Pick One Legend, #6
: Leo Messi or Maradona?
For me and most, the best two footballers to ever play this sport; who takes the number #1
spot? Proposed by @hamedalfannah
I wasn't born in Maradona's days, so I'll have to use articles or opinion from people who did watch him live to reach a more objective conclusion - despite it's impossible to be unbiased.
With these two it's pointless to talk about strengths, cause anything is their strength. So I'll go straight into the comparisons. We could say Messi is a bit of Maradona's reincarnation. Short, low centre of gravity, left-footed, unpredictable in 1v1s...Although a more modern version of his predecessor; more reactive, agile, quick, effective. That's not enough, tho, as general performances improve with time and being better doesn't mean being greater. For example, nowadays the 9.86s from Carl Lewis wouldn't even grant him access to the Olympics finals, yet he's still one of the greatest ever. People who have seen both play will argue that, while Leo has better qualities and stats, Diego did it 1st, and, therefore, he was greater. We need to contextualise both to their respective era. Using trophies to judge these geniuses is unfair too. Maradona played at completely different clubs. Regarding the WC, one has one and the other none. Should we draw a conclusion out of it? No. What if in 2014 Higuaín, Palacio or the #10
had scored earlier than Götze? We cannot judge them simply by an international trophy, as it usually depends on one isolated instance only.
Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Was the modern Barça successful thanks to Messi, or was Messi successful thanks to Barça? Would he have triumphed without world-class players like Xavi, Iniesta or Busquets? To my mind, yes, absolutely. Messi had the privilege to play for Barça, and Barça the privilege to have Messi. 'La Pulga' had more influence in results, while 'el Pelusa' had more influence in his his team. Maradona shaped his sides and made Napoli and Argentina great. In my view, Leo was better in all aspects, especially consistency, and he's my #1
, but I'm curious to hear what are the arguments from those who think otherwise.