Lionel Messi Is 3rd-Best Athlete in Argentina According to Argentine Journalists

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 19, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the la Liga match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium on December 16, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Lionel Messi, despite what you know to be true or can feel in your gut, is merely the third-best athlete in his home country of Argentina. 

Yes, the man who is arguably the most gifted athlete in the world and arguably the best in his sport, ranks third in Argentina. 

The Associated Press (h/t Yahoo! Sports) reports Argentine journalists have made their choice for recipient of the title, "Olimpia de Oro."

It's none other than boxer Sergio Martinez. Coming in second was another guy who isn't Messi, taekwondo fighter Sebastian Crismanich. 

To be fair, and as Brooks Peck of Yahoo! Sports points out, Messi won the award as recently as 2011. So it may seem like the journalists were merely trying to tout the other athletic riches their country holds. 

Crismanich (26) did win the country's only gold medal during the London Olympics, and Martinez, at 37-years old, took down Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier this year to win the WBC middleweight title. 

So you can make a case both are worthy of the highest honors, but ahead of Messi?

Peck once again reminds us that the maestro footballer hasn't always showed up on the national stage, but he has flourished as of late for Albiceleste. 

What's more, the man just had an amazing year for the sport, scoring 90 goals in a calendar year, two recently against Atletico Madrid. 

Atletico coach Diego Simeone seemed to think highly of Messi, via the Washington Post:

Messi is the best player in the world. We brought out our best weapons, but Barcelona is playing at a different level. You can’t do anything against their determination. This league is boring.

Best player in the world? Sure. Best athlete in his country? Not according to his countrymen. 

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