Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona have both been considered the greatest player in the sport at one point or another. But who was better? Messi is the all-time top scorer in La Liga history and has been stockpiling player of the year awards. Maradona also has a trophy case full of individual awards, but has two World Cup championships under his belt. Who was the better player?
Maradona might have been the greatest before, but there’s a new sheriff in town. Messi is the most creative, prolific goal scorer in La Liga history. Here is Charlie Malam of The Daily Express:
The Argentine is regularly commended as the greatest footballer ever having managed an unbelievable 534 goals and 208 assists in 620 appearances since his Barcelona debut in October 2004, winning 29 trophies and countless individual accolades along the way.
Messi plays in a world where there are few players willing to get rough. Maradona conquered an era where play was rough and you had to fight for every inch of grass. Here is Barney Ronay of The Guardian
There is no real point of comparison here. Maradona’s world is all pain and ragged edges, a game of blood and courage that feels utterly removed from the sealed edges, endless scrutiny and managed spaces of modern football.
It is simply another sport, another life entirely. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are at least present in the same timeline, pressed against the same surfaces, subject to the same pressures, a consumer choice between competing forms of greatness. Maradona, meanwhile, stands alone, giant of a lost world that was neither better nor worse. But which remains – even peering back down that grainy, fond lens – gloriously ragged and gloriously undimmed.