Monday, June 11, 2007

Look, we get it, you're the new Maradona, now stop already - Ebren

"He's the new Maradona" – how often have we heard that?

Ortega, Riquelme, Saviola, Tevez
– in fact any small, young, Argentine forward gets this label.

And they all fail to live up to it. One after the other these wonderfully gifted young men have been exposed to the media glare and shrunk back, returning to Argentina, or drifting through minor European clubs winning little.

But one player was determined not to live down to this. Not to accept that the spotlight will shift.

So he has taken Maradona's book, his guide, and decided to follow it.

Top player in the youth cup – check.

Barcelona – well, Saviola and Riquelme had done that before – but to miss out on the Euro Cup in such style? Check.

Score a ridiculous goal from the half way line – check.

Team in danger of throwing away the championship, score a handball – check.

But from here young Lionel has a few things left to do.

So far he has yet to win Serie A with an unfashionable club, or to drive his country to success at the World Cup.

Then there is the descent into womanising, alcoholism, the dependence on illegal drugs, and the ballooning weight, and the stolen plastic penis to consider.

So, my advice to Mr Messi - don't stay the new Maradona for long, just because millions consider him the greatest player to have played, does not mean you want to be like him in all things.

The handball in a key game is a good time to stop.


pipita said...

Totally in agreement with this Ebren. Funnily enough I think most arentines, directly or indirectly, would agree with you as well. Diegos's divine image doesnt't allow for any other to succeed him. The argentine FA, quite ridiculously in my opinion, have even retired the number ten from the national team shirt. So its not precisely here that you'll find this obsession with finding a new maradona

offsideintoulouse said...

He's nowhere near anyway. To come close he would have had to score the handball AND the wonder goal in the same game. In a bigger game. Against bitter rivals.

Can't blame him for trying hard, though.

guitougoal said...

did you surreptitiously pull this one out of Marcela's handbag?
"from the hand of God to the hand of the Messiah"
-With ssc Napoli Maradona elevated the team from serie A to two italian championship, one italian and one uefa cup- Who could match that incredible accomplishment-not Messi-
Very good analogy-

Ebren said...

I should point out it's the same in England - Giggs, Beckham, and Ronaldo have all been the New Best. Any decent midfielder for a while was the New Gascoigne.

But there are players that escape this. Owen was never compared with anyone. Batigol was Batigol.

I'm all for players being their own player.

I suppose it's about style - there hadn't been an English player that had so much raw pace as Owen did early on, so there was no easy comparison. Batigol was clearly not Kempes or Diego in style.

Simpon Kuper is interesting on this here -

Playing, not worshiping. Clearly the way forward.

The analogy was too good to miss (although I did write this at 4am, so apologies if it's a bit brief)

Margin said...

arrgghh - the dreaded next .... slogan.

ManU will forever be dogged by the 'next George Best' - Spurs the 'next Glenn Hoddle' and West Ham the 'next Bobby Moore'.

France has already seen off around a dozen 'next Zidanes' and Bulgaria is desperate to label aynone who scores the next Stoichkov.

Maybe one day Barca can dream of the next Messi.

pipita said...

Just to further emphasize how ridiculous the new whoevers sounds

the new pele: Zico,Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho

the new di stefano: maradona (or is di stefano the old diego)

the new cruyff: Bergkamp

the new puskas: ------

the new schiaffino: francescoli

the new bobby charlton: Keegan, Hoddle, Robson, Gascoigne

the new george best: ???????

the new platini: Zidane (or is platini the old zizou )

guitougoal said...

french have a new zidane already: nasri- all they have in common so far it's their origin.
By the way, messi's hand ball it's a disgrace, it could have cost Madrid the championship.

byebyebadman said...

Interesting stuff Ebren...don't think Argentina were on the verge of throwing the World Cup away when Diego scored with his hand though.

Messi opted for a very high-risk strategy on Saturday, especially given the position of the referee (how on EARTH did he not see it?) and got away with it. Had the ref caught him he could have sent him off.

I don't see how people can get to irate though, the game is littered with dubious morality, from diving to feigning injury to claiming throw-ins/corners you know full well aren't yours and so on. They way the game is now, what Messi did was grossly professional.

As for Maradona and Napoli...I can't think that a player of any comparable standing in the game, approaching the peak of his powers, will ever go to a relegation-threatened team with no winning history again. It is one-off, unique, which makes what he acheived with them all the more amazing.

If Messi moves at all in in the next ten years, it will only be to another G14 club I would think.

pipita said...

Just remembered, New Puskas for Hungary would have been Florian Albert, off course. New George Best for N.Ireland still beats me however...Norman Whiteside??

Guitou, common origin, is that Marseille or Algeria?? Pardon my ignorance about Nasri who Ive never seen play yet

Good point Bye bye, but Napoli in the 80's could obviously get hold of the "extra cash" in those days dont forget that shortly after buying maradona they also got Giordano and the very expensive brazilian duo Alemao and Careca. Plus Diego was in terrible relations with Nuñez at Barcelona

byebyebadman said...

Pipita - the Best/Whiteside thing had more to do with them being discovered by the same scout (Bob Bishop) and playing for the same club and country. One was a box to box midfielder the other a winger/roving forward. No comparison.

Regards your other point, the very fact that Maradona signed for them overnight enhanced Napoli's status and it became a more attractive proposition for the likes of Alemao and Careca (both of whom I think signed after the first scudetto).

