Maradona will always be the true GOAT, even if Messi wins World Cup, says Ardiles
Lionel Messi will never be better than Diego Maradona, even if he finally lifts the World Cup in Qatar.
That’s according to Argentina legend Ossie Ardiles, who insists Maradona will always be the one-true GOAT.
gettyArgentine supporters celebrate Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi – but who should go down as the Greatest Of All Time?
Messi has the chance to enjoy a golden end to what is likely to be his last World Cup, as Argentina take on France in the final on Sunday – with LIVE commentary on talkSPORT.
Aside from the action in Qatar, one of the main talking points ahead of the final is Messi and his greatest of all time status.
Fans have argued over Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo for years, and many believe winning the World Cup would see Messi settle the GOAT debate once and for all.
But, according to 1978 World Cup winner Ardiles, there is another Argentine who already holds that crown, and Messi will never reach his level.
Ossie played alongside the late, great Maradona when football was a different game, where the pitches were not the meticulously kept green carpets of today, where balls were heavy and cumbersome and where attackers would get ten bells kicked out of them in every game.
And while he says Messi wins the battle with Ronaldo as the best of his generation, hands down, Ardiles still says Maradona is out in front on his own.
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“I wouldn’t say ahead of Diego, I will say maybe on level terms,” said the Tottenham icon and former Argentina international.
“Messi is an absolutely wonderful, wonderful player.
“I have no doubt, by far, that he’s the best player of his generation, and of course he’s one of the very best in the history of football.
“But I would say that he can only go level with Maradona, and I personally would go for Maradona.
“Because when we played football I think it was much more difficult for a skillful player to play, so this is why I will say Maradona.
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“He will always be a touch, touch, touch better than Messi.”
Asked for his prediction ahead of the final, there are no prizes for guessing who Ardiles is backing – although he admits Argentina will be wary of the threat of Kylian Mbappe.
“The only one worry is Mbappe,” he added.
“It doesn’t matter how you mark him, he will always find space and find the ball and it’s the final, so he will be very dangerous.
“I’m expecting him to have a major part in the final but, on the other hand, I expect Lionel Messi to play an even bigger part in the final – so we will win!”
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Originally Posted By Talk Sport