Every June – July is always one of the hardest periods for football fans world wide, with most leagues winding down in May and kicking off in August. All of a sudden, you wake up on Saturday or Sundays and there is nothing to watch. You end up watching other sports, finding things to do but they don’t quite fill that gap.
Every four years, at least, things are a little different and 2014 is one of those. It’s the FIFA World Cup in Brazil – a month of the best football on the planet with some of the best players. This is also a time the debates around who the greatest footballers in history are flare up again. For many fans, the one name that has consistently been at the top of the list is Brazilian legend Pelé, although, ironically, for many of us, his heyday was before our time.
There have been others, like Maradona, Ronaldo, Zidane, Beckenbauer, Cryuff, Di Stefano, Eusebio, Best, Moore, Puskas and Platini, whose names have been thrown into the hat, but, considering the emotive aspect of this debate, chances of there ever being a definitive name are slim. What criteria do we use? Is it whether the player has won a World Cup with their national side or about the number of trophies won with their club side? Is it about winning the Ballon d’or or pure natural ability?
That said there are two current players who will probably be part of that list (and debate) for many years to come – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Being a Messi fan, I lean towards him but even I, however reluctantly, have to acknowledge Ronaldo’s ability and accomplishments.
As part of a campaign leading up to the World Cup in Brazil, Emirates, an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup since 2006 have brought together Pele and Ronaldo, as their latest Global Ambassadors, in an ad shot in their on-board lounge of their flagship A380 to reignite the debate around who is the greatest of all time. The ad is beautifully shot, the setting is exquisite and luxurious and the unspoken banter between the two players is amusing. Footballers these days have to be able to do more than merely kick a ball with the endorsements and relationships with brands.
Check it out, add to the discussion and share who your greatest footballing star of all time is with Emirates on Twitter using #AllTimeGreats