Anyone who’s ever looked for it, knows that finding videos, especially full matches, with Pelé and Garrincha is pretty much impossible. A fired happened in Brazil, and most was lost forever.
Cruijff played in the 70s, but you can only watch one of his FCB matches in color.
Zico has scored over 100 free kick goals during his career, but you simply cannot find most of them nowadays. Zico played in the 80s, mind you. The same can be said about Platini, especially his years in France.
Only in the 90s, most away matches were broadcast in Europe, which means we are the luckiest generation of football fans to have ever lived. We are spoiled, even more so those of us who support FC Barcelona.
People who lived during the Pelé Era did not watch all of his matches, especially not the away ones. The same goes to Garrincha, Di Stéfano, Puskas, Muller, Beckenbauer, Maradona (especially his first years in Argentina). Hell, brazilians missed a lot of Romário matches during the 90s.
Nowadays, not only do we get to watch every single match imaginable, even friendlies, in Full HD, but immediately after they’re over YouTube gets full of “Messi vs Certain Team Home/Away” videos. A few minutes after we won the Cup against Sevilla yesterday, there was already both a “Messi vs Sevilla Neutral”, and a compilation of all of his 41 goals and 23 assists in 15/16.
We are extremely lucky. Actually, we are spoiled.
Messi has played 638 official matches so far. That’s over 950 HOURS. All the great players I listed earlier played more than him before retiring, naturally.
But the fans from each of those eras never watched them as frequently, or as much.
The luckiest ones got to watch all home matches, at most. Pelé owned Vila Belmiro, Di Stéfano the Bernabeu… but not even the most devout fan got to watch these players for over 950 hours. It was simply not feasible.
We get to watch Messi, Iniesta, Busquets, Pique and Suarez write history twice a week, and to top it off, we can spend hours on YouTube watching every pass, every ball control, every assist, every pre-assist, every dribble and every single time they refused to dive. Over, and over again. We are constantly exposed to greatness.
We are lucky to be living during Messi playing years. But the fact we can watch and rewatch every single move he makes on any football pitch around the world… that is simply being blessed.
Enjoy the goals, and the wins, the trophies. But remember most football fans in History never watched their idols like we currently do.