Lionel Messi: Argentina legend says Barcelona star will never be as good as Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi & Diego Maradona are two of the greatest footballers in history

Lionel Messi‘s long wait for a major international trophy finally came to an end last weekend.

The little maestro’s Argentina side defeated Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 Copa America final to win the competition for the first time since 1993.

Prior to La Albiceleste’s victory at the Maracana Stadium, the nation had lost their last four major finals, including in the 2014 World Cup against Germany.

But Messi can now finally boast that he’s lifted silverware on the international stage and that fact certainly improves his claim to being the greatest footballer of all time.

However, one Argentine legend is still not convinced that his fellow countryman can be labelled the ‘GOAT’.

Messi with the Copa America trophy

Mario Kempes – who played a pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph in 1978 – is adamant that Messi cannot be compared to the late Diego Maradona.

The 66-year-old has claimed that even if Messi were to win four World Cups, his legacy would still be inferior to that of Maradona’s.

“For Messi, the misfortune is that he was the replacement for Diego Maradona,” Kempes told ESPN Mexico, per Marca.

“And it is very difficult to overshadow Diego, with the idolatry that he has received around the world.

Maradona in action

“If [Messi] wants to be better than Maradona, he is not going to achieve it even if he wins four World Cups in a row.

“He still hasn’t won the World Cup. No matter how many [titles he] wins or what he wins, it can never be compared to what Diego did.”

Now that’s a bold statement if ever we’ve seen one…

Maradona is without question one of the greatest footballers in history. He famously won Argentina the 1986 World Cup virtually single-handedly and was the catalyst for Napoli’s only two Serie A triumphs in 1986/87 and 1989/90.

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However, what Messi has achieved in the sport of football as a whole is arguably far greater – especially after his stunning performances at the 2021 Copa America.

The little magician is Argentina’s record scorer with 76 goals, has found the back of the net a ridiculous 672 times in a Barcelona shirt and won 38 major titles with club and country.

There’s no doubting that both Messi and Maradona are two legends of the sport, but due to the fact he’s combined outrageous consistency with his superhuman-like talent, Messi edges it for us.

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