The twinkle toes of Lionel Messi have delighted us football lovers for years upon years now but now a familiar question is being brought up upon many pundits, fans and players alike. Is Lionel Messi the greatest footaller ever?
Hailing from the famous youth system of Barcelona, Lionel Messi's meteoric rise to superstardom has propelled him to countless awards, league titles, Champions League trophies and 3 Balon d'Or awards, a remarkable achievement considering the little genius is only 24 years of age. The main thing for me which shows Messi to arguably be truley the greatest are his sheer levels of consistency. We have seen many great players such as Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, but none of these have ever had the same consistency levels as Messi.
Week in week out Messi either scores a wonder-goal or plays a pass that near enough seems impossible to most other players. Graeme Souness and Frank Rjikaard two of football's most respected people have recentley said that Messi is the greatest player ever, and surely these two would know giving the amount of world class players that they have either faced or played against. However one issue still hangs over the head of the little Argentinian, to be the world's greatest do you have to win a world cup?
The ever arrogant Pele who constently brands himself as the greatest thing ever in football recently suggested in The Sun that Messi cannot be the greatest due to his below par performances internationally. Pele may have achieved wonders in the world of international football, but it must be remembered that Pele was playing at a time when people were chain smoking and going out for a couple of pints after every match. In this day and age of modern football, fitness levels are almost at near enough superhero levels.
Every player these days (excluding Per Mertescaker) has pace, and there is generally a quicker style of play all over the world. For someone like Lionel Messi to contribute to at leat 50+ games a season against top professionals and still put in unbelievable performances week in week out ins testament to me how greater player Messi actually is.
His goal tally speaks for itself, with currently 25 goals in 16 games this season it is something that noone else can do. International football has lost a lot of its credability since the days gone by of Pele and Maradonna, and now people almost dread the thought of an international break. The World cup is no longer the most competetive tournament and I would say the Champions League gas overtaken it. The sheer quality of players in the Champions League every year, and Messi still hugely outperforming them shows that he has more stamina, can score more goals and is more consistent that most players in history.
For me Messi's closest rival is Cristiano Ronaldo, becuase he delivers the same things Messi does year in year out, but just lacks that little spark of brilliance that makes the little man so likable and so brilliant. Ronaldo simply cannot deliver a pass to the same level as Messi and there goal statistics are arguably the same, so for me it has to be Messi over the Madrid man.
Ronaldo and Messi will become the two greatest players to have ever graced the game of football. Goals, skill and brilliance are what we all crave as football fans and these two deliver is to us constantly. Players like Maradona, Pele and Zidane never stunned us in the way Messi and Ronaldo have every week and the two La Liga giants sheer ability to do it week in week out and in Europe every year tells me that they are the two greatest ever.
In 2014 things may change and perhaps Messi and Ronaldo will step up on the international scene and who knows deliver their country a world cup. However i strongly contradict Pele's comments and while Messi may never have delivered a World Cup trophy to Argentina he still is for me and many other fans the Greatest ever player, closely followed by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Any other views? Feel free to comment below.