Lionel Messi News: “Messi doesn’t have to win a World Cup to be as good as Maradona,” says Argentina legend Mario Kempes

France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

What’s the story?

Argentina legend and 1978 World Cup winner Mario Kempes has given his views on the long-standing debate as to whether Lionel Messi can be as good as Diego Maradona.

According to the former Valencia striker, Messi doesn’t have to win a World Cup to prove himself as good as Maradona, who single-handedly guided Argentine to World Cup glory in 1986.

In case you didn’t know…

Despite being the highest-ever goalscorer for Argentina, Messi’s legacy has been questioned time and time again as he has failed to inspire his nation to World Cup glory. Although the Barcelona superstar helped Argentina to reach the final of the 2014 World Cup, Germany defeated them to lift the cup.

Messi has been subject to criticism in his own country as several Argentines still doubt his leadership quality, along with his desire to win something with the national side. In addition to not winning a World Cup, Messi has also failed to guide Argentina to a Copa America title, despite reaching the final thrice.

Also see : Copa America Standings, Barcelona Transfer News.

The heart of the matter

In a recent interview with Radio MARCA, Kempes reflected on the Messi-Maradona comparison.

"Maradona was world champion in 1986 and Messi still hasn't done that. That's the reality.
"But Messi has won it all, what he's done has been fantastic, although there will always be this comparison that Messi will not be as good as Maradona because he's not won the World Cup. It's all stupid. Messi doesn't have to win the World Cup to be as good as Diego.
"Argentinians are petty and selfish. I don't understand this enthusiasm they have for Maradona now when we have the best in the world [in front of us right now]. That's what Argentinians are like, they prefer to look backwards because Messi still hasn't won the World Cup and forget that this guy has won it all. For some, Messi isn't useful."

What’s next?

Messi will look to help Argentina win the Copa America 2019 in Brazil.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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