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I'm going with Crespo.

Adriano had all the raw materials but never had a truly big season in a top league...the best was 16 league goals in 30 games for Inter in 04/05. He never got 20 league goals in a top league. In fact, his most in the league was 19 for Flamengo. Tbf, he did have injury issues, weight issues and of course other issues which led to a huge decline really starting in 05/06. He played like a mix between a tank and Ronaldo but he never got to really show how good he really was.

Crespo was top scorer for Lazio (following a world record transfer from Parma). One of those CL scorers too (e.g. scoring 9 goals in 12 CL games for Inter in 02/03) and of course, netting in that Final vs Liverpool for Milan. His downside was injuries. As a target man, he's always a top choice.

Adriano's potential was never realised by him...but it was realized by Lukaku. Adriano was basically a prototype for Lukaku, except he ran on alcohol, junk food and coke.
 

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I can see the Lukaku comparison, although Adriano had that crazy left.

I'm also thinking Lukaku is the realized Balo, but maybe that's because they both caught our attention so early on
 

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The thing about Balo is that he seems to be a mix between different players and that makes the final result pretty unique. I can't even tell what the combination is, tbh. The big thing is that he had (has?) his outside game played a pretty big part and he had a level of finesse in scoring from outside too. He's actually a kind of "9.5" in that sense of how he operates but not in the other big sense of being a vision bro and creating. I'd liken him to Ibra in a number of ways. And to show the difference again, Ibra's outside scoring game was based on power...but Balo was (is?) able to include a large amount of finesse.

I wonder what others like @ToniSamp thinks about which players make up Balo in the technical sense (leaving the poor attitude aside).
 

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The tricks of Balotelli are garbage a lot of players could do but coaches (rightly) do not love and players as a consequence avoid to do.

Balotelli is 80-90% his shooting skills. And that was even at Primavera level. I remember when Sampdoria managed to contain him and win the scudetto.
 

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I wasn't referring to the tricks...more of his movement and of course his shooting from outside as well as inside. At Inter, his best contributions were always goals and some passes/crosses. No one liked the tricks then either, lol.
 

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Crespo
 

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Adriano skills and best assets were superior to Crespo, but their carreers speak otherwise.

I never liked that much Crespo anyway, I respected his carreer and Elite level, yet he allways acted like he was a lot more than what he was and I felt that this "issue" was not few times carried to the field itself. And is not because he is from River and I'm Bostero, I love lots of River fellas, he just got under my skin like el Piojo.
 

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It's funny because I was going to post how Crespo's the kind of dude that people can't dislike. 😆

I never thought he was arrogant or anything like that...just seemed to be a player who loved to score and work hard for whatever team he was playing for. I wasn't a huge fan of his when he was at Parma but you had to respect the output. When he was the world record transfer, people were wondering whether he deserved it...then he had a mega season for Lazio.
 

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It's funny because I was going to post how Crespo's the kind of dude that people can't dislike. 😆

I never thought he was arrogant or anything like that...just seemed to be a player who loved to score and work hard for whatever team he was playing for. I wasn't a huge fan of his when he was at Parma but you had to respect the output. When he was the world record transfer, people were wondering whether he deserved it...then he had a mega season for Lazio.
I think it might be lost in translation, his way of talking, tone, the things he said, specially when younger (in fact there is a famous situation with Passarella having a meeting with him to tone down his declarations in River). Yet cockiness it's not sthg that bothers me that much, only when its display without a certain grace or funny quality that not every player has, and Crespito was in this last lot.

The cockiness that I refer too, was his insecurity regarding Batitusta and the way Passarella protrait Crespo to force Bati out and Hernan (being young and all) for moments endorse. This last aspect is more in Daniel's camp than Hernan's one, but still helped to make me not like the dude that much.
 

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Fangio has always had that in ample supply, which I don't mind.

But Crespo 😒
El Piojo was more related to his overcharge full speed/full time approach that I'm not fond, yet like Crespo he had an elite carreer for sure and also was a lot more suited to a counter Valencia style than the style I wanted the NT to play. Beilsa left tons of great players out just for the sake of his system above everything and Piojo was sort of the trademark of that idea, even if till today I don't get how Piojo's style even suited that great that IDEA from Bielsa.
 

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Crespo was a well established player who had a really long career by that era's standards. He should be compared with other players of that longevity imo. Adriano wasn't good enough at his peak to bring up the peak vs longevity debate here.
 

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Crespo was a well established player who had a really long career by that era's standards. He should be compared with other players of that longevity imo. Adriano wasn't good enough at his peak to bring up the peak vs longevity debate here.
When you actually look at his stats, Crespo doesn't really have that much in terms of longevity. He had his 2 big seasons in 99/00 and 00/01. After 01/02, he only had one season where he scored more than 10 league goals (14 for Inter in 06/07). I guess his skill-set and reputation made us regard his actual career output differently.
 
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You can't say he wasn't worldclass for Milan in 2004-05, imo, and his relatively low goal ratio in the first Parma seasons is also a little deceptive.

A shame about the injury in 2002/03

In an absolut sense, you're right, he didn't have the highest longevity, but then compared to Adriano, whose career barely even got started...
 

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When you actually look at his stats, Crespo doesn't really have that much in terms of longevity. He had his 2 big seasons in 99/00 and 00/01. After 01/02, he only had one season where he scored more than 10 league goals (14 for Inter in 06/07). I guess his skill-set and reputation made us regard his actual career output differently.
Just taking a quick glance, his goals/apps ratio remained pretty good for the most part. He approached 50% in a few other seasons than the ones you mentioned. In any case strikers had less beefed up stats than they do in today's game.

But I agree that Crespo wasn't one of those top of the top strikers. There were a few above him. Maybe this contributed to his frequent moves from team to team.
 
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