We are, as the great philosopher put it, standing on the shoulders of giants. In Argentina there was a time when no footballer could hold a candle to Guillermo Stabile, who scored eight goals at the 1930 World Cup. But he was followed and surpassed by Luis Artime, a forward who ended his career with a strike rate of 0.96 goals per game for Argentina.
April's El Clásico was one of the best matches of the year, but my only complaint was that Isco didn’t come off the bench for Real Madrid. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was extremely late on the Isco train because of this reason — he's on the bench a lot.
The 25-year-old has never started more than 26 La Liga matches in a single season with Real Madrid. This year, he’s appeared as a substitute 11 times, and he’s on pace to total fewer league minutes than he ever has in a season with the club.
The decision to describe a goal as a candidate for the Puskas Award is frequently abused. There can only be 10 nominees in a given year, so you should choose your moments to describe a goal as Puskas worthy very carefully.
I’m going to go ahead and play one of my Puskas cards for the year on this unbelievable solo effort from Colombian Juan David Valencia. It’s a great goal, and it’s a great goal with many different layers and subtleties — this goal could win an Oscar.
Robinho made a name for himself in Brazil when he rose through the youth ranks at Santos to sign his first professional contract with the club as an 18-year-old. That very same year (2002), before the launch of YouTube or anything else that allowed videos to be shared virally on a global level, there was hearsay of the next Pele having drawn a penalty in the Brazilian championship final with a ‘pedalada’ so mesmerizing that it beggared description.
Djalminha was capped by Brazil only 14 times (still managing five goals). That's less than what Freddy Adu, Conor Casey, Break Shea, Chris Wondolowski, etc. have accumulated with the USMNT. It's with this realization that you begin to understand the enormity of the gulf in talent between Brazil and the United States.
Djalminha was the precursor to Ronaldinho. He had a pretentious amount of skill, but he also made Ronaldinho’s, at times, questionable behavior look like grounds for canonization into sainthood.