Who is the best player in football history?
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane are the usual names thrown into the hat when it comes to this debate and it’s entirely subjective.
If your preference is raw talent and unrivalled technical ability, then Messi is your man. It’s hard to argue against the 31-year-old being the most naturally gifted player of all time.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, has worked tirelessly in the gym and on the training ground to become the players he is today. His dedication over the years has been admirable.
And then there’s Pele, Maradona and Zidane, who dazzled throughout their careers and were regarded as the best of their respective generations.
Only when Messi and Ronaldo retire will people really be able to decide who the greatest of all time really is, but for some, it’s already Messi.
It says a lot that La Liga president Javier Tebas – who is a Real Madrid fan at heart – believes the Argentine is football’s greatest ahead of Ronaldo.
Speaking in late 2018, Tebas explained that he’s planning to rename the La Liga Player of the Year award after Messi in recognition of the fact he’s the greatest.
“I believe that Messi will be the greatest player of all time, even if he isn’t already,” he said. “Messi has been playing since he was a kid and always at the absolute top, top level. He never wavers.
“It would be a good idea to create a trophy in the future for the best player of that season that has Messi’s name on it.”
Tebas made an appearance on Spanish radio station COPE earlier this week and he was once again asked about Messi.
In response, the 56-year-old sent a strong message to any football fan who doesn’t regard Messi as the best football has ever seen.
“I am a Madridista, but anyone who doesn’t say Messi is the best player in history doesn’t know football,” said Tebas.
No beating around the bush from Tebas.
Messi turns 32 in June but has shown this season that he still has plenty more years in him, so it seems inevitable that he’ll be widely recognised as the GOAT when he eventually retires.