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Who was a greater player?

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I know that you meant it in that way Firdy, but even leaving aside the Peles, Diegos or Messis of this world, when you put Zizou in the conversation with a Di Setfano, Johan or even Platini whose impact was beyond imaginable, I feel it's quite a bit over the top. He certainly was greater for France than his clubs, even thought he was fantastic for them but the thing here is in an all time impact whatever metric we can use, he'll fall short.

The real problem behind R9 (and lots of players from that period) was the abuse of anabolics, while looking like they didn't fully grasp or care what consequences would carry in the long term, drugs were used, are used (the build of nowadays players and the way that the major ones are recovered in short periods to the very least implies at some moment some grey area), will be used, in those days the abusive infiltrations and anabolics were the order of the day and in the case of R9 some moron decided that they didn't want the skinny Cruzeiro kiddo.

Also like Zico said, even in his more "big" and powerfull days (sometimes I wish he just kept his Cruzeiro physique, less size than his Euro days, but enough talent and power to be exceptional and unique anyway): he had the tendecy of moving forward the ball in long strides when running with it, it wasn't precisly a Zico (the player ;)) tight spaces with lots of dinamic and control, he had great control and great pisadas like we say down here, specially for a striker, such a silky fast giant, was a fascinating and frighting thing to watch and admire...but when for all the reasons we know he started to loose even slightly his power, he just couldn't impose as he did in the past.
Even RG without major injuries and all the skills in the world, neither had that tight really close control with pace/speed and lots of people can't just see beyond an elastico, stepover or such and just can't see that a certain player stopped and threw one of those lots of times because if not he would have lost control or just can get away from his marker, other times is just fun stuff, an intelligent pause, or a brilliant pour le gallerie, but the very very very upper echelon start their moves and the goal is at the other end no matter space, rivales, if its them or putting the ball for someone to score...evrything at a pace and vision that it's just beyond belief, allways in full control. This is sthg that even pro players many times seem to not get.

BTW even as awuful as R9 injuries were, there was such a desire from all of us for him to recover and watch him in full form and the inclination of everyone loving the "what ifs.." that we tend to go a bit over the top. Maradona for instance it's never mentioned in such a fashion, but his injury in Barcelona: ankle broken and ligaments in tatters, was of the sort of a high probablity to not even walk in a proper way again, less play pro football, more in that era. The same with Pele, the way Edson was smashed and treated and his injuries could have ended his carreer too. We all know how these two came back from them, sometimes even as a better all around player. So I do not indulge that vision to the degree sometimes is spoken, even if it has lots of truth in it and he was obviosuly dammaged, there is also a clear and very romantic element when people talk about them.
This is pretty much why I would say Zidane. The longevity seems less tied to steroids, whereas with R9 it's a question mark.
 

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This is pretty much why I would say Zidane. The longevity seems less tied to steroids, whereas with R9 it's a question mark.
Any suspicions around Ronaldo are purely speculative, whereas Zidane was caught right in the middle of Juventus’ ‘creatine’ saga in the mid/late 90s just as he was really starting to come to prominence.

Now anabolic substances versus creatine is really not any comparison, but I think we all know that ‘creatine’ wasn’t actually ‘creatine’ and it was all a way to wash away a very legitimate case of illegitimate substance abuse. It was extremely common in Italy especially in the 90s.

But yes, one of them was factually caught up in a scandal. The other just suspected of it because he is a physical freak.
 

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"Rolf er ren" (Rolf is clean) was a running joke in Denmark for a long time, when Rolf Sørensen was the last major hold-out from the generation of 1990s pro cyclists to deny the use of EPO and steroids.

Camel isn't saying Zidane didn't use them. Not that I necessarily agree with him that R9 is more "tainted" by the doping than ZZ.
 

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@camelface I remember reading a lot about that after the injury. The argument was pretty much that his accelerated growth brought about a greater burden on the knees. I'm not a doping expert or a knee expert so I don't know how true that is.

R9 had a knee condition called trochlear dysplasia, which AFAIK essentially means that the knee-cap and the femur don't retain normal placement. It's a condition that requires constant monitoring as a top athlete...not to mention an athlete who is so explosive. It's said that he got this as he grew up. So the obvious question is whether HGH or something else could have caused it or if it's just natural.

But isn't this discussion leading somewhere? If you have to deduct "points" from Ronaldo for doping, then how about so many others?
 
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A steroid that adds significant mass to your frame would probably be bad for your joints, but likewise one that doesn't add significant mass but instead adds a lot of strength will almost certainly be good for your joints.

An inflamed joint would often be treated with a corticosteroid, also a "steroid", and in all likelihood Ronaldo had a few jabs in his knee as part of his post-operative rehabilitation.

But all that said, I don't think there is anything out of the ordinary with Ronaldo's physique - he could easily have added a few kilos to his frame when he moved to Holland simply because (1) he was very young and (2) he probably only really started doing proper and consistent weight training when he moved there.
 

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**** knows why, but I went to find a picture of Ronaldo's physique to post here and this is what I found. Apparently from 2007 when he joined AC Milan.

This is not the body you normally associate with cast iron proof of steroid (ab)use.

Cheek Chin Arm Shoulder Muscle
 
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