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Messi still the greatest footballer in history

Friday, June 22, 2018

Dear Editor,

No matter what happens after Russia 2018 World Cup Lionel Messi is and still will be the greatest footballer in history.

It is foolhardy for one to think that having a World Cup title is what makes you the greatest. I will agree that having a World Cup title for a country is the ultimate prize. But I can't agree that an individual player in a team sport needs a trophy to prove his/her greatness.

It is unfair to use the World Cup to rank who is the greatest. One should note a country only can use the talents available to it.

What's more, one should also note that scoring a lot of goals alone doesn't determine greatness, especially in football.

I consider Brian Lara as one of the greatest batsmen ever and he has never won an ICC World Cup. So does that make him not great?

Lionel Messi has proven himself as one of the most skilful, goalscoring machines, and he is not a selfish player. In the last World Cup he created many chances for his teammates to win a match and they couldn't. The 2014 World Cup clearly saw he was the best player, but yet still no world title.

Messi has played in three World Cups before this one. In the first one he was taken off, as a youngster, in the quarter-finals; his team lost on penalties. The next one his side was again knocked out of the quarter-final. And in the last World Cup he took his side to the final and was beaten by Germany.

Now, look at his fellow countryman, and arguable the greatest footballer, Diego Maradona. In 1978 Maradona was not selected in the squad because he was too young, according to the coach; they ended up winning that World Cup. Maradona played his first World Cup in 1982 and his country was knocked out in the second round by Brazil. In 1986 he won the World Cup. In 1990 his team finished runners-up. And in 1994 his team was knocked out in the second round by Romania. Clearly, Argentina, in those times were at the top before and during the early part of Maradona's career.

Messi has surpassed many of Maradona's achievements for club and country, except a World Cup title.

Look at this scenario, German Miroslav Klose to date is the top World Cup scorer, with 16 goals. Would you argue he's the best striker ever?


Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann