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Is Leo Messi the best footballer in history?

The question immediately follows the World Cup won by the Argentine in Qatar.

The debate will continue because the condition of the best is not defined solely by the number of titles and because the comparison at different times is not always fair, but the truth is that none of the four greats before

Messi closed a work as round as that of the footballer. of PSG in the most competitive scenarios: The Champions League and the World Cup

, the best club competition and the biggest national team tournament.

Alfredo di Stéfano and Johan Cruyff owe their legend precisely to the old European Cup


The first

played with three teams, Argentina, Colombia and Spain, but

was never able to play in a World Cup

, between sanctions, injuries and eliminations.

The Dutchman fell in the 1974 final

, in Germany, and

gave up going to the 1978 final


Di Stéfano, on the other hand, gave birth to Real Madrid, champion and dominator of Europe, with the first five titles, and Cruyff was the banner of the era of the great Ajax, before arriving at Barcelona, ​​where his contribution, important for the reserve Barca emotional, was incomparable to the one he would offer as a coach.

He won the trophy three times.

Messi added one more in the best period in the history of Barça.

He is one from Di Stéfano.

Pelé's work in the World Cup is within the reach of very few


The Brazilian is the representation of the World Cup in flesh and blood.

He won three times (1958, 1962 and 1970), with 12 goals in the final stages


Messi adds a bit more, after the seven in Qatar, but only one title, the one achieved at the Lusail Stadium against France.

For those who value the best for what they have achieved on the biggest stage possible, Pelé's heritage is unbeatable.

Ask in Brazil.

Pelé, however, never played in Europe

, a fact that distanced him from the most competitive soccer and, of course, from the main club competition.

In Europe

, Diego Maradona played, the man who lifted the second World Cup in Argentina, in Mexico 1986


After failing in Barcelona,

​​he triumphed in Naples

, where he turned a modest team into champions of Italy and the UEFA Cup.

The European Cup escaped their conquests


Brilliant but irregular

and with a dissolute life that cut short his career several times, Maradona was, in addition to being a huge footballer, an emotional bombshell, the player who has best represented passion on the pitch.

To the extent that football is passion, Maradona is unbeatable.


For those who understand that passion and the World Cup are ahead of the game and the titles, then there is discussion.

For those who value regularity and permanence, it cannot exist.

Although Pelé won the last World Cup at the age of 30 and Maradona the only one at 26,

Messi has reached his most desired title at the age of 35

, after a long period of frustration with Argentina that made him feel like an incomplete player.

Far was the Olympic title that he lifted in 2008, 14 years ago, at the Beijing Games.

The Copa América also resisted him until 2021


It was the sixth time that he disputed it.

Unlike Maradona or even Cruyff who went through Barcelona, ​​Messi has been a genius every day, with a consistency that connects him more with Di Stéfano or Pelé, favored by the ecosystem of a game, that of the Barça school, hegemonic during an era of football.

The individual awards,

seven Ballon d'Ors and six Golden Boots

, show this, regardless of how questionable they are in a team sport.

During the time that it was only awarded to European players, the award penalized Pelé or Maradona.

Di Stéfano already received it as a Spaniard.

Messi was, therefore, the best in the best context, although

the last few years at the Camp Nou tarnished that trajectory, with continuous falls in the Champions League


If he reaches the fifth, it will be as a PSG footballer, together with Kylian Mbappé, whom Qatar has presented as his successor.

If the Argentine lacked something, it was emotional leadership, given his elusive and taciturn character, something he overcame in time, as captain of this new Argentina, to add the title he most desired.

In Qatar, he has been captain, leader, decisive and goalscorer

, despite being in the fall of his career.

To sit at the table of the big four, even surpass them, goals are not enough, however.

These are players who scored and made others score, leaders of the offensive game, which has always been understood as a 10.

In favor of the rest with respect to Messi, it must be said that they played in the toughest times of football

, with fewer cameras and less protection for the stars.

Messi has not received as many kicks as Pelé or Maradona, many of them in the same scenario that has definitely led him to the altar.

Where they put it will be an eternal discussion.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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  • Leo Messi

  • Alfredo Di Stefano

  • Qatar

  • Argentina

  • America Cup

  • Diego Maradona

  • Germany

  • France

  • Colombia

  • real Madrid

  • Argentine Soccer Team

  • France Soccer Team