Football

Maradona: Messi the best even without World Cup

Sell the best player in history? Don't be ridiculous. (©GettyImages)
Sell the best player in history? Don't be ridiculous. (©GettyImages).

Lionel Messi doesn't need a World Cup to be the world's best, according to Diego Maradona.

As reported by Eurosport, Messi's fellow Argentine Maradona claimed that a lack of a World Cup winner's medal wouldn't take away from Messi's stunning achievements.

"Messi doesn't need to win the World Cup to be the best player in the world," he told La Nacion. "(If he did) it would be great for Argentina, the fans and Lio, but a World Cup or not won't take away any of his achievements up to now to be among the greatest."

Maradona won the World Cup in 1986 with a series of extraordinary performances, and coached his national team in the 2010 competition in South Africa.

Messi failed to score in the competition and they were knocked out by Germany in the quarter finals, but Maradona insists Argentina will get revenge.

Maradona continued by saying: "Messi had an exceptional World Cup with me... and no-one said so. (Was it) because he didn't score? He turned all the goalkeepers into stars.

"I approached him and told him he'd have many World Cups to get revenge. I said it with all my heart. While the rest were thinking about our return (home) he was there, head bowed, crying."

Many comparisons have been drawn between Maradona and Messi over recent years, and the former claims this World Cup will be Messi's turn to shine.

He finished by saying: "For Lio it will be a test of character, to bring out all that crying he has in his heart. Brazil can be his great revenge."

Messi has scored 230 goals in La Liga, and the prospect of him and Cristiano Ronaldo at Brazil in June is a sight all football fans will want to see.

Argentina will face Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in Group F when the World Cup finals start in the summer.

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