Leo Messi – The Greatest Ever?

It is a debate that will rage on and on for many a month to come and has arguably raged on since the dawn of football, Pele or Maradona? Gazza or Best? Banks or Zoff?

How many of you actually chose on the above as you were reading? I did.

This debate has resurfaced this week after FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta declared on the clubs official web site; “He’s the best player in the world right now and the best ever, together with Cruyff and Maradona, he’s the best we’ve seen at the club.

Who was he talking about? Oh yes, the one, the only, the dynamic Lionel Messi. I must admit I completely agree he is the best player in the world at the moment and has been since Cristiano Ronaldo collected the World Player of the Year award back in 2008.

These quotes were backed up; “He’s a player who can change everything in a game, but he also works for the rest of the team. He’s a real leader.”

“He’s been more than decisive, and you can tell he’s feeling fit the way he gets involved in everything. I’ve run out of adjectives — you’ll have to put your own,” Pep Guardiola his club coach said.

“That he’s capable of doing everything that he does at his age is something impressive. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Yes these are biased quotations from within the club whose shirt he so proudly adorns. But seriously it is hard to go against him at this present moment in time.

The statistics back up these claims, 11 goals in his previous 6 games, including two mesmerizing hat-tricks, 34 goals this season and counting, plus over 100 goals in 200 appearances for Los Cules ( Barcelona supporters nickname).

Need I say anymore?

Ok, then I will, he helped Barcelona to a unprecidented treble in 2009, the first Spanish club to ever do so in the history of Spanish football, a year in which they won all six tournaments they entered.

Yes his international form for Argentina hasn’t always matched the standard of his club form, but who’s would have during arguably the most turbulent period in the nation’s history and that takes some matching.

Other greats of recent years have struggled on the international stage, notably Cristiano Ronaldo amid all the expectations of the Portuguese national team.

Messi is a cut above Ronaldo and the only player in the world to come close to his level has to be Wayne Rooney. Many players across the game today have the obvious ability yet none except Rooney match Messi in terms of humility, commitment, loyalty, work rate and leadership.

He is a joy to watch and for those among you who do watch him in La Liga, know only too well that his consistent performances this season are the primary reason for Barcelona’s title challenge.

Do not judge him on his Champions League or national team outings alone as you only see part of the player in his pomp.

To list his abilities is almost pointless and as Guardiola says, you can add them yourself but do him the pleasure of watching his performances of several occasions and don’t just judge due to him not playing in England.

To call him the greatest ever is slightly premature in my opinion, he is the finest of his generation and should he continue in his current vain of form he will undoubtedly be the greatest ever.

Thanks for so many great memories Leo, non more so than the headed goal which won the Champions League last season, as well as the countless mazy runs which have left defenders in his wake and resulted in the net bulging and my jaw dropping on many an occasion.

Step overs, tantrums and supposed good looks are not part of the Messi’s repertoire, he lets his football do the talking.

Never change Leo, the game needs more Messi’s and Rooney’s and less Ronaldo’s and Drogba’s!

Agree? Disagree? Vote now in my poll to voice your opinion on the world’s best player or leave a comment below.

Cheers, Gaffers

8 Responses to “Leo Messi – The Greatest Ever?”

  1. horsfallg Says:

    Nice piece Derek, I dont know what it is about Messi though, opinion in this country seems to always be against him, possibly because he is a great player playing in a great team. Maradona was a great player playing in a fairly average Napoli team yet still led them to 2 Serie A titles in the 80’s as well as captaining Argentina at Mexico 86′. Would a Barca team without Messi still win a European Cup? Probably, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great talent. You’re right though, time will tell if he goes down as one of the greatest.

    • gafferssportsblog Says:

      Thanks Gavin,

      Time will tell and he is undoubtly the best of his generation but great players do inspire good teams to be great and much of the praise for Messi has to go to his coach, Pep Guardiola and his obvious maturing nature. He may need to win the World Cup to be classed as the greatest ever, but can he do it with Maradona at the helm? Your guess is as good as mine!!

      Cheers, Gaffers

  2. Krishnan Srinivasan Says:

    The guy has a uncanny resemblance to Maradona. But he needs to win a world cup for Argentina before he can be considered the best.

  3. Si Hood Says:

    Is it possible that Maradona would deliberately mismanage Messi so as not to dilute his own legacy or is that too conspiracy theorist?

  4. Lee Says:

    Messi is the best player ever born. He is god. He is beter than pele. He is beter than maradona too.

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