Pele. Maradona. Ronaldo. Messi. It’s rare to go a day on social media without a debate about the greatest player of all time. The arguments are well-known: Ronaldo’s aerial ability vs Messi’s dribbling skills. Pele and Maradona’s major tournament record set against that of their modern-day counterparts. But what about the psychological characteristics of the ‘perfect footballer’?
It’s a topic that Simon Clifford has thought long and hard about. The former head of Southampton’s sports science setup is a man well-versed in discussions about the mental side of football.