It may be controversial and his legions of fans will no doubt disagree, but Lionel Messi can never claim to be the greatest player in history unless he leaves Barcelona.

Of course the little Argentinian is a goalscoring phenomenon in La Liga and has broken all sorts of records.

But what he hasn't done, that his compatriot, Diego Maradona did, is win a World Cup and move to another league and inspire a team who weren't already the best, as Maradona did with Napoli.

In fact when Maradona won the World Cup in 1986, such were his displays at the very highest level, that it can be argued he won the trophy single-handed.

Those two facts alone will always put Messi behind Maradona in my eyes and unless he moves out of his comfort zone and away from the Catalan giants he will never be able to claim to be on a par with his predecessor.

Many will argue that his goals alone in La Liga mean he is the best, but what has happened when he has played for Argentina, without the likes of Xavi and Iniesta dominating games and giving his team 60 to 70 percent or more possession. Well, Messi has not been the same player for his counrty. 

There have been a lot of jokes going around that Messi can't perform without Xavi and Iniesta and so far in his career he has done nothing to disprove this theory.

Playing for Barcelona at a time when they have half the Spanish World Cup winning team,  you could argue even Fernando Torres could even hit 50 goals.

So, will Messi ever have the courage to move out of his comfort zone and try to disprove this. Having recently signed a new contract it doesn't look like it.  Perhaps he's happy to have an easy life with all the adulation that playing for Barca brings, but it would be nice to see him test himself elsewhere.

Until he does, or wins a World Cup single handed, Maradona, despite all his faults will still be above him.


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