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Best player in the world(judged by international tournaments)

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Who is the best player in the world, if international tournaments were the only medium to judge by?

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Messi hasn't done himself too much harm for the crown, apart from the penalty miss he was superb in the Copa America

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Would say maybe Iniesta, even when Spain losses he still plays well.

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Muller? Had a poor euros though

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Apart from the 98 final, has to be Ronaldo Nazario.

Pretty sure we are talking about players that are playing now.

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Apart from the 98 final, has to be Ronaldo Nazario.

The Nazario is a bit redundant tbh. There is only one Ronaldo. ;)

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Brazilian Ronaldo last 'actual' cap was in 2006, so shouldn't count.

He did play a final Brazil national team game in 2011 though.

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I wouldn't go with Muller purely as he seems to be amazing in World Cups but not so much in the Euros. Alexis seems pretty handy in Copa America's.

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I just looked to see if there was a list of players ranking them by international achievements (actually winning trophies rather than "oh, he did not bad"). Couldn't find one, but did find a similar list for club football. Makes interesting reading from an international perspective too. With a few exceptions, they've hardly set the world alight at that level

Ryan Giggs (34) - nothing

Vitor Baia (31) - no major tournaments for Portugal, never quite make that step

Kenny Dalglish (31) - *weeps*

Pele (28) - 3 world cups and a host of other minor cups

Ibrahimovich (26) - big fish in a small pond

Maldini (26) - not one single trophy

Messi (25) - one Olympic gold medal

Iniesta (25) - 1 World Cup, 2 Euros

Xavi (25) - 1 World Cup, 2 Euros

Dani Alves (25) - 1 copa america, 2 confed. cups

Paul Scholes (25) - lol, unfortunately

Edwin van der Sar (25) - nothing

Oliver Khan (23) - one European championship

Alan Hansen (23) - *weeps harder*

It's hardly a list of the best players ever to grace a football pitch, but you'd probably have assumed that the most decorated players would at least have had a few more international trophies than that. 13 between the 14 top decorated players, and only 5 of them contribute to that.

To this particular question, if you're judging actual success in international tournaments, it has to be Iniesta by an absolute country mile. Messi has often not reproduced his club form for Argentina, similar to Ronaldo who also has to cope with a much less talented squad around him (not that you'd notice by his sparkling attitude of course). Iniesta has been consistently great, won three major tournaments and has looked classy throughout.

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Iniesta I guess.

I second this.

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Italy really should of took Maldini to WC 2006 just to sub him on last minute. What a shame.

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I still hate Argentinian NT up to this day because of Zanetti treatment.

Pekerman not taking him in 2006.

Maradona not taking him or Cambiasso in 2010 after the treble season.

Just to have left winger Jonas Gutierrez play the right back position.

Clowns.

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Italy really should of took Maldini to WC 2006 just to sub him on last minute. What a shame.

I just assumed Maldini had won something, was amazed when I saw he hadn't.

I still hate Argentinian NT up to this day because of Zanetti treatment.

Pekerman not taking him in 2006.

Maradona not taking him or Cambiasso in 2010 after the treble season.

Just to have left winger Jonas Gutierrez play the right back position.

Clowns.

Terrific player. Terrific hair.

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If you look at international tournament performances relative to club performances Klose is surely the all time best. I mean, Pele and Gerd Muller were exceptional tournament players, but their club records were also remarkable. Klose's club career was solid enough, but his contribution to the German team in major finals was another level

That was pretty much underlined by how badly the German team needed him last night...

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Oleg Salenko scored 6 goals and won the Golden Boot in his only World Cup. He actually only played 8 times for Russia in his career and never scored any other goals outside the 6 he scored in the US94 tournament.

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Oleg Salenko scored 6 goals and won the Golden Boot in his only World Cup. He actually only played 8 times for Russia in his career and never scored any other goals outside the 6 he scored in the US94 tournament.
I think you need to play well in more than one game to be considered a tournament great, but he's definitely top of the statistical freaks list...

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Yeah, Just Fontaine scored 13 goals in the the 1958 World Cup, doubt it'll ever be beaten.

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Any record from before the advent of the Premier League doesn't count ;)

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Fontaine had scored 9 prior to the 3rd placed play off

It meant that, to beat Sandor Kocsis's record of 11 goals in a World Cup, set with Hungary in 1954, Fontaine needed to score three in the third-place play-off against West Germany. He hit four in a 6-3 win. The game was competitive only in name – "Fontaine only had to stay on his feet to score goals," wrote Cris Freddi is his definitive history of the World Cup – but even then, Fontaine had scored nine in the first five games, in a tournament where no other player hit more than six. "These were easy pickings," adds Freddi, "but his credentials as a goalscorer stand up to any scrutiny."

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