Many scholars of art, literature, football and music will argue that the classics are far better than the recent and current crop of artistes. Legends such as Dali, Picasso, Shakespeare, Yeats, Dickens, Cruyff, Pele, Pukas, Lennon, Sinatra, Presley and Marley come to mind, people who were far more talented than our present day idols.
It’s easy to pick legends from a few hundred years of history, but can we really admit that as each civilization evolves, that it becomes less talented than the previous generation as well as becoming more of a retread than creating works of art? After all, how unique can artists be when their predecessors have already been there, done that?
To me, it’s difficult to compare current day legends to our predecessors. Reason being is that the world of art, literature, football and music are so different than during the times of the legends. In music, there appears to be far less talented artists than in the past. Amy Winehouse, while talented, is simply regurgitating her take on classics by Arethra Franklin, The Supremes and Billie Holiday.
In football, Cristiano Ronaldo has proven how talented the Portugese wizard is, but where he ranks among the superstars of the world’s game depends on what he does from here on. After winning the Champions League and the past two Premier League titles, maybe it’s time for Ronaldo to move on to Real Madrid where he can improve his game and become a legend in the country where he’s always dreamed of playing.
Over the centuries, civilizations evolve. There are many gifted writers today but they pale in comparison to the classic writers of the past. And the same applies to the world of art where modern day artists such as Damien Hurst prefer to shock the public instead of creating classic art pieces that amaze.
It makes you wonder whether each generation that comes along produces art (whether it be football or other classics) than are inferior to the previous generation. If that’s the case, should we expect that the level of football will continue to decline year after year and never surpass the golden generation of Pele, Jairzinho, Muller, Riva, Alberto and others?
After all, a lot of criticism is subjective. While greats such as Pele and Maradona were superstars, how gifted were the defenders who tried to stop them from looking suspect? As defenders have improved, it must be harder than ever to break down the barriers for a player to show his talents.