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Discussion Starter #1
Simple premise. The "best players" is fluid, but aside from 1 or 2 real darkhorses who will come out of current U-14 teams, we probably know these players already. So simply, rank who you think will be the best players after the 2018 World Cup. If this forum still exists and I remember, I'll even bump the thread in 6 years!
 

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Gareth Bale, Neymar, Daimao, Reus, Oscar, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Moura, Gotze, Munaiain, Alcantara, Coulibaly.

Highlighted those I see as more likely.

Balotelli could well be the leader of this pack or could be long forgotten by then too.

It's also scary that Messi will still just be 31. Ha.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1. Neymar
2. Toni Kroos
3. James Rodriguez
4. Thiago Alcantara
5. Paul Pogba
6. Leo Messi
7. Marco Reus
8. Isco
9. Romelu Lukaku
10. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Here was my shortlist that I compiled quickly with ages. Forgot Bale, he belongs there. I'm down on Gotze, and very skeptical of all Brazilians before they leave Brazil (except Neymar of course).

Messi - 31
Kroos - 28
Reus - 29
Neymar - 26
Hazard - 27
Oscar - 27
Thiago - 27
Isco - 26
James - 27
Lukaku - 25
Wilshere - 26
Varane - 25
Verratti - 26
Mkhitaryan - 29
Aguero - 30
Benzema - 30
Falcao - 32
Ozil - 30
Pogba - 25
Hummels - 29
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love him. I really think he's the German Paul Scholes. Okay, so I never rated Scholes that good, but I think he's got Xavi/Iniesta potential as well, and he's playing more advanced than Scholes did for most of his career. He's just really really awesome.
 

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Xavi said:
In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything.
Toni Kroos is playing more advanced than Scholes did for most of his career? I honestly hate your judgement of football sometimes.
 

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and very skeptical of all Brazilians before they leave Brazil (except Neymar of course).
I agree to a certain extent about Brazilians being hit or miss when they leave their home country but you're omitting Oscar? He's shown more than nearly everybody on your list and plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world, not to mention he has just turned 21.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Toni Kroos is playing more advanced than Scholes did for most of his career? I honestly hate your judgement of football sometimes.
Xavi quote is ridiculous, but I meant I never rated Paul Scholes as the #2 player in the world. Kroos IS playing a more advanced role; I don't mean complicated, I mean positioning. Scholes has been in a 4-4-2 with very few exceptions his entire career which mandates a more conservative approach, Kroos is basically a second striker.

I agree to a certain extent about Brazilians being hit or miss when they leave their home country but you're omitting Oscar? He's shown more than nearly everybody on your list and plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world, not to mention he has just turned 21.
I think Oscar is pretty good and was tough to leave off. As you see he was on my shortlist. If he has a brilliant season I'll probably put him on, but at this point, both he and Hazard have been extremely hot and cold. You'll notice Hazard isn't on my list either.
 

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Xavi quote is ridiculous, but I meant I never rated Paul Scholes as the #2 player in the world. Kroos IS playing a more advanced role; I don't mean complicated, I mean positioning. Scholes has been in a 4-4-2 with very few exceptions his entire career which mandates a more conservative approach, Kroos is basically a second striker.
Ahh, my misunderstanding. Oh and it doesn't matter if you think it's ridiculous, as I keep mentioning to you, you've got to stop letting your own (misguided) opinions be the only thoughts you have when it comes to football.

I think Oscar is pretty good and was tough to leave off. As you see he was on my shortlist. If he has a brilliant season I'll probably put him on, but at this point, both he and Hazard have been extremely hot and cold. You'll notice Hazard isn't on my list either.
Oscar has 'it', I never expected his scrawny little self to amount to much I'll be honest, but his technical ability is off the charts. I left off Hazard too, I just hate French players and their bum ass attitude.

I was surprised to see Lukaka on your list. I mean, he's big, strong and will score goals but he'd literally have to develop into Drogba if he wanted to crack any Top 10 in the world list.

