Who is the best player in the history of football?
Lionel Messi? Cristiano Ronaldo? Johan Cruyff?
How about the most complete player ever?
That’s perhaps a more difficult question to answer because you have to take into account more than just pure talent.
To be a complete player, you need the ability to play in different positions and be strong in a variety of aspects of the game.
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And one football fan may have just provided the answer to the question.
He’s undertaken an experiment on Football Manager to determine the most complete player in history.
Here’s how he did it:
- Created a brand new competition in FM 2019 in the country of Malta.
- Created 26 teams
- Looked up the prime years of every player in our line-up
- Copied the player’s prime year’s attributes from that year’s edition of Football Manager (alternatively FIFA/community attributes for the legends who are older than the game), and recreated them in the FM 2019 editor.
- Cloned the player 20 times (need a lot of bench warmers with a 50 game season)
- Created a decent and adaptive AI manager for every team.
- Created 3 very average keepers for every team. (we didn’t want the keepers to influence the results too much)
So, he had 26 one-man teams who faced off against each other. But he didn’t just play one season, he played 10 campaigns to make sure the test was far more reliable.
THE 26 PLAYERS INVOLVED
Here’s a list of the 26 players used in the test – some of which were included as a joke – such as Gary Breen and John O’Shea.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (2014)
- Lionel Messi (2012)
- Johan Cruyff
- Alfredo Di Stéfano
- Ruud Gullit
- Ronald Koeman
- Franz Beckenbauer
- Lothar Matthäus
- David Alaba (2019)
- James Milner (2019)
- Steven Gerrard (2010)
- Sergio Ramos (2019)
- Clarence Seedorf (2008)
- Dirk Kuyt (2007)
- Yaya Touré (2014)
- Arturo Vidal (2019)
- John O’Shea (2008)
- Xavi (2009)
- Cesar Azpilicueta (2014)
- Roberto Carlos (2004)
- Kevin Großkreutz (2014)
- Wayne Rooney (2012)
- Zlatan (2014)
- Virgil Van Dijk (2019)
- Gary Breen (2004)
- Jamie Carragher (2008)
So, who won?
Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that Breen and O’Shea were the bottom two.
Check out the ultimate league table after 10 simulations:
1) Ruud Gullit | Points: 1040
2) Ronald Koeman | Points: 974
3) Yaya Touré | Points: 933
4) Steven Gerrard | Points: 923
5) Franz Beckenbauer | Points: 912
6) Dirk Kuyt | Points: 911
7) Roberto Carlos | Points: 897
8) Sergio Ramos | Points: 864
9) Cristiano Ronaldo | Points: 830
10) Wayne Rooney | Points: 830
11) Johan Cruyff | Points: 826
12) Jamie Carragher | Points: 822
13) Lothar Matthäus | Points: 805
14) Alfredo Di Stéfano | Points: 799
15) Virgil van Dijk | Points: 760
16) Clarence Seedorf | Points: 650
17) Lionel Messi | Points: 602
18) Arturo Vidal | Points: 588
19) Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Points: 565
20) Xavi | Points: 532
21) David Alaba | Points: 485
22) James Milner | Points: 387
23) Kevin Großkreutz | Points: 359
24) Cesar Azpilicueta | Points: 356
25) John O’Shea | Points: 349
26) Gary Breen | Points: 306
So, there we have it – Ruud Gullit is the most complete footballer in the history of the game.