Lionel Messi continues to be showered with praise after leading Argentina to win the Copa America trophy this year.
Former Albiceleste player and coach Cesar Luis Menotti has claimed that Diego Maradona would have been very proud to see Messi and his colleagues make history at the tournament.
He was quoted as saying:
"Diego if he were still here, would have been very happy with this title. He would have been out there hugging Messi, and there would have been tears.
"Messi is at the top of his game. He's happy and not just about the win, but also because he's surrounded by people who love him. Messi did amazing things for this team. Messi is a player who, unlike others, is prepared to win a match, to make his teammates play well and make his team play well.
"It's also complicated being Messi, you know. He's at his best in every sense - emotionally and physically. He's a boy who's always prepared."
Lionel Messi finally put an end to his disappointments at international level when he finally led his nation to claim a major trophy for the first time in his career.
The attacker was in a league of his own during the competition, finishing with the highest number of goals (4), the highest number of assists (5) as well as going home with the iconic Golden Ball for his incredible performances.
It was the perfect response to his critics who have, over the years, pointed at his failure to win a major trophy with his country as an excuse to play down his achievements.
Lionel Messi closing in on his 7th Ballon d'Or triumph
Following his amazing exploits both at club and international level during the year, Lionel Messi has become the favorite to go home with the coveted Ballon d'Or award for the seventh time in his career.
Messi was influential as Barcelona claimed the Copa del Rey last season. The attacker finished the 2020-21 campaign with 38 goals and 14 assists for the Catalan giants in 47 appearances across all competitions.
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With a few months left before the awards ceremony, the 33-year-old still has the chance to further solidify his status as the red-hot favorite to win the accolade. With Messi in his current form, there's simply no stopping him.