exist for a reason. I'm not sure whether Iniesta will have the kind of tournament Zidane will have. I doubt it, to be honest. But I hope he does, and if he does I won't be shocked because he truly is an historic player.

Also I find the brushing off of Iniesta as not on the same level of Zidane as preposterous. What exactly has Zidane achieved that Iniesta hasn't? It's also not just been Iniesta there for a ride on some of the most talented Barca and Spain teams of all time, he was one of the best players and when the big moments were there to be had, it was always Iniesta. Shot Barca into the CL final in '09, was rushed back from injury in time to be the best player in the CL final. Game winner in 2010, as well as a brilliant tournament. Player of the tournament in Euro 2012. Masterful performance in the CL final in 2015, who was man of the match again? Andres Iniesta.

A debate between Xavi and Iniesta is fair. I don't know if I could say who I thought was better. To be honest, I too would probably favor Xavi just barely. However, to say that these players may not be on the level of Zidane...is ludicrous. Zidane would be honored to be in their company and indeed he is. They're all among the greatest midfielders of all time.


Wonderful post. Great that I read it on such a sad day for Spanish football. Eases the pain just a little bit. Thanks a lot mate.

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Re: The Zidane-Iniesta Parallel

Post by Babun on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:40 pm

There is no parallel! Zidane with 34 lead France with dominating performance to the final with penalty shootouts. Iniesta left a lot to be desired today.
He is a great little player and mad respect for him but not on the same page as GOATs.

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