Updated: July 20, 2021 2:22:08 am
Lionel Messi scored four goals and registered five assists in six matches as he led Argentina to the pinnacle of success in the recently concluded Copa America.
The continental tournament became a Messi show through and through as the 34-year-old played to his best potential helping Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final. As a result, the La Albiceleste ended their 28-year drought of major trophies. Simultaneously, Messi also broke the team’s record for international appearances with 151 matches.
Before the Copa final victory over Brazil, Messi’s silverware with Argentina included the U-20 World Cup (2005) and a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
However, despite his best efforts, a former Argentine legend is still not convinced that his fellow countryman can be deemed as the greatest of all time eclipsing late Diego Maradona.
Mario Kempes, who played a crucial role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph in 1978, stated that Messi cannot be compared to Maradona.
“For Messi, the misfortune is that he was the replacement for Diego Maradona,” Kempes told ESPN Mexico, as per Marca.
“And it is very difficult to overshadow Diego, with the idolatry that he has received around the world.
“If [Messi] wants to be better than Maradona, he is not going to achieve it even if he wins four World Cups in a row.
“He still hasn’t won the World Cup. No matter how many [titles he] wins or what he wins, it can never be compared to what Diego did.”
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