MX23RW : Monday, February 18 08:59:44

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.


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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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