Does A 'Superstar' Mean A Super-Team?

Reuben SmithCorrespondent IApril 13, 2010

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 10:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid concentrates on a free kick during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 10, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. Barcelona won the match 2-0.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

I dug up some old articles, posted by Miles Kent , Nathan Lowe, and Hasan Ejaz . They were about how one player can affect a whole team, and in doing so, how with their skills, can 'purchase' success.

This is almost a reply to an article I really liked entitled, “World's Greatest Footballer? There Is No Such Thing,” published by Illya Mclellan .

But I am going to go a little deeper, to try and decipher if it is true: "Can one player result in success?"

With so many people (myself included) claiming that certain sides are one-man teams, I want to find if one player could be the difference between great teams.

Over the last few years, AC Milan, Manchester United, and FC Barcelona (x2), have won the UEFA Champions League.

On all occasions, one of their players won the Ballon d'Or. AC Milan had Kaka, for Manchester it was Cristiano Ronaldo, and the reigning Champions, FC Barcelona, had Lionel Messi, and previously Ronaldinho.

It would seem from this statistic, that if you have the best player in the world, you would have the best team in Europe.

And the previous would suggest that these teams were one-man shows.

I think that without these players they would not have had the success that they had. These top players bring another aspect of play which the team can grow to rely upon.

But, in some aspects this is untrue. Messi would be nowhere without the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, and Puyol—key players that allow Messi to do what he does.

The same is of all the teams.

A team of Messi’s—is not only impossible—but would fail to find success, simply because he lacks the qualities of a good defender and of a midfield maestro.

If you stuck Messi with a bunch of 10-year-olds, you would not have success. You would just have Messi and a bunch of kids.

With this in mind, we can conclude that a superstar is only as good as the team his plays with.

Amazing players do add an element of unpredictability and they have the means to change games with a sparkling run or an amazing goal.

They not only can produce, but often they inspire and up-build the rest of the team.

Still, there can be over-reliance on one particular player. So in truth there can be one-man teams.

Not in the sense that nobody else is needed, but in the sense that the rest of the team needs him to provide. If he doesn’t provide the sparkling runs or amazing goals, the team may slump.

It is quite sad, especially when you see a team of world-class players with no inspiration just fall apart because of that lack of ‘killer instinct’, and those 'finishing touches.'

A player needs the rest of the team and their qualities, but when one player is providing or assisting most of the goals, and the rest of the team needs this player to ‘produce the goods’, this is when the coach has gone too far.

So just because a team has an amazing player or “the world’s best”, they need their world-class teammates in order to succeed. Still, teams have to ensure that they don’t become reliant upon their ‘best’.

Teams, world-class players, supporters, and coaches have to remember that football is a team sport, something that nowadays many forget.