I can't believe I forgot James Rodriguez, if he gets away from Porto, he could be a very special player indeed. Reports are saying he signed a new deal that has a £36million buy out clause. Ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The buyout for James sounds about right. I also love the idea of calling a guy by the one name "James". I guess they say it's "Ha-mez" in Portugal, but when he comes to a real league he'll be James like James Vanderbeek. Porto are stingy as all **** with their players, but you can't say it hasn't paid off. There's always some sucker to give them 30-40m for their newest sensation. Hell, go check out what Anderson cost United! I couldn't believe it when I saw it today. And I have a real suspicion that Hulk is going to have a shitty career after leaving them. I see poor technical ability alienating fans and weight problems in his future.

I love Lukaku. He's faster than Drogba, like lightning fast, and his frame is bigger. He's going to be amazing. I don't even know how he could NOT be one of the best players in the world barring injury. The kid is only 19! Drogba at that age had 6 more years before he got to Marseille.

Fair enough on Oscar.

Haha, I'm not trolling you on Scholes! I JUST POSTED that I think the guy who is my favorite player in the world and future #2 in the world is "the German Scholes". He's good! You just gotta realize that when someone can't get picked for England except on the left, it makes people think maybe they weren't that good at all. I think he's great, but not GREAT. And by that I mean I think he's a legendary player in England, but just not one of the 5 best players in his generation at his position. He wasn't Zidane, and there's more than just ZZ that I'd put ahead of him from his era.
 

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The buyout for James sounds about right. I also love the idea of calling a guy by the one name "James". I guess they say it's "Ha-mez" in Portugal, but when he comes to a real league he'll be James like James Vanderbeek. Porto are stingy as all **** with their players, but you can't say it hasn't paid off. There's always some sucker to give them 30-40m for their newest sensation. Hell, go check out what Anderson cost United! I couldn't believe it when I saw it today. And I have a real suspicion that Hulk is going to have a shitty career after leaving them. I see poor technical ability alienating fans and weight problems in his future.

I love Lukaku. He's faster than Drogba, like lightning fast, and his frame is bigger. He's going to be amazing. I don't even know how he could NOT be one of the best players in the world barring injury.

Fair enough on Oscar.

Haha, I'm not trolling you on Scholes! I JUST POSTED that I think the guy who is my favorite player in the world and future #2 in the world is "the German Scholes". He's good! You just gotta realize that when someone can't get picked for England except on the left, it makes people think maybe they weren't that good at all. I think he's great, but not GREAT. And by that I mean I think he's a legendary player in England, but just not one of the 5 best players in his generation at his position. He wasn't Zidane, and there's more than just ZZ that I'd put ahead of him from his era.
James should come play for United, let Ferguson turn him into Ronaldo and then make the move to Real. A perfect symmetry that will earn United a lot of money.

If Lukaka develops the technical ability that Drogba had, then yes, he's going to be something else because you can see he has that innate desire to succeed.

As for Scholes, I think poor management of the England team shouldn't be put on him. Nobody is Zidane but I would put a lot of money on Scholes making that Top whatever list from the era if we polled every player from the 90's through the 'Naughties.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just really quickly, I'd put him below these guys:

Zidane, Riquelme, Figo, del Piero

They are all about the same age.

James is going to be grossly expensive, but United are in the good position that none of their rivals will either need him, or be able to afford him. Barca and Real are the only real rivals I would think and even they have good players on the wing and behind the striker. Chelsea won't sign him because they are packed on the left wing and AMC. Arsenal are poor. Liverpool hahahaha. Spurs are cheap, and he'd probably cost them more than they could sell Bale for. Bayern are overloaded with players at his position and no one else in Germany could possibly raise even half that transfer fee. Everyone in Italy is poor, and Juventus wouldn't even spend money this summer on a desperately needed striker instead bringing in BENDTNER! I guess there's the looming threat of a Russian bid, but I hope James wouldn't stoop to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No doubt. Even bigger legend in Argentina than Scholes in England. What he did with Villarreal is pretty remarkable considering how bad the rest of the team was, although sadly his penalty was saved in the Semi Final against Arsenal. I think his story would be a lot different if van Gaal wasn't the manager when he got to Barca.
 

