THE task of comparing teams across generations is never easy, largely due to the fact conditions are never uniform.
One thing I admit becomes apparent, during these discussions is that success, indeed, means different things to different people.
For some, the consideration has to be more than just cold, bare trophy hauls.
Football is also about intangibles the aura, the style and the effects of a team on generations to come.
The intangibles should be considered in tandem with the tangibles.
To be regarded as the best team has to come along with some measure of success, otherwise, it becomes easy to dismiss as a classic case of nostalgia, as opposed to a matter of fact.
Perhaps the fact that the greatness, or lack of it, of the Dream Team, has generated this debate, confirms we are in a new age in football, and sport, where the generation is obsessed with statistics and tangibles.
Every generation believes subsequent generations have it easier than they did.
The hallmark of great teams is always balance, demonstrated by significant contribution from all team members across the pitch.
The great teams of the world have standout players but they also had other members contributing in equal measure across the park.
The great AC Milan side of Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiolas Barcelona, Jupp Heynckes Bayern Munich, and Jurgen Klopps current Liverpool were all characterised by incredible balance right across the park.
The responsibility was distributed among the entire squad.
One could argue this was the case with Reinhard Fabischs Dream Team minus the success.
You would be hard pressed to single out a misfit from back to front.
They had the genius of Peter Ndlovu and the grace of Vitalis Takawira, but the supporting cast were no sloths either.
Can the same be said of the Warriors team, for example, which qualified for the 2017 AFCON finals under Callisto Pasuwa? Hardlife Zvirekwi was an honest, hardworking fullback, but is he in the class of Mercedes Rambo Sibanda?
How does the centre half pairing of Costa Nhamoinesu and Elisha Muroiwa compare to Ephraim Chawanda and Francis Shonhai?
One could argue that the Warriors teams that have come through since have been characterised by a marked and distinct reliance on individuals to carry the fortunes of the team.
It was Peter Ndlovu, for the most part, it has become Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat lately.
But even when a team is gifted and balanced, how do we measure greatness if it does not translate into some form of achievement or success?
The Dream Team had the second highest number of points amassed in a single qualifying campaign.
We are limited to comparing qualifying campaigns number of points versus number of games played.
Was the Dream Team a great team?
However, for many, they missed an opportunity to become a truly iconic team to create a dynasty, which explains how the younger generation perceives them.
Unfortunately, people do not consider how many runs a striker makes in a game they are more concerned by how many goals he bags.
It is the nature of sport, and life, in general. Will history remember Saul Chaminukas ZPC team or Callisto Pasuwas Dynamos team who actually won the title on that final day?
Charles Mhlauris CAPS United thrilled and delighted but continental history will record that David Mandigoras less fancied Dynamos got to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.
Manchester United won the Premier League title in the 1996/97 with 75 points, whilst Liverpool were runners-up in 2018-19 with 97 points.
In fact, this Liverpool team was so good Guardiola said it was probably the most difficult team he has had faced as a player or coach.
Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur made huge strides both as a team and as a club.
However, they never won trophies they did not achieve the tangible and Pochettino was fired just months after reaching Champions League final.
Instead, Claudio Ranieris direct football at Leicester won them the league in the 2015/16 season.
Again, you can only beat what is in front of you.
The Warriors teams which have gone on and qualified for the AFCON finals have been exposed to possibly the some of the worst possible conditions in their qualifying campaign.
They travelled to Swaziland and Malawi by road, they have had hastily-arranged camps, they were not paid their bonuses, the environment was not conducive for them to do well.
The Dream Team had it better in this regard. Having an expanded format is no guarantee that a team qualifies.
Ghana missed out in 2004, Mali in 2006, Algeria in 2008, Morocco in 2010, Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria in 2012, Cameroon in 2013, Nigeria in 2015 and 2017.
In all these instances, these teams had some top, world-class talents in their respective setups.
The reason the Dream Team are still part of the discussion, decades later, is that the generation they thrilled are still present to add to the discussion.
The 2004 team will become more symbolic 40 years on, with a new generation, because they will be the first Warriors side to qualify for the AFCON finals whatever the circumstances.
What the Dream Team did can be eroded by time, because they are just memories, what the Warriors of 2004 did cannot, because they will always be backed by facts.
Memories fade as generations pass, but trophies, milestones and achievements stand the test of time.
The reality is that the Dream Team will be a favourite team, especially for the older generation, but years from now, they may not be as iconic as the 2004 Warriors team.
They will not have a place in the CAF records of participants like the Warriors of 2006, 2017 and 2019.
All teams encounter challenges and hurdles and they have to find ways to confront them.
Conditions are never perfect, teams will be judged against the conditions of their day, the Dream Team had a limited qualifying quota.
In an expanded format, some argue they would have qualified for the AFCON but, we will never know.
