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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I heard he is the most decorated player in the history of football with 43 trophies, and when I went to his wiki to check I discovered his individual honors list is also stacked:

Campeonato Paulista Team of the Tournament: 2020
FIFA U-20 World Cup Bronze Ball: 2003[107]
UEFA Cup Most Valuable Player: 2005–06
UEFA Super Cup Man of the Match: 2006
UEFA Team of the Year: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017[108]
ESM Team of the Year: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12[109]
FIFA FIFPro World11: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018[110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117]
FIFA FIFPro World11 2nd team: 2014[118]
FIFA FIFPro World11 World11 nominee: 2019 (4th defender)[119]
La Liga Defender of the Season: 2008–09
FIFA Confederations Cup Team of the Tournament: 2013
La Liga Team of the Season: 2014–15[120]
France Football World XI: 2015[121]
Serie A Team of the Year: 2016–17[122]
IFFHS Men's World Team: 2017[123]
UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2017–18[124]
Copa América Best Player: 2019[125]
Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2019[126]
IFFHS CONMEBOL Team of the Decade: 2011–2020[127]

The most surprising one is that he was named Copa America MVP in 2019 at the age of 36 (haven't followed the tournament). As can be expected from these all-star XIs some of those awards are bollox, but it's nonetheless impressive.

Bottom line is the dude was world class for Sevilla, world class for Barca, world class for Juve, world class for PSG and world class at international level for Brazil.

His contribution to the Brazilian NT isn't on par with that of other Brazilian RBs such as Djalma Santos, Carlos Alberto or Cafu, but overall Alves has proven himself in many environments and had great longevity.

It's insane how 3 contender for the GOAT RB were already Brazilians, and now another one can potentially join them in the convo. From Europe you have Berti Vogts and in modern times Thuram, but that's about it.

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So how do you guy rate Alves in the echelon of great right-backs? Does he have a case to be the best ever?
 

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Certainly the most successful, and having had contribution to most of those successes, so he's certainly in the discussion.

Ultimately though, he's not as talented an individual as those he's in the discussion with.

So in short, contender - yes. The best - no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Certainly the most successful, and having had contribution to most of those successes, so he's certainly in the discussion.

Ultimately though, he's not as talented an individual as those he's in the discussion with.

So in short, contender - yes. The best - no.
Was he the best of his generation at least? The main contender is Lahm of course.
 

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I like Lahm better and by some margin, but he did play left back for large chunks of his career, in case you want to hold that against him.

But it also depends what you consider ‘his generation’, because his career does overlap with the likes of Thuram, Zanetti, Zambrotta and even Cafu. If you limit it to just 2010 onwards, then you trade some of his best seasons to pit him against a pretty average ‘generation’ of right backs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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He was one of the best of his generation. That's what explains clubs with a lot of money and success buying him. I'm not sure how much of the club's successes you can pin onto him though. That's always the tricky thing with these shortcuts in evaluating players' true legacies. I find it more interesting to think of the comparables in his generation, and there were a few that seemed equally as good, so I would doubt he was best ever.
 

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He had an impressive prime but was comfortably overshadowed by Alves and Lahm in the long run, imo.
In the "long run" because Maicon's career went downhill when Alves was still going. But from 2006-2012, it was pretty much all about Maicon vs Alves, which is also the time where both were in their primes. Pretty sure that Maicon can't be left out of the conversation. All the moreso given that they were competing for the same spot for the NT. Pretty sure most Alves comparisons on XT have been with Maicon as well.

Maicon had a pretty sick prime...the problem for him which led to him being forgotten is that he wasn't playing for a top side for 10-15 years. And his drop-off was pretty sudden too. In spite of that, I think that if Maicon had, say, had to retire from injury in 2014 or so, he'd still be regarded as a beast. The decline changed perceptions.
 

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He was one of the best of his generation. That's what explains clubs with a lot of money and success buying him. I'm not sure how much of the club's successes you can pin onto him though. That's always the tricky thing with these shortcuts in evaluating players' true legacies. I find it more interesting to think of the comparables in his generation, and there were a few that seemed equally as good, so I would doubt he was best ever.
I've talked about Maicon...I think Alves has also been underrated a fair bit (not as much as Maicon, obv) because he's stuck around for so long but isn't at the same level. In his prime, he was creating tons of opportunities as a right back...both at Barça and Sevilla. He wasn't a strong two-way player but being so creative as an RB and constantly being involved in quick exchanges made him look next level at the time. It was pretty revolutionary...I think you should be able to find posts by guys like Rob just gushing about how next level Alves was. Then you have Maicon, who was stronger defensively but also created a ton from the RB position. Before Sneijder arrived at Inter, he was many times recognised as the biggest source for goals...again, from RB. When Mourinho arrived, he was the biggest weapon to run from deep to overload the attack to score or assist.

At their primes, both players had something that really stood out in terms of skill-set. Both are being done dirty now, imho.

It's kind of like how new NBA fans thought McHale and Parish were always slowpokes who, even in their primes, weren't as good as the current crop.
 
