A 1978 World Cup winner answered the age-old question: Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi?
Argentina are one win away from the ultimate prize, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and it has been a long and difficult journey for Lionel Scaloni’s side, who bounced back from their first-leg defeat to Saudi Arabia. Now on Sunday, Argentina will face France, where one of the nations will become a three-time world champion.
For many Argentinians, a Lionel Messi World Cup victory would mark the end of the debate between Diego Maradona and the Rosario native. While it can no longer be debated that Messi had the better club career and longevity, Maradona in Messi’s current age was a shell of his former self, Maradona was for many the most gifted footballer of all time.
For one former Maradona teammate and Premier League ambassador, Osvaldo Ardiles, Maradona will always be on par with Lionel Messi no matter what.
Osvaldo Ardiles on Messi and Maradona
Ardiles spoke with talkSPORT and discussed the differences between the two great Argentine soccer players, “I wouldn’t say ahead of Diego, I will say maybe on level terms… 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. He will always be a touch, touch, touch better than Messi.”
Diego Maradona scored the most infamous goal in World Cup history, while in the same match scored the greatest goal in the tournament’s history against England in the quarterfinal clash at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico.