Comparing Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona on and off the pitch- a difficult task for Argentines and fans of the game.
A lot has been said about Messi and Maradona. Many have said they play alike, they score alike, the position the ball alike, almost everything is alike for both of them.
However, the Argentines are regarded as two different people in Argentina’s history of the game. It makes it very difficult to compare Messi and Maradona.
Messi is heavily known for being criticised by his own country men, Argentines as he has not helped them win any major trophy despite taking them to 3 COPA America finals.
One they relate to, they see their mistakes, their temper, their bad judgment in, the other a well-mannered, organised and calm fella.
Credit to Messi for having the authenticity and the power of will to be him at all times. He never changed, never became someone he’s not.
He [Messi] never wanted to be their Maradona, not that he would have succeeded anyway. He’s their Messi, and they love and will love him in their own way.
The beauty when comparing Messi and Maradona’s personalities is you can extend that to the pitch.
Maradona was more artistic, more unpredictable. He could shoot from 30 metres. Messi is more rational. He will make the play that has more probability to lead to a goal.
He is capable of dribbling past 4 players and then laying it off. He [Messi] is like a perfected robot. But it’s also the price of today’s era; results, results and only results matter. He’s judged every 3 days. Every 3 days he has to win. he has to produce that killer instincts in every game, He has to be a God in every match. Maradona had more of a margin to be creative.
Also worth noting Messi grew up in the culture of La Masia. Everything you do on an individual level has to be done with the benefit of the collective.
A street player fine-tuned for pro football. Diego Maradona didn’t have that education, but it made him Diego. I see the beauty in both.
Maradona’s bond with the people of Argentina is deep seated and on a wholly different level. But that’s more to do with him than about Messi.
In a very simplistic way – Maradona is a God to Argentines, whereas Lionel Messi is an Alien to them.