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I've talked about Maicon...I think Alves has also been underrated a fair bit (not as much as Maicon, obv) because he's stuck around for so long but isn't at the same level. In his prime, he was creating tons of opportunities as a right back...both at Barça and Sevilla. He wasn't a strong two-way player but being so creative as an RB and constantly being involved in quick exchanges made him look next level at the time. It was pretty revolutionary...I think you should be able to find posts by guys like Rob just gushing about how next level Alves was. Then you have Maicon, who was stronger defensively but also created a ton from the RB position. Before Sneijder arrived at Inter, he was many times recognised as the biggest source for goals...again, from RB. When Mourinho arrived, he was the biggest weapon to run from deep to overload the attack to score or assist.

At their primes, both players had something that really stood out in terms of skill-set. Both are being done dirty now, imho.

It's kind of like how new NBA fans thought McHale and Parish were always slowpokes who, even in their primes, weren't as good as the current crop.
As an Inter fan who has seen many excellent fullbacks you should be an expert on them. Tell us how Javier Zanetti compares to these two Brazilian RBs in their respective legacies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In the "long run" because Maicon's career went downhill when Alves was still going. But from 2006-2012, it was pretty much all about Maicon vs Alves, which is also the time where both were in their primes. Pretty sure that Maicon can't be left out of the conversation. All the moreso given that they were competing for the same spot for the NT. Pretty sure most Alves comparisons on XT have been with Maicon as well.

Maicon had a pretty sick prime...the problem for him which led to him being forgotten is that he wasn't playing for a top side for 10-15 years. And his drop-off was pretty sudden too. In spite of that, I think that if Maicon had, say, had to retire from injury in 2014 or so, he'd still be regarded as a beast. The decline changed perceptions.
They were comparable in their primes but that's like saying there still is a rivalry between Eto and Ibra. Back in the day these 2 were pitted against each other in many forums and it seemed like a hot comparison but after what happened in the last decade there's no question about who was the better player.
 

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As an Inter fan who has seen many excellent fullbacks you should be an expert on them. Tell us how Javier Zanetti compares to these two Brazilian RBs in their respective legacies.
I think the 2 Brazilians are very special and should rank high. But as someone who values 2-way fullbacks, my top 3 will be Zanetti, Thuram and Cafu. If people have a different order for these 3, that's okay. I think this is pretty much how the XT Drafters see the top tier as well. That shouldn't detract from what the 2 Brazilians brought to the table specifically, which is in fact something outdoes each of the top 3.

They were comparable in their primes but that's like saying there still is a rivalry between Eto and Ibra. Back in the day these 2 were pitted against each other in many forums and it seemed like a hot comparison but after what happened in the last decade there's no question about who was the better player.
Hey, Ibra wasn't that bad in comparison.

You were talking about players in a generation...it seems really strange that you think a player that was his main competition in at least a 6-year period (that happened to coincide with both primes) should be omitted. I get that there's a prime vs longevity issue. But unless you're setting some kind of hard minimum cut-off by which Maicon would be excluded, you're retrospectively removing a player who was entirely in issue during the most material chunk of time. It also looks like you're over-valuing periods outside of the prime, some (or more) of which could be seen as mere padding.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think the 2 Brazilians are very special and should rank high. But as someone who values 2-way fullbacks, my top 3 will be Zanetti, Thuram and Cafu. If people have a different order for these 3, that's okay. I think this is pretty much how the XT Drafters see the top tier as well. That shouldn't detract from what the 2 Brazilians brought to the table specifically, which is in fact something outdoes each of the top 3.



Hey, Ibra wasn't that bad in comparison.

You were talking about players in a generation...it seems really strange that you think a player that was his main competition in at least a 6-year period (that happened to coincide with both primes) should be omitted. I get that there's a prime vs longevity issue. But unless you're setting some kind of hard minimum period by which Maicon would be excluded, you're retrospectively removing a player who was entirely in issue during the most material chunk of time. It also looks like you're over-valuing periods outside of the prime, some (or more) of which could be seen as mere padding.
I gave the Ibra vs Eto comparision as an example. It was a hot debate for a few years but Eto was left in the dust by Ibra's acheivements. Same with Alves and Maicon imo. Not much else to say...
 

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Re: Ibra vs Eto'o, there's some room for argument, lol. Specifically, given primes, who would someone pick for a Draft CL team? In an XT draft, if you pick Eto'o, no one's going to slam you. If you pick Ibra, you better believe that people are going to say he chokes against the best, in the CL, disrupts tactics, etc. These guys are ruthless. M*****f**ker, YOU'D SAY THAT if I picked Ibra.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Ibra vs Eto'o, there's some room for argument, lol. Specifically, given primes, who would someone pick for a Draft CL team? In an XT draft, if you pick Eto'o, no one's going to slam you. If you pick Ibra, you better believe that people are going to say he chokes against the best, in the CL, disrupts tactics, etc. These guys are ruthless. M*****f**ker, YOU'D SAY THAT if I picked Ibra.
Nice device there; restricting Ibra's career to UCL only 😁
 

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Re: Ibra vs Eto'o, there's some room for argument, lol. Specifically, given primes, who would someone pick for a Draft CL team? In an XT draft, if you pick Eto'o, no one's going to slam you. If you pick Ibra, you better believe that people are going to say he chokes against the best, in the CL, disrupts tactics, etc. These guys are ruthless. M*****f**ker, YOU'D SAY THAT if I picked Ibra.
Anyone who picks Zlatan the fraud over Eto'o I'd say was severely mentally unhinged.
 

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Ps: Goals in the Deliveroo French League One are excluded from my records.
 
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