I've just read his book and he claims with no little bombast to have hand-picked his team-mates for the directors to sign.

guitougoal said...

they share both marseille and algerian parents-
you are right about cash situation in Napoli, the di Laurentis beaucoup beaucoup money and some of the padrinos de sicilia were contributing too.....
is it all right to cheat as long as you can get away with it ?....aye..aye...aye..
the ligua should do something about it and the ref should be banned for 1, 1/2 game.

pipita said...

Byebye, Guitou
Im well aware that Whiteside never even reached Bestie's ankles as we say here. I was kind of joking.
Di Laurentis and the neapolitan mafias, yeah I seemed to remember their was some wild money being poured in there all of a sudden. The two Brazilians couldnt have signed just as a consequnce of the prestige Diego was giving Napoli either...

offside said...

Is Margin the new Ebren?

Ebren said...

Don't be silly Offy - he's far to ginger. And easily skinned. I took him on the outside three times tonight...

Ask Marcela - she can back me up here.

MotM said...

Offside - I was just going to post that and you put down your Martini just long enough to beat me to the punch!

I rather like the old Rugby approach of the ref realising his mistake and letting the wronged team "have one for free". I'd volunteer to go up with Messi and land a perfect header on his nose, whilst punching the ball into the net ideally, but anywhere would do.

I would then invite any jury to convict (outside Catalonia obviously). I'd walk away a free man.

marcela said...

my oh my... messi/maradona comparisons? will it ever end??

i guess we need a clip with a split screen to dissect further.
guitou: was it not hunter s who described our society as one 'where everyone is guilty and the only crime is to get caught'...

i think hand balling when faced with an open goal is almost a reflex - i've certainly known many more forwards to say so than otherwise. perhaps it is some sort of cultural appreciation of rules (formal v informal?) or perhaps not, but i think the bottom line on the pitch is whether or not the ref sees/ acts.

as for whether messi's messiah status is approximating diego's... i don't think so. certainly not on the strength of the hand goal.

no more so than any other player who may have handled the ball at any rate.

pipita - it's true what badman's saying. napoli was snubbed by many top players at the time and the brazilians were swayed by maradona's presence. at least, according to maradona :)

byebyebadman said...

They did make the comparison here though Pipita, which Whiteside quite rightly dismissed. Even Keith Gillespie got it when he first emerged.

I remember in the 1990 World Cup when Argentina played Romania Maradona was up against Gheorge Hagi, whom they called the Maradona of the Carpathians. Wonder if there are there many other instances where the original is up against their 'new' version?

marcela said...

a question addressed to me.

margin the new ebren?

no. no. i don't think so.

for starters they're contemporaries.

doesn't the 'new' someone need to be - newer?

is toulouse the new tahiti?

offside said...

Tahiti was the new Cythère, Toulouse is not an option.

The good news is we don't need a new Marcela just yet.

Anybody wants to be the new greengrass?

byebyebadman said...

It depends when/ where you emerge, not every great player has to be a teenage prodigy, although admittedly they are the ones that usually have the albatross of 'The New...' hanging over them.

I remember in a Copa America about ten years ago a brazilian forward called Tulio scored a goal with his hand against Argentina, leading a Brazilian journalist to remark that he loved it and would let Tulio's goal marry his sister. I don't think the Argentinian players protested too much (only at the referee for not seeing it, not at the player).

pipita said...

Mon ami, wherever you may be. Dont be ridiculous. Theirs only one Professor Greengrass and you know it
Good point there about Tulio's goal against Argentina in 95. Your right the argentine players didnt make much of a fuss in spite of basically being knocked out by that goal. And it was against Brazil...On the other hand the Russians didnt make much of a fuss either for Maradona's (yes, him again) blatant hand ball in his own penalty area in Italia 90 for that matter.

guitougoal said...

pseuds' as usual, everybody get offtopic nobody get banned we need a new b.g-
"catch me if you can"
yes of course it has been said, this statement is significant, there is an existing confusion between smartness and virtue.

byebyebadman said...

Well Tulio missed the penalty in the shoot-out that cost Brazil the final. Swings and roundabouts...

I remember the USSR handball well, and to use Marcela's point that was definitely a reflex action. A foul nonetheless, and a scandalous bottling of a big decision by the referee.

guitougoal said...

Try not Toulouse an opportunity,I am sorry not to loose an opportunity to taste , in case you didn't yet,
some of the coteaux du languedoc as the Terrasses duLarzac or a St Chinian-

offsideintahiti said...


St Chinian prie pour nous tous les jours. Midi et soir.

Bonne nuit!

guitougoal said...

Not yet, Henry to Barcelona is it confirmed?

pipita said...

Reflex, more or less...
St Chinian tous le jours midi et soir, oooh la la what time your having

Margin said...

took me three times on the outside Ebren?

how many times did I ghost into wide open spaces in your defence damn you!

Ebren said...

And how many times did I let both you and the ball go by me?



Margin said...

since you left me to people like Nathan not many - but hey - I skipped passed himstead... huzzah!

Ebren said...

I take no responsibility for the positioning, tracking, tacking, pace, and marking abilities of my team-mates.

andrewm said...

It was a quality handball for such a little lad, but it didn't have quite the cheek of Maradona's.

offside said...

Margin may not be the new Ebren but these two certainly sound like an old couple...

Margin said...

perhaps we could star in a classic black and white move?

Margin said...

argh - that last word should have been movie.

I should have stuck with film damnit.

Tweet it, digg it