Lionel Messi news: Venezuela coach praises Argentina captain as 'the best player in history' ahead of Copa America clash
What's the story?
Ahead of Argentina's quarter-final fixture against Venezuela on Friday at the Copa America, Lionel Messi bagged yet another vote as the greatest player of all time as he was labelled as the best player in the history of football by Vino Tinto coach Rafael Dudamel.
In case you didn't know...
The quarterfinal fixture between the two teams will take place at the iconic Maracanã stadium, where a little more than five years ago Messi faced probably the biggest defeat of his career at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
Venezuela beat Argentina 3-1 the last time the teams met, in a match that marked the captain's return to the national team for the first time since the World Cup in Russia.
The heart of the matter...
Time and again Messi, 32 has put in performances that have seen his claim for the tag of the 'greatest of all time' go from strength to strength. For his critics, his failure at international level will always remain the biggest lacuna in his otherwise highly successful career.
And as Argentina grow more dependent on Messi with each passing day, it's the one thing that will always be brought up in the conversations when comparing him other legends of the game like Pele, Maradona, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nonetheless, the left-footed maestro remains the go-to choice as the greatest of all time for majority of the managers ahead of Ronaldo and now Venezuela coach has also jumped on that bandwagon, claiming that titles or rather the lack of them with the national side do not change the fact that he's an unbelievable player. He said at a press conference: (Via AP)
“For me, he is the best in history, winning or not winning titles with Argentina, that will not take him out of first place on the podium.”
He said that though he admires the diminutive forward for a great player that he is, when his side go against Argentina later this week, they will reserve all of their admiration for when he gets back with his club and treat him like any other opponent on the pitch. He continued:
“Everyone admires him. It is so much excessive admiration that some are paralyzed, both teammates and coaches."
“As our rivals, we understand this is the time to compete and admire him only when he plays for his club.”
Argentina v Venezuela kicks off at 29 June 00:30 am IST.