Following Sunday’s World Cup final loss to Germany, albeit in extra time, Lionel Messi’s legacy took a sharp hit. If he never wins the game’s most prestigious trophy, Messi will never be considered the greatest soccer player ever, and that’s okay because he is already an iconic figure in the sport with a lot more to contribute.
It’s unfortunate that the Argentine captain ridiculed teammates for their efforts in the final like he wasn’t a part of the game and couldn’t have affected it to his team’s favor.
“We haven’t been in the semifinals for many years and the fact that we played the final and the way we played it, it’s something to be proud of. But we deserved more and that’s why we are sad. The strikers missed the chances we had. It’s a bad feeling for all of us because we couldn’t win the cup and take it to our people. It’s painful to lose it by so little. We were very close of a big change for this national team but we couldn’t finish it,” said the 27-year-old after the match.
Sure, Gonzalo Higuaín was offside throughout the match and Rodrigo Palacio couldn’t flick the ball over Manuel Neuer’s head but the four-time Ballon d’Or winner wasted a chance in the 47th minute as well. Midfielder Lucas Biglia placed a great through ball for the six-time La Liga champion. Messi saw the far post was open so he shot with his preferred left foot and it went off target to result in a goal kick.
Following the match during award presentations, the three-time Champions League winner won the Golden Ball which signifies that he was the best player of the tournament. In a previous article, I stated that Messi would get the award because of getting the Albicelestes to the final so it wasn’t a surprise when he got the accolade. The man he’s battling to be considered the greatest of all time was not pleased with the three-time European Golden Shoe recipient receiving the prize.
“Messi? I would give him heaven if possible but it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan,” said Diego Maradona on his TV show.
Maradona mentions a marketing plan because Adidas is the sponsor of the Golden Ball and Messi is endorsed by the German company.
To me, Maradona will remain the greatest player ever until someone can catapult a club and country like how he did in his illustrious career. Pele was also a surreal athlete but he played with other iconic players for the Brazilian national team like Garrincha, Didi, Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos and Vava. The national team had so many world class players that they won the 1962 World Cup without O Rei, who got injured the first match of the tournament and was knocked out the tournament. Messi and Pele played for sides that are considered to be the greatest teams of all time because of how much talent they were surrounded by and what they accomplished but Maradona was a man who didn’t play with teams that had an immense amount of talent but he could raise his game to unseen heights.