Lionel Messi has a very long way to go to be the best footballer of all time, or even number 3. Messi of Argentina, won the highest individual footballing honour for the 3rd consecutive time last week, a feat achieved by fewer that 5 players and at this rate, one he may achieve once more, as long as his team stays tops and Cristiano Ronaldo remains arrogant, (I seem to be the only person admiring the Portuguese’s attitude and that is his undoing to many.) but it will take his take him far more effort to get in touch with the Top 3 Footballers of the all time.
Barcelona are the team of the decade by far, domestically and in the UEFA Champions League, out doing themselves over and over and I am not about to praise them any further. After all, it is not so long ago that I told you about the beginning of their end. Many took it that I meant that Real Madrid are a better team in comparison. Madrid have been better, of course, after the arrival of Jose Mourinho.
The protracted verbal war and psychological warfare that boardrooms and racial slurs characterised The Special One’s arrival in Spain but things calmed down as teams went into business. Now, Barca are wilting and Lionel Messi is proving to be human.
There was a time that I think he has measuring up to Zinedine Zidane, because I think Zizou is the greatest thing that happened to the game after Pele and Diego Maradona in that order. A few more seasons may see him getting there but he is running out of time. With what he has done and achieved, Argentina should have been FIFA World Cup champions. You may want to argue that World Cups are not a measure of everything and you are wrong.
Players like Pele, Maradona and Zidane had tremendous club success and their World Cups were cherries on top. No matter the glitter of any career from thence forth, if anyone can collect everything at once and fails at the World Cup, no one will remember their name.
The last generation of great footballers had one particular player, Eusebio. The Mozambican born Portuguese would have rated well alongside Pele, had he won a World Cup with Portugal. World Cups provide a platform for football patterns and evolution as well as player character.
Maybe also not so great in their clubs but so charismatic at the game were characters like Romanian George Hagi, a size 5 Number 10 who made football look so simple and had a tremendous shot. Hristo Stoichkov of Bulgaria is yet another great player of the World Cup.
Why I bring these names forth, Messi has not mad much impact for Argentina as these have made for their countries during their prime. In that mix you could add Davor Suker of Croatia and Michel Platini of France. These players made huge impacts on the game for both the tournament and their countries.
As of now, Messi is so ordinary and by passion, is ranked amongst these. As for the actual influence of results, there is just so much ground to cover and I think he is running out if World Cups. Since 2014 FIFA World Cup is in South America, it may be his time t come out of the closet and be counted, but there will be Neymar of Brazil to compete with.
Messi may not need to really win the FIFA World Cup, but at least to set it alight, to make his presence felt at least may be enough to secure a and seal a Top 4 position, but as for the actual Top 3, he needs to do what Pele did in 1958 in Sweden, Maradona in Mexico ’86 and Zidane’s France ’98 at least. These men had to deliver the magic even in the actual final, and it was not the finals that made them great. They were already tops and the wizardry of the last games of the World Cups became the seal of approval.