Argentinian as I am, I feel entitled to write about two glories of our national soccer: a current one, as Lio Messi (Lionel and Leonel here is almost the same name) and another, eternal and indisputable to my taste, as Diego Armando Maradona.
Today, many football fans think that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world and many dare to compare him with the great Maradona. We have even have seen in almost all TV channels in the world one play from Messi compared to one of Diego’s best moves.
Recently, Lionel Messi has declared that he does not feel it as a burden to occupy the same place once Diego Maradona occupied on the national soccer team or even being compared to him.
Many dare say that Lio Messi has already surpassed Diego because at the age of 22, Lio has earned more than Diego at that same age.
Many criticize Maradona,too...when it is not his personal life it is his ability as coach that is at a stake. There are many criticisms that can be said about Maradona; that's undeniable.
But the fact that Messi is and will be better than Diego...well that really IS debatable.
Like many other Argentinians, I feel that Lionel Messi plays better when he wears the colors of Barça on his jersey than when he plays for the national team. The love for the "blue and white” shirt that Diego felt when he played and that he now transmits to the young players he leads, will never be equal to the love the "Golden Boy" of Barca or any other Argentinian player could feel.
Many argue that Messi can not show off his game in the national team since he has no mates that could accompany him as well as his Catalan fellows do. Can anyone doubt that Diego Maradona was able to perform and show off his best game as a player individually?
Maradona did not only score goals but he also organised the game. Diego participated in all the great goals that the national team achieved while he participated in it.
Can the same be said about Lio? I don’t think so.
Messi's exploits are undeniable, but the boy from Santa Fe is still too young to know what his future in football will be and whether he will deserve being compared to the great footballer who scored a goal against the English, in Mexico, back in 1986.