Despite the 35-year-old winning everything at the club level on personal and collective grounds and creating records that are a dream for many, not winning a World Cup was one of the reasons many called him not in the same bracket as Maradona.
However, after seven goals and three assists for the Albiceleste and leading them to their third World Cup, the debate has been settled for many.
Adding fuel to the fire, for the same explanation, former Barcelona midfielder Bernd Schuster has now claimed that Maradona still remains the better player for him. The 63-year-old who was also a team-mate of Maradona has suggested that the late Argentine legend’s personality is what differentiates him from the Paris Saint Germain star attacker.
“We have seen a more veteran Messi. He is no longer the young boy who made everyone fall in love with his football, and it was the only thing that mattered to him. With his seniority, with his age, he has grown a lot,” the German told Super Depor Radio (as per AS).
“There is only one small difference that I see between Diego and Leo and that is that Diego was more outward. He told everyone what he felt. Messi is not so capable of saying, ‘I’m dying for my country; I’m dying for my people’. He thinks about it inside; it’s what comes to me. Diego transmitted a lot of what he felt to his teammates, to his fans; that’s why everyone loved him so much. Messi keeps it to himself, but his attitude on the field is similar”, he added.
Schuster however also chose to praise Messi for continuing with the Argentine national team despite winning the World Cup at 35 years of age as he believes the little Argentine still has plenty of years left to offer at the top level.
“Messi can still play for a few years. For that, he keeps the desire. He has football in his head. It’s in a comfortable place, as is Paris; it’s a comfortable club for him. He no longer has that requirement like the greats of Europe. Of course, they will want to win the Champions League, at least once, after so many years trying. There he can play a couple more years,” Schuster concluded.