Meanwhile, the Warriors teams, post-2000, have had to deal with diabolical planning and organisation of colossal proportions.
One could argue with better administration, they would have done even better in qualifying, as well as at the competition finals.
The underlying reality, however, and a lesson for any sportsman, is that entertaining alone is not enough.
The Dream Team missed an opportunity to become the immortals of Zimbabwean football no one can question that.
Allan Muchibwa is a part-time guest sports analyst at Capitalk 100.4 FM and briefly worked as Dynamos media liaison officer.
Read the original post:
- A Year of Free Comics: Immortality isnt all that it seems in LIVE FOREVER - Comics Beat - August 26th, 2020
- Under Ben Bulben: Neymar And A Saga Of Resurrection And Immortality - World Football Index - August 26th, 2020
- Rick and Morty plot hole: Rick's ride on the Whirly Dirly creates huge immortality blunder - Express - August 26th, 2020
- Sleeps With Monsters: Into the Woods With Emily Tesh and Carrie Vaughn - tor.com - August 26th, 2020
- Emily Dickinson is the unlikely hero of our time - Fairfield Citizen - August 26th, 2020
- Doom Patrol Leaves the Fate of the Whole Team Up in the Air | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - August 26th, 2020
- Parenting in a pandemic? Your teen is counting on you more than ever - Your Valley - August 26th, 2020
- ALLEN IVERSON PAYS TRIBUTE TO KOBE Greatness needs company, and we needed each other. - Basketball Network - August 26th, 2020
- Lovecraft Country: Why the Sons of Adams Ritual Failed | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - August 26th, 2020
- Lord of the Rings: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Orcs - Screen Rant - August 26th, 2020
- Hakuho may be on path to becoming great stablemaster if latest recruit pans out - The Japan Times - August 26th, 2020
- The Unbelievable True Story Of How The Memphis Pyramid Became A Bass Pro Shops - Forbes - August 26th, 2020
- American Horror Story: Every Immortal Character In The Show - Screen Rant - August 20th, 2020
- A look back at the faces of 170 years ago and more - Key West Florida Weekly - August 20th, 2020
- Moussa Dembele and the YouTube obsession that has Celtic icon on verge of Champions League immortality - Daily Record - August 20th, 2020
- Words from the Heart: The Message | Columnists | thesuntimes.com - Heber Springs Sun-Times - August 20th, 2020
- Eagles, the worshipped bird of prey of the ancient civilizations - Egypttoday - August 20th, 2020
- 'Burgh's Best to Wear It, No. 13: From midgets to the NFL, Dan Marino wore lucky number - TribLIVE - August 20th, 2020
- Ashton Kutcher Burned an Original Artwork to Promote a New Blockchain Marketplace Where Art Can (Kind of) Live Forever - artnet News - August 20th, 2020
- Aug. 19, 1951: Before Eddie Gaedel went to the plate, the Post-Dispatch got a heads-up - Houston Herald - August 20th, 2020
- 10 Questions We Have After Watching The Old Guard | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - August 20th, 2020
- Emotional character study 'The Truth' opens at the Ross this Friday - Daily Nebraskan - August 20th, 2020
- Astrology 2020: Message of the Day (August 20) - NewsroomPost - August 20th, 2020
- Why This Russian Billionaire Is Creating A Virtual Reality World For Music Festivals And Concerts - Forbes - August 20th, 2020
- Immortality or Bust - Film Threat - July 21st, 2020
- Keanu Reeves New Comic Book Is About An Immortal, But Its Not Autobiographical - Comic Years - July 21st, 2020
- Here's how you can win over 83 years of free Netflix service - Retail News Asia - July 21st, 2020
- Meryl Streep's Funniest Movie Characters and Their Best Moments - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - July 21st, 2020
- A Conversation With Director Gina Prince-Bythewood : 1A - NPR - July 21st, 2020
- ATEMS graduation allows Class of 2020 to rise from the ashes of a broken year - Abilene Reporter-News - July 21st, 2020
- Looking at nature, death, and immortality with a famous poet - McDonough Voice - July 17th, 2020
- The Old Guard: Why Andy Loses Her Immortality | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - July 17th, 2020
- Netflixs The Old Guard: A revolutionary, ancient gay romance - Vox.com - July 17th, 2020
- Where father, son correspond - Featured - The Island Now - July 17th, 2020
- Rockfield Studios: Where Ozzy, Oasis, Queen and Coldplay took off - BBC News - July 17th, 2020
- American Vampire by Snyder & Albuquerque returns this October with '70s setting and vibe - GamesRadar+ - July 17th, 2020
