Is Lionel Messi the greatest ever?

For his countless admirers, the debate about Lionel MessiThe right to be considered the greatest football player in history has officially ended. The World Cup champion’s lack of medals has long been an A in the debate over why Messi isn’t ahead. Pellet and Diego Maradona in the pantheon of football. But with Argentina’s victory over France in the World Cup final on Sunday in Doha, the case against the 35-year-old conductor is certainly closed. In an illustrious career spanning three decades, Messi has won 37 club titles, seven Ballon d’Or awards and six European Golden Boots.

There’s been a Copa America title, an Olympic gold medal and a scoring list and statistical records that can never be beaten.

The only gap left on Messi’s résumé – a World Cup win – was comprehensively filled on Sunday night during a mesmerizing 120 minutes at Lusail Stadium.

In his final World Cup appearance – a worthwhile 26th – Messi scored twice to help Argentina draw 3-3 in extra time before winning on penalties.

not even Kylian MbappeA magical hat-trick for Les Bleus could upset Messi’s appointment with fate on a seemingly pre-arranged night.

Former England and Barcelona striker Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Watching Lionel Messi for almost two decades has been an absolute privilege. Moment after moment of mesmerizing football, breathless joy. He’s a gift from the football gods.”

“Lionel Messi. The best ever,” was the immediate comment of England midfielder Declan Rice after Sunday’s win. “We will never see a player like Messi again.”

Of course, whether Messi is really the ‘greatest ever’ is a question, it’s also futile as the answer is subjective, a living room game that leaves the viewer wondering. alluring.

– Great ratings –

What is undeniable, though, is that with the sheer volume and quantity of silverware, Messi has won more than other heavyweights in terms of his “GOAT” status: Pele and Maradona.

While Pele’s three World Cups are still championships, the Brazilian icon’s club career pales in comparison to Messi’s.

During his prime years with Barcelona, ​​the Argentinian regularly conquered the pinnacle of European club football, winning four Champions League titles – an arena that was widely regarded as the dominant player in football. technical aspects compared to international football.

Meanwhile, Maradona has won only one World Cup and has never lifted a European Cup during his entire European club career spent mainly with Barcelona and Napoli.

The counter-argument, of course, is that Pele and Maradona played in an era where players were much less protected than the likes of Messi and his great rival. cristiano ronaldo.

Pele limped away from the 1966 World Cup final after making too many rough tackles; Maradona also suffered rough treatment throughout his career.

Maradona’s former teammate, Jorge Burruchaga, did not want to compare players across generations.

Burruchaga, who scored the winning goal – scored by Maradona – in the 1986 World Cup final against West Germany, said simply that Messi was the greatest player of his time.

“Win or lose, Messi is no more or less than Maradona,” Burruchaga told AFP ahead of Sunday’s final. “Messi will go down in history no matter what.”

“There are five players in the last 70 years who can be considered the best in the world – Di Stefano, Johan CruyffPele, Maradona and Messi.

“Messi is on that list, whether he wins the World Cup or not. But I hope he does.”

On Sunday, the hopes of Burruchaga and millions of fellow Argentines came true.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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