Football, like all sports, has a lot of arguments that pop up among its fans.
Sometimes, it’s about which team was the greatest ever. At other times, it’s specific to certain leagues. One of such is the argument about whether or not Pep Guardiola’s Centurions are the best ever to win the Premier League.
The most popular of them all has to be the argument about which football player is the best ever. This one usually appears whenever the age long “Ronaldo – Messi” debate appears. I
Speaking of the “Ronaldo or Messi” debate, some of the older players have, over the past years, made their stance clear over the issue. But as clear as they have been on the issue at times, they’ve been known to regularly change their stances. One of them is Brazilian football legend, Pele.
Earlier this year, Pele was recorded as saying he would “pick Messi” for his team ahead of Ronaldo.
It’s hard to look past Lionel Messi’s super-human skills when ranking the greats of the round leather game. It’s popular opinion that had he won that World Cup with Argentina in 2014, he would have become unarguably the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T).
His exploits for Barcelona is unparalled. These days, every record the diminutive Argentine breaks is probably one he set. This Lionel Messi is not the one of 10 years ago. This Lionel Messi has become more of a team player than he was a few years back.
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With the absence of players like Xavi and Iniesta (Dani Alves too), he has had to transform into a team leader who carries Barcelona on his back. And he has done that so well.
But one person did not see it this way.
And that one man is the person who thinks his GOAT status is somewhat threatened by the brilliance of Lionel Messi.
Pele, in a recent interview, came out to say Messi has only one skill. According to him,
“How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn’t head the ball well?
“How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers. “As far as I’m concerned, Maradona was one of the best players ever. If you ask me, ‘Was he better than Messi?’ Yes, he was. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff were also excellent players.”
With all that Lionel has done in football, it’s easy to quickly adjudge Pele’s comments as short-sighted.
But despite all his exploits at club level, Lionel Messi has suffered repeated heart-breaks at national level. Apparently, there are two tales to Messi’s adjudged G.O.A.T status. And maybe Pele was judging the Argentine from his achievements for his country.
What do you think? Do you think Lionel Messi is the greatest ever player despite not winning major titles with his country? Leave us your comments and join the conversation.