THREAD: Why the 10 is by default better than the 9.
In history we have always valued the 10 over the 9 (except in one footballer’s case) because the 10 doesn’t depend on service in the box to influence a game, they only depend on receiving the ball in half-decent conditions.
Many say “Cristiano did his job vs Ajax, not his fault”. That’s the limits of having your best player being the 9. At Madrid he was the most decisive but he wasn’t always the best. And when Madrid suffered, others (Marcelo, Luka..) took hold of the game.
Vs Ajax Cristiano wasn’t bad. It’s just he got so used to having less responsibility all over the pitch, that he didn’t know how to drop deeper & influence the game in any way other that waiting for service up front. And since Juve don’t have Madrid’s players, they were hopeless
This is why Zizou’s Madrid team was so hard to beat. You had to take care of Cristiano in the box (a monster) but without forgetting the other players. Think about Marcelo’s goal vs Bayern last season. How many left backs in Europe can do that in such a crucial moment?
I personally don’t feel Cristiano could’ve done more vs Ajax. Why? Because he’s a 9. By definition he’s limited to a role that depends so much on teammates showing up. This is why we never called Eto’o, Inzaghi, Drogba, Suarez, Raul, Ruud the best players in the world.
Let’s take Messi’s example now. Why is the 10 so valuable? Because he doesn’t demand much from his teammates to have an influence on the game. All he asks is to receive the ball in half decent conditions. Even 30 or 35m away from goal. With a little movement, something can happen
Think about the Turin game back in 2017. Messi was brilliant. He managed to create 2 clear cut chances for his teammates against a great Juve side. This is why I’ve been critical with Barca recently, Leo doesn’t demand much. Just look at his 1st goal vs United.
People think Xavi & Iniesta helped Messi with assists. No, all they did was get him the ball in decent conditions, he did the rest. A job that other decent ball-playing midfielders should do (which is why I hate the fact that Barca got too attached to Rakitic for example).
This is why in La Liga it’s been harder recently than in the UCL for Leo. Barca haven’t been able to get him the ball, unlike in La Liga. Think of Rome, how many 1 against 2 or even 3 Leo had? How many passes while he was on the run? These are not incredible things to ask.
Especially when you’re a club like Barca, & you had the example of Guardiola’s team. This is why I value Leo so much, to be as decisive as a 9 while playing the role of a 10? We’ll never see anything like this ever again.
I wish there was a superficial stat measuring how much a player generated play in a game, Messi would have no competition (especially from a 9 like Cristiano). All this to say football has taken a weird turn with Cristiano.
The ones that have a tougher job & the ones that demand less from their teammates (the 10’s) are measured based on completing the only role of the 9 (scoring). And even from this particular unfair angle, Messi competes very well.