- The Old Guard ending explained and sequel news - RadioTimes - July 17th, 2020
- Fun, Guns, and Mum: New Stuff to Watch! - Omaha Reader - July 17th, 2020
- Warrior Nun Ending Explained What Happens to Ava and Adriel at the End of Warrior Nun? - Esquire - July 17th, 2020
- The 8 desires of human life and how to fulfill them - Times Now - July 17th, 2020
- Decade's best No. 1: Loyalsock's baseball team won 2013 PIAA Class AA title in one of state's most exciting finals | News, Sports, Jobs - Williamsport... - July 17th, 2020
- The only shame is that Liverpool brilliance will escape history books - Football365.com - July 17th, 2020
- The Old Guard revs up the senses with great action and fascinating story - culturemap.com - July 17th, 2020
- When There is Despair, There Will Be Hate Too. And That's Not a Bad Thing - The Wire - July 17th, 2020
- The Old Guard's New Trailer Dives Into the Painful Side of Immortality - Gizmodo UK - July 6th, 2020
- Charlize Theron in The Old Guard on Netflix: Film Review - Variety - July 6th, 2020
- Doctor Who Theory: How Rassilon Fits Into The Timeless Child Retcon - Screen Rant - July 6th, 2020
- Its Negligence: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First - CBS Pittsburgh - July 6th, 2020
- Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River - Colossal - July 6th, 2020
- Carli Lloyd: I Want Young Players To Be Inspired By My Journey - Forbes - July 6th, 2020
- Altered Carbon Season 3 : Release Date, Cast, Plot And Other News - Auto Freak - July 6th, 2020
- Madhya Pradeshs new cabinet shows that a slow Congressisation of the BJP is happening - ThePrint - July 6th, 2020
- Batman Beyond Just Brought The Future [SPOILER] Back To Life - Screen Rant - July 6th, 2020
- A battle to defend the soul of football: How Spain achieved immortality at the 2010 World Cup - The Independent - June 17th, 2020
- Virtual U.S. Open: Palmer, Boros and other challengers - Pro Golf Now - June 17th, 2020
- Health benefits of giloy juice and easy kadha recipes - Times of India - June 17th, 2020
- Where do you want Liverpool to win Premier League title and what do you predict will happen? - Liverpool Echo - June 17th, 2020
- Stephen King Has a Friday the 13th Book He Wants to Write About Jason Voorhees - MovieWeb - June 17th, 2020
- Star Wars Just Wiped Darth Plagueis Backstory From Continuity - We Got This Covered - June 17th, 2020
- Bravery in service of the US | Keizertimes | You think you know. To be sure, read Keizertimes. - Keizertimes - June 17th, 2020
- The Afterlife of George Floyd: A Portfolio by Photographer Eli Reed - The Cut - June 17th, 2020
- American Horror Story: Every Character Who Became The Supreme - Screen Rant - June 17th, 2020
- Why is the 2000s the PBA's forgotten decade? - ESPN - June 17th, 2020
- Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Season 2 What Is The Status Of Renewal? And Is It Cancelled? - Pop Culture Times - June 17th, 2020
- Bihar will get nothing from personal attack on me, focus on real issues: Tejashwi tells BJP, Nitish - Outlook India - June 13th, 2020
- Judd Apatow Tells How the Wallflowers One Headlight Came to Illuminate King of Staten Island: Its Personal - Variety - June 13th, 2020
- NOS4A2 Viewing Guide: What You Need to Know Going into Season 2 - Anglophenia - June 13th, 2020
- How racism revealed the fragility of an entire sport - Majorca Daily Bulletin - June 13th, 2020
- Book World: Those who built the bomb, those who used it and those who survived it - Alton Telegraph - June 13th, 2020
- Bahrain king pardons 16 jailed OFWs; 11 deported to PH - UNTV News - UNTV News - June 13th, 2020
- Netflix Said No to Streaming Tommy Wiseau's The Room - MovieWeb - June 13th, 2020
- Dinosaur toys and golf clubs: the strange things astronauts take to the moon - The Guardian - June 13th, 2020
- Copa America: Will 12-month delay enhance Messi and Argentina's chances of glory? - Yahoo! Voices - June 13th, 2020
- 10 Inspirational Quotes by Swami Vivekananda For a Life of Freedom And Tranquility - India.com - June 13th, 2020
- Does Thanos Have Superpowers (WITHOUT Infinity Stones)? - Screen Rant - June 13th, 2020
- Kansas City Chiefs Who Could Be Future Hall of Famers (Part 2) - Chiefs Digest - June 13th, 2020
- The Eternals When Can We Expect It In Theatres? What Leaks Are Coming And What Are New Updates? - Pop Culture Times - June 13th, 2020
- What Does It Mean to Tear Down a Statue? - The New York Times - June 13th, 2020
- Less than zero: how Pointlesss tweaked finale made fools of us all - The Guardian - May 25th, 2020
- Erling Braut Haaland is Robert Lewandowski's heir apparent we have been waiting for - The National - May 25th, 2020