On Saturday, former San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginóbili entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi sent a congratulations note to his fellow countryman.
The Argentine is a four-time NBA champion, two-time All-Star, and one of the better basketball players that have come out of South America. While some in Argentina have called Ginóbili the Messi of basketball, the PSG star doesn’t see it that way.
“It makes me very proud to hear a journalist say that Manu is the Messi of basketball,” Messi said (h/t Spurs). “In fact, they should say that I am the Manu of football.”
Messi genuinely respects what his countryman has done in his basketball career, as Ginóbili was part of the Argentina squad that won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Winning a gold medal in basketball is equivalent to a FIFA World Cup. Along the way, Argentina defeated the United States in the semifinals, so the South American country didn’t take the easy route.
The PSG star hopes to enjoy international success at the world stage level when he participates in what could be his last World Cup in late November.