The best player of a generation playing in the arguably the best club side of all time but can the latest World superstar number 10 be cast along side former kings of the game Pele, Maradona or Zidane until he has guided his country to the greatest prize of all? The World Cup.
Messi brings unparalleled qualities to the park each time he enters and breeds a sense of excitement among any crowd as soon as he touches the ball, they know something spectacular could be imminent. Since debuting at the tender age of 16 the Argentine has never looked back, improving his consistency of performance and goal scoring record season after season, this week beating a Barcelona club record by amassing 48 goals this year. At 23 Leo has won all the club game has to offer including he Champions League twice. He has also collected the world player of the year the past two years by lighting up our game with an individual style that cannot be matched. So why ask the question if he can be ranked along side the best…
Many have the opinion that the 3 players mentioned earlier are the greatest to grace the game of Football. When thinking of these players the memories we have are of them inspiring – sometimes carrying – their countries to multiple World Cup finals, thee biggest stage of all and winning. Pele ’70, Maradona ’86 and Zidane ’98 are all defining moments in the sport that will be remembered forever. Messi thus far having played in the last two world cups has failed to get passed the quarter finals and his performances have come under criticism. There have been other majestic players only mentioned as second tier greats such as George Best and Johan Cruyff maybe because they didn’t reach the same heights in this tournament.
Another question that could be raised of Messi is that although he stands out, he is playing in a Barcelona team that are possibly the best ever. Xavi, Iniesta and co make it easy for him to play his game and chances will be created for him each time he pulls on that famous shirt. The Barcelona team is the core of the Spain World Cup winning team and play a pressing and passing game that has never been witnessed before, so has Messi been lucky to land among a golden generation?
The opinion which I hold is that Messi in today’s game is comparable to no other. Unlike his current rival Cristiano Ronaldo, he is humble, unselfish and above all would do anything for the team in sacrifice of individual glory. The ball sticks to his left foot while running and changing direction at speed giving defenders little chance and there is surely no better finisher in the game than this young man. He is the talisman of a Barcelona team that brushes aside all in its path and is the focal point of the teams attacking flare. At 23 his International career has long to go and like the great Maradona who had an indifferent world cup at Spain 82, Messi could move on from a tough time internationally to add to his Olympic gold medal of 2008 with a World cup winners medal in Brazil in 2014. If he does he may stand alone as the best player ever looking down on the rest.
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