Mario Kempes: Diego Maradona had no rivals; Messi has Ronaldo and he's still the best

The Diego Maradona vs Lionel Messi debate rages on...

Diego Maradona vs Lionel Messi is a debate that is showing no signs of slowing down.

The two Argentines are recognised by pretty much every football fan as two of the greatest to have ever graced the beautiful game.

Maradona lit up the 1980's and early 1990's, winning the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and guiding Napoli to two Serie A titles - the only two they have ever won.

As for Messi, there isn't much he hasn't done with Barcelona, but his lack of trophies at international level still has some doubting his claim to being the greatest player in the world - or ever.

He has been to three major finals with Argentina, but has lost them all.

However, one former Argentine star, who helped win the country their first World Cup in 1978, is not letting football's biggest prize prove decisive when judging Messi's greatness.

Mario Kempes points to the fact that during Maradona's era, he had no competition when it came to being the best, unlike Messi.

"What's the problem that people have here in Spain with Maradona and Messi? They spend the whole day comparing them", Kempes said when discussing the two Argentine legends, per AS.

"Personally, I put both of them of a pedestal during their respective eras.

Messi in training with Argentina

"One difference is that while Maradona had no one to rival him during his time, Messi did - first there was Ronaldinho and then there was Cristiano and in spite of all of that, he continues to be the best, because as it stands today, Messi is the best player in the world."

To thrive under competition is the sign of a true champion.

While Maradona was allowed to set the standard and watch mere mortals try and match him, Messi has Ronaldo constantly matching and, in some cases, out doing him.

And is longevity at the highest level is truly something to be marvelled at.

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