It is almost impossible to read any comments on the Internet regarding Barcelona, Messi, Maradona or Argentina without the sentence: “Messi greats eva” etc being banded about and jumped on by some many football fans.
Its time for everyone in football world to take a step back and actually think about what they are saying and not get caught up in a whirlwind of media excitement and hot air that surrounds today’s modern stars.
Let us remind ourselves of the achievements of ‘Diego’ and the manor in which they were achieved.
1986 a World Cup triumph along with a fantastic individual performance.
Serie A victories with Napoli in both 1987 and 1990.
A Uefa cup win in 1989, again with Napoli.
Possibly most significant, FIFA Player of the century and Goal of the century.
However it is not just pure silverware that defines the greats, but the way their greatness is achieved.
The manor in which Maradona galvanised the whole provinces of Naples and lead them in their crusade against the northern giants can never be underestimated. Neither can his inspirational performance in the 1986 world cup where he again lead by example, mesmerising defences and conquering all that stood in his path.
Messi on the other hand plays as one player in a team of many. He is just another cog in the well oiled Barca machine. He is special and he is the focal point of the team, but he needs others and can never be the symbol that Deigo was.
Maradona lead by example and became attached to the crowds people who would flock to watch him, for many people he is literally a god. The man carried the burden of the team on his small shoulders and delivered success to the people when success seemed beyond them.
Messi is great and the best in the world today, but he has some way to go before he reaches the class of Diego, only a few are in his company, Pele, Di Stefano, Cruyff and Ronaldo and the like.
If Messi is really to be the best ever he must branch out from his Barcelona comfort zone and prove him as one player who is good enough to bare the weight of a team and its fans and deliver in a fashion similar to his Nou Camp exploits.
Two goals illustrate the point perfectly. Both players have scored goals of the highest quality and with striking similarities, Messi against Getafe and Maradona against England. However it is the stage which separates the two goals, one is a great league goal, one is a colossal goal on the world stage.
Therefore the message is clear, Messi must produce the same marvellous standard of play we are used to on the world stage and within a team which he is the clear stand out. If not and he spends all his days playing with the greatest team of all time, has he really been challenged, has he left his comfort zone and tested him self in a different, more difficult situation.
No he has not, Maradona did on more than one occasion and triumphed, that is why he is THE legend and not just the worlds best player.
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