Originally Posted by Jasi
If you compare teams/players from different eras, you have to take into account that the natural evolution of the sport (and especially of the physical training habits) makes the comparison questionable in itself.
Look at any football match even up to the '80s - early '90s, the average speed of the game was ludicrous compared to today. But this doesn't diminish the prowess and importance of the past stars one bit.
In order to make a true comparison you should leave out the context effect.
You should not wonder: "How would Cruijff fare today?", but: "How would a player with the technique, determination, work ethic, football intelligence that Cruijff had fare in today's football (with today's training practices and tactical habits)?"
well the defensive tactics are way ahead now and its not very possible for the game to be so fast, except when its played by two crazy attacking teams ( it usually happens in the bundes league )
the 'smaller' teams now are afraid to attack and usually ruin the beauty of the game ( stoke for example or chelsea )
and we can never know how will players that played 30-40 years ago would fare now... i guess some GKs like yashin and very inteligent players like cruyff and maradona might be exceptions ( maradona though in todays society would get suspended all the time )