Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vecsey on Messi and why he's no Maradona

I got to have a really cool chat the other day with George Vecsey, the longtime "Sports of The Times" columnist and author of "Eight World Cups."

He explained the Germany pick he made months ago and really delved into the flaws of the Messi-Maradona succession narrative in addition to giving some other neat insight.

It's a full Q+A, but you might do a little geeking.

- Jacob Klinger


dikranovich said...

the point I took away from the interview was that the narrative was still being written. today messi was unable to produce the moment needed to propel his team, but in four years time it could be a different story.

messi does need to lift a cup with his country in order to take that next step, that much is certain.

nice to see that the USA is not the only team leaving players home who could have been difference makers. argentines must be wondering tonight, why couldn't tevez have been on this team.

Unknown said...

Messi definitely didn't have the supporting cast he needed. Tevez would have been interesting given Di Maria's injury and Sergio still not at 100%.

dikranovich said...

Germany were really granted a nice reprieve by having b Munich wrap up their season so early. This one fact might have been their biggest advantage of the World Cup. That and they built their own facilities.

The Germans have provided a nice blueprint for other teams to follow.

jon said...

Yes, I believe the "reprieve" BM got for wrapping up the league title so early was getting trounced in the Champions League.

So, the blueprint is: 1) Get most of your national team players on one club team. 2) Make sure that club team wins the domestic title months in advance and doesn't make the final of european competition. 3) Build your own base camp.

I'm sure we'll see many a future team following that to a t...

For someone that so loves a narrative (and never met a worthless platitude he couldn't regurgitate into these comment spaces), I'd recommend reading Brian Phillips most recent grantland piece. I eagerly await your response declaring that he's got it all wrong.

dikranovich said...

I'm not sure how praise worthy this article is, but what it does say is that winning is special, but dreaming about winning is pretty special as well, and for us losers, it can be all we have.

It's interesting, but if you are under thirty and German, before Sunday, you were not to familiar with being world champions. A generation older, and there is a sense of entitlement, and now the long awaited forth star.

A previous article talks about the little bird being a bigger star in brasil than even pele, and pooping diamonds. but whatever. It's the people that ultimately decide who they are going to elevate to a higher status.

The game is great, and we are always left wanting more.

And In multiverse theory, messi did win on Sunday and he did so in such a fashion as to put him up on the pedestal. He also banged the president of Brazil, according to the theory, and they had a quarter Bulgarian, quarter brasilero, and half Argie super baller, super baby.

Matt said...

Multi-verse theory? Nice.

Matt said...

And you called me out for using big words. Pot, meet black.

Tom said...

I think there's more than a bit of "things were better when I was younger"-ism going on here (from Vescey).

Messi has had more than his share of magician's moments. And in an era where players are bigger, faster, and stronger.

Unknown said...

Maybe. But the end of Maradona's international career was only narrowly preceded by my birth.

That, and so much of any "greatest of all-time" debate is often intangible. Also, it was a Q+A.

I was definitely cheering for the (Messi) story though.