When you ask someone who they think the best players of all time are you will often get answers like Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, or from the modern crowd you will get answers like Ronaldinho, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – and rightfully so! But what about players like Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff? Do you even know who these players are? Unfortunately, the modern day soccer player does not have these players on their radar. These soccer legends had just as much skill and talent as did Pele, Maradona, Zidane and etc. The soccer legends of today had to look up to someone as we look up to them, and it is these players that they looked up to. These are the players they mimicked; these are the players they learned from.
Below are video’s of Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff. I once asked a great coach I had how to distinguish a good player from the best player. With great enthusiasm he said “there are good players, there are great players and then there are geniuses.” These two players are geniuses. Although they have the capability to do amazing things and score beautiful goals, their genius comes from making the game look so simple. When you can make something look simple it means you have mastered it. Study them carefully and learn to appreciate their skill and their unbelievable talent. Don’t stop here, study some of the older players when you are studying the game as it is these players that helped develop the game and make it what it is today: a beautiful game.
Marco Van Basten