Gary Lineker gives his opinion on the Lionel Messi vs Diego Maradona debate

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Imagine not loving Lionel Messi?

If you're ever feeling down, it's pretty sound advice to log-in to YouTube, find the highest-viewed Messi compilation, put your feet up and watch the absolute beauty unfold.

It sadly seems that the whole Messi vs Ronaldo debate has become so partisan that fans are unable to appreciate the player they prefer least to the greatest extent.

At the end of the day, Messi is one of the best players in history regardless of where you stand and we have less than 10 years left to enjoy his excellence on the pitch.

However, somebody who most certainly basks in the brilliance of Messi is Gary Lineker, who is never too far away from a tweet eulogising about the Barcelona superstar.

Lineker's love for Messi

Lineker is often accused of cozying up to Messi whenever he makes such a post and in fairness, making his Twitter cover-photo a picture of them together was never going to end well.

But whenever the Match of the Day presenter is quizzed on the topic, you've got to respect him for giving such in-depth answers and defending his point of view tooth and nail.

Not only that, but Lineker also has a fascinating perspective on another debate that his idol is pulled into - Messi vs Maradona, which is a particularly heated topic in Argentina.

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Messi vs Maradona

Lineker faced Maradona throughout his career and although he'll openly criticise him for the 'Hand of God', has unabashedly praised the Argentina's brilliance in the past.

However, during an appearance on talkSPORT this week, Lineker reiterated why Messi wins both the debates with Maradona and Messi for him, hands down.

"I never thought I'd see a better player than Diego," the 58-year-old admitted. "Maradona was unbelievable. I was so much in awe of him, as was everybody in those days. 

“Messi does everything and more that Maradona could do. His goal-scoring ratio is near enough a goal a game, whereas Diego's is about one in two, which is still very good in those days. It's a little bit easier now.

"But also, Messi is the best dribbler I've ever seen and he's as good of a passer as I've ever seen.

"Diego was great at both of those things, but when to you take into account the longevity that Messi's done it in. Around 15 years at the same level.

“I’m a massive fan of Ronaldo but watching Messi makes me feel joyous. Messi can do 4 or 5 things in a game that get you off your seat.” 

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Naturally, as ever with the Messi vs Maradona debate in particular, Lineker was rebuffed with the point that his nomination for GOAT status has never won the World Cup.

Lineker downplayed it by citing the World Cup's knockout format, only being played every four years and that in Maradona's day, it was the only time all the world's best players would come together.

Very fair points and while Lineker's opinion is unlikely to change in the immediate future, we're pretty sure the debate will rage on for decades to come.

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