When Lionel Messi steps out at the Olympstadion on Saturday evening, once again his possible status of the ‘greatest footballer ever’ will be cast into light. His amazing individual goal in the Copa Del Rey final last weekend adds yet more pressure to the Argentine.
More people will be watching the Champions League final on Saturday aiming to see Messi emulate that genius goal he scored so wonderfully against Athletic Bilbao.
Yet, regardless of whether he trumps the goal or whether he scores a match winning hat-trick, the debate as to whether Messi is the greatest footballer ever will rumble on and unfortunately for him, will likely end with the same result – until he guides Argentina to World Cup victory he will not be considered the greatest ever.
In my opinion the merits of this argument are ridiculous and invalid. Instead of judging a career littered with goals; and not just tap ins either; assists and trophies, let's judge a player on whether his national team somehow manage to win a tournament played once every four years, and lasts seven games at the maximum.
There is no argument that the World Cup is a prestigious event bringing together people from all corners of the earth to bask in football’s glory, yet to suggest an individual cannot be the greatest player ever because he hasn’t single handily guided his nation is unfair, especially considering Messi was denied this opportunity by a very late German goal in 2014.
The only outcome winning a World Cup for Messi would bring is that it would then become impossible for anybody to deny his genius and his title as the greatest ever. He doesn’t need it to be that though, it can just finally stop the argument against.
Therefore on Saturday 6th June when Messi and his Barcelona colleagues step out in Germany to regain the Champions League against a spirited Juventus side, we should all enjoy the wizardry Messi will bring, because there hasn’t been and may never be a player as good as Lionel Messi.
Is Messi the best ever? Have your say below!