Many active and former footballers believe that Diego Maradona has a slight edge over Lionel Messi as the greatest Argentina player of all-time because of his FIFA World Cup win in 1986. For former England international Alan Shearer, he sees that if Messi can guide the Argentina national team to triumph at the 2022 World Cup, it would then move him above Maradona when discussing the best players in the history of world football.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Shearer picked Argentina to come away victorious at this year’s World Cup and also touched on just what such a win would mean for Messi’s legacy.
“Argentina,” Shearer said. “It will be a great way for Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, to go out. It could be a defining moment for him – he has probably been the greatest player we have ever seen, but the thing that is always chucked at him when comparisons are made between him and Diego Maradona is that he has never won the World Cup.
“If he was to win this one, that would pretty much be the end of that debate – and what a story it would be.”
Messi has accomplished a multitude of feats in his storied career, but what is lacking in his trophy cabinet is a World Cup winners’ medal. He will look to get on the right track to achieving this feat on Tuesday when Argentina meets Saudi Arabia for its World Cup group stage opener.