Who is the GOAT?
Who is the goat? And who is wrong and doesn't think it's this guy right here...

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Me. Was on coke half of the time, so it's like he played on doping. And I don't think it is possible to determine single player as "best of all times", cause football evolved and it is not the same game it was 20, 40 ,60 or more years ago. Maybe best of each era.
Just look at balls. As most simple example. Synthetic vs skin. Only one who played with both can see how big difference is and how much easier is to be a "wizard" nowdays. Not to mention trainings (amounts and quality), logistic, medical care and what not...
If had to choose one, it certainly would not be anyone who started to play after 90ties, especially not one of THOSE two.
Avaiting for arrival of exorcist into our boardroom.
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Seriously though, the GOAT talk is too confused with fandom. My favorite player = GOAT has become so common that it almost makes sense.
I can say my all time favorite player is Baresi, doesn't mean his stats are all number 1. Sure some ranking can put him near number 1 or even number 1 best but that's not the point.
Ronaldo and Messi fans keep talking about 'he scored penalties only' type but that should have nothing to do about your favorite player and not even anything to do with who is GOAT. GOAT is about being the best at football, it doesn't have to be all aspects of football. It doesn't have to be about how the person is on or out the pitch either. Some of the best artists/scientists/etc. are not exactly the nicest people.

Of course eras and different circumstances are factors too.
It's almost impossible to determine due to the different eras and rules. Take the 80s and the very early 90s for example. You could just pass the ball to the GK who could pick it up. So high pressure was not something teams did. It was pointless.
The point is, if MVB, Maradona, other players of that era, etc....scored as many goals with those rules and did the incredible things they did within those rules....what could they do with today's rules where they could get so many more opportunities due to their team winning the ball 20 meters from the opponents goal? Maybe a lot more...but maybe a lot less. Can never tell.

On the contrary...would Messi/Ronaldo score as many goals playing with the rules of the 80s? Keep in mind, Messi spent his entire career in a Barcelona team that made the most of high pressure and winning the ball back very close to the opponent's goal...hence more opportunities for Messi/CFs.
And forget about the PKs that are being called these days. You'd struggle to get even 10% of these called in those days.

Also....passive offside was still offside back then. These days, it's not. Again...a change to the rule in order to make the game more exciting, more attacking, more goals, etc. I like it. But it sure as hell made scoring more difficult back then.

People who call Messi/Ronaldo GOATs have to be very very young and clueless about how different football is today. In some ways much harder (more professionalism, higher level training and preparation - physical; tactical and technical, higher quality overall spread out among the world in general), but in some ways it's much easier (changes to rules I mentioned above, as Sampinjon mentioned - the ball itself makes a huge difference, the quality of the pitches, equipment like boots, erc).

So the conversation is always interesting....but impossible to determine. The best way to go is to separate football in eras and pick out the best players in each. Even then, you got attackers and defenders. What made Maradona better then Baresi? Sure he could score/attack better, but can he defend better? Which is more important? Both are crucial components of the game. You could argue Baresi achieved more through what he did within his own role.

Then you got players that played through 2 or more eras...and did it at an insanely high level, adapting to multiple rule changes, training circumstances, etc. I'm talking about the likes of Maldini.

So yea. Interesting topic as always....but not sure any argument can win.
Agree with you guys. Too much of "apples and oranges" argument. It all comes down who you like more. It has always been the case. Even with Messi Vs Ronaldo. It all depends on who you like more. But both are different type of players. Winger Vs forward.

There are two perspective for this. On one hand Ronaldo has played for different teams and played very well where ever he's gone. And the back to back 3 CL cannot be ignored plus the down fall of Real Madrid after he left. But Ronaldo struggles to play when the team doesn't perform. 

On the other hand the only reason Barca played well these past few seasons is because of Messi. But whatever Messi has achieved was in Barca. Messi is not that good when he plays for Argentina ( he's good, but not that good). And Messi has been struggling in PSG. ( But this has more to do with motivation than skill)

So yes. It depends on who you like more. Mine is obvious. It's Nesta. He's my goat.  Devilcool . I love that tackle on Messi in the penalty area.
oh 100%. I'm just poking fun. especially because of these days and all the fanboys that can't have a conversation about football without turning it onto a Messi v Ronaldo conversation.
It's never going to be easy to have an actual best of all time, especially when you're talking football.
It's not Tennis. There are many different positions, many different game plays and the game has evolved so much over the years that it would be impossible to know for sure who would be good in what era against what opposition.
For me it's easy. Favourite ever player is Maldini followe by Figo. I personally think Maldini was the best ever defender but can't have that conversation without brining in the likes of Beckenbauer and Baresi. As for Figo. I think he was always underrated. a Special winger that did what many couldn't do but I don't think he got as much recognition as many some other players from that era that weren't as good... eg. Beckham
Was Figo underrated though? He at least won a Ballon d'Or.

My all-time favorites are Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, and Marco van Basten.
aka xudong
for me the best is ronaldinho when he is playing for barca, man what a beast that guy is in his prime.
I believe Messi has everything Maradona had in terms of technique, passing, dribbling, etc.

and Cristiano is such an unbelieveable guy. A beast. 438 games for Real Madrid, 450 goals and 132 assists.

I know Maradona is the 3rd best player ever played which is a tremendous achievement.

But who is the first and who is the second, I cant decide. And they play all the time. Never get injured for a long time, never out of form. Always up, always ready. Can't understand how but they dont miss games.

A superstar-level talent is not enough, you have to be consistent to be the goat... Consistently the best. Not for a season or two but for 15 freaking years... That's what they have done so far.