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Does Messi need to win the World Cup to be the GOAT?

Kiran Kanoj
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
1.83K   //    Timeless

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Ronaldo and Messi at the Ballon d'Or Ceremony

Yes, this is about the never-ending debate that we as football fans always come across. Is Lionel Messi the greatest football player of all time?

There will be a split between Messi and Ronaldo because they play for biggest clubs in the world in the name of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. Of course, Ronaldo moved to Juventus now.

For the time being, keeping rivalry aside and focus on the question itself that many football lovers are trying to find out.

Messi is a genius at what he does in the game

Messi has been consistent over a decade scoring around 40-50 goals each season but Cristiano Ronaldo has done the same for the club and country.

Messi Vs Ronaldo Goals by Season
Messi Vs Ronaldo Goals by Season

We need to dig deeper to realize what this man brings to the game. He is not only about scoring goals but much more than that.

Vision

Messi's vision is second to none in the world. Imagine watching a game of football and from a spectators view, we think this is the perfect time to pass. Yes at that time Messi plays the ball as if he is playing on the Play Station.

Look at these stats of chances created by through ball. It is very evident Messi stands above the rest.

Chances created in la liga from 09/10 to 15/16
Chances created in La Liga from 09/10 to 15/16
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Chances Created in La Liga
Chances Created in La Liga

Ball Control

Many fans around the world do not watch games to see Messi only score a goal. They watch because what he does with the ball at his feet. He mesmerizes spectators with his ball controlling ability when he scampers past all the players.

People could talk about his abilities all day long. Having said all that he is a humble and honest guy who never dives and get on with the hard challenges. These days players go down very easily to earn a foul and that's sad to see.

Messi competes in every category

Messi not only competes in the goals category but he is right up there in assists, chances created, successful dribbles. If there was a stat called "weight of the pass %" then Messi would have been top of that. The weight of the ball is very important in the tight situation to create game-changing impact.

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Messi Stats 2017-18

World Cup Glory and 2014 WC Miss?

First of all, to win the World Cup players should be in the great team. One great player does not make the best team to win the World Cup. Pele won 3 World Cups as he was in the best team that played the game during that era. This statement does not undermine Pele's effort as he was one of the best to grace this beautiful game.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

We have seen players who were not one of the best, but they have World Cup under their belt. So it is somewhat illogical to compare players' greatness just because they don't have the World Cup. Yes, it is great if they have one.

Messi may not be the part of the greatest national team, but as a player, he is the best to grace the beautiful game.

Messi was one step away from the World Cup in 2014. If they had converted their chances, they could have won the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Messi was instrumental in that World Cup campaign.

Expectations were on his shoulders but they failed against France in this World Cup 2018. Messi is worthy of that expectation as he carried his team to the final in 2014 World Cup.

World Cup is a tournament which comes after a span of 4 years and the team which performs best in that month wins it. Players may not be in the best of forms during that period, that is life.

Great players are consistent every season and above other players by miles. Messi and Ronaldo are in that category. We do not need to hate Messi or Ronaldo just because we support one over other.

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Messi against four Chile Players

It is about preference between these two. A million fans just love watching Messi play, he gives us joy and excitement that keeps you off your seat.

Throughout all these years Messi has proved again and again that he is the best that we have ever seen. The answer to our question is - he does not need the World Cup to be the greatest of all time.

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Kiran Kanoj
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