Diego Maradona: 'Lionel Messi doesn't need World Cup win to seal legacy'

Diego Maradona denies suggestions that Lionel Messi needs to lead Argentina to a World Cup success if he is to go down as a true footballing great.

Diego Maradona has claimed that Barcelona ace Lionel Messi will go down as a true "phenomenon" of the sport even if he fails to lead Argentina to a World Cup crown.

The 29-year-old has already fallen narrowly short of the major honour with his side by losing to Germany in the 2014 final, while also finishing as runner-up in three of the last four Copa America tournaments.

Debate still rumbles on over who the greatest player of all time really is, with Maradona and Messi high up on the list of candidates, but the former Napoli star believes that five Ballons d'Or wins is proof enough of his compatriot's true brilliance.

"I am not going to tolerate that people say Messi is not the phenomenon that he is because he did not win a World Cup," he told TyC Sports. "Messi is a great player, regardless of whether he won the World Cup or not.

"At the age of 56, I can say that I have never seen anyone like Messi. I thank God that Messi is an Argentine. We have Messi, the Pope and me... Why would we burden him with claims that he is not a phenomenon if he does not win the World Cup? I won it because I got to play with guys like [Ricardo] Giusti, [Jorge] Burruchaga, [Nery] Pumpido, [Oscar] Ruggeri and many more."

Maradona won the World Cup on one occasion, leading La Albiceleste to a famous success at Mexico 86.

Share this article now:
Liverpool's German coach Jurgen Klopp at a press conference at El Madrigal stadium in Villarreal on April 27, 2016
Read Next:
Maradona names Klopp as favourite manager
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account