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No doubt. Even bigger legend in Argentina than Scholes in England. What he did with Villarreal is pretty remarkable considering how bad the rest of the team was, although sadly his penalty was saved in the Semi Final against Arsenal. I think his story would be a lot different if van Gaal wasn't the manager when he got to Barca.
But that's exactly the point, he was only ever a superstar at Villareal (who you admit were a bad side) and even then, he never managed to get them to any silverware. You don't get into the upper echelons of the football elite when the Intertoto cup is your greatest ever accolade. He was only relevant over a 4 year span while playing for a mediocre team that never won anything.

You're way off with this argument.

In fact, I'm not even sure Riquelme would crack my Top 3 Argentina list over that span. Batistuta, Messi and even Crespo are all arguably ahead of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I was just talking about "playmakers". And Riquelme was a HUGE legend and superstar at Villarreal. The dude scored 27 goals in La Liga in a 2 year span and took them to the CL Semis. It was a team of nobodies.
 

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Well, I was just talking about "playmakers". And Riquelme was a HUGE legend and superstar at Villarreal. The dude scored 27 goals in La Liga in a 2 year span and took them to the CL Semis. It was a team of nobodies.
Doing stuff at Villareal isn't what legends do.

Paul Scholes scored 23 (34 in all competitions) in the Premier League in a 2 year span around the same time. In fact, domestically he's scored 107 goals in 491 games. All of this for one of the best teams over the last 20 years in the world.

He won the Premier League (10): 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, FA Cup (3): 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, Football League Cup (2): 2008–09, 2009–10, FA Community Shield (5): 1996, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2010, UEFA Champions League (2):1998–99, 2007–08, Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999, FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008

Oh and here is the Xavi quote in a bit more depth -

February 2011, Barcelona midfielder Xavi rated Scholes as the best player in his position in the past two decades, stating "A role model. For me, and I really mean this, he's the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years. He's spectacular, he has it all, the last pass, goals, he's strong, he doesn't lose the ball, vision. If he'd been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him." This sentiment was echoed by Barcelona manager, Josep Guardiola, who considered Scholes to be the best midfielder of his generation
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And I disagree with them as do most people.

Riquelme is a loyal guy. He got bought by Barcelona, but unfortunately for him it was the same time they brought back van Gaal, and so he got treated like shit and was forced out. He then spent 3.5 years at Villarreal before going back to Boca Juniors. The year before he got there, Villarreal were 15th. Next year they were 8th, then 3rd, then CL Semi Finalists. And he exited the next winter back to Boca. The team was shit when he got there, but he helped create a lasting (for Villarreal) legacy with the money and fame he brought to the club and they could bring in players like Cani, Giuseppe Rossi, Diego Lopez, Diego Godin, Nihat, and Joan Capdevila that cemented Villarreal's place in the top half of Spain until they were hilariously relegated last season. Until Riquelme took them to the promised land they were a seller's club, but then they became a buyer's club, coincidentally the year they bought all those guys I listed.
 

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And I disagree with them as do most people.
Opinion or fact?

Riquelme is a loyal guy. He got bought by Barcelona, but unfortunately for him it was the same time they brought back van Gaal, and so he got treated like shit and was forced out. He then spent 3.5 years at Villarreal before going back to Boca Juniors. The year before he got there, Villarreal were 15th. Next year they were 8th, then 3rd, then CL Semi Finalists. And he exited the next winter back to Boca. The team was shit when he got there, but he helped create a lasting (for Villarreal) legacy with the money and fame he brought to the club and they could bring in players like Cani, Giuseppe Rossi, Diego Lopez, Diego Godin, Nihat, and Joan Capdevila that cemented Villarreal's place in the top half of Spain until they were hilariously relegated last season. Until Riquelme took them to the promised land they were a seller's club, but then they became a buyer's club, coincidentally the year they bought all those guys I listed.
So his greatest achievement was getting mediocre team to 3rd place (in a league with only 2 powerhouse teams) and a semi-final so he's a Top 5 player of the decade(s)? (not to mention, he only took them to 7th place in La Liga the year they lost against Arsenal)

He helped create a lasting legacy? :2ti:

You're a lost cause if you actually believe some of this crap.
 
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