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Former Real Madrid star gives his verdict on Messi-Maradona debate

1.90K   //    14 Feb 2019, 10:24 IST

Maradona and Messi
Maradona and Messi

What's the story?

Former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker Javier Saviola has weighed in on the debate surrounding Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi: who is the better player?

In case you didn't know...

It is only natural that the two Argentine legends are often compared, given the heights they reached in the game. While the Barcelona star has achieved surpassed previously-unprecedented milestones, Maradona will always be known as the legend who gave Argentina a trophy.

The relationship between the two players themselves has been polarising. Last year, the World Cup winner slammed Messi's leadership qualities, claiming that the five time-Ballon d'Or winner "goes to the toilet 20 times a game".

Speaking to Fox Sports Mexico (via Fox Sports Asia), Maradona said, "Messi is a great player, but he’s not a leader. Before speaking to the coach and players he will be on the PlayStation. Then, on the field, he wants to be the leader.

"It’s useless to make a leader of a guy who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game."

The heart of the matter

Former Los Blancos striker Saviola, who also played for Barcelona between 2001 and 2007, has given his verdict on the matter, stating that the honour of having the two players is more important than comparing them.

Speaking to Goal, he said, "This question is very difficult to answer because we are talking about two very different time periods. Maradona was for us an emblematic player, who gave us a World Cup. They are very different players, from very different times.

"As an Argentinean, I can only feel proud to have the two best players in the world in a period of 30 years. More important than comparing them is enjoying the honour of having them both."

What's next?

Messi has been in phenomenal form lately and he is expected to continue his goal-scoring exploits when his side faces Valladolid in LaLiga on Sunday night.