Many in the football world believe that Lionel Messi needs a FIFA World Cup to cement his legacy as the GOAT, which is why the Argentina-France matchup is vital to the 35-year-old.
The Paris Saint-Germain star is attempting to surpass Diego Maradona and Pele, but to do so, he needs a World Cup since it’s what the two players won during their football careers.
However, former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta believes Messi is already at the level of Diego Armando Maradona, regardless of what happens in the final against France on Sunday.
“It is an unnecessary debate; as an Argentine, I enjoy that we have had two of the greatest in the world,” Zabaleta told TUDN (h/t Marca). “Diego was lucky to win in 1986; he lost the final in 1990. We lost the final in 2014.
“God willing that on Sunday Leo can lift the World Cup, also to have those two photos, the one of Diego lifting the World Cup and the one of Leo, would be something incredible. For me, Leo is already at Diego’s level, no matter what happens.”
Nonetheless, the former Argentine soccer player, who was a World Cup finalist at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, dreams of seeing Messi lifting the trophy, just like Maradona did at the Estadio Azteca in 1986.
Messi has one game left to accomplish this goal, but Argentina faces their most formidable challenge as the reigning champions France hope to make history, being the first nation since 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups.